I’ll admit that not too long ago I was perched atop my high horse looking down at the moms who considered themselves so important that they just HAD to have a smartphone to stay on top of their busy lives. In my mind, smartphones were for people who truly needed to make a living by communicating with co-workers and clients via e-mail; accessing the web for directions or flight statuses; and storing files that could be easily accessed anywhere. I couldn’t imagine what disaster might occur if a SAHM just had to wait until she got home from volunteering at the school for an hour, that she felt the necessity to have a smartphone to monitor it from wherever she was.
What finally won me over was photo envy. My best friend had an iPhone and she was constantly whipping out her phone and snapping amazing photographs of everything her kids did. I had a camera on my basic phone, but it did not compare to hers. About the time the ugly green monster reared its head, fate stepped in to nudge me along. My mom got fed up with AT&T and was shopping around for a new cell phone service provider. It turned out it was cheapest to add her to our plan as opposed to having her set up a new account. For her own reasons, it was very important to her to have unlimited data, which meant we all had unlimited data. To thank us for adding her to our plan (and for my birthday since it happened to be around that time), she bought me my first smartphone and my life hasn’t been the same since.
Smartphones Can Be Really Helpful
Moms can certainly survive without a smartphone. However, if you’ve been wooed over to the age of technology you know what powerhouses these little gadgets can be. They can help keep you organized, save you money, and chronicle the important moments in your life. I am an app fanatic so I have apps to manage all areas of my life as a wife, mom, and blogger. Here are the apps that I consider essential for helping my life run smoothly. As CEOs and CFOs of our household, we need apps specific to our responsibilities that are as cool as other professionals options.
Apps To Make Your Life Run Smoothly
- Cozi — I originally downloaded this to organize my family calendar, but quickly fell in love with its other features. You can track your To Do list, shopping list, and keep a journal of things you want to remember (e.g. that really funny thing your 6-year old said at the dentist).
- ShopSavvy — I hate not knowing if I’m getting the best deal on something I’m buying which is why I love this app. You use it to scan the barcode of an item you want to buy and it will provide you with all of the places you can purchase it and the prices at those locations (including online retailers). So, if you want to know if that toy that’s on sale at Target is REALLY the best deal, just scan the barcode to see if you can snag it somewhere else for cheaper. You can also set up price alerts to let you know when an item you want goes on sale.
- KeyRing — I sign up for every free rewards program I can so I can get coupons and earn rewards. I love to get stuff for free. I hate carrying around 50 different reward cards. KeyRing solves this problem by allowing you to scan the barcode of each card and storing it for you on your phone. Even stores that aren’t equipped with scanners that can read the barcode off your phone can manually type the number on your screen. The only exception I’ve found is Panera which doesn’t have a barcode and thus requires you to present the actual card so they can scan the magnetic strip on it to credit your account.
- Kids Meal Deals — Yes, I advocate for eating dinner at home as often as possible. But let’s be honest, sometimes life is just easier (or more fun) if you eat out once in awhile. Why pay more than you have to though? This app helps you find all the deals (like kids eat free) on meals in an area.
- Bank of Mom — I NEVER have cash. Armed with a credit card and a debit card, I just don’t see the point since I can’t track how it’s spent as easily. The down side is that my kids stop taking their chores seriously when they aren’t getting paid for them, which is why I love this app. I can easily track how much the kids have earned or owe (since one of them is famous for taking advances on his allowance).
- Mint — I tried a lot of apps to find one that would help me stay on top of our financial accounts and spending, but this is by far the best one. I can easily track our family budget and spending along with my business expenses, keeping everything accessible but separate.
- Manilla — I pay almost all of our bills online. Because I’m a spoiled brat, I hate logging onto ten or more sites to pay all the bills. With Manilla, I don’t have to. You link all of your accounts (electric, cell phone, credit card, etc.) to your Manilla account and you can pay all of them from one place. You can also set up reminders to make sure you never make a late payment.
Are you an app fanatic too? Check out my other articles on apps I love.