There’s a reason that automation is the way of the world these days; it saves time and keeps us on track toward our goals. Automating your finances is no different. From paying your bills on time to expanding your savings, automating the process means that you don’t have to stress about missing a payment and you can start building your savings without even thinking about it. Below are 10 helpful tips to get you started with automating your finances, so whether you’re working to pay off debt or saving toward a goal, you can stress less!
- The first step to automating your finances successfully is having a primary account. Think of this account as the Grand Central Station of your finances, with money coming and going on a predetermined schedule, and make sure you have a cash cushion in that account to protect you from overdrafts or surprise fees if your automatic bill payment and paycheck ever don’t line up. HUECU has a number of checking accounts that are great options to get you started!
- Start saving automatically by splitting your paycheck through direct deposit. Send a percentage of your paycheck to your savings account and the rest to your checking account to cover bills. When you start paying yourself first, at the same percentage every paycheck, your savings will start to build without you even noticing.
- Have a separate account for spending. Keep money for regular, variable expenses like gas and groceries in a separate account, and consider signing up for a credit card that offers you cash back on these kind of purchases.
- Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account once a month. Whether it be $25 or $100, commit to putting a fixed amount in savings at least once per month.
- Maximize your benefits. Maybe you’re getting a raise and you can afford to add some of that money that you’re already living without into savings. Or, maybe your employer offers a retirement program; sign up and put forth at least the minimum contribution necessary for them to match the amount.
- Set up online bill pay. With automation, your finances pretty much take care of themselves, and that includes your bills. Schedule online bill pay so that bills are deducted from your account automatically. Some credit cards even offer incentives for setting up automatic payments so that you pay the entire balance each month or make the minimum payment without even thinking about it.
- Make sure your expenses line up with your paychecks. And if not, consider reaching out to your lenders to change your due date, or if that’s not possible, use tax refunds to pay ahead one month so you can line up your payments.
- Automate any extra funds to be paid toward debt, and build momentum with your debt repayment plan.
- Earn money for your future by automating investment contributions. And, if your employer matches your contribution you could choose to automatically contribute the maximum matching amount to earn additional funds on your investments.
- Evaluate and adjust your automation plan. The goal is to free up time, money, and energy. Remember, life happens; maybe you want to spend a little extra this month to celebrate a birthday or an unexpected expense came up. That’s ok! Talk to a financial counselor like HUECU’s partners at GreenPath to help set up automation goals that lead to more stress-free financial management.
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