Newswise — Learning how to manage your own finances is an important part of being a newly independent student. Managing your money using digital tools can make the task quick, easy and even fun. Ryerson Digital Media Zone startup Spenz, has created a free budget tracking app to help you figure out where your money is going, which is half the battle. Here are some of Spenz’s tips on how to use digital tools to save and manage your money:
Make money• Learn a digital media trait or skill such as designing websites or freelance yourself on the side to make some extra cash. • Find student jobs through job boards like DMZ company Fanfare.• Attract employers’ attention by creating a LinkedIn and Vizualize.me profile.
Save moneyTurn to the Internet for money saving deals:• Foursquare.com is a great way to catch deals because it is location based, so you can find the best deals in your area quickly and efficiently. • Check out local daily deal sites like DMZ grad TeamSave.com • Search online garage sale sites like Kijiji and Craigslist for purchases of all types• Check for student discounts through your university or college website.• Search for online coupons• Comparison shop to find the best deals
Instead of buying a cell phone this September and being locked into deals, invest in an iPod Touch. Through this, you can easily access Skype, which gives you free communications with friends and family all over the world. If you need a soft phone number, Skype can offer you this for a mere $14 a month. All you need is some free-wifi access, which most universities and colleges provide.
To save some more cash, try downloading your textbooks! Try www.coursesmart.com, or Google your textbook online for a great PDF version. Text books represent a significant back to school expense, and this is a great way to cut costs.
Skip the traditional laptop and go for an iPad. A great laptop with warranties can cost over $1000, but an iPad is a mere $499 and has all the same basic functions, not to mention it’s much smaller.
Beware of digital money traps• Digital tools are convenient, and with convenience comes convenience charges. From tickets to delivery charges, sometimes it’s cheaper to just go get things yourself. For example, go to the box office to pick up tickets to minimize services charges, or go to the grocery store instead of having groceries delivered. • Be careful of some online deals. Things that seem too good to be true probably are. Never give out personal information like your credit information or security numbers and always check for security features to make sure your purchases are secure.
Track your spendingUse a digital tool to track your expenses so you can identify and modify bad spending habits. Be sure to check out Spenz at www.spenz.com for its free web and mobile ”where did my money go?” app. This tool was created to help track your daily expenses quickly and easily. It is completely customizable and can be edited to suit your individual needs. Spenz is one of 24 companies currently incubating at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone. For more digitally-themed back to school expert tips, visit the Back to School page at www.ryerson.ca/dmz.
Digital Media Zone expert available for interviews:Justin HeinCEO of Spenz
Contact Heather Kearney to speak with Justin