We have the world at our fingertips with our smartphones, and with continuous access to information big and small, our personal data often falls prey to this accessibility.
When we forget about the fact that data breaches are VERY REAL it can be nice to remember that at any moment, we can pay a bill, transfer money between accounts, check our FICO scores, and even apply for a credit card all with a few taps and swipes.
Here are some tips that can help you in this day in age where our money is easily accessible.
Will swipe for cash
One of my favorite things about constantly having this information at my fingertips is that I can privately be anal with my finances at all times. I personally enjoy the customer service at my bank [shout out to Barclays], but I like that I don’t have to call them for all inquiries. I have their app. I also have an app for every other financial institution I am involved with. While there are many apps out there that gather all your account information in one place, I prefer to manage individual accounts on their brand specific app. It may sound like a lot, but every institution’s app varies in functionality, so I enjoy the specificities of each. I have found this to be especially helpful with investment account apps.
Notifications save lives, and more importantly, wallets.
First pro tip, customize your notifications for what you need. Do not just turn them off because you keep getting alerts you could care less about. You can change them. For example, I have notifications set up on my CHASE Checking account to notify me anytime a transaction is made over $0. This may seem odd, but this was a really important notification for me to have. I rarely use my debit card linked to my checking account because I use my credit card big time because of points. So anytime there is a charge for over $0 CHASE notifies me immediately. This feature has helped tremendously in addressing red flags on my account activity. I love this feature for security but also because I always know as soon as bills have debited my account and when I get paid.
Let your bank work for you.
Because any problem that may arise can be handled from one sitting, and they are always available, I am quick to pick up a phone or even tweet at my various financial institutions. Not all financial institutions offer Direct Messaging on Twitter, but those that do I have found to be very seamless. One of the bigger downsides of having your finances at your fingertips is with all your information so condensed it can be easy to get lost in your own transactions. No? Well, maybe this just happens to me. But if this does happen to you, don’t hesitate to contact your financial institution to talk out your confusion. They should be more than happy to help.
Find your balance.
Depending on the way your accounts are set up, there could be greater chances for you to do more harm than good to your finances. For example, if you have a checking and savings account with the same bank and have no boundaries set for moving money between accounts, your access to your own money could be hurting you. This is a major downside to having your finances at your fingertips.
There was a time when this capability kicked me in the butt. I thought it was nice that my checking and savings accounts were with the same bank. At one point they were even linked so that if I were ever in trouble of an overdraft with my checking account my savings account would kick in to help me out. I can admit, this happened to me more than a few times in college. I eventually no longer had a backup. It was way too easy for me to move money from my savings to my checking for spending in a moment I wanted to spend didn’t need to be spending. I no longer have my accounts set up this way. I also no longer bank with this particular institution. If this is you, do yourself a favor and cut off your visible access to your “savings” account. I put savings in quotations because most savings accounts that are offered through banks like CHASE are a joke. But I will save that for another time.