Best Student Budget Apps
Student budget apps help break the “broke college student” cliche.
It’s actually an amazing time in your life.
You are young, with the world ahead of you, ready to build healthy financial habits and credit history, plan ahead and manage your money so you can grow your investment portfolio.
With compound interest, the time is ideal to start keeping track of where all your dollars go, and stick to a budget that includes saving and investing to build your net worth.
College life can be both thrilling and challenging, especially when it comes to managing finances.
As a woman in college, trying to balance your academic, social, and financial obligations can be downright overwhelming.
But what if we told you that there are pocket-friendly student budget apps that can help you manage your finances without breaking a sweat?
In this blog post, we’ve rounded up the best student budget apps for college women that will help you make smart financial decisions and stay on top of your game.
#4 Pocket Guard
Pocket Guard is a simple mobile budgeting app that enables you to see your financial situation in one screen.
There are so many budgeting tools and budgeting apps , so why does Pocket Guard make the list?
It syncs your bank accounts, credit cards, and bills, giving you an overall perspective of your financial accounts and general personal finance snapshot.
You can also use the Pocket Guard app to categorize your expenses based on needs, wants, and savings. Pocket Guard offers personalized advice for financial management and alerts you when you overspend.
Understanding Pocket Guard
The Pocket Guard app simplifies budgeting and money management for college students, making it easy to manage finances and avoid reckless spending. The app automatically tracks your income, bills, and spending, keeping a detailed record of every transaction made. By doing a thorough analysis of your spending habits, Pocket Guard can identify potential savings and suggest ways to cut down unnecessary expenses.
For students, this is a valuable tool as it not only helps to keep track of where the money is going (Associated Students Store? pizza?) but also provides insightful financial advice.
It also allows you to create custom spending categories, set spending limits for each, and alerts you when you’re about to exceed them. This helps in preventing overspending and encourages disciplined and informed financial habits.
In college, where there’s often a tight budget, using the Pocket Guard app can make a significant difference in managing your finances effectively.
Here’s the skinny:
- The My Pocket feature is very helpful in knowing how much you can spend
- Customizable budgets including building budgets and savings goals
- Able to sync thousands of accounts
Not so helpful:
- Not very user friendly
- Many capabilities limited to paid users
Goodbudget is another popular budgeting app that uses the envelope system to help users manage their finances.
The envelope system involves dividing your income into different categories, represented by envelopes, and filling them with the cash allocated for each expense.
The envelope system can be easily customized to suit individual needs and preferences. For example, you might have envelopes for fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, and groceries. You could also have envelopes for discretionary spending like entertainment, dining out, or personal care.
Another example is a student-focused envelope system. This could include envelopes designated for tuition, textbooks, housing, food, personal expenses, and perhaps an envelope for savings or emergency funds.
This way, you can see how much money you have left in each category at any given time.
Goodbudget is essentially a virtual envelope system and operates on the principle of proactive budgeting, rather than tracking expenses retrospectively.
Once you receive your income, you allocate a specific amount to each envelope, representing different expense categories like rent, groceries, entertainment, etc. This proactive system is essentially preparing for your upcoming bills and allocating the proper amount of money to each category.
As you spend, you deduct from the respective envelope. When an envelope is empty, you either have to stop spending in that category or reallocate funds from another envelope.
It is not just about helping you track spending. It is about proactively making a game plan to allocate money to different categories.
This app syncs across multiple devices, allowing shared budgeting, while also providing a visual representation of your spending and saving.
For college students, Goodbudget can be particularly beneficial. It encourages disciplined spending and provides a clear view of where your money is going.
This can help students to avoid overspending and to focus more on savings. Additionally, the shared budgeting feature can be handy for roommates sharing expenses. With Goodbudget, students can learn valuable financial management skills early in life, setting a strong foundation for their future.
- Virtual way of using the tried and true envelope system
- You get 20 free envelopes
- There is a free version
Not so helpful:
- For more than 20 envelopes, you need to pay $70 a year
- Doesn’t sync with accounts. You manually have to enter your transactions, but can upload a bank statement to compare and spot inaccuracies.
Oportun, formerly Digit, touts itself as the “super simple banking app” and seeks to simplify budgeting.
Oportun is an intelligent personal finance app that aims to help users reach their financial goals without the typical stress associated with meticulous budgeting.
The app distinguishes itself with an intuitive design and user-friendly interface, making financial management less daunting for novices. It employs an automated approach, strategically saving small amounts from your checking account when the algorithm detects affordability. This feature is particularly appealing to users who struggle with regular savings.
However, while Oportun excels in automatic savings and simplicity, it lacks in offering comprehensive budgeting tools. Some users have noted the absence of personalized categories for expenses and goals.
Moreover, there’s a monthly fee, which some users found discouraging. Despite these drawbacks, many users commend Oportun for its unique approach to savings and financial management.
Oportun uses smart technology to analyze your income and spending patterns, and then auto-saves the perfect amount every day.
The goal is to ensure you’re saving money, but in a way that you barely notice. The app intuitively adjusts how much it saves based on your lifestyle, ensuring it doesn’t cause financial strain.
With Oportun, you can also set up specific savings goals, like a holiday fund or emergency savings, and the app will automatically distribute your savings towards these goals.
Additionally, it provides withdrawal at any time and doesn’t require a minimum account balance. The clever technology of Oportun makes saving money easy, automated, and stress-free.
- Free for the first six months
- Automates saving and investing
Not so helpful:
- No spending tracking or analytics, if you care about that
- After six months, you have to pay a fee of $5 a month, but hey, if the app is really helping you, maybe it’s worth it!
Our best personal finance app for students is Acorns.
It is the time to get started with your investment accounts. With years ahead of you, we are excited for you to build a portfolio that will create a stable nest egg or help paying for savings goals in your future.
There is time on your side, so you can take risks as you have years to weather the market.
Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to graduate and know you don’t have to take the first job offered to you because you thought ahead to save money and are not stressed about surviving?
Acorns is a great finance app for students, turning the complex world of investing into a simple, automated process.
Acorns works by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the spare change into a diversified portfolio. It introduces students to the fundamentals of investing without needing vast sums of money.
You can also increase your investments, if you choose, by transferring additional funds in the amount you choose.
Plus, it offers educational content to help users understand their investments better. Still, it’s worth noting that while Acorns is free for students, it does charge a $1 monthly fee for non-students.
Overall, it’s a fantastic tool for any student looking to dip their toes into investing while simultaneously saving some cash.
- Free for students
- Automatic roundups make saving and investing easy
Not so helpful:
- Once you are a non-student, Acorns charges $1/month
- No tax strategy
Being a young woman in college and budgeting may feel like an overwhelming challenge, but with these awesome budgeting apps, managing your finances effectively will be a breeze.
These apps are reliable, easy to use, and free – so no excuses. Begin your financial journey now and take the first step towards financial freedom.
Now is the time!
Saving money throughout your college years can yield significant benefits upon graduation. Firstly, it provides you with a financial cushion that can be invaluable during the job-hunting phase.
It allows you time to find a job that aligns with your career goals, rather than settling for the first opportunity that comes along due to financial pressure.
Secondly, having a savings fund can also enable you to manage initial expenses like relocating for a job or purchasing professional attire.
Having good financial health can also prepare you to handle any unforeseen expenses or emergencies without plunging into debt.
Lastly, cultivating a habit of saving early in life instills financial discipline and sets the foundation for sound financial habits in the future.
Having money saved when you graduate college is not just a short-term safety net, but also a stepping stone towards long-term financial stability and independence.
So get started budgeting for your expenses with these student budget apps, and most importantly, saving and investing for your future.
Remember, managing your finances now will set you up for long-term financial success.
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