Smartphones are great for many things. They’ve replaced our watches, wallets, and portable music players and become the primary way that we communicate with our colleagues, friends, and loved ones.
But did you know that you can also use your smartphone to help you save money? By following these simple steps, your pocket-sized computer can go some way to paying for itself.
Whether you're browsing in a local store or planning to spend money directly, it's worth using your smartphone to compare prices to find the best deal.
If you're looking for physical products, Amazon will let you scan barcodes to see if you can find them cheaper on their site. Similarly, Google Shopping and other services will let you compare what other retailers are charging right from your phone.
Comparison services like this can also be used to search for cheaper utility prices, hotels, and travel, meaning you can use your little pocket computer to find the best price for almost anything.
Check for Promotions, Coupons and Discounts
Once you’ve found the best prices, it’s also a good idea to look for promotions, coupons, and other discounts that can help you save even more.
For online purchases this is easy, as many voucher code and coupon sites have mobile-friendly websites and smartphone apps that let you search by retailer and category. Similarly, fans of sports betting can use their smartphones to find the latest free bet offers available in their region before they join a bookmaker and make a deposit.
You can also use your smartphone to save money while shopping in brick and mortar stores. Apps like Shopmium, Swagbucks, and CheckoutSmart, list exclusive promotions that let you earn a rebate on your shopping when you buy certain items. You simply shop as usual, then snap a photo of the receipt, and get credited the money back.
Ensure You’re Getting a Good Exchange Rate
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ll be familiar with the mental gymnastics you have to perform to convert local currency to your home currency when trying to work out prices.
Before you can spend any money though, you need to head to the currency exchange to pick up some local notes and coins. It’s always worth shopping around to see where gives you the best deal. Often, you’ll find the lowest fees and best exchange rates can be found at home.
But if you do find yourself exchanging money while abroad, it’s worth using your smartphone to check what the current Forex rates are. That way you can always be sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
Some mobile-only banks also offer competitive rates when spending abroad on their credit and debit cards, so you may find it’s best to pay with your plastic instead of exchanging cash.