The 5 Best Financial Smartphone Apps (for the College Crowd)

The Best Financial Smartphone AppsCan you send a 26 word text message in 25.94 seconds?  Don't deny it: that smartphone is always within easy reach; it's becoming practically inseperable from who we are.  Why not use it to get your finances in order, too?  When your games of Angry Birds and Friends with Words are over, check out these five must-have apps that will help you organize your cash flow into something a little more orderly.


1.) Money Magazine Financial Assistant



Not sure how to split that restaurant bill?  Trying to decide whether it'd be cheaper to buy Spaghetti-O's in bulk?  This application has functions for 45 money management situations, so all you need to do is pop in a few numbers and let it do the calculations for you.  It can also help you to plan for paying tuition (or student loans, if you're going that route).


2.) Mint



Mint.com is a great personal finance resource you can add to your smartphone!If you're on a tight budget or you just prefer to know what's going in and out of your bank account, this application will keep track of all your expenses for you on a nice, neat graph.  It's up to you to decide what portion of your monthly income goes toward, say, DVDs, and Mint will monitor how far along you are toward that cap.  If you're in debt, this is a great way to start reducing it!  And don't worry: it's password protected, so your roommate can't pick it up and start rifling around in your savings.


3.) SplashMoney



If you want to take it a step further than Mint and synch up your credit, checking and savings balances on your phone, this app provides that option.  Not only can you monitor your day-to-day, monthly and yearly expenses, it'll even synthesize your spending habits into reports and pie charts for impressing your parents.


4.) TurboTax SnapTax



The TurboTax SnapTax app makes filing your taxes a breeze.If, like most college kids, you're childless, unmarried, don't own your own home and make less than $100,000 a year, this app is how you'll want to be doing your taxes.  The process is as simple as taking a photo of your W-2 (with your smartphone, no less), uploading it to the site, answering a few questions and... guaranteed max refund!


5.) Gift List Budget Shopper



Since it's pretty much safe to assume that you're perpetually on a budget -- especially when it comes to buying a dozen different gifts at Christmas -- this app can help you break that down.  Birthdays, weddings, housewarming: you decide the occasion and input the gift lists.  To make your purchasing decisions easier, this app also lets you do product searches on the web.

Louise Baker blogs about getting an online degree at Zen College Life.  Her most recent post looked at the best medical coding and billing schools.

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