With prices even for basic amenities soaring, we find ourselves looking for every possible way to cope with the rising inflation. While we can't do much about the rocketing prices on daily necessities, tech freaks who constantly use their smartphones to make calls, text and stay socially active can save some money by using some handy apps. There are also mobile apps that help you track down every penny you spend, so you can make a monthly budget and save up for a rainy day. We have listed five such useful apps.
Saves money you spend on SMS
WhatsApp is a cool money-saving alternative to text messaging if you are always on an SMS-spree. Apart from serving as a cool messaging app, it also helps save some of your crisp green that you may spend on continuous texting, sending multimedia messages, audio messages and so on using your cellular network. WhatsApp is a great combination of threaded messages and rich multimedia, allowing you to share both with a friend or group of friends. Moreover, you can avoid the high international and national SMS rates using this messaging service. WhatsApp is also a great place to stay connected with a group of friends, share photos, videos and audio files easily. Moreover, Whatsapp supports all leading platforms including Android, iOS, Symbian and BlackBerry. This cross platform support makes it all the more convenient. Android users can download and use the app for free for the first year. There is a small subscription fee of approximately Rs. 50 if you want to continue beyond that point. iOS users don’t have the first year discount and will have to buy it for Rs. 55. It requires Internet connectivity and for maximum benefit, Wi-Fi or unlimited data plan is recommended.
Free voice and video calls
This one is undoubtedly one of the best money-saving apps for mobile devices. It is considered a good replacement for your call plan; all you need to do is get your friends and family on Skype. You can enjoy free Skype to Skype calling and instant messaging. It is a great app for international calling and texting too. You can also make calls on landline and mobile phones at a nominal charge. In fact, you can even indulge in video chats and conference calls for free using your front-facing phone camera. Skype supports your PC/Mac and is also available for mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Symbian. Here again, we recommend you use it over Wi-Fi or an unlimited data plan.
Keeps a tab on apps
Those who don’t use an unlimited data plan can install the Onavo app to keep those bills in check. Onavo is a data monitoring and controlling app that ensures you don’t exceed the data limit for the month and don’t have to pay off inflated bills. This free app lets you set the data limit for a day, week or even month and sends alerts as soon as you are nearing this limit. Along with this, it also monitors apps that are sucking data and are not actually important or required (collating data may be important for some apps that you use everyday like Gmail, but it may be utterly useless for other apps that you hardly use). It presents all the usage data on the slick UI and lets you set data roaming cap too. If you opt for "Onavo Extend" for Android, it will offer additional benefit by compressing data that is being fed to your phone. Considering that ICS onwards Android has its own built-in data usage function, the free Onavo Extend may seem a better companion for Android phones running on ICS+ operating system. Onavo Extend for iOS has all the features mentioned above for Android. There's no need to download an additional app for compressing files separately for iOS, as this one app has it all. It is a great option for both iOS or Android users.
Get wise at managing your money
If you want an app that helps you plan and spend your money frugally, then Moneywise is a cool app to download. It is simple and easy-to-use, with an intuitive user interface and a feature set that is quick and easy to adapt to. This is a complete budget tracking tool that lets you pen down your daily budget in INR and keep an eye on the cash flow so that you know exactly where your money has been spent. It will help you plan the month accordingly so that you don’t spend more than required. It lets you create multiple accounts, budgets and budget types, and add quick additions and deductions from the accounts. You can view the complete budget for a day, week or month in a single view. It creates some detailed graphs for your better understanding and works offline without the need for an Internet connection. The free Moneywise app is loaded with features, but those who strive for more can download the paid version that costs about Rs. 350.
Income tax preparation made simpler
The financial year-end is filled with chaos and end moment tax planning. You can avoid this and make income tax preparation easier and eventually save your hard earned crisp green by downloading this app. It helps you calculate your tax simply by keying in all the vital salary and investment figures. This free app lets you instantly calculate your tax and tax splits, and can decide how much more investment is needed to save tax on your income. It also lets you export your details and create multiple user entries.
Do let us know if you have been using any of these apps. Have they helped you cut down on expenses or would you recommend some other app?
Main Image Credit: Getty Images
Published Date: Nov 02, 2012 12:42 PM | Updated Date: Nov 02, 2012 12:42 PM