7 top apps for budgeting, managing and growing your money

Understanding and managing your money has come a long way from the days where all you needed to know was how to balance your checkbook and put away some money in a few CDs. Today’s technology has put every aspect of personal finance at your fingertips, however, with apps for everything from budgeting to investing to financial growth.

There are a lot of apps available with a variety of functions, so if you’re new to this market we’ve put together a list of top-rated apps you can check out to get started. One of the best things all of these apps share is accessibility. You have the ability to manage your finances wherever you go – on the computer, on your phone, on vacation or at home.

Kristy Cooper7 top apps for budgeting, managing and growing your money
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Nielsen’s report: Too many choices can lead to streaming paralysis

We’ve all had that feeling. You turn on your streaming service, a colorful menu with an ocean of options pops up. You pause and stare at the screen. So many great choices. New shows to try out. Old favorites to revisit. Movies, sitcoms, documentaries, concerts, the list goes on and on … and on. Suddenly it’s 20 minutes later and no decisions have been made. It’s called streaming paralysis. And it’s affecting so many Americans that news of this issue is popping up everywhere from broadcast news shows to Nielsen reports.

According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, adults in the United States spend 11 hours and 27 minutes per day connected to media, and more than half of that usage is with digital media. And even though seven in 10 homes now have streaming service, which would indicate a general sense of comfort and proficiency with using the technology, nearly 21% of people indicated frustration with not being able to decide on something to watch and eventually walking away.

Kristy CooperNielsen’s report: Too many choices can lead to streaming paralysis
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Redefining privacy in these modern times

What defines privacy is constantly evolving in these modern times. Smart phones, live streaming video chats, family safety tracking apps and smart home devices have made life much easier. But the flip side of these devices mean that GPS location tracking, microphones and cameras accessible via most any wireless devices have made “living off the grid” an impossibility. Reasonable expectations of privacy have become the subject of debates ranging from our nation’s highest courtrooms to the family kitchen table.

As you read this article, for instance, there are currently 2,000 satellites orbiting in the skies above us. By 2025 as many as 1,100 satellites could be launching each year, including SpaceX’s Starlink plans to add 12,000 small satellites by 2027. These satellites are being created and launched to provide everything from weather monitoring to global GPS positioning to boosting internet accessibility and taking pictures of every angle of the Earth.

Kristy CooperRedefining privacy in these modern times
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How to protect your home wireless network

We are living in an age of data breaches, security hacks, social media shenanigans and all sort of online threats that can make anyone worry about their security. Businesses have their own solutions, but what about our homes? Home wireless networks deserve attention, too, as they are just as vulnerable to security risks. That’s why we’re sharing these actions you can take to protect your home wireless network for a safer, stress-free online experience.

What is a home wireless network?

First, let’s define what we’re talking about. A home wireless network is composed of the computers, gaming stations, phones and other devices that are wirelessly connected to your internet router.

Kristy CooperHow to protect your home wireless network
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U.S. consumers use record amount of wireless data in 2018

Wireless data allows us to access the power of the internet from practically anywhere we want to, and a recent study shows that Americans are putting that easy access to use as wireless data use more than doubled in the U.S. in 2018 as compared to 2017 and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In fact, mobile data use was up more than 82 percent growth last year – more data than was used in the first six and a half years of this decade all together.

This growth in voice calls, texts, and data is driven in part by the increasing number of wireless devices in the U.S. In 2018, Americans connected another 21.5 million mobile devices for a total of 421.7 million devices. But it’s not just about smartphones anymore as people are using data-only wireless devices that connect on-the-go such as watches, cars, health and fitness monitors, and household items with use growing 10 percent in 2018 to reach 139.4 million devices.

Kristy CooperU.S. consumers use record amount of wireless data in 2018
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Simple ways to add smart technology to your home

If you like the idea of adding smart technology to your home, but are worried about complications or expense, you’re in luck. All you need is a smart phone and high-speed internet and you can easily add “smart technology” such as thermostats, smoke detectors, garage door controls, home security cameras, doorbells and locks to your home. The good news is that a lot of this kind of tech can be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner and without spending a lot of money.

Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas for smart home-tech upgrades that are easy to DIY.

Kristy CooperSimple ways to add smart technology to your home
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The best sports streaming services for fans who cut the cord

If you’ve cut the cord but aren’t sure what your best sports-streaming options are, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the top sports-focused streaming services (as of summer 2019) to choose from.

Streaming for the casual sports fan

For fans who like to catch the game of the week, or watch shows like SportsCenter for an overview of the world of sports, most streaming services like DirectTVNow, Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, will give you access to channels like ESPN or Fox Sports as well as a variety of live sporting events.

Kristy CooperThe best sports streaming services for fans who cut the cord
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Why keeping up with technology is good for business

Keeping up to date with technology is important for every kind of business – even ones that have nothing to do with technology. Technology is inescapable part of life and business. Farmers carry smart phones, vineyards utilize drones, and brick-and-mortar businesses have sophisticated security systems. Crafters use the online shopping carts to sell their products, and cupcake makers use tablets to accept payments on the road. These are just a few examples of how everyone needs access and familiarity with technology to help their business thrive.

The risks of ignoring or trying to do without technology can harm a business in many ways, but the rewards can mean getting ahead of your competition and thriving in the long run. Here’s a few reasons why.

Kristy CooperWhy keeping up with technology is good for business
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How to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area

If you’ve inquired about internet service with Softcom and we were unable to help, don’t give up! We want you – and we’re working hard to bring speedy, stable and secure internet your way as fast as we can.

Softcom currently provides internet service to the following cities: Acampo, Clements, Collierville, Courtland, East Stockton, Elk Grove, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Lake Camanche, Lockeford, Lodi, Morada, North Stockton, Thornton, Victor, Walnut Grove, Wilton, Woodbridge and Youngstown.

Kristy CooperHow to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area
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