January 7, 2010

Financial Planning: Pay Yourself First


It's the start of a new year, and for most of us that's a new fiscal year as well as a chronological one.  Without getting into fancy software options, tax strategies, or estate planning, let's consider this single change:

Pay Yourself First.

What does this mean? You know you've heard it before, it's not quite a bumper sticker yet (though it could be, I suppose).

When you're simplifying your life, it's easy to get caught up in paying off debt and focusing on the outlay.  Pay yourself first is just a reminder to save -- save something now, save something first.  Saving money is a new concept for lots of people in our American culture today -- and it can be hard to do. 

That's why you pay yourself first.  Stash the savings each month, or pay period, first and just don't look at it.  Auto-deduct it.  Stash it.  Find the method that works best for you, but put your future (and your family's) at the top of the budget.  And, don't be a snob about the amount.  Even the tiny amounts add up over time. 

It's important and you're worth it.

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