The day that I received my new Motorola Droid, I did two things. First, I slam-dunked my old Windows Mobile 5 phone into the kitchen drawer (I have some plans for that baby – and a future article). Second, I immediately started scanning the Android Market for Android finance apps that would help manage my finances.
There are two major streams to consider when you’re managing your finances – what you have coming in, and what you have going out. Obviously you should have more coming in than going out, so you want to increase your income and reduce your spending – pretty simple right?
In order to increase savings and income and reduce spending, I wanted to find android finance apps that would help me monitor my income as well as save money when I’m shopping. The following list are the 5 best apps currently available on the Android Market that will help you monitor your financial accounts, keep an eye on your Google Adsense income and save a whole lot of money when you do need to buy something.
2 Awesome Apps That Help You Track Your Money
The first step in managing spending is keeping a close watch on what you already have, and keeping a log of everything you spend. One great app that can help you do that is Loot by Christopher McCurdy. Loot is a very simple Android finance app to keep an electronic checkbook on your mobile phone, and ditch the old paper checkbook for good. There are no direct links to your bank account over the Internet, so you don’t have to worry about security or privacy.
The layout of each screen is very simple, and the white text on black background is very easy on the eyes. When you set up an account, you just name it whatever you like and assign it an initial balance. From that point on, whenever you’re at the store and you make a purchase, or you’re paying bills – just open up your phone and record the transaction immediately. No more waiting for checks to hit your account, or wondering what your “actual” balance is.
Adding new entries is very quick and easy. It’s so fast, you could do it in line at the store while you’re waiting for your debit card transaction to go through. The premium version, if you’re willing to pay for it, adds export and charting functionality into the mix. Now, if you’re anything like me and you’ve been trying to earn an income from the Internet, you probably have a Google Adsense account. Well, now with DroidSense, you can check out the daily performance of your Google Adsense account straight from your phone, with just a couple clicks of your finger.
The free version of this software shows the accurate daily data, but anything beyond that only shows the revenue over the last three days. This makes it a good app if you just want something that lets you check in daily to see how your performance was over the last 24 hours.
The reports page is where you’ll really be tempted to opt for the premium version. You can see the same one to three day data as the other screen in the free version, but the premium version would allow you to see long term trends, even in the form of a graphical chart. The app is well designed and it is on my daily list of apps to monitor to gauge the current health of my income (not that there’s any substantial Adsense income yet…).
3 Great Apps That Help You Curb Spending
Okay, so you’ll know how much you’ve got in your checking and savings account, but what about all of the money that seems to disappear into the hands of restaurants, grocery stores and shopping malls? Even if you’re not a shopaholic, the fact is that occasionally we all need to buy things – clothes, food, cool electronic gadgets that we can’t live without.
The best way to dramatically reduce the financial impact of that spending is by using coupons and finding the best deals. On the task of finding coupons, your Android definitely has you covered with the very cool My Coupons app.
Every day, you’ll discover a brand new list of very valuable coupons delivered to the main page of this app. See any you think your friends would like? Tweet them, post them to Facebook, or email one to a friend.
This isn’t just some cheap coupon-delivery system. This app lets you search for local deals using your GPS location or through a search, or you can even scan in the barcode of any product to check if there’s a coupon available for it!
Coupons are great for saving money on things that you didn’t even realize you wanted, but the bottom line is that the most effective way to cut spending is to find the absolute lowest price on the items that you need. If you have an Android phone in your pocket, then you have two very powerful apps for doing that. The first is Pocket Auctions by Bonfire Media.
As you can see, this is the definitive mobile Ebay app. Everything you could want to do on Ebay is possible here. Preview the best current deals or search Ebay for a particular product. There are even some things you can’t normally do on Ebay’s website, like scan a barcode for a product to see if there are any current auctions for that product!
The coolest part of this application in my opinion is the ability to search through completed items. A few years ago, it was almost impossible to find a mobile application that could complete such a search without paying for it. Now, you can find the market price history for any product that has sold on Ebay – a very valuable tool if you’re doing market research or if you’re attending a real live auction and want to check how much specific items sell for on Ebay before you place your bid. Just keep in mind that a lot of people are doing this today, so the competitive advantage is disappearing fast.
Finally, one of my favorite applications to use while I’m browsing through a department store is ShopSavvy by Big in Japan, Inc. This is an app where you can quickly search for a product while you’re in the store in order to find out if there are any other places where you can get it cheaper, either at a store near you or online.
ShopSavvy lets you use your phone’s camera to scan the product barcode. Once ShopSavvy identifies the product with the barcode, it searches high and low for the best available price on that product.
Bargain opportunities could be either at a store or mall down the street, or or at Amazon or any other online store. The best prices are organized for you under “local” and “web” categories, and reviews are displayed if they’re available. With ShopSavvy, you never have to doubt whether or not you got the best price.
Do you know of any other great Android apps that help you cut costs and reduce spending in your daily life? Share your own discoveries in the comments section below.
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