Life before digital technology wasn’t necessarily the Dark Ages. But it did take longer to accomplish many things people take for granted today. Instead of going to the library, you can find information on nearly anything online within seconds. Thanks to videoconferencing, it’s also possible to communicate across the globe instantaneously.
Tech seems to be getting more sophisticated and widespread every day. However, it’s still easy to overlook areas where you can benefit from using technology more. You might not be accustomed to smart devices that can automate your home or apps that will help manage your finances. Yet these tools can simplify your routine and free up more leisure time. Let’s look at three areas where you should incorporate more tech.
Online banking and bill payment are just the tip of the iceberg regarding technology and personal finance. These advancements mean no more stamps or waiting weeks for bill payments to post. You no longer need to wait in line at the bank to deposit paychecks or transfer funds between accounts.
However, you might be missing out on other digital personal finance tools. For example, mobile apps for debit cards make it easier to manage your money. Apps give you instant and centralized access and control. You can monitor deposits, payments, and other account transactions with a touch here and a tap there.
Let’s say you discover your debit card is missing. With transactions cut off, no one will be able to use it. All you have to do is launch an app to deactivate the card. Plus, you can order a replacement card in the app and avoid waiting to speak to someone on hold.
Mobile apps also streamline payments and information tied to a debit card. You don’t have to open a web browser to find the nearest in-network ATM. Use the app’s map feature to locate ATMs where you can withdraw money without additional fees. Or you can link your account to mobile payment services. Make payments with a tap or swipe inside the app instead of pulling out your card at every store.
Two years ago, one in five U.S. adults consistently wore a smartwatch or fitness tracker. But by the second quarter of 2021, global smartwatch shipments increased 47% from the previous year. Besides being a growing trend, smartwatches and fitness trackers are becoming more advanced. They do so much more than count your steps.
Wearable devices and the apps that sync with them can monitor your heart rate, sleep patterns, and body temperature. Based on your heart rate and age, wearables can determine whether you were burning fat during your last workout. Devices don’t stop recognizing you were on the treadmill for 45 minutes. The app will break down the percentage of time you were in the fat-burning and cardio zones.
In the app, you’ll see how much light, deep, and REM sleep you have. You’ll also get a sleep score every night, letting you see patterns in your sleep cycles. Health metrics like breathing rate during sleep, heart rate variability, and resting heart rate can be useful.
You might share these metrics with your doctor or use them to see how exercise improves your fitness level. Lower resting heart rates, for instance, usually indicate a more efficient cardiovascular system.
If getting more exercise is your goal, your device will remind you when to move. Its digital display and app show how many steps you should get in an hour. You’ll feel a buzz on your wrist when sitting too long. It’s like having a personal trainer without the hefty price tag.
Shopping for weekly groceries can be time-consuming and stressful. Between checking for coupons and sales, planning recipes, and making lists, the process can take hours out of your week. By the time you get to the store, you’re already tired. Crowded aisles, long checkout lines, and product shortages don’t help.
Inflation’s impact on food prices is prompting many households to look at changing their shopping and eating habits. Average grocery costs are up 7.9% as of February 2022 and are expected to climb another 3% to 4%. Takeout three times a week and discarding out-of-date food from the fridge are no longer feasible options.
Technology like smart fridges and grocery store apps can help households control their food costs. How many times have you bought something at the store only to discover you already had it? Smart fridges keep track of items at the front and those hidden in the back.
If you need to run to the store after work, an app will show you’re low on milk and veggies. Some smart fridges also monitor expiration dates so you can cut down on waste.
Grocery store apps help you track sales, load coupons, get personalized offers, and streamline shopping lists. You don’t need to wait for ads in the newspaper or clip and organize paper coupons. To save time, shop directly from the app and schedule a curbside pickup or home delivery. See what you’re spending in real time and avoid in-store temptations so you can stick to your budget.
Today, it’s hard to find an area of life where technology doesn’t exist or can’t be used to greater effect. Although many people grew up with tech advancements, they may not be taking advantage of all their capabilities and conveniences. Personal finance, health and fitness, and grocery shopping are parts of your life where you might miss out on tech’s benefits. By using available devices, apps, and services, you can easily control these areas.