Five Ways to Save Money and Raise Your Financial IQ

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Finances can get pretty dry and boring, but I can’t live without a budget! Budgets help me stay on track so I know how much I have to do what I love. However, with everything I have going on, organizing my budget is not my favorite thing to do. 

With more and more tech tools available, digitizing your life can save time and have a bonus effect on your wallet. The latest digital tools and innovations give me the flexibility of banking more ways and on my terms. Whether you’re looking for easier ways to manage your money, save time or just simplify your life, here are a few creative and modern ways that have help me maximize my hard earned money, and maybe these tips will help you, too. 

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1. Make your home smarter 

Strengthening your financial IQ begins at home, literally. Enhancing your home life with smart products can save you time, energy and money. By switching to a smart thermostat, which learns your routines and turns on and off accordingly, you’ll save up to $145 a year alone!* And when you’re not at home, use that smart device you always have on you (ahem, your phone) to stay on top of your money on-the-go with a tool like Capital One Alerts. You can customize your alerts to give you low balance reminders, remind you of recent (late-night) purchases and more.

*SOURCE: Nest

2. Use voice-activated technology to manage your money

Voice-activated technologies hold a lot of promise to make our lives easier, giving you instant access to weather, playing music, the news and more. Now you can take it one step further and add your financial life to the mix. For example, with the Capital One Skill for Amazon Alexa, you can use any Amazon Alexa-enabled device like the Amazon Echo to access your Capital One accounts and check your balance, make a payment and manage your account – all using just your voice. I’ve tethered my Capital One account to my Amazon Echo, and while sitting on my couch on my laptop I can ask “Alexa,” the voice assistant robot that’s inside the Echo, for real-time information on my Capital One account like “what’s my account balance,” “when is my payment due?,” and “what are my last five transactions?”

 

3. Map out your spending 

As a visual person, I best comprehend my spending habits and can visualize where I should be cutting back when it is all laid out for me. Am I spending too much on travel? Could I save more by paying less for food delivery? When it’s in front of your face in a pretty chart, it’s hard to not acknowledge! I use something called Capital One Enhanced Transactions tied to my Capital One account and it gives me a full snapshot of what I’m spending where, such as dinners out, cabs, new gadgets or new clothing and cash withdrawals, all with merchant names and logos.

 

4. Declutter and Digitize

When you’re practically running a warehouse testing gadgets 24/7, free time can seem mythical. That’s why I use technology to save me time from running around doing chores and errands. One surprising time suck is depositing checks. Who has time to run to the bank to deposit? Digitizing this process using online tools like Capital One’s Mobile Check Deposit saves you time and directly deposits the funds into your account.

Another black hole for time can be wading through the clutter accumulating at home. One thing I noticed stacking up over the years is issues and issues of magazines that go unread, take up room and collect dust. But how can I give up my National Geographic?! Why not get an unlimited digital subscription to more than 175 top magazines (including back issues) for just $10 a month (vs. nearly $10 for each year-long subscription) which is accessible on up to five devices!? Not to mention eco-friendly.

 

5. Automate your bill payments

You work hard for your money. Don’t lose it to late fees! By scheduling automatic payments with features such Capital One’s Online Bill Pay, you’ll have better peace of mind that your bills are being paid on time, every time.