Yes, managing your finances can be a tedious burden. However, it’s one of those dreaded responsibilities you have to do. Luckily, the many tools and features available with Valley Credit Union’s mobile banking app make it quicker and easier than ever before.
We’re sure that with these tips for budgeting, you’ll be a master in no time.
Why Mobile Banking For Budgeting?
Mobile banking and online are the new norm. Think about it: When’s the last time you saw someone buy groceries with a check? Or, of your last 10 financial activities, how many really required you to go into an actual brick-and-mortar branch? (Probably close to zero.)
It behooves you to take advantage of all they offer — because they will make your life easier and money management more efficient. Leverage all the features that benefit you, such as real-time transfers between accounts (e.g., move money from your savings to your checking account before paying bills), depositing checks without having to go to a branch, find ATMs, and pay bills.
How To Manage Your Finances On The Go
The key here is to learn what platforms (i.e., mobile app and online banking) are available to you and how they work. Get familiar with their tools and functionality so you can use them comfortably and confidently. This is when you’ll spend less time budgeting and tracking and more time doing things you enjoy.
Most of these suggestions can be implemented on our mobile app. All can be accomplished via our online banking portal.
Review your balances, scheduled disbursements, and transaction activity on a regular and frequent basis. This way you’ll always be in the know of the status of your accounts. It’s really helpful if you share accounts with a partner or have lots of transactions crossing in the ether. (Also, if fraudulent activity has occurred, you’ll catch it much sooner.) With our Instant Balance feature on the mobile banking app, you can check account balances from the log-in screen without even signing in.
Notifications are your friends. You can configure your account settings to ping you with daily balances, when charges hit your account, if your balance slips below a certain threshold amount and much more. Generally, you have lots of options when it comes to activating alerts.
Not only will you save some trees, reduce household clutter, and up the security of your banking information, you’ll make your life so much easier. eStatements are readily available from your computer or mobile device — so you can check current and past statements anytime, anywhere.
Group related expenses together so it’s easier to see what you’re spending where. Consider categories like “Utilities” (for phone, gas, electric, etc. bills) and “Entertainment” (for eating out, date night, vacations, etc. spending). Ultimately, the categories you choose should resonate with your life so they’ll be most helpful.
It’s easier to track and manage your cash flows if you have fewer accounts. To the degree possible or that makes fiscal or logistical sense, reduce the number of accounts and/or institutions you’re stashing your money at.
Creating a simple budget can make managing your finances a lot less painful. Sometimes just getting the categories of expenses and their usual cost on paper (or a spreadsheet) can keep you on track. If you go into a month already knowing the portion of your income or savings that’s already spoken for (known bills), you’ll also have a good idea of what’s left for your rainy day fund and discretionary spending. This is a great exercise for both shorter- and longer-term planning.
Recommendations can vary by age and goals, but many experts suggest trying to save at least 20% of your income and having an emergency fund of three-six months’ wages. Do the best you can. The important thing here is to set aside some money for those unexpected (and often spendy) life events that will occur.)
This gives you a ton of flexibility, which will save you time, money, and effort. It can also improve the security of and your access to your accounts and financial details. Really, there are just too many advantages to recount here.
We always like to throw in a few suggestions of what not to do. Knowing what to avoid can be just as valuable as knowing what to do.
Don’t be laissez-faire.
Even if you’re working with a bookkeeper, CPA, or financial planner, it’s vital that you understand your own financial situation and obligations. So, get actively involved in managing your money.
Don’t shirk responsibilities.
Always pay your bills on time and in full. This will save you money and stress and position you for better credit down the line. If your circumstances change — like you lose your job or have a health crisis — contact the people or companies to whom you owe money. Chances are that at least some of them will work with you so that you can reduce, delay, or forego all or part of your payment.
Don’t be haphazard.
Budgeting and tracking goes a lot more smoothly if you’re organized and somewhat detail-oriented. Establish systems and routines to get you in the groove.
More Mobile Banking Resources
For a deeper dive into personal financial management or mobile banking, check out these resources.
Managing Your Finances
If you need additional help, VCU’s here to help! Reach out with your questions and our staff will take care of you.
Valley Credit Union, Your Banking-On-The-Go Ally
We know you’re busy, that’s why we strive to create the tools you need to complete your banking on your terms. It’s also why we love to offer you insightful resources — like these tips for budgeting — to educate and empower you.
Just because you’ve got mobile and online banking and loads of information at your fingertips, though, it’s good to know that the VCU team is still here to help you. With more options for managing your finances, budgeting, and tracking keeps getting easier and better.
Get started with the Valley Credit Union Mobile Banking app today. It’s really that easy.