5 Free Apps That Are Most Helpful for Managing Your Household

Managing a household comes with an array of responsibility -- always making sure there's food on the table, paying bills on time, running errands, completing chores, and simply making sure everything is running smoothly. To take some of the pressure off keeping your household organized, try using these Web and smartphone apps that are all completely free.

iRewardChart (iPhone)
iRewardChart is a fun digital way of keeping track of your kids' good deeds and the rewards they get. You can add the names of each of your kids and track them separately. Once you've added each child, you can track their good deeds and edit the rewards they get, such as ice cream, a friend sleepover, or a new game console. You can even customize the rewards based on what your kids like, so if your son is gunning for a new piece of sporting equipment, you can manually type in "baseball glove" as one of the options. The deeds are divided into Behavior (e.g. polite, sharing), Chore (e.g., clear the table, help Mom) and Other (e.g., arts and crafts, eat fruit). You can also customize the types of good deeds that your kids do. With iRewardChart's balance sheet, you can easily track how many stars your kids get for each of their good deeds. When it's time to divvy up the rewards, all you have to do is tap "Payout" and up pop all of the rewards that have the number of stars your kids have received throughout the allotted time frame.

SimplyUs (iPhone)
SimplyUs is designed to help people organize their lives together by giving them a shared calendar. Although it was designed specifically for couples, it's useful for any two people who are interested in sharing calendars, like, say, roommates. When you sign up, it automatically asks you to find or invite your partner to join. Then, you choose which of your existing calendars (e.g., iCal, Google Calendar) you'd like SimplyUs to sync. Your partner then gets access to them so you both always know what's going on with your calendar. You can also create to-do lists, grocery lists, and shopping lists so that you and your partner are on the same page with chores.

Manilla (Web, iPhone, Android)
To minimize the pile of paper bills that has probably overtaken your dining room table, try using our free and unlimited document-storage feature on Manilla.com. The leading bill organizing and reminder service, Manilla helps you simplify and organize your daily life by managing your bills and other household accounts in one clean dashboard, which you access with just one password. You can manage your finances, utilities, daily deals, OpenTable reservations, Netflix, and magazine subscriptions, travel and rewards programs, and more. We even send you reminders when your bills are due or when your points and miles are about to expire.

KeepRecipes (Web and iPhone)
Weekly menu planning is a great way to save money and time, especially when you're trying to manage a household full of people. KeepRecipes allows you to store your own recipes, share them with others, view recipes from your friends, and see what recipes are trending around you.

Seamless (Web, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry)
If you're more likely to eat in instead of going out, the Seamless app is the best way to go. Clearly obtaining its name because of its effortless capabilities (literally -- it requires no effort to order food using Seamless; you don't even have to reinput your credit card information each time you want to order), Seamless is a free app that lets you order from any restaurant that's partnered with the company -- and there's a long list to choose from.


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