Being a college student and managing your funds is frequently easier said than done. Without much assistance, you can find yourself juggling the numerous costs of attending school (paying for textbooks, meal plans, supplies, and commuting) on a tight budget. It might be challenging to know where to begin at times.
You can start down the path to financial flexibility by developing the habits of saving, investing, and budgeting as early as feasible. If you have an emergency fund, for instance, you can pay for unforeseen costs like auto repairs or laptop repairs that arise in daily life. Additionally, by beginning to invest when you are young, you can avoid holding too much cash and take advantage of compound interest’s long-term advantages.
Money Management Apps for Students
Despite its scary name, budgeting is nothing more than a strategy for your monthly financial activities. You can better control how you decide to spend your money when you are aware of what’s coming in (i.e., how much you are earning). There are various ways to make a budget, but those who are just starting out and want to handle their finances while on the road should have a look at the Goodbudget app.
The software is essentially a digital adaptation of the envelope method, a budgeting technique in which you place a specific amount of cash in each of several envelopes labeled with various spending categories. You’ll have to wait until your subsequent payday (or the following month) to restock your envelopes after you’ve used up all the money.
The concept behind Goodbudget is much the same, however digital envelopes are used in place of physical ones. You can label them to show what you often spend your money on, such as food, petrol, school supplies, and entertainment. Each category’s envelope will be unique. Your compensation will be divided among them, and you are only permitted to spend the money that is designated in each envelope.
It’s a frequent fallacy that you need a lot of capital to start investing. In fact, the Acorns app makes it possible to get started with as little as some spare pennies.
Your spare change from regular purchases is rounded up by the app, which then invests it in pre-built portfolios. To put it another way, you can invest while grabbing your morning cold brew from the campus coffee shop. Let’s assume a cup of coffee costs $4.30; Acorns will invest 70 cents on your behalf. Simply be sure to link your credit card to the app and make purchases with it in order to use the roundup feature.
In addition, you can fund the app without making any transactions. Although opening the account is free, you must deposit at least $5 before you can begin investing.
Every dollar counts when it comes to saving money, especially if you consistently set aside tiny sums over time. Basically, that is what Digit is here to assist you with.
The software links to your bank account and daily initiates tiny savings on your behalf. This might be 75 cents, $1, $5, or any other amount in between. (You can specify a daily saving cap that Digit is to adhere to.) Digit automates saving so you don’t need to manually transfer funds into a different account.
Additionally, you can set up several savings targets, such as a spring break vacation or a new laptop. Additionally, if you don’t have any particular objectives in mind, you might simply save money to begin your post-graduation life as soon as possible.
Some costs, like textbooks and groceries, are just impossible to avoid once you’re in college. However, it’s wonderful to get a little money back on these necessities. Rakuten can help in this situation. You can get cash back when you shop online or in-store using this app and browser extension.
Connect your debit or credit card(s) to the app to get started. You will then get a set percentage of cash back when you make a purchase from one of the hundreds of brands in Rakuten’s network. By using the cash back to purchase items you would have needed otherwise, you can increase your savings on a quarterly basis.
Keeping all of your financial accounts in one convenient location might make it much simpler to keep track of things if you feel like you have a few too many. With Mint, you may link your checking account, savings account, credit cards, investment accounts, and retirement funds (if you were fortunate enough to have a 401(k) plan or got an early start by contributing to a Roth IRA).
You can prevent missing a bill payment or overdrawing your account by keeping track of your finances. However, if you don’t frequently check these accounts, restoring a lost password can frequently turn out to be more work than you anticipated when all you want to know is how much money you have in savings. You no longer need to keep track of numerous passwords using Mint. All you need to do is sign into the app to receive a complete picture of your balances.
The ideal app to use for saving money for special occasions is squirrel. Think of it as a budgeting app and a mood board together. Each monetary objective is given its own “bucket,” which serves as a savings account. You may set goals, itemise your goals, create a budget, and even share your bucket with friends using the app. You can link your accounts with Squirrel and Pinterest to better visualize your financial goals for students. On iOS and Android, you can get it for nothing.
On the website Top Cashback, you can get cash back for buying at more than 5000 UK retailers, including Tesco and ASOS, both online and in-store. Saving money on items you have already bought is a smart approach to start budgeting for students. You may now download a free mobile application that enables you to manage your account, take advantage of in-store discounts, and make in-app purchases from your preferred stores. On the App Store and Google Play, you can download the Top Cashback mobile app.
The go-to app to help you boost your savings, set goals, and receive insight into your spending is called Wally. Your student budget may be centralized after all of your accounts are synced to Wally, allowing you to easily learn, manage, and improve your financial situation. Wally lets you create a budget that works for you, whether you want to save money for a city break or your graduation ball. With the aid of its built-in financial calendar, the app also provides you with insights on your expenditures to aid in smarter saving. You may schedule reminders for payments like rent or student loan payments using its calendar feature. The group feature, however, is ideal for maintaining a home on a student budget. Fear not, international students. You won’t be left out because to Wally’s extensive global network of 15,000 banks in 70 nations.
Money Dashboard Neon
You may view all of your accounts in one location using Money Dashboard Neon. Additionally, it displays the amount of money you still have to spend before your next paycheck or student loan payment. It connects to each significant UK bank. That’s not all, though. Money Dashboard warns you when your balance appears to be getting low and assists you in splitting transactions, transferring funds around all of your bank accounts, and personalizing your spending. It’s understandable why it earned the British Bank Awards’ Best Personal Finance App 2021 honor. The app may be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play for no charge, and registration is free.
Chip is a savings account combined with a budgeting app. It offers competitive interest rates so that your funds are put to good use. The FSCS is available to all accounts. By using Chip’s hassle-free investment platform, you can invest your savings (capital at risk – of course). Although the fundamental ChipLite Plan is presently free, you must pay for the more advanced capabilities of the program. With the ChipAI plan, access to premium features costs £1.50 per 28 days. While the ChipX Plan will cost you £3 per month to access all of Chip’s features and investment funds. The app can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.
The greatest budgeting software for college students living with roommates is Splitwise. To ensure that everyone pays their fair amount, it enables you to keep track of balances and other shared expenses. The group feature aids in grouping your spending, and your balance displays who is owed what. To let your friends know when you have paid up, you may also keep track of any cash or online payments. The free edition of Splitwise has all of its essential features and is great for students on a budget. However, Splitwise Pro offers an ad-free experience while you scan receipts, save preset divides, and exchange currencies for $3 per month.
The Cleo app was created with people who struggle with budgeting in mind. As a result, it is the ideal beginner’s student budget software. Cleo breaks your financial information into straightforward spending updates, tips, hypes, and roasts rather than just providing you a list of statistics. You can also save money with Cleo by rounding up your purchases. You can use Cleo Pro’s cash advance option, credit building tools, and cashback programs for $5.99 each month.
Monzo is more of an online bank account than a budgeting app for students. You may use your phone to open a full UK bank account for nothing. You may manage your money via the app after receiving the company’s recognizable orange debit card in the mail. Create monthly spending plans, share expenses with your pals, and manage your money while you’re on the road. You can get a blue card, complete financial visibility with your other bank accounts, and interest on your money by subscribing to Monzo Plus for £5 every month. Additionally, for an additional £15 per month, Monzo Premium and its white steel card provide you additional benefits including comprehensive phone and travel insurance, interest, and more.
While some people may not be a good fit for using money management applications, one thing is for sure: developing excellent habits is crucial for creating a solid financial foundation, and college is a fantastic place to start! Remember that personal finance is a matter of choice; whether you like using an app that syncs your bank account information automatically or prefer to create your budget by hand, there is a strategy out there for just about everyone.