by Angel Lee, Guest Contributor

My 92 year-old grandfather loves to share stories of his childhood and experiences in the army, work, church, and family. Although he never obtained a high school education, he has an incredible amount of wisdom and intelligence. He is blessed to still be in the position to financially support himself and my grandmother, his wife of 71 years. As soon as I began working full-time, my grandfather said to me in his loud husky voice, “Remember to pay yourself first.” He continued to tell me the story of his practice of paying himself first every time he got a paycheck. My grandfather then challenged me to not only tithe to the church but tithe to myself.

I listened to my grandfather and adopted the habit of paying myself first. I will admit that I didn’t always save 10% of my income. By putting aside money every time I got paid and living below my means, I eventually had enough money to make moves towards my vocation such as quit my job, go back to school, and start a ministry in the name of my late mother, Eloise Ministries, Inc.

I am passing on this wisdom of my grandfather. Don’t underestimate the power of saving and paying yourself first. Saving is a part of self-care, for you are providing a financial cushion for yourself to help reduce debt, provide for yourself and your family when plans unexpectedly change, or finance a dream.   Many of us are full-time students without a job, so saving may not be an option at this time. Yet I hope that you will remember to pay yourself first when you begin working.

Angel’s Challenge: Decide on how much money or percentage of income to set aside from your paycheck and commit to it. If you do not work at this time, commit to saving a certain percentage of your income when you begin working.

Interesting Info: Over 25% of Americans have no emergency savings. Bankrate recommends that each person has at least 6-months of living expenses saved.   Yet 67% of the Americans with savings have less than 6 months of expenses saved.  Those in their 30s and 40s are more likely than other age groups to have no emergency savings.

Malcolm, Hadley. “American Still Don’t Have Enough Savings.” USA Today. Jun 23, 2014.