Everyone to a certain extent practices personal finance management. It is just that there are some people who tends to practice and focus more on it than others. This simply means that managing your money is one of the most important aspects in life and one that will help you either reach your financial dreams or put you in debt.
There is nothing wrong with trying to get a grip on personal finance while you are still young or even after college. The important thing is that you are trying to manage your funds the best way you can. In the course of your journey to try and find the best budgeting technique or how to efficiently stay on top of your budget, you might have come across the benefits of using technology to manage finances.
One example of this is online banking and the potential of this has not gone unnoticed. As Bloomberg.com reports how Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is set to acquire General Electric Co.’s online banking unit with about $16 billion worth of deposits. Even big companies are already taking notice of the how technology is changing the financial landscape.
Technology has brought about a multitude of products and services for a wide variety of needs and the financial industry is one of them. There are a lot of established lending and banking institutions that are taking advantage of what modern technology has to offer outside a corporate website that sees to be passive in letting people know what they do and the services they offer.
There are banking businesses that are making use of an interactive site or even developing mobile applications that will help their customers be more active with their money. There are also a number of third-party applications that can help consumers with multiple transactions or monitoring functions for their budget.
Using technology to manage your finances
If you are looking for the best way to use technology for your personal finance needs, here are a few ideas you might want to look into. These are what most people do to make their money management a little bit easier and they are also able to save time from these habits.
- Buy non-perishable groceries online. There are a number of online stores that offers you a wide range of needs from clothes to equipments and even accessories. It is also possible to buy your groceries online and the best part is, you can even automate the purchase so your order is delivered on a specific schedule. This is a great time-saving routine that will help you make sure you never run out of items at home. Of course there are still some items that might be better off bought when needed like vegetables or even milk. You get to choose the quality of the vegetable and you get to look at the expiration date on that milk.
- Get your employer to deduct for 410(k). One of the many ways to retire early is to start saving for it early and automatically. Most employers offer the option to automatically deduct a certain amount off of your pay to go to your 401(k). You might want to consider taking advantage of this because it can greatly help your chances of saving for retirement rather than using the money elsewhere. Even before you see it, it already goes to your retirement fund. Study also the mechanics of employer-matching programs if you have one to take advantage of that free money.
- Automate your bill payments. There are certain bills at home that doesn’t change in amount say your mobile plan or even your cable. For these types of bills, you might want to consider enrolling in automatic bill payment every month. It takes away the need to constantly make sure that you are sending those payments early and that you do not incur any late fees and charges. Just be sure to keep all billings and payment receipts that you will get in your email in a specific folder per bill so you have a diary of payments in case you need to backtrack.
- Automate your student loan payments. WSJ.com again congratulates the 2015 college graduates just as they did with the 2014 class. But this refers to having the highest amount of student loan average debt which at present is at an alarming figure of $35,000 per borrower. As you look for ways to make sure that you do no default and that you actually meet all your payments, you can also look at enrolling in an auto-debit program with your lender. Apart from not missing a payment schedule, another good side to this decision is that there are lenders who are willing to shave a little off of your interest rate in return for an assured monthly payment.
- Monitor your budget on the go. Personal finance is a mixture of a lot of components and your household budget is one of them. You need to be consistent with your goal and make sure that you are not overspending and you are well within your set boundaries especially when it comes to purchases. You might have seen your parents do their budget with pen and paper and have a folder for it in their study. But now, you can take advantage of technology and look at different online budgeting platforms that will help you manage your budget on the go. It can give you access to that budget wherever and whenever using your laptop, smartphone or even tablets.
- Scan important documents. This is another nifty advantage of what technology has to offer. Instead of holding on to physical files, documents and statements that might take up a huge space in your house, you can choose to scan some of them like bills and receipts and just keep them long enough for tax or insurance purposes. After a few years, you can shred the documents because you no longer have any use for it and you have scan copies just in case.
Technology also has a downside
There are also some drawbacks to technology and here are some of the things you might want to keep an eye out for.
- Security breach can affect your accounts. There are a lot of ways to protect against identity theft but online security breaches are becoming more and more a common occurrence in the country. There are banks and even shopping establishments that are getting hacked. One way to do this is to be up to date with the news and be aware of your online activity. Check your credit report as well for any
- You tend to spend more time than needed with devices. WashingtonTimes.com shares that on an average, people spend about 5 hours a day on their phones and this might cut out any productivity in you. When you spend more time checking Facebook or posting to Instagram or even checking out people on Tinder, you might be losing out on income opportunities. There is nothing wrong with an online social life but you need to make sure that it does not eat up a considerable amount time from your everyday work.
- Develop dependence with technology. Some people go as far as developing an unhealthy dependence on technology and they can no longer seem to function without it. You need to remember that technology is just a tool that you can use to help you make life a little easier. Smartphones that can help you communicate with a lot of other people, gadgets that you can use for play and even banks to help you make transaction on the go. But you need to remember that you are still a human being and not a robot dependent on technology to function.
Personal finance is a lot easier to control and manage with the help of technology. But at the end of the day, it just lists down and shows you where you are and you still need to make financial decisions to help you reach your goal. Technology can inform and even automate and suggest but it is still your call and you will still be the one to decide.