I was reading Forbes online today, and there was a great quote that read: "A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it." (Quote attributed to William Feather.)

I laughed—nodded—laughed some more. This quote perfectly describes how I have approached "budgeting" in years past! So this year, I’m putting some digital controls in place to help me stay disciplined when I hear the siren song of an expense I can neither afford nor justify.

Check out these great money-saving apps I’ve recently discovered, and maybe you’ll find a little friendly "help" to accompany you into the new year as well!

1. Onavo Extend

Onavo is an app designed to do one thing—help you save money on data usage. Whether you do a little or a lot with your data plan, Onavo will make sure you get more for your money by compressing the data you download and giving you continuous updates on your data usage. The app runs in the background until you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, at which point it shuts itself off.

2. Check

If this is your year to get your finances under control, Check may just be the app the good finance doctor ordered! Check ensures you have an easy way to eyeball all of your accounts in one place and pay bills before overdraft fees or late charges get the best of you.

  • Get it for iOS (free, 4+/5 Apple store rating)
  • Get it for Android (free, 4/5 Google Play store rating)
  • Website: https://check.me

3. Best Parking

Users are clear—Best Parking is a winner app as far as they’re concerned! This app helps you find the best deals on parking in the city, at/near the airport, and anywhere you’re headed. And if you discover an error in pricing while using the app, you’ll get a free $5 Starbucks gift card for reporting it.

4. Compare Bookings

Compare Bookings is a free app that does all the heavy lifting of comparing pricing for travel, hotels, airfare and vacation packages. The app will look at Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity and others, then deliver its verdict on where you can find the best deals. You can also receive alerts about new deals the moment they’re released so you don't miss out.

  • Get it for iOS (free, 4+/5 Apple store rating)

5. Upside

Upside combines social media and deals to deliver you discounts, coupons and savings when you "like" or share your favorite brands via social media. The deals are delivered right to your smart device, and you can then redeem them from your device at checkout. The more you use it, the more you can save (Upside is also a game that awards you points when you share your great deals with friends).

  • Get it for iOS (free, 4+/5 Apple store rating)
  • Get it for Android (coming soon – sign up for the waiting list)
  • Get it for Windows (free, 4.5/5 store rating)
  • Website: http://upsideapp.com

6. Mighty Grocery

Mighty Grocery is a new app that combines just about everything you would ever need to do to keep your grocery bills in check. The app combines a grocery list maker, a meal planner, a pantry manager, a barcode scanner, a Favorites list, a purchase history, a catalog, and a coupon indicator—all in one—and all for free.

7. Price Jump

Price Jump is a new app from Savings.com. This app is like Amazon Price Checker but better—because it compares Amazon and NON-Amazon prices all in one app! Now you can decide if you really should buy (whatever it is) on Amazon, or if you can get a better deal with another merchant (including Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Macy's and hundreds of other well-known retailers).

8. Shop for Kids

Shop for Kids gives you real-time price comparisons, price drop alerts and expert ratings that tell you how easy/difficult the toy is to assemble and operate. You can also enter a daily giveaway, keep personalized lists (including birthday reminders), read about trending toys, and click in-app to purchase toys directly from various retailers. This app is a super time-saver for busy parents!!


8 Cash-Saving Apps to Support Your New Year’s Budget Resolutions