These days we find ourselves relying more and more on our credit cards, digital wallets, and apps like Venmo, Apple Pay, and PayPal. While they’re no doubt making our lives easier, with everything so spread out, how can we stay on top of things while making sure our personal information stays protected? Here are three easy ways to help you keep your finances organized and safe:
1. Come up with a system.
One thing you can do to try to stay organized is to create a financial map, which is a simple diagram that shows all your accounts (i.e., savings, checking, credit cards, digital wallet apps) and how they’re linked. “It lets me quickly see how money flows through my finances without me having to remember or look it up,” explains Jim Wang of wallethacks.com
Another way to stay organized is to use a single app to help streamline your finances.
You can try the mobile wallet Sprig® by CO-OP if your credit union offers it. It’s essentially a virtual credit union where you can track all your accounts and send money to your friends.
2. Link all your accounts to a single card.
If you find your spending starting to get out of hand, try linking all your digital wallet and person-to-person apps to one credit card. It’ll be much easier to track your spending that way. If possible, have all your accounts drawn from one account. If you are member of a participating credit union, CO-OP’s CardNav can set spending limits to help you not go overboard.
Have more than one credit card? To keep them active, rotate them out every few months or so. This might seem like a pain to do, but keeping your credit cards active will help with your credit score.
3. Make use of all security features.
As you’re most likely accessing your accounts through your phone or online, take advantage of advanced security features such as fingerprint ID or numeric passcodes, suggests Johnny Galbraith of Ourfreakingbudget.com. “This gives us added level of protection and peace of mind should our phones ever find themselves in the wrong hands—like our two-year-old daughter,” Galbraith jokes.
There may be security features on your apps or credit cards that you may not be aware of. For instance, with CardNav, you can set limits based on location as to where your card can or cannot be used. If a card is outside the limits you’ve set, it will automatically turn off. Did you forget to close your tab and left your credit card at the bar last night? You can turn off your card until you go back for it.
While managing all your cards and payment apps may seem a little daunting at first, having a simple system and having a few tricks up your sleeve can help you stay organized and keep your accounts secure.
Have questions? Contact your local credit union to have them answered.