The top 10 money-saving apps
The app world is fast-moving, with hundreds of new apps released daily. While most fall into the entertainment category, some offer savvy consumers a neat money-saving angle. Here's our round-up of some of the best money-related apps on the market.
This instant messaging app has the potential to save text-mad people a fortune, as it uses Wi-Fi networks to send messages. This means you don't have to eat into the SMS bundles you buy from your mobile phone network operator.
You can send free photos, video and even audio clips too, making it something of a rival to Skype. However, be aware that you'll need the person you want to communicate with to also have the app and while it's free for the first year, it will cost 69p after that.
Best money-saving feature: The fact you can save a fortune if you need to communicate with friends and family who are overseas.
An app from the creators of the popular mySupermarket website, this allows you to create a shopping list of groceries, then work out where it would be cheapest to do your shopping. With families racking up more than £100 a week at the supermarket, the potential for cost-savings with this app is huge.
Best money-saving feature: The barcode scanner allows you to check the products in your own cupboard to see where they are cheapest – on that day.
Uses crowdsourcing to provide a user-updated database of petrol prices across the UK – and most of Europe. This means you can search for the cheapest petrol station near you, saving a good whack in the long term. It works superbly in areas where users regularly update prices, less so in areas not covered by the app's database.
Best money-saving feature: An integrated directions service allows you to easily plot your way to the cheapest petrol pumps.
One of the most popular taxi apps on the market, though it is only for people living in London. Kabbee compares more than 60 minicab firms across the capital to find the cheapest price; and you can book by car type, price and arrival time, and rate as well as view other users' ratings for that firm.
Best money-saving feature: If you become a regular user, you can pay into a pre-paid Kabbee account and book a taxi even when you have no cash on you.
This app allows you to perform market research for third-party companies who are in need of consumer research. You become an ‘agent', answering survey questions and performing small tasks for cash sums – collectively, this allows the client to gather large samples of data.
Best money-saving feature: You can search for market research jobs anywhere near you, meaning you can earn a little something even on your lunch break.
This mobile wallet lets you keep multiple loyalty cards on your phone, as well as redeem vouchers curated from Myvouchercodes.co.uk. You can also join loyalty schemes and buy retailers' gift cards through the app. Retailers who sign up to zwallet can also send on exclusive discounts and deals to users.
Best money-saving feature: You can sign up to new loyalty schemes at the touch of a button, offering you instant access to rewards and bonuses.
7. Meter readings
This one is simple – it's an app that offers an easy way to keep track of your utility meters. All you have to do is enter your readings along with your usage, and it will calculate how much you are paying and where you could make savings. Graphs help users to see exactly why their gas and electricity bills are so high, with costs displayed by the day, week, month or quarter.
Best money-saving feature: You can also compare your usage and costs against energy supplier prices in your area to see if a rival supplier is cheaper; plus, you can also initiate a switch directly from your device if you decide to change supplier.
Such are the vagaries of the British rail ticketing system that it can sometimes be cheaper to book several short journeys instead of one long one. This app allows you to see whether it would be cheaper to do so for any journey you might wish to make in the future. For example, if you are travelling from London to Manchester and the train stops at Crewe, it could be cheaper to get a single for London to Crewe, and then a single from Crewe to Manchester.
Best money-saving feature: The app will scan all the stations on your journey and find which would be cheapest for you to split at, meaning you do not have to think of multiple stations at every stage of your journey and perform separate searches for each.
9. XE Currency
Mirroring all the best features of the popular website, it's a currency converter with every world currency available at the touch of a button. This makes it handy for all types of holidaymaker, whether they are travelling to Majorca or Mumbai.
Best money-saving feature: A handy offline mode means you can check if exchange rates are correct without incurring a data charge. You can also use it as a ready-reckoner when you're out shopping, at no extra cost.
Apparently, 20 million people are already using this app, which compares millions of flights from more than 1,000 airlines to find the best prices. It will scan all types of flight, whether that's low-cost or scheduled, and it will then filter results by price, airline and take-off and landing times.
Best money-saving feature: Once you've found the best deal, you can buy tickets directly from the airline or via a travel agent.
The apps Moneywise has previously championed
EBAY: makes it even easier to sell unwanted items on the online auctioneer's website
GROUPON: the ubiquitous daily deals website has an app
HMRC TAX CALCULATOR: helps you work out income tax you need to pay
KAYAK: one-stop shop for flight and hotel deals
MUSIC MAGPIE: helps you sell unwanted CDs, DVDs, games, etc
RATED PEOPLE: helps you find reliable tradespeople
REDLASER: searches for the cheapest place to buy goods
SKYPE: popular free video-calling and messaging app
TOSHL: ace budgeting tool
VOUCHERCLOUD: shopping and eating voucher code apps
WEQ4U: finds free alternatives to '08' numbers
WHICH? YOUR RIGHTS: practical mobile guide to your consumer rights
The difference between two currencies; specifically how much one currency is worth relative to each other. For example, if £1 is worth $1.50, converting sterling to US dollars, the exchange rate is 1.5. Converting dollars to sterling at those levels, the exchange rate is 0.66, so $1 is worth 66p. There are a wide variety of factors that influence the exchange rate, such as a country’s interest rates, inflation, and the state of politics and the economy in that country.