5 Holiday Money-Saving Apps
'Tis the season for shopping -- and often, overspending. This year, with the economy still sputtering, staying within budget is important for many people. One-third of consumers plan to spend less money on gifts than they did during last year's holiday season, according to Consumer Reports.
While the sales may be tempting, have a strategy in place before you dive in. With plenty of tools to keep you on track, your smartphone is a good place to start. Here are five apps to help you save money this season.
1. Toshl. A free expense tracker, Toshl is simple to use and allows you to view your expenses in chart format. The app is available in multiple formats, for iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
2. Shop Savvy. No matter the product you're looking for, this app (shown top) can help you find the lowest price. Scan a barcode in a store and it will show you nearby retailers that offer the same product, along with their prices. It'll also provide you with online prices to help you make the best decision.
3. Gsalr.com. If you really want to find bargains, shop local garage sales, says Vicky Oliver, author of The Millionaire's Handbook. This app will locate garage sales in your area and give you turn-by-turn directions from one sale to the next.
4. Envelopes. The envelope system, popularized by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, is now accessible without using actual envelopes. This app allows you to divide expenses into categories, such as gasoline, food or gifts for a particular person, and keep up with how much you've spent on each one.
5. Google Shopper. Similar to ShopSavvy, Google Shopper lets you research products and find the lowest prices in your area. A new update also accesses special deals nearby, such as those advertised daily by Groupon and Living Social.
Read more: Smart Gifts for Techies
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