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Automating Finances – Finding What Works Best For You

October 16, 2019

Have you ever wondered how to merge savings into your budget? What if there was a way to save efficiently without putting you in a panic about having enough money on hand to pay monthly expenses or for discretionary spending? Think about your spending habits for a second. Most of the time, we don’t even think twice about swiping a card or dishing out cash for smaller purchases and monthly expenses. If you live in an apartment, you pay rent. You might also have a car payment, utilities, or a mortgage. But what if you could also see savings as one of your monthly expenses? You’d probably thank yourself 10 years down the road.

The most important step in automating savings is tracking your monthly expenses. If your monthly expenses do not fluctuate much, then adding automated savings to your budget will be simple. But without some degree of predictability, the amount available for savings may be more fluid. Once you know your expenses, you are able to figure, with some confidence, the amount of surplus you will have for the month. Many people view the surplus as simply extra money that they can spend. However, from a financial standpoint, saving as much as you can of the surplus, especially at younger ages, will put you in a strong financial position in the future.

For years, companies have done this on behalf of their employees in 401(k) plans. The plans that offer automatic enrollment have the ability to electronically take a percentage of your earned income and put it towards your retirement. We can choose the desired percentage, but after that, we really don’t even look at the amount that is deposited into the plan. The goal is to mimic that with our own income in conjunction with our budgets, monthly expense, and ultimately, savings.

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