Mobile technology has made it easier than ever for people to manage their finances on the go. If you aren’t already using the latest technology to track your income and expenses, then you’ll want to consider how these four options could help you manage your money.
Check Your Accounts Online
Little more than a decade ago, banks could attract tech-savvy clients by offering online accounts. Giving account holders online access was a big deal because there were plenty of banks and credit unions that didn’t know how to use the technology well.
Today, banks can still attract new clients by advertising online account options. It isn’t enough to simply offer online access, though. They have to compete with each other by giving their clients better services and security features.
You can see evolving expectations by looking at how consumers use mobile banking services. In 2011, only 22 percent of mobile phone owners in the United States used their devices to access bank accounts. By 2014, 39 percent of mobile phone owners were using their devices to check their bank accounts online.
Perhaps even more important, 52 percent of smartphone owners used mobile banking in 2014. The people using the latest mobile devices, in other words, are also the people using technology to manage money on the go.
Image via Google Play
Creating a budget is one of the most important ways to take control of your finances. Without a budget, you don’t really know how you are spending your money. Of course, it’s not enough to just create a budget. You have to abide by it to reap the rewards.
Budgeting has always been a difficult task for individuals and families. Even if you’re good about tracking major expenses like your mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries, it’s tough to remember small things like cups of coffee and snacks.
Having the right apps on your smartphone makes budgeting easier because you can instantly create budgets and track daily expenses.
Some of the best budgeting apps include the following:
Wallet and Spendee are free apps. You can also try a lite version of Home Budget for free, but the complete version costs $5.99. By upgrading to the full version, however, you can synchronize accounts for every member of your family.
Since most budgeting apps use charts, you’ll want a smartphone with a large, high-resolution screen. If you can’t see the items and charts clearly, then you won’t benefit much from budgeting apps. The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display that will help you see every transaction.
Compare Prices When You Shop
The next time you’re shopping in a retail store, use your phone to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. You may find that you can save a few dollars by going to another store or buying the item online.
You don’t even have to do much research to make sure that you’re saving money. There are plenty of apps designed to help you comparison shop. Some good choices include the following:
Get Account Alerts Sent to Your Phone
Consumers spent $35.25 billion on overdraft fees in 2014. Considering that the average overdraft fee is $30, people overdrew their accounts more than 1 billion times in 2014 alone.
This is clearly a problem that people need to address if they want to make smart use of their money. Even if $30 doesn’t seem like a large amount, you can certainly think of better ways to spend it than giving it to your bank.
Many banks are making it easier for their clients to avoid overdraft fees by letting them sign up for mobile alerts. Once you sign up, the bank will send you a text message when your account balance drops below a certain amount. When your account gets low, you’ll know to reduce your spending until you can make a deposit, and you’ll avoid excessive fees.
Managing money always comes with some difficulties. By taking advantage of mobile technology, though, you can keep track of your finances more easily than people who still rely on old methods.