Pick of the best money-saving apps

Photo: Jason Wun

Your phone doesn’t have to just be what you use to check your Facebook messages or uploading yet another #nofilter Instagram photo; there are literally hundreds of apps designed to help you keep track of what you are spending, keep everyday costs down, and help you find the best student and local deals.

Below is our pick of the best apps, most of which are available on Android as well as iPhone.

Red Laser (available on iPhone and Android, free)

This app allows you to scan the barcodes of thousands of items while shopping and immediately shows you whether you could get them more cheaply anywhere else. Very helpful when you haven’t got hours of time (or phone battery life) to be browsing price comparison websites, plus you get the childish thrill of scanning a barcode every time you use it. Win- win really.

Onavo (available on iPhone and Android, free)

I still haven’t quite worked out exactly how this works, all I know is that it does. It trims the amount of data your phone uses by about 10 per cent, and provides you with a breakdown of which apps use the most data, which is very helpful if you are like me and tend to go over your monthly data allowance with alarming frequency.

Spending Tracker (available on iPhone and Android, free)

To save money, you first have to know where it’s coming from and exctly what you are spending it on. This is a very simple app that allows you to note down all of your expenditure, either as ‘income’ or ‘expense’, and adjusts your overall balance accordingly. Having this on your phone means you are more likely to put down small transactions you have made on the go, rather than just those you can remember when you get home.

0800 Wizard (available on iPhone and Android, free)

This is a very clever app that removes the charges for calling those pesky 0800 numbers. You simply input the number you want to call, and the app will convert it into a cheaper one; you only pay the amount you would for a local call.

Banks’ own apps (available on iPhone and Android, free)

Currently, these are offered by HSBC, Barclays, Halifax and Lloyds, and are an easy way of quickly checking your balance on the go, as well as transferring money between your accounts. Rather than having to find a computer to check how much money you have, with these you can know in seconds. Barclays have also released Pingit, an app that allows you to quickly make mobile payments. As a bonus, there is no need to be a Barclay’s customer to use the app and make payments.

VoucherCloud (available on iPhone and Android, free)

The VoucherCloud app allows you to search nearby for offers on various services, including restaurants, clothes shops and cinemas, and you can also save the offers for later in case you don’t have internet access when you want to use them.

Tip N Split (available on iPhone and Android, 69p)

This is a great app for notoriously tight students; it calculates how much each person owes, and lets you split bills and tips among multiple people in restaurants, depending on what you have ordered, and you can even rank how good the service was so that it will work out how much you should tip.

Music Magpie (available on iPhone and Android, free)

Music Magpie, which also has a website, is a great way to get rid of old CDs, DVDs and games that you don’t use any more. With the app, you can quickly scan the bar codes, get an in- stant offer price for the item, and send off your items using free postage and packing. Furthermore, if you use the app you only need a minimum order value of £5, or 10 items, and it’s perfect if you are decluttering your room at the end of the academic year, earning you a small amount of money in the process.


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