One piece of advice you often hear finance pundits making is “paying yourself first”. I know Robert Kiyosaki repeated the phrase throughout his books, but I am not sure if he was the first one to come up with the phrase.

The idea is that you set aside a percentage of your salary every month automatically putting it into a separate account. I have no trouble with this, but I have trouble labelling it “paying yourself first”.

The first time I heard this, I thought it meant to spend money on what you want first and then pay your bills and creditors last. Is possible that other people read it this way?

Why don’t they just refer to it as “automatically saving 10 per cent of your salary every month”?

I would seem ludicrous if people were setting up some saving plan, if they were already carrying personal debt.

I think it is possible that finance gurus that appear on television telling people to pay themselves first are misleading people in finance education. The basic principle of personal finance is to spend less than you earn and invest the difference and I can’t see how they get “paying yourself first” from this.