How to use the power of automation to easily manage your money
5 min | 08 January 2024
Let’s be honest – life can be a juggling act. We all have decisions to make and responsibilities to uphold. Not only can it be stressful, but the more tasks we have, the more likely we are to miss something. That’s where automation could save the day – both in life and in our finances. So, how can we set it and 'forget it' with our cash?
One of the marvels of the modern world is the sheer number of tools and toys that help us out. There are so many products and gizmos that automate tasks, freeing up our time so we can get on with our lives.
Our digital calendars give us helpful 'dings' to keep us on track and on time. Shop doors swish open without us raising a finger. Washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves – all these are designed to carry out a series of tasks without us having to trigger each action. Not to mention the new kid on the block, AI tools.
We know the power of automation – so why do we forget to apply it to our finances? Yes – thinking about all the ways we could manage our money might be dizzying. But many (if not most) tasks are able to be automated. That means we can make the most of our money, while freeing up our time and mental capacity. So, how can we make our money work hard using the power of automation?
Bills seem to be never-ending. They come back every month, quarter or year – and if the amounts vary each time, it's easy to fall into the trap of addressing each one individually. However, we can save the mental strain of anticipating bills, summoning the courage to open them, then actually paying them on time.
Utilities can be an easy expenditure to automate. Logging in to your bank account and setting up Direct Debits can be done in moments and will save you the stress of performing the task again and again. One option, if it works for you, is to use one of the many companies that exists to help people group bills. You have the option to pay them a fixed Direct Debit on the same day each month, which covers everything – and they're supposed to find you new rates each year.
Credit card bills
Unless you have a 0% interest rate on your credit card, paying off your credit card bill in full each month is the sensible way to go. This will save you paying interest and can help build your credit score – making this another great opportunity to set it and 'forget it'. Ensure that paying your credit card is not to the detriment of other bills, such as your mortgage.
Creating a Direct Debit is a smart option – that way you can decide ahead of time when to pay off your bill. If you can’t pay off your bill in full each month, you can still create a Direct Debit setting the repayment amount to suit your budget, at least the minimum amount due – but more if you can afford it.
Pay yourself too
Paying bills and ensuring we have an emergency fund is often our top priority – but it’s important to remember that we need to pay ourselves too. Even with a salaried role, it’s still our responsibility to pay into savings and retirement accounts. You may wish to invest too, although always remember that the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.
Planning for the future can be stressful, so automating a fixed amount is a great way to prepare for the future without stressing about it today. You can set up standing orders from your current account, to feed your own savings and investment accounts.
Fun money is important too
Yes, you can automate fun! Budgets can get a bad rep, since they’re often associated with what you can’t spend. But the best budgets should also include ‘fun money’ if you can afford it, or room to spend your hard-earned cash in ways you actually want.
A great way to relieve any guilt from spending your fun money is deciding how much you’ll dedicate to this each month, then setting up a standing order to siphon it off to a different card or separate account. That way, you know exactly how much you can spend on your favourite things, and it won’t leak into your other spending.
18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account.
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