When I got my first paycheck from my first-ever job, my mom took me to the bank. She told me I could take half of it and use it however I wanted, but the other half was going in the bank and staying there. And it was like that with every check. An escort to the bank with the instruction that half was being deposited and not allowed to be touched.
Eventually, it became a habit, and my mom stopped accompanying me to the bank on payday. I knew what I was supposed to do when I went to the bank, and I did it. Consciously or subconsciously, my mom had automated my savings habit.
Automation is an important part of habit forming. It may be the most important part. When something becomes automatic, and you don't have to think about doing it, then it gets done more easily and more effectively. You don't have to think about what to do when you feel hungry or tired. You know to brush your teeth before you go to bed. Everyone has daily habits -- good and bad -- that they are subscribed to.
Making debt payments automatic could be a great way for consumers to be more responsible about their spending, saving, and bill-paying habits. A new service, ReadyForZero, that aims to help people with their bill payments, recently rolled out a new product that makes suggestions about what to do with money when a bank deposit is made. The service, which costs $4.99 per month, is tied to your bank account and to any debt account where payments can be made online. Using analytics and algorithms, the service can make recommendations about what debt payments to make, based on timing, interest rates, and more.
Users can only enter in accounts which accept online payments, but the company is working to expand that, according to an article published by TechCrunch.
There is also a mobile app that people can download to their iPhones.
Auto lenders should love a service like this, which advocates that consumers to pay their debts. It's like having another mother.
Here is a video about ReadyForZero: