The 7 Best Money-Saving Apps of 2021

Everyone likes to save money; these apps make it easy

While it's always a good idea to consult a financial advisor before making any major money decisions, there are loads of apps that can help you save money on a day-to-day basis.

Here are nine of the best money-saving apps on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. They can give you discounts when shopping, help you manage your finances, and help you save more effectively.

01
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Best Micro-Investing App for Beginners: Acorns

Acorns investing app on Android.

Acorns

What We Like
  • Automated savings feature makes saving money easy.

  • Great for getting new investors interested in buying shares.

What We Don't Like
  • Selection of investment options is limited.

  • $1 monthly fee can be expensive if you're only investing a few bucks a month.

Acorns, also called Raiz, is a popular saving and investing app on iOS and Android devices. After connecting your bank account and cards, Acorns rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar and puts the difference into your Acorns account.

This loose change is then invested into one of five Acorns-managed portfolios, which you select, and has the potential to increase in value over time. Given the nature of the stock market, it does have the potential to decrease in value, too.

After the initial setup, all of the saving and investing happens in the background in an automated fashion, which makes Acorns a good option for those who have trouble motivating themselves or remembering to set aside money every month.

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02
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Best Budgeting App: Mint

Mint money app on Android.

Mint

What We Like
  • Can display account balances and credit scores on the Apple Watch.

  • Beautifully designed UI that makes financial data easy to understand.

What We Don't Like
  • Mint requires iOS 10 or above which means that it won't work on older Apple devices.

  • Data can take a while to sync on Android devices.

Mint is an app that collects your banking and investment data in one place to give you an easy-to-understand overview of your finances. Mint can track your bills, payments, and other transactions while setting saving goals for you to work toward.

In addition to presenting all your financial information, the Mint app detects your credit score and displays it for you in a graph along with actionable tips for improving it. All data is rendered in stylish charts with large text making it easy to tell where your money is, what it's doing, and where there's room for improvement.

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03
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Best Coupon App: Groupon

Groupon savings app on Android.

Groupon

What We Like
  • Features money-saving coupons for numerous cities and countries.

  • Discount coupons for clothing, eating out, events, and more.

What We Don't Like
  • The iOS app is limited to Apple devices with iOS 10 or up.

  • Can be difficult to contact support from within the Groupon app.

Groupon has almost become a household name due to its popularity and with good reason. This coupon app has a huge presence in the USA and abroad and offers an enormous number of coupons for almost everything from restaurant meals to cultural experiences.

All you need to do is present the chosen Groupon coupon when purchasing the selected product or service to get the discount. The savings offered by Groupon aren't small either, with examples of the type of coupons available including $140 off of a mattress topper, $15 off of Lindt chocolates, a three-months-free subscription for the Pandora Premium music streaming service, and $40 off an Apple Watch band.

Using the Groupon app is free.

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04
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Most-Fun Savings App: Qapital

Qapital savings app on Android.

Qapital

What We Like
  • The savings applets make reaching financial goals more engaging.

  • Qapital sends you a free debit card, which you can use to access your funds when offline.

What We Don't Like
  • Those who have numerous bank accounts may not want to open another one.

  • Qapital isn't for those who like to visit their bank in person.

Qapital is a neobank, which is a bank that runs digitally via smartphone and tablet apps and has no physical branches you can visit. The Qapital apps allow you to fund your Qapital account with your existing bank account, manage balances and transfers, and gain interest on your funds as you would with a regular bank.

What sets Qapital apart from its rivals, though, is its gamification of goal-oriented savings through the implementation of applets (small, mini apps). Each applet can be set up to transfer a set amount of money to a savings goal when a specific requirement is met. You can have some money put aside when you meet a fitness goal or when your favorite sports team wins. You can even set an applet up so your account transfers money towards your goal when a specific person tweets or when it begins to rain.

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05
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Best Automated Money Saving App: Digit

Digit savings app on iPhone.

Digit

What We Like
  • Create as many savings goals as you want.

  • Money transfers automatically without any input required by you.

What We Don't Like
  • Digit charges about $5 per month.

  • You won't earn a monthly interest rate with Digit.

Digit is similar to Acorns and Qapital in that it can connect to a bank account and make small transactions towards a savings goal. While Acorns and Qapital require users to specify certain criteria before money is moved, Digit uses a special algorithm that analyzes your spending habits, the amount of money in your accounts, and transaction times, and then calculates a unique number to set aside.

Deposits towards your savings goal happen continually throughout the month at varying amounts but only happen when the system detects that you can afford it. Digit is a set-it-and-forget-it app for saving money, and it's ideal for those that often get stressed about bank account management.

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06
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Best Expense Management App: Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed app on iPad.
Shoeboxed
What We Like
  • Data can sync to the Shoeboxed website for easy access on a computer.

  • App looks great on smartphones and has a low learning curve.

What We Don't Like
  • Shoeboxed requires a $4.99 monthly fee for 25 document scans or $9.99 for 50.

  • The app stretches when viewed on a tablet and doesn't make use of the extra screen real estate.

Shoeboxed, also called SquirrelSheet in Australia and New Zealand, is an app designed to save you money by helping you keep track of your expenses for claiming on your tax return, filing in an expense report, or giving to a client.

The Shoeboxed app works by using the camera on your iOS or Android device to take a photo of a paper receipt and then extracts all of the expense, payment method, date, and location information and saves it digitally. This data can then be sent in an email or exported as an Excel document or other file format.

Information from all scanned receipts can also be searched from within the app or on the Shoeboxed website, which is convenient when trying to match expenses with an item or date.

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07
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Best App for Earning Gift Certificates: Swagbucks

Swagbucks app on Android.

Swagbucks

What We Like
  • A good variety of activities for earning points.

  • Many major brands participate in Swagbuck campaigns and rewards.

What We Don't Like
  • Watching a video on older devices can freeze or crash the app.

  • Must use Swagbucks on a regular basis to earn gift certificates of significant value.

Swagbucks is a popular free service that can be used to earn gift certificates for major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Nike. By using the smartphone apps or the website, you can earn points by completing surveys, watching videos, or shopping through referral links.

These points, referred to as Swagbucks, can be redeemed for gift certificates, and that's all there is to it. Something that's particularly cool is that you can redeem Swagbucks for a PayPal gift certificate, which is essentially extra money that you can spend on anything, such as groceries, or deposit into your savings account for a rainy day.

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