“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

– Ayn Rand, Writer & Philospher. 
     

The new year is a perfect time to review your overall financial strength, to consider your budget and to begin making big plans for the coming year. When making a classic New Year’s Resolution, we often consider self-reflection and goal making when it comes to fitness or hobbies, forgetting our monetary health. But what financial trends can help you with your spending and budget this year? 

For us, 2020 is the year to look after our finances and take the necessary steps in becoming in complete control of our financial well-being. There are plenty of ways you can begin taking care of your own personal economic health. Start with a simple budget to get on the right track to rebuild your credit score. To begin this new decade, check out three financial trends you will see a lot more of in 2020.  

A digital bank branch experience 

It’s obvious we are drastically changing the way we consume – from food & film, to the way we manage our finances. The in-person service experience has now become extremely digitalized and we are starting to see less staff and more machines. This is helping to make the buying experience as easy as possible for consumers with sometimes little to no communication with a worker 

According to Aaron Allen & Associates, orders placed via smart phone are expected to account for more than 10% of all quick-service restaurant sales by 2020. With this, we are seeing a shift from the traditional way of ordering when eating out. For example, we now see in most McDonalds the convenient self-ordering machines and the Starbucks mobile pick-up service. We have even seen recently the rise of digital kitchens, where you order and pay through your phone and collect with no cash exchange in person.

I think we all could agree – we don’t know anyone these days who hasn’t signed up for an online banking option. Whether you’re with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), The Bank of Nova Scotia, (Scotiabank) or Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), they all offer you great options for online banking where you can pay your bills, transfer money, track your spending and even manage your savings – a financial trend that is now a crucial part of our day-to-day life.

According to BizTech Magazine, as mobile banking improves each year and at a fast pace, banks are taking innovative steps to enhance the branch banking experience. It’s near impossible for a branch to compete with the convenience and efficiency of being able to handle your finances at home or on-the-go from your mobile phone, but in order to compete they are striving to add value for the consumer in visiting the branch and are taking the essential steps towards becoming more digitalized.  

We have seen many branches adapt digital signage in order to encourage consumer interaction and to entice the user to use their services. What we have noticed is an obvious presence of employees carrying iPads around the lobbies of the bank with the aim to help customers with their online banking queries and with some branches having mobiles and telephones available for the customer to use themselves. These adaptations help consumers to enjoy a better in-person experience and keep the banks in trend in this ever-changing digital world.  

 

Personal budgeting apps 

According to Aaron Allen & Associates, the smartphone has risen in popularity to become the default screen for brand engagement and digital commerce transactions. We are now seeing a rise in users downloading financial apps, with a Bankrate study revealing that 63% users have downloaded at least one financial app, as stated in the Credit Union Journal.  

As featured in this same article, it was written how an effective design and convenience of budgeting apps can help with the techniques of persuasion to inspire users to act and improve their financial wellness. Simple cues such as rewards when reaching a milestone in budgeting and push notifications or “pings” as reminders to update your details, are simple habit forming techniques and can become as addictive as your standard social media site; making this an easy financial trend to get involved in.   

These applications were developed with a “gamingfying” element, making them easy to use and hard for a consumer to put the phone down.  

While some of us may be setting goals in 2020 to use their cellphone less, these addictive devices have many uses when it comes to financial planning and we’re going to utilize these this year. We usually consider our cellphone apps as a fun way to distract ourselves on our morning commute to work or a way to pass time in general, but there are plenty of ways you can incorporate apps into improving our overall financial well-ness.  

Whether you are an iPhone or Android user, each app store is  packed with applications for you to budget, schedule and track your bills, wages and more.  

Take control of your finances this year and check out five best budgeting apps to help you take control of your finances in 2020, according to Pocket-Lint; featuring some great apps such as Mint, Pocketguard & more to help you kick-start your planning and to help you achieve your goals.  

 

Credit score monitoring  

What’s your number? (credit number!)  

Now that we know that your credit score will not be affected by making a soft enquiry and is something that you can check as often as you like, it’s time to begin this new decade on the right foot.  

As VanCity mentions, while aiming to achieve good fitness goals is about regular exercise, realistic targets and a sustained exercise regime, achieving a healthy credit score is all about the same consistency. And just as we all know it’s easier to maintain a good fitness level, as opposed to the further struggle of getting back in shape; a good credit score is easier to keep up than to build back up again! 

According to TransUnion, while reviewing your credit report each year may be the standard thing to do, it may not be enough in order to ensure you improving your overall number. Your score can change drastically month-to-month and even a 25-point difference can negatively affect your chance of being approved for a small loan or even that mortgage you have been working hard to save for! 

When you begin tracking your spending patterns and how this impacts your overall credit score, this financial trend will help you begin making conscious improvements.  

By checking your credit score on a regular basis, it can help you track and improve your progress and point you in the right direction of improving your overall financial health in 2020.  

Learn more about improving your credit score today with Marble. Our credit rebuilding product, Score-up, will help you keep track and achieve your credit score goals for 2020. 

About Marble Financial Inc. dba Marble Financial (CSE: MRBL; OTCQB: MRBLF) we are a group of forward-thinking financial technology experts that fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of credit in Canada. Marble helps Canadians rebuild their credit to gain access to prime lending, through our industry-leading proprietary technology solutions Fast-Track Loan, Score-Up, and Credit-Meds. Our proven strategy guides our customers back to a meaningful credit score, 50% quicker than traditional methods. Since 2016, Marble is proud to have empowered thousands of Canadians to a positive financial future and we continue to establish ourselves as leaders in financial wellness.