Sun. Sep 15th, 2019

Where does the money go?: Using budget apps to track spending

By Jordan Geisler —

More likely than not, at some point in your academic career you’ll experience what it’s like to be a broke college student. Think of it like a coming-of-age ritual. Fortunately, being millennials, we have technology on our side, which means we have the power of budgeting apps right at our fingertips.

A great way to handle your finances, budgeting apps offer helpful insight to your spending trends, keep track of your purchases and even a little more. EveryDollar follows steps from financial expert Dave Ramsey and apps like NerdWallet track your credit score.

Audrey Kline, a microeconomics professor in the School of Business, said that even though she doesn’t personally use a budgeting app, she recommends college students using one.

“Having a road map and a budget app, or some other way that you budget, to just look at your expenses versus your income can help with eliminating one thing at a time,” said Kline.

Sophomore finance major Tom Murphy agrees with Kline. He recommends apps like Acorns and Robin Hood, which allow you to invest spare change into stocks. “Having some sort of money put away from investments is gonna be very helpful when you graduate,” Murphy said.

However, while it’s nice having an app track spending habits, some feel weird about apps tracking their every move.

Senior communication major Cameron Wilson said she uses Mint, a budgeting app linked to her bank account that categorizes and tracks her spending.

“It’s kind of weird that it knows everything that you’re doing, but it really does help when you’re trying to budget for school,” said Wilson.

However, the overall consensus from professors and students alike for utilizing a budgeting app resembles that of something like floss: they themselves don’t use it, but they believe it’s a good practice and recommend others to use it.

Even still, they all agree on the importance of putting money away, with or without the use of a budgeting app.

Kline said, “Even if it’s a little, just get in the habit of routinely putting away money from every paycheck, even if it’s five dollars, just to establish the discipline and the habit of saving.”

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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