Hi Everyone! I’m participating in my first blog swap with Anna at Good Cents Savings. You can read my post about the best investment advice I’ve ever received over on her blog by clicking here.
This isn’t ground breaking, and is something you’ve almost certainly heard before, but it’s also without a doubt the best investment advice I’ve ever received…Pay Yourself First. I first heard this lesson from my father as a child when he helped me open up a savings account at the little bank in an equally little downtown. He suggested that I save some of any money I got (at that point from allowance, doing extra jobs around the house, and gifts on birthdays) and even offered to match any interest I earned from the bank. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, and I was excited to watch those pennies add up.
Since then I’ve read this advice in countless magazine articles, books, and online; heard it mentioned over and over on financial radio and TV shows; and heard it discussed repeatedly as “the thing we all know we’re supposed to do.” But is it easier said than done?
Actually, it’s not. Unless you really do not have enough to make ends meet (I completely understand that there are plenty of people in this situation), once you set up the money to automatically be pulled out of your everyday spending account each month and put into a savings or investment account, it becomes shockingly easy. The money just isn’t there and so it doesn’t get spent. If it is there, all too often it fizzles away on another dinner out here, trip to the grocery store there, and a few impulse buys.
A few times over the years we’ve tapped into our savings, whether for medical costs, a down payment on a house, or to live on while transitioning to being self-employed. It always stings to see that balance go down instead of up, but much better to be able to rely on savings during a financial rough patch than to have to go into debt. And it reinforces how important it is to start paying yourself first again as soon as things get back on track.
I find this the best investment advice I’ve ever received because no matter what you invest in if you don’t keep funding those investments it will never amount to much!