The 16 Best Family Apps

You might be your family's CFO, but that doesn't mean you can't get everyone in on the savings act. These apps not only teach kids about bargain-seeking but also give you the 411 on inexpensive treats and activities, whether you are staying close to home or booking the brood at a B&B.

family apps

RAISE BUDGET-MINDED KIDS

Best App: Oink (iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Rein in your teens' pleas for more cash. Oink's platform is designed with young people in mind. Although you don't need an Oink savings account to use the app, having one allows your young users to check their balances and see if they can afford those new jeans they want so badly.

 

ELIMINATE BOREDOM

Best App: Gravy (Android, iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Finds stuff for your family to do on the cheap, including low-cost or free events in your area. You might discover art classes, theater productions, museum exhibitions or street fairs. Gravy even lets you choose events based on your mood—among the options: brainy, classy and "whatever."

 

EARN FREE ENTERTAINMENT

Best App: Viggle (Android, iOS, Windows)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Rack up free movies, TV shows, e-books and more. It's a little creepy, but Viggle "listens" to what you're watching and awards you points accordingly (say, 3,500 of them for checking out the new Taylor Swift album). Earn points toward a new show, album or e-book.

 

SAVE BIG ON BIG-CITY FUN

Best App: ScoutMob (Android, Blackberry, iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Serves up local bargains and coupons to help you cut the cost of food and more. Currently it's available in 13 cities, including Atlanta, Nashville, New York and Washington. It lists restaurants, shops and events, as well as pop-up deals.

 

CUT STREAMING COSTS

Best App: Onavo Extend (Android, iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Saves data usage fees (by modifying streaming media), helping you avoid overage charges. When you're on Wi-Fi, data you receive over the Internet is routed through Onavo's servers, where it's compressed before it reaches you.

 

WATCH SHOWS FOR NOTHING

Best App: Crackle (Amazon, Android, Blackberry, iOS, Nook, Windows)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Crackle is like a scaled-down Netflix, with one big difference: It's free. The movies and network TV shows aren't the latest—Ghostbusters, Hitch and The Shield were recent offerings—but it also produces original programming, like its cable counterparts.

 

PLAN A GETAWAY

Best App: TravelZoo (Android, iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Scours the Internet for deals on travel, spas, restaurants, activities and more, shaving the cost by as much as 65 percent. TravelZoo uses your location to find deals, or you can search in the locale you wish to visit. Purchase and redeem vouchers right on your device.

 

CUT THE COST OF DATE NIGHT

Best App: Happy Hour Finder (Android, iOS)

Bottom-Line Benefits: Locates happy-hour offerings in your vicinity. The app pulls up bars and restaurants near your location that have food or drink specials. Click through to an establishment and you get a detailed rundown of its deals for the week.

 

NEXT PAGE: 6 more apps that help families save time and money 

 

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