Financial Education Blog

A basic guide to automating your financial life

Using digital banking options and automating your financial life can save you time, money, and the general stress of worrying about whether your banking is handled from day to day. Here are a few tips to how you can save yourself some headaches by putting your finances on autopilot.
 
It all starts with a budget
We’ve discussed a few times the importance of creating a budget. Clearly identifying all of your sources of available income as well as your fixed, flexible and discretionary expenses will build you a strong foundation for a successful financial plan and make automating your accounts a breeze.
 
Direct Deposit
If your employer offers direct deposit for your paychecks, use it. Having your paychecks deposited directly to your account on payday saves you the hassle of having to take it for deposit. Not to mention, you know that your paycheck will be deposited on a specific day, making your finances easier to automate.
 
Set up automatic savings transfers
Once you’ve set your budget, and you know how much you want to save each month, you can schedule your money to automatically transfer from your checking to your savings each month. Whether it’s to a Money Market account to build your emergency fund, a membership savings to build your long-term funds,  or a club savings tied to a specific savings goal, automatic transfers will help you build your savings rapidly without having to think about it. Then, when that dream vacation or unexpected car repair comes up, you don’t have to scramble to find the funds to support it. Think of all the time you’ll save by not having to visit a branch to make your transfers. (Of course, we’re still here to help you at any of our branch locations should you need it!)
 
Set up Bill Pay
Almost any bill you have can be paid online. Whether it’s through the company that you are paying the bill to, or setting up Bill Pay within NetWorth24 Online Banking, you can schedule payments now so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay it later. In fact, with Bill Pay, you can easily set reminders and schedule future and recurring payments without having to worry about writing a check and getting it in the mail on time. No stamps, no gas used and no late fees means money saved. Plus, some companies offer discounts for automatic payments.
 
Mobile Banking App and Account Alerts to help with monitoring
Once everything is set up, your 7 17 Mobile Banking App can help you keep tabs on your account from anywhere. You can check your accounts, transfer money and pay your bills on the go. Could it get any easier? Actually, yes. The app also features Mobile Deposit, which allows you to deposit checks directly to your account without an extra trip to the Credit Union or ATM – it’s as easy as using your device’s camera.
 
Using your digital banking options means that you can set up account alerts to notify you of a number of things. Created directly through NetWorth24 Online Banking, alerts can be sent via text, email or both to notify you of when a check clears your account, withdrawals are made, when your balance reaches a certain level, and more.
 
Courtesy Pay and Courtesy Pay Plus
Of course, sometimes when you first set up a system, there can be hiccups. If you miscalculated your budget or scheduled a bill to draft from your account before funds are available and your overdraft sources can’t cover it, there’s always Courtesy Pay. This overdraft service is automatically extended to Members 18 or older in good standing* to cover shortfalls on written checks, electronic transfers from a checking account and recurring debit card transactions. It will honor the transaction(s) by bringing the checking account to a negative balance not to exceed $1,000**.
 
Similarly, Courtesy Pay Plus, an extension of Courtesy Pay, covers ATM withdrawals from your checking account and point-of-sale (POS) transactions using your debit card. You MUST opt-in to Courtesy Pay Plus to use this service; federal law prohibits your POS debit card and ATM transactions from being covered by our Courtesy Pay Plus service unless you opt-in. You can opt-out at any time.
 
With both services, each transaction carries a $30 fee***, but you won’t have to worry about late fees, overdraft fees, declined transactions or potential dings to your credit report. If you do not opt-in to Courtesy Pay Plus, you will not be charged a fee for overdrafts on ATM and debit card transactions. However, your transactions will be declined, and you will need to find other means to complete them.
 
Find more information for both services here.
 


*Your account must be in good standing to be eligible for Courtesy Pay and Courtesy Pay Plus, which includes having your loans being less than 15 days delinquent, your checking account not being negative for 30 days or more, and you are not subject to any legal or administrative order or levy. Based on review of your account status, we may not allow you to opt in or you may be opted out of our discretionary Courtesy Pay program.
 
**If Courtesy Pay (CP) is granted, the CP limit is $1,000 with a single direct deposit of $250 or more, or $500 without direct deposit. If the Member stops the automated deposit or reduces it below the $250 amount, the limit will revert back to a $500 limit for the following month. Accounts that remain negative for 45 days may be subject to closure. For questions and details, call 7 17 Credit Union.
 
 ***If you have Basic Checking, we will charge you a fee of $19.50 each time we pay an overdraft, and if your account is overdrawn for five (5) or more consecutive calendar days, we will charge an additional $0.99 daily negative balance fee per day up to a maximum of 45 days.