Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
For those who don’t know, there’s an awesome web tool called IFTTT that let’s you automate nearly every aspect of your life — and the best part is that IFTTT is easy. Seriously. Even if you have no technical literacy, you’ll pick it up in less than five minutes.
The concept is simple: IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It provides hundreds of different triggers and actions that you can combine to create automated events. For example, “If my mom emails me, then forward it to me as an SMS message” or “If today is the first of the month, then back up my contacts list”.
These trigger-action pairings are called recipes and the possibilities are endless. In fact, anyone can create their own IFTTT recipes, but you can also browse public IFTTT recipes if you like — and many of them can be used to put extra money in your pocket.
We’ve taught you how to use IFTTT to save money before.
So here are 5 more great IFTTT recipes for saving time and money at home.
Turn Off Lights When You Leave Home
Unless you’re compulsive or highly disciplined, you probably struggle to switch off your house lights when they’re not in use — but it’s even worse when you leave for work in the morning and come home to find that your lights have been on for over eight hours. Talk about a waste of money and electricity.
This IFTTT recipe solves that issue once and for all. Using the GPS in your smartphone as a trigger, it’ll detect when you’ve left your house and shut off the lights accordingly. Here’s the iOS version and here’s the Android version.
Stop Wasteful Heating and Cooling
As with lighting, it’s just as devastating — or perhaps even worse — to walk out the door in the morning and come back later to find that your heater or air conditioner has been running all day long.
Fortunately, there’s an IFTTT recipe that uses the location service on your smartphone to determine whether or not you’ve left the house — and if you have, it’ll set your home thermostat to a specified temperature. Here’s the iOS version and here’s the Android version.
There’s another IFTTT recipe that can change your thermostat’s target temperature based on the weather outside. After all, if it’s cooler outside than inside, there’s no need to waste energy trying to cool your house.
Pro Tip: This recipe requires an installed Nest Thermostat. If you think the Nest Thermostat is just a gimmick or fad, then here are 13 things a Nest Thermostat can do that you didn’t know it could do. For one, the Nest Thermostat can cut your heating bill in half.
Save Money With the Press of a Button
If you’re struggling with self-discipline and/or motivation, then IFTTT can help. There’s a rewards incentive recipe that works like this: every time you tap the provided button, it moves some of your cash into a savings account.
So the next time you finish a chore, complete a task, or resist the impulse to buy something, you can tap the button and feel good that you’re saving money. This money can be used however you want — maybe to save up for a summer vacation. The recipe let’s you decide how much money each tap sets aside.
It’s basically a quick way to motivate yourself with gamification that works in conjunction with Qapital, an app-based FDIC-insured online savings account. You’ll also need the DO Button app (iOS, Android) for this recipe to work.
Track Cash Spending Habits
One of the core principles of personal finance is tracking where you spend all of your money. In fact, reckless spending is one of the bigger reasons why so many people are drowning in consumer debt. Tracking your finances is the first step towards controlling your finances.
Thankfully, IFTTT makes it easy to do this. You’ll need to install the DO Note app (iOS, Android) that IFTTT provides. Combined with this recipe, you can jot down when you spent money and what you spent it on, and you’ll receive weekly reports of all expenses.
Pro Tip: When you start getting more serious with your finances, we highly recommend using You Need A Budget (our review of it). It’s the best budgeting software available, and students can get it for free.
Track Who Owes You Money
If you’re the kind of person who lends money to people like it’s candy, then you better have a good system in place to help you remember who owes you how much. It might seem tacky to track personal favors like that, but $10 here and $20 there can add up fast.
With this IFTTT recipe, you can just send a text to IFTTT with the person’s name, how much they owe you, and tag it with #cash. That information gets stored in a file on Dropbox — which means that, yes, you’ll need a Dropbox account to use this recipe.
More Ways to Save With IFTTT
All of the above recipes are useful, but we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds — even thousands — of other recipes worth exploring. For example, there are IFTTT recipes that can help you snag products for free.
And if you really want to become an IFTTT pro, consider hooking it up with Tasker for some truly advanced automation ideas.
Which IFTTT recipes do you use to save money? How useful has IFTTT been to you? Share about your experiences with us in the comments below!