If you’re going off to college, this could be the very first time that you’re living on your own and that can be legitimately scary. Luckily, there are a host of mobile apps and services which can help you adapt to life on your own.
We’re going to take a look at five apps which can help you live on your own but these aren’t the only ones out there. Feel free to let us know your favorite apps in the comments below.
Unless you’re moving into a dorm room, you’re going to need to find a place to live and while you can always go to Craigslist, I like the HotPads service and app. The layout on the web app is very easy to decipher, it’s full of information and the mobile apps for the iPhone and Android are perfect compliments for when you’re on the go due to its location-based services.
There are a multitude of apps and services which can also help you find apartments or rentals with strong mobile apps, including Rent.com and others but unless you’re living in New York, try not to spend much money on finding a place.
One of the most difficult things to do when you’re living on your own is creating a budget and sticking to it. Luckily, the Mint service offers a visually-pleasing way to keep track of your finances and the iPhone and Android apps will provide you with a mini money manager in your pocket.
The service works by you inputting your banking and credit card user names and passwords into it so that it can give you an accurate representation of your finances. I know this sounds scary to some of you but it does use hardcore encryption and it’s owned by Intuit. From there, the free service lets you keep track of how much money you have, how much debt you owe and it even lets you set up savings goal.
Nothing is free in this world, so it’s important to know how Mint makes money. The company will look at your credit card rates or savings rates and offer you ways to save. If you do switch to a different bank or credit card, it will get a cut of that from the bank or credit. For most consumers, it’s a great, free way to take care of all your finances.
Man (and woman) cannot live off pizza alone. I know that the delicious substance is cheap, hot and easy to get in your home but learning how to cook saves you money in the long run and will likely lead to better, healthier food. Check out the Epicurious app on multiple mobile platforms in order to find a beautiful way to learn how to cook.
Beyond having a gorgeous user interface (particularly on the tablets), the Epicurious apps are laid out extremely well with recipes that vary in difficulty. While making a parmesan foam might sound wonderful, I’d suggest you start out less ambitious and just pick out a few low-key, tasty recipes. The Epicurious app also lets you share recipes with your friends and families, as well as e-mail yourself shopping lists. Definitely check it out and your stomach will thank you.
The notion of a redemption card at a grocery store isn’t exactly hip but if you look at your monthly bank statements, don’t be surprised to see if the locations that come up most often are grocery stores and pharmacies. You can’t afford not to use these company’s discount programs and the Cardstar app will let you get the best price without having to carry around a million cards.
The idea is brilliant in its simplicity: You simply input your customer loyalty card into the app and your phone will turn into a scannable redemption card for the grocery store, pharmacy and more. Cardstar has even started to integrate with Groupon, so you’ll also have location-based offers at your fingertips.
Living on your own also means that you’ll likely have to get a job but it’s not always possible to get a full-time gig while you’re also taking a full load at school. If you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you can use apps like Gigwalk to make a little cash on the side.
The Gigwalk app lets people pay smartphone users to do certain tasks like taking pictures of restaurants for a fixed fee. Geting the gigs via the app is pretty easy and pay ranges from $3 to $90, which could come in handy. Other apps like Zaarly are available on the iPhone and Android and this will also let you do common tasks in your off time to make a few bucks.