Thursday, January 21, 2016

Simplifying my life by going digital

I've already said that there's nothing wrong with technology, only the way in which we use it. Social media is a great way to stay in touch, make new friends and find out more about what interests me. Now, with technology on the rise, it's easier than ever for me to save time and money by going digital.

In the period of just a few years, our lives have been transformed in countless ways by the internet. I've discovered a few ways in which going digital has actually been a boon for me.

1. Online banking
I actually can't remember the last time I was actually physically in a bank. Online banking and digital accounts are actually the perfect solution for someone like me who hates to wait in line and deal with over-the-counter staff. Now I check my balances, transfer money and pay my bills, all online. To guard against theft or fraud, I'm careful to set limits on the amount of money I can actually transfer and change my passwords regularly. I also don't bookmark any of my banks. I make it a point not to log onto my online accounts from anywhere else except my home. Of course, I know you're not supposed to write down your passwords anywhere, which causes me to promptly forget them, but that's another story

2.Automatic payments
Many of my bills are paid automatically from my credit card, saving me the hassle of remembering to pay them. With these monthly deductions made automatically, I'm never late with my payments, thus avoiding late fees and interest charges. I'm also receiving many of my bills online, thus saving the headache of paper bills and bill reminders.

3. Ebooks
One of my best purchases to date was my Kindle, which makes buying books so easy and immediate. It's also so much more convenient to carry around, and I can take an unlimited supply of books with me when I travel. I always thought I'd miss the feel of an actual book in my hands, but I've gotten so used to my lightweight Kindle that I now find physical books heavy and cumbersome. I also subscribe to some of my favorite magazines digitally, which eliminates stacks of paper lying around.

4. Shop online
I still like going around the malls, browsing and trying on things. But I'm also a huge fan of online shopping sites like Ali Express. You can find literally anything there, at very affordable prices and with free shipping to boot. Best of all, I can do it in the comfort of my home, at my leisure. My son, B, doesn't have a car and doesn't live near a supermarket. So he does a big shop occasionally by ordering his groceries online which are then delivered to his apartment. I can see myself doing that in time to come when driving becomes challenging for me.

5.Make reservations
I can't remember when was the last time I actually made a hotel or airline reservation on the phone or with a travel agent. I know some people find it tedious, but I think it's great fun to shop around hotels online, see what they have to offer and check out the deals. Making airline reservations is effortless, and a whole lot cheaper than going through a travel agent. Booking a movie or meal in a restaurant is also a breeze with all kinds of apps available these days.

6. Eliminate paperwork
One of the most annoying things in life are all the little white pieces of paper and receipts that pile up everywhere. I swear they have a life of their own, because the minute you clear up one batch then another starts growing. I've started to capture photos of all these receipts to save them digitally. It should save me hours of time come the next tax season - we shall see!

I'm sure there are loads of other ways in which going digital can help. These are just some of my favorites, so do share your tips with me if you have any.

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