For some retailers, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Increasingly, a large chunk of that cash is generated by purchases made on smartphones such as the iPhone. Here are some of the ways the iPhone is changing how each of us spends, carries, and yes, even saves money, not just in November and December, but the entire year.

Spending Via Apps

Spending Apps

Sure, there are hundreds of company-specific apps out there that give us ways to spend money. Yet, most of those still rely on us typing in a credit card number to make a transaction. These do not – at least not directly.

Nothing has changed the face of mobile commerce more than the Square reader and app which enables anyone with an iDevice to accept credit cards for payments. The service doesn’t charge monthly fees and only takes 2.75 percent of each sale. Plus, payouts come the very next business day! Best of all, the reader is absolutely free by visiting The reader can also be purchased through Apple for $9.95, which comes with a $10 credit. Also, check out the free Square Card Case app.

Less popular, but no less significant, is the Intuit GoPayment card reader and app. Owners are charged 2.7 percent per swipe or less for high-volume retailers who also pay a monthly fee.

Starbucks decided long ago that needing cash to make purchases in its stores would no longer be necessary. Using the free Starbucks app, users can get their caffeine fix and make food purchases simply by giving their handset to the barista. Payments are automatically pulled from the customer’s Starbucks card.

Loyalty and membership cards can save us a lot of money, but they don’t look cool on key rings. Enter the Key Ring Reward Cards app by Mobestream Media. The free app means never carrying cards again! Plus, you can use the app to join loyalty programs in seconds. CardStar by Cardstar Publishing, LLC serves the same purpose and is also free.

Finally, the Paypal app lets you “bump” to send money to others. This is very cool for an evening out with friends when the time arrives to pay the tip!

iPhone Cases

For those times when cash or credit cards are still required, look no further than these three iPhone cases that also serve as wallets.

Q Card Case

The Q Card Case by CM4 is available for the iPhone 4S/4 and features an integrated wallet for credit cards, IDs, and cash. The product offers several functional innovations, such as the lay-flat Screen Guard to keep the iPhone’s screen protected; an exclusive patent-pending design that fuses a fabric pocket to a slim iPhone case; and Natural Throw buttons, which preserve the iPhone’s tactile feel and response. The case has enough space to carry up to three cards, and some cash. Available for $40.

BookBook for iPhone

The BookBook Case by Twelve South combines a vintage case and a wallet and is available for the iPhone 4S/4 for $60. The little “book” has an ID window plus room for at least three credit cards and some cash. $60.

iPhone 4S/4 ID Credit Card Case

Finally, there is the $35 iPhone 4S/4 ID Credit Card Case from Case Mate, which holds up to two credit card sized cards. Plus, there are 13 different colors to choose from including Pearl Pink, Green, and Ruby.

Saving Money

Savings Apps

The iPhone makes spending money much more convenient. Unfortunately, 99 percent of us need to figure out a way to save cash too. For this, we suggest these four apps.

Dinner Spinner offers over 40,000 quick and easy recipes for cooking at home. Best of all, the app is absolutely free.

Bar drinks can be expensive. This is where the Mixology Drink Recipes app comes into play. It offers thousands of drink recipes for home use, and there is also a freebie version available.

Gas is still expensive. Therefore, using an app like GasBuddy is essential. The free app makes finding cheap(er) gas near you quick and easy.

FinallyShopping by The Find allows users to scan barcodes to find the best place to buy the wares they want. Another freebie.