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Top phone apps for managing student finance

Managing your money is a vital life skill and students can turn to a handful of apps to track their spending, find discounts and even save money for a rainy day

  • Student finance

Seeta Bhardwa


Grace McCabe

November 14 2022
Top 5 financial apps for students


One of the biggest issues that students face is getting to grips with their finances. It is well documented that financial pressures are affecting more students and that the rising cost of living is leaving many young people struggling to manage their money. 

Although this is only a small step, using a phone app can be a quick and easy way to save money. Here are some of the best apps for managing your finances, hunting down bargains and cutting down on waste. 

1. BigOven

How many students are left with a potato, half a bottle of pesto, some browning lettuce leaves and three bananas by the end of the week? 

BigOven is an app that turns leftovers into delicious meals (OK, maybe not using the combination above!). Simply enter your leftover ingredients into the app and allow it to transform them into a tasty meal.

The app contains a list of more than 350,000 recipes, so you can plan your meals and supermarket shop well in advance, which means that you can hopefully cut down on the amount of food you buy. 

2. Emma

Emma money management allows you to save all your bank accounts in the same place to track all your spending. You can set budgets, get weekly reports, check your spending and overdraft and even connect with others to send or receive money. 

Students can practice their budgeting skills and be smarter with their cash using daily notifications and analytics.  

Finally, if you want to try your hand at investing, this app gives you the ability to upgrade and start investing small amounts. 

3. Vouchercloud

Vouchercloud provides vouchers and discount codes for pretty much anything. 

There are a few aspects to the app, the first being the “best featured” deals section, which lists the best deals of the day. Alternatively, the “near me” function sources deals and codes for restaurants and social activities that are close by. 

Simply download the voucher code for the discount that takes your fancy and use it when you pay. 

4. Plum

Saving money may seem like an unachievable task for a student but Plum helps you to identify just how much you can comfortably put away, and then starts building the savings for you.

Once you have linked your bank account to the app, Plum analyses your transactions and spending patterns and calculates how much you can save. It then stores this amount in a virtual bank account, which you can access at any time – just send a message and the funds are available within 24 hours.

To adjust how much you are saving with Plum, alter your “mood” –  the default mood is “normal”. If you want to save more, choose “eager” (25 per cent extra) or “ambitious” (50 per cent extra). If you want to save less, select “chilled” (25 per cent less) or “shy” (50 per cent less).

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5. Wallet 

Wallet’s is another great way to keep track of your budget. Plan your budget, track your spending, and stay in control of your finances across multiple currencies, bank accounts and expenses. 

The app also offers regular updates on its blog and social media platforms with tips and advice to save more. 

Students may find the reporting section of this app particularly helpful. They can view their balance, spending, cashflow, credit and income all in the same section. 

6. YNAB (You Need A Budget) 

This app offers a 30-day free trial for students to see whether it’s the right fit for them.  

Once you enter your information the app will begin to help you budget and specifically save or pay off any debt.  

YNAB has been designed specifically for younger users who are learning to manage student loans, income and new expenses having moved away from home. 

7. Toshl Finance 

Toshl is designed to help students set up a monthly budget. 

Manage your money by entering your income and your monthly expenses. One aspect that is great for students is the ability to set a limited budget for certain activities or expenses. For example, you can set a certain amount for a night out or your grocery shopping to make sure you don’t spend too much. 

When you see how much you spend on each category, you can review your spending and figure out the best way to cover all your costs. 

8. Debt Payoff Planner 

This app is designed with students in mind, to help you pay back any student loans or borrowed money.  

You can prioritise how your money is spent, and the app will predict how your repayment plan will continue. 

You will be shown a clear picture of any debt you have and will know exactly what to do to help paying it back without stretching beyond your means. 

9. TextBookMe 

No matter what subject you are studying, everyone needs to know how to save money on textbooks.  

TextBookMe helps you to find where to get your study materials for the best price.  

Save on your books, dictionaries, guides and novels and use that money on other important costs. 



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