Have you ever thought about moving the management of your finances to the cloud? What is the cloud anyway? It’s a buzzword that’s used to describe the use of software as a service over the internet. This is nothing new. A lot of companies are providing online services which means you never have to install software on your computer. The cloud also provides storage services which means you can free up space on your own computer or back up important information to secure servers. Companies are taking advantage of cloud computing and you can to. Here are a few ideas to move your finances to the cloud and get savvy with today’s technology.
1. Manage your bills and statements online
A service like Manilla moves all of your bill management online. Manilla will tell you when bills are due, store your statements from financial institutions and let your pay your bills. Manilla also has smart phone apps and provides alerts to help you avoid missing bill payments.
2. Back up important documents using a service like Dropbox
Are you storing financial documents on your computer? If so, make sure you have a back up of this information. Dropbox lets you move documents to the cloud and store them on the Dropbox servers. This is a great way to have your important papers backed up and also provides you the ability to gain access to them from anywhere. I started using Dropbox as a free trial a few years ago and am still using it.
3. Scan versus file
I use a handy app on my iphone called Scanner Pro. I simply take a picture of the document and it will convert it to PDF and upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote (my favorite note taking service), or other services. This has become a handy app for submitting business expense receipts as well as signing and emailing documents. I can also scan and store papers I want to keep just by taking a picture. You may want to use a regular scanner if you have a lot of documents to scan.
4. Create a financial to – do list
A service like Remember the Milk can help you get your financial life and other areas organized. I use it for family, work and blogging to – do’s. You can use lists or tags to organize tasks, set due dates, priorities and much more. I can access my task list from my laptop, iphone and ipad since it’s cloud based software.
5. Track your spending and budget online
Most personal finance software is now cloud based or software as a service solution. Examples include Mint.com which provides a way to keep track of your spending, investments and more in one place. You Need a Budget (YNAB) is actually desktop software, but it provides a way to store your data in the cloud using Dropbox. Mvelopes is web-based envelope budgeting software that brings the classic envelope budgeting method to your computer. All of these products offer mobile apps.
If you’re going to move to the cloud to manage your finances it’s important to stop using the same usernames and passwords for all accounts. This is BIG mistake, especially when it comes to financial accounts. You can download free software, such as KeePass, to store usernames and passwords all in one safe location on your hard drive (or in Dropbox) and never have to remember another password again. Make all your passwords and usernames different and simply copy them from KeePass the next time you need to log into an account.
Have you moved your finances to the cloud? If so, what’s been your experience? And what are some other tools you can use to move your finances to the cloud?