Hello and I wish you all health, wealth, peace of mind, and success in achieving your financial goals in 2012.
I thought I’d start the year off with some trends; Especially in technology, it may help you better achieve your personal financial goals, because there are a host of personal finance services and applications, or applications as they are called, that will change the way we Americans invest, bank, track finances, shop and get coupons. and so on.
Some of these apps use the web, but increasingly, many of them are available on mobile devices because more than a third of American adults now carry “smartphones” with staggering amounts of display with processors as powerful as those in a laptop.
In fact, if you are like many of my clients who are still resisting the invasion of technology, you may want to reconsider your decision in 2012. This may just be the year to allow the benefits of these innovations to help you gain better control of your finances.
Perhaps now is the time to stop using a pen to write checks, paper to track your expenses, and scissors to cut coupons, to let technology simplify this process for you a little bit and, in doing so, add to your savings and bottom line. Because, let’s face it, the best deals on coupons or hotel and air travel discounts no longer come as entries or ads in your newspaper but go to those who use the Internet.
So here are some ideas you can think about and think about being open to, and while I encourage you to listen with an open mind, only embrace the ones you feel 100% comfortable with, knowing full well that you can always go back to paper and pen if it turns out that this isn’t your cup. Your tea, so here are some new ways to think:
1. Think of “Mobile Money” What does that sound like? Well, here’s the lowdown. With the technology that has arrived today, you can now wave your smartphone in front of a smart device to make all kinds of payments, and this trend seems to be catching up as it helps retailers, mass transit operators, and others to sell more while consuming less. costs. With mobile money, your smartphone is securely linked to your bank account or credit card account and saves you the hassle of carrying a card, swiping it, getting a bill, signing it, etc.: It saves the seller money, too. Furthermore, I suspect that merchants and service providers, such as Google Wallet, will make this more attractive by offering promotions and discounts to people adopting mobile payment technology, much like they did as incentives in the early days of the internet.
2. Think: person-to-person payments. Remember how, when you’re at a restaurant with friends and it’s time to split the bill, you either ask for separate bills or snag cash to pay your share of the bill. Well, how about you just tap your smartphones against each other and you’re done? Companies such as American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal now offer a range of services that allow you to easily transfer money between friends using verified bank accounts or credit cards. This makes sending money across the street, neighborhood, or country faster, easier, and less expensive, and remember that you always bear any expenses incurred by your bank or credit card company for all the transactions you make, so if this technology reduces costs, some will likely flow Those savings are yours, too.
3. Think: money management. There are new websites that have also turned into apps on your smartphone, like Manilla.com that I mentioned a few weeks ago in my interview with Terry Savage and Pageonce that help you manage bills, payments, subscriptions, coupons and more; Free! So you don’t have to worry about missed payments, late fees, trips to the post office, stamps, missed deals where you could have used a coupon to save big, etc. Moreover, many of these services already have a green agenda and want to help replace paper clutter with electronic account statements. Other, more specialized sites like savvymoney.com help customers manage their debt: credit card payments, mortgages, car loans, automatically give you tips on when to refinance or make additional payments to reduce your overall interest expense, and so on. Other sites like betterment.com are designed to simplify investing, and finally there’s mint.com, whose CEO I interviewed about a year ago and who was the first site like this out of the gate. It is a good site for bringing all your financial accounts together. So, keep an open mind, check them out and sign up for the ones that suit you best. And remember, you can always opt out if you don’t like them.
Now, before I go any further, I want to stress that I am not recommending these specific sites or validating what they offer, but I am just listing examples of technological advances in personal finance that are worth exploring further.
4. Think: personal deals. We’ve all heard about the promise of personalization, and while this has happened to some degree with the internet, it hasn’t quite caught on in the personal finance space, yet. In fact, to understand the customization, consider trying this experiment. Take your laptop to a friend’s house and type the same search phrase: Say “10 best deals in Miami” into google.com or any other search engine: Your friend is on his computer and you are on the laptop using your friend’s internet connection while sitting next to him, I’m sure Almost 100% sure that your search results will differ because search engines tailor search results to your browsing history. The good news is that with smartphones and location-based services, stores can now see when you enter them, what your purchase history and profiles are, and entice you with special offers just for you: personalized discounts and instant deals for customers willing to sign up for these programs. And honestly, for the most part, you have very little personal information that you haven’t already lost by just using the Internet, Facebook, email, search engines, or smartphones at home!
I know it sounds a little scary: like Orwell’s universe, but it’s not as bad as all of that. You have the right to opt-in or opt-out of any of these services.
5. Finally, consider: social commerce. The Internet generates strange terms like this one, but what is it! Apps now allow you to borrow or even take money legally from individuals around the world: who might want to give you a loan where they believe in you more than a bank, help you in a crisis, lend you money to do a kitchen or bathroom, or simply invest in an idea Brilliant: people connect with each other and open their wallets in what is called borderless social trading. Check out sites like weemba.com or kickstarter.com if you have an idea that you think others might want to fund. It’s really great to think that banks will no longer control what you can and can’t do financially. I love free markets.
But don’t think that banks and big corporations aren’t watching all this closely and actively stepping in where they feel successful: so in 2012 you’ll likely see more happening in personal finance technology… As we start the new year, I urge you to try to “live with it” If you like, explore ways to save time and money by using technology to your advantage.