Organizing your finances is no simple task. Between your monthly expenses to your savings and emergency funds there’s no shortage of companies or accounts taking money from your net total.
Taking time out of your already busy week to organize and allocate your finances is one more item on your to-do list that you don’t need. A money manager can assist you in the administration of you finances. However, there are steps you can take yourself to automate your money.
These four steps that can help you create a system and save you hours during your week. Ease your financial stress and automate your money in these four easy ways.
1. Make a List of All Your Payments
The first step towards automating your money is figuring out where exactly your money is going.
List every bill and expense, emergency and savings fund, as well, as any investments you contribute to. Be sure to also list an estimate of how much you pay each month or so for each expense.
Upon doing so, you can begin to look into your payment options and ways in which you can set up automatic transfers.
Personal Capital is a free, easy to use, tool that lets you simplify a lot of that so you can see all your payments and accounts in one dashboard.
2. Open the Right Accounts
In order to successfully automate your finances, you’ll need to open up the correct bank accounts. You’ll want a primary checking account for most of your payments, but will also need a separate savings or emergency account.
Moreover, if used wisely, it can be smart to utilize a credit card account to keep for everyday, variable expenses, such as groceries, gas, or entertainment. This way you can earn rewards for your everyday spending.
3. Set Up Bill Pay
Most companies provide you with the option of setting up automatic bill pay through your bank account or credit card information. Instead of manually paying your bills, tuition costs or credit cards, opt to have the company your working with automatically draft the money from your account.
Furthermore, you can also set up automatic transfers to particular savings accounts to ensure you don’t spend that money.
CIT Bank is a great option for this, paying 1.55% on your balances – as long as you can start with a $100 minimum balance.
By setting up electronic payments, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you’ve forgotten the due date. This can potentially save yourself from late fees or from accidentally spending the money elsewhere.
4. Automate Your Investments
Another way in which you should automate your finances is with your investment contributions as well. Once everything else is paid off, be sure to set up electronic payments to contribute to your retirement and investment accounts.
If you have a 401(k) set up through your employer, you’ll likely be automatically drafted from your paycheck. If you have an alternate investment account, predetermine times and amounts to transfer money, so you don’t have to worry about it or time the market.
Ally Invest is a great option for this as they allow you to automate much of your actions and charge an industry low $4.95 per trade.
Automating your finances is a fairly simple process that’ll save you time, money, and keep the guesswork out of wondering whether or not you’ve paid everything off for the month.
By setting up the correct accounts and automating your payments you’ll take the stress out of your finances and keep your payment goals on track.
What are some things to consider when automating your finances? What has helped you automate your money?
Photo courtesy of: Estee Janssens