My phone is my personal assistant and my boredom companion. I mean, for how much it cost, it better be. Thank to all the apps out there, it’s also a master of all trades. Free apps can help you channel your inner minimalist by replacing things that might otherwise crowd your personal space. Even better? They’ll save you money. Here are seven apps that can help you save space and skip some pricey purchases.
1. Download Snapseed, skip paid photo-editing software.
Unless your professional career or passion project has you using paid photo-editing software on a daily basis, that subscription won’t pay for itself. Snapseed offers a lot of the most popular functions of photo-editing software for free — and right in the palm of your hand. Adjust brightness, white balance, contrast and even add filters to faces for a faux-flawless look.
2. Download RelaxMelodies, skip the sleep sound machine.
If you live with roommates or have children, this app can help you get zen. Mix your own sounds and crank up white noise to get a peaceful sleep. You can opt for premium or subscription services (lifetime access costs $49.99), but there’s a free version, too, which is much cheaper obviouly than most quality sound machines. Those usually cost upwards of $50.
3. Download WhatsApp, skip an international phone plan.
Before your next international excursion, download this popular app. As long as you have Wi-Fi, it’ll keep you connected to your loved ones without necessitating an expensive international plan. It’s also a money-saver if you happen to have a limited texting plan.
4. Download 8fit, skip a gym membership.
While 8fit certainly doesn’t come with fancy equipment and a personal trainer, it’s perfect for people who are always making excuses to go to the gym and prefer quick, simple workouts. This app shows you workouts step-by-step and allows you to plan them. Plus, it eliminates excuses since it can be used anywhere and each session takes as little as eight minutes.
5. Download Waze, skip a GPS.
Avoid buying an expensive GPS by transforming your beloved mobile device into a supped-up navigator. The Waze app not only helps you arrive to your destination, but it also keeps you updated on traffic, the fastest routes, highway accidents and even police presence on the road.
6. Download Steps Pedometer App, skip the fitness tracker.
Let’s be honest, your phone probably goes as many places as your fitness tracker would. Though this app doesn’t have all of the functions of, say, a FitBit, it does track your steps, so if you’re just trying to get an estimate of how much you’re moving each week, no need to shell out $60 to $200 for a bracelet. Plus, you won’t feel as guilty about not using this free app once the thrill of hitting those 10K steps fades out.
7. Download Scanner App, skip the scanner.
No need for those multipurpose printer-scanner things you’d probably use a few times before turning into an extra surface to stack junkmail on top of. This free app allows you to scan documents and send them to yourself or upload them to your cloud. It’s perfect for signing contracts or sharing paperwork.
Apps can also help you turn into an investor, though that service certainly doesn't come for free. We've got a roundup that can help you vet three of the big investment apps — Acorns, Betterment and Robinhood — here.