This is a collaborative post.
To a young person full of ambitious plans for the future, college may sound like a very exciting idea. Almost a synonym to a newly-found freedom. However, it takes many by surprise when they find themselves completely unprepared for sudden financial independence.
College tuition is far from cheap! In fact, its costs increase with each year making more and more students struggle to afford it. Soon enough they realize that they need to adjust their spending habits and bring money matters into balance. Good, if it happens before the perspective of getting knee-deep into the debts starts looming on the horizon.
A sober financial management helps students to efficiently maneuver between food, accommodation and day-to-day expenses. Due to a mindful plan, they can keep on top of how much they spend and follow a put-up budget to avoid the debts they didn’t look for and even start saving some.
However, hard and challenging as it is, college period practically leaves no room and energy for financial management, let alone that many students are seriously underskilled in how to do it. Thankfully, digital era offers lots of solutions even for the complete newbies.
Check, for instance, these 7 apps:
Nerdwallet. A simple planner for your finances
Want a nothing special money management tool that will prove effective? Try a free budget planning worksheet from NerdWallet. It automatically calculates your expenditures and monitors income sources based on the data you input. For more demanding students who want to make the most of their budget, it offers a reasonable expenditure plan to help them track cash movements and stay within the limits of their financial goals. Nothing in excess, just the features you need.
Mint. Effortless management and Centralized Database
No matter how much you hate to handle your financial life, there is no other option. Unless you want to cover your debt until you’re seventy. Luckily, Mint creators thought everything through. They made a colorful easy-in-use app that brings together all your bills, credit score, balance and much more. It automatically updates your financial information and provides the categorized statistics for your expenditures. But it’s not all. The app carries out a thorough analysis of thousands of sources to help you save money and provides a solution based on your lifestyle and financial objectives. Looks like it can get even the laziest one out of a debt pit.
Wally. The Most Comprehensive Tool to Manage Your Finances
Recognized by twenty-two countries as a #1 financial management app, Wally is a free tool with in-depth functionality and attractive design. Amy London, a popular Pro-papers blogger, shares her user experience, “I was a working student and Wally was my best find at the AppStore. I really liked that I had all my accounts centralized and could see the cash flow statistics. And my expenditures – they were divided into categories so I could stay in control of my money and never exceed the budget. As I started living with my future husband, we opened a joint account. Wally’s function of group budgeting really helped us to stay sync in our financial behavior.” The app has the widest network of banks and manages over 200 currencies. Available on Android as well.
Venmo. Transferring Money Is a Breeze
Money operations are a pain for you? Consider Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by a PayPal. Using the phone application or a web interface, you can make money transfers to your family or friends, or move the funds to your account as fast as a few clicks. Synchronize your smartphone or Facebook contacts and use Venmo to split your restaurant bill, pay for rent, buy concert tickets or make donations. 3% fee is applied only if you linked a credit card.
Save with Digit
How a college student to start saving? Just set up your Digit account and let the system take care of the rest. The app analyzes your income sources and your expenditures to figure out how much you can save – but never going overboard. Digit users have instant access to their saving account, allowing students to make unlimited withdrawals at any given moment in case of a force majeure. It sets no account minimum, which makes it work even for the tightest budgets, and gives a 0.5% saving bonus every 3 months. In case you have a credit card debt, Digit will start saving money to automatically pay it off. The app costs 5 USD per months but a 30-day trial period is offered for free.
Slice. A Perfect Shopping Assistant in Your Pocket
How does “all shopping info in one” sounds to you? To a busy college student who simply can’t afford being overwhelmed also with expenses tracking, it is as valuable as gold. From your confirmation e-mails, the app automatically adds all the information about your online purchases and keeps track of the shipment updates. It sends timely notifications once the delivery status has changed. As well as stores all the receipts, in case you might want to return or exchange the purchased items. It analyzes your spending behavior and demonstrates the trends and habits through easy-to-interpret charts and graphs. And it helps you save extra. Once the price to the item you bought falls, the app will immediately contact the merchant to refund you the difference.
Although undergrads may not understand the importance of a good credit history yet, the college is a perfect time to start showing mindfulness about the credit score. Especially when a student lawn hovers over you. Good news: no need to pay crazy fees to keep on top of your credit situation any more. Through a free of charge account, Credit Karma allows to monitor important changes in your credit history and lets you know what impacts the score and how to improve it.
However, remember that a budget management tool is not a magical pill. Show thoughtfulness in your choices to reap the benefits in the future.