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Do you Automate Your Finances?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

DD into 3 different accounts.  I'm paid twice a month on the same days each month.  Set amount to a savings, set amount to my main bank acct (MTG, savings, CC and checking) and the balance to my "utility account (pay all other bills with the exception of a few through this acct.)  Seldom keep a balance here.  if there is any extra after bills are paid I transfer most to a savings.


I've changed due dates where I could to accommodate my pay dates.


Everything is managed through an excel spreadsheet.  I too am concerned about quirks with auto pay.  Plus, you never know what may come up and I like to make payments when and how I choose and not have payments automatically taken out.  Personally I feel the hands on method keeps me focused on my financial health and responsibilities instead of things happening automatically.  My past lates were not due to forgetting, it was due to not managing my money right and simply not paying on time.

FICO 8 as of 11/06/19
FICO 9 as of 11/06/19
AoOA - 23Y8M | AAoA - 11Y6M | AoYA - 0Y2M
Open: 9 CC | 2 RC | 1 PLOC | 1 MTG loan | 1 Auto loan
Closed: 1 MTG loan | 1 Auto loan | 2 RC
Message 11 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

Only my direct deposit split between checking/savings and any bills that provide autopay discounts.


From my younger days of running checking accounts nearly bone dry, Autopay and the threat of overdrafts always terrified me. That's not so much of a concern now, but I still prefer the hands on approach.


Log into every account every payday and make sure anything with a due date before next payday is paid. It's never failed me. All of my pre-BK lates were deliberate.

Ch 7 Discharge May 2015
Discover/Target/NFCU CLOC/NFCU Cash Rewards/NFCU Platinum/PenFed Power Cash Rewards/PenFed Pathfinder AMEX/Citi Costco Visa - $96k total revolving
EQ/EX/TU: FICO 8's November 2019: 696/679/668, 14% utilization, AZE2 (w/ those 2 cards reporting 30% util), INQ's: 4/2/1
Message 12 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

@ToxikPH wrote:

Just as the title says, do you automate your savings and what's your flow? Do you split your DD? Automate savings? Auto-pay cards/bills? Trying to build my personal flow to make this even more seamless for myself. Did I miss any ideas in the above questions?

A little mix of everything for me.


Things that come out of my paycheck are obviously automated. In my case, this includes a bi-monthly drop into a savings account, 401k contributions, HSA contributions, and ESPP contributions.


Static monthly debts are automated. That is, things with a fixed cost per month. In my case, that's cable, car, gym, and mortgage.


Everything else is manual. This includes debts (CC payments only at the moment) and savings (transfers from savings to brokerage, brokerage dividend sweeps and stock purchases, etc).


As for flow, the savings account tends to be my hub for long-term transactions. When I want to make a new stock purchase, if there's not enough cash from non-reinvested dividends sitting in that account, I transfer from savings so that I have just enough to cover the purchase. I also have a second savings account just for emergency savings that I can only access via the first savings account.


I do have a third account at DCU, but that's only $1,000 to get their higher APR so it's not factored into my flow at all. I'll occasionally siphon off the amount above $1,000 to the primary savings, but that's about it.

Message 13 of 21
Senior Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

I have a hybrid:



  • Checking #1 gets $500
  • Savings #1 gets $500
  • High Yield/Primary Savings gets $500
  • Primary Checking gets the rest.



  • Car note is auto pulled from Primary Checking (day after pay day) for an APR discount
  • 2 $100 transfers from Savings #1 to other savings accounts just to keep them active (I rarely keep more than $1000 in lower interest savings accounts - these transfers will be removed when I'm done showing activity and/or they hit ~$1000).
  • There is an automated transfer from High Yield Savings to Primary checking just in front of my student loan payment.
  • Student loan is autopulled from Primary Checking (another APR discount for automated payments)
  • 0% 48mo financing on Synch gets autopaid


Payday (monthly):
I pay all of my CC bills (current balance or statement balance depending on what I feel like doing that month).

I transfer all but $250 + Car Note from Primary Checking to my High Yield Savings - after that, the automation takes over.


The only two bills that I cannot pay with my CCs are the auto and student loans, so I throw everything else on the CCs and go from there.
When my Savings#1 account hits a certain number, I throw that at my student loans.   While I have an actual emergency fund, this serves as my primary/minor emergency fund.

Nov 2019

Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 14 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

Some auto payments, most manually.

I have a large spreadsheet planning out household and business spending for the next 3 years. It's fun looking at it, lol.
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Message 15 of 21
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

I do not except for my car payment. 

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Message 16 of 21
Valued Member

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

@ToxikPH wrote:

Just as the title says, do you automate your savings and what's your flow? Do you split your DD? Automate savings? Auto-pay cards/bills? Trying to build my personal flow to make this even more seamless for myself. Did I miss any ideas in the above questions?

I set up on my phone calendar, when my bills are due. This worked pretty well, till the summer hit and I didn't always have my phone accessible (we were driving between states all summer). I setup autopay but I've been hit with an overdraft once or twice because they were setup on accounts I am not currently using for my DD from work. 


My life is a bit of a stressful mess right now. Don't judge me. Smiley Very Happy

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Message 17 of 21
Frequent Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

It's my goal. One hurdle to that goal is that I cannot send DD to more than one account.


Right now, bill pay is set up to pay the minimum payment for most acounts. I manually adjust to the PIF total each month and send manual payments for anything I missed to avoid a small balances from reporting.


Once I pick up a LOC with checking OD coverage, I'll set all accounts to auto-pay the statement balance at the beginning of the month. Then, I'll pay-off the LOC balance by mid-month. I will incur a couple dollars of interest each month but it will reduce my time on finances to about 1/hr per month. For me, that will be an acceptable cost.

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Message 18 of 21
New Contributor

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

I only autopay my mortgage and auto loan because they are with the same bank I have my direct deposit to, so it's easy to set up autocheck payments and count on them to go through predictably. I also automate my savings so a certain amount goes to my savings accounts every paycheck. Makes it easy save money because I never even miss it. Otherwise, I manually manage all my other bills/cards.


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Message 19 of 21

Re: Do you Automate Your Finances?

Everything is automated as I usually try to have one or two months worth of expenses just sitting. Worrying day and night with an irregular income like mines is just not worth it.  Annual or semi-annual expenses are built up in sinking funds that I cannot touch even if I use my checking account down to a certain amount, the sinking fund amounts must never be touched, thus zero balanced budget does not equate to zero sum in my accounts. I practice this keep it simple stupid (kiss) approach is because 'No matter the amount of planning' or double-checking, I am simply not able to stay on top of things like this, though I applaud those who can make charts and keep good records. Additionally, I decided to set alerts for all accounts even if I do not use them for activities, for example,  a charge over a cap amount of $100, which allows me to be alerted to atypical account activities. 

TU 791| EQ 795 | EX 784
As of 06/01/2019: 818 Eq 797 TU 821 Ex
Message 20 of 21
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