5 free apps to simplify your life in 2016

While paid personal assistants have been available for years through services like FancyHands and Zirtual, there is a new breed of apps providing the benefits of these services completely free.

1. Service

Waiting on hold is so 2015. With the new Service app, you can have someone else deal with any company’s customer service for you. While they seem to focus on refunds (presumably because that’s where the money is), I successfully used Service to get AT&T to stop sending me offers in the mail.

2. Paribus

This set-it-and-forget-it app finds you refunds while you sleep. By monitoring your email account for receipts from Amazon and other retailers, Paribus knows when items you purchase fall in price and will contact the retailer on your behalf. I forgot I set it up until I saw the credit in my Amazon account.

3. Remedy

An astonishing number of medical bills have errors or overcharges that have been costing you money. Remedy employs trained medical billing specialists to review medical bills and find savings. Like Paribus and Service, they deal with the doctor’s office and insurance company on your behalf.

4. Gone

As I wrote in Six steps towards minimalist living, getting rid of possessions can be mentally exhausting. For electronics with any retail value, Gone makes it easy. Just snap a few photos, answer some questions, and approve the sell price. Gone takes care of the rest.

5. Operator

Personally, I enjoy exploring local shops or finding used gems. However, if you’d like to outsource your shopping there’s an app for that. Operator is your personal concierge who will learn your needs and tastes to help you buy the right things—from furniture to concert tickets.

Update: Magic provides a similar service.

Take advantage of these apps for a simpler life in 2016 and beyond :)

Full disclosure: I work at Remedy. Also, some of these links include referral codes.