K.E.M. Strategic Partners LLC | 35 Village Road, Suite 100 | Middleton MA 01949 | P. 978-560-3404  |  F. 978.560.1623

 
 

Caring  |   Independent   |   Practical
Financial Services

Money Read Time: 3 min

Pay Yourself First

Each month, you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first” – in other words, making your first payment of each month a deposit into your savings account.

The saving patterns of Americans vary widely. And too often, short-term economic trends can interrupt long-term savings programs. For example, the U.S. Personal Savings Rate jumped from 3.5% to nearly 8% in May 2008 during the housing and banking crisis. It then rose and fell sporadically as the economic environment appeared to stabilize. It peaked in December 2012 at 12%. As of 2021, the average rate has once again varied widely between about 15% to 28%, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1

The Genius of Pay Yourself First

Anyone who’s ever managed their own finances knows that saving can be a challenge. There seems to be an endless stream of expenses that demand a piece of each month’s paycheck. Herein lies the genius of paying yourself first: you get the cream at the top of the bucket, and not the leftovers at the bottom.

The trick is to prioritize. Make it a point to put your future first. At first, saving may mean a small lifestyle change. But most individuals want to see their net worth increase steadily. For them, finding ways to save becomes more of a long-term commitment than a short-term challenge.

Putting Your Money to Work

What will you do with the money you save?

If retirement is your priority, consider taking advantage of tax-advantaged investments. Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, can be a great way to save because the money comes out of your paycheck before you even see it. Also, as an added incentive, some employers offer to match a percentage of your contributions.2

For money you may want to access before retirement, consider placing the funds in a separate account. When the balance hits your target, you may want to move the money into investments that offer the potential for higher returns. Of course, this may mean exposing your money to more volatility, so you’ll want to choose vehicles that fit your risk tolerance, time horizon, and long-term goals.

In the pursuit of growing wealth, sound habits can be your most valuable asset. Develop the habit of “paying yourself first” today. The sooner you begin, the more potential your savings may have to grow.

1. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2021
2. Under the SECURE Act, in most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Financial Hacks for Millennials: Starting a Business

Financial Hacks for Millennials: Starting a Business

The major challenge “millenipreneurs" face is cash flow issues. Here are tips that can help position themselves for success.

The Great Debate Continues: Active vs. Passive

The Great Debate Continues: Active vs. Passive

In investments, one great debate asks the question, “Active or Passive Investing: Which Is Better?”

Gift Giving: Spend Less, Enjoy More

Gift Giving: Spend Less, Enjoy More

Stressed about the cost of holiday gift giving? You’re not alone.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Financial Fixes: From Health Scare to Financial Care

A medical scare can be a wake-up call in terms of your physical and financial health. Here’s how to strengthen your finances

Overlooked Ways to Add Diversity to Your Portfolio

It’s an exciting time for American investors. Recent years have seen a boom in Americans investing in the stock market, with Goldman Sachs estimating U.S. households will spend $400 billion on equities in 2021, averaging an eyebrow-raising 44% allocation of their total assets to stocks. Between new technologies (like mobile trading apps) lowering the bar to entry and “meme stock” trends raising awareness, it’s no wonder so many people are waking up to the power and potential of investing.

Mortgages in Retirement

Explore the benefits and drawbacks to paying off your mortgage prior to retirement with this article.

View all articles

Interested in a Fuel Efficient Car?

Estimate how many months it may take to recover the out-of-pocket costs when buying a more efficient vehicle.

Home Mortgage Deduction

Use this calculator to assess the potential benefits of a home mortgage deduction.

Bi-Weekly Payments

This calculator estimates the savings from paying a mortgage bi-weekly instead of monthly.

View all calculators

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

View all presentations

When Special Care Is Needed: The Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust helps care for a special needs child when you’re gone.

Bridging the Confidence Gap

In the world of finance, the effects of the "confidence gap" can be especially apparent.

Timing Your Retirement

This short video illustrates why knowing when to retire can be a crucial part of your strategy.

View all videos