Smartphone apps can help students conquer financial literacy, maintain a budget and track bills
One of the most important lessons that many college students learn during their years in school is to be financially independent. No longer can young people rely on allowance or the convenience of living at home. Thankfully, there are a variety of smartphone apps that help students conquer financial literacy. Consider the following apps:
Players interact with their friends, who are also playing the game called Mindblown Life, with the goal of not going virtually bankrupt. Creator Jason Young learned firsthand the effects of not being fiscally responsible when he came home as a college sophomore to find that his single mother was being evicted because she could not afford her variable rate mortgage. Young says that the purpose behind the game is to let students see the results of their actions without having to wait 30 years like his mother did. Students may encounter having emergency car repairs, a house fire and getting robbed. It is Young’s hope that students not only learn to manage money effectively but that they also learn to be happy regardless of their financial situation.
While financial planning is available for a monthly fee, the LearnVest app provides free budget tools. College students can authorize this app to pull in lots of financial information from sources like their credit cards and checking accounts, allowing them to view it all in one place. The app provides college students with lots of financial educational materials along with letting them create a budget on the app. While it can connect to your United States-based financial accounts, the app cannot do anything with your money. It automatically classifies most spending while asking users to classify those that it cannot guess. Users also get the ability to add their cash transactions to their budgets.
Mint not only lets college students track their net worth, it also helps them make a budget and pay bills directly from the app. In addition to connecting with US and Canadian bank accounts, Mint also connects with PayPal and other alternative pay systems. Students can enable this app to recognize when balances in accounts are getting low and will remind students when a bill’s due date is coming up so that they can budget accordingly. When determining net worth, the app asks about student loans and property the student may own. The app helps students spot trends in their budgets and encourages them to make better choices.
College students who are also running businesses or are responsible for an organization’s money may want to use the Pocket Budget as it allows them to establish multiple budgets in an easy-to-use app. Students will find it easy to modify categories allowing them to track expenses the way that they think about their money. The users also have the ability to add cash to their budgets if they get paid for an odd job or their employer pays with a paper check. This app easily connects to Google Drive allowing students to back up their information.
Like Mint and LearnVest, PocketGuard connects directly to the college student’s bank account. Students can see how much money they have in their accounts on the home screen. The app helps students analyze their budgets so that they can prepare for recurring expenses. A simple line-by-line display helps students analyze where their money is going.
Everyone knows money can get tight when you’re juggling your studies, a possible job, internships, clubs, and organizations and your social life. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible to manage your own money and budget for your needs. Consider the previously mentioned apps and start getting your finances in order to make your college life experience more efficient and organized.
By Maricel Tabalba is a freelance writer who is interested in writing about smart gadgets, emerging tech trends and environmentally friendly advice. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Disclaimer: NextStepU is not responsible for the accuracy, content, and functionality of the listed applications.