Apps That Make College Finances Easier

By: , CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.

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College can make AND break you – financially, that is. Managing your money when you’re juggling student loans, limited work time, and shared expenses with roommates and friends is enough to make your head spin.

Moving from high school into college is one of the most stressful and important times of your life. College years are a time where you embark on a journey that will change your life forever.

You will form new relationships, start new careers and start to get an idea of how life will pan out for you. In addition to these new found stressors, it is vital to learn how to budget money properly, otherwise all your best laid plans just won’t be able to come true.

Take time to sit down and access your regular expenses, and create a budget for your college years. By cleverly managing your money and sticking to your awesome new budget, you should be able to have money available while in school.

One thing that almost every student will have is a smartphone device, either a phone or a tablet or both. These can help you greatly, as well as being a great source of entertainment.

Here are our favorite apps to help you along your way:

  1. Get College Paid For – Scholly

    Scholly allows you to find scholarships for just a $2.99 one time fee.
    This is the story of how Scholly was founded: The founder Christopher Gray (pictured) wanted to go to college but his parents were out of work and they were living in a low income community. Christopher won $1.3 million in scholarships through hard work & perseverance. It was super hard for him, he found that online databases were out of date, full of loans and internships instead of legit scholarships. He decided he wanted to make it easier for potential students to find money. So Scholly was born!

    Scholly lets you create a profile with details about yourself & your interests, then it will match you with scholarships you are likely to qualify for. Scholarship lists are managed – something other databases don’t do! This tool ensures you don’t waste your time tracking down scholarships that no longer exist. It has accurate deadlines let you prioritize which scholarships to apply for first. It’s aimed at high school students, college students & grad students. The awesome thing is that you CAN apply for scholarships after you’re already in college.

  2. Fairly Split Bills – Splitwise

    Splitwise is free for web, iPhone & Android. The app lets you share expenses for more than just rent. You can enter expenses like electricity, the cable bill, groceries and so on. Whomever pays the bill can enter it in the ledger. Ongoing totals let you see total paid and total owed.

    For example, you paid the $50 water bill, so your roommate owes you $25. But your roommate pays $60 for the internet bill, and you owe $30. The total will show that you owe your roommate $5. The app makes this visually clear without the need to do math.

    It also lets you quickly & easily “settle up” by transferring a payment via Splitswise’s integrated PayPal function. How cool.

  3. Send one-time payments for anything – Venmo

    Venmo allows you to transfer funds instantly with no fees by connecting your bank account, debit card or pre-paid card. However, credit card transactions involve a 3% fee.

    It’s easier than Splitwise for one-time transfers, like paying someone back for coffee or splitting dinner. All you need to send money is their email address.

    They’ll need to set up a Venmo account to claim it. This has proven to be super popular with college kids.

    There are many other options available for this kind of service but this is one of our favorites. Do check with your bank to see if they have a service that may work better with your account.

  4. Split the bill for dinner – Tab

    Last of all, is Tab. A free app that will help you split the cost of the dreaded restaurant check.

    The worst part about dinner with friends is if you’re on a strict budget and someone else likes to splurge. No one wants to be the “cheap jerk” doing in depth calculations on the back of a napkin, so you “just split it” with an inward curse.

    Well, Tab will help, you can take a picture of the receipt using the app. Then you can tap items to claim them. The best part is that the tax & tip are calculated for you.

    So there we are, fair and fiscally conscious! Now get back to studying…

About The Author:
AndreaAndrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns: Computer Nerds On Call, a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She regularly appears on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, and CNN on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona, and Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. Andrea recently has begun working with Demand Media to produce content for eHow.com and has written a book for them: Smartphone 101: Integrating Your iPhone Into a Windows World. Andrea is available for Q & A’s, expert tech quotes and will appear on your show. Call today! See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.

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