New App Helps College Students Stick to a Budget
Starting college can bring a slew of new challenges to kids, including living on a budget. Borrowing $20 from mom and dad is no longer an option when kids run short on cash. The trick is keeping track of expenses.
While many students are pretty good about keeping track of their big bills every month, such as tuition, dorm fees and textbooks , it’s frequently the midnight runs through McDonalds that eat away at what could be saved.
An app from Abukai may be a help for students. The app uses the features of a smartphone to do the work for kids. All they have to do is snap pictures of their receipts.
Abukai’s cloud-based service uses a set of algorithms to determine information used for reports. For instance, if there’s no address or ZIP code on the printed receipt, Abukai uses the GPS coordinates embedded in the photo along with its own business database to pinpoint the location of the transaction. The service also has optical character-reading capability to decipher handwritten receipts.
Students can request a report at any time. It includes cost categorization, date and vendor. For students abroad, Abukai automatically converts foreign currencies to dollars.
Once a report is created, it is sent via email to a preferred email address along with a PDF document with copies of the receipt images for the expenses in that report.
Using the app, budget problems can be identified early in the semester and families can work together to build better spending habits.
The free app is available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android . The service costs $10 a month -- about the price of a couple of Big Macs.
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