In today’s day and age, we use our cell phones for just about everything. Texing, emailing, and banking can all be done on a modern cell phone. If you are looking to become more dedicated to controlling your finances, using your phone is one way to achieve that goal. There are several apps on both the Apple and Android marketplaces that can help you take control of your financial situation. You Need A Budget, Mint, and Wallet are all reputable apps that allow you to input both income and expenses. You Need A Budget and Mint are widely recommended on sites such as Reddit, whereas Wallet is a lesser-known mobile app that has a lackluster desktop component.
Think about it this way: we take our phones everywhere we go. For just about every single purchase we make, our phone is on our person. Typing in a purchase would only take about 10 seconds, and it will ultimately do a few things for you (if you are consistent with it). First, it will help you consider whether your purchase is an ‘impulse buy.’ Psychologically, the action of inputting a purchase will make you think about the purchase in a different way than you would normally. This may help some people cut down on impulse purchases. Second, keeping track on your phone will allow you to see the big picture of your day-to-day finances. You can input credit card purchases, loans, and other instruments of debt to help you see where you stand. You can input income when you get paid, which is always a good feeling. With these apps, you can see your monthly cash flows as well as your monthly income and expense reports. Given that it’s quite easy to track income, but not as intuitive to track spending, you can probably see where these apps have value. You cannot even begin to assess where you are and where you’re headed if you don’t track your spending in some way. All of this information is very helpful when you are aiming to control your finances.
The advent of smartphones has certainly made certain things like texting and note-taking much easier. It would be wise to use your smartphone to your advantage and track your spending (and income). This is truly one of the best ways students can take control of their financial situation.