As a tech-savvy college grad, you want the convenience of managing your money on the go but don’t want to pay a fee to do so. The good news? You can save money and manage your finances for free using Google.
The following six Google personal finance tools will help student loan borrowers manage their money better.
1. Google Drive template gallery 2. Google Finance stock market tracker 3. Google savings calculator 4. Google’s flight ticket comparison 5. Google Shopping price comparison 6. Google Pay
1. Google Drive template gallery
Google Drive offers digital storage for anything from family photos to your student loan records — but it also gives you access to a vast library of spreadsheet templates that other people have created. With the free template galleries, you can get access to spreadsheets related to family planning, budgeting, wedding expenses, invoicing clients and more.
There’s a wide variety of docs, spreadsheets, and presentations that already have pre-populated templates for you to use. A certain spreadsheet could help you determine whether you should borrow federal and private student loans, for example.
As you find different templates you like and use often, you can save them to your own personal library of templates to access at a later date. To make it even more convenient, there’s a free Chrome extension called Drive Template Gallery so you can create and view various templates at a glance.
Just remember that Google doesn’t have a monopoly on helpful templates. Student Loan Hero interviewed one borrower who repaid student loan debt, thanks, in part, to downloading a loan amortization schedule template from Microsoft.
2. Google Finance stock market tracker
If you want to keep up with the stock market and your personal investments, the Google Finance stock market tracker is just what you’re looking for. This tool provides the most up-to-date stock market trends in real time, so you can keep tabs on the finance world.
Start by creating a mock portfolio within Google Finance and insert the stock symbol for the investments you own or want to monitor. Then the Finance tracker will populate relative information to your investment. You’ll be able to track the stock’s last price, market cap, that day’s gain or loss and see a graph of your investment’s values over time.
Check out local and international market tabs to stay apprised of every stock under the sun. You can also stay updated on the latest news and happenings with the Market Summary section, or use the site’s patented search bar to find the latest on trends that matter most to you.
Of course, this tool is more or less one-size-fits-all. For a detailed breakdown of your unique portfolio, try one of the best budget apps that includes wealth management features.
3. Google savings calculator
Another great tool inside Google is a simple savings calculator template you can use with your own figures. This free tool will produce a yearly summary of your savings, scheduled deposits and extra annual contributions — and integrate all of that into a graph so you can view your balance over time.
Just click the “Use this template” button at the top of the page and input your personal savings numbers. This can apply to investments, general savings accounts or other types of savings calculations you need to perform.
For example, when I input my own figures into the savings calculator, it shows that I will have invested $84,000 in the next 35 years and will earn $138,020.81 in interest.
To save a couple of clicks, try out Student Loan Hero’s simple savings calculator (below) too. It’s particularly helpful for measuring the impact of consistent monthly contributions to your accounts.
Tools like these are super helpful when saving for retirement or other long-term goals such as buying a house, since it shows whether or not you’re on track for a specific goal. It could also inspire ideas on how to reach that financial goal better, whether it’s taking more risks with investments or socking away more money every month toward that goal.
4. Google’s flight ticket comparison
As consumers, we’re always looking for ways to save money on travel. With Google’s flight comparison tool, you’ll have no problem finding the best times to travel at the most affordable prices.
Simply start by selecting your destination and travel dates. Google’s results will return with the best flight recommendations based on cost, as well as show you other options on similar flights. Change your search options to include a price range, specific airlines, travel times and types of seating classes to find the best deal.
Fares are updated once a day and you can sign up to receive email alerts right in your inbox by saving your flight information.
Like free-to-use competitors such as Kayak, Google’s tool also helps you to review booking options for hotels and vacation packages too.
5. Google Shopping price comparison
Thanks to Google Shopping’s price comparison tool, you no longer have to pay full price for anything. Simply enter an item in the shopping search bar, and the tool will populate the best results and prices for that particular purchase. Sort by the most popular, best-reviewed or lowest price to get customized results.
This shopping comparison tool is especially handy during the holiday shopping season. With everything from tech to clothing to gadgets, Google Shopping will help you find the best deal for anything you need to purchase.
Combine the tool with a Chrome browser extension to save money once you’ve clicked away from Google.
6. Google Pay
If you need to routinely send money, whether it’s to a landlord for monthly rent or mom or dad to help with Parent PLUS Loan repayment, this tool makes your checkbook obsolete. Online or in the app, Google Pay allows you to submit (or request) one-off or recurring digital payments to the contacts of your choice.
It’s especially useful for payment amounts larger than what other methods like Venmo can’t handle. Some e-commerce companies even accept Google payments too.
Simply connect your bank account to get started. If you prefer PayPal, you can link that account to your Google account for contacts and companies that take one type of payment over the other.
With that said, student loan companies and servicers will be slow to accept methods like Google Pay, so rely on mobile debt apps to monitor (and in some cases, make) payments instead.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
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