Are Apps A Budget Killer? Watch Out For These Common Traps

Phones are almost a part of people now.

No matter where someone goes, they almost always have their phone within their reach.

Phones themselves allow you to call and text, but now people rarely use phones for those basic functions.

Instead, people use their phones for just about anything you can imagine thanks to apps.

Some apps are free, but many of the better apps cost money in one way or another.

Here’s what to watch out for if you don’t want to spend a fortune on apps.

Freemium Apps

Freemium apps are free to download but can become costly very fast. Apps like Pokemon Go allow you to play for free, but if you want to advance more quickly within the game you can pay to play.

It can be tempting to buy an upgrade to beat a frustrating part of a game, but if you aren’t careful you can find yourself spending a large chunk of money mindlessly buying upgrades whenever you get frustrated in a freemium game.

Wishful Thinking Apps

If you’re looking to solve a problem, chances are there is an app that can help. For most people, apps are an impulse purchase.

Some of the apps are super inexpensive so buying them may seem like the perfect solution. A cheap app may not seem like a lot of money, but buying multiple apps on an impulse adds up fast.

Other apps can be super expensive but seem like they’ll be able to solve even your most difficult problems. Buying an expensive app to solve a difficult problem is tempting, but you shouldn’t buy the app on an impulse.

Prevent Yourself From Spending

Instead, you should take your time to investigate the apps you’re considering buying to see if they will do what you want. Then you have to ask yourself if you’d actually use it or just like the idea of the problem solving app. If you’ll never use the app, don’t waste your money.

If you still find yourself making impulse app purchases, consider requiring a password to purchase an app. Every time you go to make a purchase, you’ll have to type in your password.

Make your password something that will make you take a minute to consider the purchase you’re going to make. Your password could include DIRNT (Do I Really Need This?) or a similar abbreviation.

Another great way to prevent yourself from making impulse app purchases is removing your credit card from your Google Play or Apple Store account.

Then you’ll have to go find your credit card and type in the information each time you want to make a purchase, which is a major pain.

There is no problem spending money on apps, as long as you have your app spending under control and you can afford the purchases. You can set a monthly app budget or simply keep a close eye on your purchases.

Whatever you do, don’t just buy apps mindlessly or your bank account may suffer.

How much money do you spend on apps?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. I almost never spend money on apps, but I will admit I’ve been tempted by Pokemon Go. Everything my Pokebox is full and I need to transfer some, I catch myself wondering how much the extra space would actually cost. I had the same problem with Neko Atsume! Haha.

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