Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Financial Tips and Apps Every Student Should Know

Being a college student is never easy and requires a great amount of work, let it be doing well in classes or being responsible. Sure, it is manageable once we know our limits and how many credit hours or ECs we can take or do in order to maintain good grades and have a life (even if it nearly non-existent, it is something!). However, an issue most college students face is how to handle their finances. This is not something that is unique and if you are like this - you are not alone! We all have this issue, but there are ways to balance and maintain your finances.

Here are a couple tips to get you all started on building a successful financial future for yourselves:

1. Get a job
Having a job in college teaches you many things. But most important it introduces you to spending your money wisely. Yes, that is right, even a minimum wage job can make you more responsible and teach you the value of money and give you an self-appreciation for all the hard work you do. Sure, it is difficult to have class and work, but you will learn how to manage your time and gain new skills or realize skills that you never knew you had! 
NOTE: If you are at a large university and want to participate in a research project ask around and find out if there is any program willing to sponsor your employment in the project. Usually ask the scholarship office.

 2. Open a savings account
Saving accounts are great as they allow you to put away your spare money, maybe from a scholarship or loan that you can use for another rainy day.
3. Make a savings goal
Yes, that is right. Once you have an account make sure you actually put money in there regularly, making it a habit. I personally save 10% of my paychecks, and it has served me well.
4. Open a student credit card
Once you have a decent amount of cash in your savings and a regular paycheck, apply to a student credit card. I personally made mine in High School and it has served me well, I recommend the following cards to apply for as a student.   
Discover It Student (5% Cash Back, and great deals in several categories - Intro 0% APR)  
Capital One Journey Student Card (1% Cash Back, bump up to 1.25% if you pay your bill) 

Remember these cards are intended for students who want to start off their credit card jouney, they are to build a credit line. 

WARNING: Please refrain from spending money you do not have. The only downside to Credit Cards, they trick you in ways you never thought were possible. But they are NECESSARY! Just be careful. 

5.  Bored with saving, want to grow your money? Start investing
Yes, that is right. You can grow your money while in school. How? Stock's and ETF's are the leading methods used by individuals to grow their capital. I understand that students do not have millions to buy stocks or to pay the fees that comes attached to trading shares.
Well good news! There is a way to pay NO FEES and if you want trade stocks for FREE. 
I highly recommend the following applications to invest and pay no fees:

Acorns is a application available on iPhone, Android, and web that allows individuals to invest their spare change from every purchase and earn money as you spend. Financial experts invest your change and turn your cents into dollars, you can also invest bulks to see quick growth.

Pro: $5 minimum, no fees for students. Also, available on Apple Watch and Android Wear!

Free: iOSAndroidWeb


If you are ready to dive into managing your own stocks portfolio, I recommend using Robinhood as you can sell stocks for free and not risk as much. Almost 90% of my friends who trade have moved to Robinhood, if you are not a day trader, then it is perfect for you as well.

Free: iOSAndroid

Pro: No fees, and available on Apple Watch and Android Wear!

Hope these tips and links were helpful for you to figure out which direction you want to take your finances!