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4 Fun & Fabulous Ways to Automate Your Finances

Saving (and even spending!) money is a lot easier when you rely on automation. Here are four fun ways to set it and forget it.

Jamie Cattanach • January 19, 2022

Money may, in fact, make the world go round… but it can also make our heads spin! That’s doubly true in a world where most of us have lots and lots of bills to keep track of – about four credit cards on average, and that’s not counting your car payment, rent or mortgage, insurance premiums… the list goes on. It’s not just about making ends meet, it’s about finding all those ends in the first place. 😬

But our world is also one where digitization and all-online-everything can actually make figuring out your finances a little easier. If you know where to look, there are plenty of ways to automate your saving and necessary spending – and doing so can help lock in smart money moves so you don’t have to think about them.

Here are four of our favorite ways to set it and forget it! 💁‍♀️

1. Save it up – stress-free 💰

For most of us, saving money is one of our biggest financial goals… but also one of the most challenging. By the time you’ve paid all your bills and spent even a little bit of your hard-earned cash on something fun, it might feel like there’s nothing left to stash for later. (Case in point: almost half of Americans don’t have enough of an emergency fund stashed up to cover three months worth of expenses.)

Enter automated savings, which help you skim a little off the top without even thinking about it – before all your money finds its own way out into the world. (Because trust us, it will. 💸) Most banks – including Chime! – have an easy option that allows you to automatically funnel a portion of every single paycheck into a savings account so you can meet your #goals – and we can even round up your spare change when you swipe your debit card, too.

Pro Tip: Save the stress-free way by letting your bank account and debit card do it for you – so you can stash fat stacks without even thinking about it.

2. Get real (and robotic 🤖 ) about retirement

It may feel like a ways away in the future, but retirement time will be here before you think – and if you’re not ready, you could be struggling to meet financial needs when you should be basking in a hard-earned, well deserved break. (Preferably on a beach somewhere.)

That’s why now is the time to start automating your retirement savings, even if it feels like those days are far off on the horizon. If you work for a company that offers a 401(k), this kind of automation is super easy: once you choose what percentage of your wages to defer to your retirement plan, the cash will come right out of each paycheck. You won’t even miss it.

If you work for yourself or simply want to boost your retirement savings (nice move!), you can also set up automatic deposits into an IRA or other investment account. Keep in mind, though, that you may need to manually allocate the assets (i.e., invest the money in specific stocks, bonds, or ETFs). Be sure you do so – otherwise, those funds are just sitting in limbo, unable to grow with the market!

Pro Tip: Even if retirement feels far off, now is the time to think about it – and automating contributions through your workplace plan or personal brokerage account makes building your nest egg stress-free and simple.

3. Get (automatically) ahead of those bills, bills, bills ✉️

It happens to the best of us: Even though we should know when to expect them every month, bills can sneak up on us, suddenly demanding to be paid right when it’s least convenient.

Which is exactly why auto-pay is such a good option – and, fortunately,  a widespread one. From cable to credit cards to insurance premiums and everything in between, a whole lot of bills can be paid automatically whenever they come due. Sometimes, you’ll even get a slight discount on your service cost in the bargain. 

Of course, in order for this to work out in your favor, you’ll need to ensure you have enough money to pay the bill in the bank at the time it’s automatically withdrawn. Otherwise, you could face steep overdraft fees, not to mention service interruptions from the jilted providers. Keep in mind that with Chime’s SpotMe program, eligible members are covered for up to $200 cash withdrawals and debit card purchases¹. 

Pro Tip: Using the auto-pay feature available for most service providers can score you a discount and make your finances easier to manage each month, so long as you know you’ll have enough money in your account to cover the expenses. Win-win! 

4. Skip the store and automate your shopping to save 📦

Let’s be honest: how much do you really want to run out to your local big box store to buy toilet paper, anyway? These days, lots of online vendors offer discounts to those who subscribe for regular shipments of their must-haves, from dog food to diapers – you know, the kind of stuff that isn’t fun to shop for in the first place. 

But proceed with caution: in order for this to work out in your favor, you have to ensure the shipments are actually meeting your needs, rather than exceeding them… and also that the total cost of the items including shipping is still lower than you’d pay in the store.

Pro Tip: Subscribing for automatic shipments can help you save money and a few precious weekend hours – but it’s worth doing the math ahead of time to ensure it’s actually a good deal for your needs.

Preprogramming the Way to a Brighter Financial Future ☀️

Between emails, text messages, social media notifications and, you know, real life, this modern world of ours can be a lot to keep up with – so it’s worth finding ways to use all that digitization to our favor. 

Automating your finances can help keep your head (and calendar) clearer on a day-to-day basis, but more importantly, it can help you lock in smart money moves – like saving up for rainy days 🌦️ and retirement. 

And when you can set your smart choices and forget about them, you don’t have to feel the (honestly, sometimes physical) pain of parting with part of your paycheck for some undefined future. You can just use what’s left, stress-free – and that’s well worth taking some time to get set up for, if you ask us. 😎

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1 SpotMe® on Credit is an optional, no interest / no fee overdraft line of credit tied to the Secured Deposit Account available to qualifying members with an active Chime Credit Builder Account. SpotMe on Debit is an optional, no fee overdraft service attached to the Chime Checking Account available to qualifying members after Visa debit card activation. Both SpotMe on Credit and SpotMe on Debit are sometimes collectively referred to as "SpotMe" or, if you have signed up to use SpotMe with only one account, "SpotMe" means the elected service. To qualify for SpotMe, you must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account each month.

Qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their Chime Checking Account and/or Secured Deposit Account (associated with your Chime Credit Builder credit card) up to $20, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on Chime account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. The SpotMe limit will be displayed within the Chime mobile app and is subject to change at any time, at Chime’s sole discretion. Although Chime does not charge any overdraft fees for SpotMe, there may be out-of-network or third-party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe Debit Terms and Conditions and SpotMe on Credit Terms and Conditions.

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