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Alongside freeze-dried chicken Alfredo and digital Hogwarts courses, a modern marvel is turning what should be a habit into something automatic.
Gone are the days of manual effort and delayed completion.
Like the aged Millennial I am, I partake in automation. Turing a mundane adulting tasking into something with maximized results with minimal effort is how I’m crushing the 80/20 rule (20% of my effort yielding 80% of my results).
With finite time, energy, and money, I gotta make it automatic so my life isn’t problematic.
Bills Aren’t Thrills
My bills are automatically paid.
From a mortgage, phone, and utilities, bills are getting paid on time without my interference.
I’m human with human needs which included living costs. I make it automatic because sometimes my life is more hectic than that one-time 5 lions escaped from the roar and snore at the Sydney Zoo.
Forgetting to pay the mortgage, phone, or water bill is something I hope my mind remembers since I use those services every day, but I also prefer to not test my forgiveness skills either.
I check bills monthly since they deliver statements to my inbox. Along with being curious about how much Mr. BuLL and I consume, it’s how I ensure that it’s accurate too.
Back when Mr. BuLL and I moved to Montana, I noticed two charges in our joint checking account from the same utility provider. Somehow we were signed up with another house’s bills along with our own.
A phone call later and it was fixed but even the customer service rep said, “Good thing you checked.”
When it comes to zombies and bills, it’s best to double-check.
When it comes to making automatic retirement contributions, science says it pays to play per USAToday,
“According to a study conducted by Fidelity, a whopping 91% of employees whose companies auto-enroll them in their workplace 401(k) do not end up opting out. Instead, they continue making the contributions they were signed up for automatically.”
If I want to live my best life in the future, I have to embrace automatic defaults and increase intensity with time. With each bump in pay, the addition gets added to retirement before trickling down to spending.
Whims will come and go, but retirement is the ultimate freedom.
I vaguely remember my twenties and what I spent my small, sad wages on was investing in the present with fast food and fashion. It took years before I realized that wasn’t a good return on investment.
As follicles turned white with wisdom, my values shifted, and I prefer witnessing growth of accounts over the growth of my closet and waistline.
Credit Card Convenience
From gas to groceries, making it automatic includes credit card payments.
I prefer credit cards over cash for a couple reasons:
- I’m rewarded every time I swipe my card.
- I pay my card off every month and generate about $200 a year from passive rewards.
- Using a credit card is safer than a debit card or cash.
- If cash is stolen, it’s gone similar to my faith in humanity.
- If a debit card is hijacked, I have a narrow window and chance of getting my money returned.
- If a credit card number is stolen, I have more time to report an issue and less hassle.
If convenience fees are charged, I’ll pay cash. Many small towns accept cash only which I’ll fork over, but when I have a choice, I choose credit.
As an avid sleeper, I love sleep.
Waking, however, can be a chore. Instead of choosing different times for different days, I make it automatic.
Same time, every day. I amp up this waking routine with a sleeping routine, I have a reminder when I want to power down at night too.
Having automatic alarms is how I create a rest foundation. In the morning, I have to turn off the loud sound that sears silence. In the evening, a reminder to wrap up nightly rumblings to get to the coveted dreamland is important to my mental and physical health.
I’m not spewing fiction. CBC Life sums it up in a nice, normal way,
“The Sleep Foundation states that, “Cytokines, the chemicals our immune systems use to help fight an infection, are powerful sleep-inducers. This suggests that sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources it needs to mount an immune response and fight disease.”
Make it Automatic
Habits are life’s default. I don’t think about what I’m eating for breakfast, when I’m going to work, or how long before coffee’s infamous side effect. It’s just a habit that happens whether I’m paying attention or not.
Making it automatic is like a habit but better because, after the initial setup, the rest happens effortlessly. I could use more of that in my life.