For a little change of pace, I thought it might be fun to give a perspective on some of my financial tips from the vantage point of my dog, Scout.
She is a very clever Border Collie/Pit Bull mix and often thinks of things that I would have never thought of.
When I discussed with her the concept of Pay Yourself First she acted like she was familiar with the concept, but I know she’s never practiced it.
When I asked her to explain what Pay Yourself First means, she said that she is the first one to the food bowl and makes sure it is empty when she leaves.
After I finished laughing I realized that people also think similarly.
Here are some of the replies I’ve received when I asked people to explain what Pay Yourself First means:
“I make sure I get my paycheck before the employees.”
“I buy my groceries before I pay any of my bills.”
“I treat myself to something special as my first purchase.”
“I pay my rent before I pay anything else.”
And these are generally well-educated, smart people with those answers that are not even close to correct.
So, I explained to Scout what it really means to Pay Yourself First. I said, “Before you eat all your food you set aside 10% to keep forever. She looked at me like I was crazy.
When I thought about it, she was right to look at me that way. She cannot invest the food she sets aside. If she keeps it long enough it will only spoil.
Maybe this only works for squirrels. Instead of eating everything they gather, squirrels store food for later when they cannot gather food in the winter.
Mostly this concept of Pay Yourself First works for humans who get paid in money. If you get paid in cows or sheep, cheese or kibble, this might not work for you.
It won’t work for Scout who doesn’t even get paid… unless you count food every 12 hours and lots of love as getting paid.
With humans, here is how Pay Yourself First works:
With each dollar you earn you set aside some percentage, like 10%, to keep for the rest of your life. You will never spend this money. Instead, you will invest it in assets that can either grow in value or earn an income, or do both.
Things that grow in value could be real estate, stocks, art, rare coins, or even vintage autos.
Things that generate an income could be real estate, stocks, bonds, triple-net-leases, peer-to-peer lending, equipment leasing, or anything that pays you a return on your investment. But I am not talking about a savings account. That is just a parking place for your money until you either invest it or spend it.
These investments will pay you an income. It’s passive. You don’t have to work for it. You will have your money working for you, instead of you working for money. You can then choose to work, instead of having to work. This is how you create Complete Financial Choice®.
Some people have started to pay themselves first, me included, and then had to dip into that money when some emergency happened. What I learned, and what I teach others, is that you ALSO need to set aside some money that you will spend later. Like what the squirrels do.
This is the money you will use when the car breaks down, or the water heater fails, or any other unexpected expense shows up.
When you have both a spend later account, and a keep forever account, you will find it easy to create Complete Financial Choice®.
I think Scout has me doing that for her. Lucky dog.
Do you already have your spend later and keep forever accounts? If not, when will you set them up?
To Your Prosperity,