The holidays have come and gone, and for many of us, so has our extra cash. Where our wallets were once flush (okay, so maybe just lightly lined) with cash, there now exists a big empty hole of perpetual sadness. But rest assured! All of those technological gifts and gadgets, those do-hickeys the kids on the television are going on about are capable of more than just letting us express our frustrations by beaning multicolored birds with rocks—technology to the budgetary rescue!
Budgeting Apps for Your Phone
While websites that provide budgeting tools have been popular for some time, the mobile versions just never caught on in the same way. That is, until apps were developed by everyone who was well, anyone. These handy little downloads are great for busy people—they live in your pocket and allow you to track and manage expenses with just a few strokes of your finger. Some even allow you to “scan” documents by photographing them!
Free Text Programs
There are a variety of applications available to help with your texting habits. Applications like Textfree (which actually costs $5) allow you to text whomever you want, free of charge. While some of these apps don’t offer special features (like picture messaging and emojis) they can save you a few bucks come bill time.
If you’re lucky enough to own a cell phone with a forward facing camera, this may not be of much help to you, but if you don’t, take note—there’s an app for that! Fring is a free application available to Android and Iphone users that lets you turn your single camera phone into a video calling device—sure beats a $200 phone upgrade!
Wireless internet is pretty much a necessity anymore, though it can get quite expensive. If you’re switching from dial up to wireless, there will be some hardware you need to buy, not to mention your monthly service fee. To save a few bucks, consider a program like Tether, which turns your phone into a personal wireless hotspot. For $50, Tetherer creates a network for you. Androids also have the built-in capability to tether, so check it out!
You’ve probably figured it out by now, but the music industry has changed. Gone are the days of buying CDs only to find out you don’t like many of the songs. Music programs like Spotify and Pandora allow you to listen to music of your choosing for free. Though you’ll have to occasionally listen to a commercial, you can create playlists and radio stations, find suggestions for music you might like, etc.—all for free!
Let’s embrace technology. Celebrate it. Let it clean up the Christmas bank account.
Heidi Andrews roots for the LA Dodgers and the freedom to eat chocolate for breakfast. When she isn’t learning to make those cool designs on espresso drinks, you can find her writing about financial freedom, new technology, and investment opportunities for Jason Hartman Media.