5 Ways to Save Money Using the MoneyWYN iPhone App

By J. T.

Do you worry about money? If you are like a lot of people these days, the chances are that you do. The fact is that we all worry about money in some way, shape, or form. The truth is that even rich guys like Donald Trump and Warren Buffett likely worry about money in some way. Now, I’ll bet that the way that they worry about it is on a different level than you or me, but they still likely have their own worries about it. Like they say: more money, more problems.

Well, I think I have an app for them…..and you.

It’s called MoneyWYN.

Concept and Functionality

MoneyWYN stands for Money Within Your Needs. It is an iPhone app available in the iTunes App Store that helps you analyze your spending and determine whether you’re living beyond not only your means, but also your needs. Using the app, you can find out where you stand financially and start to take the appropriate actions to provide financial security for you and your family.

MoneyWYN helps to stop the worries

This app is largely based on the book The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan: The Balanced Money Formula by former Harvard professor, Elizabeth Warren, and her daughter Amelia Warren-Tyagi. The book provides a simple formula called the Balanced Money Formula (also referred to as the 50-20-30 rule) for helping to keep your financial life in “balance”. It does this by providing a guideline specifying that you keep all of the spending on what are considered your “needs” to less than 50% of after-tax earnings. The Balanced Money Formula also specifies limiting your “wants” in life to 30% and saving at least 20% of earnings.

Features and Benefits

And this is where MoneyWYN comes in. It contains the guidelines of the Balanced Money Formula that you can utilize to analyze your spending.

So what specifically does MoneyWYN help you do?

Here are 5 ways you can use MoneyWYN to help you save money:

Get control of your money

moneywyn source app

MoneyWYN will help you get control of your money by understanding where you stand right now. Do you have money left over at the end of the average month? Or are you looking to your bank’s overdraft protection for a bailout?

The Monthly Summary screen on the app tells you in a nutshell whether you have a surplus or a deficit on an average month.

When you enter your data, MoneyWYN calculates what you earn and spend and tells you how that compares to the Balanced Money Formula. Are you in balance? This app will tell you.

As they say, knowing is half the battle. Knowing gives you more control in determining what steps you need to take to get into balance.

Know how much to save for emergencies

All of us who try to manage our money go through it. How much should we save for an emergency? The financial experts tell us to save 3 – 6 months for emergencies. Or is it 8 months? No, no, it’s 12 months.

Well, whatever expert’s advice you subscribe to, using MoneyWYN, you’ll know how much you should be saving. After entering your spending data, the app will tell you how much you spend on your “needs” and “wants”. All you have to do then is multiple your “needs” amount by the numbers of months you want for emergencies.

Why is that? Because the “needs” are the expenses you cannot easily stop spending on in case of an emergency. A real emergency, like losing your job. Your “wants”, however, are the ones that you can more easily stop if you absolutely needed to.

So with MoneyWYN, you find out how much to save for those emergencies.

Do some what-if scenario planning

moneywyn cash flow app

With MoneyWYN, not only will you see where you are now, you can see where you’ll be later.

Many of us live lives that are constantly changing. We get married. We have kids. We buy new living places. We move. The list goes on.

All of this can have a large financial impact on our lives.

MoneyWYN helps to quickly see how this affects your ability to keep saving for your goals. All you do is look at how your spending compares to the Balanced Money Formula today.

When you add or remove the spending that will change in your life, the MoneyWYN reports will update. If the Balanced Money Formula percentages are still within the guidelines, you quickly find out whether this life change is likely to impact your ability to continue to reach your savings goals.

Where you are spending most

With the Balanced Money Formula, you get a simple budget formula that helps you easily identify which category of spending your money is going to. Using the Spending vs Target report, you’ll see whether you are inline with these guidelines. If not, you know exactly which category to start with.

For example, if you’re out of balance with your needs, you can take a look at the Spending on Needs report to see which spending source or expense is taking up the majority of your needs. Now you know which ones to focus on and try to cut.

Stay in sync with your spouse

Are you and your spouse in sync on your finances? Do you manage the money, but your spouse wishes they could have some involvement, even when you’re not around?

With the paid version of MoneyWYN, purchased via in-app purchase for $0.99, you can have the ability to sync your data with your spouse’s data and vice versa.

The ability to be in sync with your spouse can be priceless. He or she would be able to take advantage of the same benefits above and then sync with you later.

So MoneyWYN can be used to help get you and your spouse on the path to saving more of your money.

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ValueTracker App: Save Money on Groceries

ValueTracker iconA price book is a time-tested powerful tool for saving money on groceries. With consistent use it can help you identify a product’s sale cycle and shifts in seasonal pricing so you can determine a “buy” price – the lower than regular price at which you will buy a product. It can help you calculate a product’s unit price so you can compare the actual cost of products with varying prices and sizes. And it can help you make a value decision based on increases in a product’s price and/or decreases in its size.

ValueTracker brings this money-saving tool to the iPhone and iPod touch. It makes it easy and convenient to maintain a price book and reap the savings. Simply create a list of stores where you shop and for each store create a list of products you frequently buy. Updating a product when either the price or size changes will build your Tracking list.

Sale Cycles

ValueTracker trackingThe Tracking list is the most powerful feature of ValueTracker. It is a chronological list of all the price and size data you record for a product. From this list you’ll be able to determine a store’s sale cycle for each product.

Let’s say you’ve been tracking and updating the cost of a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes for several months. It has a regular price of $0.99 but a check of the Tracking list shows that about once a month it goes on sale and is at least $0.20 off. The sale price of $0.79 occurs most frequently so that establishes the maximum “buy” price.

Perhaps you buy eight cans a month. If you pay the full price six times and the “buy” price twice, you’ll spend approximately $90 a year on this product. But, if you only buy it when it’s on sale at the “buy” price or lower, and you buy enough to last until the next expected sale you’ll spend approximately $76 a year. That’s a savings of $14. Apply this buying strategy to ten products, twenty, thirty and the savings can become substantial.

Seasonal Pricing

It is often given advice to only buy fresh produce when it’s in season. But how do you determine what’s in season when the stores stock the same produce year round? The Tracking list will help you with that too.

For example, a five pound bag of grapefruit costs $3.99 in March. In April the price goes to $6.99. There’s the seasonal shift in pricing. The data you collect in the Tracking list can be your guide as to which produce you should be buying at which time of the year. No out-of-season buying means savings for you.

Unit Pricing

When comparing products of varying size and price you need to know the unit price for each product so you can determine which one has the actual lowest cost. This is done by dividing the price by the total number of units – a unit may be expressed by net weight, fluid ounces, count, etc. ValueTracker’s integrated Unit Pricing Comparison Calculator not only does the math for you but also let’s you do a side-by-side comparison of up to three products in portrait mode and up to four in landscape.

Let’s say you’re shopping for gallon-size freezer bags with a slider closure. The store stocks three brands with six options for bag count.ValueTracker unit price

Brand A:
10 bags for $2.68 equals a unit price of $0.268 per bag
24 bags for $4.38 equals a unit price of $0.183 per bag

Brand B:
13 bags for $1.76 equals a unit price of $0.135 per bag
25 bags for $2.76 equals a unit price of $0.11 per bag

Brand C:
10 bags for $1.96 equals a unit price of $0.196 per bag
25 bags for $2.98 equals a unit price of $0.119 per bag

By calculating the unit prices it’s easy to see that Brand B with 25 bags has the lowest actual cost followed by Brand C with 25 bags and Brand B with 13 bags.

You’ll save money by choosing the product with the lowest unit price. This principle can be applied to every product you buy. But there’s a caveat to this: the product with the lowest unit price provides no savings if you don’t like it and need to buy a replacement for it. The savings will come from choosing the best product for you that has the lowest unit price.

Value Decisions

Sale cycles, seasonal pricing, and unit pricing are the areas with the most tangible means of measuring savings. An intangible but no less important means of saving money comes from making value decisions.

Let’s say that a product you frequently buy has had its packaging redesigned. The price remains the same but the net weight has gone down. Is it still a good value? That’s a judgement call only you can make. Because of the Tracking list you’ll be more aware of the change than the average consumer and better able to decide if you’ll continuing buying the product or not.

Ways to Save on Groceries

Save money by knowing sale cycles, only buying in-season produce, and comparing unit pricing. ValueTracker, the grocery price book app for iPhone and iPod touch, makes it easy and convenient to do all three.

For more detailed information: ValueTracker

Find it on the App Store

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Pay Off Debt App: 4 Ways It Can Save You Money

You finally have reached the point where you are sick and tired of the debts that you have and you’re determined to begin working on reducing it. There are many excellent reasons to get out of debt: financial freedom, a dramatic drop in stress, and peace of mind to name just a few. One problem that many people have is finding an easy and effective way to track their debt so that they can see the progression of their debt reduction. The Pay Off Debt iPhone app can help you do exactly that by helping you create and organize a debt snowball. In addition, the app can also help you to immediately save money which can help even more with your debt reduction goals. Here are a few ways that Pay Off Debt can save you money:

You’ll see that little things add up.

With the app, each time you record a payment to a debt, you can tap it to view the Debt Details — details that show you the impact of your payment on the life of the loan via an amortization table. Once you start to see how every dollar helps, you’ll begin to question purchases that you don’t really need, or that you might otherwise make on impulse.

You’ll spend less, because you’ll pay more attention.

Having information on your debt reduction progress right in your pocket makes it easy to check in frequently on how you’re doing. You can see your planned debt free date approaching right on the Summary screen. In other words, the app helps you get obsessed with becoming debt free. And that’s a good thing, because the more you want to be debt free, the less money you’ll unthinkingly waste.

pay off debt app graph

You’ll pay less interest.

Likewise, the sooner you get out of debt, the less you’ll pay in interest. Suppose you owed $5,000 on a credit card at 18% interest. If you only paid a 2% minimum payment each month and you never charged anything else to it, it would take you 35 years to pay it off. It’d also cost you an obscene amount of interest: nearly $13,000. Wouldn’t you like to save money instead of paying it to the credit card company?

Use even the most bare-bones debt snowball where you pay $100/mo toward the debt every month (instead of just at the very beginning), and you can knock more than 27 years and about $8600 in interest off. Add an additional amount to your snowball — say $50 a month — and you can save even more. You can use the Pay Off Debt app to experiment with how much faster your debt will be repaid by varying the Additional Amount you plan to send toward your debts.

You’ll change your thinking.

As you start to see debt as something that costs you money and causes you to struggle — instead of something that makes it “easy” to get the things you want — you’ll begin to look at your money differently in general. You’ll go from a debtor mentality where your money is already spent before you even get it, to a wealth-building mentality. You’ll save and invest your money, instead of spending it on things you may not even remember a year from now. And as you change your thinking about money, you’ll probably also become more contented. Don’t underestimate how great that feels, and what an impact it can have on our bottom line.

pay off debt app

You can download Pay Off Debt from iTunes, or click to learn more about it here.

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DataSaver App Save Money on Your Data Plan

Unless you are one of the lucky wireless subscribers with a grandfathered data plan, chances are you are paying on average $80/$15 a month for your smartphone bill. And for that kind of money, you are getting about 3GB worth of data. Now, like most people, you are probably never going over your 3GB — not even close. But the next-lower-cost data plan, at $30, is only 200MB. There is a big difference between 200MB and 3GB, and obviously going over the 200MB would negate any savings.

Enter DataSaver. DataSaver, an Android application from Devicescape, connects you to the Devicescape virtual WiFi network. Because the Devicescape virtual WiFi network has more than 8 million hotspots, DataSaver will connect to WiFi in locations you wouldn’t necessarily think of checking for WiFi. For example, not only will DataSaver connect you to WiFi at Home Depot, Safeway, Whole Foods, Starbucks and many more major venues, DataSaver will also connect you at millions of local establishments such as your neighborhood coffee shop or restaurant. DataSaver connects you automatically, so you don’t have to think about login or accepting those annoying terms and conditions before you can access the Internet. DataSaver takes care of that for you. You just go about your business, shopping or ordering your coffee, and DataSaver does its thing quietly in the background.

This means that all of a sudden, you are saving data since WiFi data does not count against your wireless data plan. Based on where you live and your daily habits, you can save a lot of data. So much data, in fact, that you may be able to switch to that lower-priced data plan without having to worry about going over your cap.

DataSaver has another feature that allows you to monitor your data usage both over WiFi and over 3G/4G. You can even enter your data plan information and monitor how much of it you actually use. Here is the trick: You can enter the lowest data plan your carrier offers (such as the 200MB already mentioned) and monitor it for a couple of months. If you are like most DataSaver users, you will find out that most of your data consumption is now WiFi data and that you can live comfortably with the lower data plan. This is when you call your wireless carrier and switch your subscription to the lower, cheaper data plan!

DataSaver app

As noted before, your mileage may vary based on your environment. But DataSaver is a free app and is free to use, so there is absolutely no risk in trying it. You can download DataSaver from Google Play.

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MoneyTrail App: Saving Money for Parents & Teaching Kids about Money

moneytrail logo

All parents are aware that kids can be very expensive. From the very beginning, we understand that there will be certain unavoidable costs, such as food, medical care, education and clothing. However, as kids get older, there are certain unplanned costs that develop, such as school trips, sports equipment, allowance, band instruments, football games, cars, birthday gifts, parties and spending money for your teen. These unplanned costs can add up to make a significant dent in your family budget. However, with a little organizational help from the MoneyTrail app, these unplanned costs can be managed thereby saving yourself money and at the same time, teaching your child or teen valuable money management skills that can set them on a lifetime course of responsible financial management.

What is MoneyTrail?

MoneyTrail is an allowance and money management app for kids, teens and families. It keeps track of allowance, cash, IOUs and gift cards. MoneyTrail is a virtual family bank. It doesn’t handle your real money. Here are a few ways that MoneyTrail can help parents save money:

I’ll pay you next week

Many parents give their child an allowance. However, one of the most common problems with allowance is that parents often do not have the correct amount of cash to distribute and tell their kids that they will pay them “next week.” Then another week rolls around and no cash. Then another. Before they know it, the parents have no idea when the allowance was last paid or how much is owed and will often just hand their child $20 or buy them a new toy. Not only does this set a bad money management example, but parents often overpay. Money Trail’s automatic allowance feature keeps track of allowance so that parents know the exact amount that is owed to the child.

Did you give me money for your cell phone bill?

There are often reoccurring payments that teens need to make to their parents, such as their portion of the monthly cell phone bill or online gaming subscriptions. However, these are easy for a busy parent to forget or for a teen to ignore. And…the parent ends up paying the whole bill without having the teen repay their portion. Money Trail’s auto purchase feature allows these charges to be subtracted automatically so that parents aren’t paying for their child’s responsibilities.

I’ll loan you the money, but you have to pay me back

Learning to repay a loan is a great skill for kids and teens but there needs to be a system in place to keep the kids accountable. If not, the parents are left holding the bag. MoneyTrail allows IOUs to be entered so that the loans are not forgotten.

MoneyTrail also helps kids and teens with money. Perhaps one of the best outcomes of using MoneyTrail is the financial knowledge that kids and teens gain over time. As parents, we want our children to be financially responsible when they leave home so that they can start their young adult life with a strong money management foundation and avoid the mindless debt that so many young people accumulate. These are skills that are not learned overnight. It requires practice and guidance. MoneyTrail provides the structure and basis for teaching your child about money management. We have seen that many families start using MoneyTrail with the parents creating an account and keeping track of the money themselves. However, as the kids get older, many kids & teens prefer to keep track of it themselves. They learn to:

  • Enter purchases and deposits to keep track of how much they have. This is the basis for knowing your income and your expenses.
  • Create unique accounts to keep track of saving for specific items. This keeps them goal oriented and reduces impulse purchases.
  • Repay a loan. My 12 year old learned that he really hated being in debt and he worked like crazy to repay $300 that he borrowed from us for a school trip to Disney.
  • Grow their money. Parents can choose to add interest automatically to their child’s account so that the kids learn the benefits of saving and growing their money.
  • Budget. There are mini-budgeting opportunities in which kids & teens can learn to be in charge of their money. Ideas include: school lunch budget, holiday gift budgets, clothing budgets, etc. With the MoneyTrail app, kids & teens can create special accounts to keep track of these items.

money trail app

moneytrail app

Where can I find MoneyTrail?

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Saving Money with Apps

There was a time when phones were simply a convenient way to have a conversation with your family and friends from your house. Those days are long gone by. There was even a time when cell phones were used simply to talk to another person (when you happened to be able to get service), but again, those days are now history. Today smart phones are a powerful min computer that can help you with every portion of your life.

One of the growing areas on the phone app market are those apps that help you to save money. My guess is that you will be pleasantly surprised to find the large number of apps out there that specifically want to help you keep more money in your wallet. This blog is dedicated to featuring and explaining about all the apps that exist to help people save money. If you are looking for ways to keep a little more of you money, there is a good chance that there are a number of apps out there that will help you achieve that goal.

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