8 Great Smartphone Apps to Save You Money

Nobody likes paying more than they have to. At least no one I know.

But going out of your way to find the best price can cost you more time than you have to lose. Running around town to price shop. Comparing multiple websites. Flipping through circulars and clipping, organizing and keeping track of coupons. There’s gotta be an easier way.

Fortunately, for smartphone users, there’s a cache of mobile phone apps to help you cash in on the best deals and save all over the place. Whether you’re looking to score at major retailers, land the lowest last-minute hotel rate or consistently pay less at the pump, these are among the top money-saving apps to get pumped about.

All are free and iPhone/Android compatible.

RedLaser
Let’s say you’re at a major office supply store looking for a new laptop or tablet. Wouldn’t you love to know what the “other guys” are selling it for without making an additional trip? Armed with the RedLaser Bar Code and QR scanner app, just scan a product’s barcode and you can pull up pricing on the same item at major competitors. Additional perks include coupon notifications and the ability to scan and save all of your loyalty card info in one place.

Hotel Tonight
Who says you snooze you lose? You can wait until the last minute and still land an amazing deal on an upscale hotel stay. With Hotel Tonight, you can score discounts of up to 70% on same-day stays at high-end hotels. Great rates get posted after noon each day for deals in 12 countries and over 150 prime locations.

shopkick
You don’t even have to buy anything to get something with shopkick. You see, with shopkick, you get points (or “kicks”) just for walking into a store. And you can put your kicks toward gift certificates at participating retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Old Navy and more. Those who spend, of course, get more kicks.

ShopAdvisor
If you already know what you want, ShopAdvisor can help you get it when it’s priced right. With ShopAdvisor, you scan the barcode of something you have your heart set on. It’ll end up on your “watch list” so that whenever it goes on sale (at a store in your vicinity), you’ll be the first to know.

GasBuddy
The staggeringly high prices we’re seeing at the pump have fueled just about all of us to be more frugal in one way or another. GasBuddy puts road warriors in the driver’s seat by alerting where in town you can top off the tank for the lowest price.

RepairPal
If there was only a quick fix to the grind of finding a qualified mechanic. Wait…there is. Download the RepairPal app and know what price you should pay for your repair. What’s more, the app locates qualified mechanics in your area, tracks all your repairs, and offers one-touch access to roadside assistance.

RetailMeNot
With RetailMeNot, customers get the benefit of retail coupon savings without the hassle of having to physically have them in hand (simply show your phone at checkout.) With the app, you can quickly pull up coupons or coupon codes at loads of major retailers.

Viggle
TV junkies can have their fix with the Viggle. Download the app and “check in” to register the show you’re watching (you’ll earn one point per minute). You can earn bonus points for watching featured programs, too. Points are redeemable for gift cards and other prizes.

Smartphone Apps to Simplify Your Life

While many smartphone users might be dazzled with the fact that there are more than 1 million apps on the market, you’re not necessarily one of them. After all, you’re nothing if not practical. Only if an app can truly make your information-loaded life and day-to-day doings easier are you apt to try it.

Here’s a small sampling of smartphone apps designed to do just that. All are free and iPhone and Android compatible.

Grocery iQ
You can shop smarter at the grocery store with the Grocery iQ app. Along with storing and organizing grocery lists, the app also tallies up your bill before you hit the checkout thanks to a built-in barcode scanner. Focused on saving you money, Grocery iQ is rife with coupon incentives, too.

Dropbox
You’ve got loads of important files…on everything from your work computer, to your home desktop and your personal laptop. Ever wish you could access them all in one place? Now you can. Dropbox lets you store your files in the cloud and access them from anywhere via the Internet.

Mint.com
If getting a better grip on your income, spending and investments is top of mind, you might well find the Mint.com app invaluable. Giving you the big picture, this app lets you see all of your financial accounts in one place. Focused on dollars and cents, too, Mint.com’s app tracks all of your spending (categorizing it for better budgeting), provides bill-payment alerts, suggest ways to save…and more.

Smartr Contacts
You know you have their contact information. You just can’t recall where it is off the top of your head. The Smartr Contacts app provides search functionality across your many address books – including your iPhone contacts, Twitter connections, Facebook friends, LinkedIn colleagues, Gmail contacts and more.

Key Ring or CardStar
With all the store loyalty cards you’ve collected through the years, that key ring of yours is getting awfully crowded, isn’t it? Say good-bye to carrying around loyalty cards and hello to apps including Key Ring and CardStar. They allow you to scan your loyalty card information into your phone and store barcodes and account numbers in digital format. At checkout, store clerks simply scan the loyalty barcode on your phone.

EverNote
You never know when a great idea is going to strike. Thankfully, the EverNote app lets you take notes, snap photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders to help you stay on track and improve productivity while you’re on the go. Making your notes completely searchable, EverNote syncs across all of your computers and devices and jibes with other apps including Facebook and Twitter.

Password-Protect Areas of Your Website in 4 Easy Steps

There are situations when having an area (a directory or a page) of your site accessible by password makes a lot of sense. For example, let’s say that you do a lot of freelance work and you need a place online to show your work to one of your clients.  You don’t want to make the work visible to everyone, so being able to set up a password that you can relay to your client makes it easy for him to review your work without exposing confidential information about the job to anyone who happens to check out your site.

EarthLink’s Web Hosting Control Center makes it easy to add a password to any area of your website. The key to remember beforehand is to structure your content in folders (directories). This will make it simpler to section-off the specific directory you want to have password-protected. Using the example of having several clients, you would want to be sure that each one has his own directory (even sub-directories for specific jobs would be helpful).

Now that you’ve got your site organized into directories, you can add password protection to one or as many as you like. Simply log into Control Center, select Manage Site > Website Security.

Step 1: Select the directory you want to password-protect and click “Edit Directory.” You might need to drill down to see sections of your site. They’re almost always under the main /public/ directory.

Step 2: Set Username and Password. For example, here is where you would create a username and password for your client. Click “Add User.”

NOTE: If you need to delete a user from the list, simply select from the dropdown and click “Delete User.”

Step 3: On the right, look to see that the “Service is currently Enabled.”

Step 4: Click “Apply” and you have successfully password-protected that directory!

You will need to give your client the username and password you created. When he accesses it, he will be prompted to login in order to view this area.

Even if you don’t have separate directories for everything on your site, this still works for individual pages as well.