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Personal Finances – Mobile Evolution Improving Success

By | Personal Finance

Since the dawn of the Internet – and followed by the launch of smartphones – everything has changed. Being able to communicate in ways that we never imagined, it became possible to instantly have a face-to-face conversation with someone halfway across the world, map directions and even manage your bank account on your mobile phone.

This evolution is improving the ability to track budgets, manage personal finances and build credit more securely than ever before.

Personal Finances Mobile Apps


The Relationship Between Mobile Phones and Money Management

The online world and the rise of mobile phones dramatically changed the way we communicate with one another, share critical information and even how we manage our day-to-day lives. This is particularly true in relation to money management.

When it comes to personal finances, in a matter of seconds, you can check balances, transfer money, access your statements, budget and even work towards a healthier credit score — all through the use of your mobile phone. Whether you want to pay a utility bill while you’re at the coffee shop or transfer a portion of your paycheck into a savings account, so much can now be accomplished through a mobile screen.

When it comes to banking services, for instance, mobile phones changed the efficiency of financial institutions forever. In fact, there are now some banks that are only accessible online — which means that you no longer need to waste 30 minutes of your lunch break to wait in a physical bank queue.

The Rise of Managing Personal Finances on Mobile

As mobile apps continued to develop and evolve, our finances became that much more accessible. In fact, based on a 2015 survey, 53 percent of people with a bank account and smartphone utilize mobile banking. When using banking services, the three most common mobile banking activities include:

•   Checking recent transactions (94 percent)

•   Transferring money between accounts (58 percent)

•   Receiving notifications from their bank (56 percent)

With so many specialized apps, independent of standard bank institution apps, managing funds and even investing has never been easier. Although there are many benefits associated with these apps based on convenience, none are more significant than the level of control you gain over your personal finances.

Mobile apps have allowed you to do much more than bank online. When you have access to various apps, you can do anything from pay your student loan to check your credit card balance. Whether you’re investing or banking, your goals can be achieved in a matter of minutes, helping you improve your long-term financial health.

As these changes continue to occur, companies are developing apps that are more powerful, higher in terms of security and are much more flexible than ever before. In fact, mobile apps can allow you to:

•   Better manage your money

•   Maintain a budget

•   Support debt repayment

•   Track expenses

•   Improve financial behavior so that you can save

Repairing Poor Credit Through Improved Daily Habits

When it comes to paying bills on time, there’s one factor that we’re all aware of — our credit score.

While focusing on credit card debt, for instance, for American households who carry credit card debt, it costs them an average of $1,300 per year in interest. With the average U.S. household carrying approximately $16,425 in credit card debt, mobile apps can help consumers not only make payments on time, but improve their current financial state by altering their spending habits.

As you become more aware of your daily habits, seeking the type of credit repair support you require, you will then be on your way to greater financial freedom. It’s all about setting small goals in order to make minor changes in your day-to-day routine.

Once you focus on making your monthly debt payments, budgeting is the next major step. After all, what’s the point of making a payment, just to drive your debt back up? When you learn to properly budget your personal finances, you can avoid this vicious cycle. This is when mobile apps come into play.

Mobile phones are on us at all hours of the day, so when accessing a budgeting app, you will become more aware on a day-to-day basis. Just like a 100-percent cash budget, which makes you more conscious of your spending, a budgeting app can do the same.

Within one survey, of the 3,600 smartphone users who use their phone to bank, 18 percent do so in order to budget, and of those, 69 percent strongly agree that the budgeting apps support healthier spending habits. Whether you want to create budgets, track your spending or pay bills, mobile apps can help you repair your credit over time.

Increase Your Knowledge to Improve Your Financial Health

As we look ahead, there’s no doubt that your personal finances will continue to evolve. As new software programs and online services are developed, the ability to manage our money will continue to become even more practical and convenient.

Whether you want to save more or repair your credit score, one thing is certain — education is imperative. Understanding your options and taking informed action will always pay off. After all, Benjamin Franklin said it best, “An investment in knowledge, always pays the best interest.”





Banking Fails – Don’t Make These Banking Mistakes

By | Personal Finance

Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about banking. A trip to the mall is a fun outing, but shopping for a checking and/or savings account can seem tedious and boring. While it may not make for a fun afternoon, comparison shopping is key to securing great rates, returns and financial security.

When looking for ways to improve your personal finances, start by looking at the way you bank. Take a deep look at your banking statements, and look for fees and other charges you could be avoiding.

Here’s a list of banking mistakes to avoid in 2016:

Paying a monthly maintenance fee on a checking account

Some banks charge a fee each month for “maintaining” your checking account. This fee can be over $10, which will cost you $120 every year. Many banks offer ways to avoid this fee, including making sure your account balance meets the minimum requirement. For online checking accounts this can be as little as $25. That means by keeping as little as $25 in your account at all times you can avoid the maintenance fee. The most common way to avoid maintenance fees on your checking account is by setting up direct deposit. If you have your paycheck directly deposited into your personal checking account you could avoid the monthly fee. Many banks require an initial deposit when opening a checking account. This amount can be as little as $100 and as high as $1,500. If you have difficulty keeping your balance consistent, shop around for the bank with the lowest requirement on a core checking account.

Thinking you’ve opted out of overdraft protection

In simpler times you could only spend money you had, whether it was in the form of cash or via our debit card. Banks initiated overdraft protection, so that customers could spend up to a certain amount even if they’re short of funds. This provides the customer with the ability to pay a bill or make a purchase even if they have insufficient funds. It may be that your check arrives a day late or was postponed by a holiday, you could have forgotten to cash a check or move funds around. Whatever the reason overdraft protection can help you avoid an embarrassing encounter. It can also cost you heavily at the bank. One minor mistake can lead to hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees. You can be charged up to $38 for every purchase made over your balance. By opting out of overdraft protection, you prevent the bank from allowing you to make certain purchases when you have insufficient funds. You can opt out of overdraft protection on your debit or ATM card, but you can’t opt out of protection on checks, automatic debits or bill-payment transactions, according to Nick Clements contributor for Forbes magazine.

Using out-of-network ATMs

As we’ve previously told you about, ATM fees are on the rise and soaring. The good news is these fees are completely avoidable. By using an ATM from another bank you’ll be charged twice for removing funds, once by your bank and once by the owner of the ATM. To avoid these fees bank with a company that has a large ATM network. Do a little research and find out which bank has locations near your home and office, making it more convenient for you to bank.

Taking risks with your debit card

Debit cards don’t offer the same protection as credit cards do. According to the FTC, you have unlimited liability if you wait 60 days to report fraudulent activity. Waiting two business days to report fraud can mean your accountable for $500 of the spend. That’s unlike credit cards that will charge you a maximum of $50 of the fraudulent activity. Some credit cards like Visa promise zero liability, as reported in Forbes. To avoid fraudulent activity don’t use your debit card at the pump, and other areas where fraud is popular.

Bank with Your Phone? Watch out for this

By | Fraud Protection, Personal Finance

The majority of us do it, bank with our phones, but it can open you up for fraudulent activity. Banking with a mobile device has become common place – it’s quick, simple and efficient, but it’s also easier for hackers to steal your information and make purchases using your funds.

With your mobile device you can manage your checking accounts, transfer funds to other banks and even pay for purchases at your favorite store. However, increased exposure has some experts worried, warning consumers to follow precaution when banking with mobile.

Here’s a list of things to watch out for when banking with your mobile device:

Don’t go public

Going public with most things signifies achievement, but don’t go public when banking with your mobile device. We all want to restrict data usage and take advantage of public Wi-Fi networks, but they pose a significant risk when mobile banking. “Mobile banking apps are connected to wireless networks, and these networks are inherently insecure as they broadcast their messages into the open air,” Ron Vetter, co-founder of the technology company Mobile Education LLC told the U.S. News.

To avoid this danger change your Wi-Fi settings when entering public places. Many of us have our Wi-Fi settings set to automatically connect to available Wi-Fi networks, which must be switched off if banking in spaces like coffee shops, airports and other public environments. There’s no way to control who’s accessing the network and who may be looking to steal your banking information.

Don’t auto-save

Auto-save is a great convenience. It allows you to make purchases and log in to portals without having to type all your information each time. It’s also one of the best ways to open yourself up for fraud. Anyone who has access to your phone can access your banking information and commit bank fraud. That applies to strangers who come across your phone, but also friends and family members who have regular access.

Password protect

Which brings us to our next tip – keep your phone protected by adding a password or better yet your finger print. Many mobile users for-go password protection for convenience. It can be annoying to have to log into a device each time you want to access it, but that annoyance can prevent someone from making purchases with your credit or banking account. Many phones now offer finger print protection, which prevents anyone but you from accessing your device and the information stored on it.

Beware of apps

Unfortunately Google and Apple don’t have the capability to vet each app owner before offering their app to the public. By allowing apps to access your information you’re opening yourself up for hacking. There’s no way to control how an app user chooses to use your information once accessed. If using an app to manage your money choose those from established financial institutions, preferably those you bank with currently.

Banking with your mobile device is fast and convenient. When used properly and with the right safety precautions it provides consumers with a better way to bank.

Was this article helpful? How do you protect yourself against bank fraud? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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