Your smartphone is your lifeline. It’s a communication device, handheld entertainment console, GPS and social gadget. Your smartphone connects you to friends and family, games and directions. And now it can connect you to your finances. Your smartphone helps with all types of monetary matters, from convenient mobile payments and money transfers to billing alerts and budget apps. Here’s how your smartphone can serve as an efficient handheld money-management tool.
Download your bank’s app to check and monitor your expenses anytime, anywhere. Waiting for credit card statements to arrive in the mail and stopping at the bank to deposit a check are archaic, time-consuming ways to manage your funds. In comparison, mobile banking offers real-time access to your accounts so you can check balances, pay bills, transfer funds and track transactions with a touch of your screen. If you can make it a habit to log into your mobile account on a regular basis, you can make it a habit to ensure you’re spending responsibly.
Android vs. Samsung Pay
Following in the dust of Google Wallet, Android Pay is a cutting-edge mobile payment platform that allows you to make purchases right from your smartphone. To use this high-tech, digitized wallet, you simply tap your phone on NFC-ready credit card terminals at stores. This is how Android Pay differs from its rival Samsung Pay, which uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology. More retailers accept Samsung Pay, but Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge are compatible with both Android and Samsung Pay. This means you can choose which one you prefer or use both.
In addition to convenience, your finances are more secure with these mobile payment systems. Each credit card payment generates a virtual number, or token, that expires after every purchase. In other words, Android Pay helps limit exposure of your credit card number.
Work Expense and Tax Deduction
If you use your personal smartphone for work-related purposes, you can deduct it as long as you follow the 2 percent rule set by the IRS and it’s a work expense that isn’t reimbursed (miscellaneous deductions). The Nest delves further into this rule, explaining miscellaneous deductions must total up to more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
If you’re self-employed, you also can claim your mobile phone as a deduction. However, prepare to support this deduction by tracking business use and only claiming that amount of your bill. As an alternative, set up a separate business number from your personal number and only claim services used on the business line. You also should look into claiming depreciation for when wear and tear starts to devalue your phone.
Alerts and Apps
If you set up online banking on your phone, check to see if the mobile app offers an alerts feature to notify you about payments due like bills, rent or mortgage. You also can set up an alert for low balances or if your balance drops below a certain limit. With an alerts system, you can prevent overdrafts and avoid unwanted fees. If mobile banking alerts sound too complicated, resort to the Galaxy S6 notification reminder. This feature repeats reminders until you take action, ensuring that bill definitely gets paid on time.
Of course, you have a wide inventory of available apps to help with budgeting, saving and transferring funds to others who don’t share your bank. Gotta Be Mobile highlights 11 of the best budget apps to keep your finances in check, prevent costly mistakes and reach your financial goals.