Save, manage and even make money — all from your smartphone

Kelli Fitzpatrick

We are of the generation that sports smartphones like extra limbs. Our iPhones, Android phones and Blackberries are the first things we check in the morning and the last things we check before bed. With so much time and energy put into your device, why not let it help you out in return? Whether you’re looking to save money, manage accounts or make some extra cash, there’s an app for that.

Saving Money

iSlick: 99 cents

iTunes rating: 5/5 stars

iSlick compiles shopping deals from major retailers like Best Buy, Walgreens, and Staples so you can find the best prices on clothing, toiletries, electronics and more. The app updates deals, coupons and freebies with real-time notifications, so you can view new specials as they come in. Rate and share deals by giving them a thumbs-up or thumbs-down (the dislike button Facebook users desire).

GasBuddy: Free

iTunes rating: 5/5

Android rating: 4.5/5

Blackberry World rating: 4.5/5

The average price of gas per gallon is climbing to $3.73 in Ohio, according to the American Automobile Association. When every penny counts to fill your tank, you need to find the cheapest gas around — if half of your last paycheck is cheap, anyway. GasBuddy is a free app that maps out gas stations and their current prices. You can update and report gas prices on the app for points toward prizes, including a $250 weekly gas gift card. Use your current location or type in a city to find gas station prices near you and ease the burden of driving on four wheels every day.

Grocery iQ: Free

iTunes rating: 3.5/5

Android rating: 4/5

No more leafing through Sunday’s paper for grocery store coupons—if you even do that in the first place. Load Grocery iQ on your phone to access coupons and compile grocery lists to cut down on money and time spent in the food aisles. While in-store, scan a barcode to find available coupons and add items to your list. You can prepare ahead of time by scanning items at home that you plan to restock, print coupons from your printer and bring them on your grocery run. Once there, list which aisle the Cocoa Puffs are located in to save time next trip.

Making money

eBay: Free

iTunes rating: 3.5/5

Android rating: 4/5

Blackberry World rating: 2.5/5

If you’re an avid eBay seller, be sure to download the free mobile app to manage your accounts on the go. Stay on top of your cash-making game by monitoring sales and auctions on the eBay app. Once you’ve turned a profit, cash in on Spring Break goodies — towels, sunglasses, booze — or try for something else on the eBay market.

CheckPoints: Free

iTunes rating: 4/5

Android: 4/5

Why not get rewarded for your usual shopping trips? With CheckPoints, you can rack up coins while you’re at any of the millions of registered stores. Scan products for coins: a pack of light bulbs at CVS gets you ten. No purchase is necessary to collect coins and redeem them for gift cards or make donations to charities. You will need to use this app long-term to see rewards, but it could pay off if you have time to scan a few random items while shopping. You can get a $25 gift card for 1,000 coins or a $10 gift card for 3,250 coins. So, start scanning!

Amazon Student: Free

iTunes rating: 4/5

Android rating: 4.5/5

Everything you need from monster site is now packaged in one place. With the Amazon Student app, you can manage your trade-in account to make money (in Amazon gift cards) quicker than before. Scan a barcode on nearly any item to check and compare prices or to trade it in for gift cards. Finding deals, selling textbooks and earning gift cards is as easy as a touch of the screen.

Managing your money

iSpending: Free

iTunes rating: 4.5/5

You have an income but you seem to run through your funds so fast, you lose track of the number of Taco Bell excursions or budget-bending trips to the Summit Mall. Whatever your finance weakness, iSpending helps you keep it all in check. By entering your income and expenses, the app shows exactly where your money is coming from and disappearing to. Create groups of expenses, like entertainment or rent, to see what you spend your money on — and where you can cut back. You may be inclined to scale back when you understand just how much you’re dumping on late-night burritos and drinks. Now you can’t pretend you just don’t know where your money goes … and can more easily budget yourself with the transactions listed on screen.

Money Free: Free

iTunes rating: 4.5/5

Android rating: 3.5/5

If you’re perpetually on the go and have little time to sit down to manage your bills, consider this app to stay on top of finances no matter where you are. Money Free lets you track any of your accounts, including debit and credit cards and checking and savings. Plug in the dates when your bills are due to receive a reminder on the app calendar. Money Free lets you manage income and expenses and add notes, photos and audio — in case you need more reminders to pay that damn cell phone bill. This app eliminates any excuse for paying your bill too late or overdrafting your checking account.

Lemon: Free

iTunes rating: 4/5

Android rating: 4/5

Blackberry World rating: 2/5

Lemon is an essential app for the avid shopper and returner. With this juicy application, scan and store your receipts so you’re never without proof of purchase. Instead of hoarding scraps of paper until the ink rubs off, just store the images on Lemon in case you need to make a return or keep track of prices. If you purchase something online, send the email receipt to your account that you set up through the app to store it on Lemon.

Bank apps: Free

Most available in all app markets

Keep an eye on your checking and savings accounts from a variety of banks. The following are some that offer free applications to monitor account usage, manage transactions and find bank locations:

• PNC Bank

• Huntington

• Bank of America

• TD Bank

• U.S. Bank

• Chase Bank

• Citizens Bank

• Wells Fargo

• Citi Private Bank

Contact Kelli Fitzpatrick [email protected].