Yes, we are well aware that we are known as the generation who would go back into a burning building for our smartphone but can’t tell you the name of a single person living on our street.
Whilst we are almost universally berated for being so attached to our phones and that it can have nothing but a negative impact, there are in fact a number of ways that this amazing new technology can have a positive impact on many parts of our lives, including helping us with our personal finance issues (which means any time anyone slates you for being glued to your screen you will have a legitimate come back ready as to why – you’re welcome!).
Here are some nifty little ways that your smartphone habit can start working for you.
1. You’re always connected to your bank
The wonders of Internet banking means that you are able to check your bank balance, your standing orders, your credit card debt, and almost any other service you can think of, at any given time or place.
If you are ever in doubt before you make a big purchase you are able to log on to your account and see exactly where you stand financially. Many banks offer a text alerts service nowadays that automatically sends you a text when your bank account reaches a certain balance. Just this small benefit alone should mean that you are never caught unawares as to your financial status and can be a lifesaver for avoiding overdraft fees.
It also means that if you have a budgeting or savings app, like Oval Money you are able to log on and see all your savings and transactions whenever you need to.
2. Up-to-date deals on the go
Knowledge is power; never forget that. This small hand held device means you will never again be scammed by a shop or a company trying to tell you that they are selling you their product for the lowest ever price.
Whether you have price comparison aps or just connect to the good ol’ “www”, you are able to check in mere moments whether you are getting the best possible value for your money. Whilst some people complain about continuous connectivity, it actually forces businesses to be more transparent and competitive with their pricing techniques.
3. Phone a friend
If you are ever in two minds about a potential spend, whether it is sensible, necessary, or being made from an emotional rather than a rational space, then phoning someone to get a little impartial advice has never been a bad thing.
Obviously what you say goes when it comes down to it, but just having that option to reach out and ask someone their opinion provides you with that extra bit of back up.
4. Snap and send
The much anticipated and universally adored era of the camera phone has been upon for well over a decade now, and it is revolutionising not only the way we capture and archive memories, but also the way we shop.
Amazing aps like CamFind, and others just like it, are giving us the incredible opportunity to snap a picture of what we see in real life and connect us with a place online to buy it.
Like that girls top? Snap and shop! Fancy buying that bottle of wine you drank in the restaurant at lunch? Snap and shop! Nothing is any longer out of reach. These aps will search the vast reaches of the Internet and provide you with an online store where you can buy whatever you wish.
5. Work it!
Many companies are now giving people the option to work from home and ‘telecommute’ to their offices. Flexible working spaces, and flexi-hours to match, are springing up all over the world. Obviously, the tech companies are streets ahead here. However, if you are able to work in a more flexible environment then your phone is your saviour. Being able to send emails on the go, download and read reports, scan pictures to pdf and ping them off with whatsapp or skype messenger whilst on the train or at a coffee shop can free you up from the monotony of 9-5 life.
Being freed from this rigid work routine also frees you up to open up your own side hustle. Be it selling home made jam, freelance acrobat teaching, or professional library tour guide work; whatever you want to pursue in order to make a little extra money on the side is now much more easily slotted in to your day.
For better or for worse, smartphones are here to stay. We may as well find ways to incorporate them into our lives so that they are a help, not a hindrance, and provide us with the tools we need to live productive lives.