Tips for Paying Yourself First

If you think that paying yourself first is easier said than done, here are some ideas to get started:

  • If possible, have your employer automatically deduct money from your paycheck and deposit it into a savings account. What you don’t see, you won’t miss if the amount is small (say $10, $15, or $20 a week). And you will be amazed at how fast your money grows.
  • Another option is to have your financial institution automatically deduct a set amount from your checking account each month and deposit it into your savings account. Your financial institution usually can set the date of the automatic transfer for the day (or a few days after) your pay is deposited.
  • Try putting $1 a day, plus pocket change, into a large envelope or a jar. At the end of the month, you probably will have about $50 to deposit into your savings account. That’s $600 a year (not including interest)!
  • Put a refund, raise, or bonus into savings.
  • When looking for a better job, consider only employers that offer good benefits, such as healthcare coverage and life insurance. If your employer provides these benefits, you won’t have to pay for your own coverage.
  • Include "savings" as part of your spending plan. Make it a priority above spending for things such as movies or eating out.
  • Send in product rebates. (Most people fail to take advantage of this savings tool.)
  • When you need items, shop at thrift stores and garage sales.
  • Break costly habits, such as excessive clothes buying, and save the difference.
  • After paying off a loan, put the same amount each month into savings—if the money isn’t already going to paying off another loan.