At this point, the reality of the new normal is beginning to set in. Social distancing is required of everyone to protect our most vulnerable and those who work with the public. It is easy to think of those in healthcare, sanitation, transit, and food services (groceries and restaurants) as essential workers. However, it’s easy to forget that bank workers are also vulnerable. Many banks are still open and a perfect environment for asymptomatic transmission. Queues are monitored, but with enough people, it becomes hard to maintain that two-meter distance, tellers deal with clients directly across the counter, and physical money is suspect at the best of times. Luckily there is a simple way to defend ourselves and tellers. Online banking helps you manage your money online!
The benefits of online banking
It is likely many of us are very familiar with online banking, as it is often the preferred method to maintain and monitor our accounts. We can view our accounts from our phones, laptops, and tablets in the comfort of our own home. Not only does this enable us to check our accounts when needed, but there are a variety of services that will limit the number of trips you need to make to the bank.
One major advantage of online banking is the ability to pay bills through either direct payment or e-transfers. It’s easy to add an assortment of accounts to your online banking allowing you to pay with a single click! This allows you to handle credit cards, utilities, and even rent and mortgages all from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of online banking is e-transfers. Would you like to send money to people you owe or loved ones who might be struggling at this time? If you have their email addresses you can directly send them the money, skipping wiring services and ensuring the money is received by the person you are addressing it to. This also enables you to manage your money online without the worry of handling physical money during a pandemic.
Comparison of services and accounts
For those of us looking for insurance or other services, it has never been easier to do your research! Many of us are stuck at home, giving us time to contrast and compare services that we haven’t had before. The internet allows us to explore primary resources, like agencies and directly on the services’ websites or secondary sources like reviews from current and former clientele. It’s important to remember that many professionals can be reached online. Better financial decisions may just be an email away!
April is almost over, and despite extensions until June first, we will still have to file our taxes. Many choose to consult accountants or more tax-inclined friends to file for us. But, don’t expect to drop by an accountant’s office or that one aunt who can do taxes during a lockdown. Luckily, we are able to do our taxes online. There are a number of free and paid certified tax software systems that will make the task easier and enable you to both make the deadline and comply with social distancing orders. The Government of Canada website has an in-depth list of free and paid tax software systems here!
An added benefit of tax software systems is that they store files, allowing you to keep accurate records of your taxes right at your fingertips!
Personal finance, budgeting, and saving!
Earlier in the year, I put together a list of the best personal finance apps that you can use on your phone or computer. Though you may not be spending as much money as you might in times of prosperity, it is still a good idea to form a detailed budget, and allow for savings if you can. That emergency fund may come in handy! If you would like a list of recommended financial apps you can access, check them out here! These apps can help you stay on top of your finances and help you manage your money online.
Email your experts!
Have you found that even if you work from home, you have more time to respond to emails and queries either personally or professionally? With so many of us working from the comfort of our home we are able to ditch the commute. This means that we have more time to review our inboxes, for better or worse. The same is true of professionals. If you find yourself with questions on how to handle your mortgage online or would like a second opinion on your mortgage, feel free to get in touch with me here!
We live in a golden age of information and connectivity. Though we are living in challenging times, it is made easier by the sheer options to secure our financial future right at our fingertips!