8 Ways Technology Can Streamline Financial Management
There are so many financial tools we take for granted today that weren't possible just 10 short years ago. Here are a few features many people use daily that, if you haven't tried yet, you should.
1. Bill Pay
I still remember my mom showing me how she paid her bills by writing a check, putting it in an envelope, adding a stamp, and mailing it off. These days, you can have all this done for you with a few clicks online. If you really want to save time, you can even have everything automatically deducted from your account. There's no mess, and you're saving yourself from buying all those stamps too.
2. Receipt Storage and Tracking
If you are a business that needs to keep track of your receipts, then it's time to scan everything with a receipt scanner and store it online with a service such as Evernote. It's much more organized, it saves a ton of space, and in the event that you need to access the information, you can actually find something!
3. Online Savings Accounts
When even the bank employees secretly tell you that they use online savings accounts instead of using their own bank's saving products, you know you should follow. Yields are terrible everywhere, but it doesn't mean you should accept a rate of 0.11% when you can get 10 times the interest online!
4. Direct Deposit
I take comfort in knowing that almost everybody in the United States receives pay through direct deposit, but if you still haven't switched for whatever reason, please do. You can even get your company to deposit it into a savings account, earning you more precious interest while you have money sitting there.
5. Up-to-Date Financial Pictures
Most people know that they can get up-to-the second account balances these days, but few people actually them to manage their finances. There should not be any reason for people to overdraft their accounts or spend too much on their credit cards. Use your access, and you will find that many of the careless fees that you regularly accumulate will magically go away.
6. Financial Management Anytime
All right, I'm not advocating that you should do everything late at night. But if you are one of those people who always remembers items on your to-do list at the worst times (while driving, at work, when out with friends, late at night, etc.), then you absolutely need to try using new technology to your advantage. Whether it's asset allocation, logging your expenses, or looking for online coupons, you can do it anywhere, anytime. Even with investment decisions, you can plan your strategy in advance and have the computer schedule the whole execution without your supervision. No more excuses.
7. Researching Products, Services, and Ideas
Before you make any decisions these days, the standard procedure should be to research online and see what others have said. This works with deciding on a financial planner, a brokerage account, or even an investment strategy. Chances are good that after you read a bunch of reviews on other people's experiences, you will get a much better feel of which direction to take.
8. Reading About Common Investor Mistakes
With the increased exposure to free information, we can better deal with our emotions when it comes to investing. After the 99th time of hearing about people paying through the nose with load funds, I'm sure anyone will start look for low-cost alternatives.
Technology can be a curse, but it also opens doors for you to radically improve and streamline money matters, saving you a ton of time and helping you make, save, and keep more money.