top financial apps for students

Top Five Financial Apps for Students

Students are often one of the groups in society that are most pressed for money. With financial obligations of school, additional course materials with steep price tags, and little time for part-time jobs in the background, it can be difficult to get through the entire school year and still have money left over.

With this in mind, a range of financial applications have been launched that specifically cater to these groups. From top budget applications that help students keep on top of their finances to financial planners for the future, there is an app for almost everything nowadays.

In this article, we’ve collected the top five financial apps for students in 2022, helping them find the very best applications that will aid them with their finances, from planning to budgeting. We’ll cover:

  • Mint – Best for Money Tracking
  • Wise – Best for Money Transfers 
  • Acorns – Best for Beginner Investors
  • Rakuten – Best for Cashback
  • PocketGuard – Best for Financial Overviews

Let’s get right into it.


Based on all-time app downloads, Mint is currently the most downloaded personal finance app ever. With this incredible statistic behind it, it’s no wonder that over 30 million users currently trust Mint with their personal finances. At the core, this is a money management application that allows students to clarify exactly where their money is going.

After you connect your bank accounts to mint, you’ll be able to see a complete overview of every transaction that comes in and out of your account. From there, students will be able to tag certain purchases with different categories. While there are a range of categories to choose from, students are also given the option of creating their own categories.

With this flexibility, students then have the power to track every single penny that leaves their account, attributing it to different categories. Within each one of these financial sections, they can then set a specific budget. Whenever they’re approaching this budget, Mint will alert them, ensuring that they never go over their set expenditure for a particular category.

Why Mint?

Quite simply, Mint is fantastic for students that need a little help understanding where their money is going. With their useful tracking tools, students will be able to stay on top of their money, understand where it’s going, and put a stop to any specific categories that they continually overspend on. 


The easiest way to transfer money abroad, simply named Wise, is an incredible app for students that regularly receive and send money. Compared with other leading money transfer applications, Wise offers students the cheapest possible fees, ensuring that whenever they send money, they’re going to be keeping the highest possible amount of that transfer.

For students, where every penny counts, receiving money into a Wise account instead of a specific bank account could be the difference between having a little extra to spend each week and using up all their budget without anything to show for it. If you’re sending money to a friend, then these payments will be significantly cheaper than with old-school banks, ensuring that your money always goes further.

What’s more, if you’re an international student, then this application really is a must-have. If you’re sending and receiving money from abroad, then Wise offers exchange rates that are pegged to the real current rates, as well as not taking huge fees on these international payments. With this, you’re able to send and receive money from absolutely anyone around the globe without it costing you huge amounts.

Why Wise?

Wise is the go-to app for money transfers. Whether you’re transferring money locally or internationally, the competitive rates ensure that your money goes further. With the ability to hold up to 53 currencies within the app, you’ll be able to send money across the globe, ensuring that both local and international students are always covered.


For students, the world of saving money and investing it may seem completely foreign. While for some, investing may come easily, others either don’t have the spare funds to invest, or simply don’t know how to get started. That’s where Acorns comes in, making the whole concept of saving and investing as easy as possible.

When you connect Acorns to your bank account, it will round up every payment to the nearest full denomination. This means if you spend $2.84, then Acorns will automatically round up the payment for $3.00, taking that extra $0.16 and putting it straight into an investment account for you. Although these small payments can seem insignificant, over many months, they can actually really build up, leading to a student creating a great base investment pot.

These investment portfolios are designed by experts, automatically adjusting based on your goals and how much money is in your account. With Acorns, you’ll have an expert managing your portfolio, making investing as easy as possible. By using this application, you’ll never have to think about investing, while creating your very own savings and investment accounts in the background of your everyday purchases. It couldn’t be easier.

Why Acorns?

The passive strategy of Acorns means that students can access an investment and savings strategy that works for them, without having to take any time to look into these areas themselves. It is incredibly easy, working automatically in the background and ensuring that every student has some extra funds lying around for when they need them.


The central purpose of Rakuten is to earn cash back every time you shop. Instead of focusing on saving you money or helping you to grow an investment account, as is the case with the other applications on this list, Rakuten allows you to spend less money when shopping. Rakuten gets a fixed fee from stores when you use their cards, a percentage of which they then give back to students.

With Rakuten, you’ll be able to get up to 15% cashback on major stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Macy’s, Target, and many many more. With this, you’ll get cashback instantly, allowing you to spend less when shopping. Considering it takes less than 30 seconds to create an account with Rakuten, this is an extremely effective way of ensuring your student budget goes even further.

Rakuten has currently given over $2 billion USD in cashback to their users, demonstrating the extremes that this application has gone to in order to save people money. You’re able to get Rakuten on in-person shopping or through their online browser extension, ensuring that you continually get a few pennies back here and there on your purchases.

Why Rakuten?

Rakuten is an application that you can sign up to and then forget about. In the background it will find discount and cashback opportunities that you can take advantage of, ensuring that you get money returned to you after every single purchase you make in major stores. This helps you save money in the long run as things will cost you up to 15% less when you shop through Rakuten.


PocketGuard pulls all of your accounts into one central location, giving you a complete overview of your bank account cash, any savings you have, your student loan, rent payments, and absolutely everything that’s connected to you financially. With this, students are able to access a generalized view of their accounts, ensuring they know exactly where they stand in terms of finances.

PocketGuard is a very general application, offering a little bit of everything. It allows you to track your finances, stay on top of your bills, as well as create financial goals that you can then work toward. The autosave function of PocketGuard will help you build toward financial freedom, helping you to save money when you’re not spending as much.

Over time, PocketGuard will act as an all-in-one application that helps students to keep track of their spending while also working toward savings goals. No matter whether you’re tracking the amount of debt you have to pay off or your current path toward hitting a certain amount saved, this app does it all.

Why PocketGuard

PocketGuard is the catch-all application, pulling together everything you’ll need to know about finances as a student. The best feature of this application is the overview page, which will summarize all of your different accounts onto one screen. Knowledge is power, and having all of your finances in one place will allow you to plan for the future effectively. 

Final Thoughts

Saving money, especially in this current economy, is no small feat. But, with the help of these five applications, you’ll be much more equipped to deal with the daunting task of understanding your finances, dealing with money, and building toward a financially free future.

Students have a difficult job of balancing school and jobs with the prospect of saving for the future. While they’re not in an easy position, using some of the apps we’ve covered will ensure that they have the very best tools available to overcome the challenge.

From saving and transferring money to getting a financial overview or cashback on everyday purchases, these apps are essential for any student in 2022.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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