Once students and their families have their loans set up and classes have started, they need to track their spending, keep records of their monthly expenses and try to keep their costs down whenever possible. Excluding increases for inflation, the costs for clothing, gasoline and other non-tuition and fee related expenses can be managed and projected for the next two, four or even more years if graduate school is expected. The following apps and websites are very good for helping students and parents record their expenses, save money and ensure they have the funds they will need for the coming semesters.
Nearly every major bank in the U.S. now has an app to allow account holders sign for expenditures with a finger signature, deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money between accounts both within and between banks. Before sending a student off to college, parents need to decide if this is an option they want to provide their child since it gives them total access to whatever funds are in their account at any given moment.
The most expensive cost for college after tuition are the books. With Chegg, students can find many of their textbooks used for up to 90% off the original price which is still over half off the usual price for even used books. Chegg also has many textbooks available for rent as e-books. Their app is free and can be downloaded from their website at www.chegg.com.
The Find allows users to scan the barcode of an item anywhere and find the best price available in their area by using either their address or just their zip code. It will also let them know if there is a coupon available for that item. This program app can be used by Android or Apple products and is also available at www.thefind.com if users want to print off coupons at their dorm room.
With Gas Buddy, students can find the cheapest gas prices nearby using their address or zip code and then follow directions or a map to the location. Users can go to www.gasbuddy.com or download the app for Apple or Android products.
Once users create a free account at www.groceryiq.com, they can print coupons or download them directly to their smartphone. They can also download the app for Apple or Android products to take advantage of the bar code scanning option which allows users to create a list of scanned products in the store, find out which items have a coupon available and allow them to buy only those if they choose. Users can share these lists with friends and family.
Mint is a financial organizing program that is available as an app for Android and Apple products. It can also be downloaded to a laptop from www.mint.com. Students can easily add their various bank accounts and credit cards to show on one screen. Spending records can be quickly built that show spending from week-to-week, month-to-month or year-to-year. Using these, budgets can be developed that are easily followed and maintained.
Turbo Tax is one of the most popular Tax Assistant software programs is now available as an app for Apple and Android products as well as traditional home computers and laptops. The TaxCaster Mobile app allows students to see what their expected refund will be and how various deductions or getting a new part-time or full-time job will affect it. The app is available free at www.turbotax.intuit.com.
SavedPlus – Force yourself to SAVE with this handy app.
FlexScore – Asses your financial health and always know where you stand.
Groupon – Find daily deals and huge savings in cities through the USA.
WhatsApp – Don’t spend more on your cellphone bill than you need to. Use WhatsApp to send FREE text messages.
Viggle – Earn points to get free stuff by simply watching TV.
Jingit – Get paid to watch ads and answer questions on them.
Hotel Tonight – Save big bucks by bokoing a hotel the same day you plan on staying