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Today is the last in the Pay Off Your Debt Faster series. Over the last month, I shared step by step how the two of you can speed up your debt-free plan.
The last step – automating your payments – has been touched on briefly, but it has such a huge impact on your success, I want to take a few minutes to focus on how you can do it today.
Why You Should Automate Your Debt Payments
It’s no secret that I love automating finances, whether it’s for debt, savings, or investing. It’s a solution that has helped us tremendously in reaching our money goals.
One of the biggest reasons why automating your finances makes sense is that most couples I know live full (and sometimes hectic) lives and their payments already scheduled lets them focus on more important things.
We have had times where work or family have kept us busy, but because our payments were already scheduled, our cash flow didn’t suffer and we avoided getting it with late fees.
How to Set Up Your Debt Payments
Most banks and credit unions offer this money and time-saving feature for free.
If yours doesn’t or they are slow with their bill pay system, it’s time to switch and move your joint accounts.
Your bank should be helping you build your finances, not make it harder. We made the switch years ago to Capital One 360 and we’ve been happy with their service and the nice little bonus of earning some interest with checking. Always a plus in my book!
Getting your debt payments started is as simple as getting the minimums and debt snowball payments up with them scheduled early enough so you don’t ever have to pay late fees again.
We only needed around 20 minutes to set things up and we spend 15 minutes each month just to review things.
The goal is to make it easy for us to maintain and monitor so we can focus on more important things. You can also use services like Personal Capital, Finovera, or Mint to keep you up to date on your progress.
So how do you do it?
- Log into your checking account and go to your bill pay section
- Schedule your minimum and snowball/avalanche payments
- When scheduling payments give your bank enough time to process so you don’t ever get hit with late fees. (If they have really slow service, go ahead and switch banks. You shouldn’t have to stress over bills getting paid on time.)
And just like that, you’re done!
The only time you’d probably need to mess with things is when you have to increase payments (huzzah!) or when you’ve paid off your debts (score!).
Thoughts on Paying Debt Off Faster
I’d love to get your take on how you manage to stay the course for your finances.
How much of your financial system is automated? How many of you have scheduled your debt payments?
Which bank or credit union do you recommend? Which ones do you avoid?