smartphone apps en-US New App Ondot Is a Remote Control for Your Credit Card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-app-ondot-is-a-remote-control-for-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smartphone" title="smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's the good of ordering food via your smartphone's Grubhub app or ordering a car via its Uber app if you don't also have an app to make sure there's some money left on your credit card when it gets there? (See also: <a href="">Apps to Manage Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Well soon you will, thanks to <a href="">Ondot</a>, a San Jose-based company that just unveiled Card Control, a mobile command center for defeating fraud, all built into your phone.</p> <p>At the most basic level, the app serves as an extra line of protection against fraud, allowing the user to toggle the card's use on or off, or set the card to only function within certain parameters.</p> <p>For example, a location-based control means one can set their card to work only in a specific zip code, meaning it will automatically shut off if it gets nabbed and taken for a ride. Or, the app can sync a phone's GPS to the card, effectively disabling it if they're separated (e.g., the card is left behind).</p> <p>Other users might choose to toggle types of merchants the card will work with, disabling e-merchants until the user manually unlocks them before making a purchase, for instance. (See also: <a href="">Credit Card Safety When Shopping Online</a>)</p> <p>And here's where &mdash; even for <a href="">those unconcerned with fraud</a> &mdash; the app gets really interesting. That same technology allows parents to limit or toggle types of spending on their kids' credit cards, meaning one might allow food purchases but bar clothing expenditures on any particular card. And the app would even allow parents to monitor their kids' card use in real time.</p> <p>While the company's been around since 2011 and already raised $18 million in funding, the app itself is just now rolling out, having already partnered with four major card processors working with 10,000 banks and credit unions across the country.</p> <p><img width="605" height="446" src="" alt="" /></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="New App Ondot Is a Remote Control for Your Credit Card" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Financial News Technology credit card fraud online shopping smartphone apps Sat, 26 Apr 2014 04:14:40 +0000 Joe Epstein 1136959 at You CAN Learn a New Language — Just Use One of These 3 Apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="languages" title="languages" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Learning a new language used to mean taking years of classes in high school. When you graduated, you knew enough Spanish, French, or German to buy a sandwich, find a bathroom, or ask if anyone speaks English &mdash; should you travel to another country. Learning a new language outside of school meant buying expensive CD sets that you listen to while you were driving or sitting around your home. You could go at your own pace but didn't have anyone to converse with or practice your new skills. (See also: <a href="">5 Ways to Learn a Language</a>)</p> <p>Thanks to the growth in technology and the development of language learning apps, you can acquire new language skills in a short amount of time and from the comfort of anywhere. Great apps can range from free to a small monthly fee to the purchase of a $25 app. The best apps offer a range of features for various learning preferences. Here are three great ones to consider.</p> <h2>Duolingo</h2> <p><a href="">Duolingo</a> is a free app available for IOS and Android devices. It is an easy-to-use program that will leave you feeling successful after the first lesson and has been highly regarded as one of the best language learning models available. One independent research study found that Duolingo works as well as one semester of college level language classes in just 34 hours of time on the app. Imagine spending one hour a day for one month working on learning a language and acquiring the same skills you would have had you paid thousands of dollars and many weeks attending a university course! (See also: <a href="">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Ed</a>)</p> <p>Duolingo works by asking its language learners to translate real sentences that have been uploaded to their software. Users can vote on whether translations are correct. Once a document is fully translated, the one who uploaded it pays Duolingo. This keeps it free for the language learner.</p> <p>Lessons are broken up into small chunks which offer repeated practice of the same five or six words in isolation, in phrases, and in complete sentences. It pairs audio and text to teach you the phrases and then uses your microphone to verify your pronunciation. There are a number of languages available to learn but not as many as other apps. (Available at this time are Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.) The app has a simple layout and is easy to navigate. (A friend's child was learning Spanish within seconds of loading the app onto a phone, making it worth a download by everyone.)</p> <h2>Memrise</h2> <p>Another free app that is available on both IOS and Android devices is <a href="">Memrise</a>. This app allows users to learn all of the languages that Duolingo does plus Russian, Japanese, Arabic, and many more. (There is a premium feature in the works that may change what is free and what is not in the future.)</p> <p>Memrise provides a combination of text, audio, and pictures to help you learn words and phrases. It offers the learner repeated exposure with the same phrase, which may or may not feel repetitive to a user. There is an option to listen to a phrase as many times as you need to hear and practice pronouncing it.</p> <p>One unique feature of Memrise is that it doesn't focus solely on language learning. You can use the lessons to learn about classical works of art, geography, science, or entertainment. Using the science behind how the brain learns, Memrise offers short, easy-to-complete lessons, repeated practice, and regular review to ensure that you have learned the information for good. It should definitely be used if you are looking to acquire a new language or learn something new about the world. (See also: <a href="">Learn Something New Every Day</a>)</p> <h2>Anki</h2> <p><a href="">Anki</a> is a free desktop program that you can download to your computer. It uses a flashcard model to help you remember languages and other information. Anki has developed software that incorporates active recall testing (asking you questions just after you learned the information rather than waiting a period of time to ask) and spaced repetition (spreading out review of the information over time). The combination of the two means you are answering questions about the information you just learned and then answering questions on that same answer over time. For example, you may be reviewing the same information every day for three days. If you get it right every time, then you will start reviewing it every week. As you continue to answer correctly, the review questions are spaced out further and further apart.</p> <p>Anki takes time to master. You are not going to be diving into lessons immediately upon download. However, there is a large community that is developing and sharing flashcards for you to use. If you are trying to learn a common language, you may be able to use a &quot;deck&quot; (what Anki calls a set of flashcards) that someone else has already developed. If you are trying to learn something rare, you may have to create your own deck, which can take a lot of time. (See also: <a href="">10 Great Self-Improvement Apps</a>)</p> <p>Anki is available for use with Android devices for free, but the IOS app is $24.99. Many users find this a small price to pay for mastering a language.</p> <h2>Other Options</h2> <p>If these three apps do not meet your needs, check out <a href="">LingQ</a> and <a href="">Busuu</a>. Both apps have free lessons available but require a purchase (or monthly fee) to progress beyond that. They are worth checking out if you are serious about learning a new language and don't mind investing money in the process.</p> <p>Whether you are hoping to brush up on what you learned in high school, looking to travel in the future, or need to master a new language, any of the apps mentioned here will bring you closer to your goal.</p> <p><em>Have you tried a master a new language? What worked for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="You CAN Learn a New Language — Just Use One of These 3 Apps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development apps language learn a language learning smartphone apps Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:48:24 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1136592 at These 5 Apps Will Save You Money on Your Next Vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-apps-will-save-you-money-on-your-next-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="travelers with smartphone" title="travelers with smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few modern pieces of technology that are considered as much of an everyday necessity as the smartphone. Indeed, most people are practically tethered to their mobile devices, so suggesting they leave them at home before embarking on a business trip or vacation is a laughable proposition at best. Also, smartphones often come in very handy in this department, whether it's planning the logistics of a trip or saving cash during the actual trip.</p> <p>These are some of the best tools and apps that can help those intrepid and frequent travelers pocket some much-needed extra dough. (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Currency</h2> <p>Before leaving for that trip abroad, it's vital to download a quality currency converter. Having precise exchange rates at the ready can save a traveler quite a bit. Yes, there are plenty of private exchange houses in nearly every country. However, as a rule, they offer crummy rates. And those folks who change money on the street? Don't even think about it. It's best to simply download a solid option like <a href="">Currency</a>, which covers over 100 countries. Of course, you can't actually exchange currency with Currency, but at least you'll know what the going rates are (or should be) when you visit a bank to change your money. Currency is available for Android, iOS, and even webOS. (See also: <a href="">37 Hidden Travel Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Kayak</h2> <p><a href="">Kayak</a> is quickly becoming the first name in travel savings. This has to do with its mass user approval (those why try it once seem to get hooked on all the deals). On the surface, the app offers prime savings across the three standard platforms: flights, hotels, and car savings. Users can even set their own price alerts and watch as the costs of tickets and reservations go up and down on a daily basis. But where the app really shines is in the smaller details. For example, Kayak provides contact info for all major air carriers as well as airport maps. It also breaks down the hidden fees many airlines like to charge for such incidentals as baggage check and snacks. Even better? It manages and tracks all of your itinerary details. It is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle. (See also: <a href="">Things You Overpay When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Desti</h2> <p>This iPhone app acts as a kind-of superpowered Yelp for frequent travelers. <a href="">Desti</a> touts its use of artificial intelligence to help folks narrow down their search results from thousands of places. That means users can enter just a few keywords to help them find ideal listings on amenities, rooms, and vehicle rentals. Looking for a hotel with free breakfast or discounted rooms for the night? This app can do that. (See also: <a href="">25 Secrets from Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>Hotwire</h2> <p>Hotwire's business model is to fill hotel rooms before they go unsold for the night. All that's required of the app user is to input his or her city or town and a list of discounted hotel rooms will appear by price. The drawback is that it doesn't provide the names of said hotels in the list. Having said that, there is basic hotel info, like star ratings, next to the listed price per night. The <a href="">app</a> is available for iOS and Android. (See also: <a href="">4 Powerful Smartphones at a Reasonable Price</a>)</p> <h2>CarRentals</h2> <p>While it isn't exactly difficult to access car rental services online, <a href="">CarRentals</a> excels at consolidating all agencies into one place. Users can search options by company, price, and type of car. Probably the best part about CarRentals is that users can make their reservation right from the app, which is available for iPhone.</p> <p>By downloading one or all of these options, travelers should be able to save quite a bit of money on everything from flights and hotels to car rentals and Internet usage. And the best part is that all of the above app options are free.</p> <p><em>What apps do you rely upon when you travel? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="These 5 Apps Will Save You Money on Your Next Vacation" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Chris McMurphy</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel apps smartphone apps travel apps Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:48:18 +0000 Chris McMurphy 1136433 at The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="biking" title="biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are looking for a way to get off the couch and get outside or you are training for the next Ironman, there are dozens of cycling and running apps out there. For the serious cyclist, you may know exactly what you are looking for, but it's still difficult to choose which app will meet your needs. As a road biking enthusiast, I want something simple to track my time and help me map my routes, but others may need something with more detail, especially if you are training for a race. (See also: <a href="">8 of our Favorite Fitness and Diet Smartphone Apps</a>)</p> <p>The 10 apps collected here have varying degrees of features and prices to help you find what you are looking for depending on your needs and preferences. The best part is that they are all under five dollars.</p> <p>One caveat &mdash; most of these recommendations are based on features that I would find helpful as a cyclist. I didn't include any apps from Map My Ride because personally, I find the route tracker and other features a little difficult to use; however, many cyclists love Map My Ride.</p> <h2>1. Runtastic Road Bike Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p><a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">Runtastic Road Bike Pro</a> has received top ratings from Mashable and the New York Times, and it has over 50 features that every serious cyclist would want. One feature that stands out in the current version is the improved design making it easier to read than the previous version. The GPS and tracking history feature a live performance tracker that allows you to see or share with friends all of your stats. It tracks time, distance, calories burned, and speed in different views, including a pie graph that breaks down the distances traveled on each grade &mdash;&nbsp;uphill, downhill, or flat.</p> <p>The international maps and weather updates make it easy to determine which route you want, and you can create music playlists for different types of workouts. For the price, this app seems to have the most features, and the newest version allows you to direct data to your wristwatch for easier and safer viewing of live tracking.</p> <h2>2. Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p>This all-around fitness app can be used for cycling, running, walking, or other distance-based activities. <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">Endomondo</a> Sports Tracker Pro acts as a fitness coach and a fitness partner. It allows you to track your distance, speed, and calories burned in easy-to-read graphs. You can also track average speed and distance, and heart rate if you have a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HRA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">heart rate monitor</a>. The workout summary also includes a map of your route and the weather conditions during your ride.</p> <p>During each ride, you get customized audio feedback, and you can set calorie-burning and distance goals before you begin your workout. It also allows you to share your workouts with friends in a newsfeed, and you can send encouragement notes to friends in real time. What makes this app a little different than the Runtastic Pro is the versatility for cyclists who want an app that can be used for other sports.</p> <h2>3. Strava Cycling</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>For a free app, <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Strava Cycling</a> - GPS Riding is an excellent app for the competitor. It is similar to Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, but you can also compare your stats in leaderboards and earn achievements. It has a private community and newsfeed, along with a lot of other competitive features, such as setting and tracking your goals to beat your own previous workout stats. This competitive edge helps you push yourself and compete with friends so that you have a variety of motivators.</p> <h2>4. Map My Tracks OutFront</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>If you are looking for something simple and free, <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Map My Tracks by OutFront</a> is for you. It tracks rides, runs, and walks in charts and 3D maps. It doesn't have all the features of the more advanced apps, but according to reviewers, it is incredibly accurate. Also, many people just want something simple to easily view their distance and to save routes on the Map My Tracks website, which allows you to view other recommended routes.</p> <h2>5. iBiker Indoor and Outdoor Cycling Trainer</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a>&nbsp;(known as iCardio)</p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>This app has all the basic tracking features, along with the ability to sync data with multiple devices and online. What distinguishes <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iBiker Indoor and Outdoor</a> from the similar ones is that you can also track your weight, blood pressure, and sleep scores if you are looking to improve overall health. Another benefit is the ability to track all the data using an <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007595TKU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">indoor bike</a>, so it's great for winter training.</p> <h2>6. Bicycle Blue Book</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>The <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Bicycle Blue Book</a> is an excellent and handy source of information for someone who is shopping for a used bike. It pulls from thousands of bicycle transactions to provide an accurate estimate of cost based on make, model, age, condition, and other variables. This is a convenient tool if you want one of the most accurate assessments of a used bike's value. The accuracy and expert estimations make this app ideal for bike enthusiasts and beginners. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Bike On! Great Deals on All Things Bicycle</a>)</p> <h2>7. Rubis</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>This app is for the triathlete or marathon runner in training. It is a simple and easy-to-use time and distance planner. You can help reach your goals by planning your pace for an estimated finish time. <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Rubis Personal Best</a> can be used for training for an Ironman or a Half Ironman.</p> <h2>8. Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p>Like the Road Bike Pro, <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Runtastic Mountain Biking Pro</a> is highly regarded by users and tech magazines. It has all the same features of the road version, and it includes offline maps, colored traces of your route, and interval splits so that you can view each part of your mountain trail route. It is one of the top rated apps by mountain biking enthusiasts.</p> <h2>9. Cycling Buddy</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: $0.99</p> <p>For a dollar, <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Cycling Buddy</a> is a surprisingly useful app if all you are looking for is a GPS tracker. It has multi-tasking abilities and allows you to track running routes as well. It can be used for training or even mapping rides to work. A few reviewers had trouble with this app, but for a buck, it is a simple app with a few extra features to give you more opportunity to view your routes and track your time. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">A Guide to Becoming a Part-Time Bicycle Commuter</a>)</p> <h2>10. Couch to Bike</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>If you are just getting into biking, training for a fundraiser, or need to get off the couch and onto a bike, this free app is worth the time it takes to download. The goal of the <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;" target="_blank">Couch to Bike</a> app is to get the user to bike 25 miles within just a few weeks. You're given non-aggressive goals and training tips with an easy-to-follow schedule. The best part is that this app was designed by cyclists. Every cyclist had to start somewhere, and cyclists know that when you are just beginning, the training must be fun and gradual. This is a great tool for beginners at any fitness level. It includes a GPS and other basic tracking features. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip</a>)</p> <p><em>What are your favorite cycling or training apps? Feel free to comment below or find us on Facebook!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Watson</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Technology GPS mountain biking road biking smartphone apps Fri, 23 Aug 2013 09:48:39 +0000 Ashley Watson 980743 at The Top 5 Strength Training Apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-top-5-strength-training-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Strength training is a key part of any fitness regimen. If you're looking to lose weight, muscle burns more calories than fat, so having more of it means you'll burn more even when you're just sitting around. And even if you're happy with your current weight, having more muscle makes you healthier and helps your body function more efficiently. If the concept of strength training seems confusing for you, though, never fear. Let your smartphone teach you how to gain strength and help you track your progress toward your goals. (See also: <a href="">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <p>Looking to pump some serious iron? There's an app for that. Just wanting to do some overall toning? There's one for that, too. Read on to find out which apps I found to be the most helpful as you look to get stronger and healthier.</p> <h2>Best Lifting for Beginners: Stronglifts 5x5</h2> <p><strong>Device</strong>: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">iOS</a></p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free</p> <p>This <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">app guides beginning weightlifters according to the Stronglifts 5x5</a> program. The initial report is available for free online, although membership in the community costs. Basically, you perform five sets of five reps of the prescribed lifts each time. The app tells you which lifts to perform and what weight you're at for each lift and offers a timer for your rest periods. It also allows you to track your bodyweight as you progress through the program, so that you can see how you're progressing. And if you're ever in need of motivation, you can look back over all of your data to see how far you've come.</p> <p>In addition to functionality, this app is pretty. Both layout and usability are intuitive, although it's a little tricky the first time you try to edit your workouts manually.</p> <h2>Best Bodyweight Workout: Gorilla Workout</h2> <p><strong>Device</strong>: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">iOS</a> and <a href="">Android</a></p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $0.99</p> <p>If you're looking to start a workout routine and you're OK doing your strength training via bodyweight exercises only, <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">Gorilla Workout is a great option</a>. It offers four different levels of difficulty, so you can use it no matter your current level of fitness. If you're not sure how to do a particular movement, you can see sparse but complete examples of what it should look like. All you need to do is pick a level, and then do what the app tells you to do. (See also: <a href="">20 Great Body Weight Exercises (and Why You Should Do Them)</a>)</p> <p>This is a great app for developing overall fitness, including both cardio and strength training. However, it doesn't allow you to use different levels for different parts of your body. If, for instance, you're perfectly comfortable doing burpees but cannot yet do pistols, you cannot eliminate the more difficult (for you!) exercises from your list or choose an easier option until you're up to speed.</p> <h2>Best Comprehensive Fitness System: JEFIT</h2> <p>Device: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">iOS</a> and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004PKH36K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free; Pro version is $4.99 on iOS, $2.99 on Android</p> <p><a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">JEFIT is another great all-around fitness app</a>, although it includes more than just bodyweight exercises. If you like to use <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009TRSB4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">free weights</a> or weight machines at the gym for your strength training, then this app may work better for you than Gorilla Workout. In addition, it offers robust ways to track your body and workout statistics, so you can see change over time. It also offers a rest timer, so you can maximize your time at the gym.</p> <p>JEFIT is a customer favorite not only because of the varied exercise routines it offers, but because you can sync it with an online account accessible via the web. If you like to see your workouts or your stats on a larger screen, or want to interact with other users on the forum, this is a huge bonus. (See also: <a href="">How to Stick to an Exercise Plan</a>)</p> <h2>Best Beast Workout: British Military Fitness</h2> <p><strong>Device</strong>: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">iOS</a></p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $4.99</p> <p>If you subscribe to the adage &quot;No Pain, No Gain,&quot; then this might be the strength training app for you. Simply tell the <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">British Military Fitness app</a> whether you're trying to improve muscle tone or get generally fitter, and it will make up a program specifically for you. It also offers a couple of fitness tests, which allow you to gauge your progress. Choose between a general fitness test or the &quot;bleep&quot; test, and see what you're capable of.</p> <p>While the app claims that it isn't like boot camp and that it simply encourages you to exercise, some people simply don't find it motivating to be yelled at. If you follow the program, the app will give results, but you may not enjoy the time you spend with it.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Best Lifting-Focused: Gym Buddy</h2> <p><strong>Device</strong>: <a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">iOS</a></p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $2.99</p> <p><a href=";offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;">Gym Buddy is a powerful app</a> focused specifically on weightlifting in a gym setting. You can record nearly anything you want about the time you spend lifting, and you can always go back and edit. In return for your information, Gym Buddy can spit out all sorts of statistics. You can see how your one-rep max weights have changed over time, or track your workout volume for a particular lift over one month, three months, or the last year. (See also: <a href="">8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <p>Gym Buddy doesn't offer examples of each lift, so it's targeted towards people who already know how to lift properly.</p> <p><em>Which strength training and fitness apps have you found useful in your quest for better health and fitness?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Top 5 Strength Training Apps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty exercise smartphone apps strength training Wed, 21 Aug 2013 09:48:34 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 981066 at Six Great Tech Tools for Planning Your Own Death <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/six-great-tech-tools-for-planning-your-own-death-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="cemetary" title="cemetary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s that word &mdash; death.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not something we like to see, talk about, or even acknowledge (did it send a shudder down your spine?). In fact, there are people out there who won&rsquo;t create a will, discuss funeral arrangements, or even talk about events after their death for fear of tempting &ldquo;fate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Well, unless you really do believe that planning ahead is going to anger the gods of destiny and providence (and if you do, you probably didn't even get past the headline anyway), then it makes complete sense to use today&rsquo;s technology to help you prepare for the inevitable.</p> <p>There are several apps and online tools that can help you plan ahead for the time when you will shuffle off this mortal coil. And if you do it right, you can leave your friends and loved ones with security and pleasant memories, rather than heartache and debt. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Would You&nbsp;Consider a DIY&nbsp;Funeral?</a>)</p> <h2>1. MyWill</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with the most fundamental estate-planning document that you should have prepared &mdash; your will. Although it&rsquo;s not a pleasant process, you really do need to have this in place, especially if you have children. The <a href="">MyWill app</a> makes it easy, with options to help you:</p> <ul> <li>Leave your property to the people and organizations you choose</li> <li>Name someone to care for your minor children</li> <li>Name someone to manage property you leave to minor children</li> <li>Name the executor of your estate</li> <li>Revoke any previous wills and/or codicils</li> </ul> <p>There are many other features, and you can also update your will as many times as you wish. This free app is currently only available for the iPhone, but it&rsquo;s very handy, and you can&rsquo;t beat the price.</p> <h2>2. Funeral Advice</h2> <p>Planning your own funeral may seem a touch macabre, but I for one would rather plan mine than have a grieving relative do it. A free app called <a href="">Funeral Advice</a> lets you do just that, with advice (including video tutorials) that can guide you to the right funeral for your needs. What&rsquo;s a green burial? What kind of casket should you get? What can you expect to pay? Other features packaged in the app include:</p> <ul> <li>Steps to take after losing a loved one&nbsp;</li> <li>Funeral information&nbsp;</li> <li>Words of sympathy&nbsp;</li> <li>A casket and cremation urn shop&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>It may be helpful to go through this with your partner, other family members, or friends, so that they know your wishes as well. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. You can also check out another funeral-planning app, <a href="">Funeral Notebook</a>.</p> <h2>3. Death Meter</h2> <p>Nice morbid name, right? Well, although <a href="">Death Meter</a> is intended more as something to start some casual conversation, it can also give you a wake-up call and a good idea of how long you may have left to live. Taking into account such factors as daily activity, diet, pollution, and even <a href="">teeth flossing</a>, it gives you a rough idea of when you can expect to pop your clogs. Obviously, it&rsquo;s not 100% accurate, but it could raise a few red flags for you and your own health.</p> <p>Other death-countdown tools include <a href="">Death Forecast</a> and <a href="">The Death Clock</a>.</p> <h2>4. If I Die</h2> <p>Of all the tools available right now for planning your own death, this one is probably the most controversial. Facebook app <a href="">If I Die</a> hit the headlines because many people believe it&rsquo;s in very poor taste. Why? Well, the basic idea is that you can record a message that will be played to your friends and loved ones if you should die unexpectedly. The task of sharing this message goes to two or three trusted friends on Facebook. Once activated, the app sends out the message. You can send an inside joke or something way more serious. But if this kind of thing doesn't give you the creeps, the app could be something that helps people accept your passing, especially if it&rsquo;s very sudden.</p> <h2>5. iLivingWill</h2> <p>A living will is not a substitute for a last will, and they have very different purposes. A last will is there to see that your property is distributed according to your wishes and your last wishes are carried out. It also specifies guardianship for minors. A living will is put in place to outline critical healthcare decisions in advance, so if you are incapacitated, everyone knows what you wanted. Usually, people refer to your living will for such information as whether you want to remain on life support and who you want to make health decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so. The 99 cent <a href="">iLivingWill</a> iPad app lets you create, store, and distribute a living will for yourself, family, and even friends.</p> <p>The app will:</p> <ul> <li>Sensitively answer all the important questions, like having your own family doctor at your side</li> <li>Tell your health care providers exactly what kind of care you expect</li> <li>Help protect those you love from uncertainty and regret</li> <li>Prepare a living will summary document, with the option to save and share it</li> </ul> <p>The app comes with voice-over support, and a portion of the profits <span>goes to organizations that support end-of-life care and green burial.</span></p> <h2>6. AssetLock</h2> <p>There are several <a href="">cloud-based storage systems</a> out there right now, and many are free (or very cheap). <a href="">AssetLock</a>, however, has put a different spin on it. It&rsquo;s a website that acts as a virtual safe deposit box, storing your vital records and information and then automatically allowing your chosen family and friends to access that information once you pass away. Possible items you can store in this vault include:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Digital copies of important documents for reference</li> <li>Final messages for family and friends</li> <li>Funeral arrangements, a eulogy, an obituary, and notifications</li> <li>Instructions to help settle your estate, to-do's, and when to pay bills</li> <li>Locations of important documents such as wills, trusts, and insurance policies</li> <li>Where your safe deposit box, keys, etc. are located</li> <li>Secret information, like passwords, hidden accounts, and lock combinations</li> </ul> <p>The pricing is very reasonable at $9.95 a year or just $235 for life. You can also sign up for a free trial.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Six Great Tech Tools for Planning Your Own Death" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Technology death funeral living will smartphone apps Thu, 31 May 2012 10:24:08 +0000 Paul Michael 932656 at Big Bytes: Using Tech for Restaurant Discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-bytes-using-tech-for-restaurant-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Man using his phone at a restaurant" title="Man using his phone at a restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the best things about technology &mdash; according to just about everybody but Congress &mdash; is the wealth of information that&rsquo;s available anytime and anywhere we need it.</p> <p>As the Internet and smartphones have evolved, so too has the way people use this technology. Our iPhones and Androids aren&rsquo;t just for looking up news and directions anymore, they&rsquo;re also an excellent way to save money on food and snacks on the go.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;re a busy career person or just that guy or girl who&rsquo;d rather eat take out than turn on a burner, here are 10 tech-savvy apps and websites that will save you money when those hunger pangs hit, no matter where you are. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">A Cheapskate's Guide to Eating Out</a>)</p> <h2>Foursquare</h2> <p>You usually can&rsquo;t score full meals using <a href="">Foursquare</a> specials, but there are probably good deals that you can take advantage of in your neighborhood. In my area, there are lots of restaurants that offer a free glass of wine just for stopping in &mdash; no purchase necessary. At a Ruby Tuesday once, my husband and I scored a free appetizer by asking for the manager as the special requested. We had already eaten our dinner and weren&rsquo;t hungry for the appetizer, which means that we got free dessert instead. Cake is much better than pot stickers anyway.</p> <h2></h2> <p>I live by gift certificates from <a href=""></a> for two reasons: 1) They&rsquo;re a great way to try a restaurant that you maybe you wouldn&rsquo;t have otherwise, and 2) they provide an excellent opportunity to save money on a restaurant that you frequent a lot. There&rsquo;s a place around the corner from my house that I visit at least four times a week to finish up my work or to simply connect with others since I work from home all day. I keep my gift certificates in my bag (which, by the way, I buy at the deepest discount available &mdash; mostly 80% but sometimes 90% off; do your Google search), so if I get hungry while I&rsquo;m there I can order dinner without feeling too guilty about it.</p> <h2>Scoutmob</h2> <p>I used <a href="">Scoutmob</a> for the very first time last week, and it was easy as pie. When I opened the app, I noticed that one of my favorite restaurants was offering 50% off meals with a max discount of $25 (other deals will vary more or less, however). When my husband and I were looking for someplace to eat on Friday, that&rsquo;s the first place that came to mind. Deals on Scoutmob don&rsquo;t cost the user any money, either. You just show up, check in, and hand your phone to your server so that he can verify the discount.</p> <h2>Groupon Now!</h2> <p>This app is similar to Scoutmob in that it shows the deals closest to you at any given time, but unlike Scoutmob, <a href="">Groupon Now!</a> charges the users a discounted fee for whatever food item is offered. Personally, I would check Scoutmob first, but the deals are still very good here, too.</p> <h2>Papa John&rsquo;s App</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m singling this app out for a reason. Papa John&rsquo;s has a program called <a href="">Papa Rewards</a> that allows registered users to earn points based on the cost of their orders. You receive one point for every $5 spent. Once you receive 25 points &mdash; which to be honest, doesn&rsquo;t take too long depending on how often you order from the joint (we order from here way too much!) &mdash; you qualify for a free pizza. I&rsquo;m using Papa John&rsquo;s as an example here to let you know that these kinds of programs exist (with keychain and punch cards, too), and they&rsquo;re worth looking into if you frequent certain establishments.</p> <h2>GrubHub</h2> <p>When I originally chose <a href="">GrubHub</a> to include in this post, I was under the impression that new registrants of the web- and app-based delivery service received a $10 credit to use when placing their first order. That was true at one point, but the deal expired this past November. Because I didn&rsquo;t want you to miss out on GrubHub if you haven&rsquo;t yet tried it &mdash; and I certainly didn&rsquo;t want to deprive you of a chance to save some dough &mdash; I called the GrubHub peeps yesterday, and they were totally excited to offer the first 50 Wise Bread readers (who are new GrubHub users) a $5 <a href="">coupon code</a> to use when checking out after ordering their meal. Just enter WISEBREAD5 before January 23 to redeem this exclusive offer.</p> <h2>LivingSocial Instant</h2> <p><a href="">LivingSocial Instant</a> is the exact same concept as Groupon Now! Like I said before, you might find a deal here that Groupon Now! or Scoutmob doesn&rsquo;t have. It only takes a few minutes to compare and save.</p> <h2>BlackboardEats</h2> <p>The <a href="">BlackboardEats</a> website/app is a bit more exclusive than the others, with deals targeting only Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. But registered users will receive weekly e-mails good for a percentage off their meal, a free bottle of wine, exclusive prix fixes, secret menus, and more at some of the best restaurants in their respective cities.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Happy Hour Finder</h2> <p>The best part about happy hours is the discount booze and sometimes free food. In fact, I once stumbled upon a happy hour at the Jersey Shore that offered a smorgasbord of food including pastas, sausages, and cold cuts &mdash; enough to feed a crowd full of juice heads and me &mdash; for free. As soon as you open the <a href="">Happy Hour Finder</a> app, you&rsquo;ll find happy hours nearby plus their registered deals. There are 13 in my area right now. How many are in yours?</p> <h2>Restaurant-Specific Websites</h2> <p>Before a trip to Dallas two years ago, I did an Internet search for the best barbecue restaurants in the area &mdash; I mean, who goes to Dallas without getting sauce on their shirt? Anyway, the search told me that Sonny Bryan&rsquo;s Smokehouse was highly recommended, so I visited the website to see what it was all about. I&rsquo;m glad I did, too. Right there on the front page was a sign-up form for a buy one, get one free coupon. Total score! So many restaurants have these deals as part of their loyalty clubs and people overlook them &mdash; especially on birthdays when you can get a <a href="">motherload of freebies</a>&hellip;and a few extra pounds.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Big Bytes: Using Tech for Restaurant Discounts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Technology customer rewards daily deals restaurant discounts smartphone apps Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:24:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 871432 at 5 Things Angry Birds Has Taught Me About Life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-angry-birds-has-taught-me-about-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Woman with Angry Birds on a phone" title="Woman with Angry Birds on a phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I play Angry Birds. I don&rsquo;t know too many people with a smart phone who don't. Good or bad, the game is highly addictive, and sometimes I feel guilty about the time spent playing. Other times, however, I realize that it&rsquo;s time I would have spent zoning out on bad TV or sleeping on a plane. Here are some of the lessons I&rsquo;ve taken away from playing the nation&rsquo;s most popular gaming app &mdash; and they&rsquo;re pretty good, if you ask me. (See also: <a href="">21 Personal Finance Lessons From&nbsp;Harry Potter</a>)</p> <h3>1. If you don&rsquo;t succeed, try again. And again. And maybe one more time.</h3> <p>Because the game is like crack-cocaine in how it compels you to keep doing it, I&rsquo;ll admit to trying a level 100+ times in a row. I can&rsquo;t think of too many other things that I&rsquo;ve shown the same commitment to, but for those things that I have kept at until the end, I&rsquo;ve seen wonderful rewards. If only we could approach our businesses, families, and desires to change the world with the same stubbornness. (I bet things would get better very soon.)</p> <h3>2. It may simply be your approach.</h3> <p>Not sure what you&rsquo;re doing wrong with an unbeatable level in Angry Birds? It may be that you&rsquo;re attacking it from (literally) the wrong angle. With life, as well, it may work to try something completely off the wall for your next approach or give it a &ldquo;throw it and see if it sticks&rdquo; effort. Even if it&rsquo;s not the winning play, you may gain some insight into just how you should go about it next time. (&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s not try THAT again&rdquo; is also a useful &mdash; even if painful &mdash; revelation.)</p> <h3>3. Move on to new things, but revisit ways to sharpen your existing skills.</h3> <p>I love trying new experiences, but I haven&rsquo;t abandoned those pursuits that I&rsquo;ve kept with me since childhood. Just like in the game, you are allowed to move to new levels once you&rsquo;ve passed the previous; it&rsquo;s very rewarding, however, to go back and master older levels to attain those coveted three gold stars. Whether it&rsquo;s piano playing or snowboarding, I highly recommend taking a trip back to old talents to see how you can polish them up.</p> <h3>4. You don&rsquo;t have to do it alone.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s amazing how all it usually takes for me to pass a difficult level is to leave my <a href="">iPad 2</a> on the living room couch for my husband or 8-year-old to find. I can come back a day later guaranteed that the code will be cracked. It&rsquo;s not that they are smarter (they also leave levels for me to assist with); more likely they have that unique perspective and fresh approach that I was lacking on that particular day. Handing life&rsquo;s troubles off for a time to someone less frazzled works; don&rsquo;t be afraid to call in reinforcements.</p> <h3>5. Someone will always be better than you.</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve learned not to obsess about getting a high score in my house or the online Angry Birds community. Life works in the same way for me; there will always be a better blogger, piano player, drummer, and marketer. But I can take peace in focusing on my score in the game <em>and</em> the real world by tuning out what others are doing. (You really can&rsquo;t be happy measuring yourself against others all the time.)</p> <p>Angry Birds is just a game, but it is crazy good fun. It also resembles so many things that I deal with on a daily basis as a mom of five and a <a href="">small business owner</a></p> <p><em>What games do you enjoy that have taught you real-world lessons? </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Things Angry Birds Has Taught Me About Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development Technology games life lessons smartphone apps Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:24:28 +0000 Linsey Knerl 845093 at Amazon Will Give You 5% Off for Price Checking Saturday: But Is It Fair? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/amazon-will-give-you-5-off-for-price-checking-saturday-but-is-it-fair" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman scanning bar code" title="To Scan or Not to Scan?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amazon is <a href="">offering shoppers 5% off on purchases</a> this Saturday &mdash; December 10 &mdash; if they use the retailer's Price Check app on the same product in a brick and mortar store. (See also: <a href="">16 Best Mobile Shopping Apps for Your Phone</a>)</p> <p>This effectively means that Amazon is trying to get customers who walk into a store intending to buy, say, a Barbie Cruise Ship, to leave the store and buy on Amazon instead. The program also encourages shoppers to inform Amazon of the prices that other retailers are charging for the items they look up. Shoppers can get a 5% discount on up to three items Saturday, with a maximum discount of $5 per item.</p> <p>Some small business owners are outraged.</p> <p>&quot;The Amazon promotion encourages consumers to take the resources of their local businesses in order to save themselves money and allow Amazon to profit,&rdquo; said Katherine O. McHenry, shopkeeper at <a href="">Building Blocks Toy Store in Chicago</a>.</p> <p>As McHenry sees it, Amazon is encouraging customers to use local stores as a showroom only.</p> <p>&quot;I think consumers have a responsibility to 'buy it where they try it,'&rdquo; McHenry said.</p> <p>McHenry is not alone &mdash; <a href="">retailer associations nationwide have decried Amazon's move</a>.</p> <p>Then there is the fact that Amazon asks &mdash; but doesn't require &mdash; customers to tell them what other stores are charging.</p> <p>&quot;With every in-store price you share, you help insure our prices remain competitive for our customers,&rdquo; Amazon says.</p> <p>Is it nice to ask your customers to spy on the competition? Then again, Amazon's prices are always right out there for everyone to see, so maybe they feel that turnabout is fair play.</p> <p>What do you think of this promotion? It's surely a boon to shoppers to be able to get up to $15 off holiday shopping this weekend. And despite McHenry's understandable frustration, it's not as if comparison shopping is a new thing. Apps like Amazon's Price Check just make it a lot easier.</p> <p>Do you feel any responsibility to the store where you physically checked out an item? What if the staff spends time demonstrating the item or helping you figure out what you need? Is it different if you visit the showroom of a national chain versus a local shop? Is there something inherently evil or crass about using a price check app?&nbsp;</p> <p>Personally, I feel like it's tacky to go to a local store to see or play with a specific item, knowing that I intend to buy it elsewhere. I wouldn't waste the staff's time with questions if that was my intention. But my goodwill towards local business only goes so far &mdash; if I browse in a <a href="">local shop</a> and happen to see something I like, I'm not going to say I won't buy it online months later. And if I'm browsing at a national chain, all bets are off.</p> <p>I have used price check apps in stores, but only large chain stores. I recently pulled out my Droid and used the ShopSavvy app at Kohl's to check the price of that Barbie Cruise Ship I mentioned. At the time, Kohl's sale price beat Amazon's &mdash; and I had a 20% off coupon besides, so using the app helped me buy in confidence.</p> <p>But I don't know if I would use that same app in a local toy store. I would probably be embarrassed that the owner would see me.</p> <h3>Price-Checking Apps</h3> <p>If you aren't afraid to price compare at will, here are the smartphone apps that make it possible:</p> <p><strong>Amazon Price Check </strong></p> <p>For <a href=";s=mobile-apps&amp;qid=1323404991&amp;sr=1-2">Android</a> and <a href="">iPhone</a>, free. Scan a barcode, snap a photo, or say the item's name, and the app will tell you what Amazon charges for it.</p> <p><strong>ShopSavvy Bar Code Scanner </strong></p> <p>For <a href=";feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5iaWdndS5zaG9wc2F2dnkiXQ..">Android</a> and <a href="">iPhone</a>, free. Scan the barcode, and the app will attempt to tell you what the item sells for online and in nearby physical locations. I say &quot;attempt,&quot; because I have not successfully had ShopSavvy find me an item in a nearby store. It found the item at the store I was in, but the price was wrong.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Google Shopper</strong></p> <p>For <a href=";feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5nb29nbGUuYW5kcm9pZC5hcHBzLnNob3BwZXIiXQ..">Android</a> and <a href="">iPhone</a>, free. Point your phone at a barcode, or the cover of a book or DVD, and Google will search for price comparisons from online merchants.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Amazon Will Give You 5% Off for Price Checking Saturday: But Is It Fair?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Amazon shop locally shopping apps smartphone apps Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:35:01 +0000 Carrie Kirby 820006 at 9 Smartphone Apps to Manage Your Money <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/9-smartphone-apps-to-manage-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Smartphone Apps to Manage Your Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Keeping track of your cash flow and accounts shouldn't be a big time sink. You've got more important things to do. So pick up your smartphone. Managing your company&rsquo;s money on-the-go <a href="" target="_blank">has never been</a> easier.</p> <h2>1. Expensify</h2> <p>This on line service plus phone app allows you to create &quot;expense reports that don't suck,&quot; which would be nice for everyone involved. You set up an account (free for individuals; $5/person for business expense report approval), download the right app for your phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm), and start uploading receipts, adding account information, tracking expenses, syncing with QuickBooks, and creating reports and spreadsheets.</p> <p>If you only get one money management app, <a href="" target="_blank">Expensify</a> should be the one.</p> <h2>2. Pageonce</h2> <p>Losing money on late fees because you forgot to pay a bill is just bad business. Set yourself up with <a href="" target="_blank">Pageonce</a> to end that senselessness. It allows you to track multiple account balances, bills, and payments, and set up alerts with the Payments Due feature so you don't forget to pay the bills. An account is free, as is the app for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, and Windows Phone.</p> <h2>3. BillTracker</h2> <p>For a simpler take on the bill reminder service, try <a href="" target="_blank">BillTracker</a>. This one is exclusively for Apple users: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, and the app costs $1.99. Users appreciate that it is straightforward, simple to use, and has both calendar and list view for upcoming bills. It's also pretty...</p> <h2>4. Loanshark</h2> <p>Know the key to money management? Know where your money is going. <a href="" target="_blank">Loanshark</a> allows you to calculate loan payments and will produce a full amortization table for you, so you can see how much interest you're paying, how much an extra payment or two would help, and more. $2.99 for the iPhone or iPad app.</p> <p><a href=";feature=search_result" target="_blank">LoanCalculator</a> provides the same services for Android users, and it's a free app.</p> <h2>5. Paypal</h2> <p>The go-to method for on line payments, <a href=";content_ID=marketing_us/mobile_android" target="_blank">Paypal</a> is still a must for easily managing your money, payments, and transfers. The mobile app allows you to easily check your balance and payments received, as well as make payments or transfer money to your other accounts.</p> <h2>6. XE Mobile Currency</h2> <p>Whether you're traveling for business or putting together a proposal for an international client, having a handy currency converter makes it easy to keep track of dollars to euros or yen or... whatever. <a href="" target="_blank">XE Mobile Currency</a> provides live currency rates, and has apps available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone; all are free.</p> <h2>7. ProOnGo</h2> <p>Expense tracking at its simplest and best. <a href="" target="_blank">ProOnGo</a> starts with the cloud-based service. Individual accounts start as low as $0.99/month and go up to $9.99/month; business accounts start at $27/month for up to 5 users and go up from there. Once you get your account set up, you can download the appropriate app; Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Windows phone are all covered. ProOnGo allows you to input receipts, track mileage, track your time, and create reports for Excel or Quickbooks (or a custom format).</p> <h2>8. ClockIn or TimeClock</h2> <p>When you just want a simple time tracking application, one of these will do the job. If you are a freelancer or outsourced worker, you can easily track hours logged on different projects. If you're the boss, you can track your own hours and see where your time is going. See <a href="" target="_blank">ClockIn for Apple products</a> (free) and <a href="" target="_blank">TimeClock for Android</a> ($3.99).</p> <h2>9. Invoice2Go or MobileBiz</h2> <p>These invoicing apps are musts for freelancers in general and freelancers on the go in particular. Get the invoicing done, so you don't have to worry about remembering to do it when you get back home (and potentially, forgetting and potentially missing out on some money you're owed...).</p> <p>Input your client's information, your hours worked, the rate, and any other expenses (or discounts and deductions). Send the invoice straight from your phone. For Apple users, <a href="" target="_blank">the app of choice is Invoice2Go</a>; a bit pricey at $10.49, but you can get a free trial version to make sure you like it. If you do, and you use it, it's well worth a $10 price tag to avoid missing an invoice. For Android users, <a href="" target="_blank">MobileBiz is a feature-rich invoicing app</a> with free, trial, and pro versions.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Annie Mueller</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Technology business apps money management apps online business tools small business smartphone apps Sat, 06 Aug 2011 20:57:07 +0000 Annie Mueller 640165 at Gigwalk: Get Paid While You Walk! <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gigwalk-get-paid-while-you-walk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Woman walking in the city" title="Woman walking in the city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Who said walking had to be boring (and unprofitable)? Now you can get paid to run simple errands while you're out and about. And it's all based on where you happen to be, whether you're inclined to take up a gig, and how much money you want to make. It's <a href="">Gigwalk</a>! The idea is so simple, yet so amazing. With the confluence of social media, explosive growth in smartphones, and people pressed for time, Gigwalk brings together people who need local information quickly and in-person with people who happen to be mulling about, interested in making a few bucks for a few minutes of easy work. (See also: <a href="">Walk, Walk, Walk, Walk, Walk</a>)</p> <h3>How Gigwalk Works and Common Tasks</h3> <p>Once you sign up as a Gigwalker, when you look at your app, you'll see a map of local gigs as you move. Some might happen to be on your route to work or the coffee shop. What the heck, why not pop in, complete a gig, and earn some money on the way? Some of the most common gigs are the following:</p> <h4>Menus/Daily Specials</h4> <p>Someone is considering dining out and would like you to take a snapshot of a menu. Who knows, maybe it's even the restaurant's competitor seeing what's being served up. Either way, it's saving the person a trip across town, and it might be worth $4-5 to them (and you as well).</p> <h4>What to Wear</h4> <p>Maybe someone's a bit self-conscious about whether they're going to be overdressed or underdressed at a new venue. They ask you to pop in and snap a shot of what people are wearing. As insipid as this might sound, I can think of many people who would utilize this option.</p> <h4>Is This Place Shady?</h4> <p>Someone's looking for a good restaurant or bar, but they're from out of town and want a snapshot or a quick written review in real time before they waste their time and head over.</p> <h4>How Bad's That Line for the Latest iPad?</h4> <p>Imagine showing up for the latest hot gadget only to find out they just sold out &mdash; or the line's wrapped around the building still. Save yourself the time! Just ask a Gigwalker to snap a shot of the line every couple hours and pop over when it dies down.</p> <p>There is a bit of a meritocracy to the system. As a Gigwalker becomes more proficient and well-regarded via customer reviews, that person moves to the front of the line for new Gigwalks. Depending on the complexity of the task, some gigs can actually pay much more than just a few bucks. As odd as it sounds, there have been cases where a client wanted someone to try on an outfit and take a picture to confirm how it fit, or even more random tasks. As they increase in complexity and time required, gigs pay more.</p> <h3>Where Is Gigwalk Active?</h3> <p>According to the company, they are active with thousands of users in seven cities thus far (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco), with plans for expansion everywhere. For that reason, I haven't been able to try the service out myself just yet. However, when Gigwalk is available in my area, I'd certainly like to try it out.</p> <h3>Gigwalk Complaints</h3> <p>Since I'm not a current user, I wanted to check out what some of the common Gigwalk complaints were around the web, but all I really came across were complaints that it's available only on the iPhone, and some people were annoyed over the meritocracy. Regarding the device issues, while the company is mum on their website, I have to imagine it's only a matter of time before the app is compatible with other smartphones; most other major apps go that direction. Next, there are complaints over having to earn &quot;street cred&quot; in order to start getting jobs approved more quickly. While it may be viewed as a downside to new entrants, if you think about it, it's also a competitive advantage to early adopters. It's only natural to want to protect customers from poor performers and scammers, so having to earn some street cred first seems like a reasonable constraint up front.</p> <p>Once it expands to an area near me, I'm thinking of signing up on the other side for when I'm really busy and want to find something out quickly. If time is of the essence and I need to figure out why Google Maps is showing some traffic on my route, it would be nice to know if it's an accident being cleared or just a random traffic jam. Perhaps it could be used for a hot kids' toy around the holidays or even as a quasi-personal assistant for brief and low-risk tasks. There are surely millions of ideas none of us can contemplate at this time, but I suspect you'll be hearing a lot more about Gigwalk in the coming months. There are tons of ways to <a href="">earn extra income</a>, but this is one of the most convenient and innovative that I've ever come across!</p> <p><em>Would you do gigs for cash with Gigwalk?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Gigwalk: Get Paid While You Walk!" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Darwins Money</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Income errands gigs smartphone apps Fri, 01 Jul 2011 10:24:13 +0000 Darwins Money 598977 at 5 Great Beer Apps to Kick-Start Your Summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-great-beer-apps-to-kick-start-your-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Guy with a glass of beer" title="Guy with a glass of beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The start of summer is almost here, and you know what that means &mdash; all you&rsquo;re thinking about is ice-cold beer.</p> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re at the beach, near a bar, or in your own backyard, these five apps let you sit back, relax, and sip your way to satisfaction. (See also: <a href="">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Findmytap (Free)</h2> <p>Draft and craft connoisseurs will salivate over the recently launched <a href="">Findmytap</a> app for iPhone and Android that allows users to find their favorite brews no matter where they are. Its comprehensive database contains an extensive selection of searchable on-tap beers that are served at registered bars within a 10-mile radius. Users also can browse and leave reviews and ratings to help Findmytap users decide in advance if a particular bar is up to par, and there&rsquo;s a Favorites list that allows users to save their preferences for easier decision-making next time around.</p> <h2>2. DrinkFit ($1.49)</h2> <p>When you&rsquo;ve worked long and hard for that beach-ready body, the last thing you need is to pile on the pounds from a couple of pints. With <a href="">DrinkFit</a>, users can search the nutritional information (is that an oxymoron in this context?) for beer, cocktails, liquor, mixers, and wine &mdash; 1,600-plus drinks are currently listed &mdash; to avoid overindulgence. In addition to straight-up calorie counts, the app allows users to create a running list of the beverages he or she is consuming in one sitting to keep track of the carbs in real-time. DrinkFit is available for iPhone and Android.</p> <h2>3. BarTab Keepr ($.99)</h2> <p>You know the scenario &mdash; you hand the bartender a credit card to open a tab, buy your buddies a couple rounds of bottles, and a few hours later walk out without paying because too much hooch makes you forget that they actually cost money. Why we do it no one knows, but the developer of <a href="">BarTab Keepr</a> feels your pain. This ingenious iPhone app lets users keep a running tab of the drinks they&rsquo;ve purchased &mdash; and input prices for those on a budget &mdash; with additional functionality that sets an alarm to remind the reveler that there is a minor monetary issue that must be resolved before stumbling out the door.</p> <h2>4. onTap Beer App (Free)</h2> <p>The perfect companion to Findmytap, <a href="">onTap Beer App</a> is what you open after you&rsquo;ve honed in on hoppy happiness. This iPhone-only application allows users to take snapshots of their latest finds; rate beers and leave tasting notes like, &ldquo;Goes well with the pizza after a night of wine tasting;&rdquo; and view beers being enjoyed by other users. And if you&rsquo;re the type with a whole network of ale aficionados and lager lovers, the developers have you covered there, too &mdash; you can share your malted musings via Facebook and Twitter without leaving the app.</p> <h2>5. iBrewMaster ($6.99-$9.99)</h2> <p>A frothy, frigid pilsner is a tantalizing treat, but sometimes it&rsquo;s just too darn hot to waltz on down to your local watering hole to curb that craving. For those who prefer the comforts of their climate-controlled cottages, <a href="">iBrewMaster</a> &mdash; for iPhone and iPad &mdash; makes <a href="">home brewing</a> easier than ever. The app comes with 50 pre-installed recipes and instructions that walk you through the home-brewing process and track your batch&rsquo;s progress every step of the way. Even better, estimated gravities, alcohol content, IBUs, color, and calories are automatically calculated, so all you&rsquo;ll need to worry about is whether to pair it with a hamburger or hot dog.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Great Beer Apps to Kick-Start Your Summer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Technology beer smartphone apps summer Mon, 13 Jun 2011 09:48:18 +0000 Mikey Rox 575187 at 6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Baby turnips" title="Baby turnips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In many areas of the country, the seeds have been planted for various veggies and flowers. Trees have taken root in preparation for years of fabulous fruit. Time, sweat, and tears used to be the only way to ensure a bountiful harvest &mdash; and even then, there was no guarantee that weather and critters would cooperate with your best laid plans.</p> <p>While I can&rsquo;t promise that these six tools will usher in a promise of return on your investment, they are fun to use and can help fill in the gaps of your gardening strategies. (See also: <a href="">Vegetable Gardening: Four Cheap Hacks</a>)</p> <h3>PlantJotter</h3> <p>This subscription-based site offers a free 30-day trial, which makes it perfect for testing out before you buy. Features of <a href="">PlantJotter</a> include a handy journal, planning guides, photo book, and a maintenance calendar, all designed to help you reduce the guesswork of caring for and harvesting your garden. As with most gardening tools, PlantJotter won&rsquo;t tell you exactly what to do (there&rsquo;s no &ldquo;Hey! It&rsquo;s Thursday, time to <a href="">pick those tomatoes</a>!&rdquo;). It does, however, provide you with a loose framework and a personal history of your gardening, something that will help you improve year after year. In my experience, I&rsquo;ve found that <em>your own experience</em> is the key to successful gardening.</p> <h3>Home Farming</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t mind garden tools with a commercial sponsorship, this free site by Triscuit is actually very useful. In addition to a simple <a href="">garden planning</a> guide and some nice descriptions of various plants in their crop guide, the robust community surrounding <a href="">Home Farming</a> may be the most helpful of all components. With over 1,000 questions already asked by community members, the answer to your burning gardening question has likely been addressed. It also features some nice social media perks, such as the posting of your garden status to Facebook.</p> <h3>FlowerPedia App</h3> <p>If blooms are your thing, you&rsquo;ll surely love the smartphone app from <a href="">FlowerPedia</a>. While not free, it&rsquo;s priced way below a good hard-copy field guide, and it features photos and descriptions of over 150,000 species from around the world. Use it to identify that rogue perennial that pops up every year, or see what is blooming on a map near you. (This could be a fun way for kids to help learn their botany, too!)</p> <h3>Dirr&rsquo;s Tree and Shrub Finder</h3> <p>Not sure what that woody shrub is in your yard? The <a href="">Tree and Shrub Finder</a> app can help with that! Priced a little higher than most apps, this is actually an application version of the actual complete field guide for trees and shrubs. It includes zone info, water and light requirements, and planning tips. Because it&rsquo;s written by an actual expert, it has the most clout of any other app of its kind! (I could see this as being an invaluable tool for students as well as landscaping enthusiasts.)</p> <h3>Herbs+ App</h3> <p>Many people love growing herbs. They are simple, easy to care for, and have a plethora of uses. Armed with a great app like <a href="">Herbs+</a>, you can effectively use <a href="">herbs for cooking</a> and medicinal purposes wherever you go! Perhaps the best features of the app are the crisp, full-color photos, which help you identify unknown herbs, and the ability to view the Wiki page for each &mdash; without ever leaving the app!</p> <h3>Dave&rsquo;s Garden</h3> <p><a href="">Dave's Garden</a> claims to be &ldquo;hand down favorite website of gardeners around the world,&rdquo; and I believe it. It provides an endless supply of videos, a fantastic community forum, and article info you can&rsquo;t get anywhere else. Perhaps the most useful tidbits, however, come in the form of the collaborative tools. My favorites are The Garden Watchdog (a free directory of 7,292 mail-order gardening companies that have been peer reviewed by the community) and PlantScout (a searchable database of vendors by plant type). There is also a neat seed and plant swap component that really brings garden lovers together!</p> <p>Growing a garden may not be all that high-tech. Getting it right, however, may take a little extra skill that we can best acquire from our computers and iPhones.</p> <p><em>Do you have a savvy site or awesome app that we should know about?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Technology articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Green Living Technology gardening landscaping smartphone apps Wed, 01 Jun 2011 09:48:12 +0000 Linsey Knerl 553482 at Save Time and Money with Business-Friendly Smartphone Apps <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/save-time-and-money-with-business-friendly-smartphone-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Man with smartphone" title="Man with smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Save Time and Money with Business-Friendly Smartphone Apps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>You&rsquo;ve made your New Year&rsquo;s resolution to work smarter, and what better way to do this then to use a smartphone? The iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and other smartphones are changing the way we do business. While only 17% of Americans own smartphones, <a href="">nearly half of all small-business owners</a> already have them. With the expected arrival of the Verizon iPhone in 2011, many more small-business owners will implement smartphone usage very soon.</p> <p>Smartphones are not only for communication, although they are still a valuable tool for this purpose; they are also extremely helpful in handling various business activities while on the road. There are numerous apps for these devices that enable you to perform activities mobilely, which can save you both time and money, and more apps are being developed everyday.</p> <p>Here are some ways in which smartphones can be used to simplify your company&rsquo;s taxes, accounting, and other financial activities when you and/or your staff members are out of the office.</p> <h2>Accounting</h2> <p>Keep records of income and expenses up-to-date while you&rsquo;re on the road using an app for your accounting system; your mobile entries sync with your desktop data. For example:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">AccountingEdge</a> lets you create quotes, orders, and invoices.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="">QuickBooks Online</a> enables you to view your customer lists, look up accounts receivable, and check your credit card balances.</li> </ul> <h2>Taxes</h2> <p>Taxes require you to keep receipts and certain records to backup your claimed deductions. You can use smartphones to help with record-keeping such as:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Vehicle mileage:</strong> If you use a personal car or truck for business, keep a record of your business driving using Intuit&rsquo;s <a href="">Tap2Track</a>, <a href="">MileBug</a>, Symply Soft&rsquo;s <a href="">Milog</a>, or <a href="">Trip Cubby</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>T&amp;E reports: </strong>Track travel and entertainment expenses with apps such as <a href="">Concur</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Other Matters</h2> <p>There are an unlimited number of ways in which a smartphone can be used for a business&rsquo;s financial activities:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Time tracking: </strong>Keep track of the time you spend on customer accounts using smartphone apps, such as <a href="">HoursTracker</a> or <a href="">ClockIn</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Payment processing:&nbsp;</strong>Apps enable you to accept credit cards on the fly. Your smartphone uses an iTerminal/vTerminal to process payments using an app such as <a href=""></a>, <a href="">Paytech PayPocket</a>, and <a href="">uCharge</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Credit card balances:</strong>&nbsp;You can view and manage your <a href="">American Express</a> credit card balance, for example, using an app. You can also receive text message alerts for payment reminders and irregular account activity.</li> </ul> <h2>Final Word</h2> <p>Be sure to check into cost (some apps are fee; others have a modest cost) and availability on your type of smartphone (some apps work only on iPhones, others on BlackBerrys, etc.). Also ask your CPA or other financial advisor which other types of apps can be used to help run your business more efficiently while you are away from your office.</p> <p>Remember to address privacy concerns with smartphone usage. Issues include virus protection, data backup, and blocks for tracking your location. The International Association for Privacy Professionals recently <a href="">called for privacy guidelines</a>. And yes, there&rsquo;s an app for privacy protection too (see <a href="">MyLookout</a>).</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Barbara Weltman</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Technology business travel small business small business taxes smartphone apps Fri, 14 Jan 2011 19:16:17 +0000 Barbara Weltman 441991 at 5 Ways to Save Money in the New Year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-save-money-in-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Change jar" title="Change jar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What better way to start 2011 than with an action plan on how to save money? Here are five easy ways you can save money without changing your lifestyle.</p> <h3>1. Use Your Smartphone for Deals</h3> <p>Do you have a smartphone? If so, be sure to download apps that will search for mobile coupons. For the iPhone, download <a href="">Yowza!!</a>, <a href="">MobiQpons</a>, and <a href="">Save Benjis</a>. With these apps, a barcode appears on the screen of the iPhone, and the cashier will scan the barcode and give you the discount. No need to print the coupons! For the Andriod, download the <a href="">Google Shopper</a> app, which allows users to scan the barcode of any item in the store and the app will compare prices among different retailers. And for the BlackBerry, visit <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> (if you have Internet on your BlackBerry).</p> <h3>2. Improve Your Credit Cards</h3> <p>Call up your credit card companies and ask them to lower the interest rates on your credit cards &mdash; ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary. By making this phone call, your rates should be lowered by 3-5%.</p> <p>Also, if you have <a href="">credit card debt</a>, try to pay more than the minimum payment on your credit card bill, even if it's only a few dollars. This will get you out of debt sooner and you'll save money on interest payments.</p> <h3>3. Track Your Expenses</h3> <p>Do you know how much money you spend each month? In order to begin to save money, you need to know exactly, to the penny, how much money you spend. This will allow you to determine where you are wasting your money. For example: Are you spending $150 month on coffee each month? Are you spending $200 each week by eating out at restaurants? To help you figure out how much money you spend, use this free <a href="">Expense Calculator</a>. Also, if you have an iPhone, for $4.99 you can download the <a href="">iXpenseIt</a> app, which enables users to take a picture of their receipts after they make a purchase. The app stores the receipt's data, allowing users to easily track their spending.</p> <h3>4. Shop with Cash Only</h3> <p>When shopping, leave your credit cards at home and use cash instead. At some point, you're going to run out of cash, which will force you to stop shopping, whereas with credit cards, there are no boundaries and you can easily rack up thousands of dollars without even realizing it. Plus with cash, you don't have to worry about interest rates, late fees, or <a href="">damage to your credit score</a> by accumulating debt or by not paying the bill on time.</p> <h3>5. Set Goals</h3> <p>You probably have a few New Year's resolutions. If it isn't already, make one of your resolutions for 2011 to save money and be conscious of your spending. Challenge yourself! For example, promise that you're going to use cash only for the next three months. After completing that challenge, chances are you'll stick to cash and never go back to credit cards, which is a huge financial success.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Save Money in the New Year" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Scott Gamm</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Frugal Living articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living credit card interest rates goal setting smartphone apps tracking spending Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:00:12 +0000 Scott Gamm 431207 at