Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are easy ways to save money in your daily life – and you don’t have to change anything!
This is a guest post from John Pham. John Pham is the founder of The Money Ninja. He launched The Money Ninja in 2019 during his graduate studies when he realized that many friends and family members benefited from his advice on how to maximize their finances. He draws insight from his unique past; someone who started working at his local grocery store at age 16, and by the time he turned 30, had already made his first $1,000,000
Find his full bio at the end of this post.
For instance, what would you say if I told you there are free apps out there that save you money every time you do things like getting gas for your car or going out to eat at restaurants with friends?
Hard to believe? Well, it’s true!
And it has nothing to do with signing up for credit cards or joining a bunch loyalty programs.
Today, I’ll go over my favorite money saving apps that I use on a daily basis. It helped me save thousands of dollars and I’m positive you can start saving money right away with them too!
5 Money Savings Apps
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans use an average of 656 gallons per person, per year.
Let’s face it. We drive a lot and gas prices are only going higher and higher.
While you can’t control the price of gas, what you can do is earn cash back every time you get gas by using the GetUpside app.
GetUpside gives you up to 25¢ cash back for every gallon of gas purchased, simply for checking into the gas station with the app!
If you’re an average driver, that means you’re saving $164 dollars a year on gas!
Seated is a restaurant reservations app that gives you 20% to 50% back in the form of rewards. This is one of my favorite apps because it’s so easy to use and gives you so much back.
All you need to do is make a reservation at a restaurant, enjoy your meal, and then simply take a picture of your restaurant bill when you’re done. That’s it!
Update: Seated has added a new feature that allows you to now earn rewards for delivery and takeout orders!
Seated will give you 20% to 50% of it back as a reward, which you can redeem for gift cards at popular brands like Amazon, Target, and Uber.
Here’s a screenshot where Seated gave me $27 in rewards for eating at Peregrine (an excellent Boston restaurant if you ever get the chance to visit):
New to Seated? Download the app and use the promo code JOHN1445 to earn an additional $15 after your first meal.
The only thing that could be improved is their geographic footprint. Currently, the Seated app is only available in the following cities:
- New York
They do have plans to expand to additional cities though, so stay tuned!
The Coupons app is owned by the popular coupon savings site Coupons.com. It’s the perfect app for people who do the grocery shopping for the household.
Essentially, you “activate” cash back offers on various products in the app, purchase the items at the grocery store of your choice, and then just submit the receipt on the app.
Even better, if you link your store loyalty card, you can skip the receipt submission and let the app do all the work for you!
Once Coupons verifies your purchase, the app will deposit the cash back right into your PayPal account.
Paceline is the first-ever fitness rewards app that adds a financial benefit to your physical activity.
It encourages you to be active 150 minutes a week. It could be strolling around the neighborhood, walking dogs, running marathons, or anything in between.
Once you download the Paceline app, you can start recording your activity on a smart device (e.g., Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.), hit your weekly streak goal of 150 minutes, and redeem relevant rewards every week.
The most popular rewards redemptions have been Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart.
You may have heard about Rakuten by now. It’s a popular shopping portal that earns you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores.
A lesser-known app with the same concept is Mr. Rebates. Most of the time, I find myself using Mr. Rebates more than Rakuten.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love both. It’s just that I find Mr. Rebates usually provides a bigger cash back deal.
For example, I recently spent about $200 at Levi’s.
Rakuten offered 2.5% cash back so if I had gone with them, I would have earned $5 back on my purchase.
However, Mr. Rebates offered 5% cash back. It’s a no-brainer to use Mr. Rebates in this instance and I did, earning $10 back.
I might be influenced to use Mr. Rebates all the time when I buy things on Levi.com knowing it has a higher cash back offer, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes these cash back shopping portals have promotions and it doesn’t hurt to check what the current offer is.
Right now, Rakuten (Ebates) has a promotion going on and they’re offering a whopping 10% back on Levi.com purchases. So, if I’m buying jeans today, I’d use Rakuten instead due to the limited-time promo.
Related: read a complete review of Ebates
My advice is to check which site gives you more every time you shop online in order to ensure you’re maximizing your cash back opportunity.
The Bottom Line
I hope you can see that saving money doesn’t have to be hard – you just need to use the right mobile apps!
None of the money saving apps mentioned requires you to do something out of your way. You merely need to integrate these apps into your daily life. It becomes part of who you are.
I’ve used these apps for a few years now and it’s really all second nature. I don’t even realize I’m using them until the cash shows up in my account and people notice the big smile on my face!
Are you already using some of these apps? Maybe you know of other ones that didn’t make this list. Let me know in the comments below!
BIO: John Pham is the founder of The Money Ninja, the modern voice when it comes to personal finances: how to make more money, save it better, and spend it wisely. Pham launched The Money Ninja in 2019 during his graduate studies when he realized that many friends and family members benefited from his advice on how to maximize their finances. He draws insight from his unique past; someone who started working at his local grocery store at age 16, and by the time he turned 30, had already made his first $1,000,000.
As a sophomore in college he founded Azurik, an e-commerce technology start-up that was subsequently sold to Microsoft. Pham is also an angel investor in various Silicon Valley endeavors and a shadow owner of two other highly successful travel & lifestyle blogs. Additionally, he has over 13 years of corporate experience working for a number of Fortune 100 companies. Pham holds an MBA from Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire where he also received his BS in Business Administration.”