5 Money-Saving Apps to Prevent Your Holiday Budget from Snowballing
5 Money-Saving Apps to Prevent Your Holiday Budget from Snowballing

5 Money-Saving Apps to Prevent Your Holiday Budget from Snowballing

•  4 minute read

Keep a watchful eye on your gift spending with these helpful apps.

A few years ago, my husband and I let our holiday shopping spiral totally out of control. In all honesty, it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, until the credit card bill arrived. We were flabbergasted by just how much we had spent during that merry time of the year.

 

5 Money-Saving Apps to Prevent Your Holiday Budget from Snowballing. Aside from those practical strategies, we’ve also discovered a few apps and other digital solutions that help us to be smart about our holiday shopping. Here are a few that top our “nice” list:

Considering that I’m a freelancer who needs to make her largest quarterly tax payment of the year right after the holiday season (convenient timing, IRS), watching every penny during this time has become that much more important to us. So we’ve now put different measures and tactics into place to help us curtail our spending and avoid treating our wallets like a bottomless Santa sack.

 

One thing that has majorly helped us is setting a flat dollar amount that we plan to spend on each person on our list. We make it the same amount for everybody ($30, in our case) to keep things fair, even, and in-check.

 

We also use our credit card points to help subsidize our gift giving each year. Since we use our credit card for almost all of our purchase (and, yes, we pay off the entire balance each month!), we rack up a pretty impressive amount of points.

 

We can use those for everything from gift cards to items. However, we typically choose to convert them to cash, the amount of which gets subtracted from our credit card bill. It’s a great way to soften the blow a little bit.

 

Aside from those practical strategies, we’ve also discovered a few apps and other digital solutions that help us to be smart about our holiday shopping. Here are a few that top our “nice” list:

 

Chances are, you bring your phone with you whenever you’re shopping. So, why not use it to ensure that you’re getting the very best deal?

 

1. Honey Browser Extension

 

I’ll pretty much do anything to avoid the crazy crowds in the stores during the holiday season (I’m definitely not one of those people out trampling innocent shoppers on Black Friday). This means that I do quite a bit of my gift shopping online. It also means that I’ve spent countless hours hunting for valid coupon codes that will save me a few bucks.

 

But after discovering the Honey browser extension, I no longer need to do that. Honey automatically finds and applies the best promo codes whenever I’m shopping online. It’s an awesome way to save some money, with absolutely zero effort.

 

2. ShopSavvy

 

CONSIDER IT YOUR OWN ARMY OF ELVES – ALL WORKING RIGHT IN YOUR PHONE.

 

Chances are, you bring your phone with you whenever you’re shopping. So, why not use it to ensure that you’re getting the very best deal?

 

Using ShopSavvy, you just need to scan the bar code of whatever item you’re planning to purchase. Then, the app will compare that item’s price with other stores, help you find cash-back retailers, and even allow you to watch for price drops on that specific gift. Consider it your own army of elves – all working right in your phone.

 

3. Santa’s Bag

 

When it comes to shopping, I like to be as organized as possible, and Santa’s Bag helps me do just that. With this list management app, you can create shopping lists and specific budgets for each person on your list, check off presents as you buy them, and then keep a watchful eye on just how much you’re spending.

 

The best part? Santa’s Bag will keep track of the gifts you buy year after year – so you can save yourself from the embarrassment of buying that co-worker the same scented candle two holidays in a row.

 

4. Target Cartwheel

 

At the checkout, the cashier will scan the bar code that appears on your phone, and you’ll save some change! It’s easy and effective.

 

From presents and gift cards to wrapping paper and bows, whatever holiday shopping I don’t get done online is typically done at Target. Admittedly, Cartwheel is an app I use year-round, and not just when it’s time for me to start checking off that gift list.

 

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Cartwheel app allows you to save money on the things you’re buying at Target. Simply download the app, scan the barcodes of the items you’re purchasing, and—if there’s an offer available in the app—add it to your cartwheel. At the checkout, the cashier will scan the bar code that appears on your phone, and you’ll save some change! It’s easy and effective.

 

5. Ibotta

 

This isn’t an app I’ve used too frequently myself, but it’s one I’ve heard great things about –there are plenty of users who rave about it.

 

Using Ibotta, you’ll get cash rebates for the purchases you make in over 80 different stores. You just need to use the app to unlock the rebates, buy featured products, and then take pictures of your receipts to prove your purchases. Once you reach $10, Ibotta will send you your balance directly to your PayPal account. Earning money while holiday shopping? It’s a Christmas miracle!