Despite your best intentions, sticking to a budget can be one of the most challenging things you do in your daily life. From online shopping and takeout apps to window shopping and elaborate lattes, you’re constantly surrounded by temptations. If you aren’t careful, you’ll indulge any number of these cravings and ruin your chances of balancing your budget.
To make sure your budget comes out of the red to inhabit the black permanently, check in with these tech-inspired tips. You might be surprised how your phone, fintech companies, and e-banking can help you stay on track.
- Let your phone help you track expenses.
At the turn of the century, the most advanced tech people were using to budget was Microsoft Excel — if they weren’t just tallying their income the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper. A lot has changed since those dark days. It’s a bit of an understatement to say technology has developed since then. The rate at which tech is improving is accelerating so quickly some engineers don’t think we can sustain it for much longer. Until that day comes, we can revel in the ways it has made out lives easier.
Case in point: the money management app. Your smartphone shouldn’t only hold your favourite games and playlists. It can be your pocket financial advisor with apps like Mint or Wally. These award-winning money management apps automate the worst parts of putting a budget together by tracking your spending and gathering your financial data from various accounts and debts in one convenient place.
- Embrace emerging financial solutions.
Most people think banks are the only financial support they have. But a growing number of people are challenging these traditional financial institutions by relying on disruptive services offered by fintech companies. Many of them are Millennials — making the Me Generation the canary in the coal mine as they test out emerging services — but people of all ages are benefiting from these new opportunities.
For convenient, no fee banking, they’re turning to mobile banks like Tangerine and Koho. With few or no brick-and-mortar locations, they offer an online alternative to the typical chequing or savings account. For solving cash shortages, they’re turning to online payday loans from lenders like GoDay. They provide simple, hassle-free personal cash advances entirely online. By relying on automated processes, they can approve and facilitate these loans faster than traditional financial products.
Much in the same way money management apps can help you keep track of your budget, these online financial services bring your finances to your phone or tablet — making it easier to keep tabs on your accounts and make speedy decisions.
- Automate your bills and savings.
Your forgetful nature can end up costing you in late fees, added interest, and less savings in the bank. Whether you opt for mobile banking or stick with your traditional bank account, you can easily set up pre-authorized payments to avoid missing another due date. You can customize each payment according to amount, frequency, and payee — including those payments to yourself. You can program your bank to take out a predetermined amount from your chequing account and put it into a high-interest savings account, an RRSP, or another investment.
Make the most out of the technology that surrounds you. Stock up on helpful money management apps, investigate alternative financial solutions, and automate your bills. You’ll find these tips increase your chances of success with your budget.