Consider this quick step-by-step guide to put your bill paying and personal financial management on autopilot.
It happens to every one; more than once, you are late paying bills simply because it slipped your mind. There are several methods people use to make payments regular and less of a pain, but to me, the most effective is automation. Besides eliminating the late payment issue, it makes work much easier.
Although there’s no one right way to automate your finances--each person’s financial infrastructure is different--the following arrangement is close to ideal.
• First thing’s first: If you have access to an employer-based savings scheme, sign up for it. Set some money aside automatically from each pay check to save for the future. Here, you are making payments to your “future” self, on a monthly basis.
• Open up a savings account, and use it for the purpose it was intended for. Your pay check should automatically go to your savings account, eliminating the need to use the money for other purposes. Here, you are improving on your savings plan.
• Next, set up electronic bill pay for every standing obligation you have: phone bills, utilities, house rent, etc. It may take a couple of hours to set up all of your automatic payments, but then you don’t have to worry about them again for months--or years.
• Don’t forget to schedule monthly contributions to your security fund and Tax Agency, in this case, RRA. These can also be done through setting up electronic bill payments it’s a matter of instructing your bank.
Now that you’ve automated most of your financial necessities, it’s time to give yourself an allowance. Schedule a monthly transfer from your savings account to your checking account. The amount is up to you, but it should be enough to cover the bills you can’t automate, routine expenses (such as gas and groceries) and, of course, a little something for fun.
This basic framework can decrease some of the drudge work of money management while also reducing human error. (You’ll be less likely to miss a payment simply because you forgot to send a check.) Be careful, though. Automation isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. The goal is to create a system where you’re doing the right things by default and making your life more convenient. But you still need to pay attention. Always review your bills and statements to be certain no mistakes are being made.