We're down to the wire on Christmas shopping now! Don’t let the hectic pace of the holidaze cause unnecessary stress, because in the exciting world of Smartphones, there’s an app for that! With money saving apps, shopping lists, transportation guides, and more, even the most disorganized Santa can make Christmas dreams come true. For the lucky ones that made your ‘nice’ list this year, give them a Christmas they’ll never forget while staying on budget and keeping your sanity.1. Money Saving Apps
RetailMeNot is a great way to get the best deals at your favorite stores without having to wait for a special sale. Simply browse the categories featured in the app, including coupon codes, product deals, and gift card promos for the lowest prices at a variety of shops. Users can also get cash back offers on online purchases from major retailers like Gap, Macy’s, The North Face, and eBay. Another money saving app is Shopkick, which rewards users with gift cards for earning points. All it takes to get “kicks” is visiting a store, which you’ll probably end up doing anyway.
If you’re on a tight budget this season and don’t want to get a major shock at the checkout, the Discount Calculator is another must-have app for saving money. It calculates the actual prices of items on your shopping list, including sales tax and store discounts. Another app that is especially helpful for stores advertising price matching is ShopSavvy, which allows users to scan a barcode of an item and locate the best deal either at a nearby store or online. With this app, simply show the salesperson the price difference from your phone and never pay full price for your favorite items.2. Money Planners
For holiday shoppers on a tight budget, Santa’s Bag is the perfect all-in-one app for keeping your spending on track. Compatible for iOS users, the app also includes a Christmas countdown clock, a shopping list, and budget tracker, which makes it a fail-safe app for even the most disorganized holiday shopper.
For Android, the Christmas Gift List features a festive Christmas interface with similar shopping tools, including reminders for when to wrap presents, return items, and other important events on your holiday calendar. For the serious saver, Mint takes financial responsibility to the executive level with a credit score tracker, bill pay, and money managing tips specially tailored to your personal finance needs. Let Santa check your accounts to see if you’ve been naughty or nice this fiscal year.3. Public Transportation Guides
One way to avoid the stress of holiday traffic is with a public transportation app like Moovit. Serving 12,000 cities worldwide, the Moovit app for Android takes the hassle and worry out of public transportation with an easy-to-use planner that includes detailed directions that get you from A to B in the quickest way possible. It also features get-off notifications so you never miss a stop and an updated database of line schedules, maps, and routes. This app also saves your favorite places, which means 1-tap access to your most frequented transit routes.4. Password Apps
Don’t let an overdose of passwords rob you of precious brain space, especially since there’s an app that takes care of it for you. Whether you’re shopping online or in person, it’s become common for retailers to encourage customers to register an account for easy 1-click shopping and security. A top-rated password app by the editors of PCMag is Last Pass 4.0, a free app with a new online interface featuring emergency access and automated password updating for extra security. LogMeOnce is another password app that’s ideal for the hopelessly forgetful since it doesn’t require a master password for authentication. It also features Photo Login, which means no passwords but high-grade security with your most sensitive information.5. Parking Apps
The holidays can get hectic, especially after a day of shopping at a large shopping mall or too much fun at the holiday Christmas party. But with the Find My Car app, you can finally take off those neon antenna toppers that can be seen from space and instead look cool and efficient with an app that finds your car with advanced GPS navigation. Now, you’ll never get lost in a parking lot again. Another essential app for surviving the holidays is BestParking, which features an extensive database of parking lots in 105 cities and 115 airports throughout North America. The app allows you to compare prices of parking lots near your destination so that you always find the cheapest parking available.6. Traffic Information Guides
Being stuck bumper to bumper in sea of cars is maddening for the driver with tons of Christmas shopping left to do, but with Waze, you can plan out the best route for avoiding traffic jams due to construction, accidents, or dangerous weather conditions. The community based interface allows real people to give updates on everything from the cheapest gas prices to updated maps and police activity, which means the safest and most inexpensive commute that never hits a dead end. With a million users in real-time, Waze is updated by humans on the road, which has advantages over bots and their algorithms filled with unavoidable errors. Another useful app is the RoadCam, which is a traffic camera viewer specially developed for those who prefer to see traffic conditions by video rather than on a map. There are a limited amount of states and countries with coverage, but developers are adding new areas on a regular basis.
Modern life can get hectic, especially around the holidays, but with the help of a few essential apps, take the stress out of Christmas and survive holiday shopping like a seasoned pro from the North Pole. This holiday season, check out the new and improved interfaces, download the apps, and always know who’s been naughty or nice!