January 6, 2017 | Written by: Jen Clark
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In the last of our New Year’s resolutions series, we take a quick look at finances. I know, it’s painful, especially after Christmas, but help is at hand, and the key is honesty. Once you have a true picture of where your money’s going, you can look at how to budget for the future.
The goal: I want to take control of my finances
This is a big one for many of us. Aside from earning some extra money, there are some simple steps you can take to get your finances in order. One such step is to become aware of how much you are spending, and on what. Do you fall prey to impulse buying? Or perhaps you buy lunch every day rather than making a packed meal?
An epic demotivator: electric shocks when you overspend
As well as some fantastic online tools to keep track of your spending (I love Money Saving Expert’s Demotivator), there now exists the very first Internet of Things banking platform. Interact IoT (launched by Intelligent Environments) automatically detects overspending. It won’t be polite about it either – spend money on something you shouldn’t and you get an electric shock. Ouch. The platform links up with smart devices in the home too (assuming you have them), to help you save money on utilities by automatically turning down your heating when your consumption outstrips the wherewithal to pay for it.
Budgeting apps to put you back in control
These are a few user-friendly apps to help create (and stick to) a monthly budget. They’re not strictly IoT, but they do enable tracking in real-time and help you manage your money on the go:
- Mint Budgeting App: A fabulous, free, money manager and financial tracking app that gives you an instant overview of all your finances and spending. You can see investments, savings and credit card debt in one place, manage bills and even check your credit score.
- PocketGuard: Much like Mint, PocketGuard lets you view your financial info in one place. It also automatically creates a budget for you according to your outgoings, and how much is in the piggy bank. Currently it’s only available in the U.S. and Canada.
- You Need A Budget: Yes you do, my friend. The website promises this app can help you “stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt and save more money.” Amen to that.
- Myvelopes: Track your bills, manage your money, and get instant updates about what you have available to spend. A user-friendly, straightforward app that’s part of a larger home financial programme, for those ready to take it a step further.
More good habits with the help of the IoT
This is by no means an exhaustive list of resolutions, but we hope it will get you started. There are lots of other posts you might find useful, like this one about IoT-enabled chore cheats to keep you on top of the housework, or this useful in-depth guide to fitness with the help of the Internet of Things. If you haven’t already, check out the rest of the series too: