Skip the Bills, Pay Yourself First!

Flat lay of earning money concept

It is unimaginable that Americans log over 40 hours a week or 8+ hours a day,  just to see all that money bleed out of their checking accounts to pay bills. What a travesty!

Why endure 12 years of mandatory school, 4 or more years of college, spend thousands of dollars in student loan debt, countless hours applying for jobs, countless more interviewing, and then the rest of your life working, just to send it all away at the end of each month? Doesn’t make much sense, huh?

People always ask how single parents can take care of all their responsibilities and have money left over to enjoy. I say, you just have to.

It is no secret that I educate myself based on the advice of our nation’s financial gurus (see resources page). “Pay yourself first” is the mantra I live by because of it. When I pay myself first, I am saving for my future, my fun, and my sanity, aka my retirement, vacations, and myself. You must too!

Some of you are screaming “how” and “there’s no money left to save,” but let me tell you, I said the same thing, until I made saving a priority.

Ever been in a situation when you didn’t know how you were going to make something happen, but you knew you had to? As a single parent, or a person in general, I know you have. That blind faith made you take a leap and in the end, it probably worked out. So now, I am telling you that you must take that leap for yourself.

You must start to save, and you must do it now.

Save for retirement. Save for vacations. Save for “me time.” Just save money from every paycheck and watch your stash grow. Unless you embarked on your career to let others reap the benefits of your talent and energy, saving for yourself is like paying yourself for your gifts and abilities. You deserve it!

Enough with the preaching, following are quick, easy, action steps you can take now:

  1. Identify ways to save $10 from your next bi-monthly check or $20 from your monthly pay.
  2. Open an online bank account from places like Quorum Credit Union and Ally bank, or open a savings account at a local credit union, separate from where you do your primary banking. Just make sure you are not paying any monthly fees. Credit unions are the best choice.
  3. Start a direct deposit from your primary account to your new savings account. Make it so that the money is deposited from each check, automatically.
  4. Download an app like Mint to keep track of your spending each month. This will help you identify areas where you can save money in the future.

That’s it! The goal of this post is to get you to start saving and identifying ways to save more. By having the money move automatically, you’ll never miss what you don’t see.

Placing the money in an online bank or a separate institution from your primary one makes you less likely to withdraw the money for anything other than emergencies.

There it is. Start saving now, like right now, and you’ll be on your way to a nice stash of cash for a rainy day.

Do you fear paying yourself first? If so, why? If not, why not? Post your comments below.

Happy Saving! Live Well!

Author: SingleParent$aves

A single parent since 2003, join SingleParent$aves in being proactive and take charge of your finances in order to enjoy the life you deserve. Single parenting can be fun and rewarding, filled with vacations and memorable experiences, all without sacrificing a healthy retirement. Be a part of this community of single parents that are heading towards financial freedom today!

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