One of the oldest rules of personal finance is the simple admonition to pay yourself first. All the money books tell you to do it. All the personal finance blogs say it, too. Even your parents have given you the same advice.
But it’s hard. That money could be used someplace else. You could pay the phone bill, could pay down debt, could buy a new DVD player. You’ve tried once or twice in the past, but it’s so easy to forget. You don’t keep a budget, so when payday rolls around, the money just finds its way elsewhere.
And besides: What does “pay yourself first” even mean?
To pay yourself first means simply this: Before you pay your bills, before you buy groceries, before you do anything else, set aside a portion of your income to save. Put the money into your 401(k), your Roth IRA, or your savings account. The first bill you pay each month should be to yourself. This habit, developed early, can help you build tremendous wealth.
Why pay yourself first?
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