No matter what stage of life you are in, managing your personal finances can be an overwhelming challenge that feels a bit like a full-time job. Understanding how debt and credit work, balancing multiple bills each month and having a system for saving for both short- and long-term goals is a dance even the savviest individuals find difficult to master. But in the digital age, there are plenty of tools available to make money management a breeze. Utilizing mobile and desktop applications, tapping into online resources, and using automation to your advantage all tip the financial scales in your favor. Here are a few ways on using tech to get your personal finances under control.
There’s an App for That
Over the last decade, an influx of technology-based tools has been developed and perfected to help those on the path toward financial wellness. Tasks, like creating a realistic budget, tracking monthly spending, and investing, have all been embraced by the digital world. Making it far easier to tackle just about any financial hurdle you face. A quick search online reveals thousands of options for financial technology applications that can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. And there seems to be a new solution added each day.
It can be a bit daunting to determine which applications are best suited for your specific personal finance needs. But starting with a budgeting tool is a safe bet. Some apps allow users to quickly and securely link bank accounts and credit cards to a tracking system. Therefore reducing the time and effort of creating a well-rounded budget immensely. Other mobile or desktop tools give users the ability to monitor spending in various categories. They also make recommendations on how to eliminate unnecessary charges or overspending in specific areas. Using one or more of these money-tracking apps can lend a powerful hand to getting your finances in order. Consequently putting you back on the right path.
Online Resources – for Free!
In addition to money-friendly mobile and desktop applications, personal finance management can be made easier with the help of countless online resources. All which are free to use. If you prefer not to use an app for tracking spending or creating a budget, you can quickly find a spreadsheet template that provides an easy-to-follow format for establishing a bi-weekly or monthly cash flow system. There are also several templates available for bill calendars that allow you to enter the details of who you owe. Including the amounts, and when, taking some of the pain out of keeping up with your monthly obligations.
If you’re struggling to understand what you owe in terms of debt, and to whom, you’re in luck. There are several online resources that provide information about your financial picture, including debt balances and payments. For those with federal student loans, the Department of Education maintains the National Student Loan Data System which acts as the central database for student federal aid. Here, borrowers can simply input some of their personal information and retrieve details on what federal student loans are outstanding. Keep in mind that this database is useful for federal borrowers only; borrowers who took out loans from other lenders would need to check with their respective lender.
Similarly, nearly all credit card issuers provide information about balances owed and payments due through online platforms at no cost. Credit history details can also be retrieved from a single site for each of the three major credit reporting agencies for free, once per year, helping you stay on top of your financial health.
Turning on Autopilot
When the basics of money management are already known. Including creating a workable budget and determining debts owed. Technology can be used to take your finances to the next level. A large percentage of banks, credit unions, lenders, and investment companies allow individuals to create automatic contributions or payments with a simple click of a button. Turning on autopilot for debt repayment prevents missed or late payments over time. And makes it far easier to budget each month. In the same vein, establishing automatic savings plans each pay period or each month builds a strong habit of paying yourself first. A concept most individuals fail to embrace early on in life. Automating payments and savings is a simple way to use technology to your advantage and grow your wealth in the future.
The digital age is not everyone’s cup of tea. But when it comes to managing your money, technology can be a lifesaver. Whether you need to create a budget, track spending each month, find out what you owe, or start setting aside for your future. Tapping into the resources available to you through mobile or desktop applications, online resources, and automated services can lessen the burden of managing personal finances quickly and easily.