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5 Phone Apps that Make Saving Money Easy

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5 Phone Apps that Make Saving Money Easy

Sometimes life is too busy to save money.

Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Kids, appointments, work, errands. When you’re exhausted, hungry, and busy, you just can’t bring yourself to think about finances.

Instead of looking for that cheaper option at the grocery store, so you grab the brand. You could probably find free parking, but you’re busy, so you pay a garage.

We all do it. But saving those nickels and dimes can make a huge difference in the long run.

That’s where these nifty phone apps come in handy. They’re free, easy to use, and help save those extra dollars when life is too busy.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Mint (Save Money by Budgeting)

Mint is a budgeting app that puts all of your finances into one location. It links all of your accounts – banks, credit cards, loans, etc – and displays them in one place.

It displays all of your financial information in an easy-to-understand graph. This format helps you see the big picture of your money – where you’re spending too much, how much money is left in your budget, etc.

Check out this screenshot:

Mint

Mint is available on Apple products and Android. And Mint has device carryover, which means you can view the same information on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet.

If you update the information on your phone, you can look at your laptop and see the same information update.

Mint sends alerts through email or SMS (Short Message Service) to let you know when a bill is due. Super helpful when life is crazy and you forgot your credit card bill was due.

Mint also sends out weekly summary emails to let you know what happened in the past week with your finances.

It’s like a personal secretary for your finances in your pocket.

2. Ibotta (Save Money Grocery Shopping)

Ibotta is a phone app that enables you to earn cash back when you spend money in-store and online. It’s fantastic for saving money when buying groceries.

Ibotta

Here’s how it works:

• Down the free app, and create an account.
• Before going to the store, check out Ibotta to see which items will give you cash back.
• After your shopping trip, take a photo of the receipt, and scan the barcode of the product.
• Cash is deposited to your Ibotta account.

Yup. It’s that easy!

Once you accumulate $20.00 in your Ibotta account, you can withdraw it with PayPal or Venmo. You can also exchange your balance for gift cards.

Sometimes the gift cards are offered at a discount. For example, you may only need to give $10 from your Ibotta account for a $15 gift card.

And it’s more than just groceries. Get in the habit of checking your Ibotta app before shopping anywhere, because Ibotta can also get cash back on:

• Clothes
• Traveling
• Restaurants
• Electronics
• Convenient stores
• And more

It may take one or two tries before you the hang of it, but it gets easier to use over time. Signing up is easy and the app is user-friendly.

Depending on how much you use the app, you can save anywhere from a couple of dollars a month to $100 a month.

Ibotta is like the modern-day couponing.

3. Ebates (Save Money Shopping)

Some hardcore couponers spend hours scouring the web for good deals. Ebates makes this process a lot easier by putting them in one place and organizing them.

Ebates offers coupons at select stores. You also get cash back from Ebates.

It’s great for online shopping and in-store shopping.

Ebates

How it works online:

• Create an account, then go to the App (or ebates.com).
• Search for the store you want to shop at.
• Click “Shop Now” and browse the store as you normally would.
• After making a purchase, a percentage appears up in your Ebates account.

Note: it can take up to 7 days after purchase for the cashback to show up in your Ebate account.

For example, let’s say Ebates offers 5% off for shopping at Best Buy, so you purchase a $1000 TV. After buying it, you get $50 back within 7 days.

How it works in-store:

Any time you’re about to check out somewhere, pull up your Ebates app and see if there are any coupons or deals. This will save money on your purchases.

Plus you might find a good deal on an item in-store that you didn’t pick up. Turn your cart around and snag it!

Before leaving home to go shopping, take some time to browse Ebates. You’ll spot some great deals, and that it can help guide you on which stores to shop at.

Essentially, you’re saving money while just doing your routine, every-day shopping.

4. Raise (Save Money with Gift Cards)

Raise is a genius phone app that buys and sells gift cards. When people don’t want their gift cards or want extra money, they sell their gift cards to Raise.

In turn, Raise will sell these gift cards at prices lower than the card’s worth. For example, you might be able to buy a $25 gift card to Applebee’s for $20 dollars.

Raise commonly has gift cards to a variety of locations, such as:

• Walmart
• Lowe’s
• T.J. Maxx
• Dick’s
• Outback

Raise

Their selection of gift cards fluctuates, but at any given time there’s a decent variety and number of gift cards to choose from.

The app is very easy to navigate. Its displays prices clearly, so there isn’t a lot of tapping and investigating. You can check if a place has a gift card on this app within a minute.

Raise offers buyers a guarantee that all gift cards are good for at least 1 year. This means the gift cards won’t be inactive, expired, or have less money on them than presented.

Otherwise, you get your money back.

You can request physical cards (it takes 3-14 days), but I suggest redeeming gift cards online, right from the app. This is much more convenient and quick.

The trick is to always check the app before paying anywhere. If you’re eating a restaurant, look at your Raise app before paying for the meal. There might be a good gift card.

This will knock your bills down a couple of dollars for many purchases.

5. Drop (Save Money by Earning Rewards)

Drop is an app that gives you reward points when you shop at your favorite stores.

After you accumulate enough rewards, you can redeem those rewards for a gift card at those stores.

Here’s how to get started:

• Download the app at Google Play or iTunes. Or, you can go to the Drop website. Click on ‘Get the app.’ Enter your phone number and they’ll text you a link where you can download the app.
• Create a profile, then link a credit or debit card.
• Select your favorite brands.
• Shop at those stores with your linked card.
• Start spending the points you accumulate.

Pretty simple.

Drop

Once you earn 5,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards. 5,000 points equal out to $5 across the board. You can spend in multiples. For example, 25,000 points can give you a $25 gift card to Amazon.

This app works best for your regular purchases. If you buy coffee from Starbucks a lot or do all of your shopping at Walmart, go for those brands.

It can take up to 24 hours before the app registers your purchase and gives you points.

You don’t need to change your habits. Just continue to live life like you normally do, and make money while doing it.

Then, when the time comes, redeem those points for a killer gift card.
Practice Using these Apps and Start Saving

It might take some time to get used to a phone app, but it’s worth it. Saving extra dollars at a restaurant or at a retailer adds up over time.
That’s more money for bills, paying off debt, and saving for those big goals – like a car, college, or house.

If you don’t understand the app right away, give it some time. You’ll get the hang of it.

If you’re stumped, check out a YouTube tutorial to guide you. For example, here is a tutorial for the app Mint.

Any question can be answered by the internet in a few minutes.

Pull out your phone, head over the app store, download the suggested apps, and get busy saving.

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Economy

STUDY: Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade

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Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade
Image via Shutterstock

The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s wealthiest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined last year, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

Meanwhile, unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the world’s economy each year at least $10.8 trillion than the technology industry, the Nairobi-based charity said in its “Time to Care” report.

Women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without any pay or recognition, while the world’s 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

“It is important for us to underscore that the hidden engine of the economy that we see is really the unpaid care work of women. And that needs to change,” Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, told Reuters.

“Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist,” Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam beginning Tuesday.

“Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today’s economic system,” he added.

There will be at least 119 billionaires worth about $500 billion attending Davos this year, according to Bloomberg, with the highest contingents coming from the US, India and Russia.

“The very top of the economic pyramid sees trillions of dollars of wealth in the hands of a very small group of people, predominantly men,” the Oxfam report said.

“Their wealth is already extreme, and our broken economy concentrates more and more wealth into these few hands,” it said.

To highlight the inequality, Behar cited the case of a woman called Buchu Devi in India who spends up to 17 hours a day walking almost two miles to fetch water, cooking, preparing her kids for school and working in a poorly paid job.

“And on the one hand you see the billionaires who are all assembling at Davos with their personal planes, personal jets, super rich lifestyles,” he said.

“This Buchu Devi is not one person. I in India encounter these women on a daily basis, and this is the story across the world. We need to change this, and certainly end this billionaire boom.”

Behar said that to remedy the problem, governments should make sure above all that the rich pay their taxes, which should be used to pay for amenities such as clean water, health care and better schools.

“If you just look around the world, more than 30 countries are seeing protests. People are on the street and what are they saying? That they are not to accept this inequality, they are not going to live with these kind of conditions,” he said.

Source: New York Post
Vanguard News

(c) 2020 2019 Vanguard Media Limited, Nigeria Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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Finance

Dow Jones Industrial Average Breaks 29,000 For The First Time in History

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Screenshot of Dow Jones Industrial chart taken January 15, 2020.
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer

Slight gains send Dow Jones Industrial Average above 29,000!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit its second record high in three days Wednesday.

The milestones came on a day when the market traded in a narrow range as investors weighed the latest batch of corporate earnings reports and the widely anticipated signing of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump and China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1″ deal before a group of corporate executives and reporters at the White House. The pact eases some sanctions on China. In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods.

“This was telegraphed well enough that the market is kind of looking through it and toward the next phase and what that means,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.

Health care stocks accounted for much of the market’s gains. Utilities and makers of household goods also rose. Those gains outweighed losses in financial stocks, companies that rely on consumer spending and the energy sector.

The S&P 500 index rose 6.14 points, or 0.2%, to 3,289.29. The index also climbed to an all-time high on Monday.

The Dow gained 90.55 points, or 0.3%, to 29,030.22. The Nasdaq composite added 7.37 points, or 0.1%, to 9,258.70.

Smaller-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 6.66 points, or 0-4%, to 1,682.40.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is on track for its second straight weekly gain.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.78% from 1.81% late Tuesday.

While limited in its scope, investors have welcomed the U.S.-China deal in hopes that it will prevent further escalation in the 18-month long trade conflict that has slowed global growth, hurt American manufacturers and weighed on the Chinese economy. The world’s two largest economies will now have to deal with more contentious trade issues as they move ahead with negotiations. And punitive tariffs will remain on about $360 billion in Chinese goods as talks continue.

With the “Phase 1” agreement now a done deal, investors have more reason to focus on the rollout of corporate earnings reports over the next few weeks. Earnings have been flat to down for the last three quarters, and if the fourth quarter meets expectations, it should be around the same.

However, analysts are projecting 2020 corporate earnings growth to jump around 9.5%, which is why traders will be listening this earnings reporting season for any clues management teams give about their business prospects in coming months.

“We’re expecting a reacceleration in the back end of the year, so any (company) guidance that brings any type of skepticism to that could threaten the recent rally we’ve had and the gains that we’ve accrued in the past few months,” Buchanan said.

Health care stocks powered much of the market’s gains Wednesday. Several health insurers climbed as investors cheered a solid fourth-quarter earnings report from UnitedHealth Group.

The nation’s largest health insurer, which covers more than 49 million people, said its revenue rose 4% on a mix of insurance premiums and growth from urgent care and surgery centers. Its stock rose 2.8%. Other health insurers also moved higher. Anthem gained 1.6%, Cigna added 1.5% and Humana climbed 1.9%.

Technology companies also rose. The sector is reliant on China for sales and supply chains and benefits from better trade relations. Microsoft gained 0.7% and Advanced Micro Devices gained 0.8%.

Utilities and consumer staples sector stocks also notched gains. Edison International climbed 2.5% and PepsiCo rose 1.7%.

Financial stocks fell the most. Bank of America slid 1.8% after reporting weaker profits due to the rapid decline of interest rates in late 2019.

Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil. Valero Energy dropped 3.3%.

Homebuilders marched broadly higher on news that U.S. home loan applications surged 30.2% last week from a week earlier. The pickup in mortgage applications reflects heightened demand for homes and suggests many buyers are eager to purchase a home now, rather than waiting for the traditional late-February start of the spring homebuying season. Hovnanian Enterprises jumped 6.4%.

Target slumped 6.6% after a disappointing holiday shopping season prompted the retailer to cut its forecast for a key sales measure in the fourth quarter. The company said weak sales of electronics, toys and home goods crimped sales growth to just 1.4% in November and December.

Benchmark crude oil fell 42 cents to settle at $57.81 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped 49 cents to close at $64 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.64 per gallon. Heating oil declined 3 cents to $1.88 per gallon. Natural gas fell 7 cents to $2.12 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $9.70 to $1,552.10 per ounce, silver rose 25 cents to $17.92 per ounce and copper fell 1 cent to $2.87 per pound.

The dollar fell to 109.91 Japanese yen from 110.00 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1150 from $1.1128.

Markets in Europe closed mostly lower.

AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed.

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benefits

Andrew Yang Wants You to Make Money Off Your Data by Making it Your Personal Property

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Andrew Yang, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, plans to regulate the tech industry by prioritizing in giving people the right to own their personal data (“data as a property right”), thus allowing them to make money by sharing it with companies. Currently, companies entirely own users’ data – users do not have much control over it.

Yang said, “our data is now worth more than oil” and gave emphasis to the great amount of data people create and how companies make money over it. “By implementing measures to increase transparency in the data collection and monetization process, individuals can begin to reclaim ownership of what’s theirs,” he said.

He also cited a report saying that the collection and use of Americans’ personal data has become a $198 billion industry. Yang believes that people should have more control over their data, such as being able to see how their data is being used and having the freedom to opt out if they choose.

Yang added that we need politicians “who understand technology and a modern way to regulate it,” as reported by Engadget. “In order to regulate technology effectively, our government needs to understand it. It’s embarrassing to see the ignorance some members of Congress display when talking about technology, and anyone who watched Congress question Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of this,” said Yang.

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