Food for Thought: Paying Yourself First


Rich Dad Poor Dad (image from

I’ve finally gotten a chance to read the famous “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki (well I was listening to the audiobook, free trial from, though I haven’t finish, there was a lesson from Kiyosaki that left an impression on me, his emphasis on “paying yourself first, before your other creditors.” The whole idea is to make sure your paycheck benefits you first, not to your mortgage payments, electric bill or even taxes, so that when those payments are due, you find ways to pay them off. Of course, Kiyosaki isn’t trying to persuade you to not pay your debt, but instead you should let those payment dues become your motivation to look for more ways to earn money to pay them.

I recently realize that I unconsciously put this into action. As you may know, part of my 2013 Financial Resolutions is to keep to my budget. But my recent shopaholic habits have pushed my shopping expenses over the budget line. So I started thinking of ways to make up for the extra spending. Easiest way was through cashback from BigCrumbs and Ebates, helping from 2-10% (good enough for taxes at least). I also looked thru my possessions and am trying to eBay off some things that I either can’t return or seems too valuable to donate/recycle/trash. In essence, I paid myself first and now am finding ways to pay my debt (in this case, keeping to my budget).

Theory remains theory, the idea seems very risky to me. How many of you dare to put your paycheck elsewhere before paying your mortgage? But I do agree that working under pressure improves productivity. I’m sure you’ve at least heard someone mention before “that they work better under pressure.” I know I’ve said it. There’s been countless times that procrastination forces me to pull together projects & papers overnight. But how much would I try to push myself by “paying myself” first before bills? I can’t say, maybe in small scales like my budget.

What do you think? Have financial pressure gotten you out of the “rat race”?

2 thoughts on “Food for Thought: Paying Yourself First

  1. That is an interesting take on “paying yourself first.” I didn’t think of using pressure as a motivator. The way I took it was that you need to take care of yourself first instead of others. In a monetary aspect, that would be paying the minimum monthly payment until you are able to save up for a small emergency fund. The emergency fund is a safety net in case your car breaks down or some other emergency comes up. Another way of looking at it would be to make sure you make time for yourself instead of spending all your time taking care of others. Without making time for you and caring for your body, chances of burning out increases which may cause health problems which will put you in a worst financial situation.

    Overall I feel Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book for a beginner. It’s a great motivational book. My favorite idea from the book is “think poor and you will be poor. Think like a rich person and you will thrive.” This is a great concept because it implies if you feel like you are stuck in your current lifestyle (job or situation) then you won’t aspire to change and improve your life. A rich person is rich because they believe that they have control over their life and put hard work in meeting their goals.

    Also I like the concept of “not being afraid of talking about money.” Money is so taboo in our culture these days. I like not being afraid to speak to others about ways of making money without looking like I am “money hungry”. Different perspectives that you gain from others help you make better financial choices.

    Thanks for bringing this up!

    • Yes, I also agree with the “think poor and you will be poor” idea. We have to think in the right direction in order to drive us to what we want.

      We’re talking about money and finance here, aren’t we?

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