Whether it's preparing to buy a big-ticket item, building a nest egg for retirement, or just saving dimes and dollars for paying back student loans, saving money is crucially important.
But it doesn't have to be painful — especially with a powerful personal computer in your pocket disguised as a telephone.
Here are 25 apps to help you save money — for today or tomorrow.
25 Best Money Saving Apps
Here is a list of the best money saving apps for 2020.
Want free money?
- Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $100 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $100 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.
Whether you have an employer-backed retirement account or a personal Roth IRA, there's a good chance it's serviced by Fidelity. Using the mobile and web app, it's easy to watch your accounts grow or make additional one-time investments in your future as often as you can afford to do so.
Trim makes the bold claim that its machine learning-facilitated app platform saves its users one million dollars per month. How? By looking over your finances and canceling unused subscriptions, finding more affordable utility and service providers and generally looking for waste and redundancy. Give it a try.
If somebody out there enjoys buying — and overpaying for — gasoline, we've never met them. That's what GetUpside is for. It offers several tools for frugal drivers. First, it'll show you the lowest gas prices near you. You can also use it to calculate MPG. Or, for long road trips, you can find the best gas prices in advance and add them as stops on your itinerary.
The Digit app makes it genuinely painless to save money “in the background.” It works by keeping an eye on a linked personal checking account and saving small amounts of money at a time based on your incoming profit or wages. This app also helps you save, invest, pay off debt, and prevent overdrafts which you can learn in our full Digit review.
Like Digit, Acorns offers a mobile and web app. It too functions by saving small amounts of money automatically, this time by rounding up your purchases on a linked account or card and by investing the difference in your Acorns account. The service recently launched “Acorns Later” — a full-featured retirement account that that's perfect for anybody without an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Sometimes, saving money for the future or a major purchase requires a little personal finance triage first. If that's the case, the Credit Sesame app is a good starting point for anybody who wants to find out where they stand credit-wise and get some practical tips for improving it, saving money on ordinary expenses while you do so.
You can probably file this one under “sounds too good to be true but isn't.” Ibotta is an app that works with 250 major retailers, including big-box stores, to help you get some money back, retroactively, on purchases you already make regularly. Some users report savings of up to $25 in their first month without changing their shopping habits.
Concerns about Amazon's working conditions have finally reached the mainstream, but there's little doubt the Amazon App can be a cost-savings godsend when you know how to work the system. A good start is using the Amazon.com mobile app to scan barcodes when you're out shopping. If Amazon — or a third-party affiliate — has a lower price on the item, it'll let you know.
If you're looking for a way to browse for cool deals, search for specific items, conduct paid surveys and generally earn a little bit back on all of the shopping research you'd be doing anyway, SwagBucks is for you. After you link a PayPal account, most of your activity on the app — from doing product searches to providing marketing feedback — helps you earn points toward cash rewards.
Qapital is another mobile-focused savings app that makes automatic or manual deposits based on your income. But it goes a step further than some of the others by offering a social and family component, where you can save money as part of a group, as well as robust goal-setting features for when you have specific savings milestones in mind.
Rakuten functions a little like an outlet store for 2500 internet retailers. By making Rakuten your “shopping portal,” either through the web app or a browser extension, you have access to thousands of great deals — up to 40 percent off — on almost anything you can imagine, straight from your retailers of choice.
You can think of the Poshmark app a little like a high-end thrift store. It's a mobile-first peer-to-peer digital marketplace where people can buy, swap and sell clothing, footwear and fashion accessories by sought-after and luxury brands, sometimes for 70 percent off the “rack price.” For items where counterfeiting is a worry, Poshmark offers authenticity checks for purchases over $500.
Boxed is an app and online service that combines most of the benefits of a warehouse store membership — BJ's, Costco, Sam's Club, etc. — with the convenience of home shopping. Signing up is free, and there is no membership fee — just free shipping in the lower 48 and wholesale prices for bulk amounts of groceries and household products.
Nothing is frugal about dining out in restaurants — but if you do it right, even infrequent visits could help you earn back a little something. OpenTable is an app that makes securing table reservations on a mobile device painless. However, you also earn points for each reservation and can cash out for affiliated restaurant gift cards or Amazon gift codes.
This is a browser extension for Safari, Firefox and Chrome rather than a standalone mobile or web app — but it's a potential life-saver just the same. After you install it, Honey keeps an eye on the checkout process at major internet retailers and automatically finds current coupon codes to apply to your order.
This is a web app and browser extension with a funny name but potentially significant results. It works exclusively with Amazon.com and provides historical overviews for the price of almost every item. If you want to uncover the best times to buy online from Amazon, CamelCamelCamel is an indispensable tool.
16. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is an excellent tool for anybody who frequently shops for household groceries and other items. Using the app is easy — you create a free account and then upload receipts of purchases you've made for qualifying items. Checkout 51 keeps a continually updated list of manufacturer deals and sends you cash back any time you buy something for which there's a posted deal.
18. Bank of America
As the name suggests, “B of A” is one of the biggest financial institutions in the country. And they've recently upped their game for savings and checking account holders by adding a “Keep the Change” feature to their account apps. This rounds up your purchases to a whole-dollar amount and saves these small amounts as deposits to your savings account.
Chime brands itself as less of a mobile app and more a full-blown “alternative bank.” You can set your checking account to commit 10 percent of incoming paychecks to savings automatically. Additionally, some purchases you pay for using your Chime account are eligible for earning cash back.
20. Clarity Money
No matter the skill, sometimes we need some coaching — and saving money is no different. With this in mind, the Clarity Money app helps you find and cancel hidden recurring expenses like subscriptions and bad habits. It'll also deliver insights — using a web or mobile app — about negotiating your costs lower and suggesting financial products that could help, based on your profile.
Like Clarity Money, Mint styles itself as your personal finance consigliere. By linking your major financial institutions and ATM cards, Mint delivers a top-down view of your entire financial life. You can build and fine-tune a budget, create an emergency fund and look over your credit score — all for free.
It's got an on-the-nose name, but maybe straightforwardness is exactly what you want in a financial app. You Need a Budget has long been a favorite because it makes it easy to account for all of your spending, prioritize your expenses, understand basic and advanced budgeting techniques and save easily for unforeseen emergencies — or just a rainy day.
Many of the apps here focus on eCommerce and digital money management — not ScoutMob. It's all about “local discovery,” helping residents and visitors alike find great local deals on goods, foods and services they might not have known about otherwise.
In underprepared hands, a stock trading app is a money-loser rather than a money-saver. Robinhood offers free stock and bond trading and an intuitive interface, so it's a smart way to play the market while saving the money you'd otherwise lose to commissions.
25. Your Regional Bank or Credit Union's App
To close, let's reflect on the fact that there's often no better way to get a handle on your finances than to make them more accessible. To that end, find out if your regional credit union or bank has a mobile app. If they do, it means you can go everywhere with the means, in your pocket, to move money between accounts, check your balance or identify questionable transactions right when they happen. If saving money is the goal, then keeping your eyes on your money in the first place is step one.
The best money saving apps can really help you curb your overspending and help you automate your savings. It's a win-win for your financial goals and your wallet. Money saving apps go hand in hand with financial independence apps, so go learn more in order to curb the alarming rate of millennial financial literacy.