The headlines tell us millennials love technology and employ electronic and digital solutions wherever they can. Finance apps and automated payment options promise to make life easier, but some young people still prefer managing their finances on paper. These are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you stick with paper financial management.
Tracking Expenses Is Simpler
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Your bank might want you to switch to electronic statements, but there’s a good reason to stick with the traditional paper ones. A 2015 study found people are twice as likely to correctly identify the amount in their account if they receive a paper statement by mail rather than an electronic one.
If you use checks you don’t need to wait for your financial institution to send your statements. You can simply look at the stubs in your check book at any time to see your spending habits.
It’s also much easier for errors to occur in the digital world. You’d certainly notice being double-charged when you’re handing over payment at the supermarket or a restaurant. But in the electronic world, it’s easy for these sneaky extra payments to pass through without you ever noticing. If you think it won’t happen to you, consider that 38 out of every 100,000 automated bill payments are processed incorrectly, according to the Electronic Payments Association. When you consider the number of automatic transactions processed every day, you’ll realize how often mistakes are made.
All Financial Information Stays in One Location
When you use electronic financial management methods, your financial information is probably in several places. There are your digital statements on your bank and credit card websites, not to mention the list of transactions on your PayPal account page.
When you use paper, it’s much easier to keep your financial information in a central location. You might keep a folder in your filing cabinet with all your receipts and bank statements. Perhaps you’re really old school and keep a notebook with your spending history. Whatever your preferred method, you benefit from knowing exactly where to find your financial information.
Limiting Spending Is Easier
It’s easier to limit spending when we pay with cash for each transaction, rather than using electronic payment methods like credit cards and PayPal, because we value the items we pay cash for more. When you value the purchases you make, you’re more likely to only make those that will really benefit your life. This assumption is supported by research from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which found consumers typically spend less when paying with cash.
While the deeper value we place on cash purchases plays a part, so do the fees that often accompany automated credit card transactions. It’s much easier to limit your spending when you’re not spending any more than the ticket price of your goods and services!
The decision about whether to embrace technology or stick with paper for financial management is a personal one. While electronic and digital finance solutions can make life easier, they also have their downsides. If you’re feeling nervous about technology, there’s no reason to give up your manual paper system.