Pay Yourself First

"Pay yourself first" is likely one of the most quoted personal finance tips around. Basically, it means that any money coming in from your paycheque goes directly and automatically into paying for your savings, investments and debt repayment. You can do this by using ACU Online Banking to set up automatic transfers and bill payments from your account on every payday. It's the single most powerful tool you can use to improve your financial health.

Pay yourself first, and you ensure that your most important priorities are taken care of before you get a chance to find other ways to spend your money. It also helps you overcome the two biggest challenges people face when trying to save:

  • the first challenge is having to make the choice to put money away for some future goal, when you're faced with the immediate gratification of spending today; by paying yourself first, you don't have to wrestle with this decision, it's made for you automatically each payday
  • the second challenge is that few people can actually make a budget and live within it week after week, month after month and many find that if they plan to save what's left at the end of their budget period, they end up putting nothing away; so rather than spending first and (maybe) saving later, paying yourself first means saving first and then being able to spend the rest without worry

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