Welcome back to the Master your Money Bootcamp. This week we’re going to make tedious tasks effortless.
Exercise 3: Set up a system you don’t have to micromanage
The habits expert James Clear says the key to developing a good habit is to make it “the path of least resistance.” In other words, make it so easy to do that not doing it would be harder.
In the context of managing our money, that means setting up a system that requires the smallest amount of effort possible to maintain.
The goal for this week: Set up automatic transfers so you’re marching toward your goals while you sleep, and recurring check-ins to make sure you’re still on track.
1. If you completed the second challenge in the Master your Money Bootcamp, you should know how much money you can afford to put toward each of your goals on a monthly or weekly basis. If you haven’t gotten there yet, do it now.
2. Knowing how much you need to save or invest for your highest-priority goals, go to your checking account – or wherever your paycheck is deposited – and set up automatic and recurring transfers to your savings accounts and/or investment accounts. You’ll need the account number and routing number to complete the set up.
If you’re contributing to a workplace retirement plan, those withdrawals will come straight from your paycheck (you can set them up and update them through your company’s retirement plan provider, usually online).
3. Finally, mark a day on your calendar to revisit your automated system, perhaps once every two to three months. How much and how often you make transfers will probably need adjusting if you reorganize your budget, change your priorities, or meet one of your goals earlier than expected. With each checkup, you’ll find the system has been humming along in the background. If you’re anything like me, that’s all the motivation you need to keep going.
As a reminder, here’s what you’ll accomplish in this month’s Bootcamp (we’ll link to each exercise as it goes live):
For each exercise, you’ll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it’s important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.