With rising inflation impacting all areas of the economy, the cost-of-living crisis is hitting the pockets of cash-strapped pupils. With the vast majority (94%) of uni students saying they have made changes to their financial behaviour in the past six months, money management is on the curriculum for those entering higher education this year.
But when it comes to finding an effective saving and earning solution, students have two things going for them: the ingenuity of youth, and recent innovations in financial technology. So to help hack a path to healthier student finances, we’ve compiled this cheat sheet of tech-powered gadgets and side hustles.
1. Dapio Tap to Pay
For students supplementing their income through self-employment, receiving and managing payments has traditionally been a tricky issue to surmount. While cash-on-hand has never been the safest or most scalable payment solution, investing in an electronic card reader can be an inconvenience for those on the move.
Spotting the gap in the market, Dapio has recently released a perfect solution to these problems. Using the tap-to-pay app, merchants can turn their smartphone into a dedicated payment reader. Suitable for commercial enterprises of any scale, this intuitive application enables rapid transactions from any Android-powered device.
To see the product in action, take a look at this video.
2. Budgeting apps
Managing your finances has always been a difficult skill for university students. While student loans may come in regular installments, patterns of expenditure can be difficult to predict. Whether paying unanticipated expenses or being enlisted for an impromptu night out, an effective budget planner should take into account the volatile nature of outgoings.
There are many budgeting apps available online, which can help you track and manage spending. These include an exciting range of fintechs like Revolut, Monzo, and Starling, each of whom offers real time spending data to help you gain better insight into your own financial behaviour. With this increased visibility, users are encouraged to make improvements to their money habits, thereby enabling them to reach their financial goals.
3. Join the sharing economy
The sharing economy has witnessed incredible growth in the past decade. Uber. Airbnb. Deliveroo. These economic disruptors have shaken up their respective industries, their business models founded on the simple principle that what’s mine can also be yours.
For uni students looking for extra income, this industry can present attractive opportunities. If you own a car, or have a spare bedroom in your rental accommodation, it’s worth considering how you can turn dormant resources to your advantage. With flexibility being a key advantage to such revenue streams, you can earn in your own time, in your own way.
4. Digital textbooks
One expense that tends to prove more costly than anticipated is student textbooks. For some subjects, the price of a specific edition can run into triple digits. To avoid being hit with gargantuan fees for each semester’s reading material, it helps to enter the online marketplace.
Digital editions of many major educational works can be found online, in the form of ebooks or PDFs. As long as you have an e-reader to hand - a brand new kindle can be picked up these days for just £79.99 - it’s possible to read, annotate, and save highlights, which can prove an effective study tool for students. These can be downloaded from sites including JSTOR, Library Genesis, Project Gutenberg, and Textbook Nova.
5. Tax and accountancy software
For enterprising students whose side-hustle earnings exceed their £1000 a year trading allowance, tax liabilities exist. To quickly and easily calculate the amount required to pay, it’s important to maintain an up-to-date record of earnings, as well as any expenses claimed. To help streamline this process, simple and affordable tools are available online or via app. Providers like Quickbooks and Xero provide state of the art accountancy solutions so that you can devote more time and effort to growing your business.