August 20, 2010

How my iPhone 4 is $aving me buck$

You already know there's an app for everything except getting your back scratched. Like today, I avoided a trip to the bank by depositing a hard-copy paper check at home via my Chase Bank app. It's the first time I did that; I thought, how cool to do right at my desk, at home. Although I'll read this six months from now and think--that's so nothing.

'Cause I remember the thrill of making my first phone call from my boyfriend's car phone not millions of years ago. It was cool then. Now it is old stuff, plus illegal in my town.

But to my iPhone 4: I highly recommend it to everyone, everywhere. It is saving me money, improving my health, mobility, (a little bit, sociability) and so much more. If you want one, and need a few arguments in favor of--to justify a purchase, here goes. My iPhone replaces:
  1. Scanner
  2. Fax machine
  3. LED flashlight
  4. Makeup / hand mirror
  5. HD video camera
  6. Videophone
  7. Digital camera--with flash
  8. White noise machine
  9. Unlimited games / entertainment
  10. Stereo receiver
  11. Radio
  12. Shopping list, shopping aid 
  13. Compass
  14. GPS
  15. Almost left out--music, podcast, television and movie players
  16. And then there are reference guides like Dictionary, Bible, Google Earth and hundreds more
  17. Kitchen blender, food processor and espresso machine (well, TBD, I'm sure they're working on it)
Seriously, calculate the cost of each of those items, then compare with $199 (my cost) plus about $5 more per month than I paid for my previous iPhone version.

I no longer need a scanner. Or fax machine. iPhone 4 does the drill with the PocketSanner app which takes a great shot of documents and turns it into a PDF. Good thing, too, because I've long since canceled my landline, gave away my fax machine, and recently used the FedEx Kinko's in my neighborhood for increasingly rare fax needs.

A woman I sat with at dinner tonight said she lost 50 pounds using the "Lose it!" app, which my endocrinologist recommended. Free, it is.

Shoppers like me love the conveniences. Whilst shopping with my mother at her local Walgreens, I queued up to a favorite--Money Saving Mom website, and then and there mom and I found a few freebies to pick up. Between us we bought $27.98 in daily vitamins, all free after Walgreens' dollar-saver program, which is called Register Rewards. Anyway, the point is, I go to such sites while in a store to find deals the store is offering that may not be posted or obvious. Mom and I got the free vitamins, yet there was no store signage indicating such. Since it was a corporate-wide offering, we just asked the clerk to scan and he said, "Yes, they're $13.99, but on sale for $10, plus you get $10 back. Awesome for us.

While out recently, it occurred to me to pick up a RedBox movie. I thought, "Surely there's an app for that." So while roaming around, I downloaded the RedBox iPhone app within seconds, looked up a movie I wanted to see, and found a RedBox within a few blocks that still had that just-released movie available! Saved me checking from my home computer; saved running around to various locations; saved having to plan or even think ahead.

Not that that's a good thing, because much that I teach about saving money has to do with planning, planning and, well, planning. The three keys to successful monetary real estate, as it were.

Anyway, I'm looking for more ways to save money using my iPhone. What do you know?

Tonight I set out on a 3.5 mile walk to Chicago's Millennium Park to meet friends for a fabulous and free jazz performance. I entered my destination, the iPhone found my current location, and it indicated how many minutes it would take for me to arrive. The thing was spot-on! Nice to have that sort of pedometer. I've used the iPhone GPS for several years now, and have actively used the feature which shows traffic patterns, wending my way about the city for short-cuts and such especially during contruction or rush hours.

Would love to know your money-saving uses, or just life-enhancing, socially-enabling (in a good way) uses of iPhone apps. How else might it enhance my life? What drawbacks do you see?

BTW, I read last month in the New York Times that Skout is what it's all about for finding new dating partners. and eHarmony, so last decade; Skout is all 2010. Good for stalking, er, finding compatible dates / partners that are geographically near you, and more easily findable, more immediately.

I downloaded it, then passed it around at a party, and the other party guests were coming up with some fairly creepy guys for me to meet--in the neighborhood, who were winking at me and thus unnerving me, so I quick removed that app. I'm sure there's a good and safe way to use it; just isn't for me now.

So what else am I missing, App-wise? What, if anything, do you think I might be missing by plunging so much of my energy, time, effort and *love* into this new, all-wise all-everything can't-live-without sort of Swiss army knife-like thing? Crack-berries--nothing!! I want to sew it onto my arm. Well, if I ever had to wear a prosthetic hand...


  1. Oh, and of course it long ago replaced my landline and related expense.

    Then there's the app where, while out shopping, you scan the bar code of an item and are able to discover at what different--cheaper prices, and where else locally or online you can purchase this exact item.

  2. If you don't already have it Sharon, I recommend you try out the RedLaser app(maybe the same barcode reader referred to by the commentor above). I think it was 2.99 when I purchased it maybe a year ago, but I just checked the App Store and now it is FREE! It is a bar code reader and more. It has excellent... potential to help a savvy shopper such as yourself to be even more so. Shopping and considering a product? Scan the bar code with the RedLaser app and almost immediately it has searched the internet and displayed stores and prices, even product reviews and technical specs, etc. I HOPE YOU DON'T have it yet so you can tell me how cool it is after you try it out ... and thank ME for the tip! (How pathetic is that?)

  3. Okay, I've really started to use the Flixter Movies App. Doesn't save money, but improves efficiency for planning movie outings with friends.

    And friend Todd recommends the app AroundMe, to find stuff nearby. Uploaded, haven't really found use for it just yet, but I'm sure I will...