Free phone apps can help you get fit and save money

Free phone apps can help you get fit and save money

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Free smart phone applications can help people reach their New Year's goals better than before. The two most popular resolutions these are losing weight and saving money, and these can be reached with the help of our phone applications.

"It's not just a cell phone anymore," said Ondrey Williams, the store manager of the Verizon Wireless store on Veterans Parkway. "We have applications that will help customers with fitness and track their financial statuses."

Williams said most of these phone applications are free, and they motivate people to stick to their goals by offering all kinds of help.

"These applications help plan your workout schedule, count your calories and manage your payment plans," Williams said.

However, Murray Solomon, the branch manager of Raymond James Financial Services on Broadway explained that people should not depend on these applications to reach their goals.

"It's individuals' discipline," Solomon explained. "It takes personal discipline to accomplish any goals, whether it is to lose weight or to save money. I know there are many phone applications, and we download many of them. At the end of the day, these are just trackers and reminders. It's up to the individuals to accomplish goals."

Solomon gave few tips for people who are trying to save money for 2014.

People need to start writing down their spending. People also need to be realistic about saving their money by starting out slow. Instead of buying coffee everyday, people can try buying it twice a week rather than going cold turkey. It helps to know where you spend most of your money. People also need to have a good reason to save money, since it motivates them.

"Perhaps you're saving money for your child's college tuition," Solomon said. "Maybe you want to save for Christmas or go on a nice vacation. It's another way to reward yourself for doing well."

Williams also agreed with Solomon by reminding people that phone applications are meant to encourage and help people with their goals, thus, applications are not magic genies.

"It's up to you to have that commitment," Williams said. "You need to really push through your goals to achieve them."

Verizon Wireless offers some helpful phone applications people can download to achieve some of their resolutions:

Get Fit

UP by Jawbone ($119.99) – Track activity, calories burned and sleep quality. Access your information on your mobile device and set goals.  Wearable in the shower or pool.

Gain Fitness application (Free) – Offers customized workout plans crafted by personal trainers.  Users can find workouts tailored to their fitness level, schedule and goals.

Couch to 5K application (Free) – Gradually increases distance for those aiming to get more active but beginning from a non-active lifestyle.  Helps users learn to run a 5k in just 30 minutes, three times per week in 9 weeks.  Playlists and workouts can be shared between users.

Eat Healthy

MyFitnessPal application (Free) – Calorie-counter diary, allowing users to log meals and snacks to track what they are actually consuming.   Also can serve as a meal planner, so you know where to cut back on other meals if you want to eat dessert later.  The app also allows you to enter calories burned through exercise.

Fooducate application (Free) – Scan barcodes of food at the grocery store with this app to receive the item's "letter grade" (A to D) based on information from dieticians and nutritionists to help users know what they are really eating.

Save Money

Quicken 2014 or Mint application (Free) – Budgeting mobile apps that can help you keep track of spending habits.  The apps track financial responsibilities across different categories, connect to your bank accounts and alert you if you're going over budget.

Debt Free application (Free) – Specialized app to help users that want to get out of debt in 2014. Set up payment schedules, organize payoff options and use financial calculators to track your progress.

NestHome Thermostat ($249.99) – Control the temperature in your home when away using a compatible mobile device, allowing you to save money by reducing unnecessary energy usage. Adjusts to energy-saving temperature when your home is empty and is compatible with most heating and cooling systems.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.