Finance on the Go: the Best Ways to Use a Budgeting App
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When technology runs faster, the speed limit on life seems to increase right along with it. Some details — even really important ones that determine your financial health — can fall by the wayside when you’re busy juggling work and the demands of family. Luckily, the geniuses behind financial software and mobile apps are well aware that your time is a precious commodity, and they try to make handling your money as efficient as possible — whether you’re at your desk or on the go.
Get Set Up
The Quicken Mobile Companion app is a perfect example of on-the-go budgeting efficiency, and it's a breeze to install. If you don’t already have the desktop app, go online and download it, then simply sync it to your mobile device of choice. You can even sync more than one device so both you and your spouse have all the same information at your fingertips, no matter where you are. Quicken downloads transactions from your financial institutions to your computer as well so you can keep up-to-the-minute with your available balances. The software uses encryption and Secure Socket Layer technology to keep your data safe so you don't have to be concerned about all this sensitive information flying around the Internet.
Money Management on the Fly
Let’s say you’re tempted to use your debit card to make a purchase on your way home from work. Does said purchase inch outside of your monthly budget? Use the budget feature of the Quicken Mobile Companion app — it’s broken down into your expense and spending categories. Take a peek and see where you stand before you commit to swiping your card.
But just because they’re mobile doesn’t mean budgeting apps can’t help you with larger purchases too. “I can’t tell you how many times financing for an auto lease or loan has been slowed down because customers had to run home or call their banks for some bit of information that was critical to getting approved," says Jay Bird, Customer Experience Manager at Bennett Chevrolet in New Jersey. “With these apps, all your balances and your budget are right there for easy access. It takes the guesswork out of how much car payment you can reasonably afford or how much of a deposit you can put down."
The Quicken app isn’t limited to banking — you can include credit accounts as well and use them to keep track of your earnings.
Alerts and Notifications
A friendly tap on the shoulder can be invaluable when you’re busy and likely to lose track of things. Quicken’s customized alerts and notifications feature lets you know if something important has changed while you were preoccupied living your life. It will wave a flag if your spending pattern changes or when your account balances update. If your spouse makes a major purchase like paying for the kids’ summer camp 60 seconds before you swipe your debit card at the grocery store, you’ll know about it.