We’re lucky to live in a time when nearly everything can be run by technology – including managing finances. With the right tools and skills, it’s easy to stay on top of different areas of your life like budget, investment, banking, and bills management among others. Below are simple ways to make life easier by leveraging the power of technology in managing your financial tasks.
Track your spending habits
If you often find it difficult figuring out where your money goes or why you have less than you thought, it’s likely that you have a serious spending problem. To overcome it, you need to get an accurate picture of where every coin you earn goes. And no, you don’t need to carry around a pen and a paper to write down all your expenditures. You can simply use a mobile phone app or program that tracks all this for you.
There are numerous personal finance tools available today to help you aggregate different financial accounts and track any activities in them. Connect your preferred program to accounts like bank, mortgage, investment portfolio, retirement, and credit cards among others. This way, you can easily access key information on personal spending, income flow, saving patterns, and investments.
Create your budget
Once you’ve understood your typical cash flow and expenditure, use this information to create a realistic budget for yourself. Budgets are great tools as they help you know how much you can afford to spend in a particular category every month, how much money you require to meet your basic needs, and what areas need reassessment.
When creating a budget, your priority should be on the fixed expenses like household utilities, rent, car, and life insurance. Calculate their total amount and subtract it from your monthly take-home. You can then work with what remains to sort out the adjustable expenses like recreation, internet, and shopping among others.
To make your work easier, use one of the many user-friendly budgeting tools such as Mint to ensure you’re not spending too much money on pointless activities at the expense of the basic needs.
Investing can be intimidating to anyone including the most money-savvy individuals. In particular, concepts like stocks, dividends, retirement plans, and index funds can be difficult to understand especially when starting out. However, like anything else, you have to start somewhere and don’t need to be an expert to become a successful investor.
The key to successful investing lies in diversifying your portfolio across many stocks. To learn more about diversification and investment in general, check out resources such as Investopedia that show you what and how much to invest in a particular vehicle.
Nonetheless, do your own diligence at all times and never over-rely on any tool to guide you on investing your hard-earned money. Remember that most investments come with their fair share of risks and as such, it’s upon you to decide how much loss you can take should the unexpected occur.
It is no coincidence that online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are some of the most profitable businesses today. More and more consumers are going online to do their shopping thereby resulting in a boom in the number of e-commerce websites and apps.
With these platforms, you can save on both time and money by cutting costs like travel as well as having the ability to compare prices offered by different sellers. Others also list coupons and tokens that shoppers can use to collect discounts on their favorite marketplaces.
Late payment of bills can have a ruinous effect on your credit and the reason you should strive to avoid it. Unfortunately, as commitments and the number of bills grow, it’s almost always inevitable to forget paying for some bills on time – at least when you have to memorize each. Luckily, you can do better with technology.
Do you have a recurrent bill that has been proving troublesome to remember? Use tools that help you set it to auto-pay. This way, it gets sorted out without any input from you. On the other hand, if you still have to make manual payments, consider using the same technology to send timely reminders on the same.
Gone are the days when you had to drive to your bank to collect your salary on the payday. With the advent of online banking, it’s now possible to pay bills, make online purchases, send checks, and complete many other related tasks from the comfort of your home. Enjoy the convenience that comes with technology even in your banking processes.