Cell phone apps have come a long way in the past few years. There are so many free and educational apps on the market now that it can be hard to determine which ones are worth a download (and your ever-decreasing storage space). This list of educational apps includes some that your professors might also be using, like iTunes U. What would you add to this list?
Though it’s only for Android, SpeechNotes is an elevated speech-to-text app that makes taking notes in class way easier. Now that Dragon Naturally Speaking is no longer free, SpeechNotes is a great alternative for those of us who like to dictate our homework while we do more interesting things, like cooking… Or puzzles.
Much of college is dedicated to working on larger projects, and often that means teaming up with other people. Dropbox makes group work a breeze by allowing you to share documents on the cloud and choose who gets access to what. It’s also nice for when you somehow forgot to turn in that paper and can show your professor that you really are sending it while you’re standing in front of them instead of cheating and adding a few final touches.
For college students who do like to take notes or documenting things, Evernote is essential. It lets you record lectures, jot down information, take photos, store documents, and even clip websites for research purposes. But the best part is that you can keep all of this information in a single, easy to find location so that when you’re studying for your essay on Chaucer or your Bio midterm, you can just access that folder and everything will be there waiting for you.
Yet another app by the awesome team over Chegg, EasyBib is an app that helps you generate super bibliographies super quickly. Their website is easy to use, and the app is available for Android and iOS. The best feature is that you are able to choose from MLA8, MLA7, APA, or Chicago formats.
iTunes U serves a dual purpose. It allows users to access tons of free education content, and you and your professors can use it to view and submit assignments, join group discussions, and view grades.
College can be very financially stressful, but you don’t have to acquire major debt. There are a number of ways to save money in college. The two most important are putting money into savings accounts, and not racking up major credit card debt.
Check our our tips for how to start saving money.
Finding the Best Savings Account for You
Many college students struggle with personal finance and have a hard time saving money. On top of that, many banks don’t offer a savings account that is conducive to a college student’s savings plan and budget. To get a decent interest rate, most banks require a large balance in the tens of thousands, which isn’t an easy feat for most students.
Decide on a Savings Plan
Most college students don’t think saving money is important. While it’s true you don’t necessarily have to start saving for retirement while in college, you do need a savings account. You need to plan for unexpected events and emergencies. It also helps to save money if a great opportunity, like a trip to Europe, comes up. Having the financial freedom to join your friends on a vacation is a much better choice than having to beg your parents for the funds.
If you’re saving up for something specific, like a $10,000 car, figure out how much you need to put away per month. If you’re just saving money, put away as much as you can per month. Even small savings can add up over time to large amounts of money. An extra $5 per month over a few years makes a huge difference, especially if you get a good interest rate.
Finding a Bank
The first step is finding a bank that offers what you need. You can start locally by visiting banks and credit unions in your area or you can start online by searching. Credit unions will be friendlier to smaller accounts, but you will be limited by their smaller network. While a large network is more important for checking accounts than savings accounts, this may still matter to you if you live far from home or plan on moving soon.
Choosing the Best Account
Once you find a bank that you think will work best for you, look carefully at their types of savings accounts. You want to find the best savings account for you. Look at minimum deposit amounts, monthly balances and any fees associated with the accounts. U.S. federal law only allows you to withdraw money a maximum of six times per month for an account to be considered a savings account. Most banks will turn your account into a checking account if you go over the withdraw limit, and sometimes they will charge you a fee.
Educate yourself on credit
Credit is essential. Most people can’t buy a television without it, let alone a car or a house. Credit scores are even looked at during the employment process. No credit is worse than bad credit, but you can avoid both by applying for small credit cards and using them wisely.
Tips to build your credit without hurting it first
- Don’t apply for too much credit at once – this will hurt your score
- If you take advantage of 0% APR grace periods, which is okay to do, be careful of the fees you’ll incur afterward. Sometimes they’re awful.
- Don’t take out cash advances. If you really need cash for something, use the money you’d otherwise spend on food, CDs, etc. that’s in your bank account and put those purchases on your card. Regular interest is better than cash advance interest no matter how you look at it.
- Don’t simply apply for a card just because they’re giving away free t-shirts. You might miss a $50 yearly fee because you’re distracted with presents.
- If you can’t get credit anywhere else, try a in-store credit card at a store you frequent, but only after carefully looking over the terms. Put a small amount on the card, pay it off at the end of the month to avoid interest. Do it again each month for the next six months and apply for a better card somewhere else.
- Remember, that if your score is low, there’s nowhere else to go but up. If you play the game right, you can have great credit without paying too much to the companies.
The budget of a college student is stereotypically small for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck eating ramen noodles and Kraft Mac N Cheese.
- Chicken Tacos: 1 lb chicken* cooked
- Beef Tacos: 1 lb ground beef cooked
- Taco shells or tortillas
- Sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. if you want
Tacos are one of my favorite meals because they’re hearty and delicious, but very cheap. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own tortillas. White Wings makes a tortilla mix that you just add water to – it’s very easy, just roll the dough, flatten it and pan fry.
*What kind of chicken? Light or dark meat, bone in or out, it only matters for amount of prep. If you want to get bone-in chicken, you can boil it til it’s almost done and then peel the meat off. White meat shreds better than dark meat. I pan fry it with seasonings and butter or olive oil.
Who needs cable when you can watch all your TV online – for free? According to this article by Variety, nearly 22 million adults cancelled their cable and satellite TV by the end of 2017! With the average cost of cable TV at around $100 per month, you can save a ton of money by cutting the cable cord. These websites will let you watch your favorite shows and movies online, for free! If you have a tool like Chromecast, Roku, or the Amazon Firestick you can stream videos from your phone to your TV.
Free TV Online
- Popcorn Flix
- Snag Films
- Tubi TV
- YouTube, which is not supposed to have copyrighted content, has plenty of it. There are a lot of series uploaded to YouTube.
- Major networks like Lifetime, ABC, NBC, and PBS let you watch some episodes for free online.
- Hulu and Netflix are not free, but you can get free trials. Even if you do sign up, at only $8/month for Hulu and $10/month for Netflix, the cost is only a fraction of a cable bill.
The internet, which used to bring a sense of anonymity, is now the easiest way to find out everything about you. We learned in March 2018 that Facebook has given away the private data of over 50 million users. Now that your information is out there and freely accessible to practically anyone, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself.
Fortunately, there are a still a few ways to improve your online privacy and keep your private data private.
Dos and Don’ts for Online Privacy
- Don’t post personal information (phone number, address, school, job, etc.) on anything public
- Don’t post pictures, bulletins, notes, etc. that show you doing something that is illegal or would otherwise get you kicked out of school/fraternity/clubs
- Don’t become “friends” with someone you don’t know
- Don’t post anything threatening someone. Besides being terrible, it can be used against you by future employers and the police
- Don’t post inappropriate comments on public websites
- Don’t provide your credit card information on unsecure websites
- Do set your online profiles to private
- Do delete any posts, pictures, or videos that you don’t want potential employers (or your grandma!) to see
- Do protect your profiles, blogs, email, and cloud storage with strong passwords
- Do avoid sharing private information when logged into public Wi-Fi
- Do Ungoogle Yourself
Free Antivirus Software
If you want to go totally nuclear, you can delete yourself from the internet. This isn’t really your best option, as most employers look for some kind of online identity, and nearly all applications are done online.