Our life is hectic. We are busy.
My wife and I both work 40-50 hours a week, we have our own side hustles, we parent 3 kids (6, 4, and <1), and we still aim to have home-cooked meals nearly every night of the week. This isn’t to brag, but more to give you a taste of the, let’s say, condition, of our household.
In the midst of this craziness, we still need to do things to keep life moving, like pay bills, invest, and save. So how do we do it?
We automate as much as possible. We are like financial robots.
Yes, automation. Like robots.
Because my mind is so mentally filled with trying to remember the following things:
- Did the kids get their lunches made?
- Who ate what in their lunch?
- What’s that sound?
- Who’s crying?
- Why is it so quiet?
- What can I cook that (A) is in our fridge and (B) the kids will eat?
- Gosh, why is our house so messy?
- What is this liquid?
- What time do we have to get up so everyone can get dressed, fed, lunches packed, and to work/school/daycare on time?
- What am I doing tomorrow at work?
- Do the kids need a toy for show and tell?
- What is the best way to manipulate my child to get them to clean their room? Threatening them with hours in timeout or bribing with chocolate?
Thus, if I can reduce the mental effort to eliminate the following questions, I’d consider it a win:
- Did I pay the water bill?
- Did I pay the electric bill?
- Did I pay the credit card?
- Did I pay the life insurance policy?
- Did I pay the other credit card bill?
- What about the mortgage?
- Did I pay the car insurance?
- Ok, but what about the earthquake insurance?
- But did the internet bill get paid? That one’s really important!
Thus I aim to automate to reduce the mental exertion required in living my life. Especially considering that we aim to automate those things that we’re going to pay anyway, and even more so things that we need to get paid.
We need a place to live. So we automate the mortgage payment.
We need electricity to live. So we automate our power bill.
We need water to survive. So we automate our water bill.
If my kid forgets his show-and-tell toy at home, I’ll get an earful of crying. But missing a mortgage payment or credit card payment could seriously affect my credit; ergo, we automate.
Basically it boils down to this: you’ve already made a decision to either invest, or pay that bill, or save, so why relieve that decision month after month when you actually transfer the money or make a trade? Make the decision once and take action once.
I’ll be sharing how to automate some of the national brands we use, but until then, share in the comments: what do you automate? Has automation ever been bad for you?