Best Apps for Personal Finance

 

Financial burdens are something everyone carries with them. Our personal financial standings are at the core of our lives. Maintaining a healthy portfolio and bank account deems challenging for many. Fortunately, technology has made its way into our lives and has helped improve many aspects of it. There are countless online tools and apps that support our everyday needs, finances being one of them. Here are some of the best apps to help with your personal finance needs.

 

Your Bank’s App

 

Most financial institutions have an app of their own. Through these technologies, customers are often able to track their accounts with ease. For banks such as PNC and Wells Fargo, users have the option to make transfers, deposit checks, and pay bills with a few touches. These banking apps give you the freedom to neglect going into a branch everytime you need something done.

 

Mint

 

Managing money, for most people becomes a chore. For those with various accounts and credit cards, it becomes challenging to stay afloat with each one. With Mint, users are provided an all-in-one tool for maintaining your financial obligations. Through the app, one can create a budget, track spending, pay bills, and view your account status. With all of these tools in one place, users have great success when it comes to managing finances in a smart manner.

 

Pocket Guard

 

While it doesn’t come with the same bells and whistles of Mint, Pocket Guard provided a user-friendly and simple way of formulating a budget. This app, gets back to basis and gives users a simple “snapshot” of how much they can spend at a given time. Pocket Guard analyzes the numbers to show spenders just how much is left once bills are paid. There are means for specifying spending categories but at the end of the day, Pocket Guard is a simplistic as financial apps get!

 

Albert

 

Don’t have the funds for a financial advisor? Meet, Albert. This multifaceted app acts as somewhat of a financial advisor to its user. Albert monitors all accounts, while providing up-front recommendations to help improve your financial health. A budget is automatically created based on your previous spending, bills, and income. If you’re looking for someone to do it for you, leave it to Albert.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

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Best Apps for Personal Finance

Three Financial Tips For Young People

It can be pretty frustrating to be a young person who is constantly bombarded with advice from well-meaning adults. While some advice these adults give you may seem silly, sound financial advice can be priceless as you head into adulthood. You may be financially secure right now thanks to the help of your parents, but one day you are going to have to accept responsibility for your financial situation. To become a more successful adult who can handle financial responsibilities in a way that can contribute to a higher quality of life during your adult years, try incorporating these three financial tips into your life now while you are still young.

 

Save Money

 

Whether you get an allowance for doing chores or you have just landed your first job, it is important to learn the value of saving money. Unexpected expenses are a fact of life, and that’s why saving money is essential to your financial security. Even if it is just five or ten dollars a month, learning to save money now can help make you more comfortable with saving money in the future. Open up a savings account and start saving those pennies now so you can reap the benefits of a more financially secure future.

 

Set A Budget

 

Even if you do not have a lot of expenses now, learning to live on a budget now can help you greatly in the future when you have major expenses like a mortgage or car payment. Make a list of all your monthly expenses and learn to live within your means. Not only will creating a budget help you see where all your money goes, but it can also help you figure out which type of expenses you really can’t afford to waste your money on.

 

Use Credit Wisely

 

In today’s world, instant gratification is common. Whether it’s buying the latest cell phone or the trendiest pair of designer jeans, we live in a society that wants it all right now. While instant gratification in the form of a new pair of jeans may make you happy for a minute, it can have a long-lasting impact on your finances. If you choose to obtain a credit card to buy those must-have items, it is of the utmost importance that you pay off your balance each month. If you don’t, you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of debt on items you probably really don’t need.

 

While learning to manage your finances may not seem like fun, it is an important skill to master while you’re young if you wish to have a more financially secure future. By learning to save money, use credit wisely and live on a budget now, you will have the tools you need to lead a more financially secure life as an adult.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Three Financial Tips For Young People

Finance is Fun: Ways to Teach Kids About Money!

The one practical area of life that doesn’t seem to get enough attention in schools is the world of personal finance. Teaching these responsibilities falls largely on parents, but, fortunately, there some things you can do to help your child learn valuable lessons as they grow.
Teaching Toddlers the Value of Money
The first step in teaching about personal finance is to instill the concept of money in your child. There are a number of ways to do this that can make learning fun for your child. One way is to create a store in your home. Collect your child’s toys and label them with prices. Next, give your child some money to go shopping, while you play the part of the cashier. This will help your toddler learn the value of things and that they can only have what they can afford.
Allowance Can Be an Educational Tool
Whether you pay out allowance regularly or only for doing extra chores, this presents an opportunity to teach your older child about finance, using their own earnings. Since they have worked to earn this money, they already hold it in greater value. Now is the time to teach them that their money can’t all be saved as soon as it’s earned. Make them contribute a percentage of their earnings to a savings fund, while letting them keep the rest to spend as they will. This will teach them to budget their money and, if you let them help to keep track of how much is being accumulated, it will also show them the value of maintaining a savings account.
Tutoring Your Teen in Real Personal Finance
As your child reaches his or her teens, it’s time to step up your game a bit. First, it’s a good idea to require them to get a job of their own and force them to pay for some of their own things. For instance, make them pay their own car insurance or tell them they have to pay a weekly rent. You can charge just a small amount, which you will explain goes into their savings account to help pay for college, a new vehicle, or their first apartment. This is also a good time to teach them about investing. By mock investing in stocks and watching how those stocks perform each week together, your teenager will learn about the markets.
By making it a game for younger children and teaching older teens how to handle their own money, your child will hold a better appreciation for finance. Being better prepared will prevent them from making foolish financial mistakes that could haunt them for much of their lives.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Finance is Fun: Ways to Teach Kids About Money!

3 Ways that AI is Being Used in Finance

Artificial intelligence has crept its way into many facets of life. This includes revolutionizing the finance industry. Companies are constantly working to keep up with the competition as new technology and methods are implemented. Here are three artificial intelligence trends that are currently dominating the finance industry.

 

  1. Detecting fraud

E-commerce has surged in recent years, and along with it comes an explosion of fraud. Dealing with online fraud is a challenging task because some strategies to prevent it can be too much and push potential buyers away. A study conducted by Javelin Strategy in 2015, a research firm, determined that rejected transactions and fake declines cost retailers $118 billion in losses, with some customers never returning due to the experience.

Artificial intelligence can improve this by using algorithms that aid in detecting fraudulent transactions without being too restrictive to cause an inconvenience to buyers. These algorithms focus on a behavior-based approach instead of applying the same rules to all consumers for more effective and accurate fraud prevention.

 

  1. Chatbots

Chatbots have made customers able to speak with artificial intelligence to get answers to frequently asked questions or concerns. Machines learn how to speak more naturally to mimic an actual human. AI can aid in helping individuals manage their finances. Advanced formulas link to your bank account and analyze your spending habits with income to determine how much you can realistically afford to put up for a rainy day fund. These tools give users deeper insight into their overall financial picture. Digital assistants from large banks make transactions such as sending money to a friend as simple as asking the device.

 

  1. Algorithms for trades

Computers are phenomenal at examining and evaluating numbers. Trading stocks have become something artificial intelligence can accomplish due to programming that takes relevant factors into account. These systems examine trading patterns and create forecasts based on the numbers to make decisions regarding trading and managing hedge funds. These methods aren’t flawless, and it’s not possible to accurately predict the future, no matter how many numbers are crunched.

 

Artificial intelligence is relatively new and has plenty of room for advancement and improvement. There will definitely be social, economic, legal, and ethical issues that come up along the way, but things appear to be looking positive for the finance industry’s future.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

3 Ways that AI is Being Used in Finance

Bitcoin 101: An Easy Guide to the Latest Currency Trend

 

Over the past few weeks, its has become impossible to read the news without mention of the popular digital currency. Though introduced to the world over 7 years ago, bitcoin has resurfaced, as investors and finance professionals are seeing its worth. Since January of this year, the value of bitcoin has been increased by 10 times, an unusual jump in such a short span of time. Leading the news stories over the past month, bitcoin joined the financial mainstream in November, when it became approved for trading. For those unaware of this phenomenon unfolding before our eyes, this blog is the place to start.

 

Origins

 

Bitcoin in its most simple form, is a type of electronic currency that has no physical presence. Though there are many other cryptocurrencies that exist, bitcoin used a technology that has rarely been seen in an exchange of money. The concept of there being no middle man– like banks– has given users a completely unique way to complete transactions. Created in 2009, by an anonymous online users, bitcoin has come quite a long way in its few years of existence.

 

The Appeal

 

One of the most appealing aspects of bitcoin is that buyers have the ability to make purchases anonymously . No need for names, credit card information, or other details, just the simple trading of the currency. Although there were some illegal transactions occurring through this exchange, the exchanges have now become more regulated. Another appeal for many people is the ease of paying others. Like apps such as Venmo and Paypal, bitcoin exchanges can be made right from mobile devices. The most obvious and recent draw to bitcoin is the return that the assets have been providing investors. The supply and demand of bitcoin has done its job by increasing the value and making the prices skyrocket. The trust in government and other financial institutions is removed, leaving all  faith within the consumers.

 

Operational Details

 

Since bitcoin eliminates the need for banks, the currency is stored in a virtual wallet, through the user’s cloud or computer. The wallet works similarly to a bank, as it allow for the receiving and sending the currency. However, unlike banks, the bitcoin wallet is not insured by the FDIC. There are definitely some drawbacks to this situation, as when servers get hacked, the entire cloud comes along with it. Additionally some bitcoin users have been known to delete their wallets (by accident) on their computer or have had a virus destroy them.

 

Whether you’re in the market for some new financial endeavors or are curious about the growing phenomenon, stay tuned, because bitcoin is here to stay!

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Bitcoin 101: An Easy Guide to the Latest Currency Trend

Setting Well-Rounded Personal Finance Goals

 

 

For many people, the topic of money and finance is scary. Some completely avoid the subject unless absolutely necessary. The main reason why most people fear these discussions is because they are unaware of their own financial standings. One of the best ways to open yourself up to the concept of personal finance is to set goals. Often these goals begin on smaller scales and grow along with you and your financial portfolio. Here are some tips for setting some realistic and well-rounded personal financial goals.

 

Know Your Habits

 

When setting financial goals, one of the most important pieces of information to gather is your own habits. Are you a spender or a saver? Do you like to plan months in advance or on a weekly basis? These are all aspects of your financial background that can make for easier goal setting sessions. For someone who is more of a spender than saver, planning in the short term can often suit your habits best. Falling under the umbrella of financial habits includes figuring out what is most important to you. If you know that you want to save for a child’s education down the line, you have to incorporate that into your spending and saving habits. Even though you may be setting short-term goals, having the future as a factor during goal setting is always best practice.

 

Budgeting

 

Unless you work in finance, budgets are something that most people aren’t experts at creating, especially for themselves. This being said, budgeting is one of the key aspects to creating financial goals that make sense. Knowing what you need to spend money on at any given time (home payments, utilities, cars, etc.) can help you figure out what money is left for enjoyment. Incorporating aspects such as saving for retirement and emergencies is a huge part of any budget.

 

Asking for Help

 

There is no shame in seeking help from experts in the field. Financial advisors are extremely knowledgeable about goal setting, saving, and spending options. If you aren’t comfortable setting your own goals or have tried before without success, seeking help from an advisor is nothing to be ashamed about. We often find that those who help us can better see our situation as an outside party and can give better insights.

 

When it comes to setting personal finance goals, it can often be challenging to complete them on our own. Seeking the help and advice of experts should take place as often as possible as they can shed light on areas we may not see. Regardless of the route that you take, setting these personal finance goals is an important part of keeping your money in check.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Setting Well-Rounded Personal Finance Goals

Immigration Numbers Fall in Switzerland

Switzerland has developed into one of the greatest tourist countries in the European Union. From the scenic views around the lakes to the ski resorts that line the Alps, the central European country is the perfect getaway for many people from around the world. While Switzerland remains an ideal travel destination, the number of immigrants […]

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Political blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Immigration Numbers Fall in Switzerland