A bankruptcy court judge I knew would tell people: "Pay yourself at the first of every month. That is your pay for living. Put that money in the bank. Then when you want to buy something, you can pay cash, and get at least three or four times as much as if you were buying on credit."
But what do we do? We pay the house note, the car note, the loans, the credit cards, other bills, and then worry about having enough to make the next round of payments.
So, are we working and living for ourselves or to pay our bills?
At the first of next month, pay yourself first, maybe just a little bit, but pay yourself before you pay any bills.
Put that money in the bank. Not in some stock scheme that someone in a bar (or on TV, what's the difference?) has told you can't fail. They're right: For them it can't fail because they will have your money.
If you put your "pay for living" in the bank, your money can work for you and the community.
Remember the savings and loan in "It's A Wonderful Life"? The money you save will help build homes in our community, as well as finance new businesses, the engines of employment.
Collect your "pay for living" and start living for yourself. You will build up savings and in time that money can start working for you. Instead of you working for the money you owe on credit cards and other bills.
The choice is yours: Work for yourself or work for the bill collector.
Patrick Durusau is a Covington resident. His column appears regularly on Fridays.