Three surprising apps to help you save money


More than 80% of Aussies would cut back spending to cope with the rising cost of living, and TV subscriptions are near the top of the list.

According to a national survey by Finder, 10% of Aussies would cut TV subscriptions to help makes ends meet.

So if you've cancelled Netflix and are in the market for some free entertainment, or need to cut your transport costs, or even bring in some extra cash, here are three apps to consider.

four apps to make or save money

1. Libby

Free on IOS, Google Play

With expenses rising and temperatures still low, it's the season to curl up at home and read. New books not in the budget? That's where the Libby app comes in.

The app connects with "virtually every library in Australia", says Malcolm O'Brien, regional manager of Overdrive Australia, the company behind Libby.

More than 350,000 users a month access the app to read e-books, listen to audiobooks, and browse digitised magazines and newspapers.

Overdrive has also recently acquired streaming platform Kanopy, giving users access to free films and documentaries through the Libby app.

O'Brien says Libby has reignited a love of reading in its members, who borrow an average of six items a month.

"People tended to go to libraries when they were kids or when they retired- that was always the historical path," he says. "But now, digital access through an app like Libby allows various generations to jump on their iPad or phone and download an eBook."

To sign up, simply download the free Libby app, search for your local library and enter your membership number.

If you're not already a library member, some libraries will allow you to join online, or you may have to visit in person to register.

Libby works on Apple, Android, Kobo and most e-readers except Kindle. The app offers a range of accessibility features, including adjustable fonts, dyslexic font, and text-to-speech.

2. Parkhound

Free on IOS, Google Play

Heading back to work but don't have access to corporate parking and can't risk public transport? Parkhound could be the answer.

This clever app lets you find and rent private parking spaces with a few taps of your phone.

If the thought of paying $50 per week instead of $50 per day for inner-city parking sounds good, download the app and take a look.

You can filter by car size - handy for folks with oversized utes or four-wheel-drives - and the type of parking required, whether it's a secure underground garage, a lock-up shed or even a driveway space on the street. Better still, the app lets you make cash on the side by renting out unused parking spaces at home.

Prices vary according to demand and the scarcity of parking in the area - if you're close to the city, airport of beach, it could be a gold mine.

3. Waze

Free on IOS, Google Play

Petrol prices are set to rise when the fuel excise cut ends next month, so anything that helps you spend less time in traffic is saving you cash. Enter the Waze app.

It gives you turn-by-turn voice navigation guidance and a live traffic map, but its real value comes in the form of road alerts.

You can receive notifications of moving or stationary police cars, mobile speed cameras, traffic jams, road closures and accidents, so you can adjust your trip accordingly.

You can also be notified of hazards on or near the road, helping you avoid a costly repair bill.

And the free app comes with a digital speedo which will sound an alert when you exceed the speed limit.

The downside? Waze data is crowd-sourced, meaning it relies on other motorists to notify you of traffic congestion, police, speed cameras and accident scenes. This means the app is likely to be more useful driving around Woollahra than Wongarbon.

Don't forget that using the app while driving is prohibited, so make sure you download the app and plan your trip before hitting the road.

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