What does the term "pay yourself first" mean?

Personal Finance December 08, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Pay yourself first (PYF) means automatically setting aside money from each paycheck, as soon as you receive it, rather than waiting to see what, if anything, is left over to save at the end of the month. In other words, savings is treated as an "expense" and given a high priority.

PYF works best if savings deposits are automatically deducted from one's paycheck. That way, saving will happen regularly and the temptation to spend the money will be minimized.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.