Author Topic: How much do you automate your finances?  (Read 7860 times)

Zikoris

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How much do you automate your finances?
« on: February 05, 2015, 05:05:40 PM »
Curious how automated other Mustachians' financial systems are. Anyone at 100%? 0%?

We're mostly automated. All our bills are set to autopay to credit cards, our paycheques are both direct deposited, and I have auto-withdrawals from my pay for the company-matched retirement account.

The only things we do manually are paying off the credit cards twice a month, paying one bill by cheque (our rent), and depositing into our investment accounts.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 05:11:39 PM »
We just setup utilities and mortgage to go through in the first week of the month. Cards get paid off at the end of the month before the statement is due.

MDM

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 05:18:38 PM »
All utilities, credit cards, property tax, etc. - in short, all recurring payments going to large companies or the government - are set up for auto pay.  As close to 100% as we are going to get.

Why do you pay the credit card 2X/month?

madamwitty

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 05:19:53 PM »
We're like 95% automated. Bills, credit cards, college savings, and (until recently) IRA contributions are all automated. The only thing that isn't is transfers to taxable investment account. Mostly because we don't have one currently. (Shame on me, leaving my extra cash in the savings account). Gonna rectify that shortly! I don't think I can bring myself to automate that, though. I don't want the investment account to pull a regular amount monthly. I don't think there's a way to push cash out of the savings account when it gets above a certain balance AND have the investment account invest it in the proper fund.

galliver

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 05:25:17 PM »
I have very little automated. I get a "sick" pleasure out of paying my bills, haha. Also I'm paranoid about late paychecks and worried that when I finish my PhD and go on the job hunt (in 1-1.5 years), I'll forget to cancel something and get overdrawn. My bf loves to automate his stuff though, so I think eventually when we're more stable we'll transition more toward that. Maybe we'll leave me one or two bills/transfers to pay manually though! ;)

TN_Steve

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 05:44:05 PM »
Everything recurring is automated on both income and outgo, except for property taxes, which is a "no go" so far.

Been working toward 100% since the 1980s when I first was able to get direct deposit.  :-)  Getting close.  Last year, we wrote 9 checks, although that benefited from a fair number of one-time electronic payments/transfers on other nonrecurring things.

Eric

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 05:45:19 PM »
If you count direct deposit, then that's it for me.  Otherwise, none.  I like to keep track of things.  Automation makes me forget and not pay attention.

caliq

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 05:47:32 PM »
90% -- direct deposit and auto pay for everything recurring except one, which has to be paid by mailed check.  I manually transfer funds between our accounts for now, but I'm hoping to have everything stable/routine enough to set that up automatically in the next month or two. 

JLee

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 05:50:12 PM »
The only stuff that's not automatic is my city water/sewer/trash bill and my cell phone.

Timmmy

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 05:56:05 PM »
Virtually everything is auto.  Paychecks are DD and all bills and regular savings are on auto pay.  The only thing that isn't automatic is the excess of income less expenses and auto saving.  That's one transaction a month that I have to do manually.

I'll never go back to manually paying things. 

MicroRN

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 06:11:18 PM »
As much as possible.  All utilities, house payment, credit card payments (rewards card paid in full), student loan.  The only thing that isn't is savings/investments, and that's mainly because I get a kick out of transferring money into those.  On the other hand, I manually enter all expenses into YNAB, because I like keeping a handle on where the money is going.

Kris

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 06:57:03 PM »
Not much.  I want to physically do it myself.  No idea why.  But whenever I have an urge to automate,  i find myself stopping before I even get the first account done. 

bacchi

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 07:44:38 PM »
Only the mortgage is truly automatic. Everything else is a recurring "push" via the bank's bill-pay. I go in and adjust the amount monthly.

Zikoris

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 08:52:00 PM »
All utilities, credit cards, property tax, etc. - in short, all recurring payments going to large companies or the government - are set up for auto pay.  As close to 100% as we are going to get.

Why do you pay the credit card 2X/month?

We go through it line by line and each pay off our own things. We put basically every transaction on credit. It would just be too grueling to do a whole month of transactions in one go, so we split it up. We also deal with any money transfers at the same time, and it's easier to stay on top of that when you do it more frequently than less.

MDM

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 09:04:44 PM »
We go through it line by line and each pay off our own things. We put basically every transaction on credit. It would just be too grueling to do a whole month of transactions in one go, so we split it up. We also deal with any money transfers at the same time, and it's easier to stay on top of that when you do it more frequently than less.
Ok, given the "yours/mine" assumption that makes sense, thanks.  We've done "ours" so downloading the CC transactions every month into Quicken and checking for any unusual items isn't onerous.

happypup

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 06:58:49 AM »
All our bills, mortgage, etc. are autopay, except the quarterly water bill which charges an absurd 'convenience fee,' so that one gets paid by a check. And the credit card, because I like to micromanage exactly when it gets paid.

Speaking of micromanaging, though, I check in on everything on mint so often that I'm not sure we've really gained much by automating.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 07:51:56 AM »
Paycheck gets DDed, all utilities except internet are automatic - they don't offer that so I have to go in and pay it each month. Not a big deal.

For property tax, water, and trash bills we get paper bills from the borough.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 09:29:50 AM »
Not automated (everything else is):
1.  Maximum IRA contribution on Jan. 1 of each year.
2.  Credit cards.

Sofa King

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 09:44:10 AM »
If you count direct deposit, then that's it for me.  Otherwise, none.  I like to keep track of things.  Automation makes me forget and not pay attention.

I concur!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 09:53:22 AM »
If you count direct deposit, then that's it for me.  Otherwise, none.  I like to keep track of things.  Automation makes me forget and not pay attention.

I concur!

Different strokes obviously - I consider being able to not pay attention for a month or so to be a huge part of giving myself the gift of not worrying about money.

kiblebuka

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2015, 10:37:42 AM »
Right now, everything but rent, utilities, and the odd medical bill are automatic. But when I move, the rent at least is going to become automatic. I'm the opposite - not having it automated has me put off paying it, never PAST the deadline but up against it.

cautiouspessimist

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2015, 10:43:24 AM »
I automate everything. For a while Verizon was unable to accept my payment in any format besides physically mailing a check. That was aggravating. Canceled my Verizon cell plan and now I can magically automate it again. Hooray! The worst part about that was I typically waited until my perpetually-late-paying tenant paid rent, so it was usually postmarked 'on-time' but actually late. Oh, well.

The only remaining bills that are manually done are my CC bills. This way I can make sure that I pay them off without having to worry about any sort of erroneous charges. 

Once I started my Betterment account, I was very excited with how easy it is to automate that as well. Easiest way to save money/invest I've found since I checked the box to start contributing to my 401k. Now I get all excited about payday because it means that more money is automatically getting sent over there.

galliver

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2015, 11:34:27 AM »
not having it automated has me put off paying it, never PAST the deadline but up against it.

I'm genuinely curious as to why...I tend to pay my bills when they post, not when they're due. Which I never did with my homework, but always made sense with bills...the way I figure, most bills are for what I've already spent/used/owe.

Philociraptor

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2015, 11:38:46 AM »
100%. Direct deposited checks, all spending on CC's with due dates on the 1st of each month(pay in full), savings/investments go out on the 3rd of each month (automatic contributions to 360 Savings and Vanguard), bills and loan payments using ACH (they request the right amount of money from my bank, I don't have to change the amounts manually).

RunHappy

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2015, 11:44:13 AM »
The only things I have automated are direct deposit (and 401k deduction), auto insurance, a mutual fund allocation.  Everything else I pay on the first of the month manually.

Bateaux

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2015, 08:14:25 PM »
100% All bills and even Roth IRA is automatically paid.  If I were to die there is enough funding in place where the few bills I have would pay themselves for years.

Caoineag

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2015, 01:16:38 PM »
Only things not animated is 2 once per year bills (which I am not allowed to automate) and excess savings (IRAs and taxable, everything else is auto).

If I don't automate, once every 2 years I will miss a bill and pay late and I hate paying late.

secondcor521

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2015, 01:26:05 PM »
I'm pretty much at 100% automated.

One thing that helps me is for those places that will only take a check, I add them to my online bill pay, and tell my bank to send them whatever amount on whatever day, and they take care of printing the check and mailing it on time for me.  My bank can handle regular payments as well as one time occurrences.

I use USAA but I'm sure lots of online bill pay setups can do this sort of thing.

rocketman48097

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2015, 01:30:55 PM »
Actually, I have "chase" credit cards, and chase let's you automate your credit card payment as well.  We have it set up, so it's paid in full, on the due date.  I prefer this as I will never forget to "manually" make a payment. 

Helvegen

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2015, 01:45:57 PM »
I don't autopay anything besides my annual life insurance premium is on autopay.

I really don't have that many bills to forget about TBH.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: How much do you automate your finances?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2015, 03:42:16 PM »
All my monthly recurring expenses are automatic except for credit card payments, and among credit cards I really only use two of them: a Visa and a Discover.  For irregular stuff, like car insurance (2x year) and registration (1x year) I pay those manually, although both are paid online, which I mentally find far easier than writing and mailing a check.  I am supposed to pay property tax every year for some land I own that is nearly worthless, but lately I've only been paying it every other year because I hate the land and literally can't get anyone to buy it from me at any price.  Ugh.