This week is Claim It Week at King’s; helping you to stretch your money that little bit further by making sure you claim everything you’re entitled to. In this spirit, our thrifty Student Money Mentors Claire and Stefani were only too happy to contribute to the blog this week, with a review of money saving apps for everything from the best supermarket deals to making the most of the leftovers in your fridge! Check back this time next week for part 2.
There’s an App for That
Apps, apps everywhere, click them here, click them there. On your phone, on the go, where they’ll stop, no one knows!
Modern technology has brought us contactless so we can pay with the tap of a card, or even Apple pay, where we can spend money with the tap of a phone! It seems that modern technology is out to get us to spend spend spend rather than save.
But, do not fear, some apps are designed to help us save a penny here and there.
We have filled up all the memory space on our phones with multiple apps and tested them, so you don’t have to:
1. MY SUPERMARKET
You may have heard of the MySupermarket.com which compares the price groceries across different supermarkets, but you don’t really want to bring your laptop to Tesco with you while you are scanning the shelves. Luckily, they have developed an app!
If you create your weekly shopping list on your phone, they will immediately tell you which supermarket is cheapest and if there is a special offer going on. You can even scan barcodes in store and the app will tell you if it is cheaper somewhere else instead. Sneaky I know. It almost feels like cheating… But with less of the drama and more of the discounts.
This is a personal favourite of mine. It is an app whose aim is to reduce waste and enhance community spirit. Cafes who would usually throw away perfectly good food at the end of the day instead donate it to Olio volunteers who advertise it on the app. You can then collect the food at a time arranged between you and the volunteer, and thus reduce food waste.
There is also a non-food section where anything from sofas to candles are donated and you can agree to pick it up. If you are in need of something, you can post it on the ‘Wanted’ list and if someone else has that item, they can contact you.
3. HAPPIHOUR and DRINKI
Every hour is happy when you know you are getting a bargain so download these apps to maximise discounts. The former gives 50% discounts off food and the second *free* or half price drinks.
HappiHour is available at several cafes and restaurants and the deals vary depending on the day and time. Sometimes they will throw in a free meal if a new branch has joined the app, but mainly it is a buy-one-get-one free app.
Drinki gives you a free drink if you share your location on social media to advertise the lucky venue and you can claim one every night. Again, check before you head out as the offers are valid at specific time on specific days, but if they don’t give you a free drink, they will usually give you an offer instead
4. SPENDING TRACKER
This is a budgeting app that allows you to input your expenditure and income daily. It also has a budget mode where it allows you to input how much you plan to spend and track how much you have left of that budget. There is the option of carrying over the unused budget to the following month. The expenditure portion is broken down into common categories (e.g. holidays, shopping, books, etc.) and it allows you to create your own categories.
The picture below left shows the display of the accumulative balance (income and expenditure broken down to categories) and the balance per month. The picture below right is how to input an expense or income.
It does require dedication and discipline, as you do have to input everything manually. However, it is very flexible, as it does not limit you to merely cash or card spending and you are able to change the dates of the transaction meaning if you forget to input expenditure from last week, you are still able to do so.
There is also a summary view of your current spending and it creates a report by charts of your income and expenditure, allowing easy visualization of where your money goes.
The picture on the left below is the overall summary of the month. The pictures on the right and below are more visual representations of expenses in a pie chart according to categories and a graph visualizing your cash flow across the different months.
Another feature that would be worth pointing out is that the app can be password protected.
The Student Money Mentors are available on campus to give guidance on budgeting, discounts and deals to help you to get the most out of your money. For more complex queries that require specialist and detailed advice, you can contact the Student Advice team for support.