Managing personal finance can be difficult for even the most experienced of individuals. While this is true for most people, one group that frequently finds financial trouble is college students. Part of this is due to the fact that they lack experience with handling their own finances, but in addition to this, there are a lot of expenses that accompany college life, and the demands of education leave little time for the student make a living.
Due to these demands, many students fail to take the necessary time to manage their money. This often leads to financial problems that pile up to the point where, by the time they finish their schooling, they have a mass of debt and no money in their savings. To address these issues, college students can use one of the many personal finance apps that are available for mobile devices. These apps can help with everything from budgeting and saving to investing and planning for the future. Most of them are convenient and easy to use, and the best part is that many of them are free.
Mint is without a doubt one of the best personal finance apps currently available. It is probably the most widely used app for finance, and the advantage comes from the comprehensive approach that it takes. The user can link all of their financial accounts including checking, savings, credit cards, investments and more. The software tracks all of the user’s financial activity, and it uses the data to help the person manage their money.
This app can be really useful because it keeps everything in one place, and it integrates all of the activity to make it easier for the individual to monitor. It can be good for helping the user to set realistic budgets, it can help them to see where their money is going, and it can provide advice to assist the user with saving money.
This is a newer finance app from Dave Ramsey. Everydollar is a tool that is similar to Mint, but there are some significant differences. Everydollar is fairly easy to get set up, and it has features that allow you to track your budgeting and to help the individual with saving money. In addition to that, it has the charts and graphs that can be useful for tracking the financial progress of the user.
Using the basic everydollar service is free, but some of the features that make Mint so convenient and useful are only available on everydollar through a paid account ($99/year). One of the key features that is only available through the paid version is connecting with your financial accounts. With the basic service, the user has to manually input all of their financial activity as it occurs and for some people, this might be more work than it is worth.
For people with needs that are a little more basic, Level Money can be a good personal finance app. This app is very simple, and the main purpose of it is basic budgeting. It does have features to make charts and graphs to track every dollar that you spend, but the primary function is to help the user budget their available money.
At the beginning of every month, the Level Money app takes the user’s monthly income and subtracts the cost of regular expenses like rent, the car payment, insurance, etc. Then, it takes what is left over and provides reports that indicate the user’s monthly, weekly or daily budget. You can also set features to place a percentage of monthly income in savings or whether to rollover a surplus of funds into next month’s budget or to put in savings.
It’s nice because it can be especially good for budgeting on a daily basis. If you spend too much money on one day, it automatically reduces your average daily budget to help you maintain your monthly spending. This app also connects to your bank accounts and credit cards, so it tracks all of your activity in real time.
Toshl is another budgeting app that can be useful for college students. This is a tool that is more specifically designed for setting budgets and saving money. The user can input their income and set a budget and then they manually track their financial transactions as they occur. Since Toshl is more of a simple budgeting tool, manually entering the data is not quite as inconvenient as it would be with a more comprehensive service and it can be good for user’s that are wary about connecting their bank account and credit card to different online services.
With this app, the user can set budgets, track spending and manage their money in a way that can help them save. Toshl does have a paid service that costs $19.95 a year, but for most users, the basic free service will be enough.
A failure to manage credit cards is one of the most common ways that college students wind up in financial trouble. With Credit Karma, you have an app that can help to optimize your credit card usage and prevent many of the pitfalls that come with having credit. This app provides the user with access to their credit score, it can help the user find better offers for credit cards, and it has tools that can help the user to manage their credit score. If you are trying to maintain a good credit history or improve your score, this app can be a really valuable tool.
The way a person manages their money can have implications that extend well beyond the present. Many college students fail to appreciate the way that these decisions will affect them in the future, but it is important for people of all ages and social backgrounds to take steps to make sure that they handle their finances responsibly. While there certainly is much more to personal finance than using a piece of software, these five apps can be useful tools for any person that needs assistance with managing different parts of their financial life.