Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Take A Financial Health Day! - Part 3

Today, I took my third financial health day in the last four weeks. Many of the actions I have taken in recent weeks were ideas that I picked up from Ramit Sethi's blog and book of the same name, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I highly recommend this book for practical, everyday ways to save money

My focus for this day was to automate my monthly bills. In the span of 2 hours, I automated the following bills:
  1. Auto, home, and life insurance policies under the same company.
  2. Cell phone.
  3. Electric company. I wasn't able to complete this over the phone, but our local company is mailing me the auto-draft form to complete and mail back. It will take a couple of billing cycles to get this locked in automatically.
  4. Gas Company.
  5. Water Company. I mailed in the form and voided check, so this will take an additional billing cycle to take effect.
  6. Trash Pick-up.
  7. Cable/Internet.
The majority of these companies were pleasant to deal with, and I was able to accomplish the automatic monthly payment feature relatively easily. What I did find strange, though, is that each company has different procedures to get this accomplished. A couple of them were all done by phone - fast and easy! A couple of them directed me to their website to do everything online. And the final three had more dated procedures of printing out forms and mailing or scanning/emailing voided checks. With today's technology, I assumed we were past the form and voided check days, but apparently that is not the case.

The purpose behind automatic payment of these regular bills is to:
  1. set it and forget it!
  2. avoid late payments.
  3. save time paying bills.
  4. boost personal productivity.
Do you automate your finances and has this been a positive or negative experience for you?

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