Automating your budget allows you to systematically fulfill long-term goals. Having a plan takes the stress out of finances, while still allowing you the freedom you desire.
- Open the Right Accounts: Certain accounts compliment an automated budget more than others. Finding a checking and savings account that is fee-free and does not require direct deposit or a specific balance is best. You can also use savings accounts or credit cards as overdraft protection to kick in automatically.
- Use an Online Site or Mobile App: Online and mobile tools like Mint and BudgetTracker are free and make financial life easier. Enter your take home pay, bills, monthly expenses, etc. Just like that, you have a budget!
- Automate Your Savings: It’s easy to save money when you don’t notice it’s gone. Save a portion of each paycheck by automatically contributing a percentage to your savings and retirement accounts. This can be done completely through your employer, taking all the hassle off of you. Over time, your funds will grow and be kept in a safe place for future needs.
- Let Your Bills Pay Themselves: Automatic payments are one of the most convenient features available. Your creditor may take payments on a specific date or through an automatic bill pay service. Either way, it’s easy and automatic. You don’t have to keep track and can be assured the bill will always pay on time.
- Analyze Your Spending Habits: Once you’ve begun tracking, don’t forget to review your accounts. Use your online site or mobile app to review purchases at least once a month. Surprised at the amount spent on groceries or gas? Review your budget frequently to find areas to improve on.
Ultimately, a budget will only be beneficial if you stay disciplined. Take advantage of technology available to you. The right accounts, online tools and automatic features will make your financial life easier.