In 2021, our digital devices are an extension of nearly every aspect of life. What can’t we do on our smartphones? They are digital assistants and a virtual playground where we can hang out with our friends and loved ones without worrying about social distancing. However, it is still important to manage how much time you spend on your devices and how you use them. Below are some tips to help spring clean your digital habits.

Manage Screen Time: While so much happens on our screens, there is plenty of life happening off them as well. Spring clean your digital habits by assessing how much time you spend on your devices. Manage your screen time like you manage your finances, allowing allotted time for business purposes and social use. If you’re looking for COVID-friendly ways to spend time off your phone, find the local trails and recreational opportunities on your installation.  

Two-Factor-Authentication: Everyone has heard stories about identity theft or security breaches that drain bank accounts. An easy way to protect yourself from cybercrimes is to use Two-Factor-Authentication when it is offered on an app. It might seem like an annoying extra step to access your app, but it could save you a lot of money and time.

Express Checkout: While this option is convenient, it is designed to lessen the amount of time you think about your purchases and encourages impulse purchases. To avoid busting your budget, turn this option off and give yourself some time to consider your purchase and its impact on your wallet.

Reoccurring Fees: An easy way to spring clean your budget is to look at your reoccurring charges. It is easy to say yes to a five-dollar-a-month service, but consider how many times you’re saying yes to small, monthly charges. These charges add up each month and can make a large dent in your budget over time. To review your monthly reoccurring fees, locate the subscription setting on your digital device and make it a priority to review what you’re being charged each month.

Free Trials: Free trials are a great way to test drive an app or service, but they are easy to forget about and quickly add up. If you decide to do a free trial on a product, set a calendar reminder in your phone for a few days before the trial ends so that you can evaluate whether or not you want to invest in that product.

For more information on budgeting your monthly income, and saving yourself some money, contact your local Personal Financial Management Office.