Friday, October 28, 2011
Pay yourself first
Schools do not teach thrift: college, high school, junior high—our system doesn’t place a high priority on frugality. And what a shame. We should put money aside regularly using a simple system—pay yourself first. For example, when you pay your utility bill, pay yourself first. I’ve talked to people who have mastered saving money who have become very wealthy. Many of them have had to make tough choices—pay the phone bill or savings account? All of them chose to pay themselves first. They got on the phone with the phone company to buy time and negotiate a payment plan. Figure out a way, but pay yourself always. You must pay yourself first, or you’ll negotiate away your savings. You want to have at least six months of living expenses, liquid. Savings is money you set aside that you never spend. Ultimately, you’ll invest it, generate passive income and get out of the rat race. Recommended savings 60% Long-term savings 20% Emergencies optional % “Emotional” (vacation/car savings account) (optional) Or another way to think about it… 10% Yourself 10% Tithe 10% Pay down any debt you have (and commit yourself to not run up more debt) 70% Do anything you want with it Once you get the ball rolling, you can shift your savings into a CD, then shift it again into something with stronger returns. Your initial goal is to live on 90 percent of your earnings. The average American lives on 110 percent of his earnings. You can do it. Another, separate, prong of this saving strategy is to tithe another 10 percent. It could be given to your church, the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, or any other organization you’d like to benefit. In my opinion, we owe it to our community and each other to be responsible and giving stewards of our money and do good in the world. I encourage us all to incorporate tithing into our savings plan of action. Your generosity will come back to you.