(This is a guest article by Karen Schweitzer*)
Budgeting money is stressful for most but this is even truer for college students. Luckily, the Internet is loaded with free tools and apps to get you started on securing your financial future. Here are 25 sites you can try today:
Budgeting and Debt Management
Clear Checkbook – Clear Checkbook is a free, easy-to-use online checkbook register with a lot of extras. Students can balance their checkbook, get daily reminders, and set budgeting goals all in one place.
MoneyStrands – This site has useful software and tools for any budget big or small. It automatically tracks all your financial accounts, offers advice to help you save money, and compares how your goals measure up to others.
MySpendingPlan – Provided by Plans365 Inc., MySpendingPlan.com is quick easy-to-use budgeting software that can help you set goals, save money, and reduce debt. This site also offers tools and tips to help the budget conscious student secure their financial future.
Thrive – This site is a great online tool to help you organize your finances, get financial advice, and plan for the future.
Mint – This free financial site makes it easy to understand and maintain your budget. Some of the many features Mint offers include money tracking, goal setting, and money saving tips.
Wesabe – Wesabe.com is a free online tool that takes away the stress of money management. You can track all your accounts on one resource, gain insights on where you are overspending, and get useful tips to manage your accounts better.
PearBudget – Created by a husband and wife team, this free web app is a simple budgeting tool for students overwhelmed by finances. PearBudget offers budgeting and tracking tools as well as an informational blog.
Buddi – Buddi is a free downloadable budgeting program for people who are just beginning to understand their finances. It is can run on most computers and includes tutorials to help you along the way.
Geezeo – Geezo.com offers free financial tools to organize and track your finances. Students can also reap the financial rewards of an online community of experts to answer financial questions.
Mapping Your Future – Almost anyone can benefit from the information packed onto this educational Mapping Your Future is designed specifically for students and is loaded with tools and resources for managing your budget, financial aid, and college costs.
Tuition and Student Loans
College Scholarships – Every student can benefit from the financial aid and scholarship information found on this site. It contains multiple links to student loans, grants, and scholarships as well as calculators for estimating student loan and college costs.
FinAid – FinAid is a free and comprehensive guide to financial aid information. This site is a great financial tool for understanding and estimating college expenses.
CollegeBoard – The informational website, CollegeBoard.com offers a wonderful array of free tools that can calculate the financial responsibility that comes from student loans and tuition costs.
Federal Student Aid – The Department of Education has a free budget calculator that is available to all students so they can estimate the total cost of their education.
FastWeb – FastWeb has a variety of resourceful tools to guide students through the financial burdens of college. The site also offers a scholarship search engine.
StudentUniverse – StudentUniverse is the largest student travel agency in the U.S. This site offers discounted prices for flights, trips, rail, insurance, and hotels.
Campus Tech – With savings of up to 85 percent, Campus Tech can help students to meet their software, hardware, and book needs while still maintaining a manageable budget.
Student Discounts – Since 1995, Student Discounts has been saving students thousands with its discounted academic software. This site offers all forms of software that a student could possibly need or want.
Student Advantage – Student Advantage is one of the leading student discount programs. They work with hundreds of colleges and distributors to provide discounted prices on things students need.
Affordabook – This free, easy-to-use website is designed for students who want to find the best prices on college textbooks and leisure reading.
Miscellaneous Sites and Web Apps
Cost of Living Calculator – This useful calculator from Bankrate allows students to compare the cost of living in different cities. You can compare prices on everything from rent to bananas.
Student Finance Domain – The Student Finance Domain is a free reference center that was created to help students make informed decisions about credit cards, student loans, and student banking.
Pay Range Calculator – The Pay Calculator provided by Payscale.com can help any student calculate salary range for different job titles and markets.
Currency Calculator – This currency calculator provided by XE.com is perfect for students who plan to travel or are studying abroad. It has great features like a currency converter, up-to-date cross rates, and a travel expense calculator.
Salary Finder – Graduate students looking for competitive pay in the job market will benefit from College Grad’s Salary Finder. The tool can help with salary negotiations, hiring demand, salary calculations, and career information.
*About the author: This post was written by Karen Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. Karen also writes about college online for OnlineCollege.org.