What would you do with an extra hour each month? What about more time each week or even each day? It’s something many of us are striving toward, yet we overlook a simple strategy to put extra time back into our schedules. That’s why it’s time to start automating your finances. In this episode, I sit down with automation expert Dr. Latifat Akintade to learn more about what automation is and how it keeps your money working harder for you while saving your more time.
What is automation? In the financial sense, it is creating a system so that an ongoing process happens without your direct oversight. That might mean an automatic transfer from your paycheck to your savings account each pay period. It might also mean setting up your credit cards and other bills to auto-pay from your account. Truthfully, automation can take on many shapes when it comes to money. No matter which part of your finances you automate, you can use this strategy to achieve your goals, free up your time, and keep your money working for you.
One of the biggest perks of automation is that it makes reaching your goals a more seamless process. For some of us, it is a struggle to save. If you automate your savings, your bank account initiates the transfer for you. There’s no need for you to remember to move the money, and there’s no opportunity for you to convince yourself that you could probably do a little shopping instead. With automation, payday rolls around and the transfer happens instantly. Of course, you can set up the transfer for any amount you like.
Some people might prefer to set up multiple transfers, that way you can work different goals simultaneously. For instance, you might have your employer automatically deduct some of your income, moving it to an employer-sponsored retirement account, like a 401k or 403b. You could also set up an automatic transfer to a Roth IRA or a high-interest savings account. If you have sinking funds for car repairs, travel, or anything else, you can also send money to those accounts. That way, you’re moving toward your goals without expending any extra effort or time.
By automating your finances, you can free up a lot of your time. But that doesn’t mean you get to totally disconnect from your money. Rather, you still want to commit to checking your accounts for fraud. You also want to make sure that you are occasionally checking in with your spending to ensure that your spending is purposeful and in line with your goals and values.
Another benefit of automation is that you can keep more of your money working for you. Anyone who has ever missed a credit card payment knows what an impact that can have on your balance. There are astronomical interest rates and other fees and penalties to deal with. By automating your credit cards and other bills, you avoid owing anything extra and dodge the added headache that comes with sorting out late payments.
Overall, as you continue your financial journey, it is a good idea to consider which aspects of your money you can automate. Some people, like Dr. Latifat, automate as much of their finances as possible. Others are more selective. Either way, you can use automation to keep more time in your day and more money in the bank.
In this episode, we also explore:
- Strategies to apply automation to passive and active real estate investing
- Specific credit card benefits and how automation can help you enjoy those benefits
- A more in-depth look at how credit monitoring and protection can be a form of automation
- Stories from my past and Dr. Latifat’s past about how we got started with saving (or didn’t!) in residency