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Managing Money As A Global Nomad

The founder of Cube Wealth, Satyen Kothari, shares with us the few simple habits and apps he uses to make managing his money easier.
October 11, 2022

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My life post COVID-19 has me hopping between a few countries regularly due to personal, family, and work reasons. However, this footloose lifestyle does not come without some complications in keeping my financial life running smoothly.

Being a fan of efficiency and optimization, but without the need for extreme automation or complexity, I have devised a few simple habits for managing my money irrespective of where I am based. Here are some apps and services I have tried and like - hope some of you find them useful as well!

Indian Apps I love To Use

1. Amazon Pay

Great for recurring India bill payments. I usually pre-load a balance when my India SIM is on and use this balance to pay my electricity, mobile, and even gas tank bills. In usual Amazon style, a bit cluttered but very simple overall and works flawlessly. Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

2. Google Pay

Great for one off payments and house staff salaries. However, Google Pay does an IP check to see if you are in India when using it and at times blocks me from making a payment. No idea why they would do this - I am already set up with my Indian bank account and mobile number so why block me because I am abroad. Google - fix this! Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

3. HDFC Bank app

My backup app when google throws a fit, or to make business payments to CAs, etc as UPI does not work for this. Many people hate the HDFC app, but I think it is relatively well designed and quite powerful. Of course, HDFC style, there is verification for many steps. But recently they have enabled email based OTP across all the functions (that I use, at least), and this lets me use it easily without plugging my Indian SIM in. Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

4. Cube Wealth

Well, duh. All my regular investments happen via Cube as it does a monthly debit once to split my money across all my selected short term, medium term, and long term options. Of course as the founder I am biased, but I love the fill it and forget it aspect of Cube. At times I feel guilty for not opening my own app for weeks but then realize this was a conscious design choice to make it the invisible wealth creation app! Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

Global Apps I Love To Use

1. Apple Pay

Just fabulous to pay restaurant bills, coffees, even local transport fares in London, etc with zero effort. Wish it was more common to use in India! However Apple does make it a bit complex to set it up in many situations. I have had some trouble based on both phone settings and on getting verification codes from different providers to enable this. Get On IOS

2. TransferWise or Wise

Great for moving money across borders and local payments within the US, EU, etc. Usually the best forex rates in the market. Do use this instead of doing a bank transfer if you can - you save a ton! Wise even shows you other banks’ and service providers rates and at times tells you to go use them as those rates are better - love this kind of ethical fintech! Fun fact - the one bank that beats Wise in forex rates often is Stanford Federal Credit Union from my alma mater. Go Cardinal! Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

3. Revolut

Another fabulous app that I love for its comprehensiveness. I have the premium plan which gives me better rates on forex than usual, but Wise at times still bears these. A big benefit of revolut is it’s a great app for finance newbies as it includes multiple currency accounts, stock trading, crypto trading, and even “vaults” to hide your money from yourself to force savings. My favorite feature is the “change multiplier” that can really add savings fast. I have recommended Revolut to many friends in Europe just starting their investment and savings journeys. Get On Andriod / Get On IOS

Hope this list helps you the same way it helped me. And if you find this useful, pass it on to a friend in need.

Satyen Kothari
Founder & CEO of Cube Wealth, Satyen is a Stanford Alum in computer science, HCI, and tech entrepreneurship. He spent 15 years in Silicon Valley learning his craft with Apple and Frog Design. He then embarked upon his own startup journey in the US & India. He is also the founder of Citrus Pay – India’s first digital payment gateway. A successful venture that sold for USD$130M in 2016. Now, Satyen is simplifying wealth creation for busy professionals with Cube Wealth, the Financial Freedom App with a smart Perfect Portfolio Planner feature.

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