5 Ways To Leverage Technology To Improve Your Personal Finances

Posted: Jan 29 2020, 5:39am CST | by

 
5 Ways to Leverage Technology to Improve Your Personal Finances
5 Ways to Leverage Technology to Improve Your Personal Finances

How Technology Can Help Your Personal Finances

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the average American is notoriously bad at managing their own personal finances. Between high debt, out of control expenditures, poor savings habits, and a lack of diversified investments, most households are just one or two unforeseen emergencies away from disaster.

The good news is that you don’t have to constantly live on the brink of imminent failure. By utilizing the right technology and instilling the appropriate behaviors, you can take charge of your finances once and for all. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Use a Budgeting App

Gone are the days of paper budgets and clunky spreadsheets. Thanks to an array of intelligent apps and user-friendly budgeting solutions, it’s never been easier to plan and track your money.

There are more than two-dozen budgeting apps available for download, but a few stand out above the rest:

  • EveryDollar. The beauty of EveryDollar lies in its simplicity. This zero-based budgeting app is user-friendly, easy to work with, and allows you to quickly and seamlessly plan ahead. If you actually want to track your expenses in real-time, you can pay for EveryDollar Plus, which links with your bank account and registers each transaction.
  • YNAB. If you’re a numbers person who is serious about budgeting, YNAB is for you. While it may intimidate the average user, it has a robust list of features that makes it perfect for customizing a budget to any user’s needs and preferences.
  • Mint. Year in and year out, Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps around. It’s easy to use, can be customized, and allows users to link bank accounts to track expenses and income with very little effort.

Feel free to try out each of these apps to see which one makes the most sense for you and your budget.

2. Establish Spending Controls

A budget alone isn’t enough to keep you financially grounded. Some people need further measures to ensure they actually follow through on the budget. We’ll refer to these as spending controls.

One option is to use prepaid debit cards, as opposed to traditional debit cards or credit cards. This limits the amount of money you can spend and helps ensure you don’t fork over money you don’t actually have.

3. Automate Bill Payments

If you’re like most people, you occasionally forget about your bills and get saddled with late fees and notices. Not only does this increase the amount you owe, but it also hurts your credit.

The best way to avoid late bill payments is to schedule auto payments. You can then reallocate your mental energy and focus to other important financial matters.

4. Grocery Shop Online

Food is one of the most expensive line items in any household budget. And even if you cook the majority of your meals at home – versus eating out – the monthly grocery bill can add up.

Shopping in the supermarket makes you prone to hungry/emotional purchase decisions. But you can often thwart irresponsible spending by shopping online and using pickup or delivery. This enables you to see exactly how much you’re spending before finalizing the transaction.

5. Streamline Investing

Most people know they need to invest, but few take the time to actually do it. Thankfully, there are some apps and online solutions that you can use to streamline investing and make it as easy and effortless as possible.

“With the financial app Acorns, for example, you connect your account with a bank account, and every time you swipe your linked credit or debit cards, Acorns automatically rounds up the layout and moves your change out of your checking and into a brokerage account, which is then invested into select exchange-traded funds,” Stacy Rapacon writes for U.S. News & World Report.

Another option is to simply set up automated monthly contributions – much in the same way you can with bill payments. However, regardless of which approach you use, it’s imperative that you regularly check in on your investments to see how they’re performing.

Take Charge of Your Finances

In this day and age, there are no restrictions with access or visibility. This means there’s no excuse for mismanaging your money or being unaware of your financial situation. Implement the right tech solutions and practice self-discipline. Over time, your commitment to the details is what will set you apart and allow you to be successful.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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