Pay Yourself First

Typically, when most people get their paycheck they start by settling overdrafts and then go on to pay bills and then to buying groceries and other consumables. And then they save if there is anything left. There lies the problem, because human wants and needs are unlimited, often they are left with next to nothing to save.

If however, you chose to save first and get that out of the way, you will find ingenious ways to deal with the bills (cutting out unnecessary stuff).

How is it that every month, you pay the baker of your bread, your hairdresser etc.? But you who did all the hard work to earn the money in the first instance get to keep nothing of all that hard work.

I guess it’s for the same reason, the government takes their taxes out of your salary, even before it gets in to your hand. In the same vein, set up a ‘me tax’ with any proportion that you deem fit, subject to a minimum of 10% no matter how little you earn (ideally you should aim for 20-30%).

To someone on the minimum wage, that probably sounds unrealistic. Your income is barely enough to keep the lights, then imagine what happens if you took some money out for savings. However, we humans have a great capacity to adapt to situations. Surely, there are people who get by with less than what you earn.

Be that as it may, even if you can only pay yourself a small amount now (say 5%), that’s still a good place to start, but be on the lookout for opportunities to increase your ‘me tax’ in the future. Also, setting up a direct debit from your salary account into your savings account on pay day makes this process seamless.

Once this habit sets in, you would be armed with the seed to start putting that money to work.

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