How automating your finances can hurt you, a personal story
Unfortunately, if you don't pay attention this can come back to bite you in more ways than one.
Instead of being limited to paying the minimum or the bill in full I can now choose to pay the minimum plus a fixed amount. Now, it's easier than before to budget – and automate my credit card payments so I can avoid late fees and pay down my debt.
Because I'm automated, every recurring bill goes to a credit card which is automatically paid in full at the end of every month. This means I don't have to spend time dealing with payments but it also means I don't take the same amount of time to look for places to reduce spending.
My first solution to this problem was to use Wesabe's Cutback Tool to check my finances every other month but the Cutback Tool is currently unavailable.
Instead, I'll use a bi-monthly reminder to my calendar to review expenses manually.
There's nothing wrong with automating your finances, in fact it's a great way to avoid late fees and save yourself time, but if you forget to test your system like me it can end up hurting you in the long run.