You hear it constantly these days. “Every penny counts, especially in this economy.” People praise frugality and curse the economic situation here in America and around the world. And, while the economy is starting to show some upward momentum once again, things are still rough for a lot of folks out there (as a college student, I am well-versed in the art of being poor). So, for all you penny-pinchers out there (who splurged on an iPhone), here are 10 apps to help you get the most out of whatever the flies in your wallet are worth.
Having never owned a home myself, I must admit I know very little about mortgages. Thankfully, Mortgage Calculator Pro makes things incredibly simple and easy to understand. Clean presentation with well-defined fields. Number keys big enough for an ogre to use without double-tapping. You can even use it for other, non-house-related loans. It will also give you something called an “amortization calendar” which shows you, month by month, the breakdown of payment, interest, principal, and remaining balance. Which, looking at some of these numbers, appears to be either a sick joke or a method for inducing a heart attack. Nonetheless, the calculator’s fast, accurate, and ready for personal and professional use alike.
We all have that one friend. Or maybe you are that friend. The one who’s all too happy to borrow money, but weeks later, when you could really use a repayment because you’ve got a date that evening or grandma’s in the hospital again, they’re conveniently “out of cash” (they do always seem to have unsympathetic shrugs to spare, though). Well, with Square, it’s that much easier to back these mooches into a corner. Every user who signs up (it’s completely free to do so) will be mailed a special iAttachment (call it what you like) for reading credit cards. Simply enter the amount to charge and run that sucker through. Sign up is a cinch, though it obviously requires you link to an account so the money has somewhere to go. Naturally, the ease (and security) with which transactions can be made means this app is ideal for small business owners and salesmen who find themselves on the road a lot. Square, Inc. does manage to make ends meet in all this, if you were curious why you should trust the fate of your finances to a company whose business model seems to be “just give everything away”. Every transaction runs a 2.75% processing fee – a modest price to pay for the convenience of Square’s services and equipment, and well worth the cost.
There’s nothing quite like landing in a foreign country, devilishly excited to start your much-needed vacation, and reaching into your wallet to find it’s loaded… with your home country’s currency. Well, crap. Now what? Goodness knows the locals are just gonna point and laugh at your face if you ask them about exchange rates, and that stupid little overpriced travel guide you bought at the airport bookstore sure isn’t going to help. Or perhaps you’re looking to invest in overseas opportunities, but your clients insist on being paid in Turkish Lira. What’s a vacationer or budding venture capitalist to do? Check out Sollico’s iCurrency converter, that’s what! With an easy-to-use interface (offered in 9 different languages), charts to track a specific currency exchange’s history for up to a decade, and pretty much every form of money you could ever hope to compare, you might just find yourself up late at night scanning through to find out which countries would worship you as a king because of that $20 you found in an old coat pocket the other day.
Look, we get it. You’re a busy guy, with busy things to do. You’re too fancy to bother with us common folk, with your $1,000 suit and your $1,000 watch and your $1,000 Bluetooth earpiece and your $1,000 eyebrow gel. It’s okay (well, it isn’t, but whatever). But how’s an overworked and undersexed guy like you supposed to check his stocks and awkwardly grumble at passersby about “should’ve sold this” or “why didn’t I listen to Jerry about that”? Well, PorfolioLive is here to make those excessively overpriced dreams of yours come true. It offers real-time NYSE and NASDAQ stock updates for even the most obsessive market-master. Intuitive charts let you track the history and progress of specific stocks. ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ options allow for instantaneous reactions to fluid market changes. Multiple currencies allow for transactions on a variety of supported international markets, as well. All from the comfort of your executive washroom stall.
Gasoline is a sinister mistress. Her constantly fluctuating prices keep many dependent consumers on edge year-round. Whether it’s running our cars or heating our homes or satisfying our inner pyrotechnician, gas is a lifeline of sorts for many of us in this modern world. For those unwilling (or unable) to bike, walk, or ride a polar bear – or at least convert to an electric car – GasBuddy is here to make sure you find your precious black gold for as cheap as possible. With a huge network of users constantly updating the prices of stations across Canada and the U.S., morning commutes and road trips alike just got a little cheaper. In addition to the handy GPS-enabled searches and regularly updated information, GasBuddy Organization, Inc. offers points to its users for every gas price reported, which could earn you one of the $250 gas gift cards given away every week. So get driving!
We’ve all been stuck behind an elderly person at the checkout line who insists on writing a check, and making sure their books are balanced there and then. It’s frustrating, but keeping personal finances in order is an important part of being a responsible adult, which we all are (*snicker*). But what if your handwriting is abominable, and you can’t tell if that’s $100 or $1,000 dollars left in your account? What if you don’t feel like lugging checkbooks and pens and personal accountants around with you everywhere you go? Can’t someone just put everything on your phone? Well, “someone” at ieosoft.com did. Daily Expenses allows you to simply and quickly manage your spending with customizable, color-coordinated categories, handy pie chart summaries, and the option to add pics of the items purchased and the accompanying receipt(s). The neat, organized, and sleek presentation means your spending habits will be vibrantly clear. Whether or not that’s a good thing, well…
Whether it’s a trip to a local diner for lunch or a grand tour of Europe, outings are always best experienced with friends. Especially when the bills come. Splitting the check can work for or against you, depending on how much you spent in comparison to the group. If you spent more than everyone else, you’ll want an even split; if you spent less, you’ll want the bill split unevenly. The key is to always make sure you’re the one splitting the bill. With this fancy app, you’re the best candidate (unless Mr. Math Genius is around). But even so, the app is able to take even the most complex of trip expenses and help you sort them out in colorful, user-friendly ways. With tons of options about who paid, how they paid, what they paid for, who still owes whom and how much, and even what that amounts to in different currencies, Trip Splitter is a superb way to make sure everyone on your next outing gets their money’s worth.
If you’re like me, the idea of sitting in a stuffy office listening to a broker drone on about stock portfolios and investment opportunities and market strategies doesn’t exactly have you dancing on the table with excitement. Am I saying you should replace the advice of a highly-trained (and highly-paid) expert with the whims and fancies of your iPhone? Not just yet. Think of Bloomberg as a nice supplement – a second opinion. Through some advanced market wizardry (I really don’t know a thing about stocks), this professional app offers strategic analytical advice about market trends & leaders, and which investments are worth looking into. It also allows you to create customizable lists of stocks you want to follow from markets around the globe. In addition to real-time stock info and up-to-the-minute news, you also have access to company descriptions and stock history so you can make sure you only invest in the most worthwhile corporations.
Taking money management a few steps further, Pageonce offers users an easy yet powerful tool on the financial field of battle. Pageonce (at your discretion, of course) accesses whatever bank, credit card, or other similar account you choose, securely and with the utmost privacy. It helps keep track of bill payments, account and investment values, and even frequent flyer miles, mobile minutes, or text and data usage (for those of you with itchy typing fingers). For all of us who skimped on space at the memory bank, Pageonce also provides helpful reminders about payments due or important account notifications. With attractively rendered summaries, interactive calendars and menus, guaranteed security, and a nice little “Free” price tag, Pageonce: Money & Bills is a solid investment for anyone.
So your nephew just graduated high school and you don’t want to be the cheap uncle who didn’t give him a gift, but the kid just kinda weirds you out and you’d rather not interact with him. Or perhaps you’re a business owner and you need to pay your employees “under the table” but you don’t trust ATMs because they have hidden cameras and they always eat your card. Or maybe you just hate depositing your checks at the bank because the lady behind the counter glares at you with her lazy eye and you feel bad for the poor little pens chained to the counter. PayPal solves all those problems and so much more! Send money discreetly to anyone else with a PayPal account. Receive payments from employers (or gullible friends) that you can either link to a personal account or a special PayPal debit card. You can even take pictures of your checks to automatically deposit them to whichever account you please. The iPhone app even lets you “fist bump” your phone with another to transfer money if your business happens to be selling illegal school supplies to urban teens. All the money mayhem you could wish for just a finger’s touch away.
For more apps that will help your money matters, check out 10 Essential Apps For Controlling Your Finance.
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