5 Great Financial Apps for College Students

Gaining financial independence and responsibility in college means learning to be organized and create a realistic budget. Long gone are the days sitting and balancing a checkbook. The technology we carry around with us today certainly gives us an added level of convenience when it comes to finances, including some great apps currently available for Android and iOS devices. Here’s a look at some of the best financial apps that can benefit you as a college student in one financial aspect or another.

financial apps

The financial apps

  1. Mint – This app links to all of your financial accounts (e.g. checking, savings, credit cards, investments), and keeps you up-to-date on all activity and balances all in one convenient place. As discussed in the article “How to Save Money While in College,” the key to being successful at saving money is by finding ways to cut back in order to stick to a budget, which the Mint app helps with really well. It allows you to create a personalized budget and savings goal, and helps you track your progress in real-time. If you’re currently exploring checking, savings, or credit card options, this app will help you find one that best fits your needs. Another added bonus of the Mint app is that it provides an up-to-date credit tracker, which is wonderful if you’re just beginning to establish credit!
  2. Yowza!! Mobile Coupons – Living on a college budget means getting to know the value of great deals and discounts, and the Yowza!! app makes it easier to find them. This app uses your location to find coupon deals at retailers, restaurants, and other establishments in your local area. You can save these coupons for later, then pull them up quickly on your phone to redeem at the time of purchase. Yowzaa!! also allows you to create a list of favorite merchants in order to easily find more coupons for these places in the future.
  3. Chegg Textbooks & Study Help – Textbooks can easily be one of the most expensive education costs outside tuition, and any seasoned textbook purchaser will testify that they are most expensive when purchased directly from a college bookstore. One easy way to save on textbooks is by purchasing used copies, and the Chegg app makes doing so very convenient. This app allows you to buy or rent textbooks and eTextbooks by searching a large online database. You can order them quickly once you’ve set up an account. What’s even better is that if you order a physical textbook through the Chegg app, you gain access to the eTextbook version (readable on any device) of that same book for 7 days, which is ideal for those of us who wait until the last minute to order! At the end of your semester, you can scan your textbooks’ ISBN and easily sell them back to Chegg in order to make some easy cash.
  4. WhatsApp – If you’re currently on a cell phone plan with limited text messages or minutes, WhatsApp can help you save money by preventing you from going over your limit. This app allows you to send free text messages, voice messages, photos and videos to other WhatsApp subscribers. Additionally, if you have friends and family on WhatsApp, you can call them for free (even if you’re studying abroad and living in another country!). WhatsApp is currently free for the first year of subscription, and $.99 per year after—not a bad deal if you have first-hand experience with an expensive cell phone bill.
  5. CheckPlease Lite – There will likely be many group dining situations you encounter while in college, and it can be stressful to try to quickly figure out what each person owes when splitting the check and figuring out the tip. The CheckPlease Lite app makes this very simple: you enter in the check amount, the percentage you’d like to tip, and the number of people in your party. You can also decide to round up the tip or total. The app then shows you exactly how much each person owes. This is a very simple yet incredibly useful app that you’ll likely get a lot of use out of.
  6. Banking Apps – Wait…weren’t there only supposed to be five apps in this list? Well, yes, but there are too many banking apps to list, and so this one really is more of a category. Most banks and credit card companies today have solid free apps available for Android and iOS users which provide real-time updates and notifications for account activity and balances. Having this information readily available at your fingertips is a great way to stay on top of your finances, and avoid overdrafts if your account is running low.

Hopefully this list of financial apps for college students can help make your budgeting and planning a little easier. Keep in mind that there are numerous financial apps, both free and paid, available in the Android and Apple stores, but the ones listed above should be a good foundation that covers most college financial aspects.

If you’ve found and use financial apps that are not listed here but you find incredibly useful as a college student, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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The Author

Dave Harriman

Dave Harriman

Dave Harriman, SHRM-CP, has a background in human resources, anthropology, and international education. His experience teaching English abroad during a gap year as an undergraduate student in Spain ignited his passion and advocacy for student travel. As a human resources professional, Dave is interested in helping students prepare for future career growth, and for helping facilitate social & cultural inclusion in the workplace.