Trying to save money? There are a couple quick and easy ways to save a few bucks—and no, it doesn’t involve downloading some coupon app or a browser plugin. It’s even easier. Just delete those apps on your phone that cause you to spend the most money.
When it’s easy to spend money, we’re more likely to spend money. So, when you remove the opportunity for one-click buying, you can actually save a lot of cash! For the longest time, I refused to download the Amazon app to my phone, and actively did not purchase much Amazon online. Instead, I’d shop directly for what I needed when I needed it—and in person.
Shopping in a store has its own pros and cons on the “saving money while you shop” front, but mostly, when it’s too easy to shop, you end up shopping more. That’s why I try to keep online shopping apps (and home decor apps) off my phone.
But it’s not just about the one-click shopping apps, it’s also the apps that simply encourage us to spend money. The ones that encourage you to buy-buy-buy even when you don’t need anything. Capitalism at its finest.
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In America especially, it seems we’re encouraged to buy anything and everything. When I was living in Europe, I lived a bit differently according to European culture and customs, and didn’t really buy that much. But since moving to New York City, I seem to have fallen into a trap of wanting to buy all sorts of things!
Here are the apps I recommend deleting to not just save money, but to also save time. (Time is money!)
By this point, it’s clear Instagram is a toxic app. It encourages wasteful spending, it perpetuates disruptive time management, and it’s no longer a place for art; its motives have been made plainly clear that Instagram is purely meant to sell you stuff.
Every update to the Instagram app seems to move further and further away from the app as a useful and meaningful place for connections, and closer to just yet another shopping app. Recently, Instagram developers even removed the Activity tab and replaced it with a Shopping tab in some tests.
Because Instagram’s motives are clear, and it’s a place where you’re almost guaranteed to be unproductive, the only meaningful solution ~to save your time, mental health, and money~ is to simply delete Instagram.
For years, since the many problems of Facebook have become increasingly public, friends and acquaintances have been deleting and deactivating (and occasionally, briefly, re-activating) Facebook with some regularity. There’s no question that the app has lost a lot of its initial usefulness, and even now, most users claim the only reason they keep the app is to stay in touch with distant friends and relatives.
But deleting Facebook from your phone can save you a lot of time and energy. You don’t have to fully deactivate, but can rather just keep it off your phone, preventing you from constantly checking your timeline, and only really using Facebook when you need to. That keeps you from posting unnecessarily trivial posts and keeps some relative privacy from Zuckerberg’s prying eyes.
Delete Facebook from your phone and you’ll find you use the app less and less, which makes you less marketable and therefore susceptible to bad advertising. Even major corporations and brands have started to see the light as the current Facebook ad boycott gains momentum.
(or any other food delivery app)
During the pandemic, food delivery apps have become increasingly important for their ease of use and safety protocols. But with them easier and easier to use, that also means you’re more likely to spend spend spend. Personally, I’ve found it’s important and useful to keep at least one food delivery app because it is helpful during the pandemic, but having more than one is unnecessary and often just makes you more willing to spend o delivery when you don’t really have to.
So, I’ve deleted most of my delivery apps and kept just one. Deleting any food delivery app immediately helps you save some money because it makes it one step more difficult to buy food delivery. But, truthfully, the best way to save money (and this is something I’ve been doing all through quarantine) is, oftentimes, to cook.
During the pandemic, in an effort to better support local businesses and the food industry, I’ve also been ordering food delivery directly from restaurants. The food apps, especially Seamless app, are notorious for taking larger cuts than necessary which ultimately hurt the local restaurants. Many Brooklyn restaurants have specifically pleaded with their customers to simply order direct which saves them money they can then pass onto you, the consumer.
(and other dating & hookup apps)
Probably not a surprise, but all the dating apps are pretty much a huge time-suck. Dating in-and-of itself isn’t very cheap either. But while the dating apps may make it easier to meet new people, that’s just the first step.
Since the pandemic, knowing that physical connections were going to be severely limited, it made sense to delete Grindr and my other gay apps, too. Without the physical joys of New York dating (new restaurants, awkward bar conversations, that first time you touch hands), I haven’t found much joy in virtual dating.
Deleting Grindr from my phone has saved a lot of emotional energy, plus all that wasted time at 2 a.m. when I should be sleeping anyways.
(and other online shopping apps)
Fuck Jeff Bezos. There’s no need to give him any more money, especially when literally everything —EVERYTHING— on Amazon can be bought elsewhere. If you delete the Amazon app and prevent the one-click shopping that they made famous, you’ll inevitably save some money.
Plus, by deleting Amazon and instead shopping for necessities at local businesses, you’ll be helping your community during an already trying time. It’s important to shop local, and Amazon certainly doesn’t need your help. Save your money. Delete Amazon. Cancel your Amazon Prime membership. And shop local.
I’ve also deleted other shopping apps which I used to check regularly—like the ASOS clothing app and certain home decoration ones (helpful when I was designing and furnishing my hipster apartment). Removing the apps from my phone just makes it a little more difficult to shop, which saves me time and money.
Deleting apps from your phone isn’t a surefire way to save money, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Yes, you might give up the luxury of easy shopping, but during a recession, how much of your shopping is actually necessary? Better to focus on better things and save your time and save your money for more useful endeavors.