Written By Victoria Schmid
Whether money’s tight or we’re just thinking about the future, we all want to save a little money. And these days, all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or internet connection to get started—as they say, there’s an app for that.
This article will walk through six great apps to help save you save a little (or a lot) on your monthly expenses, whether that’s finding a better deal on a new apartment or avoiding overpaying for utilities.
1. Find Your New Place with Apartments.com
The first step to saving money in an apartment is making sure you’re getting the best deal on rent. Apartment-hunting apps like Apartments.com can help you compare listings and discover new rental opportunities. You can also compare what you’re currently paying with the competition to see if your rent is in line with other local listings or if it’s time to move on.
Apartments.com isn’t the only game in town, of course. Plenty of other apps do similar things. What’s great about Apartments.com in particular is how up to date it is—generally if a listing says its available, you can count on it actually being available, which isn’t always the case on other apps.
2. Keep Track of Your Money with Mint
This handy app pulls data from all your connected bank accounts and brings them together in one convenient interface. It also provides a few basic tools to help manage and keep track of your money. If you’re looking for an easy way to get a bird’s-eye view of your finances, Mint is the way to go.
When you sign up for Mint, you plug in all your accounts, and the app automatically keeps them updated. It can also send you alerts when there are changes to your accounts and when you hit your budgeted limits. This overview helps you see where your money goes and how much you can save in different areas.
3. Avoid Costly Late Fees with Bills Monitor
Few things can throw your week off track as quickly as realizing you forgot to pay a bill. Missing a payment often means late fees and penalties, and you may have already spent the money needed for that bill on something else—now you’ve got to shuffle everything around to squeeze in another payment.
Bills Monitor aims to solve those problems by providing a one-stop shop for your bill schedule. You can plug in all your due dates to create a payment calendar and set up reminders so that even if you forget to check the calendar, you’ll still get pinged when it’s time to pay up.
4. Keep Things Documented with Encircle
Keeping detailed records of the condition of your apartment and its contents is vital. If you ever have to file an insurance claim, you’ll be glad you have detailed records. Encircle makes it easy to document your belongings and the state of your apartment.
Just go room by room and take photos of the contents. For each room, you can add an inventory, note the monetary value of each item, attach additional photos, and more. In the event of a burglary, natural disaster, or other event where something is lost or damaged, these records will make filing insurance claims and getting compensated much easier. It can also be great to note existing damage in the apartment so that you don’t get charged for repairs when it’s time to move out.
5. Avoid Overpaying for the Internet with the Speed Test Web App
Internet service is a must these days—it’s hard to imagine going about your day without it. What’s not a must is paying for service you don’t need. Depending on your needs, you may be able to get away with a cheaper plan and save some money. And occasionally shopping around for new deals is a good idea, especially since contracts are becoming less common. But you need to know your actual internet speed before you decide.
Living in an apartment complex can mean high numbers of tenants using the same internet service and cables, sometimes drastically affecting your speeds at peak times. This web-based app is free and will test the upload and download speeds you’re getting with your current connection. If you feel like your internet is fast enough but you aren’t getting the advertised speeds, you can move down a tier, which can save you a pretty penny.
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6. Search for Fun (and Decor) that Fits Your Budget with Groupon
Lastly, everyone needs to have a little fun, but if you’re trying to save money, it can be hard to justify the expense. Groupon is an app that offers discounts and promotions at restaurants, spas, retailers, local attractions, and more. If you’re bored and on a budget, you can almost always find a deal for something on Groupon.
Groupon also lists deals on decor for your apartment. You can find discounts on everything from photo prints and flower arrangements to doormats and dishes. What’s available can vary at any given time, so it’s worth spending a few minutes every week to check if anything new is available.
Saving can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. These apps should help you get started reducing expenses and breathing a little easier when it comes to money. Pick your favorites, or use them all, and start saving.
About the author: Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.