Automation: Making the Robots Work for You

September 27, 2021

You might be the kind of person that loves the feeling of reading an actual newspaper in the morning and sipping your coffee with ink-stained hands. If so, you may also still love writing checks and keeping a check register. You might even do the envelope system of cash. These systems have been good to you.

I get it.

Life in a digital world doesn’t mean we should hand everything over to the robots of computerization. There are hacking concerns and simmering fears about the fact that this all just might be how the Terminators win.

But, goodness, sometimes we probably should.

Here are some things to consider handing over to the Autobots (yes, that’s another reference to my nostalgia for yesteryear):

  • Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account on a monthly basis to make saving a habit.
  • Pay your mortgage via a monthly ACH.
  • Make sure your 401k automatically comes out of your check, so you never touch the money. And do it right now, because if you don’t, months and years will go by without contributions being made.
  • Consider opting out of all paper statements and stick with digital pdfs. Not only will you #savethetrees, but you will also keep your kitchen counters or office space from becoming filled with mountains of documents.
  • Automate your church giving or charitable donations. That’s not only good at tax time, but it’s also good for the world.
  • Make sure your credit cards are all set up to be paid before the due date.
  • Have cable bills, utility bills, internet bills, cell phone bills and as many bills as you can be deducted from your accounts on a monthly basis.
  • Automating certain bills saves you money. For example, student loans can cut your interest rate by 25 bps and paying some cell phone bills as an ACH from your bank instead of from a credit card can give you discounts. Call the companies of the various bills you have and see what you might discover.
  • Have monies automatically go into an investment account on a monthly basis and then buy monthly investments regardless of markets ups and downs via dollar cost averaging, so you aren’t subject to the guesswork of your favorite financial forecaster or your feelings about the stock market that day.

There are so many reasons to automate as many things as you can. Psychologically, you get the benefit of removing the mental load of having to manually do those things each month. Monetarily, it can save you money due to discounts, keep you from late payments, and make your money increase due to savings and/or investment growth.

Automation is the deathblow to good intentions. Get to work now, so the robots can work for you later.