5 surprising ways your smartphone can save you money

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Live on the cheap.

You’ve probably come to terms with the fact that you can’t live without your smartphone, even though it’s an added expense on top of your other bills.

Of course, if you use your phone wisely, it could turn out to be a great investment.

Check out these ways your smartphone can actually help you save money.

1. Help you pay your bills on time

Happy amateur investor
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If you’re not the most organized person when it comes to making payments before the due date, your phone can help. Most creditors give you the option of receiving text and/or email alerts to remind you when a bill is due, but there are plenty of great apps to manage all aspects of your budget and bill paying. , including Mint. Or, you can set up your own reminders in your calendar app.

The same goes for introductory offers on subscription services. I always put a reminder on my phone for two days before I have to cancel. This way, the subscription does not automatically renew for a much higher price. (And when you cancel, it’s worth calling customer service to see if there are any new offers they can transfer you to. Most companies want to keep you as a customer, even at a discount, at the instead of losing your business entirely.)

Saving on those fees and late fees (not to mention preventing your credit score from crashing) is a great way to get more for your smartphone.

2. Save money while traveling

Woman using data on her smartphone
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You can keep an eye out for the best gas deals with the GasBuddy application. Our technical expert Eric Rosenberg writes:

“GasBuddy gives you a list of gas prices at nearby stations, so you can choose a gas station near you with the lowest possible price. For anyone with a car, this is the one of the best apps to save you money on the go.

“Bonus tip: GPS app Waze also incorporates gas prices and can suggest gas stations along your route,” he adds. “However, this feature can be a bit clunky to use. GasBuddy is an easier to navigate app, especially for the less savvy. »

When you are ready to stop for the night, the HotelTonight is designed to book last minute rooms at the best rate, but you can book up to a week in advance.

3. Take a break from the gym

Woman with mobile phone
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If you’re paying for a gym membership that you don’t use, why not cut that monthly fee and use your smartphone to work out?

You can use it as a pedometer with Map My Walk, inspire yourself to become a runner with a “Couch to 5K” program, or track your fitness goals with MyFitnessPal.

Many of these apps also have a social networking aspect, so you get motivation from friends and new connections.

4. Never pay more than you should

A man excited about new phone offers
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How many times have you gone shopping and seen what you think is a bargain, but end up kicking your ass when you find out it was cheaper elsewhere?

Sure, you can return it, but who wants that hassle? With price comparison apps, you can check the prices of items online or in other stores just by scanning the barcode, taking a photo, or typing the item name. Some good ones to try include PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy.

5. Stay in touch without paying extra

An elderly woman says goodbye to her phone
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If you have a cell phone plan with limited data and don’t want to go over your allowance, you can start using text and chat apps to avoid overage charges. The same applies when you travel abroad or want to talk to someone in another country.

Viber, Skype and WhatsApp are good free services, and you may never pay extra for a regular phone call again.

Turns out, your smartphone really is pretty smart when it comes to saving money.

What are your favorite ways to use your phone to save money?

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