The transition from student to gainfully employed member of society isn’t always seamless, and it’s not uncommon for recent graduates to struggle with the sudden onslaught of financial and personal responsibilities.
In fact, in a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, American students scored below average when it came to financial literacy, falling behind other major developed nations like France, Australia and New Zealand.
Establishing basic budgeting, networking and lifestyle skills can make a world of difference and help you de-stress, realize a more fulfilling career and even shave years off of your student loan payments.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, there’s an abundance of apps to help you maximize both your productivity and efficiency and kickstart the rest of your life. Here are some of the best apps for money management, health, fitness and more.
Wally — For budgeting
If you struggle with budgeting, Wally is a free personal finance tool that compares your income to your expenses so you can get a better handle on your money. With Wally, you can keep track of upcoming payment due dates, and you can set an amount you’re able to spend each day to curb overspending. Wally is also one of eight apps that made the cut for Investopedia’s 2019 top personal finance apps list.
Personal Capital — For monitoring your growing net worth
Budgeting apps and spreadsheets give you a plan for your spending month-over-month, but Personal Capital is a free wealth management tool that shows you the bigger picture. With all your financial information in one place, you can find ways to make your money work for you, like by refinancing your student loans or identifying investment opportunities. This app can help you monitor your overall net worth by tracking asset and debt accounts in one place. You can use Personal Capital for retirement planning and to analyze the fees you’re paying on your various investment accounts.
Credit Sesame — For building credit
To be on the path to financial success, you need to build good credit. To help, Credit Sesame offers free credit scores and credit score monitoring. The app shows the factors that are impacting your score and makes suggestions on ways you can improve it. The tracking feature can also help you monitor your progress over time. Establishing good credit habits is essential, especially if you plan on buying a house or starting a family someday.
Career Building and Networking
Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz — For making new contacts
You may have heard of the dating app Bumble, but Bumble can be used for more than finding your next love interest. If you’re relocating or simply looking for new friends who share your interests, Bumble BFF is a feature in the app that can help you grow your community of friends and acquaintances. Bumble Bizz is another offshoot that can connect you with professionals and job opportunities.
LinkUp — For finding new job opportunities
Searching and applying for the right job can be a time-consuming process, especially when you’re trying to get your foot in the door. The LinkUp app indexes job listings from various employer websites. You can use the app to search listings and set up automated job alerts so you’re never out of the loop.
Skiplagged — For airfare hacking
If you’re a travel junkie, you need Skiplagged on your phone. The app uses an algorithm to show you the most affordable flights, including itineraries that have “hidden cities.” Instead of booking a direct flight to Chicago from Washington, D.C., the “hidden city” approach means booking an itinerary that goes from Washington, D.C. to Chicago to Omaha, but skipping the last leg of the trip.
Hopper — For forecasting flight and hotel deals
Digital Trends dubs Hopper one of the best travel apps around. The app predicts the cost of airfare and hotel stays at different locations. Say you want to travel to Thailand this year — Hopper will tell you the most affordable times to go. Then, after setting your travel dates, Hopper can watch the trip for you and let you know when there’s a good deal. The app will also forecast how the price will trend over the next few months.
Health and Wellness
C25K® 5K Trainer — For 5K training
The app C25K® conditions you to run a 5K. The app is free and gives you a daily jogging plan week by week until you’re able to run five kilometers (a little over three miles). Workouts are a combination of jogging and walking intervals that slowly help you build up the stamina to complete the race. The training lasts for eight weeks.
Calm — For sleep and stress reduction
Calm teaches meditation, mindful movement and stress relief techniques. The app has over 100 meditations to help you decompress. You can also play calming music, nature sounds and white noise through the app to improve your focus. Calm users even get access to bedtime stories read by popular actors and film directors. With all those features, it’s clear why Healthline named Calm one of the best meditation apps for 2019.