Where would we be in this day and age without our smartphones? They can definitely be a distraction, but they also help us connect, way-find and organize. In my profession, we strive to deliver financial peace of mind to our members every day. An important and convenient example of this is providing guidance on how to manage finances from your phone. This week, I’m sharing a few tips on how to stay financially in-check with your goals while on the go.
Understand mobile app updates
We actually just updated our online banking app, and most financial institutions provide robust updates on a regular basis. I encourage you to look into what app updates may include regularly, as banking innovation continues to evolve and progress. A few of my favorites? Mobile check deposit and schedule funds transfer (new to our app). Anything that can help my family shift funds as needed between school, kid-sitting and activity costs is a major advantage!
Bring your budgets with you
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Budgets are truly the foundation of smart money management, but only help you as much as you can access them on the move. Many mobile apps offer some kind of budget or organization options, either through their own platform or support programs like Mint. If your bank doesn’t offer this, I suggest looking into other mobile app options such as the previously mentioned Mint or YNAB. When you are researching, look for categorization and alert features that hold you accountable for staying in budget. If you do overspend one month or several months in a row, take a look back at your historic data. You may find you need to cut back spending in one area, or adjust some of your budgets to be more realistic.
Cash made easy
ATM fees can be crazy expensive, so I love features that show me after-hours cash options. Your financial institution may offer this through your app, which is amazingly helpful! If not, ATM Hunter or ATM Finder are well-rated apps for when you are out and about.
Most importantly, before downloading financial apps or software of any kind, be sure to fully understand security features. If it’s through your bank or credit union you don’t need to be as guarded, but otherwise steer clear of providing account information to any unknown source. Expert tip: the standard for banking apps is an automatic or easy-to find log-out feature, which is highly recommended.
With some additional due diligence in mobile app usage, your financial goals will always travel with you.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.