Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
While I often and publicly hail my iPhone as a gimungous waste of money and have been known to shatter a few phone cases in frustration, deep down, I know that it is more a lifeline to me than my own heart.
While there are times that I swear my husband is in fact the little Siri voice inside my phone because it never listens, when it does listen it gives me the wrong answer, and it more times than not gets me lost because its directions are illogical and usually panned out in the opposite direction I need to be going. Never the less, like my husband, I still love it (most days).
Over the years, I have had several love/hate relationships with iPhones 1 through 5. Originally the phone was used for phone calls, text messages and games, later evolved into a use for emails, further evolved into a use for the calendar, and now has evolved into everything that every other product on the planet can do aside from making coffee (I hear that's next).
Right now, my iPhone can literally do everything. When I want to pander to the hypochondria in me, I open up my WebMD app. When I've had a horrible day and I need someone to make decisions for me, I let my UrbanSpoon app tell me where to eat. Heck, when I need to tell the future, I open up my horoscope app. It's pretty much a genie. That's why when I want to make a little extra money, I of course turn to my phone and now, so can you.
I know I don't talk a lot about Android phones because let's face it, they are the Pepsi of the smart phone world. As Stephen Colbert pointed out, Pepsi is the official drink of “oh sorry, we don't have coke, is Pepsi okay?” So, in an attempt to be inclusive, here is an Android only app called Locket. It literally pays you 1-cent every time you unlock your phone. What's the price? Maybe your sanity. Every time you go to unlock your phone, you will see an advertisement. You have the choice to either engage or not engage; either way, you make a penny.
Gigwalk is this really cool app I actually just started using myself. You put in your location and it shows you various businesses in your area that are hiring not for jobs, but for certain tasks to be done. For example, I have seen some business that will pay $6.50 just for you to walk in their store and take a picture of a display.
While jobs are slim picking right now, the app is still new and will likely take off in the future, so it's good to go ahead and get acquainted with it. But for now, I'm totally okay snapping a picture for $6. Heck, that's a Big Mac meal baby!
There are several other apps that will “pay you money”, but these two are the only ones that I feel are realistic for the every day person. However, any budgeteer knows that it's not just about making money; it's about saving money too. Here are my currently favorite apps that save me money:
Right now my husband is planning a romantic, anniversary trip and he is using Groupon to make our itinerary. He's purchasing a romantic dinner for 50 percent off the normal cost and is even looking into offers for discounted tours and outdoor activities. I use Groupon on a regular basis to find discounted date nights and even order regular products. For example, a couple of months ago I ordered a migraine relief ice pack for just $3.
Walgreens has one of the best mobile apps out of all of the retailers. I really love being able to browse all of their coupons right on my phone. I just have them scanned right from my phone at the register. My app also alerts me to deals in the store. Thanks to the app last week, I bought a 24 pack of bottled water for just $3.95.
Aside from the convenience of being able to see all the movies in the RedBox's in my area right from my phone, I have never had an app that has given me more free stuff. RedBox is always gifting me free rentals, and I guess that's why I keep coming back. Getting the app and signing up for their emails is definitely worth it. Out of all the retailer apps, RedBox is the most loyal to its fans.
I've mentioned Starbucks' app a few times, but there's a reason it always makes it on my fav's list. All you have to do is sign up for the free gold card and every time you buy 12 drinks, you get one free. It's a great rewards program that allows you to load money onto your card from your phone and pay with your phone at the register with just a simple scan. It's revolutionary.
Well my tech-nerdy budgeteers, that's all I have for you this week. I realize that if you don't have a smart phone this article isn't helpful . . . Maybe you should just take the hint. I kid, I kid! There's nothing wrong with a non-smartphone. It just means you're not as cool as me. If you can deal with that, then so can I.
Don't forget to like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany. You wouldn't want to miss all my Honey Boo Boo live tweeting would you? I didn't think so.