Save Money, Use Mint

With the new year still fresh, many people are still adamant about sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. According to the site Statistic Brain, 45 percent of Americans typically make New Year’s Resolutions. In 2014, the second most popular resolution was to get organized, while the third most common resolution was to save more and spend less. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

As a business major emphasizing in finance, I pride myself on being fiscally responsible (although some people prefer to call me “frugal”). But, as a poor college student, managing money can be stressful, and who needs extra stress these days?

As I admitted earlier, I am addicted to my smartphone and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. How does this relate to managing money? There’s an app for that!

If you’ve never heard of the app Mint and are struggling to manage your finances, go check it out (and download it!). If you don’t have a smartphone, the same services are available at mint.com.

mint.com

Mint.com is a free service that allows you to connect all of your bank accounts in one place. It monitors  your transactions from all of your connected accounts, and it allows you to create a budget for yourself. The budgets created are divided into categories, such as “food and dining,” “gas and travel,” and “entertainment.” Your transactions will be categorized, and the app will send you reminders when you’ve gone over budget in a given category. Additionally, the app sends its users a weekly financial summary.

It’s a safe and secure system that will help you manage your finances and achieve your financial goals. It’s simple to use, meaning anyone who has access to the site will be able to make use of the service.

If you, like many, are hoping to get organized and save more this year, check out Mint and allow technology to become your financial advocate!

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Is Your Smartphone Stalking You?

Everyone has their own opinion regarding smartphones. Personally, I love mine (read: I am addicted to mine) and use it for virtually everything. My parents, on the other hand, think I am too “attached” to my gadget and use their own smartphones more sparingly than I.

Whether you love them, hate them or are completely indifferent to them, your smartphone actually tells a lot about you…via your WiFi signals.

SmartPhone-Location-Tracking

Recently, software companies have developed programs to track smartphone users as they mobilize through cities, by using data emitted on public WiFi networks. From this data, they are able to create profiles on various consumers that, while they don’t include a consumer’s name, tell a great deal about a person.

These signals can track where you work and eat, where you shop and exercise and so much more. While they claim to keep consumers anonymous, it’s hard to believe when so much of your lifestyle is being swept up by this data.

From the data, people are being clumped into lifestyle categories. For example, the software can monitor how often a person visits a yoga studio and thereby classify them as a casual, intermediate or heavy yogi.

So, while your name remains unknown to these companies, much more is known, begging the question–how do you feel about your smartphone knowing so much about you?

If you feel insecure about companies tracking you, here are methods to opt out of location tracking.