Twenty years ago, the technological advancements that we have now would have seemed like crazy ideas. Shopping for almost everything online, making payments on an app, and having a budget management tool right in your very pocket would’ve been unimaginable by then. But now, we have all of these things and more, making almost everything much easier and accessible, including managing finances.
Stop using your planner as a budgeting tool or going to the bank for every transaction. Here are the different ways you can leverage technology to make personal financial management easier and more efficient.
1. Consider the bank’s app before applying
Almost every bank in the world today has a corresponding online app. However, not all banking apps are made equal. There are apps that allow you to do almost every transaction entirely on the app, but there are also banks whose apps could use a ton of work from the interface to the services offered.
That said, it’s a good idea to check out the bank’s online app while finding out how you can open a checking account on their website. Before you apply, you should ensure that their app will meet your financial needs. For instance, if you make a lot of online payments, you should choose a bank with an app that has almost no downtime and has an easy, speedy interface.
2. Use a budgeting app
There’s nothing wrong with using a spreadsheet or a good ol’ notebook to manage your budget, but there are so many more benefits that a budgeting app can offer you. Take a look at Mint, for example. Mint can connect to all of your financial accounts, helping you track your transactions without logging them manually and alerting you when you’re going over budget. Honeydue is another great financial app but is geared towards couples. With this app, partners can see their financial snapshots in one place, including bank accounts, loans, investments, and credit cards.
But if you want to keep things simple, there are a lot of budgeting apps that simply allow you to categorize expenses, log transactions manually or automatically, and plan your expenses in the future.
3. Automate bill payments
It’s not always easy to forget about bills, especially because you pay them every month, but it can happen. And when you go past your due date, late fees can make your bill unnecessarily larger.
To avoid this problem, you can use a personal finance app or your banking app to automate bill payments. In this way, you are sure that you pay your bills every month and on time, which helps you avoid incurring late fees and possibly hurting your credit score.
4. Scan documents
Scanning is another nifty feature that recent smartphones are capable of. Use your phone to scan important financial documents, such as receipts, files, account statements, and bills. Keeping digital copies of these documents ensures that even when the physical ones are destroyed, you still have a copy on your phone and on the cloud. After the physical documents serve their purpose (whether it’s for taxes, insurance, loan application, or something other), you can shred them but still have digital copies just in case.
However, just be sure to store your financial documents in a secure digital space like a reliable cloud service. These documents contain sensitive information that can get you in serious trouble if stolen. Hence, ensure that your files are encrypted, secured, and kept in a private folder. If you store these files on a physical device, it is also a good idea to keep them in a secure place.
5. Shop for groceries online
Shopping for groceries online seems lazy when markets and grocery stores are easily accessible. However, this method of food shopping can actually provide many benefits aside from convenience.
For one, when you shop for groceries online, you know exactly how much your cart costs. It’s easier to remove or add items according to your budget, as well as avoid impulse purchases and temptations. Moreover, you get to save money on gas, not to mention the time and energy it will take to shop for groceries yourself. And if you’re the type of person who has to stop by your favorite fastfood restaurant or a food kiosk after shopping, this tip can help you avoid those unnecessary expenses altogether.
It’s amazing how far technology has come, and sometimes we are not even fully aware of how much modern tech really has to offer. But now that you know how to leverage technology for your personal finances, you can better manage your money more efficiently and conveniently, all while helping you avoid unnecessary expenses.