Put Your Dues On Autopilot

Insight from a forgetful Brother

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Ryan Carl Mercer 32°

So let's face it, some of us forget to set our dues aside every year and when we get that letter from the secretary we go something along the lines of "Is it that time already?" or "I wonder how long I can ignore this before the secretary catches on...", well okay maybe the latter is just me, ha! Sometimes coming up with those funds at the end of the year can be a bit challenging, I mean it's the holidays and you've to worry about such things as travel, gifts for umpteen people and in parts of the northern hemisphere increased heating costs due to it being winter.

Brothers, I have great news for you though, you don't have to find yourself scrambling to find your dues at the end of the year nor do you have to make it a conscious effort to set the money aside throughout the year. You see, I'm going to let you in on a little trick I've successfully applied elsewhere in my life and this year have begun applying to my various dues. I've used this trick to allow me to upgrade to the latest iPhone each time a new number comes out, to cover my out-of-pocket for medical and vision expenses and as a bachelor even to fund my rather unsuccessful attempts at first dates. What is this secret you ask...

Automatic savings. Yup, that's right, automatic savings. Such an idea has long existed in the form of a "Christmas club" but I notice a lot of people don't apply it to other areas of their life. Living in the 21st century we have the wonder that is online banking (and even online banks). I've long had an account with ING, now Capital One 360, and with the click of a mouse I can create a new savings account which I can fund via my checking account with that institution. Presently I have several accounts for various estimated taxes, a personal savings, my gadget fund and my out-of-pocket medical fund. After firing off my dues check in late December it hit me "Why don't you have an account just for dues?!".

Just imagine one of these with "Dues" on it.
You see, the beauty of it is I can have a set amount come out of my checking account on a set day, weekly, bi-weekly etc. The easiest way to apply this to your dues is to make a new account with your bank of choice and name it dues, now take your current annual dues from your Blue Lodge and any other bodies you belong and then decide how often you want to automatically fund the account. For me, I find it best to have the money come out weekly and I put a bit extra in each week as I found that 10$ coming out weekly is not missed one bit. At the end of the year when I pay dues for the next any money that is left over I can use to purchase any commemorative rounds, donate to the local Masonic home, or spend on subscriptions for worthwhile Masonic publications for the next year. Doing something like this will not only make it easier for you to pay your dues with little worry, but make your secretary's life that much easier when he receives your dues in a timely fashion.

Another benefit about doing this is you have the ability to shop around for a 'high' yield savings account, start by looking at 'online' banks such as Ally Bank, Capital One 360, Synchrony Bank and FNBO Direct. Personally I use Capital One 360 and Emigrant Direct despite the fact they do not have the highest rates, but they've treated me well for more than a decade and I've never had a single problem but your mileage may vary. In closing I'd like to add that you can apply this to any area of your budget you might find that you have trouble saving for, setting up these extra savings accounts for most 'online' banks is often free and painless and by putting these small tasks on autopilot you lighten your load a bit and can focus more on the things that truly matter in life.


Bro. Ryan Carl Mercer 32° knew he'd be a Freemason just 12 days before his 13th birthday after seeing men that had never met his father show up for his father's Masonic funeral. The caring and love those Brothers showed lit a fire that would drive him to ultimately be raised a Master Mason seven years later in the fall of 2005 at Speedway Masonic Lodge No. 729, a lodge where his father spent his youth in DeMolay. In January 2015 he joined the Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis in search of yet more light and is also proudly a member of the Masonic Society. His non-Masonic musings can be found at http://www.RyanMercer.com

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