Download Cash: These iPhone Apps Can Help You Make and Save Extra Money
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If you’re anything like me, you love your iPhone and can’t imagine life without it.
Fair warning: If you’re coming for my iPhone, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Hey, nothing personal against the Samsung Galaxy or Sony Xperia or Google Pixel, or whatever. But for my money, you can’t beat an iPhone.
They’re easy to use, they’re faster, and they have the best cameras. Also, Siri is my spirit animal.
It’s true, though, that iPhones tend to be pricier than Android phones.
What’s a poor, conflicted Penny Hoarder to do?
Best iPhone Apps to Make and Save Money
Well, you can use your iPhone to make back some of the money you spent buying your iPhone.
To the App Store we go! These are the best iPhone apps for putting more money in your wallet.
1. Join the ‘Investor Class’
Investing is a smart way to make money. Sometimes, though, it feels restricted to a few wealthy elites.
Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5.
It curates investments from professional fund managers and lets you choose where to put your money. But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple investments reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.
Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get a $5 bonus when you enter the code PENNYH
2. Take a Peek at Your Credit Score
Your credit reports are basically the Holy Grail of your finances — and your life. Financially, they can influence many of your big life decisions, like buying a house or a car.
However, one out of every five credit reports has an error in it, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission. This is easy to prevent, though, especially if you check yours out every so often.
One option is to use a free app like CreditWise® from Capital One®. There, you’ll get a free TransUnion® credit report, which you can review for signs of error, theft or fraud. It’ll even give you personalized suggestions to help you improve your credit score.
3. Save Your Digital Receipts to Score Cash Back
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, Paribus will scan your email archives for any receipts.
If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Target, Walmart or one of 20-plus participating retailers, it will track the item’s price and issue you a refund anytime there’s a price drop. You don’t have to do anything!
4. This App Pays You for Walking Into Stores
Sick of shopping online and headed to a real, live store? Download the Shopkick app first.
Once you sign up, the app pays you “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Amazon, Walmart, T.J. Maxx, Starbucks, Sephora, Best Buy and more). These can be redeemed for gift cards to those stores.
It pays you even more “kicks” for scanning items in stores and purchasing them with a connected credit or debit card, as well as for scanning receipts and mobile shopping.
5. Let It Go, Let It Gooooo …
Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago?
It’s never going to fit — or come into style — again, but something just keeps holding you back from sending it to Goodwill.
Maybe money could change your mind? Instead of storing clothes indefinitely, try selling them on an app like Letgo. Just take a picture of what you want to sell, and post it. You can sell just about anything, including wedding dresses, cribs, TVs, jewelry, movies and cars.
6. Negotiate Your Cable and/or Internet Bill
Hop on your phone and check out Trim, a Facebook messenger bot that will negotiate your cable or internet bills down for you. It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other major providers.
You sign up with Facebook, then upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work. If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money. (If it saves you any money, it keeps 25% of the savings tab.)
7. Voice Your Opinions
You might recognize the Ipsos Panel name because it’s the same company that does most of the political polling during elections. It also has a survey app called i-Say that pays you for your opinions.
Some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete.
Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10 to 15 minutes. Also, i-Say rewards you with points you can redeem for cash via PayPal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes and others. (For example, you can redeem 1,000 points for a $10 PayPal deposit).
8. Get Rewarded for Your Purchases
There’s a new rewards platform on the market. Drop is a financial tech company that rewards you for your purchases.
As an exclusive Drop user, all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards. When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re grocery shopping, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza. The points will add up, and you can then exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
It’s the ultimate loyalty card — without the card. You can sign up right here.
9. Get on the Open Road
Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people? Try driving with Lyft.
Demand for ride sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.
We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver. Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!
Because it’s simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.
As a partner driver with Uber, you’re an independent contractor. You set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.
If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you're under 23 years old), have a valid U.S. driver's license and pass a background check.
Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.
10. Wrap Your Thumbs Around Digital Scratch-off Tickets
There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.
Instead, try using a free app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.
The app is free to download — and play. Get scratchin.’
11. Manage Your Money in a Way That Makes You Happy
They say money can’t buy happiness. And sure, that’s true. Even we can concede that.
But shouldn’t you get the most happiness you can from your money?
Enter Joy, a free iPhone app that helps you save money and spend in a way that makes you happier.
It takes a psychology-based approach to daily financial decisions and bills, and it calls itself “the first and only money app that won't judge you for how you spend your money.”
Its features include:
- Personalized Money Coach: Based on what it calls your “financial personality,” Joy will assign you one of four in-app money coaches tailored to fit your specific needs.
- Buying More Happiness: The app prompts you to rate purchases, helping you recognize spending habits and focus more on what brings you long-term happiness.
- Savings Account and Daily Saves: The app identifies a daily savings amount based on your income data and spending habits, then prompts you to make that save via your free Joy Savings Account. This should help decrease overall stress, increase happiness and promote a sense of ownership over your financial future.
12. Let This App Think About Your Savings So You Don't Have To
Here's an easy step to get your finances under control: Start an emergency fund with Digit.
This innovative app saves your money without you having to lift a finger. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.
Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, our editor Matt Wiley saved more than $4,000 without thinking about it. If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.
Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $2.99 per month afterward.
Sign up for Digit today, then, the next time you’re desperate for cash, you’ll already have it stashed away.
There you go. Just like that, your iPhone is saving and making you money.
Keep it up, and eventually you’ll be able to afford your next iPhone.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Don’t touch his iPhone. DON’T TOUCH IT.