When you start college, there are so many new things you learn. One of the most challenging to me was learning to manage my money and attend college at the same time. Keeping track of your spending is one half of the battle. The other is learning how to spend your money wisely. From paying your rent, buying groceries, going out on the weekends or having a get together, managing your personal finance for the first time can get very overwhelming. Thankfully these apps can help us college students stay confident, keep track of our finances and also help find areas where we can cut back on our spending habits.
1. Venmo – Is it time to pay your monthly rent with your roommates? Split a check or a get paid back for a cab ride with a friend you paid for last Thursday? No one has time for that! Try Venmo, a free digital wallet that makes it simple for you to send and receive money with your friends or family without having to share any bank account information. How confident does that make you feel?
Venmo launched in 2011 and was purchased for $26.2 million by Braintree not to long after. Braintree is the same payment startup for other companies such as Airbnb, LivingSocial and Uber! In 2013, when PayPal acquired Braintree, they got Venmo. Although PayPal is one of the most widely used peer-to-peer payment networks, it charges a 2.9% transaction fee with each debit or credit card payment. Venmo on the other hand is completely free when used with a major U.S bank. Venmo has made a new and easier way to pay without getting charged!
2. Mint – While you are getting the hang of things in school, you sometimes don’t realize how your money is literally slipping through your fingers. Ever wonder how much money you spend? Out? At Starbucks? At restaurants the past 6 months? Could you tell me that? Probably not… Well Mint is a great way to keep a budget, stick to itm and also be notified of your progress all at the same time. You’ll be surprised how much those Starbucks trips actually run you.
Mint is not only free but also simple (probably one of the main reasons that in 2012 Mint was on the list for best apps in the app store)! Mint allows you to manage your finances in one central location. It puts your financial statements in one place and updates your transactions each night. Mint will remind you when payments are due, help you create a budget, tell you which months you’ve spent more money and where you have spent the most money. Like during the summer you might want to spend less on transportation when the weather is nice and use that extra cash for your next night out! Mint makes it easier for you to be more confident with your spending habits and make sure your bills are paid on time. Choose to shine while you’re in control with Mint’s is personal summary of all your spending habits.
3. Serve – American Express Serve is a prepaid alternative to debt and credit cards that is convenient, and keeps you both independent and accountable. Overall, its features go beyond what any other credit/debit card companies can do for you. Keep it real!
Things that you can do with serve:
-Send and request money by email, text or even Facebook. Spot a friend at the movies? Request that money back.
-Collect money for events or a charity. If anything really makes Serve different, it’s this. With Serve you can publically raise money for anything whether you’re collecting funds for a school trip, planning a party or raising money for an event. Choose Serve, because right on Serve, you can create the event, set a deadline, have funding goals and then share everything to all your friends through text, email and even social media.
-Sell your stuff, Serve allows you to sell items you don’t want anymore and receive the money right through your Serve account!
– Serve is backed by American Express therefore you always have 24/7 customer service, security and data protection, purchase protection up to 90 days and even roadside assistance!
4. Check – Check is like Mint; it works as an all around budgeting application for college students connecting your financial accounts and also giving you the ability to set up reminders, notices and bill payments.
It’s all happening! For us college girls who never had to pay a monthly bill before till now and who often don’t get the hang of it for a little bit (like me!), this app can become a lifesaver.
5. Slice – When everything from prescriptions to groceries can be bought online, it’s often difficult to keep track of everything that is being shipped to you. Slice helps you with that.
When you “need” that new cute outfit that was not only on sale but also had free shipping, Slice is there!. Slice scans your emails for shipping info, purchase totals or order numbers and takes that relevant information and stores it to Slice so you can get real-time updates about your recent orders.
There are so many different budgeting applications that you can use, but these are my favorite. Try these 5 applications to boost your confidence, keep track of your spending habits and to make sure you are on track with all your financial goals!
Zara Puskuldjian is a senior at Lynn University.