Let’s face it when your living paycheck to paycheck it is very hard to pay yourself first. Bills come every month, rent, mortgage, groceries, and car expenses. By the time you pay everything you only have enough money for gas for the week. Well, at least I do.
There are many ways you can put money aside without having to go completely broke.
1. Amount $ or Percent%- Decided how much, or what percent, of your earnings you what to save. Some people calculate 30% of their net earnings. It’s really up to you what you feel comfortable with and then you can build over time.
2. Separate Savings Account- It’s always good to have an account you don't see or that it’s hard to get money from. A savings account with 360 Capital One (use to be ING Direct) is one. There are no local branches to walk into. You can get an ATM card, but it’s mostly for the checking accounts.
The savings rates are higher than most financial institutions. If you want your money you have to request a transfer and it takes 2-3 business days to transfer over.
I know what you’re thinking...that is too long to for me to get my money. The idea is to save money. So why would you need to get easy access to it?
3. Monthly Bill- Pretend like the money you want to save is a bill you need to pay once per month or every two weeks. Try this out for 3 months, and then try it every two weeks for another 3 months. The idea is to get into the habit of saving.
4. Goal- It is always good to set a goal to achieve. Make it realistic and achievable. If you make unrealistic goals it will put you in a bind and put your savings off track.
5. Consistent- Be consistent and have fun. Things happen in life but it is always good to keep the habit of saving going even if there are minor setbacks. I would not advise waiting until you have paid everything and pay yourself last. The idea is to budget around the amount you have left over.
I know what you’re thinking? “How can I make sure I have enough for my bills?” That’s another segment.
1. X= Income- Tell yourself that X amount of dollars is all you have to live off of. This is after you have already paid yourself.
2. Reevaluate your Bills- You can take a look at all of your bills for the month and ask yourself, “What bill can I cut cost on?”
• Cable- you can change your package plan
• Phone/Cell Phone- change reduce the data plan
• PGE- use energy saving appliance and TVs. This will help decrease the amount of energy being used in your home.
3. Prioritize your bills- view each bill to see which bills are a necessity. Food, shelter, heat, lights, etc. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to pay for Netflix every month?” Hey,
we all love a good movie once in a while, but do we really need it every month?
As you go through this process you will learn how to:
- Pay yourself
- Cut cost
- Prioritize your bills.
Figure out what works best for you. The idea is to learn how to save money without having to go completely broke. Start off paying yourself $100 per month. Then increase it $50-$100 every month. If you feel like increasing it is too much then takes a step back and start from the beginning.
Remember, if you cut down on a bill you feel is not important you can use the funds to add to your Pay Me First account.