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Automate Your Finances

By: Green Panda | Date posted: February 20, 2009 (1:08 pm) | Write a Comment (10 Comments)

It’s Friday and I’m excited and tired.  :) I’m feeling better, but I can’t get this congestion to go away. I got great news: once the credit union receives our check, we will have NO MORE CAR PAYMENTS! That’s an extra $235/month going from expenses to savings column. I’ll talk about that more next week, but I wanted to share that today.

Something that has helped us with paying of the car loan was automating our regular and extra payments.

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Have a portion of your paycheck transferred to a high interest savings account.

Start small and automate your money to put into savings. You’ll become use to the slightly small paycheck as you start savings. The first thing you need to save for is an emergency fund. This step can help you build financial cushion, especially in turbulent economic times like these. Find an FDIC bank or CUNA credit union that offer high interest rates for savings and watch it grow faster.

Set up free online bill pay with your bank.

Most banks and credit unions offer this money and time saving feature. Spend an hour setting this up with your bills, account numbers, due dates, and amounts, and you’ll only need a few minutes a month to keep it up.

Take advantage of your company’s 401k program.

Try to at least set aside enough money to receive the company match as it’s basically free money in your pocket. Look for low cost index funds to put your money in.

Have a small portion of your paycheck transferred into an IRA account.

Once your build up your emergency fund, eliminated your credit card debt, and have increased your income; funnel some money into an IRA. You want to still look for low cost index funds to put your money in.

How much of your finances is automated? How has automating your finances improved (or worsen) since switching?

Photo Credit: Crystl

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10 Comments
  1. Comment by Craig — February 20, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

    Right now I just manually automate my finances, meaning whenever I get my check, first thing I do it put some away. I should set up automatic transfer to not even worry about this and tempt myself from doing it.

  2. Comment by Green Panda — February 20, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    @Craig: Thanks Craig! That’s what I had to do, because I found excuses to either skip saving or reduce the amount I planned.

  3. Comment by Miranda — February 23, 2009 @ 8:51 am

    On top of having a lot of our stuff automated, we have it scheduled in the personal finance software, so that it doesn’t appear as though the money’s even there for us to use. We have found this extremely helpful in terms of getting an accurate picture of what we have to spend.

  4. Comment by Green Panda — February 23, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

    @Miranda: Great idea. That’s a clever way to keep money in the right category.

  5. Comment by Jason Unger — March 16, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

    Green Panda — you are on your way to ridiculously easy money management.

    Congrats on the end of your car payments — are you planning to automate that $235 straight into a new savings account?

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