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OrSaveIt: can a mobile app really save you money?

Emma Lunn
by Lovemoney Staff Emma Lunn on 01 February 2013  |  Comments 13 comments

The new app OrSaveIt encourages people to forgo small luxuries and save the money for a bigger goal instead. But do you really need an app to do that?

OrSaveIt: can a mobile app really save you money?

As a personal finance journalist one question I get asked over and over again by friends and random acquaintances is “What’s your biggest money saving tip?”

My answer is simple, and always the same: “Stop spending”.

And, as you can guess, there’s now an app for that.

OrSaveIt

OrSaveIt can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store. Its aim is to get consumers to hold back on impulsive purchases and save the money instead.

For example, if you were about to spend £2.50 on a cappuccino or £1.65 on the latest issue of Heat, you forgo the purchase and save the money instead.

Each time a user decides to make a saving – whether deciding not to buy a coffee, making a packed lunch for work or staying in on a Thursday night – they enter the amount they've saved into the app and watch their cash pile grow.

At the end of each week, customers receive a savings update and can link through to a bank account and transfer the money to their savings account.

The app also allows users to set themselves savings goals, such as a holiday or new car, and to see how the small savings towards those goals soon accumulate.

How much can you save?

The app’s founders have done some research on the amount of money people spend on day-to-day impulse purchases. It says that collectively Brits have a £6.34 billion a year latte habit.

Broken down, it suggests that each coffee drinker spends £393 a year on takeaway coffee.

The app works on the theory that normally when you make a saving – say £10 on your monthly phone bill or £3 on a buy-one-get-one-free deal in the supermarket – this amount is generally absorbed by other general outgoings.

By putting the money aside, saving money on a day-to-day basis can help you save for bigger items such as home improvements, cars and holidays.

Do you really need an app?

Using OrSaveIt will undoubtedly get users thinking about their day-to-day spending and how they could save money but, although the idea is good, I’m not convinced you need an app to adopt the don’t-spend-save mentality.

Although I’m not generally a fan of New Year’s resolutions, since the beginning of the year I’ve been actively trying to save money I usually flitter away on things I don’t need.

I’ve got almost £100 so far so it’s going pretty well. Some of the savings have come from skipping my weekly jaunt to the pub quiz for a couple of weeks due to picking up the latest virus doing the rounds. My plan is any winnings made on my return to the pub quiz team will also go in the savings pot.

I also threw in £10 when during a clothes shopping trip (for necessities, I hasten to add), I failed to notice some items I was buying were in the sale and therefore my total was £10 less than I thought I’d be spending.

Other savings have been made by cutting back on “treats” in the supermarket (good for the waistline too) and making a packed lunch for a day out in the countryside at the weekend, rather than buying food in a café or pub.

Get the most from your savings

Of course once you’ve started saving you need to find an account that gives you a decent return on them.

A Cash ISA is a good place to start. Best buys at the moment include Coventry Building Society which pays 2.8% on 60-day notice terms, and Earl Shilton Building Society which pays 2.7% but requires 90 days to get your money out.

The top-paying easy access accounts include the Post Office which pays 2.1% (including a 2% bonus for 12 months) but requires a minimum investment of £500 and Coventry Building Society which pays 2% (including a 0.4% bonus for a year) and only requires a minimum investment of £1, while Nationwide and Derbyshire Building Society also offer easy access accounts paying 2%.

More on moneysaving:

Make big money from old toys!

Poundland versus Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s

eBay, Amazon, Play.com: where to sell online for less

How to get your hands on free stuff

MusicMagpie vs the competition: where to sell your DVDs

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Comments (13)

  • CuNNaXXa
    Love rating 410
    CuNNaXXa said

    I think branding is everything these days.

    Most of us know that Apple get their kit built by Foxconn in China, but we assume that the specification and quality guidelines the kit are manufactured to are stipulated by Apple in the US.

    Outsourcing to third party manufacturers is all well and good as long as the parent company has total control on the quality of the build. For example, if Mercedes were to ask Ford to build their C class, it would be acceptable as long as we know that the C class was being built to a standard acceptable by Mercedes.

    The problem with outsourcing is that sometimes a manufacturer will buy a competitor product, made to a substandard of their own quality, and badge it as if it were their own kit. The Jaguar X-Type suffered because people believed it was a reshaped Mondeo. After all, if they are prepared to buy a Jag, why settle for something inferior.

    As for electricblue, branding does come with values. That is the whole point in branding, is that you create a brand that people trust. Whether it is a product line such as Sony, or a retailer such as Woolworths, or a car maker such as BMW, people put stock in branding. In fact, branding and brand awareness is so important that companies will actively sue anyone who abuses a brand.

    In fact, Rover, back in the eighties, was considered a premium brand. People aspired to owning a Rover, especially the Sterling. In more recent times, though, the Rover brand was seen as a lower quality brand, especially against more prominent brands such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi, which now dominate the executive car sector. Brands can go down as well as up.

    Another brand story is that of Skoda. Once upon a time, you only bought a Skoda is you couldn't afford any better, yet today Skoda is considered a quality mainstream manufacturer which people are more than happy to drive, without the stigma that clung to the original manufacturer (who employed prison labour to make their cars).

    Of all brands, though, the most prominent today is the Apple brand. Take the iPhone, for example. It is probably no better than competitors using Android or Windows, yet people desire these phones simply because they carry the Apple logo. In fact, if the Android or Windows market left Apple behind in the technology stakes, there would still be diehard Apple fans who aren't interested in the technology because they consider Apple to be fashionable.

    Branding is everything.

    British Gas. Jaguar. Lexus. BT. Ikea. Sony. Santander. Saville Row. The Sun. Hello.

    These are all strong brands that stand out from smaller, more insignificant, brands.

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • leah AKA global leah
    Love rating 17
    leah AKA global leah said

    I don't think the apps that "saves you money" would work, not if you are careful with your money in the first place anyway, although I do find a few apps that is good, especially the bank ones, as then you can check your balance if you're not sure how much you have left but can't get hold of a computer. Because we all know how much they can charge if you're overdrawn.

    I personally have apps for the necessities that I need to keep check on for "just in case".. o2 is another good one, if your contract phone has limited minutes/texts/datas. British Gas lets me know how much my bill is going to be and whether I will have enough money to pay the bill. Nectar lets me know when there's a special "offer" for double points, Ebay lets me know if I am bidding for something, how it's going, And my favourite one is the "torch", it lets me find my dogs in the garden when it's dark, because I don't have a security light there.

    Either way, I think people should only install/download apps if they think it's necessary for their every day use, but certainly not pay for anything, not when you can get one that's for free.

    Report on 09 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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