How Do I Automate My Bills?
Automating your bills is the key to keeping your financial life happy, healthy, and most importantly, debt-free. However, when it comes to automating, many don't know where to start or what it even means Today, I will be breaking down what automating your bills means and four tips to get you started:
What does automating your bills mean?
Automating your bills means setting up electronic transfers that automatically pay your expenses without your involvement at all. Thank you technology! Automation only works if you have more money coming in than you do going out. If you don't, you may get hit with overdraft fees or insufficient funds. Automation is just a function you can set after you have already established what your budget is for each month. If you don't know how much you pay, sign up for personal capital and get that sorted first. If you do know how much you pay and do not want to keep manually doing it, continue reading:
1. HAVE A DESIGNATED BANK ACCOUNT
Automating your bills starts with having enough money to cover them. When you "automate" you put your bills on auto-pay allowing a company to pull funds directly from your credit card or debit account instead of you sending them money to them each month. The key to ensuring enough money is available each month is by having a designated bank account just for bills. Many banks offer hassle-free accounts that allow you to empty it every month and start over again the next month. This will enable you to plan for your bills instead of receiving an alert that you may not have enough money to pay it off.
2. Automate When You Open
When you move, change jobs, or start a new expense, you always think you will get around to automating it later. That rarely happens and leaves you with a pesky bill you may have forgotten about every month. Instead, make automating your bills a priority and do it as soon as you open it. There should be an option when you open an account for automation to link to a bank account. By doing this, it will give you ease of mind that you aren't missing an unplanned bill. Also, you could save yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars in interest because you didn't miss a payment.
3. Go Paperless
After you automate, go paperless. Instead of receiving mail updates you will instead receive updates about your billing, amount due, and other features to your email address. So, if you have an overdraft or owe an additional or unforeseen amount you will get notified immediately. You must first have an online account with the company to go paperless to ensure they have your proper email address. Sign in to your account and check the paperless option in the notifications center. Easy!
4. Get Debt-Free
The only way to automate your bills is to be debt-free. It is tough to pay all of your bills in a month if you are in debt. Running at a deficit each month has you cherry picking what bills you will and won't pay. To eliminate the stress of debt, try paying down your smallest debt first until you can automate all your bills. Trust me; it is worth it once you do. You will have peace of mind that every month your bills are being paid.
P.S. It's not just for bills!
Once you get this automation hack down, you will be amazed at what else you can automate when it comes to your finances such as your investing! Automatic investments are the key to building wealth. You set it and forget it, and you are out enjoying your life while your investments are gradually growing.