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Pay Yourself First

You have to pay everyone else —shouldn’t you get your share too? The answer is, you should. Your spending plan helps you pay yourself, first.

Make it a goal to set aside a minimum of 10% to 15% of your monthly gross income — meaning your pay before deductions are taken out — to reach your goals.

If you’re just getting started, you’ll be saving into a savings or money market account to secure yourself against the unexpected.

Once you’ve got an emergency fund in place, you can start saving towards things you want in your future. It’s fun because now you’re getting to keep some of you money!

Savings Tip

If you’ve got consumer debt to deal with (think credit cards, personal loans and auto loans), build up a small emergency fund (perhaps $1,000), then focus on debt reduction. This way, unexpected expenses won’t force you further into debt.