5 financial common sense uses for ChatGPT
From budget-setting to gift guides: How ChatGPT can help you with your personal finances.
The generative, conversational AI ChatGPT has got more potential than just writing a college essay or producing the perfect cover letter. It extends beyond content production, offering opportunities to harness its generative capabilities to help consumers with their personal finances.
1. Saving tips and strategies
I’ll say it — saving money is hard, and it’s even harder to stick to the plan you’ve created. ChatGPT can offer suggestions on how to budget for a savings goal.
I asked ChatGPT this question: “How do I save money with only $20 leftover each month?” Two pieces of advice generated were:
- Prioritize savings: Make saving a priority and commit to putting that $20 aside each month. Treat it as a non-negotiable expense, just like any other bill.
- Automate your savings: Set up an automatic transfer of that $20 from your checking account to a separate high-yield savings account. By automating the process, you remove the temptation to spend the money and ensure consistent savings.
These two nuggets are solid advice that’s commonly advised by financial experts — make the savings automatic and treat it like a non-negotiable bill. Every little bit counts.
2. Understanding financial topics
Search engines and online forums are great resources, but finding answers to specific financial questions and topics can sometimes be challenging.
For example, you can ask ChatGPT what a FICO credit score is, why it matters, and how it’s different from your VantageScore. You could ask about the process of refinancing your house in your home state, how to get started in investing in the stock market, what debt cfionsolidation means — or what the heck cryptocurrency is.
Education is something the AI does well, but asking the AI things like “What stocks should I invest in” may not be wise, considering that its knowledge base is somewhat out-of-date. But you could ask about different investing strategies, how they work and how to get started.
3. Budgeting groceries and meals
Drafting a weekly list of meals is hard enough, and trying to work within your budget is another beast.
With ChatGPT, you can generate a weekly meal plan and grocery list within a specific budget, such as “under $100.” You can also generate a weekly meal plan that fits your family’s needs with unique stipulations like kid-friendly, gluten free, vegetarian or high in protein. I’ve even generated recipes with ingredients I already had in the house to save more money.
Just know that with specific budgets, the prices may vary. When generating tight budgets, the AI almost always advises to look for discounts, sales and for coupons to stay on or under the set amount.
4. Budget-friendly gift ideas
We’ve all got a relative who is impossible to buy for, or we’ve been completely lost on what to give someone. You can ask ChatGPT to generate gift suggestions for different ages, occasions, genders, interests and price ranges. You can also ask specific questions or prompts, such as “five educational gift ideas for a six-year-old boy under $20.”
For that prompt, ChatGPT generated five, age-appropriate gift ideas and offered reasoning as to why it fit within the stipulations. For example, it offered an “art supplies set” as a gift suggestion:
“Look for a set that includes crayons, markers, colored pencils, and drawing paper. These supplies can help foster creativity, imagination, and fine motor skills, and can often be found within a reasonable budget.”
5. Debt repayment plans
If you have a specific amount of debt you want to pay off, crafting a plan can prove difficult. However, ChatGPT can offer a blueprint to help you get started.
I asked the AI to generate this: “Give me a monthly plan on how to pay off my credit card debt in two years.” The AI generated a monthly plan in six-month segments, and the tactic for first six months generated was:
- Assess your monthly budget and determine the amount you can allocate toward debt repayment. Let’s assume you have $500 per month.
- Make the minimum payments on all your credit cards to avoid any late fees or penalties.
- Allocate the remaining $500 toward the credit card with the highest interest rate.
The AI is actually referencing a common debt payoff strategy, called the debt avalanche method, where you prioritize paying off debts in order of the highest interest rate. You can also enter unique stipulations for a more personally-generated plan, like the amount you have to allocate each month and the amount of debt you have for a more concrete plan.
That’s not all folks
We’ve only just scratched the surface on the capabilities of ChatGPT. From budgeting to education, ChatGPT can be a helpful, financial resource.
Word of caution: ChatGPT isn’t perfect. It’s also not a replacement for all financial advice, as it’s not a certified public accountant, tax specialist or true financial expert. We recommend treating the AI like a really smart friend that can offer generic advice as a jumping off point. Keep in mind that it can offer responses with outdated or incorrect information for things like taxes, financing, or the stock market, as its knowledge base only goes back to 2021, at the time of writing.
About the Author
Bethany Hickey is a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance and AOL. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine.
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