My 8 Favorite Smartphone Apps to Win at Life

I'll be honest. I resisted upgrading to a smartphone for several years. Mostly because it doesn't sit nicely in my pocket. And also because I didn't want to be like all my peers who can't look up to have a real conversation. But, creative destruction finally intervened and here I am. So, now I'm going to share my 5 favorite smartphone apps I use to win at life.

Here's another confession. I'm a pretty boring person, so I don't have any apps that will make you go Wow. But, if you want to save money or make money, you're in the right place.

Apps to Save Money


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Each time I shop online, I look for ways to get cash back. I use several different apps, but Ebates is my favorite. They do the best job of tracking your purchases. And, the offer 2x cashback bonuses on select in-app purchases.

You also get a $10 bonus when you join Ebates.

Honorable Mention: Top Cashback

I don't have the app, but I also use Top Cashback as a shopping portal. While Ebates offers a better experience, Top Cashback has higher cashback rates on more stores. They also have scavenger hunts several times a year that you give you the chance to win extra cash.


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For buying groceries in-store, we use Ibotta. They also have an online shopping portal so you get extra cashback at non-grocery stores too. They also offer monthly bonuses which are handy if you plan on buying certain products anyways.

Tip: See how else we save money on organic food.

Apps I Use to Make Money

Moreso, I like using apps that make money. This is mostly because it can be easier to make money than save money.


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One of my favorite online learning sites is Udemy.

Most courses cost $10.99. These courses bridge the gap between free YouTube videos and the paid courses that cost $300 on other websites.

If you really want to focus in on a topic, you should spend more money on a regular course. But, if you're like me and need something more than a free podcast or video to learn certain things, Udemy is a great choice.

Some of the courses I enrolled in include:

  • Selling clothes on Poshmark
  • Building a website
  • Basic investing courses

I've taken a few other classes for personal interests too.

To pick a good class, read the reviews and the author bio. Some courses are lackluster, but I'm pleased overall.

M1 Finance

I keep most of my money at a regular brokerage with ETFs and index funds. But, I still invest a small amount of money in individual stocks each week. With M1 Finance, I can skip the $4.95 trade fee and buy multiple stocks at once.

And, I can buy partial shares. So, instead of having to save up $2,000 to buy one share of Amazon stock, I can invest $20 with M1 Finance and get a 1% share.

You can also buy ETFs and premade investment portfolios on M1 too.

It can also be a good way to invest in investing newsletter recommendations too.


My wife and I also like to sell our unused items. We also use specialty stores like Poshmark to sell, but we have the most success on eBay.

With the app, I can scan barcodes of the items we want to sell and list them in minutes.

If we need to buy something, I can also quickly find the listings on the app too. I'm old-school, so I still like browsing different eBay listings on their website.


The factory-installed Podcasts app is a great too. I primarily listen to investing, history, and religion podcasts.

But, there really is a podcast for everything. I even found one for 80s classic rock music.

Other Fun Apps

My apps aren't all business. Here I two apps I have that are for personal use.

Star Chart

We get a good glimpse of the night sky many nights. While we don't gaze at it often, we sometimes want to know what stars and planets we see.

There are several apps, but this is the one I found first that was free.


This app is better than the built-in iPhone mail app. And, it makes it easy to read or write emails when you aren't near a computer.


These are the favorite apps I have installed on my phone.

What apps do you use to win at life?

Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.