Money Management: Thou Shall Not Fight Technology

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The only constant thing in life is change. The rate of change is getting more rapid, being driven by technology. The world is moving on, even when you decide to keep doing things the same old way. There is simply nothing you can do about it. Fighting technology is a losing battle. Technology is your friend when it comes to managing your money, as in practically other areas of life.

That does not mean technology only comes with advantages. There are disadvantages of course. Technology has made it possible to do good things better but it has also provided a platform for promotion of evil. We have a choice as to how we use technology. Social media has made us more connected, which is a good thing.  It has also become a weapon of mass distraction. Technology is neutral. It provides leverage for what you want to do. However, one thing is certain – you cannot wish technology away.

Technology has made it easier to save and invest more than ever before. You can put finances in auto pilot to save and invest by setting up standing orders or direct debits on your account. You no longer have to struggle with paying yourself first. If you earn a monthly income, you can set up your account to take out your savings first before you get to spend it.


Who took my money?

With technology, you no longer rack your head to figure out where your money went. I remember back in the day, my wife would know I had received my salary when I came home with a dark grey polythene bag. It is amazing that I never got robbed once, ferrying cash that way. Many have a sorry tale. Thieves on motorcycles have waited for people outside the banking hall or trailed them to their destination. Moving cash physically is a risky undertaking, especially as we approach the end of year shopping season.

Getting the money home, it often seems to disappear in mysterious ways. I used to keep money by my bedside drawer and dispense as needed. In my mind, I had so much. Days later, there would be only a few notes left. I would ask my wife if she took money from my drawer. With online banking and online shopping, you can trace your cash flows. You know exactly where your money has gone.

Some people try to avoid bank transfer charges by physically going to the bank to make payments or transfers. They often forget to calculate transportation cost, their time and the risk involved withdrawing from Bank A to deposit in Bank B. Asking people to come to your house to collect money can be risky. You give the impression you keep money in the house. At the end of the day, if you do not take note, you will be wondering what has happened to the money.

Investment made easy

You don’t need to run from pillar to post before you invest. You can invest without leaving your bedroom. After setting up your account (which can also be done online), you can carry out transactions online or via email. There is no getting stuck in traffic point to go do what you can do at home or office.

The world has moved on. You can buy stocks, financial instruments and pretty much everything else without stepping out of the house (unless you need to physically inspect e.g. real estate). You cut out traffic, time wasted, closing hours, physical constraints, scheduling issues, among others, by just doing it online from anywhere in the world.

The old way is not safer

There is usually the fear that your money is safer if  you handle it the old way. That is not true. If you are careless and do not take the right precautions, then your risks are greater. If you do the right things to protect yourself from identity theft, your money is much safer than manual handling. Carrying cash is much more risky, and puts you in more danger.

Technology has tools to protect you from identity theft, if you are willing to learn. The bank also has tools to safeguard their systems. If you play your part in protecting yourself from identity theft, the bank is liable if someone breaks into your account. You are increasing your risk by insisting on handling cash. You are also at the mercy of the bank because they dictate which hours you can access your money, and how much (if they are low on cash). If the person you are giving money to is paying it into the bank, what have you achieved by the stunt you just pulled?

Doing business online is much easier and more fun. You can shop around without living your room. You can compare prices, rates, terms and conditions and decide what works best for you. You are spared the hassle of traffic, transportation costs, impulse purchases and many other things you may not have encountered if you stayed at your desk. We will have fewer cars on the road and cleaner air. You can free up that time and energy to learn things that will move you towards your goals, which can also be done online.

Embracing technology is part of being financially savvy. When all the financial institutions you deal with no longer accept cash, you will be forced back to the 21st century. Most brokers I know do not accept cash. The analogue world is shrinking by the day, being taken over by digital. Ignorance is getting more and more expensive. Thou shall not fight technology. It is better to embrace technology joyfully rather than being dragged kicking and screaming.

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