Studies show that about 70% of college students experience financial stress. Considering that this is often the first time these young adults are out from under their parents care, it makes sense that financial growing pains will occur. Nevertheless, the rising cost of college and an uncertain economic future are putting added pressure on college students to manage their finances. Fortunately, students have the ability to help themselves with technology. A number of apps designed for students already exist in the digital marketplace, which means there’s no shortage of money management technology available to help.
Budget Apps Keep Students’ Spending in Line
The often chaotic environment of college can lead to overspending. Late night food runs, parties, and paying for books can certainly do a number on young students already small bank account. Luckily, apps like Mint are available for free to any student who needs a little guidance when budgeting their income. This app can take the financial data that you provide, and create spending plans to ensure you maintain a healthy financial situation. A huge aspect of learning financial responsibility is paying for bills and living expenses before fun activities. Students can use Mint to remind them to put aside money towards paying back their college fees, or show them when they’ve overspent on recreation or fast food. Sometimes these small nudges and reminders can make the difference in guiding smart financial decisions for young students.
It’s Never Too Early to Invest
For the more financially advanced students, apps can help teach them how to make smart investments right from their phone. Apps like Acorn make it extremely easy to open an account, learn the basics of investing, and begin trading. It even offers a savvy feature that invests spare change from purchases on a debit/credit card into predetermined stocks. Students will be making informed financial actions without having to even think about it, each time they swipe their card. While these investments may seem trivial now, economic reports show that the younger people begin to invest, the more prepared they are for larger financial decisions in the future.
Aside from the monetary gain of using apps like this, they also teach students valuable lessons about financial responsibility. If a college student can learn how to trade on the stock market before they enter the “real world” they will already have a leg up on many of their peers. In fact, a number of apps already exist with the sole focus of simply teaching their users smart investment strategies.
College is a time for young adults to break free from the constraints of living with their parents and discover new things about themselves and the world around them. This is also a time when students fall flat on their financial faces. While apps cannot force students to spend their money in a certain way, they have a unique ability in influence their decisions in a positive manner. From budgeting to smart investing, mobile apps give students the education they need to survive in the modern world.