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Saturday, November 9, 2013

You've earned it: Accessing your money on your terms (Achieving business and personal financial success)

Financial tools expand money management options
By Dawn Anderson

These days, technology has changed just about every aspect of our lives: it affects how we interact with our loved ones, how we get our work done and how we raise our children. Money is a huge part of everyday life and with the help of ever-changing technology; there are more ways than ever to access that cash. 

With this comes security concerns, but in a day and age where the saying 'time is money' is as true as ever, many people are taking the leap of faith and honestly as long as you educate yourself on the services you use, you have next to nothing to worry about. Saving more money and earning more money with the help of technology is easier than ever – we'll explain further below.

Handle your money with care

PayPal makes transaction easy
If you find yourself in financial relationships with individuals who you aren't sure you can trust and are looking for a quick and easy to way to get paid or send money then PayPal may be something to look into. 

With PayPal, all you need is a bank account. You can either choose to have your account verified, which means unlimited transfers, or you can remain anonymous. This is great for people who have opened a new online business or are working as a freelancer on the web who works with people around the globe that they will probably never meet face to face. 

Thanks to this service, you don't need to offer anyone your personal identifying information. If someone has your email address, they can send you money anytime, from anywhere. Depending on your bank, funds can take as much as 4 days to hit your account but the luxury makes it well worth the wait. Money sent between PayPal accounts is instant and with their Prepaid MasterCard and its instant transfer from a linked PayPal account, funds can be spent immediately either on the web or at physical shopping centers.

Simple money transactions for businesses

Google Wallet expands payment options
Whether you own a business or are looking for an easier way to send money to your loved ones, Google Wallet is something to consider.

This feature was added to Gmail halfway through May 2013 and allows you to literally attach money to your business and personal emails as you would a photo or video. 

Instead of needing to go to the bank or give someone your account information, all you need to know is their email address and you can pay them what you owe. Receiving payments is just as easy and takes seconds to complete.

Google Wallet can also be incorporated into your business, allowing customers to pay you even when they may have forgotten their wallet at home. Virtual credit cards are stored within Google, making purchasing far more convenient and still offering the security everyone seeks. Not have an ATM nearby? Not a problem because as long as the company accepts MasterCard, money can be accessed. Not have a MasterCard? Google also offers their very own virtual prepaid card to make the process even easier.

Tracking your finances made simple

Mint helps manage finances
Being smart with how you spend your money and keeping it safe is important and so is saving. When it comes to trying to juggle everything daily life throws your way, sometimes remembering to pay bills on time and staying on top of debts can slip your mind. 

This is where websites like Mint come in handy. You simply input the date your bills are due, the amount owed and can receive emails as far as two weeks in advance. This way, you have plenty of time to move cash to the right accounts and never have to worry about those nasty late fees again or overage penalties.

The site also helps you track how much you spend and where you spend it so you can find ways to lower your monthly expenses and start saving for your future. The web can be a complicated place but if you know where to look, there are some fantastic resources available to you. Saving money and keeping your family protected is easier than ever. It's no longer something you have to take on alone.

Pass it forward: Knowledge means power

Financial tools help with finance education
While you're at it, start implementing your new findings into the lives of your children. Even when a child is barely able to speak, you can begin teaching them how to prepare for the future and make smart decisions regarding money. Show them the benefits of shopping around, comparing prices and looking for discounts.

This can be a learning experience for the two of you and something that will make the future a much brighter place. That's all a parent could ask for and thanks to the internet and advancements in technology, reaching financial security doesn't have to be a job taken on solo.

About the author: The author of this post, Dawn Anderson, works at Money Saving Angels, leading insurance providers. A movie buff, Dawn likes to catch up with his favorite movies on weekends.

Image licenses: 1. Jeff Kolar, CC BY-SA 2.0;  2. Micahel Durausch; US-PD; 3. Adrianpadeanu, CC BY 2.0; 4. Tellatic, CC BY 2.0;  5. Ken Teegardin; CC BY-SA 2.0