Mobile Apps – Can You Live Without Them? I Can’t!

How many apps do you have on your phone? Do you use them on a regular basis? Studies show that 85% of the people only use 5 apps on their phone but have over 20 apps downloaded. So that got me to thinking about which apps I have on my phone that I actually use? I did a little polling of my friends to get their take on it too. Here’s a small glimpse at what we collectively have and why we like them.

  1. Your Banking App – All of us use our banking apps. With most banking apps, you can have them send you alerts if your balance goes below the amount you set. They also allow you to transfer money into your different accounts while just sitting on your couch shopping on Amazon! I personally like the Banking App because I have two teenage boys that have ATM cards.  Instead of me running to give them cash, I can just transfer $20 into their account. Another bonus is that I can ask them to run to the store, buy some groceries or supplies and see exactly what they spent and transfer the money. I don’t even need to ask for change anymore!
  2. Amazon – Who doesn’t have an Amazon App? It makes shopping so easy and if you have Amazon Prime, its free shipping in two days. With Amazon, you can have ‘wish lists’ for various family members. Again, this is helpful for a busy family. Just yesterday, I ordered some dog treats, coffee syrup and a pair of shorts for my son. All within 3 minutes and I didn’t have to leave my house. Plus, they will be delivered to my doorstep in two days.
  3. Ibotta – I personally don’t use this app, but am planning to start using it.  My neighbor does and she just announced that she has saved $300 in the past 6 months by using this app (sidenote – she does a lot of shopping!).  How it works:  Before you shop, you can add rebates on products by completing simple tasks.  Then shop at any of the participating stores.  Keep your receipt.  To redeem your rebates, you take a photo of the receipt.  Ibotta will match the items you bought to the rebates you selected and give you the cash back.  It’s deposited into your PayPal account.
  4. FreePrints – If you are like me, you take a ton of photos and they are all saved on your phone. I rarely would take the time to print them. But with FreePrints its super easy and quick. There is no subscription involved which is great. How it works:  You get up to 85 free 4 x 6 prints per month and up to 1,000 4 x 6 prints per year. They have other sized prints too, but there is a cost to them.  All you pay for is the shipping.  Shipping costs start at $1.99 and will never exceed $9.99.
  5. Sam’s Club – I use the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app every single time I shop at Sams. Super easy.  How it works:  Scan each of the items when you add them to your cart. When you are ready to check out you just click on check out and it charges the credit card or bank card you have previously inputted into the app. Skip the check-out lines and when you get to the door, the attendant will scan your phone and approve your purchases.Out the door you go. Saves so much time and all your purchases are stored in your app.  If you need to return something, you can show them the receipt on your phone.
  6. CamScanner – I have to admit, I probably don’t use this app to the best of its ability. But it sure has come in handy. With this app, I can use my phone and ‘scan’ any document and save it as a .pdf and then email it. One example was when I was out of town traveling and needed to sign some financial documents. I ran to the hotel business office, printed the documents out, signed them and then scanned them into my phone and emailed them back from my phone. It was easy and slick. There are other features to the app too, but I’ve used it mainly for scanning a document that I have signed and need to send it back quickly.
  7. WhiteNoise – Yes, I use this app.  With my travel schedule and multiple hotel stays, this app has helped me tremendously. I have the free version, but there is a $.99 version too. Basically, the app gives you a lot of sounds to choose from to block out other sounds in the area. It is extremely helpful when my hotel room is next to the ice machine or the elevator. Sounds can range from cars driving to a vacuum cleaner. I, personally, enjoy the oscillating fan sound.
  8. Expensify – This app has saved me a ton of paperwork for work related receipts. As many of you know, when you travel for work, you need to keep track of your expenses. At Saffire, we use Expensify to submit our monthly reports. I have the app downloaded on my phone and I NEVER keep a receipt again. With expensify, I take a photo of the receipt, tag it for whatever event or conference I am attending, then I categorize it in meals, transportation, booth fees etc. I can even add a comment to the receipt to explain it more. It takes a little bit of effort to setup the tags and categories, but it’s well worth it. Last week I was traveling in Canada. This app allowed me to select the currency my credit card was charged and it changed it automatically in my reports. It will be easy for me to cross check and verify the correct charges when I receive the credit card statement. All of this literally takes me seconds to do. I never save a receipt anymore. When I return to the office to fill out my expense report, it is already completed. I review it, and click send.
  9. ComfortBase – This app spoils me.  My husband and I recently purchased a new bed.  The kind where my side can elevate differently than his.  Yes, the bed comes with two remotes.  But, with this app downloaded on my phone, I can have it programmed for my side of the bed AND for his side of the bed.  The beauty of it being on your phone is I can click on ‘snore mode’ at 2 am and his side will elevate to where it’s supposed to be.   The downside of this app is that I can’t freak him out and automatically raise his side of the bed when I’m traveling.  It runs on Bluetooth and I need to be near it to do that.
  10. GroupMe – GroupMe has been an app that I have used for a few years. It is a free group messaging chat room. You can have as many people as you chose to be in the group. Whether it’s a group of co-workers, family members, friends, etc.  It works better than trying to send out a mass text to a variety of phone numbers. Just this last weekend, one of our neighbors sent out a GroupMe text and said they were inviting everyone over at 4 pm for a Bean Bag/Corn Hole Tournament. Everyone responded to the invitation via the app. The great thing about GroupMe is that it allows everyone in your group the option of responding within the app or just by regular SMS text messages.

I am also a parent to two teenage boys.  With that being said, I have quite a few apps on my phone that are school and sports related (most communities have similar types of apps available).  A few that I use regularly are:

  • My School Bucks – it allows me to add money to my kids’ lunch fund and to see how much is left.  No more checks need to be sent with the child to school.
  • Power Schools – Our school district uses Power Schools.  This app allows me to see my child’s grades, test scores, attendance and more at my fingertips.  I’m even able to send messages to the teachers via the app.
  • Meet Mobile – My neighbor’s family are swimmers.  This app keeps them up to date on the swimmers in the area and whoever else they are tracking to see what their times and places are for the multiple meets happening each weekend.
  • LeagueAthletics – My son is a lacrosse player and I am the team manager.  This app is super easy for me to update the scores of the games while sitting at the field.  It will also push out notifications to all the families for quick references.

I can see how overwhelming it can be to have so many app options out there, but these are just a few of the apps that I use almost daily. Like I mentioned, the average person has 20+ apps and after just counting, I have 46 apps on my phone.   How many do you have?


Jodi Written with love by: Jodi Buresh!

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