#MONEY MONDAYS 001
Quick confession; I am a very frugal mum.
I love saving every coin I can, and I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, I go a little overboard on some things. My husband doesn’t understand this frugal nature of mine sometimes.
I think it’s really simple, though: every little coin adds up. Sure, we’ll never be $5 away from buying a new home, but when you save just $5 a day for a year, you could afford to buy whatever new iPhone comes out that year, and that’s something, isn’t it?
It is wise to cultivate a saving culture in your home for a number of reasons. First, you’ll always have a little something to fall back on in case of an emergency or when you hit hard times. Plus, having some extra cash to invest and generate even more profit in the long term feels amazing.
However, it is true that getting started is probably the hardest thing about saving. Trust me, I have seen how my husband struggles with it, I know how tough it can be.
I think a great place to start is with the things we do every day. Shopping, traveling, eating out. Those sorts of little things. This is why I believe these apps that can help shape our daily habits are a brilliant idea for someone who wants to save some extra cash.
These money-saving apps help you save money in a number of ways. For example, they can help you find all the best deals whenever you shop. They can also help you budget, earn some cash back, among other things.
Here is a list of some of the best money-saving apps:
Dosh is a mobile cashback app. It works by helping you to earn some cashback whenever you shop or dine at a participating outlet. You can get cashback in a number of ways using Dosh:
Link your credit card
Dosh will reward you with $5 when you link your card as a first-time user. You also get $1 per extra card you link. Personally, I have three cards that I use for shopping. I linked all three and got that sweet $7 bonus.
Shop in a participating store
Dosh will give you up to 10% cashback when you shop or dine at a participating outlet in your area. The amount is immediately deposited in your Dosh Wallet.
If online shopping is what you do more of, you can also use Dosh to make savings on the items you buy. There are lots of deals on Dosh that feature popular brands like Nike, Target, Forever 21, and PetSmart.
It is important to keep in mind here that the cashback rates you get will vary from brand to brand.
The referral program
You can also make some cash by referring new users to the app.
To do this, simply open your app and click on “Refer” on the dashboard. You will get a unique referral link that you can then send to your friends and family. If someone uses your link to sign up and they link their credit card, you will get a $5 bonus.
There is also a special business referral program from Dosh, where if you refer a business to the Dosh app, and a verified company signs up using your link, you get 20% of what the company earns from Dosh for the first two years the company participates in the program.
If you book a hotel that is featured on Dosh, you will receive cashback. If it is your first time booking a hotel through the app, you get an additional $25 bonus.
There is a $25 minimum withdrawal limit on Dosh. To withdraw your earnings, you first have to shop in one of the participating outlets, then withdraw the balance. You can get paid via direct deposit or PayPal.
Pros of Dosh
- I love how easy to use it is. All you need to do is link a card and start shopping.
- I also like the fact that the app pays you in cash, and not some made-up game currency.
- Dosh has also partnered with many well-known brands, so you have lots of options to explore.
- It also allows you to make money in a large number of ways, so again, you get lots of options with this app.
Cons of Dot
- Dosh has made it so that you cannot link your card to any other cashback app once it is linked to Dosh.
- It only works in the US.
Honey app is a browser extension. I love it because it really simplifies the process of looking for discount codes online. It searches for all the best ones and applies them automatically as you shop online.
Honey is available for every major browser, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Safari. If you join it via your Facebook or email, you can access other special features, such as Honey Gold.
Using honey is really easy. Once you’re all set up, the Honey icon should appear on the menu. When this happens, go to your favorite online retailer and shop just as you always do.
When all your items are added to your cart and you are ready to check out, don’t do it just yet. Instead, click on the Honey icon and check out all the coupons that are available for that site and for those products. Choose the one you like, apply the code, and get that discount!
Alternatively, if the site’s checkout page has a promo code field, you will see Honey app pop up. You can then quickly click “Apply code” and it will be applied instantly.
Another great thing about Honey is that it will let you know when a working promo code is unlikely to be found. It will then be up to you to decide whether you want to try anyway or not.
Honey has a bunch of features that make it one of the best money apps out there. Some of the ones I really like are:
I absolutely love the Honey Gold program. Here is how it works:
- You become part of it when you install Honey and create an account.
- You get Gold when you shop at participating outlets.
- The amount of Gold you get is randomized and varies depending on the store.
- Your goal is to accumulate it and hit 1000 Gold. This amount is redeemable for $10.
You could call this a notification program. Opting into the Honey Droplist allows you to get notified when the price of an item you want drops to a particular set price.
Honey Travel is a collection of hotels from all over the world whose charges are below what the average booking site will charge you.
You get suggestions after price comparisons with various popular travel sites, including Booking.com, Priceline and Hotwire. This ensures that the price you get in the end is the absolute best price.
Honey price tracker
I really love the Honey price tracker. It shows you the price history of any item you are thinking about buying. I always click on it to see the price variation of anything I want to buy over the past 30, 60, or 120 days. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I found out that waiting just a few days before making a purchase would end up saving me several hundred dollars.
You can use the best-price detection feature to find the best deal on a particular item before making a purchase.
Refer a friend
Referring friends and family to Honey using your unique code will earn you 500 Honey Gold per person, equivalent to $5 per person.
Pros of Honey app
- It is totally free to download and install.
- I love how it works in the background, totally unintrusive. All your discount codes will be found automatically as you shop.
- If you find something on Amazon, and there is a cheaper option elsewhere, Honey will help you save by suggesting the more affordable option.
- It supports a huge number of products and retailers.
Cons of Honey app
- Sometimes, you’ll get expired discount codes that won’t do you any good.
- Using Honey on your phone is a little frustrating. The Honey Smart Shopping Assistant, which is the smartphone version of the app, only works with a limited number of stores and does not have as many features as the Honey extension.
3. Drop App
Drop is a Canadian app that you can use to earn gift cards that are redeemable in a number of participating stores.
Getting started with Drop is pretty easy. All you have to do is download it, then sign up and link a debit or credit card. You will then have to select up to five stores that you’d like to earn from.
I have to warn you here, when selecting the stores, you have to be careful because you can do it only once. So only select retailers you frequent, knowing that you cannot edit your choices later on. I know, it sucks, but what can you do? That’s just the way the app has been made to work.
You will earn points automatically as you shop. When you have enough points accumulated to qualify for a gift card, you will get an email from the Drop team with details on what to do next.
Drop also gives you a number of other ways you can use to earn some extra cash using the app:
The app often offers opportunities to earn additional points by shopping outside the 5 retailers you chose. It’s a great way to rack up those points even faster.
Signing up with partners
You can earn thousands of points by simply signing up to other businesses that Drop has partnered with. For example, when you sign up and book a hotel with Rocketmiles, Dosh will give you up to 100,000 points!
Referring your friends and family
You’ll get a unique referral link when you join Drop. If anyone joins the program using your link, you get 5000 points, which is equivalent to $5.
To redeem your points, simply go to the Redeem tab and check out the various available gift cards. Pick the one you like or the one you qualify for.
Pros of Drop App
- It allows you to start racking up those points immediately you link your card. You don’t have to scan barcodes or link receipts.
- I like the fact that it is possible to combine rewards with Drop. Let me explain. If you buy something at a retailer you chose, and you discover that there are other cashback offers for the same item on another app, all you have to do is scan your receipts on those apps and get even more cashback.
- Drop lets you earn points in a number of different ways, which is great.
- Drop has a reliable customer service team that you can reach out to in case you have any questions or if you just want to make some inquiries.
Cons of Drop App
- The rewards you get are all gift cards, no cash.
- It limits you to 5 retailers, and once you select your list, you cannot change them.
4. Digit App
Digit keeps track of your spending and helps you figure out how much you need to save. It also automatically moves your money into a separate savings account.
After downloading and installing the Digit app, sign up for an account and connect a checking account.
Thereafter, Digit will analyze your account activity for a few days, determining how much you deposit, how much you withdraw, and what your spending patterns are. Once the algorithm has this figure out, it will calculate how much you need to be saving, after which it will start transferring money from your account into your Digit savings account automatically.
What I love most about Digit is that it lets you set a checking account minimum and your minimum threshold. You can also set a maximum daily save limit.
Control your savings with text messages
One of the things that made Digit really stand out for me was the fact that it allows you to control your savings via text messages. All you have to do is send a text message to save or withdraw.
You can also control how much you want to save via text by simply texting “Save More” or “Save Less.”
Set savings goals
In Digit, savings goals are called “goalmojis.” Pretty cute, right? You can easily set one up by clicking “Try adding a personal goal” and picking one from the list, or creating your own goal from scratch.
Add a description, how much you want to save, a reference emoji, and when you would like to hit your goal. Digit will then automatically set aside money for your goal.
Goals can be edited or canceled at any time. When you delete a goal, all the money in it will be sent to your checking account.
You can make unlimited withdrawals
Digit allows you to withdraw your money as many times as you want each month. Just select the goal you want to withdraw from and enter the amount you want to withdraw. The app will then let you know when to expect the cash in your account.
Digit automatically deposits a 1% pa savings bonus into the accounts of everyone who manages to save consistently for 3 conseecutive months.
If an overdraft happens with Digit, you will be reimbursed fully for up to two instances of overdraft.
Pros of Digit
- You can earn $5 for everyone you introduce the app to. They also get $5 for signing up.
- Digit doesn’t have any minimums. You can save as little as you want in your Digit account.
- I love how they give you a 1% bonus just for saving every month.
- There is no limit on the number of withdrawals.
- It also comes with a 30-day free trial to help you figure out whether or not this app is for you.
- There is a $5 monthly subscription fee
- You can only connect it to one checking account.
So there you have it. These are some of the best money apps I have found so far. Do you have any others you can recommend? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, how do you manage your cash? Do you have a budget? Are there any frugal tips you can share with the rest of us? Comment below!