By C Craig
It’s that time of year, when we set down promises to make this — and the coming years — the best yet. “I’ll lose that 10 pounds!” we promise ourselves, “Give up late night snacking, get to the gym, and get organized.” Most of us share a common aspect of New Year’s resolve: spend less, save more. It’s one of the keys to reducing stress and creating a secure future. Imagine where you could be a year from now if your basic financial needs were met. Here is a short but powerful list of the top five iPhone and iPod Touch apps to help you keep your financial resolutions for the New Year and beyond.
Paper Calc ($1.99)
When it comes to your finances, information is power. No matter what tools you use, the basic and most helpful will provide solid information in real time. Paper Calc from Interlocken Technology is a user-friendly app which combines high-tech (a 25-function scientific calculator) with what some of us remember as the “paper tape” from an adding machine. So, if one of your resolutions is to get your expense account settled (on time, every month), this is your app — no more double or triple-checking your math, because this app keeps track of every element of your calculations. The “paper” in Paper Calc is virtual: you can check the numbers you’ve entered, timestamp an entry, add notes… and save it. This will become your calculator of choice — there’s nothing else like it on the market. For $1.99, the time you’ll save (think: ultra calculator plus handwritten notes all in one, at the touch of a button) can help make 2010 your best year financial year yet.
Bill Minder ($0.99)
Late payments can hurt your credit score, incur tremendous fees and make you feel about an inch tall (how do you explain to your boss that you couldn’t be reached because you forgot to pay your cell phone bill?). Late payments no more! Bill Minder is your personal assistant, keeping track of what you need to pay and when, as well as a history of what you have paid. Bill Minder takes some of the stress out of bill paying (and that alone provides a big payback in terms of your health and productivity), because you can see your entire scope of bills in one place, and make good decisions about paying those bills down. For less than a dollar, the peace of mind this app affords is priceless.
20-Minute Meals – Jamie Oliver ($4.99)
Save money enjoying gourmet food at home — with meals you can cook in less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant and wait for a table. This app features more than a year’s worth of weekly recipes with step-by-step instructions and a handy shopping list that saves your time with recipe ingredients listed by supermarket aisle. Even a novice chef can master these easy, yet sumptuous dishes. You’ll save the $4.99 cost of this app the first time you skip the prepared side-dish aisle at your grocery store. A great way to save money, master a new hobby and bring joy to your family and friends. Note to single guys: one of these meals will mean more (and cost substantially less) than two dozen roses, trust me!
eBay Mobile (Free)
eBay is definitely a treasure trove and can easily get you to spend a bit more than you’d planned. If you are an eBay newbie, make one or two small purchases just to get a sense of what to expect in the course of an eBay transaction. Then sell, sell, sell and enjoy the profits! If your New Year’s resolutions include getting organized, use this app to research the going price of items in your attic, basement, closets and garage. This app will help you decide in which category to put your own treasures: one stack to sell on eBay, another to give to charity (and remember to keep your receipts for tax deduction purposes). You’ll enjoy the space (think: cleaning out the garage and turning it into a workout room for that other resolution) and the additional income, as well.
CNBC Real-Time (Free)
Whether you are an investment pro or just thinking about where to put some of your hard-earned dollars, CNBC Real-Time will provide you with round-the-clock information, direct from the NYSE and NASDAQ –before, during and after market hours. More than 150 video clips are offered each day to keep you up-to-the-minute on business news. You’ll also be privy to information from US and world indexes. Use this free tool to study the market and create your own watch lists — for your current investments and the ones you’ll make in the future. This is your free financial advisor at your fingertips, any hour of the day or night.