Automating Your Life

by Del Fava | Parker 05/19/2019

Life can get so busy that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to keep up. Between work, school, the kids’ sports, and activities, and a little bit of fun, those housekeeping and personal finance chores can slip past. Soon, you find yourself trying to catch up because a bill got missed or an undone task turned into a complicated maintenance issue.The solution? Or, at least a partial answer: bring on the automation.

Things to automate

Regular monthly bills: Take a single day and set up all your regular incoming bills for automation. Go online to each vendor and set up their free auto-withdrawal from your account. You can do this for your cellphone bill, your cable or satellite bill, your Internet bill, auto insurance, electric and gas bills, water and trash, car payments, homeowners or rental insurance, association dues, health and fitness club dues, school bills, and any other bill you have with an automated withdrawal option. You can set these up to go from a single credit card that you “pre-fund” (see below) so that you don’t have to worry about having enough money in your checking account. You can also set this up from a secondary checking account. 

It’s vital that these automated payments do not pull from the same account that you use for incidentals. The last thing that you need is to overdraw or overdraft an account and then have your automated payments bounce.

Now, list all the remaining monthly outgo. This list includes things like rent or your mortgage payment, loans, credit card bills, and anything else that you can’t automate through its own system. For these bills, go into your account and set up Bill Pay. The way that most bill pay systems work is that they can send electronic payments to specific companies, so always use the electronic version if it’s available.

If no electronic link is available for the payment you need to make—if your bill is from a small, local company, for example—then set up a bill pay check delivery. It is important to note the due dates for check delivery and arrange your payments to be early just in case there is a postal delay.

Protect your arrangements

Once you have this setup, create a separate account for your “spending” money. This is the account that will have your grocery, gas (unless you pay by card), eating out, entertainment, and other casual spending money.

Set up your bank to text you anytime money leaves this account, and to send you your balance once a week (or daily if you spend from it often). That way, you’ll always know if you can afford that latte or nightcap.

If you’re saving to buy a home, make sure to keep those savings in a separate account and automate the transfer from your incoming paycheck into that account too. If you need help knowing how much you need to save up, talk to a real estate professional in the area where you want to buy.

About the Author
Author

Del Fava | Parker

  

Doug was born and raised in Sonoma County with over 40 years in the real estate business; a well-connected, down-to-earth “people” person; devotes a great deal of time to working with both buyers and sellers in person.

Shannon has many years in business organization and administration; with over 15 years in the real estate industry; strength is in marketing properties and follow-up; devotes a great deal of time to the “behind the scenes” logistic work.

As a team we represent two strong elements of personal contact and business effectiveness. We have perfected aggressive networking and marketing systems which attract clients locally, nationally and throughout the world. These elements are expected by consumers in today’s fast-paced, high tech, and competitive marketplace.

We have successfully represented buyers and sellers of luxury estate, ranch, vineyards, investment, commercial and residential properties throughout Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties for over forty years. We have invested time and money to establish a long-term position in the real estate industry; emphasizing an honest, hard-working, straightforward business approach. We have developed a system of working together that offers our clients comprehensive and personalized service along with negotiating techniques that consistently result in a win/win situation for everyone.

Consistently recognized as industry leaders, we passionately believe that contributing time and expertise to the community has enhanced their continued success and recognition as experts within the real estate community.

At W Real Estate, our clients and their goals are our first priority, without compromise. Whether buying or selling, our network is far reaching, and we ensure each and every client is completely satisfied. This is our commitment to you and our community.

We not only work here, we live and play here. We are proud of our community, and we know it like no other--the people, the locations, what sets them apart. And this is what sets us apart.

W Real Estate is Sonoma County's top real estate brokerage, year after year. Our agents consistently rank in the top 1% of all agents in Sonoma County, and sell properties at a higher value than our competitors. When you hire a W Real Estate agent, you hire a team of exceptional real estate professionals. Not only will you receive the best real estate advice and outcome with your chose agent, but you will also benefit from a full-time marketing expert, a dedicated listing manager to coordinate the logistics of prepping and showing your home, and a highly skilled transaction coordinator to manage the complicated paperwork, just to name a few. We're here for you - all of us.