All hail the age of austerity. Even if that doesn’t extend to the expensive devices we carry in our pockets. But smartphones can save you money, if you let them.
Apps comparing the prices of meals, plane tickets, insurance and more are well established on the app stores now, as are apps with more specific methods of saving you a few pounds.
Here are 10 apps that should help leave your wallet feeling a little fatter at the end of the month.
A growing number of frequent travellers are leaving it later and later to book their hotels – in fact, to the day they arrive in a city. Hotel Tonight is one of the apps spurring this behaviour: negotiating discounts for last-minute room bookings. If you’re bold enough, you can bag some good deals.
British app Dice is a way to browse upcoming music concerts and buy tickets, which are stored entirely on your smartphone. It doesn’t cover every gig, but rather a selection chosen by its editorial team, including a host of up-and-coming bands. The money-saving aspect: you pay no booking fees at all.
Skyscanner is the most established app for comparing flight prices: a quick way to tap in your desired destination and see who has the cheapest tickets. The app then directs you to the relevant site to book your flights, supplying simple, effective filters to boil it down to the most relevant options.
This app is one for foodies, covering more than 7,000 restaurants around the UK including chains like Pizza Express and Zizzi. It keeps you up to date with discounts and promotions, as well as helping you see which restaurants are nearest to your current location, and book a table from the app.
Only students in the UK need download this app, which aggregates the various discounts negotiated by student union the NUS. It also has location-based features, with a map showing nearby offers. Its search feature is also handy, helping you find your way through more than 150 partners’ discounts.
mySupermarket is as much a shopping-list app as a way to get discounts: you can use it to add products you need to buy throughout the week, then tick them off as you walk through the aisles. But the app also keeps tabs on prices at the various UK supermarkets, helping you compare prices and see new deals as they go live.
Do cab-hailing apps like Uber save you money? Sometimes, although not when the infamous “surge” pricing is in effect. Minicabit takes a different approach: it’s a comparison app for taxi and mini-cab companies across the UK, getting you to tap in details of your trip, then browse quotes from various local firms. It currently works in 40 UK cities.
Too busy to keep a detailed grasp on your electricity and gas bills? Join the club. Meter Readings is an extremely useful tool for exactly that, with plenty of pretty graphs tracking your usage and costs. But it’s the price comparison features that could save you money: checking other providers’ costs in your area without a salesperson in sight.
Computers rather than smartphones may be the preferred way to research car insurance prices. MoneySuperMarket’s MoreMoney app is hoping to tempt a few more people to go mobile though: it’s a quick, simple way to get estimates for car and home insurance, among other financial services.
Swing a cat on the app stores, and you’ll hit a dozen money-saving voucher apps: Wowcher, HotUKDeals, Vouchercloud and others are all worth a look for bargain hunters. VoucherCodes is one of the most comprehensive, with a mix of shopping, eating and travel discounts, as well as features to spot local deals.
What have we missed? The comments section is open for you to share your experiences of the apps listed above, and recommendations for money-saving apps that we haven’t included.
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