There’s an app for that. In the age of smartphones and the culture of instant gratification, the number of applications available on your phone is astonishing. While some users choose to ignore the vast expanse of mobile capability they carry with them in their pocket or purse, others (like me) have folders upon folders of apps downloaded to enhance their digital lives in darn near every imaginable way. I’m going to give you some of my current favorites and let you know why they deserve some space on your phone. If you’re one of those people who can’t download apps because you like to max out the storage on your phone, just pay the $1 monthly charge for extra iCloud space, and start deleting the selfies that you don’t post. I’m an Apple guy, so if you own an Android, I don’t know what you can do about storage space, but I can point you in the right direction.

Venmo

Friends getting coffee with phone and laptopIf you are reading this and haven’t already downloaded Venmo, please do yourself and your friends a favor and immediately download this app. Venmo is basically a digital wallet. You can transfer money to and from your bank, then pay or request money from your friends. We live in a digital world, so there are many people who carry around approximately $0 in cash. Enter Venmo. Let’s say you forget your wallet and your friend picks up the lunch bill; just Venmo them what you owe! When you live with roommates and you are the person stuck paying the bills, charge the other roommates what they owe you. Want to cheer up a friend? Send them $5 on Venmo for their next latte. You can link almost any bank account to your Venmo account and start making transfers. Best of all: this app is free to use! Get on it!

App Store | Google Play

Qapital

While we’re on the topic of money, let’s talk about saving it. Putting money into a savings account is difficult for many people because there’s this one gigantic drawback: the money is no longer in your checking account and available for spending. It just sits there in that pesky savings account. I like the idea of saving money, but actually doing it is a completely different story.

Catch a falling star and
put it in your pocket;
save it for a rainy day.Perry Como/Mia Thermopolis

Qapital is a remedy for this problem. By setting spending “rules,” money is automatically transferred to your Qapital savings account. For example, the popular rounding rule monitors your debit/credit card usage and always rounds up to the nearest dollar (or two, or three, etc., depending on how you set the rule). If you spend $12.81, Qapital automatically withdraws another $.19 (or $1.19, or $2.19, etc.) from your checking account and places it in your Qapital account. Another popular rule is the payday rule. For any deposit over a user-set amount, you can send a user-set percentage to your Qapital account. I have mine set to save 3% of all deposits over $175. For me, these amounts are often small, but they do add up pretty quickly. Within your Qapital account, you can set goals. Say you need to save up to put a deposit down on a new car. Set a “New Car Deposit” goal of whatever amount you’d like, and Qapital will show you your progress toward that goal. You can even set up multiple goals and set up rules that only interact with certain goals. When you’re ready to use your saved money, just transfer to your linked checking account, and you’re ready to go! Qapital has truly revolutionized the way that I save money.

App Store | Google Play

McDonald’s

McDonald's LogoDon’t stop reading just because I said McDonald’s. And don’t lie, they definitely have the best fries. The McDonald’s app is loaded with all sorts of coupons that are only available within the app! You can get an entire meal for less than $5 every. single. time. I think it’s almost sinful to pay more than $5 per person at McDonald’s. Free fries, buy one get one sandwiches, $1 any sandwich, free dessert with any purchase… These are just a few of the offers found within McDonald’s app. There’s also mobile ordering so you can be sure your order includes exactly what you want (do I have trust issues?). And for you coffee enthusiasts, there’s a frequent-drinkers club that leads to free drinks! I’m McLoving this app.

App Store | Google Play

SeatGeek

This one may not be for everyone, but I love concerts and sporting events. I do not love paying for them, and the hassle of trying to secure tickets through Ticketmaster can be frustrating. Don’t get me started on the fees, either. SeatGeek is, in my experience, the best third-party ticket sales app available. It’s very user-friendly, the prices tend to be the best, and most of the time, e-tickets are available in the app within moments of purchase. Here’s a pro-tip: if you want decent seats to a show but can’t afford those floor seats, buy a nosebleed seat to stay within your budget, but then check SeatGeek once you’re at the event. Ticket prices often drop dramatically just before events start because sellers would rather sell their tickets at a loss than not sell them at all.

App Store | Google Play

SeatGeek Upgraded seats at a Spurs vs. Lakers game
Wesley and Chandler used SeatGeek to upgrade their seats at a San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. Goodbye, binoculars!

LastPass

You’re going to have a lot of passwords in your life that you’ll want to remember. The smartest thing to do is to get an app like LastPass to manage them for you. There are many password management apps, but I’m going to shoot straight with you here: LastPass is the best one. There’s a free version, or you can pay $2/month for premium features! Worth it. With LastPass, you can forget about putting all your passwords in long-term memory and stop worrying about setting up a multitude of passwords, because LastPass can create long, randomized passwords and autofill your passwords while logging in! You can also set up profiles for credit cards and keep digital records for things like insurance cards and wifi passwords. Be sure to set up two-factor authentication on your LastPass to keep all of your passwords secure.

App Store | Google Play

HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky
Scott Rogowsky, host of HQ Trivia

HQ Trivia

Win real money in this free daily game by answering live trivia questions and rip your hair out when you play for months and never win. If you have quick fingers and quicker internet, you may be able to get Google to help you out, but this one is mostly luck. Be sure to play on Sunday nights, as they normally give out much larger prizes then! Good luck, HQ-ties.

App Store | Google Play

Are you considering a career in mobile app development? UMHB’s computer science program prepares students to excel in the rapidly expanding fields of computer programming, design, and security. For more information, check out our website or stop by for a visit!