Using Smartphones to Save Money

8 years 2 months 1 week ago Friday, March 18 2011 Mar 18, 2011 Friday, March 18, 2011 11:38:00 PM CDT March 18, 2011 in News
By: Theo Keith
loading

Among the dizzying number of applications for your smartphone (yes, there's an app for that, and that, and that), some can help you save money.

As the Android and iPhone technology improves, so do the apps that make the pricey phones useful to own. Budgeting apps provide shoppers with constant reminders not to overspend, while coupon apps allow consumers to get virtual discounts at their favorite participating stores, creating the modern "coupon-clipper."

Budgeting

While we know what we earn - and watch over our paychecks like hawks - a smaller number of us know what we spend. Few people make budgets, fewer yet actually stick to them.

Budgeting software and online tools such as Mint.com make it easier. You input your bank information online, then Mint compiles it all. You can set budgets on everything from car payments to coffee, and Mint will track your spending.

Mint has also introduced apps for the iPhone and Android. So, if you have a smartphone, you can take your little budget angel with you wherever you go. Once you set a budget, you get a warning message when you're buying something that puts you over your spending limit. One too many frappacinos at Starbucks? You're over the coffee budget.

"With the apps, it basically extends that desktop experience or that laptop experience to your hands when you're in the store," said Andrew Zumwalt, who tracks technological trends for the University of Missouri's Department of Personal Financial Planning. "It used to be you had to go to each financial provider's website, and now, you can just go to one place."

Of course, even with a Mint.com app, we still have to listen to the budget angel - that's often the hardest thing to do. But for young people with smartphones, this removes all excuses of "forgetting" about how much money flies out of our wallets.

The websites claim bank-level security. Mint and others are read-only, meaning you can't make account transfers on the site itself, only monitor your finances.

Coupons

But tracking coffee consumption isn't the only way to make that expensive smartphone work for you. Some say the days of clipping coupons out of the newspaper are numbered, as apps now allow consumers to find out about discounts virtually.

Startups, such as Columbia, Missouri-based GraphicAir, LLC, are targeting what they hope is a coming mobile phone advertising boom.

For about $950 per year, restaurants and other shops can use GraphicAir's "ItelitextApp" to send text message alerts to registered customers. Shoppers can download a free app for each store to see discounts instantly. It's catching on in bigger cities, but about a dozen businesses in Columbia have begun using the service, said GraphicAir's owner, Ken Boles.

"When that phone rings, you see what it is and say, 'We're right near there. Let's go grab a bite. We've got a coupon for that right now,'" Boles said. "It enabled the web to become part of your phone, and actually have those coupons available. Instead of having, 'Oh, I clipped it out and left it on the table. I know where it is - I'm sorry, honey."

As with all coupons, experts suggest using coupons only on things we were already planning to purchase. The recent coupon-club craze seems to be sending younger and older consumers into a buying frenzy. But just because something is on sale doesn't mean you should buy it. Coupons can be bad for undisciplined shoppers - but, if you use them properly, they're another way to save.

More News

Grid
List
ROCHEPORT – Severe flooding is happening across mid-Missouri and in Rocheport the flooding is leaving a finacial impact on businesses.... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 7:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Married couple and business partners Jennifer and Jeremy Hart are counting their blessings after the historic motel they... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:33:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting, many parents have only tepid confidence in school safety, according... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department released an official request for volunteers Saturday morning following Wednesday's EF-3 tornado.... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:56:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) spent his Saturday touring the path of destruction Wednesday's tornadoes left behind. Hawley... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is investigating two incidents of alleged looting involving three individuals Friday afternoon... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:18:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Neighbors in Jefferson City were already watching the Missouri River rise, but no one planned on an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 11:42:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - According to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, water was over the runways at Jefferson City Airport in Callaway... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Coverage From Callaway
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance companies will inspect and process claims for damaged homes over the weekend. Wednesday night's tornado badly... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man involved in a car crash on I-70 May 16 has died from his injuries. William... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri River has completely overflowed its banks near the end of South Route N. near Ashland.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:16:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is offering instructions on how to get rid of the debris created by Wednesday's tornado.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 5:08:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance agents are warning people hit by Wednesday's tornado to be careful about signing repair contracts. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Volunteers from all over Jefferson City are working to help those affected by the tornado. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 2:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Members from House of Refuge are keeping their faith after Wednesday's tornado completely destroyed their church. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 1:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
ROCHEPORT - The 11th annual Pedaler's Jamboree bike ride got a good start Friday, and Missouri River levels are falling.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:47:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:32:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Task Force 1 has deactivated from Jefferson City after an EF-3 tornado swept through the area... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 9:11:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
8am 71°
9am 73°
10am 74°
11am 75°