“Riches serve a wise man but command a fool.”
What does it mean to pay yourself first? It means that you prioritise your saving plan above every other expense. That’s right: You come before the electricity bill, the bond and even before taxes. This doesn’t mean that you’re not going to pay for those things anymore, it’s just that you get paid first – period.
Most people who get in the habit of paying everyone else first usually do so just because that’s what everyone else seems to do. Yet if you’ve already heard about the principle of paying yourself first and have even accepted that it’s wise in theory but you’re still not practicing it, I may be able to offer some insight.
Most people say, ‘When I get extra money, that’s when I’ll start saving. I have too many bills to start a savings plan right now.’ That means they’re valuing everything and everyone above themselves and that has nothing to do with income.
It is important to implement the FAST system: Forced Automatic Savings Technique. Because I run my own business, I don’t have my taxes withheld from a salary. That means I pay taxes out of my own bank account.
When I first started saving, which, incidentally, was only R100 a day, R500 a week, R2000 a month, that was a lot for me, even on a chiropractor’s salary, because I had bills and debts.
I had plenty of excuses about why I couldn’t save. But I started with R2000 a month because, even though it would be a stretch, I thought I could do it.
So I set up an automatic-withdrawal plan with my bank. Every month, R2000 disappeared from my business account and went straight to a personal-savings account that I didn’t touch.
What’s more, I didn’t get to think about it, second-guess the transaction, or make up reasons why I should put it off until next month. It just happened automatically. A few months went by and I found I wasn’t missing the money and I was saving R2000 a month.
You can do this, too. It doesn’t matter how much you start with. What matters is that you start now. Not when you think you have some extra cash, not when you pay off X, Y, or Z and not when you win the lottery. Do it now. Start paying yourself first, FAST.
Mastering your finances
Once you start to force your savings to accelerate, manage your spending so as not to create unwieldy debt and give anonymously, mastery of money begins. Now you’re setting up a strategy that builds great fortunes.
I’ve been amazed at what has resulted from my early efforts – monetary growth by regular increments into big savings and big contributions. Once you commit to a savings plan and to giving back, it’s as if the universe starts to bring you new ways to be sure you keep it going.
When you have R1000, you get R1000 opportunities. With R10 000 saved, you get R10 000 opportunities. With R1 million saved, you guessed it; you get million-rand opportunities. Imagine what types of opportunities billionaire Bill Gates receives every day.
Are you getting my message? There’s a profound benefit to saving and managing your money wisely. Every time you save, you not only get the benefit of building a nest egg and compound interest, but you attract new associations in your life, new ideas, and new opportunities. There’s a geometric compounding that opens the doorway for even greater wealth.
When you save money and manage it wisely, you begin feeling more entrepreneurial. You start receiving opportunities and ideas, and you come into contact with people who think along the same lines and who produce brilliant business ideas.
You have more courage to “do your own thing,” and you have even greater impetus to do what you love, love what you do and follow all of your inspirations. That’s mastery.