You’ve heard the saying, of course: pay yourself first.
I get frustrated when I see that advice because I think it is hard to really wrap your brain around if you are living paycheck to paycheck. You need “the secret.” It has to be a secret that works against the unexpected.
Over the last fifty years, the marketing world has advanced your “credit rating” to the peak position in personal finance. They have made it more important than anything. It is used to drive you with fear to pay attention to the wrong things first. Let’s be clear: you don’t want to do anything to destroy your credit, but it is critical that your true focus be on the truth.
The hard truth is simple if you will hear me. Cash alone is king. If you constantly chase your credit score, your focus is on the wrong goal.
So, how do you “pay yourself first” even when the world crushes in and gives you unexpected financial problems from time to time?
Start with your very next paycheck. Look at the after tax amount of your paycheck. Multiply that amount by .01. Before you spend even one penny on anything (including bills), take that amount of money and push it to actual savings.
This will mean that you are beginning your savings with 1% of your savings. This is our 1% Savings Plan.
With each additional paycheck after the first one, add an additional .01 and multiply that number by the amount of your after tax income. This would mean the second multiple would be .02 for the second paycheck. It would be .03 for the third and you would continue to add to the multiple with each paycheck until you reach .20. This allows you to reform your savings over time without destroying your lifestyle.
The goal is to generate a proper EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND for 2010.
WHAT IS THE PROPER EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND?
The proper emergency savings for today is 15 to 18 months of your expenses. The old school days of having 3 to 6 months of expenses or even 6 to 9 months are gone. If you lost your job today, it might take you 12 months or more to find work and even longer to replace your income.
You can put six (6) months of your emergency savings in a money market savings account and the additional twelve (12) months in CDs (none over six months in length).
Imagine your world if you had 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings? You can build it a lot faster than you think. You simply have to put strategy in place and take a step by step approach to lead you to the savings that will make your family feel more secure.
Don’t focus on how much you are saving month after month. Focus on the percentage of your after tax income that you are saving. This is the path.
And you can do it.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My family is filled with hillbillies from Louisiana. There are members of my family that don’t believe in 401ks or IRAs. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”