Do you understand what “paying yourself first” really means? I ask this because FOR YEARS I took paying myself first as being able to go buy myself something when I got paid. I justified my spending as “paying myself first” because I worked hard for my money. You see, I am a “recovering shopper” AND “a Spender” and it never took much for me to find a sale and spend money. It wasn’t until a few years ago, I realized paying myself first DID NOT mean buying something but saving a portion of my earnings, second only to paying my tithe. So, to protect me, from myself, I set up a savings account that has an automatic transfer from my direct deposit. THEN, I took it OFF the online banking system so that I would not see the amount in the account on a regular basis. I really haven’t even looked at the balance in about a year and I’m fine with that. I’ll check it (and forget it) soon. When you know better, you do better and you can save yourself FROM yourself! #DebtFreeDestiny
Angelia makes a great point with regards to defining what paying yourself first really means. Some experts adds that paying yourself first includes taking advantage of pre-tax dollars through your 401K contributions. Some employers will match a certain percentage of your contributions; it is extremely smart to take advantage of those perks for as long as possible. If you do not have access to such perks, follow Angelia’s example and create a system that works for you. It is very easy to fall into a place of justification when your income tax refund comes or when you receive a salary increase or bonus. If you have not development certain financial disciplines, the first instinct could be to spend it.
Great work Angelia! Thank you for your level of transparency and for sharing your story.