The Meaning of “Pay Yourself First”

Pay Yourself First

The concept of “Pay Yourself First” was made popular in the book “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason. The idea is that you “pay yourself” the first 10% of your income each month.

This idea resonates with a lot of people, but many get it wrong. For example, “pay yourself first” does not mean to treat yourself to a nice dinner or vacation with the 1st 10% of your income. That would be paying the restaurant first, not yourself.

The True Meaning

Pay yourself first means to put away money in an account that you never touch that will grow over time. This could be a money market or savings account that grows until you have enough to buy a protected asset such as real estate that will make you even more money.

Not Just Money

This concept is not limited to money. Pay yourself first also applies to fitness, recreation, and time with loved ones. Think of all of the human needs that you have. It is important to block out time to service these needs “first.”

If you are spending time doing favors for your boss to get “extra points” instead of working out; you are paying your boss first.