25 free apps & tools that will make your life easier

Jeanine Skowronski


Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski is the former head of content at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC and more.

Published|5 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

We get it: The daily grind is real. In the interest of making life’s more tedious tasks easier — it’s sort of our thing — we put together a list of 25 free apps and tools worth tapping.

1. Glympse

The free GPS locator app helps families and friends “check in” with one another. Let your spouse know what time you expect to get home from work, for instance, or request the location of your teen — without infringing on their privacy.

2. Dark Sky

Dramatically reduce the odds of getting stuck in a rainstorm with this free, popular and notoriously accurate weather app.

3. Qapital

The free banking app automates your savings by transferring money from checking to a special account each time you spend, start a new week or do something you’re prone to do — like post to Instagram or add a song to your Spotify playlist.

4. Venmo

Consider me a Venmo convert: The mobile payment app is uber-convenient when it comes time to split a bill with friends or pay for your portion of a joint baby shower gift.

5. Blooom

Tap the online robo-adviser for a free analysis of your 401(k). It’ll unearth any hidden fees and provide suggestions for how to maximize an employer-sponsored retirement account. Further management or monitoring costs $10 per month.

Need to boost your nest egg? Check out these five easy ways to save more for retirement in five minutes or less.

6. Hotwire

The travel website helps you book airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and vacation packages at discounted prices. It specializes in last-minute travel, offering exclusive deals and planning tools for spur-of-the-moment getaways.

7. GasBuddy

The free app helps you save money and time at the pump by locating the cheapest gas in your area or while you’re on the road.

8. Evernote

The free version of this popular note-taking app and browser extension helps you manage everyday project and tasks, “clip” pages, articles, recipes, images, PDFs and more on the web, and keep a journal.

9. Honey

The free browser plugin automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout for online shoppers.

10. Paribus

The shopping app monitors price drops at stores with price guarantees and notifies you when you’re eligible for a rebate. It also tracks shipments from a few chains, including Amazon and Walmart, to get you money back on late deliveries.

The site lets you search for discount prescriptions online and pick them up from any pharmacy. Bonus: Policygenius readers can get $20 off their first fill. You can search for scripts and snag the deal here.

12. Grammarly

The free Chrome plug-in helps fix critical grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Grammarly’s premium version, which checks for plagiarism, wordiness and more, costs between $11.66 and $29.95 a month, depending on how you pay.

13. Credible

The online marketplace helps borrowers compare rates on private student loans, student loan refinancing and personal loans across lenders.

14. Truebill

The app aggregates your current recurring subscriptions and helps you cancel unwanted services. It’ll also negotiate certain bills for you. That service is free if they don’t get anywhere, but, if successful, Truebill’s fee is 40% of the savings.

15. Stepz

Skip the pricey fitness tracker by downloading Apple’s free pedometer app, which counts your steps, calculates your burned calories and lets you set up and track daily goals.

16. Shopkick

The shopping app lets you earn rewards or “kicks” for walking into participating stores, scanning certain barcodes and, yes, making certain purchases. You can redeem your “kicks” for gift cards.

17. LendingTree

The online marketplace lets you compare rates across lenders when shopping for a mortgage, auto loan, personal loan, home equity loan or business loan. It also offers free monthly credit scores.

18. TurboTax

The online tax preparer has a number of products to make squaring up with Uncle Sam simple, including two free versions: the Free Edition, which helps anyone file a simple 1040EZ/1040A and the Freedom Edition, which lets low-income Americans file federal and state returns.

19. IRS withholding calculator

Speaking of taxes, double-check your 2018 tax withholding with the IRS’ online calculator. ICYMI: About 21% of taxpayers are not setting aside enough money from their paychecks to cover their tax bill this year.

20. Pocket

The basic bookmarklet lets you save stories, videos or more for later from your browser, Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and more. Its Premium version ($44.99, if you pay for a full year) lets you skip Pocket’s ads and offers more sophisticated search-and-organize features.

21. Boomerang

Boomerang’s Basic service gives Gmail users 10 credits to schedule emails, receive follow-up reminders and take messages out of their inbox until they’re actually needed. Its personal version — which lets you do the same things an unlimited number of times — costs $4.99 per month.

22. Waze

The free navigation app provides directions, traffic updates, the fastest routes, highway accident notifications and even police presence alerts while you’re on the road.

23. Kayak

The travel search engine’s newest feature helps you skip baggage fees by scanning your suitcase — no actual picture required. Look for this “bag management tool” in the Kayak iOS app.

24. Parking Panda

The free app helps you find, compare prices, reserve and redeem parking spaces in garages and lots in more than 40 U.S. cities.

25. CamCard

The free app-plus-scanner makes it easier to manage and swap business cards with other entrepreneurs, co-workers, clients and more. A premium version with unlimited scans, zero ads and multi-device support costs $4.49 a month or $46.99 a year.

Apps can help you make a living too. Learn how to get into the gig economy.

Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. While these codes earn us a small fee at no additional cost to you, we only refer products we love.

Image: Eva-Katalin

Ready to shop for life insurance?

Start calculator