Learning how to earn and save money to support themselves is a leap of independence all college students must take. While budgeting can be tedious, students have found the help they need through the use of budgeting applications or opting to create their own personal method.
In order to hold themselves accountable, several California Baptist University students are thinking proactively, holding themselves to a budget to achieve financial goals.
Michael David, junior business administration major, said he has tried several budgeting apps such as Acorns, Mint and Goodbudget to help him keep track of his finances.
Although he found aspects he liked about all of them, he chose to stick with Acorns.
“Acorns is great because not only can you keep account of what you use, but as you spend, it rounds your money to the next dollar on expenditures and invests it into small accounts that grows your money for the future,” David said.
While Acorns helps David earn money through investments, it also helps him stay motivated to maintain positive spending habits.
“The better you track your money, the better off you are at keeping personal finances balanced,” David said. “It teaches discipline and you can actually see how much you need to spend, see what is wasteful spending and how you can increase your money by the investment that is offered.”
Kevin Chen, sophomore undeclared major, said he also finds using a budgeting app is the best tool for him to use to organize his income.
Chen uses the Goodbudget app that allows him to set up a virtual envelope system that is useful for him to determine the amount of spending for different categories of expenses. Although it does not invest and grow his money like Acorns does, Chen finds the envelope system helps him stay best prepared for all of his purchases.
“It is really easy to set up and use, and is easy to see the big picture of my spending because I need to know how much I need to earn and how much I can spend,” Chen said.
Although budgeting apps have worked for David and Chen, Chris Pearce, senior business administration major, has developed his own way of budgeting.
Pearce uses an Excel spreadsheet that organizes his checking, savings and spending budget for each week. He also sets memos on his phone that show how much tax money is taken out, as well as the amount he will put in his savings and vacation fund.
“No matter if you have a small amount of money or you’re gaining a lot of money, you still need to figure out what you have, what you can spend, what you should save up for in case of emergency,” Pearce said.