Automating Your Finances
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In the previous lesson, we walked you through the order for filling up each of your financial buckets (or glasses). Now, we'll show you how to make it all happen automatically so you never find yourself choosing between a new pair of shoes or funding your future.
Ugh, finance. So boring. Let's talk about it.
Let's pretend you have a good side of your brain and a bad side of your brain that are making financial decisions for you. The old angel and devil on your shoulder.
Now imagine a robot comes along and puts the devil in a headlock so he can't influence you anymore. This heroic robot is what we call automation.
Look, we like technology. We think it's an important tool for making fancy financial services available to everyone. It's kind of why we exist.
But no matter where you keep your money here are some great ways to make your financial life not only simpler, but better.
Chances are your paycheck is directly deposited into your checking account. If it's not and your company offers that option you should go ahead and do that before you do anything else.
But you don't want your whole paycheck going directly into your checking account. Set it up so that a percentage goes into your company retirement account first.
Now as soon as your paycheck electronically hits your checking account, there are two accounts you want it to automatically fund, your savings account and your investing account. You can do this using your checking account to make automatic recurring transfers into each one.
This will make sure the right amount comes out of your checking account and into your savings and investing accounts like clockwork before you even have the chance to spend it on that fancy pair of new shoes.
Make your credit card the default payment method for bills that you know will be the same amount every month, gym, insurance, mobile phone, etc. Yup that's right you don't have to pull out a checkbook and lick a stamp, get a paper cut on your tongue.
After your paycheck has been directly deposited your savings and investing accounts have been funded through automatic transfers, and your credit card balance is back to zero there's another tool to use. Bill pay, you wanna use this checking account feature for bills that require a check, your rent for example.
Each month your bank will automatically cut a check and mail it to your landlord. Then the only thing left for you to do is read the email alert your bank will send.
But what happens when you have a little more money than usual? First of all, nice work. Maybe you got a bonus, birthday gift, or just spent a little bit less. It's important to put that money to work for you and not spend it on extra margaritas.
For instance Wealthsimple has a feature called Overflow which is pretty awesome by the way (Note: Unfortunately, Overflow is only available in Canada, but Roundup and auto-deposits are other ways to automatically contribute to your investments). Here's how it works. Say you want to keep a certain amount in your checking account to use it in a short term for rent, groceries, and over-priced movie tickets. That's a great idea. What's not great is when you've got more than you need sitting around not earning any interest.
With Overflow you decide how much cash to keep in your bank account and once a month we'll automatically move any extra into your Wealthsimple Invest or Save account.
Okay, time out. This is so boring I'm putting myself to sleep.