Shopping Apps to Keep You Out of Holiday Debt

you survived Black Friday in one piece without a trip to the emergency room or the psych ward, you’ve probably managed to make a decent dent in your holiday shopping list. However, the biggest days of savings are behind you, and there’s still lots to buy. You’ve got to navigate the rest of the season without blowing your budget, and you won’t have those door-buster midnight sales to make it happen. Luckily, if you’ve got a smartphone or a tablet at your side you’ve got the most powerful savings tool in existence, even if you don’t know it yet. That’s because there are more apps than ever before to help you navigate your holiday gift buying without falling deep into debt. So check out some of these great apps and wake up on January 1, 2013 with a positive balance in your bank account.

The first app on your list this holiday season should be RedLaser. You can download it for free on both Android or iOS-powered devices. Basically what it does is give you a way to instantaneously compare prices on any item you see in the store. Wherever you happen to be shopping and come across something that catches your eye, launch RedLaser and scan that item’s barcode. A map will pop up with prices at every store in the area that also carries it. You’ll be able to quickly decide if you’ve got the best deal right in front of you, or if heading to another store will save you money.

If you are used to doing some of your holiday shopping on eBay but want to insure that you don’t end up on the outside looking in on some must-have gift purchase, download MyBidder Sniper Pro for $4.99. It’s good to go on any operating system, and basically what it will do is watch over all of your eBay auctions and place a last minute bid on any product. You can set it to only bid up to a certain amount, and while this doesn’t guarantee success it will certainly up your chances exponentially. The Pro version gives you the ability to bid on a group of auctions all at the same time, so you can further improve your chances of nailing that hard to find item. It will automatically drop out of the bidding once you win one of the auctions.

There are times when price is only one of the primary concerns surrounding a purchase, and technology gifts definitely fall into this category. If you are buying a camera, a computer or a tablet the lowest price isn’t always the winner, and shopping this way could lead to disappointment and trips to the returns department on Christmas Day. So download BuyVia and cut through all of those questions. This is for iOS devices only, but will help you compare prices and set alerts for tech gifts. Best of all, it will give you simple descriptions of the pros and cons of each item, as well as link you to reviews from respected experts.

When it comes to tech gifts, are you tired of buying something just to see an upgraded version come out six months later that renders your pricey purchase obsolete? Download the Decide app and you’ll avoid those expensive but badly planned purchases. Enter the item you are considering, and it will analyze industry and press releases to let you know if a new version will soon be released as well as if the price is expected to drop any time soon. It will also offer you a couple of alternatives within the category, so you can perhaps choose the brand and model that won’t leave you looking for affordable¬†debt management services. This one will also let you scan the barcode of an item in front of you in the store, so the information it gives you is as current and specific as possible.