Top 5 Apps to Help Students on a Budget


That smart phone you have permanantly attached to your hand is actually more than a portal to who’s-doing-what-where or up-to-the-minute sports standings. In fact, it is much, much more. For all you lucky nuggets prepping to jet off and study abroad, you really are in luck! Your cell-phone-sized extenda-limb can actually double as your personal on-the-go Yoda…Awe$ome!

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Before you board that plane, tip-tap to the App Store and give the Cloud a friendly tickle so you can download these apps. Spend, save, and monitor your finances with our comprehensive list of best apps for helping students on a budget!

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1. Mint

No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it; there’s a reason why this app pops up on just about every recommended money app list. Mint is user-friendly, secure, free, and easy to operate. It allows you to automatically input your purchases and comes back with a breakdown of exactly where all your money is going (food?…rent?…FUN?…)- handy for figuring out where you need to be a little more thrifty. Forget about entering each and every purchase, sinking lower into your chair and fighting the cold financial sweats, and start thinking about what you’re going to do with all the pennies that you saved!

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2. My Currency Converter

Having a pulse on exchange trends in your study abroad destination will clue you in on day-to-day saving opportunities. While you could fork out a couple of quid for a fancy currency conversion app with la-de-da charts and historical information that is the height of sophistication, My Currency Converter is a free, no-frills tool with the ability to convert over 150 global currencies. It even has BitCoin and LiteCoin options! For an all-in-one currency converter, it’s definitely worth giving this app a whirl! If you’re lucky enough to be travelling abroad while your home currency is strong, with this app by your side, you literally are going to be in the money!

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3. ATM Hunter

You should plan to rely on ATM withdrawals for the cost of your everyday expenses. You will inevitably be bombarded with fees from both the local bank and your bank back home, but you’ll almost always come out ahead, with the exchange fees in your favour. Use this handy app from Mastercard to easily locate your next cash pit stop.

Pro tip: Call your bank in advance and have them raise your daily withdrawal limit. By withdrawing larger sums fewer times, you’ll minimise your overall bank fees.

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4. iMetro

iMetro is a practical budget app for when your navigating a new city. Rather than busting your wallet on taxi cabs, why not take a more wallet-friendly bus or train? This app will give you the best (and by that, of course, we mean the cheapest!) route between point A and point B. Now your hard earned money can be spent on actually HAVING the fun, rather than just GETTING to the fun!

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5. Couchsurfing

Heading to Venice for the weekend and in need of a place to crash? Wanting to stretch your travel funds as far as they can go? Tap into this app’s extensive network and save some serious cash! The Couchsurfing app connects users with other locals or travellers, all of whom have spare rooms available for the taking. you’ll get to meet other interesting, intrepid travellers to boot. Win win win!

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While the above apps have got to be our favourites, we’d be ashamed of ourselves for not sharing a few others that are incredibly popular and really, really useful. These apps have also proved themselves to be true-blue as personal finance tools. Check them out and see which features you find most relevant and useful for your student budget needs:

  • Your Home Bank’s app: No other app will give you the down and dirty of your current bank account’s status…

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  • LeftToSpend: Handy for those not so interested in detailing every bit of their spending habits- they just want to know how much leftover money they have.

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  • PocketBook: All-inclusive app for finances and a good alternative to Mint.

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  • XE Currency Converter: Daily updates for current exchange rates.

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  • Check: Incredibly useful if you have ongoing bills to pay and have a knack for never knowing the date. Set up automatic payments!

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Travelling the world is far from free; in fact, it is very much the opposite. If you’re off on an adventure, you’ll need to pinch a pound (or two!) to make your life as an international student run as smoothly as possible. Don’t get laden with a tonne of receipts in a myriad of languages! These apps are sure to simplify your financial burdens and help you stay (gasp) ahead of your budget. All it takes is the touch of a button, and you’re off. Do it- you won’t regret it!

Image via Shutterstock.

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