While there is most likely an app for that, all these in-app purchases could be killing your budget. You will be amazed at the wide range of useful apps available for your home computer, mobile devices, tablets, and more. With so many apps available, it’s important to be selective about which apps you choose and how you use them.

What Types of Apps are Available?

Many apps do offer highly useful services. You will find apps for everything from helping you find restaurants and gas stations at various Interstate exits to apps that do any of the following things:

  • Boost Productivity
  • Track Fitness Goals
  • Help You Lose Weight
  • Manage “To Do” Lists
  • Offer Entertainment (Games)

Most of these apps are free to download and use. It isn’t the app itself that is destroying your budget one click at a time. Unfortunately, it is all the in-app purchases you’re making without giving it a second thought.

Apps by the Numbers

Very few people think about one or two dollars here and there. Unfortunately, those single dollar purchases can add up quickly. Even more alarming is the fact that these small add-on purchases have evolved into something much larger and more substantial.

Instead of purchases averaging one dollar, you are now faced with frequent in-app purchases that exceed $15, $40, and even $100. It doesn’t take long for those numbers to wreak havoc on your budget.

How Big is the Problem?

Every person is different, but businesses are beginning to understand the hot commodity that in-app purchases represent and are working hard to exploit that money-making opportunity.

For the most part, you only need to click the button to make the in-app purchase and then type in a password to add game currency, movie rentals, bonus features, and more. The key for you is to rein in your spending on apps so you don’t bust your household budget.

When working with a member on their budget, they said, “I didn’t realize how much I was spending in this game until I really looked. It was over $500 a month!”

Getting Your App Spending Under Control

Rather than attempting to quit cold turkey, consider setting ground rules for your in-app purchases. This allows you the ability to make some of these purchases each month but places you in the driver’s seat – so to speak.

  • Set Monthly Spending Limits.

Doing this incorporates the in-app purchases into your monthly budget so you can plan for them. It also makes you more aware of how much you’re spending on these purchases from month to month.

  • Impose a 120-Hour (five days) Waiting Time Between Purchases.

Waiting five days between purchases may not seem like much, but it offers a cool-down period that forces you to think more carefully about your next purchase so you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Ask Yourself if the Pleasure from the Purchase is Worth the Price.

Do this each and every time to avoid making impulse buys that will offer very little emotional return on investment.

While apps may seem like such trivial things to be eating away at your household budget, every ounce of control you take back can help you accomplish bigger and better things with your budget.

 We’re Here to Help!

If you have questions on budgeting or need assistance getting the most out of your accounts, contact one of our team member’s M-F, 9am-4pm EST.

  • Call/Text: (315) 671-4000
  • Chat: www.moneyfcu.org


Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.