Automating your finances is something that has always intrigued me. Ever since I first heard about the concept I’ve tried to find as many ways of making sure that my money does what it is supposed to without any direction or guidance from me. I like that I don’t have to worry about little details or try to remember what day of the month I am supposed to pay my credit card or phone bill. It removes stress and frees up time for me to do things that I would much rather do. I don’t want to balance my chequebook – in fact, I don’t even have one, so I’ve automated my finances as much as possible. Here are four reasons you should automate your finances too.
It Frees Up Time
By far the best reason to automate your finances is that it gives you back your Sunday afternoons. Growing up I would often find my mother sitting at the dining room table balancing her checkbook. Some days this would only take 20 or 30 minutes, but during busy times or at times when the balances just weren’t working out, it could easily take hours to manually go through a budget, record of spending, receipts, and more, just to figure out where fifty seven cents went. Automating your finances removes the need to do this – ever.
It Eliminates Human Error
While this may put me smack in the middle of “that” generation, I honestly cannot believe that there was a time before automated billing. All of my accounts – two mobile phones, internet, television, student loans, etc, are all automated billing through my credit card. I have no idea which day of the month they charge my card – and I couldn’t care less. I know that once a month my credit card gets charged (and I get a small % of cash back by using the credit card), and once a month I have to pay off that credit card. If there is a problem, it is with the computer system on somebody’s end – but I know it is not because I forgot to pay a bill.
It Saves You Money
Switching to an automated financial system can easily save you money by helping you pay yourself first. I have my bank accounts set up to automatically withdraw on payday a set amount of money to go towards savings. That way, I never have to make the decision to save money – it has already been made for me. I sometimes realize that I had forgotten all about our emergency fund savings account, but it didn’t matter, because I had been putting money away in it every two weeks for the last 2 years. It grew without any of my input. Some service providers will even knock a dollar or two off your bill if you sign up for automated billing, and others will do the same if you sign up for paperless billing. You can save money and the environment at the same time.
Because You’re Lazy
Let’s face it. After working 40 hours in the week, spending time with your spouse and your kids and doing the dishes on a Friday night, the last thing you want to do is sit down and stress and worry about your finances. If you’re lazy like me, you’ll want the easiest way to get the most of your money while also doing the least. Automating your finances requires a one time commitment of your energy, and then besides very minimal maintenance tasks, like paying off your credit card or glancing through your statements to ensure there are no fraudulent charges. While I don’t recommend you embrace your slothy side, I do encourage you to accept your own limitations and consider automating your finances.
But how does one automate their finances? There are tons of ways to make small changes towards automation, such as getting an online bank account and setting up automatic withdrawals, using Mint.com or other financial aggregators, or even just signing up for automatic payment with some of your service providers.
Do you automate your finances? How did it go?