Are you a student struggling with money management? Technology can come to the rescue if you use it right. This article explores the ways college students can use technology for smarter budgeting.
College years are the best when it comes to social life, parties, personal development, and even professional development for some students. But all these things cost a lot. That’s why many students struggle with financial problems and the choice of going to class or going to work.
In 2015, a study from The Ohio State University found that seven out of ten students struggle with stress related to money. That’s a worrying result. But the study found even more problematic aspects related to how students struggle with money problems.
More precisely, the national survey also discovered that 60% of these students who worry about their finances do so when it comes to the money necessary for paying for their studies. Another half of students report that they are concerned about paying their monthly living expenses. Plus, 32% of them also claim that they sometimes neglect their studies because of the financial stress they experience.
If any of the above sounds familiar to you, find out that the solution can come precisely from what you and other young college students like you like the most: technology.
That’s right, technology comes to the rescue again, providing college students like you with various tools and ways to manage your finances better and eliminate money-related stress.
Here are five tips on how you can use technology for proper budgeting:
1. Use budgeting apps
Like all students, you likely have all social apps on your phone, from Facebook to Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. But how many apps did you downloaded recently that is actually useful when it comes to saving or making money? If the answer is “none,” find out that you’re missing out on the opportunity to be a better budgeter.
There are thousands of budgeting apps out there, both for iOS and Android devices, which can help you keep track of your spending, income, and overall budget.
These apps allow you to input your monthly budget, including how much money you have every month and how much you spend. Then, using the app, you split your expenses into different categories, from groceries to rent, essential utilities, transport, studies, and even social events.
This will help you understand better how your money gets spent. A budgeting app can help you get a clear idea of what you spend most of your money on, the areas where you spend more than you should, and what are truly your priorities.
2. Automate payments
Late payments can lead to expensive fees that wreck your monthly budget. That’s why paying your bills on time should be a priority. Once again, technology can help you prevent that as well.
There are budgeting apps available that allow you to sync your credit card details and automate payments for the categories of expenses that are a priority. For example, you can set up regular payments on your utility bills or studies costs.
This way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pay an important bill that can result in more money spent at the end of the day due to the fees.
3. Pay online bills online
You’re likely a tech-savvy person like all your other college friends. You do everything online, from socializing to getting entertainment, learning, and even purchasing stuff online. Well, why not also handle your payments in the same convenient and fast way?
Maybe you don’t trust tech tools enough to automate your payments. But you can definitely handle them yourself while also using technology.
Today, online payments are more secure than ever before. What’s more, they are even more preferred both among sellers and consumers. Online payments are fast, safe, and they leave no place for misunderstandings as you get notified when your payment has been processed.
4. Do shopping online
You probably already shop online. You likely purchased at least one item online this week, if not even today. But you probably don’t even realize just how many things you can buy online and save money during the process.
Today, online shopping is not only for goods like clothes, shoes, books, or whatever you can imagine. It is also available for purchasing essential services like phone or internet plans, electrical utilities, certain transportation services, and many others.
But, the really helpful aspect of saving money while shopping online is that you can compare prices and find the best deals in just a few clicks. The most advantageous deals are literally at your fingerprints.
There are apps and websites that allow you to compare prices for various products or services. For example, if you were to look for auto insurance for your car, you can actually find a website that allows you to compare prices for auto insurance for college students.
This way, you won’t be spending more than you should for a certain service or product, and you’ll save some money.
5. Increase your income with technology
Better money management is not always just about saving money or doing some heavy budgeting. Sometimes it can also be about increasing your income to improve your financial situation. And technology can help with this too.
You may be thinking that you can’t get a job because you’d have to struggle as other students have to with choosing between attending classes or going to work. Well, that’s not going to be the case if you simply get yourself a side gig. As a college student, you don’t have a lot of free time. But you can find a way to earn some extra money.
For example, you can use your skills to give online private lessons to other students struggling with a particular topic. Or, if you, for example, like to write, you can become a freelancer and get a project or two to earn some money. There are plenty of online freelancing platforms where you can find such projects.