Saturday, June 23

Do You Have Oversight of Your Finances?

Many people are struggling to keep track of their money, their bills, etc., and this is nothing new. How often have you been short on cash or forgotten to pay a bill?

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You'd think that in this digital age it would be easier to keep track of funds and bills, right? Digital reminders, automatic payments... And there's basically a service, an app, or website for every financial convenience...

Believe it or not, however, the move of our finances to the web may actually make it harder for people to keep oversight!

And many young people get lost in online finances, too!

  • Internet purchases (or even contactless payments) make it easy to overspend your budget.
  • It's also easy to forget about online subscriptions (think Netflix, Spotify and the like).
  • Bills no longer land on the door mat, but get sent to your digital account.
  • Cryptocurrency are your own responsibility (no more bank offering overdraft protection, low fund notifications, etcetera).

It's okay to admit if you're one of these people. Here's what you can do to get a grip on your online finances:

  1. Online or Off
    Make sure that you keep track of your finances in just one place, either online, or offline. Either is fine, whichever suits you best. Make your pick, and stick to it. Here's some help.

  2. Create a Budget
    If you have $10 in your pocket and go shopping, you won't spend more than what you have in your hand. Organize your finances in the same way. If you know how much money you make and need to pay every month, it's easier to stay on target. Need help? Work through the FoolProof Solo "Burning Money" budget exercise.

  3. Pay Your Bills on Time!
    Now that you have your budget, make sure to pay your bills (in full) every month, credit cards included. Even if it includes having to open your email every day or check your online environments (hey, you chose online, remember!).

  4. Use the Tools Available
    Make use of all the apps and tools out there. They can make your life easier, and keep track of your budget. But do research, and pick just one or two.

    And ask yourself these questions:

    • If I use an app to control my finances, what data do I give away? And where does that data end up? (Think hacks or data sharing/selling). And who do the apps share my info with? Are they a reputable source?

    • Make sure you keep track of what personal or financial information is available on you out there.

    • Are peer-to-peer payment apps safe? And what are the caveats to making payments through your phone (contactless payments)?

    • Should you "push" or "pull" your online payment? Do you know the difference?

  5. Still Having Trouble?
    No worries... We can help! Start from scratch and learn a lot about your money.

    • Become a healthy skeptic about marketing.
    • Become a defensive spender in just a few hours.

    Here's the secret to all that: Work through the Solo modules now, and learn about budgeting, credit, and fake news to boot.

Will any of this stuff do any good? Yes, it will. Or my name's not Will.

Good luck!

Cheers, Will