Auto Pilot for Your Finances
When you need directions, do you reach for a map or type your destination into a computer or smart phone? Paper maps are nice, but they’re old school in some respects. They can’t tell you if traffic’s backed up or a road is closed. Technology is also changing the options for managing our finances.
Live payroll checks are like maps. They still work, but having your checks deposited electronically is easier, faster, and more convenient. No more trips to the bank or lost checks. And you have immediate access to your money. If you wish, you can direct money into more than one account. Tuck some cash into a vacation fund every payday, for example, and next summer’s trip could be paid for in full before you leave.
Even if you’re careful, it’s possible to miss a loan or credit card payment due date and get hit with a late fee. Paying bills online can help. You can arrange to have payments sent automatically from your bank account. Or you can set up email reminders and initiate payments yourself. To avoid overdraft fees, just be sure you have enough money in your account to cover the money going out.
Real Time Budgeting
Keeping track of how much you spend, save, and owe has never been easier. Various tools allow you to set up a budget and sync all your financial accounts so you have a real time snapshot of your finances. You’ll be able to monitor your progress. And if a cash crunch is coming, you can make the necessary adjustments.
Digital tools can be helpful, like setting up electronic payments for bills so you don’t accidentally miss a due date. But, be sure to keep an eye on your accounts online so you are aware of any suspicious activity if it occurs so you can catch it early.