How to make your life easy with apps

Oct 24, 2018 | Tony Byrne's View

Last December when we had heavy snow, I managed to lose my entire set of keys. My car keys, my house keys, my post box key, my wife’s house keys, my car charging port key, and all of my store cards too. I inadvertently dropped them in the snow and didn’t hear them fall. Now it’s true I’ve had better days, but you know what? It could have been a lot worse… without apps.

What happened next? I got in my car and drove home keyless using the Tesla app; I found my spare car key when I got home. I didn’t bother replacing my physical store cards because I had already saved them to an app called Stocard. How did that help? Stocard stores all manner of store cards including loyalty cards, discount cards and rewards cards on your phone, so I had the information I needed anyway. My pockets have felt a lot lighter since, actually.

Then I had my real light bulb moment. As I have been using a personal finance app called Moneyhub for a few years, which uses feeds from banks and other financial institutions to update all of my transactions, assets and liabilities, I realised I could stop bothering with paper receipts altogether. All transactions are automatically recorded electronically anyway, so why worry about paper versions?

The thing is, I’m sure you’re getting the gist of what I’m saying now. I’ve realised apps just make everything easier to the point of becoming a habit. That can have its challenges, of course. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed paying for things on my contactless card, but I do get frustrated by the £30 maximum limit. And only the other week I was out with my daughter, Devon, when she tried to pay for something at a shop using Apple Pay. The shop assistant told her that they didn’t accept Apple Pay, and she and I were shocked; Devon pays for everything that way! But why wouldn’t she now? The beauty of Apple Pay is that most shops accept it and there is usually no limit on the size of the payment. It’s so convenient to be able to save your bank cards to your virtual wallet on your iPhone, and then simply select the bank card you want when you use Apple Pay. It’s totally secure, because you can rely on fingerprint recognition to protect you. You just press on the home button, hold your phone facing the card terminal, and smile as the payment is collected automatically.

The fact is these days, you don’t really need to carry any cards with you when you go shopping, unless of course the shop you visit is still in the dark ages and doesn’t accept apps like Apple Pay. And these apps are more than just about paying at a shop counter. I mentioned earlier about MoneyHub. This app records all of your banking transactions as well as pensions and investments etc. It keeps a note of all of your income and expenditure and assets and liabilities. It doesn’t matter how many accounts need to be updated daily, it can cope. Most transactions are automatically labelled, so they’re easy to track. In effect, what Moneyhub gives you is not only all of your up to date transactions but also a snapshot of your assets and liabilities, your net worth, and your personal balance sheet. All of these features for a cost of just £10 a year! Well worth it in my opinion.

I thought it would be useful to illustrate from my own experience just how handy the right apps can be… because they really have been. I hope it’s got you thinking. If you would like advice on how to become better financially organised why not contact us for a financial review? You know it makes sense.

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