17 Money Saving Tools for Millennials

There
 are an innumerate number of guides out there on couponing and investment apps.
 I’ve found most of them to not be helpful, as they suggest things I either
 already know, or take too much time and don’t work with my lifestyle.

This
 is a no-nonsense guide to saving money for busy people. It prioritizes high
 impact areas to save and is based off the spending habits of Millennials.

These
 are all apps and programs that I actively use and have hand picked out of the
 hundreds or thousands out there. What’s crucial to keep in mind is the
 compounding effect between them and opportunities to double dip.

I’ve
 broadly broken my tools into four categories:

Banking

1. High-Interest Bank Account

A
 high-interest saving (or checking) account is my top tip to save more money.
 Simply put, these accounts help your money grow fast. That’s because it
 multiplies all of the other actions you’re already taking. High-interest
 savings accounts offer interest rates in the 2.00–2.50% range. That adds up to
 $20 per $1,000 in your account over the course of the year.

Here
 are two great offers to start with:

  • Barclays Online Savings
     account offers 2.20% interest with no minimum deposit.
  • Simple
     offers a 2.02% interest bearing checking account with a minimum $2,000
     balance.

2. Student Loan Refinance

Student loan refinancing is a pretty standard
 strategy most people will bring up, but one thing I want to bring to attention
 is the promotions that banks will run on refinancing. While you should probably
 always go for the best refinancing rate you’re offered, keep an eye out for
 mailings or online ads for gift cards or cash back. If you’ve put off refinancing
 for years already, it might be advantageous to see what promotions you can
 qualify.

Earnest,
 Sofi, and a number of other online lenders offer cash bonuses of $200+ for
 loans over $20,000. I have even seen promotions from Citizens Bank for a $1,000
 Apple gift card (half price MacBook anyone?).

3. High Reward Credit Card

Throw
 out your 1% cash back credit cards, and see the world of rewarding
 opportunities out there. Similar to a high-interest bank account, a rewards
 credit card is a multiplying effect to other actions you’re taking.

There
 are entire guides breaking down the pros and cons of each high reward credit
 cards, so if you have something particular you’re looking for, I suggest
 checking out one of those guides. After personally looking through them all,
 I’ve found the best card for my spending habits is the Barclays Uber Visa Card. Here are some of the
 rewards details:

  • $100
     sign up bonus for spending $500 in 90 days
  • 4% cash
     back on restaurants and UberEATS
  • 3% cash
     back on airfare, hotels and travel agencies which includes sites like
     Airbnb and VRBO
  • 2% cash
     back on all online purchases and Uber services
  • 1% cash
     back on everything else
  • $50
     Online Subscription Credit Anniversary Benefit (Netflix, Amazon
     Prime, Hulu, etc.)
  • Supplemental
     cell phone insurance, when bill is paid with card

Receipt Apps

4. Ibotta

Earn
 cash back on everyday purchases right from your phone. Ibotta
 started as a grocery store rebate service and has since branched out to off
 cash back on hundreds of brands in store and online. Simply select the offers
 for items you plan to buy and scan your receipt at the end of your shopping
 trip. Cash back will appear on your account within 24 hours and you can
 transfer it out by Venmo. My reasons for suggesting this app over the handful
 of competitors is threefold: constant new offers/promotions, cash back on
 alcohol, and cash back on “any item” purchases.

They’re
 always offering promotions (extra $5 when you redeem 10 offers) and adding new
 retailers ($1 cash back on Uber rides).

Going
 to a party? Check out the app for cash back on beer, wine, and spirits that
 range from $2 to $10.

“Any
 item” rebates come in two forms.

  • Any
     item in a category, such as $0.25 cash back on any apples
  • Any
     item in the store, such as $0.25 cash back for scanning your grocery store
     receipt

5. Fetch

Fetch is another grocery store rebate app like
 Ibotta, with two big differences. You don’t have to select offers ahead of
 time, you just take a picture of your receipt and send it in to process. They
 don’t offer cash back, you can redeem your points for gift cards. They reward
 far less on an item basis than Ibotta, but you can generally get more points
 overall so it’s worth the slight effort of using the app.

6. eBates/Rakuten

Rakuten (formerly eBates) offers cash back on
 online purchases at over 2,500 stores. These range from the big guys like
 Amazon and Walmart to niche sites like Warby Parker and Barkbox.

I
 suggest getting the browser extension and app for your phone so that you never
 miss an offer, because they’re always new ones being added and some are ones I
 would never expect. For example, right now they’re offering cash back on Lyft.
 It’s pretty low at $0.25 per ride, but if you take two Lyfts a week, that adds
 up to $26 over the course of the year.

Credit Card Monitoring Apps

7. Drop

Their
 slogan is “Supercharge your credit and debit cards,”
 which similar to Ibotta and Ebates, gives you cash back on purchases you make.
 However, the big convenience add is your cards are connected directly to the
 app. You can select five retailers and restaurants that you shop at the most
 often and you will automatically accrue points for purchases you make there. It
 includes places like:

  • Chipotle
  • Uber
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Dunkin
  • Trader Joes

The
 downside is you cannot change these retailers after you setup your account, but
 there are plenty of other rotating offers you can take advantage of. The other
 downside is you can only redeem your points for gift cards, so no cash back,
 but there are dozens of options to choose from.

8. Dosh

Very
 similar to Drop, Dosh connects directly to your debit or credit
 cards. These offers include both national chains but also a lot of local
 restaurants. The local restaurants and bars are the big advantages here. Have a
 date or going out with friends? Pick someplace on the app and get some nice
 cash back towards your meal. Also, they do offer straight cash back which is an
 advantage over alternatives.

9. Uber Local Rewards

Automatically
 connected to the cards on your Uber account, you do need to complete a signup process to begin getting rewards.
 They have fewer offers than Drop or Dosh, but the high reward percentage and
 automatic nature make this a must-have. Your reward comes in the form of a
 credit to your Uber account. Local restaurants usually have 7–10% credit back,
 so rewards stack up fast if you can keep up with the rotating offers.

10. iDine Rewards

iDine is an old school website that seems to have
 fallen out of favor with all the new phone apps. Don’t count it out though,
 with a tiered 5–10% cash back you’d be hard-pressed not to find some good local
 spots on here to hit. Tied to your credit or debit card, rewards accumulate
 automatically, so even if you don’t go out of your way to visit a restaurant
 from the site you might get a pleasant surprise in the form of a $20 Amex gift
 card.

I
 tend to find the places listed on here are older, established restaurants in
 the $$$ range. So a great resource to use when picking out a spot for a date
 you want to impress.

Miscellaneous Apps

11. Pint Pass

Get $2 in credit for every brewery you visit by
 answering a few questions about your experience. The credit can be used as an
 electronic gift card for future brewery tabs. At $2 a pop, the rewards can add
 up fast.

12. GymB

Still
 in beta testing, this app reimburses you for your gym membership. It seems
 like they reimburse you up to half of what you pay as your monthly membership
 fee. So for my Planet Fitness membership of $10 a month, I receive about $0.40
 per visit, up to three visits a week. As of the beta release, you can use the
 credit to buy fitness related products in app such as supplements, protein
 powder, water bottles, and bags.

13. Joyride Trivia

There
 are probably 100 trivia apps out there at this point, but what sets Joyride
 apart is it’s based on your Uber rides. Connect Joyride to your Uber account,
 and when you get into the car you’ll get a push notification that it’s time to
 play. Answer 10 questions right, and your ride is covered. From my experience,
 the questions lean heavily towards actors and movies. If you have an Uber XL
 full of people, you have a pretty good chance of winning.

14. Target Cartwheel

Target
 is a great one-stop-shop and cartwheel offers deals on a huge range of
 products. This another instance of double, or even triple, dipping in the
 savings area. Target Cartwheel + Drop + good rewards credit
 card (or Target Card) and you could save over 10% on your total purchase.

15. Givling

Another
 new trivia app to the market, this daily trivia game is a contest to get
 your student loans or mortgage paid off
(up to $10,000). You’re put
 on a team with two other people, and the top team each round splits the prize.
 There are also random drawings on a frequent basis just for playing, so even if
 you’re bad at trivia (like me) you still have a chance.

16. GasBuddy

Put
 in your destination and GasBuddy will find the cheapest gas on the route.
 Google Maps does this to an extent, but I have found Gas Buddy to be far more
 accurate. They also offer trip planning tools to find the best places to stop
 on long haul road trips. If you’re really looking to save, you can also get a GasBuddy
 card
that can be hooked to your checking account and save you 5
 cents on every gallon of gas you buy.

17. Spot Hero

I
 used to hate going into the city, especially when there are big events going
 on. $50 to park my car just because there’s a Red Sox game going on? No thanks.
 Reserve
 your parking space ahead of time
, or see which local garages are
 offering the best rates. They also automatically extend your time and can show
 you the best places for overnight parking as well.


Originally published at Dan DeSimone.