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How to smartly manage the money in your e-wallet

Pandu W. Soeprapto
Pandu W. Soeprapto

Banker, part-time teacher, and at-any-other-time writer

Jakarta  /  Tue, January 14, 2020  /  08:15 am
How to smartly manage the money in your e-wallet

Neglecting to manage our e-wallet is such a pity, as it can wreck our budget and slowly compromise our financial goals. (Shutterstock/Paisit Teeraphatsakool)

E-wallets, or digital wallets, are applications that enable people to make online purchases of goods and services with ease – a result of continuing technological development.

In Indonesia, several of these wallets exist and the number of people using them grows daily. It is only a matter of time until our physical wallet is considered a mere accessory. It might even fall out of fashion when it’s not needed anymore.

In my point of view, the e-wallet business in Indonesia is still at an early stage, and companies engaging in this industry can be counted on the fingers of one hand. To get an upper hand in the early game, competition among providers is fierce.

In order to become market leaders, they offer a plethora of cash-back options, vouchers and other gimmicks to entice both new and existing customers to actively use their products and services.

As one of the customers who continuously use e-wallets, I think the presented programs are actually favorable. The cash-back options have helped me reduce expenses for utilities such as water and electricity, as well as transportation. Vouchers also cut food and beverage prices.

Using e-wallets wisely can help keep expenses down and, at the end of month, leave us with a sum to be used for savings, investment or fun.

I am thankful for all the benefits. If used correctly, e-wallets can maximize the value of our budgets. The budget remains the same, but now that same budget can do more than it once could.

Having said that, it is also common to see people being lured in by all the programs, putting wants before needs, forgetting to exercise control and ending up in unhappy financial situations due to overspending.

I understand the allure, so to keep myself away from such a situation, I use the following two strategies.

Read also: The top five e-wallet apps in Indonesia

Calculate how much money to put in the e-wallet

To prevent myself from being swayed by their good marketing programs, I restrict the amount of money I put in my e-wallet. The amount is one I expect to cover all my expenses – expenses related to transportation and leisure – the result of analyzing my activities in prior months and examining future expectations for the upcoming month.

In addition, I put the entire sum in at one time at the beginning. The reason for this is that not all e-wallets let you top up your balance free of charge, and I want to avoid unnecessary fees, no matter how small.

Of course no one knows exactly what will happen, and the calculation may not be accurate. You may need to top up again. Nevertheless, you have put effort into minimizing expenses. Respect that.

Remember your budget

Despite its relative novelty, an e-wallet is, in the end, a wallet, and the stored funds are connected to your finances as a whole, not a separate entity.

To always connect it with my general finances, after each usage or transaction I update my budget to keep track of my expenses and how much I have left for the month. With the e-wallet, this process can be done a lot more easily because there is history function that allows users to see every transaction made.

So, is there an excuse allowing yourself to let your finances derail? I don’t think so.

An e-wallet is basically a tool. The one responsible for making it good or bad is us, the users, because we are the ones holding the reigns. Shape up!

Managing your finances is essential for your sustainable financial growth. It is not rocket science; anyone can do it. Instead of being determined by how smart you are, success is governed by your discipline – the effort you put in every day.

Therefore, neglecting to manage our e-wallet is such a pity, as it can wreck our budget, and slowly compromise our financial goals. (dev/kes)

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Pandu W. Soeprapto earned his bachelor’s degree from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and master’s from Monash University, Australia. He currently works as a credit analyst in corporate banking and has handled many financing projects in various sectors. Pandu is particularly passionate about teaching and writing. Find him on Instagram @pandu_wi_soe.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.