How to Crush Debt With Simple Automation (4 Steps)

What do you feel when you hear the word automation?

You might be on the side that thinks it sounds like it's tough to create. Or that these systems could take your personal power away and the computers slowly start taking over (it's Terminator all over again!)

On the other side, you could see automation as a freeing exercise. Something that can remove you from the equation of a repetitive task that eats up your time day in and day out. This is an opportunistic way of thinking.

For most of my life, I lived with the first mindset: that automation was made for the “big guys” with lots of cash and an engineering brain. I definitely didn't fit in with that camp.

Then I started thinking about automation in a different light – with the opportunistic point of view. I reframed it from some system that is made to solve a complicated thing, to something that could solve some basic needs for myself.

When I first got into the workforce and then later started running my own businesses, my big weakness was finance. I'm not a numbers guy, I'm more of a thinker, ideas guy, and leader. I could make money and get the gigs, but the money would usually get spent quicker.

Of course, this led to debt and stress when it came to Uncle Sam demanding his yearly cut. Instead of paying off the debt each month and saving up for the tax man, it put me into hustle mode.

But that finally changed once I researched ways to automate this weakness of mine. I knew that if I could solve the financial mystery in my mind, then that's one less chunk of energy that I have to spend there.

I chose to tackle & automate my financial struggles with four things:

  1. Pay off the debt
  2. Don't use credit cards unless there is a purpose
  3. Save money every day & week
  4. Put money into investment accounts every week

Each of these things were completely automated. Here are the tools and how I did it:

  1. Pay off the debt
    • Tackle the highest interest rate cards first and use Debt Payment Pro to figure out a plan to pay the balances down. DPP doesn't look like a powerful tool at first glance, but if you have multiple debts, this is your roadmap to pay things down simple. It's free – sign up.
    • Once you have your roadmap, then set up automatic payments from your bank based on what DPP told you. It's key to stick to the plan and schedule the payments out. If you don't, you'll get into the same cycle.
  2. Don't use credit cards unless there is a purpose
    • Last year, my wife and I didn't use a credit card once. We literally froze our credit cards in a bowl in the freezer. No joke. It was a test to ourselves that we could survive without putting things on the card. It worked.
    • Now, we use credit cards again, but with a purpose. We travel hack and use credit cards as leverage. Instead of just putting things on credit without a thought, we specifically plan WHY we are using that specific card and then reap the rewards that the card has to offer (free air travel, free vacations, free food). Here's an AMAZING free course on how to take advantage of credit card/travel hacking. The key here is to pay off the card each month!
  3. Save money every day & week
    • The first way I save every week is to set up a savings account for your personal and/or business. Set up your savings account to transfer a certain amount from your main checking account (choose an amount that scares you a little – this will give you more motivation to make more cash!). Set this up to transfer that amount each Friday so it's like clockwork.
    • The way I save money every day is to use something called Digit. This is an amazing (free) app that pulls a small amount from your checking account each day. It figures out how much money you make and spend, and then figures out a daily savings amount that you won't even notice. No kidding, this was the BIGGEST gamechanger. In less than a couple of months, I made $2k off of one of my accounts – I never felt the pinch and it was the easiest way to kick off a new investment account (which is the next step).
  4. Put money into investment accounts every week
    • With the new savings from Digit and my savings accounts, I was able to start and fund a new investment account.
    • Sign up with Wealthfront and you can do this very easy. Instead of signing up with something like Scottrade (which I did in the past), you don't need to meet up with anyone, there is a very low $500 startup investment amount, and no fees for about $10-15k invested. I was up and running within a couple of days and started making money the next day. Obviously, this isn't guaranteed (and I DEFINITELY can't guarantee that you'll make any money), but if you're looking to start your investments, this is a very simple way to do so.

This is just one example of something that you can automate in your life that you're not good at. If you're amazing at finances, then you might not like this, or you might love it and already do it.

Either way, figure out the thing that keeps stressing you out and search for a way to automate at least a little bit of it. You'll love the feeling of not worrying about it anymore so you can focus on the things that you are GREAT at.