How the Internet of Things Could Improve Personal Finance
The proliferation of ‘smart devices’ has had a profound impact on the way in which we live our lives. Aside from smartphones and tablets, internet-capable refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, TVs and coffee machines have found their way into millions of homes. This surge in devices has been christened the ‘Internet of Things’, or IoT for short.
First coined in 2014, the IoT has gradually gathered pace, with internet connectivity on devices that are not made purely for finding information and checking emails fast becoming the norm. Many politicians and business leaders have talked it up, saying that it could make life a whole lot easier for everyone, but how?
When managing our money, it could do a great deal. The IoT can help us control the way we use energy, shape our shopping habits and even how we do our jobs. Personal finance and smart devices are often intertwined; using one can help the other – living in a smart home can add up to significant savings in the long term.
If your home has a smart meter that not only monitors energy but allows you to turn lights, appliances and central heating systems on and off via your smartphone, think of the money you could save. In winter, a smart device can make all the difference to energy bills. The same is being done for water and gas too.
Elsewhere in the home, smart refrigerators can tell you whether or not your food is about to expire and are able to suggest recipes using what you have in the house. Smart washing machines can use less energy, saving you more money in the process. With up to 24 billion IoT devices estimated to be around by 2020, it’s likely we will all be using just what we need, energy-wise.
Moving onto making money, the IoT has already made saving and spending far less complicated. Contactless payment with debit cards and credit cards is widespread, as is being able to transfer money from one bank account to the other. For anyone in need of extra cash to pay for a big shopping spree, this causes less panic.
Trading online will be less troublesome too. By drawing on information from less obvious internet-capable appliances and devices, access to information on markets, currencies and individual companies’ fortunes is far better than what it was pre-IoT. Trading forex with ETX Capital is now possible done in any setting and with devices including smart TVs.
Inspecting bank accounts in an instant is possible thanks to the IoT. Many major banks and building societies now have apps that allow customers to check how much they spend over a period of weeks, months and even years. Such apps list outgoings, ranging from utility bills to an after-work drink on a Friday evening; then displaying them in pie charts and graphs.
Moving With the Times
All of this may seem a little too much to take on straight away, but the Internet of Things can prove incredibly useful in looking after your money. From spending money without having to key in a pin number to swiping cash between current accounts and savings accounts, it will mean fewer visits to the bank and more time for family, friends and yourself.
Another benefit is being able to cut your spending without having to get the calculator out. Working out exactly what you need through apps, smart meters and smart appliances will take all of the guesswork out of ensuring you have enough to get you through the week and month.