The most common area for people to struggle in their lives is with their finances. Remembering to pay bills on time, putting paychecks in the bank and keeping everything running smoothly can be impossible with the responsibilities present in everyday life. Unordered finances lead to bounced check fees, overdraft fees, late fees and other problems, though. If you’re struggling with your finances, one of the best things to do is to automate them. How do you do that?
Use Direct Deposit
Perhaps the most important thing to do is to speak with your employer or HR department about the possibility of having your paycheck direct deposited in your bank account. This eliminates not only the possibility that you’ll forget to put it in the bank, but the hassle of going to the bank every week (or every other week). You’ll even find that direct deposit offers some financial savings, such as reducing fuel costs and giving you more free time.
Sign Up for Electronic Bill Pay
One of the best things about the digital revolution is the fact that most companies now offer automatic bill pay features. You can set up your power bill, gas bill and possibly even your home mortgage to come right out of your bank account on a specific day of the month. That eliminates the possibility that you’ll forget to send a payment and have to pay late fees because of it. Most companies have information about automatic bill pay on their website, and you’ll probably be able to set it all up online. In some instances, going with this payment method actually offers some savings, as well – many companies provide a few dollars off for using electronic bill pay.
Remember Retirement Funds
Planning for retirement is something that needs to happen right now. The good news is that most employers today offer some form of automatic retirement fund deduction. This comes off the top of your paycheck, before taxes are taken out and you’ll find that you don’t even miss the money. It’s sent straight to your 401(k) account, where it will sit and help you build your nest egg. Automated 401(k) payments are essential – speak with the HR department about it when you set up your direct deposit.
Use Financial Software
Finally, you’ll find that you still need to manage your finances, but with automated payments and direct deposit, tracking your cash can be confusing. Thankfully, you’ll find a range of personal finance software out there that lets you track every bill, every expense, every account and know with certainty where each dollar is going. Some of these programs offer award-winning performance and can even help you delve into areas where you need to cut back on spending, identify spending patterns and habits that need to be changed and really take control of your finances for the first time in years.
Automating your finances can be an excellent option for many people, and it’s easier to do than you might expect.