College is expensive, particularly for students on tight budgets; these free apps will help you manage your money – and even make a few dollars while you’re at it

Expensive tuition, textbooks, room and board – not to mention occasional entertainment – means shoestring budgets exemplify the college lifestyle. It’s a shame finance management is perhaps the most under-taught subject in college, especially when the average college graduate leaves school nearly $30,000 in debt. While the following free apps won’t pay off your student loans, they will help you avoid some of that debt and even make a few bucks in the meantime.

Free apps for navigating college finances on a tight budget

1. Mint (Best Free College Budgeting App)
Mint is probably the best-known budgeting and finance management app, and deservedly-so. It’s great for college students because it has automated features such as bank account and credit card imports, which automatically categorize income and expenses, and bill reminder/bill pay so you don’t forget to pay your bills.

Mint features a clean and easy-to-navigate interface, which means you’re more likely to actually use it. There are simpler college budgeting apps out there, but Mint is a robust app you can use not only in college, but throughout your career.

2. Grocery IQ (Best Free College Grocery Sharing App)
Whether you share a dorm room, apartment, or house with fellow students, divvying up the grocery shopping and buying responsibilities can be a headache and lead to hard feelings. You can avoid all that negativity with Grocery IQ, a free app that lets you create, sync, and share grocery lists with your roommates.

Grocery IQ is simple to use – you can add items to the list simply by scanning their barcodes with your smartphone – and even displays relevant coupons so you can save money at checkout.

3. Flipsy BookSeller (Best Free College Moneymaking App)
It’s no secret that campus bookstores are rip-off artists when it comes to buying back used textbooks. They’ll sell you a book for $200 and only pay $50 when you try to sell it back – and that’s if it’s in great condition. Get up to twice as much money or more for your used textbooks with the Flipsy BookSeller app, which compares the best textbook buyback offers so you can cash in at the highest prices.

BookSeller is super-easy to use; you simply scan your textbook barcodes and the free app instantly shows real-time buyback offers. When you find an offer you like, BookSeller connects you to the buyer so you can sell your textbooks and get paid. The app also shows you how much your textbook is worth if you sell it on the private market – to another student, for example.

4. Around Campus (Best Free College Coupon App)
What sets Around Campus apart from other coupon apps is it’s geared specifically toward college students, so it features stores and restaurants you’re likely to patron. What’s more, the app offers coupons for local entities based on the college you attend. No other coupon app is more relevant (or likely to save you money) than Around Campus.

Around campus features local coupons and deals for most major U.S. colleges, making it easy to save money on everything from food and entertainment to auto parts and Internet services – all created to cater to college students.

5. Direct Textbook (Best Free Cheap College Textbook App)
Textbooks are expensive, representing a major portion of the cost of education. In fact, the average college student will spend $5,000 on textbooks over the course of earning a four-year degree. You can drastically reduce your textbook expenses by saving up to 90 percent with the Direct Textbook app.

The Direct Textbook app is simple to use; you search for the textbooks you need by ISBN, title, or author, and the world’s most comprehensive used textbook search engine instantly reveals the lowest prices on the web. Choose the best price, and the free app connects you to the seller to complete your purchase. Shipping is free, and you’ll save tons of money while avoiding long bookstore lines.

There’s no doubt college is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste money. Reduce your post-college debt and free up more cash now with these free apps for college finances.

    Jun 8, 2015    Comments (105 views)     (3)   Share: Share This Page Share on Facebook Tweet This Share on Google Plus

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