We all know that returning to university or college after a fun-packed summer can be a struggle. And trying to boost your savings in time for the academic year in September can certainly seem like a chore.
We reached out to our N26 ambassadors at Spanish universities to find out how N26 improves their day-to-day finances, and to learn about any tips and tricks they might have on saving. And yes, if you're wondering, it's entirely possible to stash away a few pennies during university!
1. Pay with your mobile phone
Something as simple as taking out your smartphone and bringing it closer to a contactless reader has become a common gesture in our daily lives. According to the Consumer Insights Survey, produced by PWC, 14% of Spaniards paid using this method at least once a week in 2018.
Mario Font, a 20-year-old Computer Engineering student, is one of our N26 Campus Ambassadors. For him, paying with his phone is convenient and much safer:
"I try to pay with my smartphone whenever I can. This is because by using my fingerprint to authorize the transaction, it gives me a level of security that a card payment could never provide".
With N26, add your Mastercard to pay with both Apple Pay and Google Pay. So, if you forget your wallet at home, you can always pay with your smartphone (which you always carry with you anyway!)
2. Control your expenses with Statistics
Another big problem students encounter is organization. Between having cash on-hand and some savings here and there, it's sometimes difficult to manage your money.
With the N26 app, you can view a rundown of your spending each month with a handy feature that automatically categorizes all your expenses and income. This way, you can see where your money goes at a glance. For example, to see how much you've spent on study supplies, you can add custom tags to each transaction, such as #uni or #photocopies.
Mario Font likes "the speed with which you can make these tags" and the possibility of "tagging a banking transaction that allows you to analyze what you spend, before dividing it into categories."
In addition, after each transaction, you'll receive an instant notification so that you don't lose track of everything that happens in your account. Perfect for those messy nights out that you struggle to remember the next day ;)
3. Save with Spaces
Now that you know how you can track what you spend, all you have to do is find a way to save a little money. However, as with many things, this is easier said than done.
Miguel Gutiérrez, a Naval Engineering student, happens to be one of those lucky people who are good at saving. Here's his tip on how to do it without even realizing it:
"I usually keep some of my money in a place where I don't see it, like N26 Spaces, for example. This way, I don't spend according to what I have, but according to what I see."
Spaces is a tool that allows you to set aside money and place it in a sub-account alongside your main account. It's a bit like a piggy bank, but without having to physically break it when you want to spend something. For example, if you're thinking about saving money for an end-of-exam trip with your friends, you can create a space. You can name it whatever you want, like "Interrailing 2020," before setting a goal.
Each month you can set aside an amount and you will see how close you get to reaching your goal little by little. This way, you avoid the temptation to spend it because it's separate from your main account. With that being said, if you need to access this money at any time, it's no problem. All you have to do is drag your funds from your space and drop it back into your main account.
4. Manage everything from your phone
Pay with your mobile, see what you spend, save with Spaces... we hope you're keeping up with us.
Another problem that students face is a lack of time. When you're running to classes, studying, playing sports and having a social life, the last thing you want is to waste an entire morning sorting something out at a bank branch.
With N26, you manage everything from your mobile. It's as simple as that.
Yes, that's right—we don't have physical branches and we don't need them. For Miguel Gutiérrez, this means extra freedom to manage everything on-the-go without having to spend time going to the bank.
"It's fantastic being able to carry out all the formalities without having to go to a manager or an office. You can also get answers to your questions 24/7, no matter where you are".
You can use the N26 app to contact our Customer Service team, who are happy to help you every day of the week via the help chat. If you have any problems, it's (almost) as easy as writing a quick WhatsApp to your bank. Sounds good, doesn't it?
5. Travel and pay as if you were at home
After spending hours and hours at the library, all students are in need of a break— and this is where a little travel does the trick. For many, as soon as they have a little free time on the weekend or during the holidays, the idea of breaking out of a studying routine is very appealing. Thankfully, wherever you choose to go, your N26 card lets you pay in any currency without commission and gives you free ATM withdrawls within the Eurozone.
Martín Allende, a Business and Law student, says that paying with his N26 card has been his "salvation during his summer travels." For him, the most important thing is that "you are not charged when using an international currency" and with "instant notifications you can see what you are spending at any moment" with the updated exchange rate. For example, when you buy a plate of Pad Thai for 50 baht in Thailand, your phone will instantly notify you that you've paid €1.50.
Your money in N26
Above, you'll find just a few N26's benefits for students. If you want to try out all of these features, and many more, download the N26 app onto your phone, have your ID ready and just take a few minutes to register your personal details. We will then send the debit (and transparent) Mastercard to your home address. Best of all, it's free!