One thing you can hear in the office almost daily is Scott saying, “If you haven’t saved any money, you won’t have any money to invest.” A good saving habit is paramount for any financial plan. The only problem is saving is tough. If you’re like me, you spend the money that’s in your pocket. Fortunately, we all carry around a super computer everywhere we go and there are hundreds of apps and reward programs designed to help people save money, get perks, and live a happy healthy life.
Here are a few that I use almost daily:
MYLO: This one is only a few months old so be advised that they are still ironing out the kinks. If you aren’t willing to deal with some growing pains, maybe hold off for a later version. That being said, I am very excited about using Mylo going forward. I’m also a bit of a cheerleader of this app because I know some of the management and it’s a Montreal based company.
Mylo connects to my bank account, and every time I make a purchase the app rounds the total up to the nearest dollar and puts the difference into a separate account. So that $1.50 morning coffee gets rounded up to 2$ and the app puts 50 cents into my savings accounts. As I spend, I’m saving little by little and it really adds up. At the end of the year I have another pot of money to invest with.
CARROT: I like this one a lot. It’s a step counter app that works with other reward programs to give me points every time I get 10,000 steps in a day. Also, I can answer quizzes and surveys to gain extra points. My phone tracks my steps and if I get my 10K the app credits me 4 points to my Scene card. I also get notifications when a new quiz (usually health related) becomes available, they take two minutes and are usually worth 10-25 scene points. I’ve been using it for a few months and have received 525 points which is more than half way to a free movie ticket.
Other rewards programs that Carrot works with include Petro Points, Aeroplan Miles, More Rewards Plan, and Drop Points. Unfortunately, you can only earn points with one partner at a time. I like to go to the movies, so I picked Scene.
MINT: This is a budgeting app. It connects to my accounts, tracks my spending, tells me when I have a bill coming up, and notifies me if I’m getting out of line or if there is an unusual charge. Its like having a little Jiminy Cricket reminding me to stay on budget. My favorite part is that it generates a report on what I have been spending my money on, so I can easily identify the problem and try to fix it. The problem is restaurant. Its always restaurants.
FLIPP: My Godfather introduced me to this one, and it may as well be his bible. The app is always updated with the latest flyers from local retailers. Their partners include Walmart, NoFrills, Home Depot, Petmart, Canadian Tire, and Metro. At this point I build my grocery list around what’s on sale each week, so I don’t have to hunt for deals anymore.