Best Money Management Tools for Students
Top 10 Apps Every Student Needs to Save Money
Written By: Jess Badinghaus
Budgeting, a truly terrifying word for college students. It means not spending money on things you want, like Chipotle and overpriced coffee. It is also a constant reminder that you don’t have enough money. But what if budgeting and saving money didn’t have to be traumatic? These 10 apps make money management a breeze for students living on a college budget.
Read on to start saving today.
Everyone struggles to budget, especially college students, but Mint makes it easier for us. Mint links to your bank account and allows you to set budgets and manage your finances for free. For example, if you cannot resist expensive coffee shops like me, you can set a $20 coffee budget per month and Mint reminds you when you have gone over on spending. Students find this app useful because it easily tracks money spent on groceries, textbooks and booze, so you never overspend again.
You finally make it to the grocery after weeks of putting it off. It isn’t until you walk into the store that you realize you forgot all your coupons. With SnipSnap, this scenario will never happen again. When you get a coupon, just take a picture using SnipSnap. The app then saves the coupon and turns it into a redeemable code for use at the store. SnipSnap also gives access to other people’s coupons so you can find deals you didn’t even know about. Especially useful for college students who don’t think about coupons. SnipSnap has them all for us.
3. You Need a Budget
Let’s be honest, the majority of college students don’t have it all together. The struggle becomes evident through subpar grades, “all-nighter” appearances and single digit bank accounts. You Need a Budget can help with the latter. This app manages your money with the touch of a button and helps plan for emergencies by saving adequately. You simply input purchases that are important to you, such as groceries, clothing and travel. Then you set a spending limit for yourself on these items and the app creates a budget for them. It’s that simple.
No more nagging your friends to pay you back for the coffee you bought them. You can just request them on Venmo. “I use Venmo with my roommates to pay for things like rent and utilities,” junior at Ohio State Marianne Brown said. “It’s much more convenient than writing a check or giving each other cash every month.” Venmo allows you to send money from your credit card to another persons’ card. No more forgetting that your sibling owes you $20 for mom’s birthday present (@my brother).
Another app that saves online shoppers’ money is Honey. Once you install it on your computer it keeps track of all coupons out there and applies them to your cart at checkout. “I saved so much money on flights with Honey, it’s great,” former University of Cincinnati student Caroline Eyer said. Using Honey, you might actually be able to afford the clothes you spent the entire class time looking at.
Boring classes call for online shopping, but you owe your roommates for rent next week. With RetailMeNot, you can do both. This app maintains a collection of coupons for stores worldwide. It notifies you when your favorite brands hold the best deals, cash back offers or promotional offers. “It’s nice because not only does it give me all the current coupons for any store I search, but it also shows me all the deals at different stores and restaurants around me,” said Mikaela Kilbane, junior at Ohio State. “As a college student, it’s always nice to save money but even better when it’s all done through one app.” Whether it be fashion, food or beauty products, RetailMeNot has coupons for it all at your fingertips.
An oldie, but a goody. Groupon supplies you with coupons for experiences like amusement parks, traveling and spas. As a college student, we don’t make enough time for self-care, so treat yourself once in a while. “[Groupon] helps you find what places are offering specials and deals so you can be an informed shopper and save money,” said Josie Adams, junior at Miami University. Groupon makes fun activities like Escape Rooms, massages and hot yoga affordable and you’llfeel no guilt for splurging.
8. Pocket Guard
A lot of us neglect budgeting because it seems difficult and scary, but Pocket Guard makes budgeting a simple task. This app tracks spending and calculates how much you spent today and how much you can spend tomorrow. “It factors in your income, bills, spending and savings goal contributions to show how much money is left ‘in your pocket’ for the day, week or month,” co-Founder of PocketGuard Igor Kuznetsov said. “I believe that for college students, managing money is about building a spending habit so that at the end of the month you have a little bit left over. And that’s exactly what PocketGuard helps you achieve.” This app makes our broke, just trying to get through the day, college lifestyle a little less stressful.
Sometimes, spending isn’t the issue with budgeting. It is knowing how to efficiently put money into savings. Acorn keeps your money in a safe place without you even noticing. Anytime you make a purchase, Acorn rounds up the total and puts the extra cents into savings. For example, if I buy a notebook for $3.56 on Amazon, Acorn puts 44 cents into savings. You can also set up daily, weekly or monthly withdraws. This app puts your money where you can’t see it so you can’t even think about spending it.
Most of us get sucked into Amazon and end up dropping $20 on things we don’t need. But when you do need items, it helps to know when to buy them and how to save. “There are ways to save money on Amazon. If available, check out the used offers and check the deal of the day or the lightning deals,” experienced Amazon shopper Rene Peeden said. “With free no rush shipping, you get a five-dollar reward for Prime Now.” Amazon also has a coupon feature where you search for coupons and it automatically applies them to your cart. Continue shopping, but do it right by understanding the hidden secrets of Amazon.