Interning in an Expensive City This Summer? These Budgeting Apps Will Save You

May 29th, 2018 at 12:00pm

The semester is coming to an end, and with it comes a lot of big changes. Summer is such an exciting time, with warm weather, fashion changes and the like, but it also can be scary—think, summer jobs and internships, and graduation. One of the biggest stressors (besides keeping our grades up, staying social, managing our health) is finances. As college students, we’re stressed enough without the added pressure of tracking our spending, but it’s an essential part of life. If you’re moving to a big city this summer for an internship, tracking your finances is necessary, and not just when you’re there, but while you’re preparing for the big move as well. Below are 10 budgeting apps to help you make the transition into a big city as seamlessly as possible.

  •  Mint: Probably the most popular app on the market, Mint is geared towards helping you set a budget and stick to it.  You can create guidelines for different categories (think: groceries, household needs….a weekend getaway?) and make a limit for how much you want to spend on those things. The budgeting app does the rest. In Mint, you hook up your bank account and the app automatically updates what you’re spending (and where) into one big spreadsheet, so you can easily see how much you spent eating out last week, and maybe make a goal to cook more this week.
  • PenniesIf you’re hesitant to give your bank information to an app, Pennies is the app for you.  It has the same goal as Mint, to help you create and stick to a budget, but in Pennies, you enter the information yourself.  Say your favorite store is having a sale, and you need to make sure to stay within reason—Pennies will help you do that. You just allocate spending goals to different categories, and add in how much you spend. It automatically subtracts the amount and shows you how much you have left to spend.  You can either have a daily goal or a weekly goal, and you can change the settings to either show how much you’ve spent in a given category or how much you have left to spend. Be careful, however, with staying on top of adding in your spending, because otherwise, you’ll lose track.
  • AlbertLike I said before, budgeting for a big move doesn’t only happen once you’ve moved, but before you move as well.  Albert can help you do that. Probably the most personalized process of all the apps, Albert can not only help you figure out how much you can spend, but it also suggests where to cut down (like maybe skipping your daily latte). Albert does require you to hook up your bank account, so that’s something to take note of. You can also text with financial experts to answer your urgent questions like, “Do I really need that top?”
  • AcornsI, personally, am unclear on how investing works, but apparently it’s important? The good thing, however, is that you don’t have to do it alone. Acorns is an innovative app that helps you invest without really realizing you’re investing.  And what’s especially great is that for any college student with a valid .edu email address, it’s free! Think of Acorns as a digital way of finding spare change under your couch. It rounds up the money you’ve spent and invests the spare change.  So if your daily iced coffee is $4.50, 50 cents will be invested for you in a separate account automatically. You can also set different goals for yourself depending on your income or spending habits so you can really make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  • PocketguardIf you mix Mint and Albert together, you might get something similar to Pocketguard. Like Mint, you set budgets, and your transactions are automatically recorded. But like Albert, it’s extremely personalized. Pocketguard can help give you recommendations on what you can spend safely, as well as if you can afford something when you utilize the “Can I Buy It” feature.  The app also helps even out your accounts in case an unexpected expense comes up.
  • JoySaving your money does not mean not indulging once in a while, it simply means indulging in the right things.  You should still enjoy a dinner out with friends, or save up to see a band in concert you’ve loved since you were five. The important part of budgeting is figuring out where to spend the money, and how to do so wisely. Joy helps you do that. With the app, you go through your purchases and mark down whether you felt good about a purchase or not.  The $120 at Sephora? Maybe not. The $40 on a nice meal with good friends? Yeah, pretty happy about that.
  • You Need a BudgetIn addition to speaking truth in its name, You Need a Budget is almost foolproof.  It helps (you guessed it) monitor your budgets. What makes it unique, however, is that it also allows you to set a goal for an expense coming up.  So, if you’re moving to a big city soon you can set an amount you want t0 save, and You Need a Budget will help you get there. It’s great to have a visual reminder of what your goals are, especially when your motivation is dwindling.
  • Clarity MoneyWe live in the age of subscriptions. Apple Music, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Birchbox—the list goes on, but it’s not always easy to see how much all of them add up.  You might be surprised when you sit down and put them all together. Clarity Money helps you assess your finances in a way that makes it easy to see what you’re subscribed to, how much it’s costing, and tips on how to cut down unnecessary expenses. You can even set up a new savings account, and lower your debt, all in one app.  If you download one app from this list, Clarity is probably the best way to go.
  • Fudget:  According to a lot of iTunes reviews, and I mean a lot, Fudget is extremely easy to use and pleasant on the eyes.  While apps can help in many different ways, the most important factor is that you’re actually able to use them. Fudget prides itself on being simple yet helpful, and according to the reviews, people agree. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use way to add income and expenses and track spending, look no further.
  • Spending Tracker:  Another app that doesn’t include any bells or whistles (but definitely works) is Spending Tracker.  It’s similar to Fudget in that it has a simple interface that is easy to use. You can also hook up your account to another account to manage your shared spending, or shared saving goals. You can go back in time to review your spending in another month, to see how you’re doing this month.

What budgeting apps do you love? Let us know in the comments below!

Opening image by @venesajco.


  • Marit Darrow

    Hi! I'm Marit, and I was born and raised in New York. I'm currently finishing up my last year at the New School as a Non-Fiction major, with a minor in Journalism and Design