Save money with these expense-tracking tools
October 5, 2020
They don’t teach you how to budget in Advanced Placement Calculus in high school, and knowing how to solve integrals likely isn’t going to save you money now that you’re living on your own. Luckily, there are a few expense-tracking tools that can help any college student keep track of their expenses. Whether you have bills to pay on time, meals to buy or just want to make sure you always have some extra spending money, these tools are bound to benefit you.
Mint is a pretty popular budgeting app that lets you visualize all your bank accounts and credit cards in one place. It will report back on your spending habits almost immediately after a transaction, showing you exactly how much you’re spending and how much money you have left in your savings. It files each purchase into specific folders, such as “Groceries” or “Transportation,” and will allow you to set a budget for each folder so you can see exactly where you’re spending your money and how much more you can spend in each category, based on the budget you set. You can also set up reminders to pay your bills or find tips for saving money, and Mint offers free credit score reporting as well.
This app is similar to Mint in that it lets you create specific folders to manage your purchases, enveloping each transaction into specific categories. It also lets you share your budget with other people. So if your mom still sends you spending money, she can see exactly where you’re putting those dollar bills she’s handing you every month and can send you some more when you start running out.
Like the others, this app is also free and lets you set separate budgets for different spending needs. It will let you link all your bank accounts and credit cards, and it will instantly reflect a transaction as it is occurring. PocketGuard tracks your bills and will send you reminders when it’s time to pay, allow you to track and cancel outside subscriptions from the app itself, and will plan ahead for your future payments based on your scheduled spending. Its algorithm is also able to identify where you might be overpaying and will offer you ways to lower your bills. For those of you who’ve taken the leap into full independence, this app might be really useful to help you save some money.
Wally is for the simpletons among us, offering a clear-cut service that still lets you connect all your accounts in one place. It, like the others, will let you set budgets for your unique spending needs. For those of you who don’t need the fancy, statistical algorithms the other options might offer and just want a straightforward budgeting tool, this one’s worth checking out.
Every app mentioned is free in the App Store and can really help put your spending in perspective. Even if you think you’re not spending much money and don’t need a tracking tool, these services can offer some insight into your spending habits so that, when you do start racking up those bills, you know yourself enough to know how to spend responsibly.
Shivali is a senior in AHS.