Living in the 21s century means a new tech advancement just about every single week.
For the management of our finances, this can be a major help or a huge hindrance. Here we’ll look into the positive and negative impacts of technology on personal finance.
I’m an amateur personal finance geek.
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Personal Capital Dashboard User, February 2021
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The Negatives of Technology & Money
To end on a more positive note, let’s first dig into the ways technology has adversely impacted our relationship with money. While technology is making things faster and easier than ever, it’s important to note the harmful patterns in how we think about and manage our money.
It’s easier to obsess over money.
With the ever-growing popularity of social media platforms, it’s easy to compare your wealth with those around you. With platforms aimed at visual stimulation, you can flash your new purchases or buy up more stuff with a tap of the thumb. We’ve never dealt with a perpetual state of “keeping up with the Joneses” quite like this one.
Our obsession with money (both other people’s and our own) can have serious consequences on our mental health and level of fulfillment.
Dr. Deepak Chopra, acclaimed holistic health expert and Personal Capital Financial Hero, experienced this firsthand.
“I was in a rut,” he recalled of his financial habits after relocating to the U.S. as a young doctor. “I was spending money that I hadn’t earned to buy things that I didn’t want or need to impress people that I didn’t care about. This is the kind of stress mindset that leads to disaster.”
Read More: How to Deal with Financial Stress
It’s easier to spend emotionally.
The internet has quickly become filled with data-driven marketing tactics that show you what you want when you want it. While it’s great for companies looking to make a profit, it’s a heavy burden for consumers who tend to be emotional spenders. Advertisements highlight images of your recent Google searches, and you may find yourself making purchases that you don’t need and later regret. This, in turn, results in feeling shameful about your spending habits.
If there’s one thing I tell every single one of my clients, it’s this: You don’t have to stop spending money. You just have to stop spending money on things you don’t care about.
It’s easier to experience information overload.
These days, everyone’s an expert. Ask anyone for their opinion, and they are likely to give it to you — whether it’s accurate or not. Because of the amount of free information concerning personal finance that is readily available to the public, it’s easy to either get a) overwhelmed and burnt out or b) fed the wrong advice from people who really have no idea what they’re talking about. A great way to combat this is to pick a few trusted money experts to lean into and learn from and forget the rest.
The Positives of Technology & Money
There’s no doubt that technology has made managing money easier than ever, and I’ll leave it up to you to determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
It’s easier to track investments.
New technology means two key things when it comes to investing:
- more data to back the success of certain portfolio options
- more diverse portfolios to choose from.
In addition, there’s plenty of software that will help you keep track of your investments and even invest for you.
Personal Capital is my favorite tool for planning for the long-term and keeping track of my investment accounts. Using the savings calculator, you can find out how much you need to invest each year to reach your retirement goal.
Learn More: Get Clarity on Your Money
It’s easier to automate and set up reminders.
Nowadays, it’s easy to set up reminders and auto payments to make sure you are paying off your credit cards and other expenses on time and in full. By automating payments, it’s also easier to avoid late fees or an overdraft on your account. Beyond paying bills, you can also use automation to reach your savings goals and focus on paying yourself first.
It’s easier to manage finances from anywhere.
As long as you have internet access, it’s easy to keep track of your accounts and payments from just about anywhere in the world. Most bank accounts have apps for easy access while on the go. If you’re looking for a way to view all your accounts in one place, check out Personal Capital’s award-winning dashboard that makes it easy to track and manage the entire scope of your finances.
Bombarded by information and tech advancements, it can feel like money is controlling you instead of the other way around. You can get smart with your finances by realizing the negatives and then selecting key tools to use technology to your advantage.
Personal Capital compensates Tori Dunlap (“Author”) for providing the content contained in this blog post. Additionally, in a separate referral arrangement between Author and Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”), Author is paid $70 and $150 for each person who uses Author’s webpage (www.HerFirst100k.com) to register with Personal Capital and links at least $100,000 in investable assets to Personal Capital’s Free Financial Dashboard. As a result of these arrangements, Author may financially benefit from referring potential clients to Personal Capital and/or be incentivized to present blog content that is favorable to PCC. No fees or other amounts will be charged to investors by Author or Personal Capital as a result of the Referral Arrangement. Investors that are referred to PCC and subsequently subscribe for investment advisory services provided by PCC’s affiliated adviser, Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”) will not pay increased management fees or other similar compensation to Author, PCC or PCAC as a result of this arrangement. Additional information about PCAC is contained in Form ADV Part 2A available here.