I saw an Amish man using an iPhone in a McDonald’s parking lot the other day. You know the digital age has a hold on our society when it penetrates to the Old Order Amish living in my community. Now, he’ll probably lose that phone when his Bishop hears about it, but he sure looked like he was having fun while it lasted.
I’m thankful every day that I wasn’t born Amish and that I’m fortunate enough to have a few tech gadgets in my possession. (Let’s be honest; I’m a geek, and I love new technology.) One of my all-time favorite gadgets is the iPhone, because it’s so versatile.
You can customize your iPhone for business, gaming, design, music, or whatever happens to be your passion of the week — simply by changing out the apps you use every day. Mine is loaded with apps to help me manage my money better.
Here are a few of my favorite iPhone apps that help me save money and live frugally.
1. Shopper by Google
This app is fun to use and has a nice interface. You can scan barcodes or magazine ads to get product information, or browse the ready-made categories for products. And best of all, it’s free. I like that this app is produced by Google and can be connected to your Google Wallet account. It’s great for shopping online or gathering info about products you plan to purchase in person.
This handy app is my all-time favorite for comparison shopping. I used it while holiday shopping to scan a box of Crayola colored pencils that was “on sale” at Kmart, only to find I could buy that same box of pencils at Walmart (on the other side of the street) for $4 less than Kmart’s sale price (it was a 50% savings!).
I’ve also used this app to figure out the price of an unmarked object when I can’t find a sales associate to help me. It gives me a rough idea of how much the item will be at check-out, which helps me decide if it’s even worth hunting down further assistance. You can also browse deals of the day, check store listings, or look at popular products that other users are scanning.
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, you’re missing out. This free app requires a free account, which you can set up in a few minutes. Users submit things they’ve uploaded or found on the Web, and pins are sorted according to categories. The search function is intuitive and the app is easy to navigate. You can find DIY instructions for everything from building your own platform bed to making your own solar panels. If it can be done, someone has pinned it. This app is also a treasure trove of inexpensive recipes, product reviews, and tips for everyday living.
BEWARE: it can easily eat up hours at a time! Once you start digging through pins, it’s kind of like being in Grandma’s attic or being told you can peek at the back room of your favorite auction house. My advice is to set a timer and quit when the buzzer goes off.
4. CamScanner Pro
This handy app lets you use your iPhone’s camera to “scan” any document and has limitless uses. It resizes, trims, and straightens your scan, and it also has the option to autocorrect color and lighting for better readability. You can tag your images, email, fax or print your scanned documents, and create PDF pages of your documents.
Since we no longer get cancelled checks back for our records, I use it to photocopy my incoming and outgoing checks. I’ve also used it to capture receipts, phone numbers, business cards, and even the occasional coupon. If you have a .edu email address, you can get the PRO version upgrade for free by registering as a teacher or student. This is a great app for finding out where your money is being spent and for keeping track of expenses for taxes or business purposes.
What are your favorite money saving apps?