Money Matters: AI your way to savings

Education Resources, Finance 411,

Chances are, a significant portion of your audience is too busy to plan and build a personal budget, tired of endless spreadsheets and manually recording expenses, or even just not sure how to get started.

But technology is here to help – technology you may already be using!

The Apple App Store includes a whole category for finance apps, which are beginning to grow beyond mobile banking, finance news and cash transfer apps.

An increasing number of those mobile apps, messaging bots and AI interfaces are cropping up to lend the power of artificial intelligence, including its ability to sort and analyze information, learn and communicate in a near-human way, to do the hard work of managing personal finances for you.

Take a look through some of the top apps and you’ll see more than ever boasting the ability to use AI to:

  • Analyze spending patterns and categorize expenses
  • Alert users to spending habits
  • Even negotiate discounts on you cable bill, for example
  • Automatically save toward goals or invest for you

Have you helped your audience compare the features, pros and cons of this growing category of personal finance tools?

Potential users should check into the fine print before downloading an AI budget app.

Help your audience consider factors like cost: some apps are free, while some charge monthly subscription fees or even charge based on the amount of money managed. Security is another important consideration. For example, most apps require connecting a bank account in order to perform analysis, but some are read-only while others require permission to make automatic transactions, like automatic saving or investing. The higher the level of access to your money, the more important it is to consider security, while, on the other hand, limiting access can require more manual entry of spending.

Lastly, for apps that use their AI algorithms to automatically save or invest, it’s important to ask where the money is held and whether are there any limitations on withdrawing it.

Users may be surprised to know that some apps take two or three business days to process withdrawals, and would be glad to learn that before downloading.

Weekly Money Matters personal finance content for your newsroom is sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education