App Appeal: Get ahead in life, not just school
This week's app round-up includes programs that help you deal with back in school, including one that tracks your spending and one for unwise web browsing.
As we’ve all had pounded into our collective heads, now is not a great time to be a student. Debt has skyrocketed, and higher education largely exists to get the kind of fancy jobs that can pay back the school you attended to get said fancy job. It’s more advisable to learn a blue collar trade that will prepare you for the looming apocalypse that will probably never happen.
But if you can’t resist the call of continuing education — or, worse, if you’ve been stupid enough to get into a graduate program — you might as well exert the minimum of self-control. By that, we mean fiscal responsibility. Though Mint, an app that tracks your spending, can be used by all, it’s of particular use to those essentially throwing digital money to the wind.
Mint hooks up with your various accounts to remind you how much you’re spending at all times. Those expensive rare textbooks? Those whimsical trips to the bar to hobnob with fellow students you’ll never remember? Those why-not? food truck trips you made because the quinoa dish you made the night before suddenly wasn’t so sexy? It tabulates all that and throws it in your dumb face — and that’s on top of all the student loans that pile on your back. Of course, even if you track every last cent, you’re still going to wind up destitute.
Speaking of self control, there’s SelfControl, an app that blocks fun sites you’d rather visit than study or write papers. It’s easier than ever before to be lured away from monstrously dense academic tomes whose tangled sentences and willful obscurantism mysteriously put you to sleep. Yet they have to be read, and papers you will delude yourself into thinking are good, let alone make basic sense, have to be pounded out in fits of mad fury. SelfControl allows you, in a bout of logic, to schedule times for certain fun sites to be blocked, so that no one can drag you into the murk of comic book movie casting rumors and the like. And on the flip side, it gives your followers/friends periodic breaks from tweets and status updates that do little but complain about school and finals hell week mental collapses.