Pay yourself first

Between bills, rent, other living expenses, and then wanting to spend money on travel and going out, you might feel like there’s no money left to put into savings. That’s why it’s a good idea to think about paying yourself first, so that you can always make sure you’re saving money.

What does “pay yourself first” mean?

The idea of paying yourself first means to think of yourself as someone you owe money to, when you receive your income or paycheck. Shifting to this mindset will help you save money each month for your future self, and not use it for immediate spending. This savings strategy works well if you feel like you have trouble saving money.

Use the 20% rule

Let’s use the standard 50/30/20 rule for managing money, where 50% of your income goes toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings. If you pay yourself the 20% first, you will put money away immediately and not have to worry about forgetting to complete this important task.

Let’s say you earn AED 20,000 per month. That means, to save 20% you should be saving AED 4,000. So, each month you receive your paycheck, you should put away AED 4,000 right away. After that, you can allocate the rest of your money to spend as you would like, knowing that you’ve already saved money for your future.

Where to put your savings

When paying yourself for savings, you can put all of your money into one savings account, or, you can split your savings up into multiple buckets with different goals. One bucket could be for an emergency fund that’s made available in case anything unexpected happens. You could have a bucket for retirement savings for your future. Another bucket can be for future purchases like buying a car or a house. Your last savings bucket could be to pay for big expenses in the future, like planning for a vacation.

Think about the things you want to save for in the future and create your savings buckets based on your personal goals and what works for you. Remember, your buckets might be different than those of other people and that's ok, as long as they represent your priorities for your future.

Setting your priorities

Paying yourself first is making a commitment to your future. It shows that you aren’t just thinking about how to spend your money today, but how you can create a better future for yourself. Pay yourself first, and your future self will thank you.

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