Last week, the Young Adult’s Perspective series covered tips on moving towards financial independence, including, most importantly, budgeting. The goal of budgeting is to maximize your savings potential so that you can make better use of your money both now and down the line.
There are two challenges for anyone trying to get started saving, however. The first is staying true to a budget. Sometimes, we are so tempted by a purchase that we eat away at our savings much faster than expected. The second problem, for many, is debt. You might be able to plan out how much of your student loans you need to pay every month, but then you suddenly face new, unexpected expenses, like vehicle repairs, medical bills, and rising prices for everyday needs, which all together can make managing your debt a much harder task.
Fortunately for newly independent people, there is a new source of help to turn to. FinTech, short for Financial Technology, is a blooming industry focused on utilizing technology to encourage money management. Here are a few companies and programs offering the tools and technology you need to face the challenges of managing your money as a young adult.
FinTech Tools for Improved Savings
SaverLife is an online service created by EARN, a national non-profit focused on empowering low income individuals to take control of their finances. SaverLife is a free program that offers you rewards for making smart decisions about saving money. Simply link an existing bank account to their safe, security encrypted program, and earn chances at rewards just by saving money. SaverLife also sponsors contests that users can take part in, also free of charge, for even more opportunities. If you are hesitant, their website offers you free guides on topics like budgeting, finances, credit and debit, and money management calculators. As a partner with EARN, CESI promises that EARN is a trustworthy source of help for people and families struggling with savings and attaining long-term financial security.
Another great FinTech for savings management is called Acorns. Acorns is a banking FinTech that offers a smart checking account and debit card that can help save you money and even invest for you. For as much as $3/month, Acorns offers multiple plans to help you bank smarter. Some plans can offer money saving and spending tips, build portfolios, and even move money over to savings with just a tap.
Crushing Debt with
What if you’re struggling more with debt than with following a budget? There are several options to help with debt management, including student loan debt; FinTech is growing around recent college grads, whose primary needs are more focused on solving student debt than receiving traditional employee benefits.
One such option comes from FutureFuel. FutureFuel is a program that can be provided by your employer to help gradually reduce your student loan debts through refinancing them. Refinancing occurs when debtors reevaluate the terms of a loan, altering the interest rate, payment schedule and the terms of the credit agreement. FutureFuel works by taking up small amounts of change from your everyday transactions; once you reach the monthly goal on the software, FutureFuel will pay off your monthly premiums with the refinance agent of your choice. FutureFuel claims that a refinance option through their software can lower student loans by ~$19,000 and the interest rate by almost 2%.
This is a great tool for you to phase out your student debt, but what if your employer doesn’t want to integrate this into the company’s benefits policy? Fortunately, there are other free FinTech options that are available to everyone.
Credit Karma is a primary example. In addition to credit score monitoring, Credit Karma can offer you tips to reduce your interest rates on lingering payments and help you recover funds owed to you by businesses or the state.
There’s also CommonBond, which operates similarly to FutureFuel, and also offers you better student loans if you are seeking further education.
Whether you are trying to get better at saving your money or tackle your student debts, advancements in FinTech are creating opportunities for young adults to improve their financial security in ways that are simple to understand and easy to execute.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!