PAY YOURSELF FIRST!

This pandemic has been a global, catastrophic health and economic crisis; many have lost their lives, their jobs and their businesses, and the longer term repercussions have yet to be fully realized. I know that I am not immune to any of it, so prior to and during the pandemic I have been seeking advice from financial experts, a Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Estate Planning Attorney, and others about what I need to know and what I should be doing with my money.

In my previous post, I told you about an evening I spent recently watching financial and life hacks on YouTube. I shared a video from Garen Phillips where he talked about the direct correlation between time and money and financial outcomes, but this video by Investing with Rose has made me take an even closer look at my everyday finances. One of the financial hacks that she talked about that I have consistently followed since I began working over 20 years ago is:

PAY YOURSELF FIRST!

I’ve had automatic retirement savings in place since DAY 1, which means that I’m paying myself first with PRE-TAX dollars, and earning a 100% employer match. Despite any ups and downs in the economy or in my personal finances over the decades, I’ve never disrupted it. In addition to retirement, I’ve had an automatic savings plan in place for quite some time for short-term goals or emergencies and I’m looking to boost this.

I have always had a pretty solid grasp on my finances.  I know my numbers…income, expenses, account balances, credit score, etc., but after watching Rose’s video, I decided to re-evaluate some of the systems that I have in place to minimize my expenses and maximize my savings.

On the one hand, I have lowered some of my expenses since I haven’t been traveling, entertaining or incurring work related expenses such as commuting and dry cleaning and I plan to add a portion of these would-be expenses to my savings. 

On the other hand, my grocery bill is HIGH, I need to get my “Add to Cart” habit in check, and I’ve been more generously giving to philanthropic organizations, which I will keep doing. Like most people, I use my credit card out of convenience and sometimes forget what I’ve purchased until I get the statement.  One of the habits that Rose shared that I will be implementing is immediately paying for those “Add to Cart” expenses.  Paying for these things immediately will force me to be more disciplined with my spending and really interrogate my impulse purchases.

Hit me up in the comments and let me know what financial tips or habits you follow and recommend.

Disclaimer: I am not a Financial Advisor and my opinions shared herein are my own.  I am not endorsing any products or services but merely encouraging you to educate yourself and establish positive financial habits.  Please seek professional financial advice if needed.

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