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You’ve been saving for that new flat screen TV. Wise consumer that you are, comparing prices is a given. Now for a new twist on shopping around: what if you kept your current TV, took the cash you had planned to spend on the flat screen, and put it in your 401(k) instead?

A new iPhone app from Putnam Investments will help account holders not only find the best price when out shopping, but also show what the positive impact would be if the cash went into their retirement account. It can calculate the benefit of adding the amount they planned to spend on the TV, or the difference if they score the flat screen for less money – and they can decide then and there to transfer the funds, if they wish. Check out the details in this SmartMoney blog post. According to the article, it looks like other financial institutions have similar apps in the works. We’ll keep an eye out and see what develops.

Meanwhile, save money now and see how your smart phone can pay for itself with comparison shopping apps for everything from gas to groceries.

Image courtesy of Ramberg Media Images