Best Apps for Budgeting


Hello, everyone! I hope you are having a great week so far. My name is Phil Erickson. I am a senior financial investments major at Wilkes University. I am also the Scholar of Business Operations and Financial Analysis at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. In addition, I serve as the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Vice President of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board for the Jay. S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership, while also playing on the Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Additionally, I spend my time helping new students become acclimated to college life as a First-Year Student Orientation E-Mentor.


After three years of college, I have noticed that one of the main concerns that many students face is budgeting their money. A significant number of students work all summer or even during the school year to cover all of the expenses that they face as college students. As our culture and technology has evolved, I have found that the best way to budget is by using apps. These applications allow us to budget our time and our money from the click of a button. Today, I would like to share with you the three best apps that I have found for budgeting:


1.) Mint

Mint is one of the best apps out there for monthly budgeting. Mint automatically updates and categorizes transactions, allowing you to have a snapshot of all your spending at any moment of time. You are able to track cash flow, create custom budgets, and receive real-time insights all in one app. It is a free, easy-to-use app that is perfect for college students, even if they do not have a background in finance. After safely linking your personal accounts, Mint analyzes your financial information and breaks it down into different categories, so you are able to see how much you are really spending while also helping you save more money.


2.) Acorns

This Ashton Kutcher-backed investment application allows users to invest money without even blinking an eye. Each time that an Acorns user swipes their card to make a transaction, the app will automatically round up to the nearest dollar and invest the excess change into an investment portfolio. For example, if you buy a coffee at Starbucks for $4.25, Acorns will round that transaction up to $5. It will then take that extra 75 cents and invest it for you. This is a great way for college students to create an investment portfolio even if they have little experience in this field. This app is a no-brainer for any college student who wants to start building for the future.


3.) Prism

Prism is the perfect app to help students stay on top of all their bills. This free app sets up all of your bills in one place by linking account balances for each specific provider you use. This app is a must-have for any student that is living off-campus. It makes it so much easier for me to pay for water, electricity, gas, and even wifi each month. I always avoid late fees, as the app sets up reminders for the due date of each specific category.


I could not give a higher recommendation for these apps. As college students, our lives are busy with school, sports, friends, and extracurricular activities. We have simplified the way we live in so many different ways on our phones, so why not use them when it comes to our personal finances? The more efficient we are with the way we handle our finances, the more time we will have to spend doing what we love.


(PS: I would love to hear your feedback if you have any experience with these apps or any others that you use for budgeting. I am also looking for new ways to save time and money when it comes to my personal finances.)


See you soon!

-Phil


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