Strike When the Iron is Hot: Automate Your Finances

Strike When the Iron is Hot

Did you strike when the iron was hot?

Money.

You think about it when you buy things, and when you go to work.

You thing about it in your business dealings, and in your conversations at home with family.

Money plays a big role in our lives.

Yet, even though we think about money a great deal every day, we spend very little time actually doing something productive regarding our personal finances.

That’s because we don’t always have the motivation to do something.

Every once in a while though, we get inspired. We read something or have a conversation or simply find time in our schedule. We get all fired up to get our finances in order: to save more, get rid of debt, or start investing.

It’s crucial that we use this moment to really make some big changes in our finances. Who knows when the time or inspiration will return. We need to strike when the iron is hot.

In the past, it was easy for this flash moment to come, us make some changes and then move on to the next thing, with those changes not having any lasting impact on our success with money.

Now more than ever, it’s so easy to take advantage automated tools that once set in motion, can have a permanent impact on our finances. Let’s look at a few things you can do to act next time the motivation to do so is there:

  • Aggregate your accounts at Personal Capital. Set this up once, and then return periodically just to check your progress.
  • Enter all your bill due dates into PocketSmith and get reminders when a bill is coming due.
  • Log into your 360 Checking account and set up as many automatic bill pays as you can. Consider setting up auto-withdrawal on the remaining bills.
  • Set up a direct deposit to a savings account. Start small, but make sure this is a separate savings account and not where you do your spending.
  • Increase your 401K contribution percentage. At least get the company match.
  • Create an automatic withdrawal to a Roth IRA. This is easier than it sounds and can help you achieve tax diversification in retirement.
  • Transfer your high-interest credit card debt to a zero percent credit card.
  • Set up an automated debt reduction plan using a tool like Ready for Zero.

The good thing about today’s financial world is that you can find the motivation once, set it all up, and then forget about it for a while. You don’t have to rely on discipline or trying harder next time.

Now there are still some things that will prevent you from taking action. Along with automatic savings tools you’ve got information overload and what can seem like too many choices to make.

My best advice here is to keep things simple, use trusted tools, and start small with all your efforts.

Image by Andrei!



Last Edited: March 8, 2016 @ 4:27 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. Zach @College for 10k says:

    I have been adding money to my Roth IRA for the past few months. I can’t do much now, but I know that by the time I retire, I’ll have a great sum in there 🙂

  2. Great topic. That initial motivation to make a needed change can slip through our fingers if we don’t take action now. Thanks for the advise.