As college students, most of us are attached to our phones checking emails from professors, messages classmates and friends, Instagramming, and scheduling exams in our calendars. This year school year more than ever, I've relied on a few apps to keep life streamlined and make things a bit easier for life outside of school. I've compiled a list of five key apps that I use at least on a weekly basis (except Zipcar) that every student - every New Yorker, even - needs on their phone. Read on to see who / what / why!
Scoutmob is a super rad app that shows you the best deals based on where you are in town. My favorites are in the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. But don't get it twisted, Scoutmob isn't like most discount-food apps, nor does it require purchase ahead of time like Groupon. With Scoutmob, you tap your location, and deals pop up around you. If you want to plan ahead, you can scroll through a list of all available deals in all neighborhoods.
Usually a typical deal will offer 50% off a tab or dinner bill up to $30. I've Scoutmobbed at some of my favorite restaurants, and discovered many new eateries via mobbing. Also, sometimes they offer FREE food. You just go to a shop, usually a cafe, and you present your Scoutmob app to redeem a free cupcake or latte. Nice!
Level is a mobile monitoring app for your finances. Besides just keeping an eye on your bank statement, Level tells you exactly how much you are spending, and where you are spending it. It's less complicated than other systems like Mint, which I find gives me a feeling of information overload.
Level gives you the exact amount you should be spending daily, weekly, and monthly, based on your income and the percentage you want to put into savings. It's worth checking out. The longer you use it the more data you will have about where your money is going.
I'll give you an example. Level showed me I was spending FORTY PERCENT of what I earn at bars!!!! BARS!!!! That's insane. I've made some changes and Level is a great tool to get your head around managing your money, especially as a student.
PRIV provides at-home beauty services on demand. I've PRIV'd manicures before for myself, and also for myself and a friend (Mani for 2). The professionals come to you - whenever and wherever you want! In fact, my friend Bianca and I PRIV'd mani's one night when we were out at a bar! The manicurist came and did our nails in the back yard of Lucky Dog. Talk about sweet!
Another cool thing about the app is that you never exchange money with any professional. Payments are made and accepted through the app. A mani starts at $35, a haircut at $70. Check it out here - get beautified with your friends at home!
Cups is a seriously amazing app. If you live in NYC and drink coffee (duh) you NEED to download this app ASAP. It's a subscription service that allows you to buy unlimited monthly cups of coffee at independent cafes and coffee shops for a fixed price. YES! There are a range of prices and plans to suit your needs.
I've discovered many new coffee shops that I probably wouldn't have wandered into otherwise, one of my favorites being Ground Central. I also love the fact that you can support local businesses instead of corporate behemoths like Starbucks. That's a big selling point for me with this app. Don't worry, you don't have to pay before you try it. The first drink is on them!
This summer I moved three times in four months (that's a different story). Do you know how I got my shit in and out and all over Bushwick? ZIPCAR (and the help of my boyfriend, thank GAWD). I can't even say how amazing it is to have wheels when you want them in this city. It kind of makes me wonder how I got by before. Weekend trips? Zipcar. Massive shopping sprees to IKEA or even the Thrift Store (think home goods and crates full of vinyl) wouldn't be the same without a car. Plus, Zipcar is SO AFFORDABLE.
You have the option to pay $0 monthly with a $60 annual fee. I chose the plan to pay monthly without an annual fee, but just pick what works for you. It's completely worth it. Cars are all over the place. There is a Zipcar dispatch two blocks away from my house, and many more nearby as well.
Zipcar has also partnered with several universities to bring cars to campuses. Find out if your school is included.
Photographed by Style Society Guy