Apps That Support Your (Faltering) New Year's Resolutions - FamilyEducation

Apps That Support Your (Faltering) New Year's Resolutions

January 13,2012
Erin Dower

Three weeks in. Be honest: how's your 2012 New Year's resolution going?

Mine: Not so great. I had hoped to start saving more money (just went out to lunch for $15 instead of packing my lunch -- oops). I was going to stay on top of our laundry piles better (the heap is currently up to my waist). And I really wanted to sort/ditch our mail daily rather than weekly so I don't have to see that ugly pile when I step inside the door.

Sure, most people end up in the same boat with resolutions... or else maybe we'd have New Decade's resolutions rather than annual ones prompted by overtapped bank accounts and cookie-induced muffin tops from the holiday season. :)

So, it's time for a little help from our friends: mobile apps. Yup, there's an app for almost everything these days, and as much as some are gimmicky, others really can enhance our lives. Check these out:

- Mint.com budgeting app - Track your family's income and expenditures, quickly and easily. Set savings goals. Get "yelled at" when you don't stick with them. Couldn't most of us use a little more financial discipline?

- Mailstop mobile app - Did you mean to contact those catalog and direct mailing companies ages ago to cut down your mail pile? Me too. The Mailstop app by catalogchoice.org allows you to submit five pieces of mail you want stopped simply by sending a photo of that piece of mail with your mobile phone. (Yeah, five isn't a lot, and you have to pay if you want help beyond that, but I still thought this was pretty cool.)

- Gympact exercise app - This one's been making headlines! If you have a gym membership that you never use, this app's for you. You pay into the app and only get to keep (or make) cash if you check in at your gym a certain number of times a week. I gave up on gym memberships a while ago to save money, and I try to walk a lot and squeeze in a bit of yoga, but I could've used this app back when I was dropping $60+ a month to hit the gym occasionally!

- Myfitnesspal calorie-counter/diet tracker app - Still sneaking in little handfuls of your kids' Goldfish and the occasional Oreo that "doesn't really count"? We're all guilty. This handy little app shows how innocent snacking can rack up big calories.

Aww man. I still haven't found an app that makes the simplifies endless cycles of laundry.

As expected, these apps still require will power and active participation on your part. But they're great tools at the palm of your hand!

Have you found any really helpful "self-improvement" apps? Please share!