What’s better, to save $100 or to make $100? The hands down winner is to save $100. Why? Because if you make $100, you have to pay Uncle Sam a small fortune. Reduce your expenses by a Benji, as my daughter likes to call the C-Note, and it’s like getting a $130 raise.
It was this realization that led me to write about painless ways to save money several years ago. Today, the Dough Roller team compiled a list of sixty free tools to help you save even more dough.
Websites for Saving Money
Basic Money Management Websites
- SpringCoin: This unique website helps you create a money-saving get-out-of-debt plan. It even gives you free access to the information on your credit report.
- PearBudget: This simple budgeting tool is great for those who are new to budgeting, and it has an easier-to-use interface than Quicken and similar tools. It’s free the first month, and $4.95 per month after that.
- BillShrink: Use BillShrink to figure out how to save money on everything from cell phone service to gas, and how to earn more money on savings accounts and CDs.
- Credit Karma: Stay on top of your credit score with this free service for regularly checking your credit score. The site will also help you figure out what you can best do to improve your overall credit score. Credit Karma has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and you can check out my review of the service here.
- CheckingFinder: Enter basic information, like your zip code and average checking account balance, to find the best possible checking account in your area.
Budget Travel Websites
- Last Minute: Waiting until the last minute to book a flight or hotel can actually be a good thing with this helpful website, which lets consumers in on amazing last minute deals.
- Farecast: Now part of Bing.com, Farecast is a tool that helps you figure out when the best time to buy your airline tickets might be. It will predict prices, so you can grab tickets when they’re at their lowest possible price.
- Hotwire: Hotwire does have an app, but the website is easier to use. It lets you find great deals on travel-related everything, including activities, cruises, and vacation packages.
- Tavelocity: Here’s one more site that’s a great way to find deals on travel, but you can also use the app to search for flights, hotels, and more by voice.
- Virtual Tourist: Get inside travel tips from real-life travelers who post reviews, tips, and photos here. Then, use the tips to create your own money-saving travel plans.
- Wegolo: This site compares the fares and deals from low-cost airlines around the world, but especially in Europe.
- Yapta: One advantage of Yapta over other, similar travel cost comparison websites is that it lets you check for airline refunds on tickets you’ve already bought.
Deals and Coupons Websites
- Wise Bread’s Daily Deals: My friends at Wise Bread track helpful deals from around the web with their daily compilation of deals.
- Dealnews: This website features Black Friday style deals from all sorts of online retailers, but features the best deals on electronics of all sorts.
- Bargainist: One of the best categories on this site is “Freebies,” which lets you get absolutely free and free-after-rebate items. This site offers deals on all sorts of products, especially from high-end name brands.
- The Krazy Coupon Lady: A fun site started by two extreme couponers, that offers daily deals and couponing tips.
- FreeShipping: If shipping costs keep you from shopping online as much as you’d like, use this site to find no-minimum free shipping and free return shopping coupons for online retailers. The first thirty days are free.
- SlickDeals: Check out deals in a variety of categories, including drugstore deals, local deals, freebies, and computer deals.
- Shop It to Me: Upgrade your wardrobe for less with this site, which lets you enter your clothing sizes and favorite brands and then sends you email alerts when your brand and size go on sale.
- Techbargains: As you can guess from its name, TechBargains specializes in giving you the best bargains for electronics of all sorts, including electronic toys for kids, computers, and more.
- RetailMeNot: This website features free shipping deals, printable coupons, daily deals, and online coupons to tons of different online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
- Coupon Cabin: Here’s another great site for finding coupons of all sorts, including printable coupons and coupon codes for us online.
- Coupon Mom: If you’re new to couponing, Coupon Mom is a great place to start. The site includes not only a huge database of coupons, some printable and some to be found in your local newspaper ads, but it also offers a great “how to coupon” primer.
- Ebates: This website, which you need to sign up to use, is a little different from most in that it actually gives you rebates after shopping online at some of your favorite stores. Just start your online shopping trip at Ebates, and you’ll automatically rack up redeemable rebate points.
Free Apps for Saving Money
Basic Money Management
- Personal Capital: My favorite money management tool, Personal Capital lets you track everything from your monthly budget to your retirement portfolio. It’s extremely easy to use and offers investment advice for those who choose to take advantage of the service.
- Buxfer: Similar to other online budget tools that synch with your bank account, Buxfer has the added advantages of running financial projections for savings goals and of letting you track IOUs with friends.
- SmartyPig: Incentivize your savings goals with SmartyPig, a website (and app) that lets you set up specific financial goals and track your savings. Plus, you can share your goals with friends to boost your motivation.
- Mint.com: Mint is a great, free way to set up and track a monthly budget, and it even synchs up with your bank and credit card accounts to track transactions automatically. See where you’re at in your budget categories at a glance with color-coded bar graphs, and use Mint to track financial goals and savings, too. I’ve used Mint for years, and you can check out my review of the service for more details.
- Expensify: This money management app synchs up with all your credit cards and bank accounts so that you can easily create expense reports online. It’s a great option if you’re tracking business expenses for tax time.
- Pageonce Bills: This helpful app keeps you from having to pay late fees by sending you reminders whenever your bills are due each month.
- Quicken: The famed money management software has this great free app that lets you track financial accounts and goals or find a local ATM. It has the functionality of some of the other basic money-saving apps rolled into one.
Daily Deal Apps
- Groupon: This popular social couponing site is a great way to save money on everything from spa visits to carpet cleaning to vacations. Access deals through the app, on the regular website, or by signing up for daily email alerts.
- LivingSocial: This app, similar to Groupon, is another great way to cash in on local deals, and it also offers plenty of deals on services, local products, and even travel.
- Gilt: This shopping app is a sort of blend of SalesCast and Groupon – time-sensitive sales on high-end name brand goods.
- Zulily: This daily deals site is made specifically for parents, especially moms, and offers major discounts on toys, clothing, and accessories for kids, as well as clothing and accessories for moms.
- Totsy: This is a great deal-finding app for parents, since it offers 25%-80% off on popular name-brand toys, books, kids’ clothing, household items, and clothing and accessories for mamas.
- List of Daily Deal Sites: If you want even more daily deal sites, check out our extensive list.
- SnipSnap: This slick iPhone app allows you to better organize both mobile offers and printed, clipped coupons. Take a photo of a coupon you’ve recently clipped, and SnipSnap will automatically convert it into a mobile-optimized coupon that can be redeemed from your phone.
- Pushpins: If the idea of planning your grocery list around your coupon folder is unappealing, Pushpins is a good app for you. Just scan food and household items as you add them to your cart, and the app will catalogue any available coupons for you – so they’re ready to go when you check out.
- Scandit: This fun iPhone app allows you to scan barcodes while you’re in the store, and it will pull up prices for comparison in your local area and online.
- Yowza: This popular coupon app lets you find mobile coupons, as well as current discounts and deals, at stores near you.
- Grocery IQ: This grocery shopping app by Coupons.com lets you scan barcodes of the items you need to stock up on before you head to the grocery store. It will automatically create a grocery list (which you can send to someone else through email–don’t tell my wife), and will tell you if any coupons are available for the items on your list.
- Coupon Sherpa: This free coupon app gives you access to in-store coupons that you can use at checkout, as well as exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
For you diehards out there, you can find even more apps in our article on 10 Mobile Apps for Extreme Couponers
Dining and Travel Apps
- Happy Hours: Happy Hour isn’t just for cocktails anymore! This free app helps you find a happy hour near you – which can let you in on great discounts for drinks, desserts, or appetizers.
- Hotel Tonight: Looking for a hotel room at the last minute? Use this app to find same-day discounts of up to 70% off from luxury hotels who need to fill up their rooms.
- Kayak: Find and compare prices on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and rental cars with this website or app.
- Priceline: This free app and website is yet another way to find great deals on all things travel-related.
- Orbitz: This helpful app lets you not only find great travel deals, but also check out your current travel plans, find nearby hotels, and even check your flight status.
- eBay Mobile: If you love finding great bargains on eBay, the eBay Mobile app can let you stay on top of the auctions you’re most interested in – or make some extra cash by selling items.
- Amazon Mobile: The Amazon Mobile app lets you shop online more easily, but also gives you access to exclusive sales and daily deals.
- AppShopper: If you’re addicted to apps, you’ll probably spend money instead of saving it. With AppShopper, you can search for apps that are on sale, or even track an expensive app you want to see when it goes on sale.
- iTrade Stock Market Simulator: If you’re new to stock market investing, check out this simulator. Start with $100,000 in an imaginary stock portfolio, and use real-time information to see if you’ll make or lose money on your investments.
- Yahoo Finance: This app lets you get up-to-date headlines, check out stock quotes, and look at market indexes. It’s a free, easy way to make better investing decisions.
- Morningstar: An app by the website of the same name, Morningstar allows you to check out mutual funds whenever and wherever you want.
- Wikinvest: One of my favorite investing apps, Wikinvest has a great interface and data on ever public company, ETF or fund.
Other Money-Saving Apps
- ATM Hunter: Stop paying ATM fees with this app, which lets you find your bank’s closest ATMs with the touch of a button.
- WiFi Finder: Look for Wi-Fi hotspots near you with this easy-to-use app that helps you save on your data plan, or find a place to hang out with your laptop when you’re on the go.
- Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner: Your favorite recipe-finding website now has a free app that lets you throw some excitement into your weekly meal planning. Try the spinner to get on-the-go recipes, look for recipes by ingredients already in your pantry, or create a shopping list from recipes you’ve saved.
- Mixology: Ready for a drink after a long day at work? Skip the expensive cocktail bar and make your own drink at home instead with the recipes from this app.
- Zillow: Use Zillow’s website or app to find and compare rentals in your area (or in an area you’re moving to) or to find out what the housing market in your area is like. It’s a great app if you’re buying or selling a home, or switching apartments.
Published or updated February 12, 2013.