From hailing a ride to paying off debt, it seems like there’s an app for just about everything. According to market research company App Annie, the average smartphone user has 80 apps on his or her phone and uses 40 of them in a given month.
Even if you stick to free apps, they’re likely costing you money overall. Here are three apps you should consider deleting if you’re trying to save money.
1. Your Favorite Food Delivery App
UberEats, Doordash, Seamless, Grubhub, Postmates: There’s no shortage of apps that deliver a hot meal to your door in an hour or less. Of course, that convenience comes at a cost. Between taxes, service fees, delivery charges and driver tips, a $10 burrito can easily turn into a $20 mindless splurge.
According to a study by Finder.com, Americans spend an average of $63 a month ― or $756 a year ― on food delivery services alone. If you subscribe to our Practical Magic newsletter, you might have read HuffPost editor Janie Campbell’s tell-all earlier this year detailing her expensive relationship with food delivery apps:
Delivery charges were piling up higher than I realized. The $4.99 fee to have hot food driven to my door didn’t sound that bad on a per-order basis. But then I tallied my orders from the first 22 days of December. I spent $287.61 on 13 meals via app, paying $70.88 for fees including a prorated monthly membership at Postmates. (That membership, by the way, only waives the company’s delivery fees when I order at least $20 of food each time. Terrible choices all around.)
Whether you order the occasional delivery or are an overachiever like Campbell, one thing is for sure: These food delivery apps involve a ton of wasteful spending. Ditch your delivery app and pick up takeout orders yourself.
Many of us have more than a reasonable number of devices in our homes, including desktops, laptops, smartwatches and tablets. But it’s our phones that tend to never leave our sides. And having the Amazon app on your phone makes it easy ― too easy ― to hit the “Buy Now” button without stopping to consider whether that purchase was really necessary.
If you’re one of Amazon’s 90 million Prime subscribers, chances are you spend even more than the typical Amazon shopper. Research has shown that Prime members spend an average of $1,300 per year on Amazon, compared with just $700 for non-Prime customers.
It might make sense to buy more items through Amazon than other retailers in order to take advantage of the free two-day shipping. But if you review your Amazon Prime spending history, you’ll probably find a few items that aren’t exactly necessities. Removing the app from your phone can help eliminate impulsive, wasteful spending and ensure your Prime membership is really worth it.
3. Games With In-App Purchases
Your Candy Crush or Pokemon Go addiction might seem harmless enough, but have you looked back at how much you’ve actually spent on in-app purchases? It might be more than you think.
Gaming apps accounted for 85 percent of the $34.8 billion global app market in 2015, according to App Annie. Many of these apps follow the free-to-play business model, which means the app is free to download but is monetized with in-app advertising or sales such as upgrades, expansion packs or special items. In fact, the average mobile player spent an average of $87 on in-app purchases last year, according to Slice Intelligence.
That might not seem like a whole lot, but consider what else you could do with $87. You could pay your cell phone bill, contribute to your emergency fund or buy six slices of avocado toast.
And keep in mind that some games are costlier than others. For instance, Game of War players spent an average of $550 on gold in 2015, according to Slice Intelligence.
There’s nothing wrong with spending your time playing video games if that’s what you enjoy. But spending your hard-earned money on fake gold? Delete that app and find a new hobby if it’s eating into your savings IRL.