Today we will interrupt our series on PCS moves and bring to you a piece by Brittany Fisher on useful personal finance apps. With the rise of Fin Tech in the last 10 years, apps make our lives easier whether we are budgeting or starting a new business. Take a look at her perspective below.
Are you a veteran running your own business, or in charge of your family finances? Are you looking to streamline your budgeting process by gathering all your financial information in one spot and right at your fingertips? If that’s the case, you may benefit from using a finance app. The following checklist will help you narrow down your options and select the one most adapted to your needs:
When looking for a financial app online, make sure you find one that can easily and seamlessly integrate your existing accounting system so you don’t have to start entering all your data from scratch. Also, make sure the app you pick is compatible with all your mobile devices, so you can use it anywhere and anytime.
When dealing with financial matters, you should always ensure that all your information is kept safe, secure, and protected from hackers. So opt for an app that has security features such as face ID, touch ID, password protection, or two-factor authentication, and make sure it’s released by a reputable company. Review the app’s permissions and turn off the unnecessary ones once the app is installed.
How tech-savvy do you need to be in order to use this finance app? How much time are you willing to invest to learn its ins and outs? How easy is it to enter data and make transactions directly from the app? Is customer support available in case you have an issue and do they respond to queries in a timely fashion? All important questions need to be answered before downloading and installing your new app.
Ease of Navigation
You won’t want to use a financial app–or any app, for that matter–if its features are confusing, difficult to find, or hard to navigate. So select an app such as Mint that is straightforward, with easy-to-understand buttons and features, and which allows you to enter data, scan receipts and check your account balances quickly and easily.
Ask yourself what features you will definitely need. Some financial apps like YNAB will help you track multiple accounts, either business or personal, provide graphs and charts to track your spending habits, calculate taxes and fees, and keep you up to date on investments, stocks, mortgage, and loan rates. Conversely, some finance apps are more bare-bones and easier to use and navigate. So get the one that does what you want it to do.
Do you need to share spending and financial information with your spouse, business partners, accountant, or bank? Some apps like Goodbudget allow you to share your budget over multiple devices and provide links to your financial institutions, ensuring that you’ll always be on the same page with your partners whether you’re at home or at the office.
If you’re planning on using a finance app, another useful feature is the ability to back up and download your data. This will allow you to create and print out spreadsheets and graphs with real-time information, and you’ll be able to plan ahead for future projects and expenses, whether personal or professional.
Arguably, the most important feature your finance app should have is the ability to protect you from overdraft fees. Some apps use an API to retrieve bank account balance in real-time. This feature will prevent you from overspending and will prevent your bank from charging you fees for non-sufficient funds in your account.
A personal finance app will help you gain confidence when it comes to making financial decisions for yourself, your business, and your family. So choose the app that fits your needs and start tracking your expenses to get a clearer picture of where your money is going. You’ll soon be able to achieve your money goals and invest in what matters most.
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