Pretty much everyone has a smartphone in their pocket these days. It might not be the latest model, but even a mid-range device is often enough to do some very complex tasks which were exclusive to high-end desktop computers just a decade or so ago. The progress here is amazing, but what’s also amazing is how few people are taking advantage of that situation. For most smartphone owners out there, it’s a glorified Facebook/YouTube/gaming/music machine and nothing more.
But some understand the true implications of what they have, and know how to take full advantage of what their devices have to offer. And when it comes to something like personal finances, there is definitely a lot to gain from using your smartphone the right way.
You don’t have to guesstimate the total value of your accounts or the next payment date for your loans if you have a good budget tracker installed. Most of the popular modern solutions on the market aren’t even complicated to use at all, so you can get started with just a few taps. How detailed you’re going to be with this is entirely up to you. Some budget trackers can allow you to go into extreme depth when defining your finances and tracking your progress.
But even some simple tracking points will be enough to improve the way you’re looking at your finances, if you aren’t paying attention to those things already. After using a budget tracker for just a while, you’re going to notice some definite improvements in the way your money flows.
Online banking is a service provided by default by pretty much every bank nowadays. So why aren’t you using it yet? In many cases, it doesn’t cost anything extra to activate it for your account, and it can simplify a great deal of operations. From simple things like checking your account on the go, to sending money and getting alerts for suspicious activities, online banking is a huge time saver that everyone should use.
Just make sure that you follow all security precautions when setting up your account though. Online banking is also a ripe target for many attackers due to its popularity, and you should be careful to avoid accidentally compromising your account. Don’t reuse passwords, use secure connections only, and ask your bank if they offer any hardware token options.
Keeping track of what you need to buy can become a nightmare if you have a lot of things on your mind. It gets even messier if you want to compare prices and ensure that you’re getting the best deal available. You should take advantage of some modern shopping list solutions to ensure that you’re not missing out on anything potentially important. These can be useful for anything from everyday shopping at the grocery store, to long-term purchases that require a lot of complex analysis, like a car or even a house.
Think of it as a separate notebook specifically designed to highlight every aspect of your purchases that will impact your finances and long-term prospects in some way.
Loyalty Programs and Discounts
Many stores offer loyalty programs and special discounts to users who use their apps or follow them on social media. But doing that without a smartphone can be very difficult, and in some cases outright impossible. You’re potentially missing out on a lot if you’re not actively exploring those options from time to time. Some stores will even directly give you back some of the money you’ve spent in them as long as you use their apps!
Of course, there’s no such thing as free lunch, and you’re going to have to spend some money to get those bonuses in the first place. But if you’re already a frequent shopper at a particular store, there’s practically no harm in activating those programs.
Are you making regular monthly payments on something? It’s not just about bills – loans are another popular example. Keeping track of all those payments manually can be a challenge, especially if the payments vary in size and other factors. Some modern tools can help you simplify that to a great extent, in some cases even completely automating the payment process. As long as you have the money in your account, it will be taken out automatically and you won’t have to lift a finger.
This can be very beneficial if you have many different payments with critical deadlines. However, keep in mind that you will need a constant flow of cash into your account for this to work properly. If one day you don’t have enough money and the system tries to make a payment, you might not get alerted fast enough to take appropriate action.