Of the many things I do towards the objective of life optimization, automating tasks is one of them. One of the easiest sets of automation (at least for me) can be achieved in activities associated with personal finance. In this article, I will list down my general personal finance process, what are different components and how do they interact. And then, we will see how automation was achieved in most of those interactions and processes.

The Moving Parts

  • Income :
    • Salary Bank Account
    • Personal Bank Account
  • Investment :
    • Stocks : Owing to my limited understanding of financial market, I do limited transactions here
    • Mutual Funds : Most of my market investments are through MFs
    • Public Provident Fund (PPF) : Investment for tax saving purposes
    • National Pension Scheme (NPS) : Investment for tax saving purposes
  • Expenses :
    • Credit Card : Used for relatively big ticket purchases. These are generally asynchronous in nature
    • Mobile Wallet (Paytm) : Used for relatively smaller size expenses like grocery, etc. Another reason to use it separately from credit card is to create a layer so that credit card companies are prevented from all the things I buy


  • I maintain two bank accounts. One of them is a salary account, where I get my monthly salary. The other account is what all my investments are connected to. I own a credit card that is connected to my salary account. Every month, I go through the following process:
    • On the last date of each month, the salary gets debited
    • I look at the salary amount. I look at the total due on the credit card. The credit card is usually due in the second week of each month
    • Total Due + ~5,000 is what I leave behind in the salary account. Rest is transferred to the second account that day itself
    • Once in a while, when credit card total due is high in such a way that it cuts into earmarked investments, my bulk savings in the second account covers up for it. Similarly, if I ever forget to transfer money (usually never happens, since the thrill of seeing the salary have its own merits, and I already have the conditioning to transfer the money as soon as I see it. It takes me less than a minute)
    • There are two reasons for keeping this manual. First, I get to review my salary. It is one of a few indicators of how I’m growing. Second, it gives me time to have a reflection on my expenses. Am I spending too much, am I limited within what was planned, etc.
    • The Bonus, that I get once a year in December, is all transferred to the second bank account as is
  • This second bank account has a higher savings rate (at least till COVID hit everything). The higher saving rate was the reason why this is where my extra money sits
  • While the majority of the salary is planned for Mutual Funds Investments, the bonus is sufficient for investments in PPF and NPS
  • In the past, a small part of monthly salary and a major part of a bonus was used up in creating an emergency and an extended emergency fund. While the former is in the savings bank, the latter is in a mix of liquid and ultra short term growth fund. I don’t need to add more to these emergency funds. They grow organically from savings rate and debts mutual funds
  • PPF and NPS : In the first week of April (start of the new financial year), I deposit Rs. 1,50,000 in PPF account. This comes from my bonus money in December that was kept in my savings account. Since this is once in a year’s activity, I don’t automate either of them. As the interest on PPF account accrues on the last day of March; putting money in PPF first week allows me to review how the funds there are growing. I get the same opportunity with NPS
    • Previously for NPS, I used to make Rs. 5,000 investment every month. I have tweaked my NPS portfolio to have the maximum possible equity exposure (75%). That’s why I went to the SIP route.
    • I used to do these investments through NPS mobile app. While it only takes 1-2 minutes every month, it is an additional thing I have to remember and do every month. There was no easy way to automate it. Google calendar helped me remember it. Finally, since the amount was relatively smaller, I bit the bullet and waived away the SIP benefits for the NPS account. Now, I invest 50,000 in NPS along with the PPF investment
  • Stocks : Since I’m not educated in concepts that will enable me to make a good stock portfolio selection, I don’t invest in it much. The idea is to start learning fundamental and technical analyses from 2021 onwards and then apply me to the stock market. Till then, my major investment is through -
  • Mutual Funds : For mutual funds, I started with monthly SIPs at the beginning of the month. I, then, increased the frequency to twice-in-a-month. Currently, I’ve set up a weekly SIP for my mutual funds
    • I use Zerodha for all my stock and mutual portfolio. For the latter, the platform is known as COIN
    • Console is the central dashboard for one’s investment in Zerodha. It has a concept of setting ‘Mandate’. It means you can automate the fund transfer from your bank account to your Zerodha account. I’ve set it up to transfer the fund for MF investments on every Monday
    • The Mutual Fund SIPs are set of Tuesdays
    • It takes around 1-2 days for SIP to get processed. Hence, the process avoids any overlapping weekends and gets done by Thursday, with some time to spare. That used to happen when I had a monthly or every-15-days SIP schedule
  • For most of my expenses, I exclusively use my credit card
    • This credit card is also used to transfer money to my mobile wallet
    • I’ve automated the process of paying the credit card due in full every cycle. Since, I review the credit card bill before transferring money; it is ensured that I will not fall short of funds in my salary account for the credit card bill payment

In summary:

  • Currently, my finance setup is quite simple
  • The only repetitive investment is that of Mutual Funds … and that is fully automated
  • The only things that are not manual are:
    • Salary transfer across accounts on monthly basis. I prefer it that way. It allows me to review expenses. Takes me less than a minute (sans expense review)
    • PPF and NPS investment on yearly basis. I prefer it that way to allow myself to review those long term investments. Takes less than 5 minutes
    • Filling up my Paytm wallet once in a while. Takes seconds!

That’s it!