I Pay Myself Last

payday-loans-300x200One of the techniques of saving money that I have been familiarized with over the years is to, “Pay yourself First”. There was a time in the past where I practiced this method myself. I do it a little differently now since embracing minimalism. I pay myself last. By simply making daily decisions about spending money and making sure that each purchase falls under the category of needs and not wants. I try to keep a minimum balance of 5000.00 dollars in my checking account and at the end of the month when all bills are paid I take whatever I have over that 5000.00 dollars and transfer it to my savings account. So each month I end up starting out with same amount in checking – 5000.00 dollars. If I do well during the month it is like a prize to see the extra being moved to savings. A reward so to say.

I developed this method because I found that for me I am inspired by seeing my savings grow. It has become much easier since paying of all of the debts and I know that if something should come up I can rely on what I have in checking to pay for it rather than putting in a credit card. It took many years of discipline to get to this point, but it has worked out for me. At one point I was using the overage each month to pay down debt. Back in those days I can remember that the overage was pretty small, but over time gets larger each month.

It all comes down to those daily impulses to spend money on things that we really don’t need. Each day presents a certain struggle and seeing that number at the end of each month and moving our finances in a positive direction can build enough confidence to make it through the day without spending frivolously. I used to keep a small notebook in my pocket and write down everything that I spent money on. At the end of each month I would review these purchases and learn that I was spending over 400.00 per month on cigarettes, or over 35.00 on coffee, or even 160.00 on lunches. I learned from the entries in this little notebook, found better ways of doing things, or gave up things that hurt me like smoking. When this happens you notice the difference in your checking account at the end of each month and are better equipped to pay down those debts or build up savings. Eventually daily spending becomes automatic and you will no longer have the need for the notebook as you are doing positive things each day because you will be looking forward the reward at the end of the month. Sure there will be months where things just break down and you will need to spend money to get them repaired, but staying on course will bring you right back to where you were in just a few short months. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their efforts? Simply pay yourself last.


I have decided that my rest period is over. This is not due to anything to do with my blood sugar as my numbers remain in a healthy area, but more to due with my body weight. I must start paying more attention to the meals I set out to eat each day and stick to it, and bring back a little cardio and a little weight lifting. Today I will simply do 20 minutes of cardio and tomorrow a simple weight lifting routine. My diet hasn’t been extremely bad and I have added some carbohydrates back into my daily eating habits, however I need to get my fat burning mechanisms moving again.

One of the issues that I have been dealing with during the course of the day is boredom and inactivity during the work day. I am finding myself looking to pick on things and that is not good. I will have to push through the summer and make a break towards a more active career once we settle in Tampa, but for now it makes no sense at all to make any career changes. But anyway, I am going to be working on reducing my overall body weight by at least 6 lbs and it felt wonderful to just break a sweat once again.

Blood Sugar- 95, Weight- 175.8

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Breakfast- Peppers & Eggs
Lunch- 2 Tacos
Dinner- Fish, Spinach

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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25 Responses to I Pay Myself Last

  1. Currently, I have my emergency fund set up and I allow myself only a certain amount to purchase groceries, gas, anything frivolous (very rarely). The rest pays bills. Everything after that is going towards debt. Once it’s paid off – all the overage is going to pay ME finally yay! 🙂

    I have an office job where I sit on my tail constantly. I’ve been at a desk job for nearly 10 years now. It is not fun and easy to be sedentary. My new job allows me some move-about freedom so I do yoga and exercise throughout the day. I have a Garmin Vivofit to keep me reminded to MOVE. When I work at the desk I only get about 3,000 steps, but when I move about or stand up to work I get around 7-10,000 a day! Makes a difference in weight loss after a while 🙂

  2. Florida Minimalist says:

    That’s an impressive checking balance, appx 4750 more than mine! 😀

  3. The Total Money Makeover – by Dave Ramsey is the best
    we have three accounts (emergency, savings, and travel) set up, we put 10-15% of our income into these three accounts monthly and our motto is that – unless we have the cash for it, we don’t buy it.

  4. Tessa says:

    Reblogged this on Tessa Can Do IT! and commented:
    Another way of saving. Not for me as I am using any monthly left over to pay my ridiculously high debt accumulated because I let my mania have control of the credit cards.

  5. Muhammad Husayn Dewji says:

    Definitely an interesting perspective. Speaking as a millennial who defeated credit card debt, it does feel nice when I can move a chunk of extra money at the end of the month into my savings account. However, I think this strategy can be combined with “paying yourself first” as well if you don’t have an emergency fund. I would put aside “$200 as an expense,” then pay the bills and take the balance and put it in savings at the end of the month. Even if you had a bad month where there was next to nothing in your savings, you would at least have $200 a month put aside. Additionally, I have a seperated my emergency fund with my savings and that fund helps me take care of any unexpected emergencies. In the long run I find this a really useful tool.

    • It sounds like it is working for you, “Paying yourself first”. I tend to do things opposite of popular standards. I also budget backwards as I use last months totals as a new goal to undercut next month. There are many methods and as long as the end result is getting completely out of debt we are on the right path.

  6. Jay says:

    Excellent read. I have been working on the physical aspect of things for about a year now and feel better than ever before. As for finances, that’s still a constant struggle. I’ve recently started working a new job where I did get a bit of a bump in salary, so that’s helpful. I’ve also got some side work that pays VERY handsomely when the deals come through (it’s sales and I am independent, so it can be very sporadic).

    Thanks to that side work, I’ve gotten all of my debts paid off and have more in my bank account than ever before. Hopefully, I can get a little more disciplined and stop spending so frivolously. That can be tough with 2 teenage kids in the house, but I know I can do it. Thanks for the post – it’s very motivating to see that others can do what I’ve been striving for.

  7. BookWriteHer says:

    I need to get my money mojo back on form. Filling in a drawer at work with healthy food supplies 😃

  8. Bridgette's Digits 🔛 An Epic Weight Loss Journey says:

    Embracing minimalism… “so true”, I have simplified my life -and- I’m much happier for it! Brïdgêtté

  9. Reb says:

    Great money advice that I think I might actually start taking.

    There’s gotta be some solid job options for someone with all he work and life experience of being a police officer. Park ranger? Lots of my friends are in social work and certain types can be very active. One runs after-school cooking programs for kids and another runs activity programs for seniors. Neither of them sit down once during their work day!

    • Excellent! Although there are so many approaches I find this one works out for me best. There are so many life skills that I have acquired throughout my career but the one thing I am lacking is a college education. I made great strides throughout my life towards self education, but without the document I am pretty much locked out of many careers. To go back to school now doesn’t make much sense, but I do continue to keep my eyes open for any opportunities that may arise.

  10. demckinley says:

    Thanks for liking one of my posts! I thought I’d pop over and have a look at yours – a great blog! I really like your philosophy, what a brilliant way to look at life! As a teacher I have to say it’s never too late to go back to school! I completed my masters at 45 and I hope to do a PhD at some point in my 50’s! Keep up the good work!

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