Free phone apps have come a long way. When I was in college, my phone came with me everywhere. I used it to text friends, Venmo people, download homework and check my grades on the run. There are a few phone apps I wish I had known about sooner though! These are the five I constantly reach for and wished I downloaded sooner on my phone:
Phone apps for college if you’re traveling on a budget: HotelTonight
Before I started working full-time, I used the money I made at my internships to travel as much as I could. Airbnb is usually my first option for budget stays, but it takes a few hours of planning to find the best stays at affordable rates for specific dates.
A friend introduced me to HotelTonight after I graduated, and I immediately wished I had known about it in school. The HotelTonight app allows you to stay at great hotels worldwide at a discounted price. When a hotel can’t fully book their property, they’ll offer the remaining rooms at a discounted rate. I’ve stayed at multiple 4-star hotels under $175 per night because of this app. If you haven’t downloaded this app yet, I highly recommend you browse through your city for a staycation. Enter the code SWONG234 to get $25 off your first booking on HotelTonight.
Phone apps for college if you need a budget: Mint
Mint is a free money management app that helps you track where your money goes. I’ll be honest: I had no idea how to budget before I downloaded Mint. This app is so easy to use and it has plenty of features you can play with.
After you link your bank information, Mint automatically groups your spending into different categories, so you know where your money is going each month. You can also set your own budgets and goals, so you’re actively working towards saving for a future home, trip, or fun buy in the future. Mint has actually made me look forward to taking ownership of my finances. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
If you have no idea how investing works: Acorns
I’m not a financial expert, so I think it’s fair to say that learning how to invest your money can get complicated. Acorns helps you make investments automatically, and it also has great resources for learning how to invest.
When you download the app, you’re first prompted to take a quiz with a few basic questions about your income and investment goals. Afterwards, they recommend an investment portfolio and give you options for how to automatically invest your money. Now I have money that’s automatically taken out of my checking account into my investment account. There’s also neat chart to see how your money grows over time.
I highly recommend this app if you want to grow your knowledge about financial investments and make investing your money easy for yourself. Use this link to download Acorns so we can both get $5 towards investing for our futures. Note that this app is free if you’re a student, but it’s $1/month after you graduate.
If you need to track your health: My Calendar
Are you tracking your cycle yet? If not, you need this app. My Calendar is a free app that helps you keep track of your period. It predicts your menstrual and ovulation cycles, and it gives you the option to add notes for how you’re feeling during the day. I use it every single month.
Besides the helpful features in this app, it’s just fun to use. Plus, the longer you use the app, the more accurate the information you have about your health at your fingertips.
If you’re bored on the weekends: The Nudge
My friends in Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, have you heard of The Nudge? This app/text service was introduced to me by my most-fun friend Cristina who’s always in the know on things to do. The Nudge sends you ideas of things to do in your city. If you love it, you can save it to the app.
I’ve personally found The Nudge fun to use when I don’t have plans for the weekend but need a list of ideas I can pull from straight away. If you’re getting bored at home from quarantine, take a look at this app for some socially-distanced fun activities and let me know what you think.
Are there any apps you’re loving right now? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to learn about what to add to my phone.