Archive for March 2018

4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Money

4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Money

4 Easy Ways to Automate Your MoneyOrganizing 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

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First Budget

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First Budget

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First BudgetIt?s hard to believe, but your kids are on their way to becoming their own adults. Time goes fast, and it probably seems like they were tiny little ones just a few years ago.

As a parent, you have done a lot to get them ready for their own life. If you would like to add another helpful preparation to the list of things you have taught them along the way, consider helping them create their first budget.

When kids move out, most of them don?t have a clue as to how the ?real world? works. You have been paying the bills for years, mostly behind the scenes. The kids usually don?t see the utility bills when they roll in, and they don?t see the mortgage payment get taken from your bank account each month.

Now that they are getting ready to head out on their own, you can use your experience to help them avoid some silly ? and costly ? mistakes.

Start Early

This process can start before your kids are even thinking about moving out of the house. In fact, as soon as your child gets his or her first job, have them set up a budget that they can use to track where that money is going.

They probably won?t have many bills at this point, but it is still a good idea to use a budget. Set aside some for savings, maybe some for a car payment, and outline how the rest will be used. This is going to be a rather basic budget, of course. But, it will lay the groundwork for responsibilities later in life.

Explain Taxes

It is one of the hard realities of life that making $15 per hour doesn?t mean you actually take home $15 for every hour you are on the clock. The concept of taxes is something that is vaguely familiar to most teenagers. But, they certainly don?t have an intimate understanding of how taxes work.

Take some time to explain what kind of taxes they will pay as an employee, and how they can plan for filing their federal return each year.

Outline Adult Expenses

The expenses that you have to deal with as an adult tend to pick up over time. So, your child probably won?t have too many to deal with when first setting out. There are a few big ones, however, such as rent, car payment, student loan, and insurance.

Lay out how all of these things are going to work on a monthly basis. Tell them what they should cost, and how they can be minimized (like getting a roommate to share rent, for example).

Sadly, these kinds of things are not typically taught in school. So, it is your job as a parent to give your child the advice they need at this critical time. By sending them out with the right knowledge, you will increase their chances of making wise financial decisions.


Have you started teaching your kids how to budget? When did you first start teaching them about money and budgeting?


Photo courtesy of: jcall

How to Handle These 3 Awkward Money Situations with Friends

How to Handle These 3 Awkward Money Situations with Friends

How to Handle These 3 Awkward Money Situations with FriendsThere’s probably very few subjects that are off limits between you and your friends. However, no matter the length of your friendship, finances seems to be one subject that is forever taboo.

Between your salary, lending money to one another, and splitting the bill, there’s an array of occasions that arise where money inevitably comes into play. Unfortunately, these instances can lead to some uncomfortable conversations.

To prepare yourself for the next time money comes up with your friend group, take a look at our guide on how to handle these three awkward money situations.

1. You Lent Money that Hasn’t Been Returned

In most cases, you’d have no problem lending your friend a small amount of money or paying for their meal if they’re short. Unfortunately, sometimes even the smallest amount unpaid can drive a wedge between friends.

A good rule to have in the first place is to never lend anything you can’t afford to lost, because if your friend doesn’t pay you back, it’ll only serve to create resentful and irritable feelings on your part.

That being said, you should also take the time to follow up after said event and amicably reminding your friends that the bill was “x amount,” if they wouldn’t mind paying you back via Venmo or PayPal. It’s a pleasant way to send a small reminder.

2. Splitting the Bill

Splitting the bill always seems to be complicated. Some insist on paying for exactly what they ordered, while others want to split the whole thing evenly. However, when all you had was a salad to your friends steak, you might not be happy splitting the bill.

Being the oddball out and insisting on paying only for what you owe is awkward. To alleviate the situation, always bring cash. In turn, you can offer to put down what your meal was worth and have the rest split. Your request won’t seem as obvious and the server won’t have to worry about organizing the bills correctly.

3. Handling the Question “How Much Did that Cost?”

Whenever you or one of your friends has a new purchase, everyone else usually wants to know all about it. This conversation consequently brings about the question, “how much did it cost?”

With the little items, you might not have a problem disclosing that information, but if you splurged or made a large purchase, it could be uncomfortable. Either politely say you’d rather not divulge that information.

Or, if you do, make a point to explain how you saved up or what sacrifices you made to have the ability to splurge.

Money doesn’t have to create awkward and tense situations between friends. There are always ways to ease any financial situation to keep money from coming between you and those closest to you.

So, the next time you go to split the bill or someone asks you to put the tab on your card, remember a few of these easy ways to keep the financial situation from spoiling your friendships.


Do you feel comfortable discussing your finances with friends? What other awkward money situations have you encountered?


Photo courtesy of: vivienviv0