This is the third part of our five part series following MindShift.money member Wendy Priester as she goes through Financially Fit Bootcamp. If you’re just joining us, you can start your journey with her here.
When I first read in Module Three of Financially Fit Bootcamp about how to stop worrying and start saving using Automation to move funds between the accounts in my Perfect Account Structure, I was pretty excited.
I love technology and all the ways it’s made my life easier. Using online bill pay and automatic transfers to keep my financial life organized is pretty awesome.
See, I know that if I left myself in charge of making all the necessary transfers, it wouldn’t get done. I’d forget, put things off, or come up with excuses as to why I couldn’t save any money this month.
It was a MindShift for me that by removing myself from the active management of my finances, I would actually be able to make more progress than before. By allowing all of my transfers and bill payments to happen automatically, I guaranteed they would actually take place.
I used the power of Automation to not only reduce Money Stress, but also to pay off debt and build my Security Buffer.
Making Technology Work for You
My main source of income arrives once a month, and it can be tricky to make sure there’s not too much month left at the end of the money. I’m self-employed, so the remainder of my monthly income arrives sporadically over the other weeks of the month. Trying to keep all the various pay dates organized gave me a headache. It was time to let Automation remove some of my stress.
I decided to pay all of my fixed expenses with my main paycheck at the beginning of the month. I had free bill pay from my bank, so I set up these payments to happen 72 hours after my paycheck arrives in my account. Using my Money Planner as a checklist, I went line-by-line to set up these payments and checked them off as I went. This helped me relax knowing that I had taken are of all the bills that were due in one go.
Then, I set up my automatic transfers to my specific Bills and Goals accounts using the same method so that nothing was missed. Most importantly, I set up my transfers to my Freedom Fund to make sure my future self is taken care of.
For my Everyday Account, I decided to make my weekly payment on Fridays. Who doesn’t love a Friday? There’s such a relief knowing that I am no more than six days away from my next payday. And the transfer happens automatically.
Keeping An Eye On Things
Now, I still check in periodically to make sure that things are still humming along as efficiently as possible. I have a standing appointment with myself once a month, three days before my main paycheck is due to arrive in my account.
The reason for this is that my bank allows changes to any automatic transfers or payments up to 48 hours before the transaction takes place. I like to give myself a little extra time to make any needed changes so I don’t stress about it. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes, and then I’m back to doing more important things, like chasing my dogs around the yard.
I have an automatic alert set up to notify me of any questionable charges or if my balance drops below a certain amount. I’m cutting the cord of information overload by allowing no news to mean good news. That alone has done wonders in the reduction of my stress levels.
My financial life essentially runs itself without any direct involvement from me. How many things in your life take care of themselves without you having to think about it?
I love that I’m saving more consistently than I ever was before. I get such joy seeing that amount in my Freedom Fund growing steadily larger each month.
Debt: Channel Your Inner Terminator
Wendy Priester is a former Tax Auditor turned freelance writer and certified Financially Fit Bootcamp Coach. When not working with clients to help them live their best financial life, Wendy can be found exploring the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with her two hyperactive dachshunds.