If It’s Not Automatic, It’s Problematic

Personal finance can get boring at times and everyone goes through stages. So what do you when it gets boring? You make sure that you don’t have to deal (make it automatic) with the boring stuff anymore so you can focus on the interesting aspects.

For me, the boring part has been managing the day to day and month to month bills and the interesting part is earning more money on my new projects.

The Problem

I usually have my credit card bills sent directly to my checking account, where I would manually select the amount I want to pay and hit send. It was an extra step designed to prevent the credit card company from charging me whenever they wanted, but it ended up making me crazy. After a few years of not actually looking at the bill and selecting the amount, it got quite tedious and annoying.

Now I realize that the setup I had was actually frustrating me and not letting me get on with my life. It was stressing me out and eventually I was going to forget to schedule the payment and I was going to regret it.

Now It’s Automatic

Now, I have set the credit cards to pay the full balance due automatically. I’ve never missed a credit card payment, and this setup will ensure that I never will. No more worrying, no more questioning whether or not I’ve scheduled the month’s payment. And now, I can spend less time stressing and more time working on my goals.

When you don’t make things automatic, you run the risk of missing your bills, but the main reason to pay manually is so that you check over the bill for any unexpected charges. There are other ways of keeping track of your financial life, I check mint.com regularly so by the time the credit card bill comes around, there aren’t any surprises anyway.

Readers, do you automate your finances or do you handle everything manually so you are aware of all your spending habits?

9 Responses to If It’s Not Automatic, It’s Problematic

  1. krantcents says:

    I like the concept of automatic, but will only use it for certain bills like the mortgage or recurring payments. I have to check my credit card bill before I pay it.e

  2. Lisa E. says:

    I don’t know why, but I like the feeling of setting aside some time to manually pay my bills. Maybe it’s a control issue, and maybe because cash is kind of tight right now for me. I hope to eventually automate everything, but not until I improve my cash flow problems!

  3. Sounds like a good idea. I remember having a credit card that by the time I received the bill in the mail it was impossible to pay by due date.

  4. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Mine are definitely automated, but I still check to make sure the numbers are correct. There have been mistakes in the past (but certainly less than I used to make myself).

  5. Ira says:

    I definitely do not recommend automatically paying the credit card bills. I have discovered significant mistakes (once for example I was charged twice for the same airline flight). I also neglected to check my credit card bill for a few months and then discovered that stamps.com had been billing me each month, although I did not authorize that. I set my system to automatically pay $250 a month, which I’m sure is more than the minimum payment. Then, when I get the bill and review it, I manually pay and then cancel the $250. For the rare occasion when I forget to pay the bill, I at least have made more than the minimum payment, so I do not get charged a late fee.

  6. We have nearly everything automated ourselves to save us time. The only thing I do not have automated is my main credit card. I pay it online, but I like to be able to go over it manually.

  7. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    We do both. We have our bills automated but we usually pay them manually before the automated pay date (with our credit cards in particular, 2-3 times per month). We don’t have the issue of not knowing what the charges were because we keep a tight budget and use Mint to track. We’re very on top of things.

  8. Seems to be great Daniel! Though I prefer to do things manually since there are certain risks involved, but will certainly try out automatic with at least 1 or 2 of my cards.

  9. Thanks for approving my comment.. will expect such more good works! :)

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