Tech-Savvy: How technology can help you save money

Do you fancy yourself as a smart, financially prudent individual? Do you have a budget, track what you spend and make sure you know what your expenses are versus your income?

If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, congratulations on being smart with money.

That isn’t to suggest, however, that you’ve reached your financial pinnacle as it relates to saving money, and in fact, you have just started.

You see a budget is more than just the basics, more than just the obvious expenses, and understanding that is going to really help you devise a budget that works, versus one that looks good on paper.

And you might not be quite as keen on those incidental expenses, and that can present a problem simply because you have expenses that aren’t tracked and thus can’t be identified. The only reason you know something is wrong is that you don’t have as much money leftover at the end of the month as you might think.

Enter the world of wonder that is technology.

As much as banking still centers on paper checks and hand made deposits, you can’t underscore just how much technology can really be an eye opener when it comes to how you spend your money beyond things such as your car payment, mortgage or other expenses you never overlook.

My forage into technology as it relates to banking started with what is called a virtual wallet, something that manages your money and, at first glance, is an elaborate, overblown ledger that is lot of colorful charts but also allow you to see where your money is going as almost the version of an adult picture book of banking.

What this showed was a penchant for overspending incidentally to the tune of nearly $900 at a well known, national convenient store famous for its made to order food and gas. The gas part is totally understood, but I was able to separate that from the actual purchases of anything from bottled water to iced tea, a cup of fruit on the go or a breakfast sandwich before work. Little did I know I was spending nearly my mortgage payment on that in just one month. Needless to say, I was appalled and realized that my previous budget that I thought was nearly perfect was hardly even worth the paper (or spread sheet) it was written (printed) on, and thus totally changed my perspective on how to budget.

That led to a better understanding of saving money and how I spend, thus creating a real plan to put money aside that actually works now.