Bills come every month. Bills demand attention. Not paying bills will ruin your life. When you’re late paying a bill a late fee is assessed. We respect bills. So why don’t we respect ourselves as much as we respect our bills? Why don’t we have the same set of rules for bills that we have for ourselves?

The difference between being financially independent and being a financial slave is due to one thing: we make new bills instead of treating ourselves like a bill. When we graduate from college we buy a big house, a nice car, and eat at nice restaurants. We buy nice toys and new bills show up in our mailbox. The more money we make the more bills we create. The cycle continues until we can’t keep up, crisis strikes, or we wise up.

If you treated yourself like a bill you’d being doing pretty good. You’d be on your way to a great retirement. Your kids would have enough money to go to college. You’d likely be out of debt and you’d sleep better at night.

There are many ways to pay yourself like a bill. Setting up an online savings account or an online brokerage account is fast and easy. Making a goal and to max out a ROTH IRA is a great way to start. To do that you’ll need to automatically pay yourself $100 a week. Can you afford to pay yourself $400 a month for your retirement? If not, try killing off some bills and/or paying down debt. When a new shinny toy demands your money, tell it to go to hell because you’re paying yourself first.