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Spring cleaning for your wallet
Tracking spending through mobile devices and apps is now a necessity with cyber threats on the rise.
Level Money, a free app for any iOS device, allows you to track expenses in real time.
Most money is represented digitally rather than as physical cash, and Level Money provides the mobile equivalent of opening up your wallet to see how much money is available.
The company, Level, uses bank-level encryption to create and sustain the system, and regularly hires outside hackers to look for ways to break in.
Targeted to millennials, the app offers tips to streamline expenses and help save for the future:
—Minimize automatic spending: Regularly checking fixed expenses will help cut any redundant charges. Most people forget to cancel magazine subscriptions and other monthly services, and the little charges add up quickly. Do you really need cable when you are paying for Netflix and Hulu each month?
—Set up an emergency fund: Financial guru Dave Ramsey and other experts recommend saving 3-to-6 months of expenses. Start by saving $100 a month, or any extra funds you might have after paying off the student debt.
—Clean up your credit: It’s your right to get an annual free credit report. Especially with the cyber attacks on universities and retailers, keeping a shrewed eye on your credit can help catch signs of identity theft. Poor credit impacts approval on an apartment, job application and mortgage rates.
—Live on your last salary: Rather that completely cutting back in an unrealistic way, it is more attainable to live like you did just before you reached your current salary. When you get a bump in pay, set up direct deposit to funnel any of the excess dollars automatically into your savings account.