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At Frugal for Less, we recommend many different ways to earn and save money through a variety of smartphone apps.
Budgeting apps, cash-back apps, grocery receipt apps, survey apps, and even ones to earn by playing games and watching videos.
They’re all great to use and really do help us save and make money, now let’s add to our repertoire and check out some new apps that were recently released for 2020.
This is a brand-new app, released in January 2019. Autemate is a personalized debt payoff assistant that will analyze your debts and creates a tailored financial plan for you.
To use Autemate you complete all the monthly profiles by listing all your income, expenses and debts and once the program creates 3 different financial plans that suits your routine and needs.
All you need to do is choose a plan, follow it and pay off your debts faster. This app does not require linking to any bank or card accounts so there is a level of privacy and safety there.
The drawback of not linking your bank or card is that you’ll need to enter everything manually – not a bad thing if you stay on top of it.
I like this idea as sometimes we’re prioritizing our budget wrong and may be costing us more money by paying attention to the wrong debt – like concentrating on a smaller debt amount instead of the high-interest one which will cost more.
2. Save 1st: Save More Money
Another app released in January is the Save 1st app. Save 1st is for those who want a simple way to save money and control their spending.
It’s a budgeting tool that lets you know where you are with your spending for the month so you can stay within your set limits. You enter your income, set how much you want to save each month, set your budget, add your expenses and manage it all.
This app also doesn’t require linking to your bank or cards to work for better safety. Again, by not linking your accounts you’ll need to enter everything manually.
You can try out the app free for 5 weeks, then there’s either a yearly fee of $34.99, or a monthly fee of $4.49, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
3. Votaire Personal Finance
The Votaire app provides a financial plan and ongoing monitoring to help you reach your goals. Whether you’re planning for college, debt payoff, or retirement savings, this app will send you reminders and “positive reinforcement” to help you stay on track.
The different parts of the app you can access include reviewing your budget, emergency fund, manage your debt, and personalized sections for whatever stage you are at.
If you’re a college student the app will list college savings opportunities, if you’re looking to retire, the app will list those opportunities as well.
Because this app says it’s tailored to your needs, you may be inundated with advertising, such as 529 college savings ideas. That’s a lot of information to go through.
But the app is free to use and will offer huge discounts to those related offers outside the app – like an offer from LegalZoom to create a Will.
This app is for helping students pay off their student loans. Piecewise is so new that the website still states it’s in the beta stages.
Piecework works by analyzing your income, spending, and student loans. It will then move money from your bank account to your student loan by following a payment plan you chose – from rounding up to the nearest dollar on all your purchases, sending 1% of all deposited income to your savings account, and other options.
You do need to link your banking information and your student loan information but Piecewise is free to use. They claim that their users are going to save “an average of $10,000” on their student loans.
The average “Class of 2016”graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, so any help in eradicating this is a great boon to have.
5. Health Care Expenses
Another new app that started in January is the Health Care Expenses app. This is a good app for those who don’t have complete health coverage offered by their employer.
It will list all your monthly health care expenses such as your prescription and medicine costs, monthly insurance premiums payments, and any out of pocket expenses for your doctor, dentist and other visits.
This health care expenses app also has a calendar to track all your appointments as well as provide a detailed report of all your bills and expenses for the month. It’s free to use and there’s an option to pay to have advertising removed from its display.
Did you know that nearly 1 in 5 Americans have some delinquent medical debts? So, any extra support to prevent this from happening to you is a decent idea.
There’s a new fresh budgeting app, Budgetvue. This is similar to most budgeting apps and tracks all your spending and earnings and creates reports to fit your goals.
Adjust your budget to concentrate on areas you want to concentrate on, like pay off debt faster, and this app is also customizable to match your pay period – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
This app is free to use with an option to upgrade to Budgetvue Plus for only $1.99. Although I cannot find out what comes with the Plus option.
Released in October 2018 it’s still fairly new to the app scene. Watchback is a money-making app and you earn by watching videos.
Not only can you watch videos, tv shows, and movies, you’re entered into various sweepstakes with almost every video you watch. Sweepstakes can be from $1 to $100 a video, plus they have other contests such as their weekly $4,000 sweepstakes.
They don’t offer some random unfamiliar videos either, you can actually watch videos from Top Chef, Deal or No Deal, College Humor, Fail Army, Pet Collective, and many more that are actually interesting to watch.
I personally have used this app since it came out and have already won several sweepstakes for $1, $5 and $10 where I’ve already claimed several Walmart Gift Cards with.
8. OmniCam App
This is a new money-making app for those who love taking pictures and making videos.
OmniCam allows users to request a photo or video from other users at any time, or to become a “producer” and make money selling your own photos and videos.
You simply download the app, open an account and scroll user requests for photos and videos to make money on your own schedule. Since this is a brand-new app, there was only one request paying 50¢ for one photo. Maybe as it grows, the offers will grow as well.
This could be a great tool for bloggers, marketers, and others to use when they can’t find that “perfect picture” for their article or product.
9. Honey Smart Shopping Assistant
You’ve heard of Honey where you can search for coupons and promo codes for many retailers. They’re planning to release an app soon.
Honey Smart Shopping Assistant will be a free personal shopping assistant to help you save time and money by listing all you favorite shopping sites and coupons together for easier scrolling. It will automatically find and applies any coupons and codes to any store’s shopping cart you are browsing on.
This app is expected to be released on February 15, 2019.
10. Varo Mobile Banking and Saving
A new banking app that offers a full-featured bank account and high-interest savings. The Varo app was released in December 2018, but Varo Money has been around since 2015.
They offer zero bank fees, a Visa debit card, and a 2.10% APY saving account. That means no maintenance fees, no minimum balance required, no ATM withdrawals (at most ATMs), and no transfer fees.
It even includes an automatic savings tool to automatically transfer money to your savings account, tracking alerts, linking to your other external bank accounts.
Lastly, they offer a mobile personal loan application that I have never seen in other banking apps. Apply directly from their apps for 3 to 5-year loans that have already been pre-screened for you.
Now these apps are brand new and many haven’t even been reviewed yet, but that shouldn’t deter you from trying them out. They’re free to download, so you’re not losing anything except a bit of time by testing them.
With many new apps, there may be some bugs and technical glitches, please help the developers out by reporting them and improving the app for future users.
You can also inform them of your own ideas for improvements as well as any requests to match your specific needs. I once requested a better background color on an app for easier reading and the developers complied!
Of course, you can always go with our tried-and-true apps: