College expenses can be overwhelming. As a student, you have to divide your student loan to cover rent, food, clothes, transport, and books, to mention a few. Even if you work a part-time job, the dilemma is the same. If you are not careful, you can easily run out of money. You might even have to cut back greatly to compensate for overspending.
Consequently, learning to keep track of your money is one of the first and most crucial lessons you learn in college. The best way to do this is to have a budget. A budget helps you reconcile your income with your expenditure.
In this age of technological advancement, there are apps for everything. Including those that allow you to create a budget. This is great because an application on your phone is more practical than a budget book you might forget to update or even check. Most of these apps are suited to students in that they are free and easy to use.
Although these apps may differ in some ways, their fundamental purpose is to help you achieve financial freedom. Here are ten of the best budgeting apps for university students:
Mint is probably the most popular free personal finance app. It is developed by Intuit. You can access Mint as an online app or as a mobile app on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. To sign up for Mint, you have to connect all your financial accounts to the app.
Mint allows you to set goals and tie them to your accounts. The app automatically updates your budget every time you complete a transaction. The tracker reminds you of pending bills and sends you warnings when your balance is too low.
2. You Need a Budget
YNAB has been labeled the ‘Best Debt App.’ You Need a Budget accounts for every dollar of your funds. It prevents you from using the money you do not have.
YNAB uses your actual funds to help you get out of debt. It also gives you suggestions on adjustments you should try so as to balance your expenditure.
Wally is a free budgeting app that allows you to link all your credit cards and bank accounts. The most notable Wally feature is it lets you take photos of your receipts. This helps keep track of your spending without having to backlog all your receipts. The wally interface is clean and has no ads hence allowing uninterrupted access.
Slice is a purchasing app that accesses and organizes all your e-receipts through email. It notifies you on price adjustments and keeps track of everything you buy. The interface allows real-time updates on shipments and deliveries. It organizes all your purchasing history in one place, so it is easy to transfer it to a budget.
The most popular feature on PocketGuard is the “in my pocket” feature. It checks your income, saving goals, bills, and current spending and shows you your balance.
You can use PocketGuard to create a personalized budget after linking all your accounts. The app shows you opportunities for cutbacks and savings in each category
Check is a bill tracking app that keeps a record of your pending bills and gives you reminders when they are due. It also warns you in case your expenditure is too high to balance with your bills. You can use Check to pay bills directly
7. CheckPlease Lite
CheckPlease Lite is more of a billing app. Say you have lunch with your friends and have to split the bill, CheckPlease does that for you. It also calculates the amount of tip you should leave.
The app shows you where in your bill you can get refunds or discounts. It has a very clean interface.
PocketBudget has a simple interface. It uses built-in categories to show your budget in the form of a pie chart while showing your transactions on a different screen.
PocketBudget allows you to customize categories and add entries, either daily, weekly, or monthly.
LearnVest links all your financial accounts on the app. It creates categories for your expenditure and separate budgets for each. You can also create your own categories.
After 6 years of running, in December 2019, LearnVest announced that it was selling itself to Northwestern Mutual. If you try to access LearnVest, you will be directed to the new site.
Unlike all the above apps that use categories as a basis for budgeting, Dollarbird uses a calendar-based system. It shows you where your biggest spends will be and prevent them from springing up on you. This future-based app shows you the impact of your spending on your bank balance. It shows you how an expense will affect your already set plans.
Whichever budgeting app you opt for, you can never go wrong with keeping a budget. Additionally, since budgeting is a skill you will use throughout your adult life, starting early is also a huge plus.