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  1. I automate almost everything. All of our bills are automatically paid, our checks are direct deposited, my 401(k) is automatically funded, our and Roth IRA automatically grabs its money every month.

    I do not automate the credit card payments. I check each of our rewards cards statements line by line before paying them off every month. I also balance our checkbook every 2 weeks or so to make sure everything is above board there as well. I also check all of our emailed and mailed bills as they come in to make sure nothing seems out of whack.

    This combo keeps us in the green with late fees (I’ve never had one) and gives me the control I need to make sure we aren’t being taken when we’re not looking…

  2. I definitely agree. I don’t budget and we automate nothing. I even still demand paper bills for the credit card, even though I pay them online. Not being automated means I check the utility bills in detail which has pointed out a broken sprinkler head or leaky toilet on more than one occasion. I’ve also caught inappropriately charged fees. I don’t like the idea of their mistake meaning my checking balance is below what it should be.

    I *do* automate the cell, netflix, and the internet– these charge the credit card, which adds an extra layer of protection, a little more time to adjust, and a second time for me to notice the expense. I would probably automate more if they pulled from the credit card rather than from the bank.

    Things I don’t want to think about (long-term savings) are automated and checked quarterly or once a year. These get pulled from my paycheck, not from the bank, except the 529 which pulls from savings instead of checking.

  3. @Nicole, I’m surprised more places don’t take credit cards for free for you! The only bills that get automatically deducted from our bank is our mortgage, $30 or less water bill, and $110 car insurance – everything else is auto-charged to our credit cards, even electricity…

  4. I run it all through the bank, so I have absolute, hassle-free control.

  5. BFS– When you don’t live in a city…

    Utilities will pull the bank but won’t charge to a credit card.

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