Want Budgeting to Stick With Your Students? Find an App!

Apr 28, 2015
Activity, Budgeting, Lesson Idea, New Products, Current Events

USA Today reporting on recent Neilsen study that shows 1) More consumers using budgeting apps on their mobile phones 2) Those that do, are successful at controlling their spending:

In a survey of more than 3,600 smartphone owners who use their phones to shop or bank, out this month, 18% said they use their phones to budget and of those, 69% said they strongly or mostly agree that budgeting apps have helped change their spending habits.

Why do people enjoy using budgeting apps?

The most popular reason given for using budgeting apps was because they save time and because people like that the apps automatically track their habits, usually by linking with bank accounts and pulling in transaction data.

New term alert for what changes caused by the budgeting apps:  micro habit:

Von Tobel calls it a micro habit, a small change that helps keep your money front of mind.  “It gives you insights that you never had before and it makes you more aware of problems,” she says. “Money then becomes something that’s really fun and you engage with because it’s not a source of enormous stress.”

So, we know that students love their mobile phones and we know that most people who use budgeting apps are able to change their spending habits…Sounds like a great activity!

Have students research budgeting apps and use them for a month.  Here’s an article to get them started as it lists 7 of the top budgeting apps.


Check out NGPF’s most popular lesson:  Creating a Budget!

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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