Since the iPhones grand entrance into the world market place, we’ve all been seduced into downloading those little magic squares that work wonders on our lives; whether to entertain, inform, or organise us better than before. Because of the humble app, the smartphone has become an indispensible part of our lives. So, why would we want to use an app to track our finances, or manage our debt; parts of our lives that are so personal?
Are You Drunk, or Are You Sober?
Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan wrote a book about financial sobriety. In it they take the reader through a course that teaches them how to recognise whether or not they are ‘money drunk’, what type of money drunk they are – yes, there are categories – and what they need to do about it.
The first thing they teach is a technique called ‘Counting’. It’s a very simple process in which the person logs each purchase they make every day. This allows them to look back and know exactly where their money has gone. No more questioning “Where did my pay check go this month?” because you’ll know.
This is such a magical technique because with understanding it comes rationality. With rationality comes control and the ability to control the money you have is one of the major components of personal freedom.
Slaves to Money
It’s not just the poor who are trapped by money, or the lack of it. Often it’s both the rich and the comfortable middle class family who are ruled by their need to make money, their financial intoxication; a need that often detracts from their ability to appreciate the things that really make life enjoyable.
The financially free are not necessarily the super rich. The financially free are those whose lives are not ruled by money. They work in order to pay for what they need, but their attitude to money is different. It’s sitting in the bank, not burning a hole in their pockets.
How Apps Can Help
Whether you are looking to manage the money you’ve got, or to deal with your debts, apps can help you by putting your financial information in a place you can see, a place you look at every day. The fear immediately evaporates. Suddenly you are in control.
I’m a big advocate of having a personal banking app and an app for my credit card. Paying down debt quickly is important if you want to get into the saving mindset, or if you just don’t want to be throwing money away on interest payments. Having my personal account balance and credit card balance on my smartphone allows me to make sure payments to my credit card happen as soon as I receive my salary. I can’t get busy and forget about it, or not know what this month’s payment should be because it’s there on my phone.
I use a separate app for logging purchases so I know where the money is going and while it’s taken a few months, I feel much happier about my ability to manage money than I did a year ago.
The world is demanding that we work ever harder for much less in return. Many of us are also learning to work smarter and we should use our money in smarter ways too.
Samantha Rodgers writes about issues related to credit, debt and personal finance. She loves writing about being money wise and about clinical trials as an alternative income stream and a means to boost finances. You can find more information here for opportunities to take part in these trials.