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Rule 4

Age Your Money

When you are spending money you earned last month, you will have nothing to stress about money-wise. The goal is to be spending money that is at least 30 days old. It might not happen overnight, but stick with it—it’s a game-changer!

How It Works

With the help of the other three rules, you’ll be more purposeful about your spending, consistently spend less than you earn, and be more than prepared for the future. Eventually, you’ll be able to cover May’s rent with dollars from April. Your money will be at least 30 days old and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without the Four Rules.

What is life like with/without this rule?

Drag the arrows left and right to find out.

Without Rule Four

John lives paycheck to paycheck. He knows the date of his next paycheck well in advance and has a stack of bills he’s timing to go out as soon as the paycheck hits his account. He times bills to paychecks every pay period because he has to.

 

It’s stressful: juggling due dates, cash flow, and other unexpected expenses. He’s habitually anxious and frantic, and can’t stop thinking about how much he needs a vacation. But who has money for that?

With Rule Four

John has at least a month’s worth of paychecks budgeted before the month even starts. Lots of money, just sitting around, waiting to do its job.

When bills arrive, he pays them—actually, he put them on autopay a couple months ago.

He’s habitually happy and content, and can’t stop thinking about the money he plans to invest and next summer’s vacation.

Why It Works

 

You aren’t stressed because you’re not  living on the financial edge. No more wasting time and energy timing bills to a specific paycheck. When a bill comes, you just pay it. The result? Breathing room. Less focus on today and more on tomorrow means bigger thinking, better decisions, and chiseled abs (it’s possible!).

YNAB.

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