In only 3 days, Apple sold more than 1.7 million iPhone 4’s, the latest iteration of their popular cellular phone. With a minimum price of $200 each, at least $340 million was spent on the devices. Fortunately, the costly little gadgets can also help you save a buck. If you’ve got any version of iPhone, here are the 10 best apps (in no particular order) to help you find deals, track expenses, and save money.
1. Mint.com Personal Finance
The app version of the popular finance tracking site Mint.com lets you check your budget and balances from anywhere. It requires an account on their website, but it’s all completely free (they make money by offering you loans, credit cards, investments, and savings accounts from companies that pay them to) and their budgeting software is a great way to check up on your money.
Personal finance tools from Mint.com. Track, budget and manage your money on-the-go. Simply sign up for an account on Mint.com, add your online banking accounts, and access your personal finances anywhere.
2. eBay Mobile
If you haven’t been to eBay in a while, you should really check it out. It’s a great place to find bargains on new and used products and can make the shopping experience a little more fun. Plus, you can sell your old stuff on eBay and make a little money, too. Their app, eBay Mobile, provides anywhere access to your eBay account, letting you buy or sell whenever and wherever is most convenient.
Using a streamlined interface that’s as elegant as it is practical, eBay members can search, bid, and check their activity on the go. Buyers can sneak in that last-minute bid on a hard-to-find item, sellers can check on their sales, and act on time-sensitive information on the spot without a computer.
3. Valpak Local Coupons
These are the guys that use snail mail to send those huge envelopes stuffed with coupons. With their app, you can carry those deals with you wherever you go. Judging from the reviews, your satisfaction with this app will depend on how many coupons are available in your neighborhood, but it’s worth a look.
As the trusted leader in neighborhood value, Valpak now delivers ultra-convenient electronic coupons right to your iPhone, helping you save money on goods and services you use every day. No snipping, clipping or printing required.
You might not think an iPhone app from Microsoft would be any good, but you’d be wrong. Their Bing app lets you search for some really cool things in some really cool ways. Say you’re in a store looking at a new Blu-Ray. Just whip out the Bing app and use your iPhone to take a picture of the bar code. The app will recognize what movie you want to buy and present you with a list of other places you can find it and how much it will cost. Instant savings, and it’s worked with almost every product I’ve tried.
Make decisions and get where you need to go with Bing. Connect with friends and see their opinions when you search. Find products with your camera.
Skype lets you make and receive voice calls. Sounds like something your phone already does, right? Wrong. Because with Skype, you don’t have to pay a dime and it won’t use your cell minutes. Calling someone with Skype requires that they also have Skype, but the app is free and fairly easy to set up. Calls use data instead of minutes, so to make sure you don’t have to pay anything, connect your iPhone to a WiFi network. Older iPhone users with unlimited data plans will be able to make free, unlimited calls with Skype over 3G until the end of 2010 (at which point a small monthly fee will be imposed). New iPhone users with limited data plans should be very careful not to exceed their allotments.
Call your Skype contacts wherever you may be – either on 3G or WiFi. It’s completely free to call people on Skype over WiFi, and free on 3G* until the end of 2010.
Groupon puts together one deal every day from local businesses in 40 cities nationwide (like $110 worth of meal assembly for only $55). If enough people commit to buying whatever’s on sale, then the deal is on. You get a great bargain and the business providing the deal gets a bunch of new customers. If not enough people commit to the deal by the end of the day, the deal is canceled and you aren’t charged. Their app lets you see what the deal of the day is, and which deals you’ve already won.
Groupon features one unbeatable deal each day on the best stuff to do in cities across the U.S. With our iPhone app you can buy the daily deal, access your purchased Groupons, find the ones that are nearby, and redeem them electronically.
7. Happy Hours
Happy Hours will show you where the best Happy Hour specials are in more than 40 cities nationwide. You can filter them by “features” like outdoor seating, private parking, cuisine, and day of week. It’s an easy way to help you take advantage of every discount in your city.
Happy Hours, the nation’s premier happy hour guide, shows all of the food and drink specials going on near you. Click through to see a photo of the bar or restaurant, and details such as the menu, location, amenities, and what other people have to say.
While it would certainly be easy to spend a small fortune in Apple’s iBookstore, there’s an enormous selection of books that don’t cost a thing. Apple has chosen to provide access to thousands of free books from the Project Gutenberg library, including classics like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s a lifetime of entertainment that’s completely free if you’ve already got an iPhone.
iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest best-selling books or your favorite classics – day or night.
BillMinder does what it sounds like it should: it tracks your bills. You tell it how much you have to pay and when, and it’ll gently remind you when a bill is due. The app costs $1 ($2 if you want push notifications), but if you’re the kind of person who pays your bills late, saving just one late fee means the app paid for itself.
BillMinder simplifies your life by tracking your bills. It was the first and we believe it is the best bill tracking tool on the entire App Store!
MoneyBook is a great looking app for those who just want to keep track of how much they spend and what they buy. Much like a checkbook, you enter transactions as you make them. But unlike a checkbook, this app can break down your expenditures into categories and quickly help you identify problem areas, all while staying within your budget. At $5, it’s a pretty expensive app (especially given free alternatives like Mint in this list), but if it helps you keep track of your money, it might be worth the cost.
It may look simplistic, but MoneyBook is a powerful personal finance app that offers unique features in an award-winning, easy-to-use user interface. There’s even an amazing free companion web app with it.
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