Pay yourself first

Becoming a parent effects your expenses and maybe also your income. The Dutch independent organization for family finances Nibud says that the first child cost in average 17% of your disposable income (=all your income added up), the second 26%, the third, 33% and the forth 40%. Becoming a parent or extending your family may therefore be an reason to have a close look at your personal financial situation.

Months before becoming a mum I noticed that my expenses outgrew my income. Luckily this situation was only temporary due to pre- born expenses like stuff for badding, sleeping and going for a walk stuff, and, and, and..

This was the moment for me to have a look into the future what would happen with my income and expenses after my son was born. Since may income was going to be the same befor and after, I only focused at my expenses. There I saw that becoming a mum meant I needed to change some of my expenditure habits. Approximately 20% of my income would go to expenditures related to my son. So I needed to change.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important for me. So I decided to set priorities on doing sport, eating biological food and taking rests. Knowing what my priorities are meant that cutting out expenses on things what I did not list as a priority was quitte easy by then. For example I decreased the times I get out for diner and I stop buying magazines I did not enjoyed.

What also eased my mind was that I used the rule: “pay yourself first” already for more than ten years. This rule means that when your income enters your bankaccount, the first thing to do is to pay yourself. I opened several bank accounts: permanent education, fun things, clothing, health care and savings. I pay myself the amount of money or percentage of my income that feels good to me. For example I pay myself monthly €100,- for permanent education of myself and I have been paying myself 10% of my income for savings. After paying myself I pay the rent and other things I have to pay. I labeled everything that is left as free spending money.

This method works well for me. I know when something happens that affects my financial situatie that  I’ll be alright. I will be able to adapt to the new situation. Nothing to be fearful off. The rule ‘pay yourself first’ gives me peace.

Are you using some sort of rule to organize your finances? If not, this is my ACTION TIP: pay yourself first. Good luck!

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