Best Money Apps For College Students

When it comes to college students, being able to handle their money wisely can be challenging. Having access to money apps can help them stay on task and not blow their budget. Money apps are useful for a number of reasons, especially since there are so many students needing direction on how to best utilize their funds. Money apps for college students are growing in popularity, making it a must to know which ones make the most sense to use. Listed below are some of the best money apps on the market for college students to use and gain the most benefit.

What are Money Apps used for?

Let’s face it – the college student budget could always use more discretionary income, but that’s often not the case, or students are splurging and find themselves without money at the end of the month. Money apps are used to help people learn how to budget their money more effectively. For college students, learning about money may seem like speaking Chinese. Since most students spend a lot of time on their mobile devices, they can learn about money while on the go. One of the best things about money apps is that some of them have desktop versions as well. Getting a head start on a bright financial future should be on everyone’s list.

Imagine being able to track spending, see where mistakes are being made, having a plan to invest discretionary income, and properly prepare for bills just because you were able to have it all in one place? That’s the power of a money app – giving college students more power over how they use their money and providing ways on how they can use it more effectively. For any college student, that’s a recipe for success.

Check out some of the best budget apps on the market:


Mint is one of the downloaded personal finance apps in the world and it’s totally free, which is great for college students. This app helps college students learn where their money is going, and it helps to find savings that they may not know they had. For college students, learning how to set financial goals is key, and this is one of the best alternatives that gives college students the freedom and information they need to move forward. This app comes with a spending tracker, budget planner, and credit monitoring.

Personal Capital

Personal capital focuses on investing, which is something every college student should be considering. A free app, Personal Capital walks students through saving and investing, finding ways to take small doses of extra income and investing it. Students learn to budget and how to plan for the future. Consider Personal Capital a personal financial planner that teaches you how to track your money, sorting things into different categories, and demonstrating how that money can be invested. This is a web-based app.


College students can figure out what they need to do with their money in a calendar format on the Dollarbird app. One of the great things about this app is the ability to share calendars with friends or family members to collaborate on budgeting together. Balances are calculated based on day, month, or year based on settings. This makes it easy for college students to look at what they have, and what they need to do. It’s easy to examine those transactions that are recurring and put them in categories to determine if there need to be changes. The app also uses AI to assist throughout the budgeting process.

 Pocket Guard

PocketGuard helps college students budget their money by syncing with their bank or credit union. By allowing access to view accounts in one place, all transactions are analyzed to allow expenses to be organized in one place. Customization is easy, and students are able to determine how much they can spend from the money in those accounts. How does this work? Categories are assigned in each section to provide a quick overview. Students are also able to set goals for savings and build a budget based on the information.

You Need a Budget

A very popular app, YNAB helps students go through the maze of finding out where their money is going. Instead of focusing on tracking after the fact, YNAB helps see what you have and where you need to (or should) allocate it before it’s spent. Students who are familiar with zero-based budgeting principles, they’ll feel right at home with YNAB. One of the coolest things about this app is it provides an accountability partner, allows you to set goals, and monitors how you are doing. The ultimate goal is to help students stop going from broke to broke, giving each dollar a purpose. Pretty cool, right? They start with four rules of money, and tell you how life could be living within the rules, and then life living outside the rules.

Every Dollar

Dave Ramsey continues his quest to help people save money. Every Dollar app is very simple and takes college students through the basics of learning how to create a budget. Similar to a few other apps, every dollar has its own job to do. Web-based for iOS and Android, there are custom categories, online synching with accounts, and tax reporting. That’s about it. There are several selling points that are available for those who have graduated and want to do a little more budgeting for the future.


One of the most important things for college students is being able to use an application to track their money but also help with a budget. The Wally app keeps all finances in one place, along with banking information. There are multiple ways to track spending, but they have add-ons that could make it become an unnecessary expense. Additionally, certain items aren’t automatic and must be inputted manually, which could be cumbersome for a college student who wants to have everything done for them. Account linking is also an additional expense.


Simplifi is an app designed by Quicken to help college students track and budget their money. Users are able to get an overall view of where their money is going and how they need to save. Mobile-friendly, there is also a desktop version of the app. There is a net worth tracker, a spending plan which appeals to college students because it tracks income, recurring bills, and any discretionary spending. This also gives detailed reports to help students understand what they could be doing more of. Other features include watchlists, where students can set certain limits on spending categories and when they are nearing the threshold, become alerted. There is a cost attached to using the app.


When it comes to apps that help college students, Venmo is one that many people mention. One of the best things about Venmo is that it helps in receiving and sending cash quickly. This can be useful when going out with friends and having to split a bill – students can receive cash quickly. Additionally, moving money into a bank account, and requesting money from home can be done effortlessly. College students must be careful though, because there are no international payments, no payment protection, and your payment history is able to be shared with everyone. There are no budgeting features.


One of the most widely used apps in the world, PayPal allows college students to send and receive money. It also shows how money is being spent. For college students who have side hustles, this is a good way for them to make extra income and have a solid place to receive payments. There are fraud and seller protection tools in place as well. There is a friend and family option where money can be sent without having to pay additional costs or having fees attached to money being sent.

Are Money Apps Effective?

Absolutely! If a college student is concerned about using their funds effectively, money apps can quickly become their best friend. It can be hard going away to school and having to rely on a budget to make ends meet, especially if they come from an environment where they weren’t exposed to dealing with money correctly. One of the best ways to understand the value of money is by becoming familiar with how it works and how to save. These money apps offer great insight into how things can and should be done the right way. Additionally, having ways to send and receive money at a moment’s notice has always been a pain point for students. These apps have bridged the gap for students who have emergencies and can’t get to a bank.

What are the Benefits of Money Apps?

For college students … everything! Imagine being able to create a world where finances become your friend. That’s one of the values of having a money app. Additionally, being able to see your budget and stick to it because you keep getting alerts when you’re going off track is like having a parent right there telling you what you shouldn’t do. Although it sounds crazy, it can be quite effective.

Due to money apps being primarily mobile (with the exception of a few), it’s easy to take your tracker with you. Easy to navigate and use, college students start feeling a little more responsible about the way they see and spend money. Being able to organize finances into categories to see how much is being spent is also a winner. Most people don’t even realize they have so much discretionary income because they don’t see where they are wasting money. For most college students, that is definitely in the entertainment and food categories.

Every college student should have a financial goal they want to meet. With most of these apps also shedding light on the power of investing, they are able to make choices and decisions early on in their college careers. Money apps help instill confidence in college students while making parents proud. Even if they never take an accounting class, a money app can help alleviate making a lot of mistakes with money and credit.

So, if you’re searching for the best money apps as a college student, check out Mint, Personal Capital, DollarbirdPocket GuardYou Need a BudgetEvery DollarWallySimplifiVenmo, or Paypal today!

You May Also Enjoy Reading: