Five Ways to Automate Your Finances in 2018
If internet searches can shine a light on our goals and aspirations, more people wanted to save more or spend less in 2017.
iQuanti, a data-driven digital marketing company, compiled Google search term data on resolutions from January through October 2016 and found 15,905,290 searches for saving more or spending less — up 17.47 percent from 13,539,500 in the previous year, according to NBC News.
If you have a similar goal for 2018, why not look for ways to make your savings and financial management more automatic? It's an easy way to get started on bigger financial goals. (Bank of America has a list of seven other ways to save money here.)
1) Set automatic transfers each month from your checking to savings account. Pick a comfortable amount so you don't end up transferring it right back later in the month. (If you're worried about adjusting your spending, why not see if your bank will send you daily or weekly emails on your checking account balance so you don't overdraft?)
2) Let an app handle it for you. There are a variety of automatic savings apps available, such as Digit, which uses a special algorithm to analyze your spending habit and determine how much (between $5 and $50) is "safe" to transfer from your checking account every few days. You'll want to make sure you understand any fees, withdrawal procedures and interest rates before you sign up for a program.
3) Review your retirement savings. If your employer offers a 401(k), your contributions will come right out of your paycheck. What's more automatic than that? Remember, though, you'll incur penalties if you withdraw the money early, so don't think of it in the same way you would think of a savings account.
4) Use an old fashioned change jar. If you're not confident you have enough wiggle room in your budget to save, America Saves suggests putting your loose change, every day, into a jar. Over a year, it likely will be worth more than $100.
5) Go all in. Don't just embrace one technique; embrace several automated savings habits in 2018 and as you get more comfortable with them, set bigger financial goals.