College life can be rough, and pinching corners when it comes to budgeting is to be expected. After all, the ‘poor college kid’ archetype has to come from somewhere, right? Juggling a part-time job and school means that whatever cash you earn should go to where it matters. Thankfully, technology is here to help – here are some apps for the budget-minded student that won’t bust the bank.
In order to properly manage a budget, you need a personal finance tool. Android apps like Expense Manager (free) and My Budget Book (S$3.99) offer you the ability to track expenses on the go. For a fuss-free, expense-tracking software that’s quick to load and a breeze to use, Expense Manager is your go-to tool that’s minimalist, handy and just a pleasure to use.
For the more budget-fussy person, My Budget Book offers you a wealth of tools, such as adding budget categories and subcategories, customized templates, and detailed, graphical overviews of your expenses. You get what you pay for, although Expense Manager is also great at what it does, and it’s free.
For iOS folks, check out Pocket Expense Personal Finance (free) and BUDGT (S$1.28). Pocket Expense lets you track expenses, and even allows you to record paid and unpaid bills (such as your handphone bill, hint hint). It provides a monthly record of expenses and income, and also automatically sums the difference up.
BUDGT does the same job in tracking income and expenses, but it does so with such a beautiful, minimalist interface that tracking expenses becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. It’s easy to glance at the graphical data to get a good sense of your expenses for the day or month.
The free apps mentioned here do their job, and do them well, so the paid alternatives are really just a personal preference.
Carousell (Android, iOS, free)
If you’re a student on a budget, you probably aren’t wading around in cash. Instead of tightening your budget, why not try making some extra cash? Carousell is an app that claims you can “snap, list, sell” within 30 seconds (well, maybe only the snap and list parts) any pre-owned, second-hand, or vintage stuff that you might like to trade for cash.
For the student on a budget, a good way to use the app would be to sell off the textbooks, books, or even readings and notes that you would no doubt accumulate during your university years. For the budding artist or craftsman, you might be able to use this local version of popular craft site Etsy to display and sell your wares.
Carousell is a breeze to use, and its snap-and-list function works intuitively well. Just make sure you snap a nice photo to entice buyers! You can also use its share function to spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and even the Straits Times Classifieds.
*Fun Fact: Carousell is founded by NUS graduates Quek Siu Rui, 25, Lucas Ngoo, 24, and Marcus Tan, 28. Quek and Ngoo met at Silicon Valley via the NUS Overseas College programme, whilst Tan has been Quek’s friend since their polytechnic days.
Deal apps: Groupon (Android, iOS, free), Qoo10 SG (Android, iOS, free)
Why pay retail when you can get potentially insane discounts? Groupon needs no introduction – if enough people support a deal, it goes through and buyers get vouchers for goods and services at rather good deals. The app notifies you of each day’s daily deals, and so you can be sure that you’ll never miss on a good budget deal.
The same goes for the Qoo10 SG app: things often do go on sale, and there are special discounts and deals to be had every day. Mobile users also get special deals and discount coupons if they make an order through the app. Sure, the app and website could do with a little less clutter, but as long as you get your deals on a budget, that counts for something, right?