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Monique’s November Challenge: Digitizing your dollars

My November challenge was to take another step towards digitizing how I manage my money.

And I did it!

It may sound super simple, but I downloaded an app that is linked to my bank account, showing me what I’m doing with my finances at any given time.

Yes, I know that by now, everyone and their great-grandparents have online banking and apps but I resisted.

I’d already signed up for online banking and that was a no-brainer. But why was I resisting using an app (which I have already used more than I ever thought I would) when it is essentially the same thing?

Ever since I got my first cell phone when I graduated high school, I continuously told myself that I wouldn’t be like “those people” who were attached to their phones. You know the kind: people who get articles written about their phone addiction in big feature write-ups because they now have neck problems or carpal tunnel syndrome, proving that ours is an anti-social, digitally-obsessed, and never-present-in-the-moment generation.

A good number of my friends who had that obsessive love for their phones were often the ones in my friend group who didn’t listen when we were all hanging out, instead buried in the minutia of Facebook or Twitter updates or interrupting conversations for texts that weren’t urgent. I saw all this and was horrified at the idea of getting too attached to my phone too, lest I develop habits that I felt ruined many otherwise beautiful moments.

So I resisted.

And eventually got the Facebook app to scroll through during my long commute.

And resisted.

And then signed up for Instagram.

And resisted.

And now live-tweet events that I attend (for fun!).

And eventually caved.

And what did I learn?

Downloading the banking app was, to me, the final step that showed I could open the digital door and make my mobile device work for me instead of against me.

I’m still not super keen on updating my life in real time on social media and my personal brand as a freelancer could definitely use a lot of work thanks to that mentality. But by making these small changes, I am hopefully moving from the category of late adopters to early majority when it comes to innovations that can make life so much more comfortable and convenient.

All that being said… if you have a smartphone, download a banking app stat! It’s a convenient, super simple way to keep on top of your finances and remind you of your savings goals.

Going into the final month of 2016, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of what we have accomplished all year and where we need to refine our strategy and goals for the future.

My December challenge is going to be tying up the financial loose ends of 2016. This means looking into what subscription services I no longer need, maybe renegotiating my cell and internet plans or chasing down clients who haven’t yet paid their invoices.

All this may be easier said than done – so many changes have happened over the past year with major leaps forward and a couple missteps along the way. Here’s to ending 2016 on a high note!

– Monique

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