Apps for your smartphone or mobile device can be very exciting. From productivity apps to games, communications and much more, you could spend endless amounts of time sifting through the options. But there’s something else you may end up spending too much of – your money.
Convenient App Shopping
Purchasing apps for your mobile device is incredibly convenient. It’s usually quite easy to find an app that would serve your purpose, whether it’s free or costs less than the cost of a fast food item. The relationship between convenience and budget is not unexplored; it is certainly not exclusive to apps.
Fast food, online shopping, and other examples of this phenomenon are commonplace, and it would be interesting to know exactly how much we are affected by the matter of convenience.
When it comes to apps, though, this seems to be the ultimate draw. Consider the accessibility of a smartphone, the ease of finding and purchasing a few cheap apps, and the money management habits that this can lead you to fall into.
It All Apps Up
When you add up the apps that can fill your mobile device, you could have some budgeting problems if you paid a small fee per app. According to a recent article from Android Police, Apple’s iPhone has over 350,000 apps, and Google’s Android has over 250,000 apps, and these numbers continued to rise through 2011.
Consider how often you currently buy apps, and what it would take for this to become habit-forming. You might find a great budgeting app on your smartphone that you’d like to purchase one week. And then you decide on a different one that works better after a couple of months.
Repeat this for calendars, business apps, other tools, games, a cool alarm clock, an exercise app… you can see how a few small mobile app purchases can add up in the course of time. Similar to other small purchases, you must be careful not to spend a little too often.
Keeping It Under Control
It isn’t only mobile apps you should watch spending on, but a number of digital products that are instantly available at a low price. On or off your mobile device, you could easily start racking up credit card debt by purchasing music, movies, and other small purchases online.
The important thing is to have some ground rules in place. While there is nothing wrong with purchasing some apps – in fact, a budgeting app is an excellent way to track your money – you must keep it under control. Keep track of how much money you are spending, and plan space in your budget, for apps and other “small digital purchases.”
Just as you might with eating out, movies, music, and so forth, you can set a spending limit for apps to make sure that you aren’t going overboard. If you find that that is the case, you can do what it takes to curb your spending.
In the end, apps are very useful, very cool, and potentially addictive. Keep this temptation under control for the well-being of your budget. You don’t want to spend the money that could reduce your debts or help you reach your savings goals.
Make sure that you are aware of any patterns that could undermine your budget, and remember to take apps purchases into account.