Friday, February 8

appy friday

Nowadays, there is an app for pretty much anything. All you favorite social media sites, major retailers, games, magazines, and on and on. I have tried really hard to limit the apps I put on my iPhone so I can put some sort of limit on how often and what I use my phone for. Technology is great, but I really don't want to be someone who can't function with out it. However, I have been on a recent search to find some apps that help me with budgeting. We are trying very hard to be conscious of how we spend our money so we are able to save more for things, like a house. Life is expensive, so I'm learning, and one of my biggest budget busters each month is groceries.

Ugh, I guess I just really love food and therefore think that I must have all of it. Then, I end up wasting produce that has gone bad from sitting in the fridge too long. Thankfully, there are only two of us right now so it makes it easier to manage. But someday there will be more of us and I know that I will be a sucker for wanting to constantly have some sort of baked goods or something sweet to feed to those who are at my house. I've learned that food is one of my love languages, pretty sure it is in my genetics, but I feel like a failure if you ever leave my house hungry. So if I can get this somewhat figured out now, we'll all be better off.

To combat my impulse grocery buying, I have found a few apps that have been very helpful. First, I start by planning out the weeks worth of meals before I go shopping. I try to take inventory of what we have and what we would need and being mindful of finding recipes that include items we already have in stock. This has been a HUGE money saver. Once I've made my list, I turn to my trusty iPhone for help.


I love this app because you can use it for grocery lists, pantry lists and to-do lists. You can also create lists either on your phone or computer and it will sync up to both devices. Once you have created the lists, if you enter the price of the item it will automatically calculate how much you have spent, once you've checked it off your list. The only downfall is that you have to manually enter the price, but once you've entered it for a certain item, it will remember it for the next shopping trip. There are many other features within this app but it was really nice to know what my bill was going to be before I was at the cash register. And it even help me put a few items back that weren't necessities to our kitchen.

*There is another app called GroceryIQ that is very similar but I prefer OOM.

CardStar
This app is more helpful for keeping yourself organized, but it also keeps all your rewards cards in one location. It's super easy; just collect all your rewards/discount cards (mine were all annoyingly on my key ring) and you can either enter your account number or just scan the bar code. It keeps a database of all the cards that you have in one app. There are lots of stores that use this and the cashier can simply scan it from your phone when you check out. It can also really save the embarrassment of searching through your whole bag when you "know it's in there somewhere."

https://www.mint.com/public/screenshots/logo_noreflect.jpg
Mint
Ok, if you haven't discovered this site, you are seriously missing out. A financial genius created a site where you can link your bank account (now before you start freaking out about giving that information to a website just hear me out) and it will track all of your income and expenses. It's free and it's completely SAFE; it has the same protection that online banking has and you can read more about their safety measure on their site. You can set up budgets, track monthly spending, and even set goals for yourself. When I was first starting to pay my own bills, this site was one of the best things I could have done for myself. Its more like a game to me now, to see which budgets I can keep in the green and how much money I can not spend. I may have a problem. But seriously, it's is such a great tool to use and it helps you stay aware of where your money really is going. Because seriously, how do you think I realized that my monthly grocery budget was out of control. Oh, and there is an app for that, too!

Check out these great apps and they are all iPhone and Android friendly. Enjoy!

Happy Weekend!

1 comment:

Scott Revere said...

I hate posting on blogs, but your's peeked my interest. Per the budget thing there is another app/website called YNAB (You Need a Budget). The website has some very good training webinars too. It's a little like Mint, which I have used in the past, but Mint started getting annoying when it couldn't connect to a couple of my Swiss Bank accounts in the Cayman Islands...;)