Top 5 Financial Literacy Tools For College Students

Knowing how to manage your money in college is one of the most important skills you can have. You have to master the art of stretching your limited spending money while also saving to pay back your student loans. This is where a financial literacy tool can help. 

Financial literacy tools for college students aim to help young adults how to budget, save, invest, and spend wisely. This lays a foundation that guides you toward making smarter money decisions and improving your money management skills in college and beyond. 

The good news is you don’t have to pay to use these financial literacy teaching tools. There are several free tools, apps, and websites that aim to help students become financially literate. Using these free tools will help you avoid costly mistakes, not just in college but even in your adult life.

We’ve put together a few free resources to help you get started. 

1. Mint

A free personal finance mobile app, Mint is designed to provide users with an easy, intuitive way to manage their money on the go. 

The Mint app has a lot of inbuilt features that help you keep all your accounts in one place. At a glance, you can track your income and cash flow, bills, cash accounts, and credit cards using this app. Some of the many useful features include: 

  • Budgeting calculator
  • Bill payment tracker
  • Credit card payoff calculator
  • Financial planning tips
  • Budgeting goal tracker
  • Loan calculator
  • Grocery budget calculator
  • Travel budget calculator
  • Investment calculator

These app features allow you to create and manage your budget, receive alerts, pay bills, check your credit score, and set savings goals. Mint is one of the free literacy tools that is especially useful for student budget management. It is available for Android and Apple. 

2. AFSA Education Foundation MoneySkill  

AFSA Education Foundation is dedicated to empowering students from middle school through to college on financial matters. This nonprofit organization offers a free online personal finance program, MoneySkill, which is designed especially for students. 

MoneySkill is a customizable, comprehensive program that covers thirty-seven money topics related to responsible money management. It includes several topics that help students get a better understanding of the credit process.  

These are just a few of the courses covered in the curriculum: 

  • Short-term and long-term savings plans
  • Using a checking account
  • Tracking Expenses and Budgeting
  • Student loans
  • Credit cards and other unsecured borrowing
  • Federal income taxes
  • Owning a home
  • Property income
  • Understanding insurance

Completing this free online course will give you a solid understanding of various financial mechanisms, which is key to better money management. 

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3. Wally

Another free personal finance mobile app, Mint simplifies money management tasks by centralizing all your accounts. This mobile app has several inbuilt features that aim to give you financial clarity and control. 

The budgeting feature allows you to track your spending across various categories and set specific savings goals. Easy-to-use budget trackers help you monitor your progress anytime, anywhere. Real-time updates on upcoming transactions and recent give you a clear picture of your finances at all times. You can take this further by syncing your savings, loans, checking, and credit card accounts to get valuable insights into your spending and saving habits.  

All Wally features work together to help you stay organized and reach your financial goals faster. Bank-level security with end-to-end encryption ensures that your financial details remain secure. 

4. Marcus Insights

Developed by Godman Sachs, Marcus Insights is a powerhouse financial literacy tool for college students. This free mobile app offers many smart tools and trackers designed to help you optimize your money. 

Available on the Marcus app and Marcus.com, Marcus Insights keeps your finances organized by bringing all your financial accounts together in one place. This allows you to visualize your cash flow, monitor your saving habits, and keep track of payment dates across all linked accounts. You can even break down your expenses across different categories, making it easier to know where to cut back. Personalized insights empower you to make smart financial decisions that enable you to meet your short-term and long-term goals. 

5. GoodBudget

GoodBudget is a financial literacy tool with a difference. This web and mobile app uses the envelop budgeting strategy. Instead of creating a generalized budget, the envelop method involves allocating separate budgets for different expense categories. 

At the beginning of the month, you allocate the money for various major expenses during that month. This ensures that you never miss any loan repayments, credit card payments, rent, or other major expenses. This also gives you a better idea of how much money you have remaining so you can choose what to spend it on.  Knowing your monthly balance makes it easier to save for big expenses and pay off debt. 

GoodBudget also offers users lots of useful financial tips and resources on how to leverage the envelope budgeting technique to their advantage. 

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