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I know what you’re thinking….you can’t be lazy. You’re WAY too successful!
…but I don’t think it has to be either/or, do you? Can’t I be lazy AND successful?
In fairness, I’m really technically not lazy….but if you looked at the way I save money, you’d disagree. Instead of looking like a busy beaver, always checking statements and finding ways to squirrel away every time, I prefer to work a system rather than think about everything on the go.
A World On The Go (Not The Way To Go)
Imagine your day if you had to remember absolutely everything.
I’d have to realize my teeth weren’t clean and then head over to brush them.
Then I’d realize that I hadn’t written anything for this awesome blog, and I’d head over here to write.
I’d realize I needed to run today, and then strap on my shoes and head out.
Once I finished, I’d realize that I needed to eat because I hadn’t stopped to do that all day.
That’s Not How it Works, Is It?
When it comes to your life, you have systems in place, even when you think you don’t.
Why do you set your crazy-fabulous electric toothbrush next to the sink? Because when you brush three times daily, it’s right where you want it. Wake up, grab tooth brush, make your smile pretty.
Why are meals generally scheduled in the morning, noon and evening? Our cultures have systematized that process.
I even do it with my workouts and writing: –
I work out in the early evening every day just before dinner. It’s a great stress reliever. In the summer, when it gets too hot here in Texarkana, I switch to morning runs. Every day. It’s a system.
I write and work on the blog daily at the same time. By creating a model week, I don’t have to think about “what do I do next” more than once a day. I follow the system.
Why This Works
I never used to be like this. “Wing it” was my mantra. When things weren’t going well I fixed it and moved on. However, I found myself having the same problems again and again.
Now instead, I change the system.
It Works For My Money
The way I save? Systems.
1) We use Mint.com for our household bills. Mint tracks everything. We have a budget for each area of our life.
2) The budget isn’t any good if we don’t track it, so we have weekly family meetings to discuss how we’re doing.
3) Those meetings are useful not only to review Mint, but to review our long range goals and investments. We set up a series of milestones to drive those meetings and then compare our progress against those milestones.
4) Our investments are automated. Both retirement and non-retirement savings occur via payroll deduction.
5) We find from time-to-time that we don’t spend as much as we’d thought on an item. We capture this gain by using the Acorns app immediately. Our system? Get it out of the checking account.
6) We use ACH transfers of money from our checking to brokerage accounts whenever bonuses or unexpected income hits.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I love it when everything is automatic. Even when things aren’t on autopilot, the weekly meeting we have is so fun, THAT’S on autopilot and helps us make quick changes on the fly.
….all of which helps me stay lazy. Time for another break!
Find ways to save without breaking a sweat. Where could YOU develop systems to save while you sleep?
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photo: Horia Varlan, Nina Hale
Yay for automation! This is an unwritten goal of mine for 2015. Automate more. Three cheers for laziness 🙂
Stefanie @ brokeandbeau
Automation and habits. I’ve got some great ones for my finances and fitness, but I need to start implementing some better ones for time management.
Yes automated fuding just makes sense!
That’s a great idea to automatically get extra income or even unexpected savings right of the checking account and into savings/investing. We’ve been thinking about how to put some money-saving measures more on autopilot, like shopping less frequently and using online discounted subscription services for certain products. “Mindless austerity” for personal finance!
Totally agree, Neil. I tried using Amazon’s shop n save for awhile, which was great, but in Texarkana I couldn’t get enough variety to eliminate the trips to the store….