Many college students are headed back to school this week or are already well into the swing of dragging themselves to 8 a.m. lectures and paying ungodly amounts for textbooks.
Even with scholarships and financial aid, college can be extremely expensive, so college students like to pinch pennies and stretch their dollars anywhere they can.
Instead of skimping on meal plans, turn to these 5 free mobile apps to help you save, stay on track, and manage any budget.
You may not always know where to look for special discounts. TUN, or “The University Network”, points students in the direction of the best deals and special discounts.
Available for iOS and Android, TUN pinpoints local dining, retail, fitness and other student deals on Google Maps. The app rewards its users with points for each discount they take advantage of, which are redeemable for free perks like haircuts, meals and fitness classes.
Titto is an app for independent textbook buying and selling, connecting you with textbooks, without having to go to the campus store or an online wholesaler. Available on iOS; each book costs only $19.99 per month, a bargain compared to otherwise expensive books, like the latest edition of one math textbook that sold for $152.16. The app saves billing and mailing information for future use. The best part? No due dates or late fees.
3. Opera Max
If you’re on a data budget, Opera Max can help you get up to 50% more out of your monthly data plan. For example, if you pay $40 a month for a 1GB data plan and use Opera Max, you can use up to 1.5 GB per month for the same cost. The app features a unique timeline and at-a-glance view of data used and saved, helping you understand exactly what apps you’re using and saving data on and when. The app is available, for free, in the Google Play Store.
Learning how to budget in college is an important life skill students will take on with them into the real world. Unsplurge is one way you can limit spending and maximize saving.
Available on iOS, the app lets users set savings goals, whether it’s a few dollars or thousands. Interactive charts show how far along to a goal you are and how many days in a row you’ve been on a saving streak. The unique newsfeed layout shows users their friends goals and progress.
Another great app to help you stay on top of your budget is Mint. The app, available on nearly every platform, allows you to see your bank account, as well as track and monitor your spending. Based on how much you spend in different categories, the app will also give you suggestions on where and how to save money.