You are usually forced to live on a tight budget when you are a student. Most people in college have very low or no incomes, but at the same time, they have to manage a huge number of expenses. For them, keeping track of their finances is a MUST.
But how can they do it right? – With the help of the right app, of course! Below are some handy tips that will help you pick the right app for managing your student budget. Let’s dive in!
Look for Customizable Categories
Students typically have lots of different expenses they need to cover. The standard expenses include tuition, books, accommodation, food, and clothing. But then, there also might be many unique expenses that you also want to track. For example, if you are a working student, you might be using math homework help, or other academic assistance to keep your grades high and have enough time for your job. In this case, you want to keep track of such spending too.
Basic budgeting apps typically come with a specific preset of spending categories that all your expenses will be divided into. Often these categories are very basic and may not let you track everything efficiently. Therefore, the first tip for finding the right app is to look for the one in which you can customize spending categories or create your own.
Apart from customizability, one more thing you should be looking for in a good budgeting app is compatibility. As a student, chances are that you have a variety of tech that you use in your day-to-day life. The standard set can include a smartphone, laptop or PC, and a tablet. And, when you get yourself a perfect budgeting app, you probably want to have the possibility to access it from each of your devices. And that’s where compatibility matters.
Before choosing a specific option, check what operating systems and gadgets it can be used with. Ideally, the list should include all the devices that you have.
Define Whether It Has a Free Trial
These days, there are plenty of free apps for all kinds of purposes. The same goes for budgeting apps. So, chances are that you will have the possibility to find a free tool. But, here is one thing – free apps are there, but they are rarely better than paid ones. And, when it comes to such tools as budgeting apps that have access to your private data, you want to pick the best option that will keep you safe. So, chances are that you will choose a paid app.
This brings us to the next tip. When selecting a perfect paid app, you probably can’t afford to spend dozens of bucks on different tools until you find the right one. Thus, it is always a good idea to seek apps that have a free trial. This will let you test them before paying and, therefore, protect you from unwanted spending.
Look for an App That Syncs With Your Accounts
Although it can feel rather scary to connect your real bank accounts and cards to some apps, this is one of the most convenient ways to start managing your student budget. This way, you will ensure that you never miss a single purchase and keep track of everything. Besides, inserting the data about your income and spending manually can be quite time-consuming, so it would really help if all this data would sync with the chosen app automatically.
Study the Security Features
Since we were talking about connecting the selected app to your real bank accounts, the next important thing we have to stress out is security. Just like any financial product that you use (especially online), you want your budgeting app to be 100% protected. Thus, before you make the final choice, be sure to study the security features of every option.
What things should you look for? First and foremost, you want it to have some kind of identity protection. For example, it might feature multi-factor authentication, biometrics (like Face or Touch ID), or encrypted codes to access the app. Also, you want it to have clear and transparent privacy policies. Be sure to pay special attention to such features if you don’t want your financial and personal information to get leaked or stolen by frauds.
Lastly, when searching for a perfect budgeting app, you always want to get a second opinion on it. Chances are that every app that you can come across was already used by other people. Former and existing users can tell you much more about the chosen option than any app description. Therefore, before you make the final decision, be sure to study the customer reviews that are there.
Apart from the customer reviews, you can also check out a few complete reviews of the options you have in mind. There are plenty of trusted reviewing platforms that post overviews of the most popular applications to help users make the best choices. Such independent reviews can also help you make up your mind. So, don’t miss this chance!
The Bottom Line
At first sight, budgeting seems like something pretty simple. You write down your income and divide it into different categories of spending to ensure that you have everything covered. Nevertheless, everyone who tried budgeting will say that it is not at all as simple as it seems, especially when you have zero experience in it. But luckily, modern technology can solve this problem!
These days, there are plenty of great tools that make managing your finances simple, effort-free, and convenient. Such apps can save you plenty of time and ensure that you are always on the right track with your expenses. But, choosing the right app can be pretty hard.
Hopefully, this article will help you find the right option. Follow the tips we shared here to discover the best options and start managing your student budget like a pro!