Money management is difficult for many people. As more and more spending happens digitally, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep track of where your funds are going. There is nothing worse than thinking you have money in your checking account just to discover you have half as much as you expected. The more you utilize credit cards, debit cards, and even digital forms of payment like pay pal, the harder it is to balance your checkbook. Do you even have a checkbook? If that answer was no, this is probably information you need.
Money management used to involve sitting at a table with all your paperwork and receipts, figuring out how much money you should have left and what your budget was. For the most part that hasn’t changed except now, you have access to that information in real time. But, that information in your checking account may not be entirely accurate, and you can easily overspend on impulse buys that you didn’t really need.
Here are some tips for managing your money in a digital environment
- Check your subscriptions…
A phenomenon of the past couple of years, subscription services are easy to sign up for but can often continue costing you money long after you have stopped using them. Everything from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to creative subscriptions that send you fun clothes or interesting knick-knacks. Most people only sign up because that first box had everything they wanted, or there was a specific show they needed to see. After that, they can be paying month to month for an unnecessary service. Being aware of your subscriptions and canceling the ones you don’t need or want can save you a lot of money every month.
- Create a budget…
This may seem obvious, and you may think you have a budget already, but how much does that budget actually contain all of what you pay for on a regular basis. In a digital environment, money is easy to access, and you could find yourself paying for an app or ordering something online that you really didn’t budget for. Being aware of how much you are spending and what you are spending on is incredibly important.
- Stick to your budget…
If you are materialistic this may be difficult to manage. All the wealth management experts recommend budgeting as the most important thing you can do to get on top of your checking account. If you need to, you can utilize your savings account to help manage important bills like your home loan or car payment. Over time your goal should be to stick to the budget and add to your savings.
Understanding where your money goes will only become more important throughout this generation. In a 2016 survey, 60% of Americans believed that the United States will become a cashless society soon. With how easy it is to use electronic payments, that could easily be true in this century.