The middle-aged woman beside me at the bank looked nervous.
She kept turning in her chair and jiggling her foot and so I asked how her morning was going.
She looked at me with anxious eyes and blurted,
“I am so nervous. I’m meeting with a manager as I want to start saving for retirement but after the bills are paid there’s nothing left for me.”
I didn’t quite expect that response but I certainly know how stressful money can be.
Haven’t we all had some kind of financial stress at some point in our lives?
So I told her,
“We’ve all been there at one time or another.
What has worked for me is to do it the other way around.
I use the automatic transfer to pay myself first.”
She looked a little surprised and doubtful but I told her to ask her financial person about it.
But she stayed on my mind all day.
Are you the last person being paid each month?
I get it.
You have lots of things that need payments: the mortgage or rent, utilities, credit card debt, insurance, health expenses, childcare, car payments and more.
It can make your head spin and keep you up at night.
Most people pay the bills first, then keep money for entertainment/and if there’s anything leftover it may get saved.
But if you’re serious about simplifying your life you have to flip this upside down.
1)You Have To Get Paid First.
2)Pay Your Bills Second.
3)Fun Stuff Gets The Leftovers.
Now before you send me a message saying that you CAN’T do it – just hear me out.
I want you to remember this:
No one should care more about your money than you.
The government doesn’t care. The utility company doesn’t care. The bank doesn’t care.
You have to be the one who saves for your future, your dreams and also for an emergency fund account.
It takes time but it can be done WHILE you still pay your bills as the responsible person you are.
Here’s The Boring Formula That Works:
If things are tight – start with 1-5% of your take-home pay. Get it automatically deducted from your account just as if it were a bill.
Have it automatically transferred to an account that you can’t tap from the ATM or with your debit card in a shoe store.
And make sure the money is invested and not just sitting in a fat armchair and earning a lousy 1% interest.
The key is to get it automatically withdrawn from your account so your well-manicured hands stay out of it.
And when you start to have more money available to you – you increase the % you save each month.
And then, slowly, slowly it will grow.
But you will feel something really amazing.
You’ll be proud of yourself that you’re saving for your future and that you aren’t leaving things to chance.
It changes your stress. It helps you sleep at night.
And you can make your complicated life a little simpler.
You can do it, little turtle!