Automation and Forgetting to Brush My Teeth.

by J. Money on Thursday, August 20, 2009

I forgot to brush my teeth today, can you believe that? It’s something I do twice a day going on 25+ years now, and yet this morning I forget to brush them. I couldn’t tell you why either, all I know is that it sucks. In fact, it makes me wonder how many other times I may have forgotten! And of course, this naturally reminded me of finance ;)

Forgetting to brush your teeth is like forgetting to pay your electric or credit card bill. You deal with them time and time again, but every now and then you simply forget! It doesn’t matter how organized or pimp you are, it just happens and you suck it up. The difference being, when you forget to brush your teeth you’re left with only stinky breath. When you forget to pay your BILLS, you’re left with a stinky late payment charge as well as a stinky kick in the pants. Personally, I prefer the bad breath.

What can a busy person do about this? Automate!

It won’t help you in the teeth department, but automating your finances is one of the best (and easiest) ways to stay on track. Methods like auto bill pay, auto deposit, auto reminders, or even just ghetto ones in your Outlook or on your iPhone – it all helps. If you’re REALLY good, you can automate almost 99% of your financial life! Check out this graphic from my girl Jenny over at Life After College:

jenny's paycheck distribution
Talk about a game plan! She sets it all up ONCE and then she’s good. It’s just a matter of checking in every now and then and making sure everything’s kosher (thanks for letting me share this Jenny!). The more you can automate this stuff, the less likely you’re going to forget something – and it also helps with big savings accruals over time! If you’re still not convinced, try flipping through the The Automatic Millionaire and see what that does for you. It was CRAZY good in getting me off my a$$.

Now if you excuse me, I’ve gotta get on over to CVS and find me some toothpaste! One day the internets will be able to do that for me too ;)

PS: Some of my favorite tools:
personal capital Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review
acorns Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review

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