For many young adults, going away to school is the first time that they will have to think about how they spend all of their money. Many college students have never even balanced their checkbooks, but knowing how much you spend is the first step towards saving more money.
An online company called wesabe started in December 2005 to help individuals take charge of their financial situations. A student can easily sign up for an account, link their bank accounts, and can enter how much they spend on groceries, rent, transportation, and entertainment. Students can set goals for how much they want to spend each month and can rely on forums and other community members to give tips on how to save more money. The three minute video tour listed on the website is a great place to start learning more information.
If one decides to choose a different avenue, documenting what you earn and what you spend. Students can track their information – keeping it private on their own computers. Simple spreadsheets can be found by doing a Google search – like one found on vertex42.com.
A new website that may be convenient for students is Revolution moneyexchange. Similar to PayPal, this site allows for easy electronic transferring of money between friends, families, even customers and businesses. Users on the site can transfer money to any other users to cover debts, pay bills or informally lend money. Once money is transferred into the Revolution moneyexchange account, it may then be transferred again directly to the users linked bank account. Unlike PayPal, this site also has a debit card feature, but it is unclear how widely the card is accepted at this time. As with any website, make sure you read all the terms and conditions and get a comfort level before deciding to give any personal information.
Why not learn to save and take advantage of tools that technology provides?