College is the time for meeting lifelong friends, expanding your mind, and creating unforgettable memories. During this personal era of self-growth, a college student runs into some growing pains.
Good thing we’re in modern times and college students have the internet. This list will hopefully help many colleges students looking to make smart financial decisions while enjoying their college days.
Even though penny-pinching and online bargain hunting is a good start to saving money in college, it’s not enough to simply be frugal. There must be meticulous financial planning in order to make it out of the academic years in one piece.
Read below to find out the best ways to save wisely with the best budget apps.
We have to start off with Mint. While many people might already know about this popular service, let’s make sure we don’t forget anybody.
Mint is free (we’re starting off great already), and often considered the best budgeting app. Mint helps people young and old manage their money by giving a full picture of personal spending. Track bills, budgets, and more.
Download it as an app and carry it around wherever you go and follow your spending closely.
Never get stuck with the bill again. When you and your fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, dorm-mates, classmates, etc. are out at the local pub, everyone can easily pay their fair share with the Square Cash money payment app.
Instantly have money transferred to your bank by having your friend send you money they owe for all those half-off student special margaritas.
Now there’s no excuse when friends say, “I don’t have cash.” Hey, it’s only fair!
You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget (or YNAB) is regarded as a great budget phone app for people needing to become more strict with their income. College students can use the app to plan for bills and identify where money is falling through the cracks.
YNAB can help decide where money can be better spent and where there’s a hole in the boat. The app isn’t free (it’s $5 a month or $50 yearly), but it provides a good way for a student to focus closely on short-term budgeting.
Left to Spend
To keep it more to-the-point, download Left to Spend for iPhone iOS or Android. Left to Spend is a clear-cut way of knowing when you’re overspending.
This is a good budget app for the student who is new to budgeting or doesn’t need complicated graphs and tables. Using simple red and green, it tells you whether or not you’re over budget. It literally tells you if you’re still in the green or if you have nothing left to spend.
If you’re not living off dorm cuisine and you’re in an apartment where you have to buy your own food, mySupermarket is a fantastic way to find the best deals based on your shopping list.
Forget resorting to ramen packets and fast food just because you think it’s the cheapest option. mySupermarket will show you deals around your area, so you can apply yourself in making the best culinary choices.
mySupermarket will help you spot the cheapest place for your grocery list items. For example, this niche app will pull “avocado” from your shopping list and guide you to where they’re selling the cheapest avocados near you.
Why would you ever make a normal shopping list ever again? Take advantage of a budget shopping app that performs just to help you save.
Wally is a very popular budget app used by college students to help cut down on spending through fully informing the user of their financial choices.
Known for a beautiful user interface, Wally is an advantage for the person who wants to keep track of daily expenses. Out of the list, Wally is the best for achieving savings goals. You’ll even get an alert letting you know when goals are met (which means time to celebrate!). On the flip side, it’ll also alert you when you need to pay a bill.
Wally is a practical way to budget, save, and maintain a healthy financial life while studying for that degree. Let Wally be your college budget app, and you won’t regret it.
While Square Cash is a great college budget app for sending money from roommate to roommate, Splitwise will actually track who owes what. No more squabbling over the Netflix bill. Splitwise clearly spells out where each roommate is with bill sharing.
Cohabiting an apartment with roommates can be challenging, so maintain the health of your relationships by keeping bills simple and fair.
As mentioned earlier, splitting the bill between friends at a restaurant can be stressful. There are easy ways to send money owed, but how do you determine who owes what when you have to factor in tax and tip?
Thank goodness for CheckPlease Lite. Now you can plug in the numbers and let the app do the work for you. Decide what percentage each person wants to tip, and the app will come up with the final bill for each patron.
This isn’t only convenient for you and your friends, it saves a headache for the server, especially for big parties.
The great thing about the app is that it doesn’t feel like nit-picking. The budget app is the one doing the calculations, so you don’t have to question someone’s math skills. Not only that, but a smooth restaurant check process maintains positives vibes between friends.
Summing it Up
Learning to pay bills is not the most fun part of college, but it is unfortunately a necessary aspect. College goes by fast, so make sure the most out of it while staying afloat financially. It can be easy to make a few stumbles, but they don’t have to be overwhelming. Each of the choices above have their benefits, so you may have to try out a few before choosing your go-to budgeting app. Let these budgeting apps sweat the small stuff and enjoy your college years!