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Making a smartphone pay for itself

You can save plenty of money using apps on your smartphone, so in effect the phone can pay for itself over time. Check out the video above for tips like:

- Using Google Shopper to compare prices
- Bank ATM finder app for free ATM machines
- Track spending with apps like Mint to create a budget and sticking to it
- The Field agent app will actually pay you to scan pricing info!

There are other suggestions in this video worth learning about. The key is there are plenty of ways to use a smartphone to save or make money. It’s more than just a texting machine for your friends and hookups!

Places to retire abroad

This video covers 5 options for Americans who want to retire abroad, focusing on Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.

Research will help you with mortgages

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the financial crisis, you have to do your own research. You can’t rely on anyone else these days. It’s a shame, but that the fact. Ratings agencies, mortgage brokers and bankers have all shown that they only care about themselves.

Fortunately, we have the new Financial Consumer Protection Bureau, but it will take a while before all their regulations kick in. So get informed by going online. Learn about the interest rates and other factors that will help you with mortgages, refinancings, foreclosure and other issues. Compare Natwest Mortgages quotes online on Know Your Money. You are such a better position if you’ve done your own research ahead of time. People in this industry throw around jargon and numbers to confuse you, so make sure you also take your time.

You don’t have to make decisions on the spot! Keep that in mind. It’s always acceptable to say that you want to go back and do more research. If anyone pressures you, it’s probably because it’s not a great deal. If is sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Lastly, figure out your real budget before you start shopping. Many people don’t do this and then they get into trouble.

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