As optometry student debt continues to rise, we need to start taking control of our finances. Many online resources are available to help manage spending; allowing us to keep student debt to a reasonable level. Websites like mint.com, manilla.com, buxfer.com, and budgettracker.com are free online financial and budget tools. Each is slightly different, but all have similar features and are FREE! I have been using mint.com for about 1 year. It is an awesome tool that has helped me gain control and a better understanding of my money. I think everyone should take advantage of this tool. Here are my top 5 favorite features of mint.com.
1. Link all your bank accounts and credit cards.
2. Automatically download your transactions to one location.
3. Create and edit budgets, and automatically categorize your transactions.
4. Notifies you when your bills are due and add other recurring bills as they come up (ex: phone bill).
5. Information is available anywhere, anytime, and is secure. Mint uses bank level security and has an app to allow easy use on the phone.
Students often lose touch of where all the money goes. Obviously, a lot of the money goes to tuition and rent, but where does the rest of it go?? This tool allows us to see that, while giving us a better understanding of what it costs to live. With this knowledge we can be more financially responsible and, hopefully, decrease our debt and pay it off faster!
I encourage you to go try any online budget tool and take control of your finances!
AOSA Executive Council Treasurer SCCO Class of 2013