Finances can be challenging, but over the last several years there has been an explosion of apps and services that you can use to monitor your finances, budget, and save.
This is both a blessing as well as a curse; there are tons of options to help get your money straight, but using too many can lead to increased stress and a fragmented financial picture.
Here are some tips to help you avoid being too financially scattered and keep your financial focus sharp.
Get Your Priorities Straight
The first thing is first when taking sensible control of your finances, you need to get your debt under control, and paid down if not paid off. Use a simple snowball calculator to determine your best plan of attack for tackling your debt.
Once you are free from debt, you can begin to build wealth. Many people try to do both at once, and while that is possible, it can be difficult and can cause a higher rate of failure in both.
Less Is More
When you are beginning to use various financial products, you will need to have access to them, which will frequently be through an app. With potentially dozens of apps gathering your financial information like your social security number and bank transfer information, your personal information rapidly becomes less secure.
Carefully evaluate the products, companies, services, and apps you plan you use and ensure they are operated securely. This includes bank-level encryption and strong password requirements.
If possible, arrange all of your investment and financial planning tools in one app. If your needs prohibit that, use what you need, but try not to use duplicate or superfluous apps that may pose a security risk. If your financial information gets out there, you’re putting your wealth at risk.
Limit Your Investment Options In The Beginning
Too many people try too hard to diversify, and as a result, they end up investing a little bit in a lot of things they know nothing about. This can create a desirable result when it’s done by a professional, however, when it’s done on a retail trading basis it can be disastrous.
Start out investing simply by investing in a few managed mutual funds or index funds, with reinvestment enabled. From there you can branch out. Some investment platforms will actually let you essentially copy and paste the investment strategy of famous investors.
Let a Financial Professional Take The Wheel
At some point, you are going to want to hand off your investment to a professional to manage them. By continuing to personally manage your increasingly large portfolio, you will be under an ever-increasing amount of stress.
Over-engineering your personal finances will lead you to micromanage everything in your financial life. You won’t be able to let yourself get restful sleep as you think about the markets, and it will become an increasingly challenging problem to manage.
In addition to relieving you of the task of managing your finances, a financial planner can help you meet your investment growth goals. Many of them are committed to providing a certain level of performance for their clients.
The Problem With Over Engineering Your Personal Finances
By overengineering your personal finances, you begin to mold yourself into a miser that only watches the market. And no matter what, no amount of market-watching, fund-switching, or panic-selling is going to make you wealthy. The only sure-fire way to become wealthy is a steady, sound, diversified investment over time. So be patient, check your balances from time to time, and use those apps wisely.