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If you’ve worked with children at all, you know to NOT show them all the candy or treats at once. They will keep coming back, out-thinking, out-witting, out-strategizing you until every piece is gone. So, do you think stores and creditors should be any different? Look at the ads and mall displays! People who have five-zero savings accounts are not taking their paycheck and heading out shopping first. The strategy in “Pay Yourself First”is to have the pre-set amount for savings direct-deposited into an account that NO ONE (even yourself) will remember is available. Not only are they being honest when they say, “I don’t have any cash,” they DON’T. Their SAVINGS Account has it all!

Work with me a few minutes here.

1. Just pretend that your paycheck is $10.00 less each payday. Twice a month would be $20. Twelve months would total $240.00 that you would NOT have spent, plus interest. Not enough to bother with? If you only try this for one year, that equals a nice shopping spree, a weekend getaway, or a big chunk in your Christmas Club account! You simply spent LESS than you EARNED.

Now let’s stretch a little more.

2. Say you take a spouse’s income and pretend they just got half their hours cut each pay! Tragic for any family, but it has happened consistently the last several years. If they were bringing home $1100.00 twice a month, now they only have $600 they are bringing home. You would simply adjust your spending all around, cut some frill in cable, phones, entertainment, or any other area you were previously sure you could not do without. Depending on whether you deposited $200 from $1100, or $500 from $1100, in less than three years you would have between $7,000 to $20,000 CASH to use toward any major purchase. YOU do the math! YOU get interest PAID, not CHARGED! The REWARD of Pro-Active Spending Plans.

You don’t have a second income?

3. You are on your own, and you’re just finally comfortable with all the financial trim you’ve had to make to stay afloat. Cut again!?!  As a single mom I mentally rounded my income down a couple hundred dollars each pay to allow a cushion for emergency expenses: repairs, school programs, medical setbacks. Something always ate up the fund. I usually had to wait for my annual income tax return to afford a summer pass for “vacation” time. There simply was no other money coming in. At least, the little I set aside each month kept me from going into DEBT for emergencies.

You’re retired and still working!

4. Ahh! You found me! Getting a retirement check, but still working to supplement living expenses? Re-evaluate your expenses and itemize everything you used to “need” that you actually never have interest or time to do anymore. Then, make a quality decision to direct deposit half or all of your retirement check in an account you never think about. If possible, don’t think about it for one year. If you can only bank $200.00 a month, in three years you will have over $10,000! YOU imagine all you could do with that! Place a picture of an Island Cruise Vacation on your mirror, refrigerator, or in your wallet, to remind you of the goal YOU can accomplish that you were unable to get from your good old job!

Bottom Line? We are putting into ACTION the basic Law of Increase regarding your money: SPEND LESS than you EARN! No great economical secret. All the wealthy do it every year. The Wealthy love having excess money more than excess toys! By the way, NOW they can afford to purchase (not CHARGE) all the toys they want. Don’t be impatient about how long it will take you. Every HABIT begins with small steps. At least this is a financially healthy habit. You are practicing living within your means, spending less than you earn, and responsibly setting your financial GPS! (Goal-Powered-Spending Plan) Remember, “Practice does NOT make Perfect. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!” -Vince Lombardi