Budget planning is typically neither fun nor simple, and it often causes a great deal of stress. It can be easy deciding not to buy an extra pair of jeans in an attempt to save money. But it’s not as easy to decide to cut back on essential groceries.
The average American household spends about $7,729 on food per year. That’s a sum of money that can actually be difficult to manage. Luckily, those needing help can rely on various budget planning apps to reduce their expenses and save some extra money on food.
These apps can have a variety of different features, but most of them function in a similar manner.
Budget Planning Apps Give Users a Better Insight into Their Finances
To take advantage of all the features of a budget planning app, the user needs to sync their bank account, credit card account – even their retirement savings account with the app.
The more accounts the app is connected with, the more insight the user has into their exact finances.
This allows people to create a better budget plan, as users are aware of the exact amount of money they have at their disposal.
You Can Learn Where Your Money Goes
Aside from providing information about where the money comes from, these apps can show users where they spend the majority of their income.
As stated before, these apps are usually connected with most financial accounts. This allows them to present information about how much people have spent on bills, entertainment, restaurants, groceries, etc.
Armed with this information, users can easily decide between cutting back on their spending. Certain apps can offer financial advice as needed. For example, if too much money is spent on eating out. If you are not spending enough on buying groceries, the app can alert you and offer suggestions on how to balance out your finances.
Compare and Contrast Prices
The biggest advantage of some budget planning apps is that they have information about the current prices in different grocery stores. Of course, not all stores have available online information about their prices. But having insight into some of the current prices does allow the users to shop at the most affordable stores.
Saving just a few dollars on grocery shopping can quickly add up to make a difference in the budget. Certain apps allow users to invest their spare change and put the money saved on groceries to work.
Collect Coupons for Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping is still expensive, even when it’s done in the most affordable stores. Luckily, many budget planning apps do provide users with coupons or discount codes so that they can save even more.
Depending on the app, users can save on groceries in a few different ways. Some apps offer discounts after the user’s initiated the shopping session on the app before checkout. Others require them to activate their digital coupons, and others still can be connected to grocery store loyalty cards.
Certain apps give users the option to get a small percentage back on their entire grocery purchases. The percentage usually depends on the retailer, and it’s for online purchases only. However, if the user’s credit card is connected to the app, they can get their money back when they shop in person.
Try Out Your Shopping Decisions
Certain budget planning apps allow users to experiment with their shopping decisions beforehand. Without spending a dime, users can see how their purchases will affect the rest of their budget. Therefore, they can decide whether the thing they want to buy is worth it or not.
Users can also incorporate potential savings through coupons and discounts to see how they add up and affect the bottom line.
A Word of Caution
While budget planning apps can, in fact, help users save money on grocery shopping, all this means little if they compromise the user’s personal information.
The biggest concern with these apps is that they request to be synced with bank and credit card accounts. This makes them a target for cybercriminals. They can use this information and cause financial trouble to the users.
Those planning to use these apps are advised to install a VPN as well. A VPN protects the users by hiding and encrypting their connection and preventing outsiders from accessing their device.
Budget planning apps can prove to be advantageous to the users and can help them save quite a lot of money on grocery shopping. To protect themselves and their sensitive information, users should take precautions and use these apps together with a VPN.