Automating your finances can make your life so much easier. You don’t have to worry about missed payments, late fees, disconnect notices, etc. The more you automate, the easier it will be to stay on budget because you will know that payments are already made and you won’t get hit with fees that can knock your budget off course.
Some payments may not be able to be automated due to varying costs, but many can be. Here are a few you should set up for automatic bill pay either through your bank account or through the individual accounts:
Yourself – First and foremost, make sure you’re paying yourself first. This will ensure that you have money in your emergency fund and retirement accounts. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings and/or investment accounts with every paycheck. Whether it’s $10 or $1000 doesn’t matter. It only matters that you are setting something aside for your future needs.
Credit Cards – Set up an automatic payment each month for the minimum payment due for each card. If you want to pay more than the minimum, you can always make an additional payment. But setting up your minimum payment by automatic billing ensures that you won’t be charged additional late fees and interest if you miss your payment due date by just one day.
Cable/Internet Bill – Your cable and/or internet service should be the same amount each month so setting up an automatic payment should be easy. Check your current bill for the due date and the amount, then just set your payment up to be sent the day before it’s due.
Cellphone – Just like your cable/internet bill, your cellphone should be the same amount monthly unless you go over your data usage or have roaming charges. Set up your bill pay for your regular monthly payment. You can always pay additional charges separately if there are any.
Electric – While your electric bill probably varies monthly, most electric companies allow you to get on a budget pay plan. This plan reviews your usage from the previous 12-month period than determines an average cost per month based on your annual usage. Using this plan allows you to pay the same amount every month regardless of how much or how little electricity you use. And getting on this plan allows you to automate your monthly payment
Car Payment – If you have a monthly car payment, like most of your other bills, it’s the same amount every month. Set it up to pay automatically so you don’t get hit with hefty late fees.
Insurance – Whether it’s home, auto, life, or health insurance, they all come with a monthly premium that remains the same each month. Set these up for automatic payment to avoid late fees, or worse, cancellation. For most types of insurance, if you miss a payment, they will cancel you and you will have trouble getting a new policy.
While you may not be able to automate your grocery shopping, many of your other monthly budget items can be set up for automatic payment and relieve you of the stress of making sure everything is paid in a timely manner.
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