During your time at university you’ll inevitably learn a great many things, and not all of these will concern the degree that you’re there for. For possibly the first time you’ll be responsible for managing every aspect of your own life, including buying and preparing food, doing laundry, sorting bills and, most importantly, managing your finances. Unfortunately your student loan is not the bottomless resource it first appears to be, and once you’ve drained it of your first semester’s rent, any bills you have to pay that aren’t included in the rental fee and personal fees such as mobile phone costs, then you may begin to find that you don’t have quite as much money as you first believed. To help you manage your student loan as soon as it lands in your back account, we’ve looked at the best budgeting apps to get your hands on now.
Food, student loan and mySuperList
Apart from drinks and updating your wardrobe to one more suitable of your new student lifestyle, food is perhaps the biggest drain on your student loan. It can be made a much bigger drain than it needs to be depending on where you choose to do your food shop. To prevent you from spending needlessly, mySuperList is an essential tool until you become a bit more familiar with the supermarkets. Use the tool to write up your shopping list and it will automatically compare the cost of your shopping basket across all the major chains, showing you where you will spend the least, as well as various offers and perks.
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YNAB for your student loan
This app, ‘You Need A Budget’, shows you exactly what you spend your money on as well as pointing out certain behaviours and trends in your spending habits. Its main aim is to stop you scraping by on your funds, and making sure you have at least a little bit of cash left over when the next instalment of your student loan comes in. This means you can begin saving or paying off any debts you may have.
OnTrees links to your student loan
Evidently taking its name from the saying ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, this app aims to show you that the saying is true and that a real way to go about having enough money is to treat it carefully! This app links directly to your bank, and therefore your student loan, but never fear; it’s completely safe. In fact in a trial for the NUS, 90% of students said they’d recommend it. It keeps all your outgoings and income in one place so that you can plan a budget and let the app monitor how well you keep to your best intentions.
Level finances with Level Money
No matter how responsible you may be with money, unless you’re the strictest person in the world there’s going to be times where you relax a little bit. It’s at this point that your debit card is unleashed and your bank account takes a hit. If you would prefer to relax a little with your student loan and would just like to know how much you have left over to spend, rather than worrying about saving, then Level Money is the app for you. Instead of showing you your bank balance it shows you a spendable amount, left over after it has deducted your usual living costs from its equations.
Save your student loan with Digit
Want to save up for Christmas presents or trekking through the Himalayas in the summer holidays, but are worried that you lack the strength of will to actually get the necessary funds? If so then it’s time for you to download Digit. Instead of relying on you to manually move funds across yourself this app takes responsibility for your savings and automatically banks money for you. These sums are small and the account that then holds your savings has no interest, but it’s a good option if you have plans that you feel may fall through once your irresponsible spending is accounted for.
Are there any apps you use that you find invaluable when managing your student loan? Let us know in the comments! You may also like – student accommodation London.