Best Budgeting Apps


Every year, we tell ourselves we’re going to stick to a budget, and every year so far, we’ve failed. But this year will be different, because we’re ensuring accountability via the best of the best budgeting apps. We’ve done our research, and these three look like the apps to beat:


Pros: Colorful, simple, and intuitive. This might be the simplest app to grasp and use immediately.

Cons: Manual transaction entry. Each purchase you make needs to be manually added to your budget here, rather than logging automatically.


Pros: Automatic entries. All of your accounts link to Mint, and each purchase is automatically logged and categorized. It’s one less thing to worry about – you can’t forget to add a purchase to your budget.

Cons: Charges are occasionally miscategorized (it’s going to happen with a computer categorizing your purchases for you), and accounts sometimes have trouble updating.

You Need a Budget:

Pros: Exhaustive, great for planning, and great for teaching budgeting newbies.

Cons: May have a lot of excess features if you aren’t new to budgeting. Manual transaction entry might be helpful if you struggle with sticking to a budget, or it might prevent you from using it.

How to Track Down Your Phone with Android Device Manager


You’ve probably heard that you can use your computer to track your phone if you lose it, but do you know everything your Android can do to help you out?

If you can’t find your phone, navigate to and log in with your Google account to check out your options.

First things first: before you assume your phone is stolen or at the bottom of the lake, make sure it isn’t in your living room.

1) Use the location tracker to narrow down where your phone might be. This will help you figure out the general area, but won’t specify, say, that your phone is between the couch cushions and not in the pile of dirty laundry.

2) If you’re pretty sure your phone is in your house (or wherever you’re located), use the ring function to nail it down. This is basically a much-improved version of “can you call my phone so I can find it”. Your phone will ring for 5 minutes at its highest volume, regardless of whether it’s set to ring, vibrate, or silent. Warning: side effects might include driving everyone around you nuts.

3) If your phone doesn’t appear to be in your house (or somewhere you’re familiar with), your next step is to lock the phone remotely – this will immediately lock the phone, even if somebody is currently using it. Right away, you’ll at least have peace of mind that you’ve stopped someone from viewing any personal info.

4) If you’ve done all of the above and still haven’t gotten your phone back, and you’re pretty sure it’s not coming back, use erase device to factory reset your phone. If your phone is off, this will happen automatically once it’s turned back on. This will completely clear everything off your phone, so it’s a last resort. Once the info is gone, you won’t be able to retrieve it from Android Device Manager either. But at least you’ll know that nobody can access your info.

If you have any questions or fixes you can’t handle yourself, reach out to us at Fix It Fast. We’re happy to help.

How to Combat the “Storage Almost Full” Notification on Your iPhone


The dreaded “Storage Almost Full” notification. You’ve taken 4,000 iPhone photos of your dog, and it finally caught up with you. You can’t take another shot until you clear up some space. But every single one of those pictures of Fido is crucial, and deleting them is clearly not the answer. What to do?


  • Delete any apps you aren’t using. If you think you use every app you’ve ever downloaded, you’re almost certain to be in for a surprise when you look through them. And if you take a look at your storage management, you’ll see that you probably have a significant amount of space consumed by that game your friend told you to download, or 5 different weather apps accumulated over time.


  • Turn off your Photostream and iCloud Photo Library. Sure, it’s nice in theory to access all your photos on all your devices, but if you use your digital camera for Fido’s photo shoot and upload the photos to your desktop, do you really need all 500 photos on your phone, too? Probably not. Additionally, if you use your iCloud library, it does save you some space by saving full copies of your photos to the cloud, but it also prevents you from taking photos off of your phone and storing them on your computer. If you’re looking for space, it might be a better idea to turn it off and move some photos somewhere else for storage.


  • Turn off HDR settings for your camera. By default, your phone takes a range of photos with different exposure settings to ensure you get the best shot. What that usually means in practice, though, is that for each photo you want to take, you’ll have several more taking up space.


  • Take the time to delete duplicate photos AND recently deleted photos. Did you know that when you delete a photo, it doesn’t actually get deleted? Instead, it goes to a recently deleted folder and must be manually removed to save any space.


  • Delete your old texts. If you’re like us, there probably isn’t much worth saving in those old texts, and they can take up lots of space, especially if your friends are sending you lots of selfies or memes. Don’t believe us? Check your storage – you could have several gigabytes of text messages stored on your phone – that’s a lot more Fido pics.


If you have any questions or fixes you can’t handle yourself, reach out to us at Fix It Fast. We’re happy to help.

Gifts For Keeping Their Phones Safe in 2016

Closeup on young woman writing in notebook list of christmas purchasings

Closeup on young woman writing in notebook list of christmas purchasings

‘Tis the season for running out of gift ideas! Mobile phone accessories are a fantastic gift, since almost everyone has a phone these days.

Below, we’ve focused on some gift ideas that will help their phone stay safe from liquid and drop damages, and plain old leave-behinds!

Can’t decide between these items? Just drop by a Fix it Fast location and chat with one of our friendly staff members to select the perfect gift. Most of these products are available at Fix It Fast locations in North Texas and Nebraska.

For the Phone Dropper: Tempered Glass Screen Protectors

These protectors are the next generation in screen protection—a step above the plastic protectors of the past. The glass protector doesn’t change your every day user experience much, since it’s another layer of glass to your touch. These protectors are scratch resistant, but it’s upon dropping that they really earn their worth – the glass almost completely absorbs impact, usually cracking so your screen doesn’t. Replacing a glass protector is far cheaper than replacing the screen!

For the Scatterbrain: Combo Wallet/Phone Case

Know someone who is always misplacing their phone and/or wallet? Help her combine the two for one hard-to-lose package. This combo is usually best for women, who can use the entire thing as a wristlet purse. A word of caution—this direction requires having a sense of your recipient’s fashion taste. If you know her favorite accessory brands, that’s a great place to start searching.

For the Mom Taxi: Car Mount

These are fantastic for folks who are always on the go, and using their phone’s GPS. Models range from vent clips, dash mounts, and even cup holder mounts. The best part? Most car mounts are universal for all of today’s phone models.

For the Nomadic Texter: Grip Helper

For people on the move who do a lot of texting while walking, and for moms that are always chasing kids and snapping phone pics, grip helpers are tops. These grip mechanisms range from plastic to metal to elastic, and come in a variety of price points and looks. Most of them anchor to the back of the phone or case with adhesive.

For the Swimmer: Waterproof Case

These are great for those who swim a lot – or whose phones do! We see liquid damage all the time at our cell phone repair locations, so it seems almost every phone could fall in this category. While these can be bulky and pricy, these cases are the best protection against liquid—which is one of deadliest threats to phones today. If you want to splurge, upgrade to a case meant for taking photos and videos underwater. Their selfies will never be the same!

For the Serial Thing-Loser: GPS Tracker

These trackers are wonderful for those on your list who are prone to leaving their phone places…or those with toddlers fond of hiding things! Some trackers use Bluetooth, others use GPS. The options go on—colors, shapes, longevity, press-to-ring alarms, and more. Many of these are sold in combo packs, so you can give the gift of tracking all their various losable items.

How to Enjoy Your Holiday: LET IT GO

Disney’s Frozen taught us a lot of great life lessons. We could go on and on about patience, friendship and true love. But the best lesson to apply to your precious holiday time with the family is simple: Let it go. It, being your iPhone or your Samsung Galaxy or your Nexus Tablet. Bottom line: give up technology and live in the moment this holiday. We have some simple Do’s and Don’ts to get you started connecting in REAL TIME.

DON’T Facetime; DO visit with relatives

Shot of a happy multi-generational family having breakfast together in the kitchen

DON’T play CandyCrush; DO play board games

Happy multi-generation family lying on the floor at home and enjoying while playing a game together. [url=][img][/img][/url]

DON’T stream music; DO sing carols


DON’T take tons of photos; DO make lasting memories

Happy family running in the park and having fun. Parents are chasing their little daughters.

DON’T watch YouTube videos; DO play charades

8 tips to help you stop worrying so much about your phone’s battery life


It’s 3 p.m., you’re out and about, expecting an important phone call, and your battery is at 5%. It’s a terrible feeling, but with a few quick tweaks, you can make sure it never happens again.

1) Check for battery hog apps and decide whether you really need them. Navigate to Settings > Battery, and find a breakdown of what’s using your battery. See something you don’t really need using too much? Delete it.

2) Turn off unnecessary features like parallax (iOS), animated wallpaper (Android), or the vibrate feature when your phone rings. These things can be neat, but they certainly aren’t worth having to charge your phone at 3 in the afternoon.

3) Keep your phone’s software updated. Sometimes software updates decrease apps’ battery usage. Always keep your phone updated to ensure you aren’t wasting battery life without even doing anything.

4) Turn on Low Power or Power Saving Mode manually if you know you have a long day in front of you. These options limit some of your phone’s functions, but if you just need to make it through a few more texts or calls, you probably don’t need the extra little things.

5) Don’t let your screen drain battery – lower the brightness and make sure your screen shuts off relatively quickly when you aren’t using it (Settings > General > Auto-Lock on iOS, Settings > Display and Wallpaper on most Androids.

6) Turn off push notifications. If you don’t need to know immediately, turning off notifications for email or social media apps can save tons of battery life. And any time you need to know, just check manually!

7) Not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? Turn them off!


8) If all else fails, buy a battery case. They may add a bit of bulk, but if your phone is dead, it’s all bulk.

If you’re still having problems, bring your phone into Fix It Fast. We’re happy to make sure you’re doing everything necessary to get the most out of your phone’s battery.

Oops … I dropped my phone in water. What do I do?

We’ve all been there: you carry your phone everywhere, so it’s bound to get wet. But there’s all kinds of advice out there about what you should do if your phone takes a bath. We decided to get to the bottom of this once and for all. Here’s a step-by-step plan for what you should do to save your phone from a watery demise:


  • First, dry it off as much as possible with a towel. Get any obvious moisture out of there quickly. The faster you can do this, the better. Blow, shake, vacuum, hold it next to a fan – anything you can think of to drive out moisture, do it.
  • Second, stop worrying about voiding the warranty. Once you get the phone wet enough to set off the water damage indicator, you’re out of luck as far as your warranty goes.
  • Third, place your phone in an absorbent material. While you’ve almost certainly heard that you should drop your phone in a bag of rice after it gets wet, rice is actually not the best option. What you’re looking for is something that soaks up liquid readily, and better options than white rice are oatmeal, instant rice, or silica gel (you know those little packets that come in shoe boxes and tell you not to eat them? Well, still don’t eat them. Just use them for your phone.). Use several cups to cover the phone entirely, and wait 24 hours.
  • Fourth, check your phone by using it as you normally would. If it doesn’t act as you’d expect, it’s best to get it checked out.


There’s plenty you can try at home, but once you’ve exhausted your options, bring your soaked phone to the experts at Fix It Fast. Even if we can’t dry out your phone, we may be able to save your data, and you don’t want to lose that on top of the phone itself!

Best Tech Gifts for 2015

Let technology do the heavy lifting on your holiday shopping list this year! We have gifts at a range of price points for everyone on your list. Now if we could just find a way to give everyone a year guaranteed to be free of cell phone drops and liquid damages…
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What your kids know about technology that you don’t

It’s likely that your children have little to no experience of life without a smart phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Their understanding of technology has been largely “touch screen” and “voice activated.” They would probably rather send an email than call their grandparents. Differences in your experiences with technology don’t have to start a fight. The more you can extend yourself to your child’s approach to technology, the better you can communicate and develop your own skillset.
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Cyber Bullying 101

What exactly is cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying that is translated and manifested through internet applications and technology such as internet messaging.
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