Top Tips for Managing Your Student Finances

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student finance

Being a student living in halls in Birmingham and having control of your finances is a balancing act in itself. Add studying, having a social life, health & fitness into the equation and you have a whirlwind of stress.

Being organised when you have so many moving parts in your life is no easy task. I found using technology to help organise my fitness and meal prep very helpful. I found it so useful I looked around at what other apps could help me to manage my life.

Finding the perfect app for you

One trip to the app store and you can be overwhelmed by choice, that or lose 2 hours playing around with the different variations of angry birds. I was looking for some help to get control of my finances and budgeting but I was also interested in a time tracker for shift work. I found about 40 apps for each one but trying to pick the perfect one was extremely difficult.

My rule was simple, have a scroll down the app store to find the most eye catching and informative app display, I did this and found several really good helpful and useful apps.

The financing and budget app can be incorporated into one app, the time tracker I found just comes down to your own preference of app display. Some apps I downloaded were very small and a strain on the eye, so I went for a larger more attractive dashboard.

My main app choices

My choices for these apps were Time Tree for time tracking and Mint for budget finance manager app. The apps are free with in app purchases, like everything these days the limited download offers a limited feature set. I got by without paid subscriptions, you can as well.

Time Tree was a nice surprise in ease of use and functions available, living with a room mate I often like to let them know if I am working on the weekend or won’t be home for the night.  This also helps us plan cooking duties and how much to prepare.

Mint was very simple to use and the display is nicely uncluttered. Features are quite good, I could see the little money I had in my account alongside the bills that would leave me with even less money. The alerts and notifications were helpful and let me know any unscheduled activity with my account. You can create a budget with a few clicks, set up reminders and really take charge of your finances.

Thinking about what else I can look at to help me get control of my life, I have some great ideas. I can possibly look at news article savers, website reference manger for studying and the one I’m really looking forward to is daily recipes delivered to your phone.

After testing these apps and downloading more than one of each I found some winners, but I also found some that were a close second. Not every one will like the same apps as me so I added more suggestions below. If you find these apps helpful or know of any others that are just as effective, please feel free to drop a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Time Tracking

Wally – Wally falls into both time tracker and budget manager. Super simple interface and easy to use you will find it most helpful for those that like to keep budgeting simple.

Time Tree – This free shared calendar is great for sharing with roommates, family or loved ones. You can manage your class timetables and if you have irregular shifts this app will help set you on course to gain back organisation of your life.

Budget Manager

Mint – This app is very smooth on first glance and provides all functions and features you need to keep an eye on your finances. Custom item reports can be created and report monitoring.

BillGuard – Budgeting is not the only thing you need to consider, if you use pay wave or air pay BillGuard is for you. The payment gateway security monitoring, provides you notifications of suspect activity in your accounts and helps keep your money out of the hands of fraudulent activity. BillGuard has a database of retailers that have reported breaches of payment security and anytime your account is used at these locations you get an alert.

Look into the best suited app for you and if you really need a budget and finance app, you should make a day once a month to look at your past month and the upcoming month for bills paid and money incoming so you can work out a clear picture of where you are and how you are doing.

Most apps are available in both the Android and Mac version but if they are not then there is always a variation in other app stores.

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