5 apps to help you survive freshers' week
‘Don’t believe the hype.’ Expect to hear killjoys inadvertently reciting these Public Enemy lyrics as they moan about freshers’ week. Ignore them: freshers’ done right is a seven day story-collecting marathon.
Unfortunately, it can turn out to be extremely expensive and – as with a real marathon – will leave you with completely exhausted, aching all over and thinking you deserve a medal of sorts. While there isn’t an app to help you physically, the five below will at least aid things financially.
1. mySuperList (by MySuperMarket.co.uk)
It’s not thrilling, but it’s damned helpful. Use mySuperList to draw up a shopping list and it’ll tell you how much your basket comes to, what cashback is available, and where the cheapest place to buy is – comparing Aldi, ASDA, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Boots and Superdrug. Better still, the app shows what offers each supermarket has on, making it easier to shop the bargains.
Why get it? It will save a money on every supermarket trip. Yes, even the boozy ones.
Free on iPhone. ‘Coming soon’ to Android (just FYI, it's been 'coming soon' for a while now... but fingers crossed.)
Don’t let the punning* name kid you: it’s a serious app which links to your bank account, but rest assured it works securely and safely. OnTrees is an app which keeps users on budget by handily having all outgoings and incomings in one place. Create a budget and OnTrees monitors how closely you’re sticking to it - helping you to stop wasting your cash.
Helpfully, it’s great for tracking what you overspend on – so when money is tight, you’ll know which things to give up. For what it’s worth, 90% of students recommended it in a trial for NUS.
Why get it? Budgeting is crucial at university – particularly during freshers’ week. This is the best app for that – though many exist, so you may find another suits your preference, like DollarBird (which is unfortunately £1.49).
* Money doesn't grow on... geddit?
It took me a while to ‘get’ this app – but after using it for a week or so, it made sense. It works as so: take a photo (or find one) of something you’re saving toward. Then, every time you don’t make an impulse purchase, make a note of it and OrSaveIt calculates how much you’ve ‘saved’ by not spending, and hence how much closer you are to reaching your target. It’s the friend who says ‘Hey, how about we have one fewer drink each night and use the money we’ve saved for a roadtrip?’
Why get it? Because budgeting is hard and despite every best effort, it’s all too tempting to blow your cash, especially after a drink. This app incentivises saving – which is close on invaluable at uni.
4. Top CashBack/Quidco
Top Cashback: free on iPhone and Android.
Quidco: free on iPhone and Android.
There remains a slight scepticism surrounding cashback – and sure, it sounds like the kind of scheme which suspect Nigerian Princes email about. But cashback is straightforward: get money back on purchases you’d usually make. The savings can be substantial - £8.50 off a £25 supermarket shop is fairly commonplace, and there are often freebies. All that’s required is clicking the links cashback sites provide. That’s where these two apps come in: they detail cashback available (including payment for simply walking in and out of shops – no, really!), let you make money on the move and offer vouchers too. It’s worth having both as they have slightly differing deals.
Why get it? Cashback means there are consistently offers on practically everything, so you can avoid paying full price when you pick up all the essentials you somehow left at home. And getting paid to window shop? That’s hard to resist.
5. Find my iPhone/Android Device Manager
That people still lose their phone is something of a comfort – it’s nice to know people do escape their mobiles for long enough to forget them. This said, replacing one can be horribly expensive so download ‘Find my iPhone’ and you’ll be able to locate your iPhone and other Apple devices from any other iOS device.
‘Where’s my droid?’ is the android equivalent, though I’d recommend typing ‘Android Device Manager’ into Google instead, which is better and allows one to remotely wipe their phone.
Why get it? In the first weeks of uni, you’ll be bouncing between lecture halls and libraries, bar crawls and halls – and all while unfamiliar with a new city. These GPS locators are a phone-saver.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Telegraph, as we originally tapped it up for them.