Financial success means different things to different people, especially in the current climate of spiralling bills.
The cost-of-living crisis has affected households and businesses across the world, including the USA, forcing lifestyle changes upon families and prompting people to close companies.
It has meant that financial goals have changed, and savings priorities are either reduced or removed altogether for many.
Indeed, it’s estimated that more than a fifth of all US adults have no savings. But the changing face of personal finance offers tools that can help people set and achieve financial goals.
Technology’s influence on personal finances
Online and mobile banking have revolutionised how people interact with their financial providers, increasing competition between institutions and offering opportunities for people to choose banks that work for them.
App-only providers can offer customers better deals on products such as savings and credit lines as they have lower overheads.
Contactless payments and online commerce have also sped up transactions. However, the revolution is not for everyone, with an increasingly cashless society alienating certain sections of society.
Essential digital tools
Financial flexibility is offered by the likes of CashApp and Venmo, allowing users to pay for goods and send funds to friends, family and the likes of contractors.
Some services provide help with monthly budgeting, as well as offering guidance on how to cut down on costs – for example, by cancelling unused subscriptions.
Keeping track of your credit score is made easier by certain apps, giving you more control over your financial future, while investing is made easier by providers that can round up your spending on small purchases, like a morning coffee, and invest it on your behalf for potential gains.
Maximising the potential
Effectively managing your budget largely comes down to good budgeting. Having clear sight of all your income and your regular outgoings gives you information on what is left over for things you enjoy!
Setting financial goals also gives you the motivation to get the most out of financial apps. For example, saving up for a trip abroad gives you a budget to attain and making regular deposits to a savings account will help you with this.
Paying bills by direct debit helps you keep on top of your outgoings and means you are less likely to overspend on other things and get into a sticky situation.
Security and privacy
A major concern of the digital revolution is how secure it is. Apps and online platforms themselves are protected by incredibly strong layers of security, but careless use from users that are less digitally savvy can open up opportunities for cybercriminals to strike.
Utilising multi-factor authentication and not using finance apps in public unless absolutely necessary are simple ways to make sure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands.