By Peter Maciel
Pulse Staff Reporter
Phone apps are an essential tool in life, and some create an opportunity to invest in yourself every day. For college students, this could mean financial stability. Students have many expenses, which can cause stress, but with these three apps, saving money has never been so easy and accessible.
Extra Change? Acorns!
Imagine all the change throughout your house, under your mattress or in between cushions or saved in some old jar. Countless stories and videos prove the effectiveness of saving your change, whether it’s only for a week, a year or a decade. Acorns, founded Feb. 29, 2012, makes rounding up individual’s daily purchases as easy as throwing pennies into your piggy bank.
“Acorns allows college students who, in general, are not educated in investing, get their feet wet by automatically investing pennies in turn educating the student on the dynamics of investing in the stock market,” said Jose Valdez, a sophomore Business major.
However, these small transactions are rounded up straight from your bank account, which you have full control over, unless, of course, you set up the recurring deposit feature, which allows you to automatically deposit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Easy being easy.
After few questions about investment goals and routing your bank account(s), you’ll be on your way to a financial foundation. The app even gives you a projection of your savings depending on amount invested per month. The more you invest your change plus some lump investments when you have extra cash, the more you save.
While saving money seems to be a big issue for college students, budgeting that money should always be on your mind.
“Budgeting allows me to save money for things I need long term, like student loan debt after I graduate and a house later on, while still being able to live off of a relatively low income and get the things I need now, like supplies and books,” said Jasmine Sarabia, a sophomore Biology major.
Mint offers just that with its primary feature offering budgeting and tracking expenses to the accounts you selected. Once you’ve linked your accounts, the web-based application automatically categorizes your expenses, which will then give you a better idea of what you should be spending on things like food, auto, transportation, entertainment and dining. The app gives you a full outlook of your financial status and even keeps an eye on your credit score. Mint can help you not just manage your money but also manage goals you wish to set for yourself financially.
Uber around, don’t taxi!
Uber, which is compatible with most cellphone devices that have GPS capabilities, is unlike a taxi service.
It gives you the ability to know where and when your driver is at any given time, even when you have not yet requested the service. GPS capabilities make you and the driver aware of locations at pin-point accuracy. In addition, Uber is cashless and deals with all transactions and fares via credit or debit. This gives you the ability to carefully track these expenses.
Cost? the real question here.
The answer is less but always dependent on distance, just like any other taxi-like service. Each ride includes a base fare, plus a per-minute and per-mile charge added to that. Also, Uber offers optional vehicles like UberXL or Uberselect, where you can choose different size vehicles for whatever the occasion, whether it’s a quick ride to school, dinner for two or the nightlife with friends. Uber is cost effective and most reliable.
“The apps makes traveling out with friends for a late night more safe. I like that feeling that I will be okay tonight,” said Rigo Cardenas, a freshman pursuing a Cyber Security degree.
Whether it’s saving your extra cash, budgeting your expenses or using new means of transportation, these apps will help jumpstart your financial security.