Smartphones are one of our most important tools for staying connected to family, friends, work and entertainment and have become an essential part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, for some of us, we have a limited amount of storage so we have to be picky about what apps get permanent space on our phones. For me, if I don’t use an app for a month, it loses its spot and gets replaced by a more helpful or entertaining app.
Over the past few years, I’ve found a few apps that I can not live without. I’ve put together a list of my faves to share with you below. If you have a list of must–have apps, share them with us in the comments below!
Mint is my all–time favorite money management app. It is an all–in–one way to stay on top of my finances. Not only does it track and pay bills, allow for easy budgeting and provide security, but it also has a free credit score option, provides alerts and advice and helps track your investments easily. I love that I can set budgets for everything and I can see which categories I am overspending in month to month. It links directly to your bank accounts (after you set it up) so you never have to manually enter your purchases!
There are a lot of different music streaming services right now: Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify. My personal favorite is Spotify because I find it to be the most user–friendly. I love the pre–made playlists where you can listen to your favorites and discover new artists from genres you like. I also enjoy how easy it is to find a song, artist or album through the search feature, browse section or discover area. I spend the $9.99/month for Premium, but if you want to save some money, they offer a free option that comes with ads every three or four songs.
As a graphic designer, my job is to find solutions to problems, so it is important that I am maintaining a high level of cognition so I can do my job to the best of my abilities. One way I like to do this is through brain games and training. I have tried several apps that help with this, but have found my favorite is Lumosity. The games are created by scientists so that “each game maintains the core mechanics of the original task designed to challenge a specific cognitive skill.” I like that they track your scores and provide insight into your training. I try to incorporate this app into my daily routine, as I can complete a daily training session in about 15 minutes (sometimes less!)
ibotta is a great app to help you save money on groceries, apparel, cosmetics and other everyday purchases. How it works:
- Before you go shopping, look through the app and find items that you plan on buying and add those rebates to qualify for cash back.
- Once you buy those products, you just take a photo of your receipt and you will get refunded with real cash (via PayPal, Venmo or even gift cards.)
Stores include: Walmart, Target, Walgreens, ALDO, Ulta, Amazon, eBay, Home Depot and many, many more. So, if you are looking to save a little money, on items you purchase every month, this is a great app to get!
Stash makes investing your money easy, and less intimidating. You can start by investing as little as $5! The apps allows you to invest in businesses that are right for you and align with your passions and beliefs. You will be provided tips and guidance to help you make the most of your investments. It is connected directly to your bank account and you can set up an auto–stash option that invests the same amount each month. This is a great app for those interested in investing their money but don’t know where to start. You can begin with small amounts and start investing more as you learn!