Imagine how banking used to be done just 10 years ago, never mind 20 or 30 years ago:
If you wanted to send money to someone or pay a bill, you would usually have to go to a bank, thus wasting time and even gas driving there to do your banking. Yes online banking has been with us for more than a decade, but it was for the select few that felt comfortable using it. It is only the last 10-15 years, after the invention and popularization of mobile apps, couple with online security becoming more solid, that it really took off and has become an essential part of our budgeting and finance management. This is just one example of how technology has simplified how we manage our money, save it, and by extension help us become richer. While there are countless ways that technology can be used to simplify our finances, below, we look at some of the most popular ones.
Using apps to manage your money
As mentioned earlier, apps are at the heart of this digital revolution of how we manage our money and finances. As they say, there is an app for anything you can think of, including banking, price comparison, online shopping, product reviews etc. One of the best features of online banking apps is your ability to manage your bill payments, transfers and sending money so much easier. One specific feature I use is to transfer money from my checking account to my VISA account as I make purchases. With all of these at our finger tips, they should be used extensively to get the most of your money.
Using online price comparison tools to decide your next purchase
Whether it is to book travel, buy a car or a household appliance, never buy an item that will cost you hundreds or thousands, without using 2 or 3 sites to compare price. For example, if you are booking a flight from Toronto to Los Angeles for 3 adults, the difference between two sites for the same flights could be anywhere from $100 to $200. Same goes with buying a laptop or other electronics: some sites may be running a promotion where you can save hundreds compared to buying from another site. So there is absolutely no reason to buy from one site without looking at other sites. While there are plenty of apps that will help you do this, there are browser extensions for doing it the old way from a laptop and desktop. Again, other than the need for a car if you are doing deliveries and transportation, the only other thing you need is a phone with an internet connection: technology will take care of the rest in helping you make a good and reliable income.
This is a new feature that is becoming more and more popular with banks and investment firms: it is a technology that lets you automate your investment and have a computer do the work for you. In other words, it provides financial planning services through automated algorithms, without any human involvement. And what makes this service even more appealing in addition to making things more automated and less manual, is the fact that it learns and adjusts as you go. It does this using AI (Artificial Intelligence) . Most banks offer this service now, thus freeing you from having to manually check your portfolio and adjusting things every few months.
Uber. E-Bay. Youtube. Etsy. Kijiji. TaskRabbit. DoorDash: these are some of the hundreds of apps and online platforms that you can use to create a side income; a fulltime one for many. What makes these platforms appealing is their flexibility, where you can create your own schedule for the most part, all by using your phone only. It is not uncommon for some people to have a combination of these various tools at the same time: for example, some could use DoorDash to make food delivery, Uber for ridesharing, TaskRabbit to complete small jobs in the neighborhood and E-Bay to sell books and other used items.
Of course, like with a lot of things, technology has been a double edged sword, where it has also made it easier for people to spend money online, using just a few clicks. In the past, you would need to get dressed, drive down to the nearest store or mall to be able to spend your money. Now, you can do it 24/7, even if you are in your pajamas or in your bathroom.
The various digital tools at our fingertips not only make it easier to manage our finances, they can help us save a lot of time if used properly. Take the time to go through your finances and investments and see if you are taking advantage of all the digital tools out there.