Leveraging Technology to Advance Your Financial Goals

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Article by: Steve Muriithi

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Sound management of your finances is key, regardless of your age bracket. Once you are able to see where your money goes, then you are able to re-direct and dictate the right places where it should go. But in our fast-paced lives, keeping track of your expenses can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we have some local apps that you can use to automate your financial transactions,  track and monitor spending. Here are just a few that you may want to consider:

CBA LOOP has dashboards that give a bird’s eye view of your financial activity. Once you sign up and have used the app for some time, you can, in addition, access their credit facilities. The app also gives you a number of investment options.

Simple excel sheets that capture your weekly or monthly expenses and income could also do the trick- for those who like working on spreadsheets. There are different templates that are freely available online. You can choose to use these, or lift ideas from them and develop a customized one tailored to your needs.

UAP Old Mutual Kenya, allows you to open an investment account virtually. It gives you the flexibility of managing your investments remotely, without the need to visit a physical branch. This is a great way to monitor your unit trusts remotely.

Safaricom through it's KCB MPESA has the option of locking your savings.  With this feature, there is no need to visit a bank to open a savings account. It is available to everyone who uses the Safaricom platform.

Smart money –budget planner. This app allows you to key in expenses and income on the go. Every time you spend money or an income, you key it in and the app immediately records this data. It also shows you when your expenses are exceeding your income.

NSE App. Nairobi Securities Exchange also has an app that aids in monitoring your stocks portfolio. It shows market statistics, daily stock prices and indicates how your stocks are trading on any particular day. With this app, you can select companies that you want to monitor. You will get notifications regarding their price changes. It also gives you a list of stockbrokers whose services you can enlist. The app also has listed bonds, real estate investment trusts (REITS) and

Electronically traded funds. Government bonds can now be traded from your phone unlike in the past where one had to visit their bank or the Central Bank of Kenya.

Stockbrokers Apps. Some stockbrokers in Kenya have developed applications that can be used by their clients to monitor their portfolios. Some of the stockbrokers who have apps include Dyer and Blair, AIB Capital, Faida Investment Bank, NCBA and Genghis capital whose app is known as G-Kuze.

Personal notebook. For those without access to smartphones, keeping a notebook where you record daily expenses under different categories will be quite helpful. Categories could include; transport, utilities, loan repayments food and entertainment. Check to see if your monthly expenses match the budget you had created for yourself. You do not want to be spending more than you earn.

Developing the financial acumen needed to monitor your finances is not an uphill task. It just requires some discipline and commitment. This list is by no means exhaustive and you may want to explore other apps and tools that will help in achieving the desired objective. Apple’s app store and Android’s Google play have a variety of apps that you can download for free. Simply use the key words finance or money management and you will have a huge variety to choose from.