Personal finance is fun, but it can also be tedious. Too many people are concerned with every single penny they spend, save, and invest. Sometimes it’s nice to apply a set it and forget type of approach and allow yourself extra time for hobbies and actually living. That being said, it’s also important that you don’t become lethargic to the monthly financial checks otherwise you could end up paying more than you owe.
As far as I’m concerned there are several types of bills that can be automated with ease, and absolutely should be! First, setup the recurring bill pay for any car loan or lease payments each month. The payments happen on the same day each month and the payment should never fluctuate, those are just no-brainers. Your mortgage payment should also remain steady each month, no need to write a check or even enter into your online bill pay. Most lenders offer free portals to auto debit your account. Student loans are another favorite of mine to set to auto pay. They rarely fluctuate and they tend to offer a small rate reduction for setting up the automated payment. Other types of set-it-and-forget billings are; cable, utilities, health insurance, 401k, IRA’s, etc.
That being said, there are a ton of bills that would make my life easier if I automated, however they also stand a chance of being incorrect. Any bill that fluctuates month-to-month should be closely monitored and evaluated. For instance, my phone bill. There are always additional charges for texts, minutes, and applications. Most of the time the phone carrier gets it right, but sometimes they get it very very wrong. It’s much easier getting them to work with you on revising an incorrect billing prior to sending in your payment, trust me! Another automation no-no is your credit card. These days identity theft and credit card misusage is running rampant. I like to analyze my monthly spend for both accuracy and my own personal knowledge.