Better budgeting: College students make use of financial apps

Francesca Barrett

With the iPhone App Store flooded with thousands of finance apps to help budget incomes and expenses, it can be hard to know which apps are worth time and money. Kent State University students share some ways to stay on track and keep budgeting goals attainable for 2018.

1. Paypal — Rating #3 in Finance

This money-transfer app allows the user to transfer money to other PayPal account holders. However, the payments can only be made internationally with an email or mobile number. When the transferred money arrives in the user’s PayPal account, the money in the account can be used online for other purchases or the balance can be withdrawn from the connected bank account.

“PayPal is really more useful than Venmo, because you get the receipts, and you’re able to show that you’re giving people money and you can visibly see which helps,” Stephen Francis, a sophomore visual communication design major, said. “Its super helpful to keep track of what you’re giving people.”

When there is any activity on the account, the application will send the user a notification about the purchases made.

2. Venmo — Rating #4 in Finance

A money-transfer app, Venmo is a digital wallet that allows the user to make payments to other Venmo users. The app is easy to use, especially for forgetful college students when last minute dinner plans arise and a debit or credit card is left behind. The user can link a bank account to the app to ensure that funds are always available.

“[Venmo] is really convenient when you have to pay someone for something, for example, when you share an apartment with someone, you can have the one roommate pay the whole bill and then you can pay your half without worrying about the paperwork,” Alexandria Villeneuve, a sophomore hospitality major, said. “I think that this app is really convenient for college students because we’re all about the quick and easy way to do something so this is a great resource for us to have.”

The user can pay others and be paid through the free app, using their own bank accounts.

3.  Intuit Mint — Rating #22 in Finance

A free budgeting app, Intuit Mint connects directly to a bank account and updates any spending activity automatically. The app allows the user to create personalized budgets that are specific to the user’s spending such as coffee, online streaming services or grocery shopping.

The Credit vs. Cash feature is useful for credit card payments and keeping the user informed if there are any outstanding balances. Mint also allows the user to add all accounts in one place and to see the individual summaries on one interface. The app can also send bill pay reminders, helping to set monthly budgets and track expenses.

4. PNC Virtual Wallet — Rating #94 in Finance

This banking app holds all of the features of the PNC website in your pocket. The app allows the user to set savings goals, track deposits and withdrawals and schedule money in and out for any possible bills.

“I like transferring my spend and reserve money, so I can budget myself, and [the app] makes it really easy because I can just slide it over and then more money is in either one,” Emily Schultz, a sophomore mathematics major, said. “It’s easier, your money is there, and you can always check how much money you have.”

The only requirement for the app is to be a PNC member, an easy opportunity for Kent State students since the university signed a 12-year contract in 2015.

“I feel that during college, you’re not necessarily making a very big income,” Francis said. “You need to save as much money and budget, this is kind of like a preparation for real life.”

Francesca Barrett is the finance reporter. Contact her at [email protected].