Within the next 12 months, a fledgling program at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will likely begin transitioning cybersecurity technologies to the finance sector in an effort to shore up the nation’s critical infrastructure. Technologies developed under the program ultimately could be made available to other sectors.
In 2005, NBC News reported that the use of checks to pay bills was declining and that the majority of people writing them were old geezers such as me. That year, the Federal Reserve reported that an estimated 36 billion checks were written, with more than half of those paper checks written by consumers.
I’m a consumer and a baby boomer—an individual born between mid-1946 and mid-1964. Writing a check is something we boomers do. I was taught in 1965 in high school how to write checks, balance a checkbook and keep track of my bank account. It was a classroom activity.
This free iPhone app helps service members and their families take control of their personal finances. The program from McGraw-Hill and the Better Business Bureau includes training videos, articles and interactive tools to help manage money. From instructions on managing credit and paying off debt to calculators that establish savings goals, the app has a variety of tools to overcome financial challenges. In addition, users can set monthly savings reminders and find tips on a range of situations, including retirement, deployment and purchasing a home.
A series of free Army OneSource apps provide users with resources on the go. Developed by the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, the apps make it easy to find local services, manage money and stay up-to-date on the Army Family Action Plan. The Army OneSource Services Locator for the iPhone or iPad lets you enter a ZIP code or city and search for services grouped by category, including deployment support and employment assistance.
Is your New Year's resolution to get your finances in order? If so, the Bills app for the iPhone or iPad could help you track and control how much you spend each month. The Bills app, developed by iBear LLC, allows you to set a monthly budget and mark due dates for bills and payments on a calendar. Then track and filter your bills using special boxes to show planned, overdue and paid expenses. The app is designed to look like a real office, complete with a projector, folders, drawers and a flip board reflecting all the features. In addition, the tool lets you export your financial plans and set up a PIN code to protect your information.
Manage your money all from your Android or iPhone. The free Mint.com Personal Finance app brings together all your financial accounts, categorizes your transactions, tracks budgets and helps you achieve savings goals. The app allows you to see all your accounts in one place, including checking, savings, credit cards and retirement funds. Track spending by seeing how much money goes into each category, including rent, gas, fast food, entertainment, clothing and more. Mint can create a budget based on your actual spending, or you can create your own. In addition, you can receive alerts regarding budgets, bank fees, low balances, unusual activity and more.
Wounded, ill and injured military members and their families are often in need of financial and medical resources as they recover. The National Resource Directory (NRD) home page provides information on and access to a range of medical and non-medical services and resources. The site offers links to affiliated programs such as the Wounded Warrior Resource Center, which offers information about local military facilities, health care services and benefits. Another asset is the Recovery Coordination Program designed to improve the care, management and transition assistance for wounded, sick and injured military personnel.