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The Top Apps That Can Help Students Save Money

The following apps will help students create and stick to a budget

A college student’s smart phone—be it an iPhone, BlackBerry, Samsung Galaxy S, or Android phone—serves a ton of purposes on campus. You can use the camera to snap pictures at your favorite student events, you can use the recorder to take audio class notes, you can use the calculator to try to budget your spending at the campus bookstore and pub, you can use the texting features to communicate with friends and co-students, and you can use the calendar and organizational tools to manage your day and plan the year ahead.

However, when it comes to student financial planning did you know that you’re smart phone can actually help you budget and save money? Because I was a struggling student once myself, I’ve put together this collection of inexpensive smart phone apps that can help students save money while they’re in college…

1. BookCircus (Free – for iPhone)

After you spend money on tuition, meal plans, parking or public transit, and books, you’re going to need to make some money back second year. The easiest way to do that is by selling the year’s previous textbooks. The BookCircus app will help you sell your old textbooks with ease by actually purchasing them from you directly. You can conduct the entire transaction from your phone by simply launching the app, and calculating how much your textbooks are worth when you enter the ISBN number of each book into the app. BookCircus will then provide the amount they are willing to pay if you sell them your books. Once the transaction is complete, the app will even automatically forward you a printable slip with instructions for how to ship them the books. Once the books are delivered, you’ll receive a check for your troubles.

2. Campus Special (Free – for Android & iPhone)

When I was a college student, I spent a lot of money going out to eat. However, the Campus Special app will help dinning out students save by locating the closest deals on food in your local area and even providing directions on where to find them. This app also features restaurant menus, contact information, hours of operation, and even lets you place an order online—directly from your smart phone. You can even look up coupons for every night of the week to plan your lunches and dinners ahead of time—so you’ll know you’re saving each and every time you dine out.

3. i-FinAid ($1.99 – for iPhone)

I approached college with anticipation, but also with fear (of all the debt I was going to dig myself into). However, college doesn’t have to be so daunting! The i-FinAid app will help you plan out every aspect of financial planning for college—including tuition costs, loan options, grants, scholarships, and of course if you choose to get a part time job, student income. The i-FinAid app will help you crunch the numbers before you decide on what college to attend. This app collects and records all of your personal information, including:

  • Any student part time income
  • Parent’s income
  • State of residence
  • College tuition costs
  • Textbook costs
  • Residence costs

And calculates how much money you can expect to spend. This app is ideal for students trying to decide where to go to college because it will give you a good idea of how much tuition and other related-college costs will be at each campus. This way, this you can start saving and applying to the proper grants in order to attend you chosen college.

4. Epicurious (Free – for Android)

One of the worst things that I did as a college student was to eat out all the time. The Epicurious app will keep you contained and saving money in your own kitchen by presenting you with unlimited options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This app is essentially a cookbook that encourages students to save money by making their own meals at home—rather than eating out all the time. You can search recipes by main ingredient, meal type, or level of difficulty, which is ideal for students who are away from home for the first time and don’t know how to cook.

Today’s guest article comes from Jane Johnson who is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.

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