Most people look at their bank statements as fluctuating… it comes and it goes. But every dollar should have an intended purpose or hyper-level of intentionality so that you never find yourself robbing yourself of the opportunity to advance, level-up, or get ahead with your financial life.
What are the ways that you can use your money to create wealth?
First thing’s first, you’ll want to automate your payments.
Afterall, automation trumps determination.
For those W2 employees, you can literally delegate which accounts your paycheck goes to.
By mapping out exactly where all your cash is going, you’ll be able to identify the surplus.
This is also a good time to identify areas where you can be saving money (subscriptions, etc).
When you identify that specific surplus, you can then assign a specific purpose to it.
By organizing your finances.
Most people have 1 or 2 accounts, especially one where most of their spending happens. This is detrimental because it gives you a disillusioned idea of how much you actually have. Why? Because you’re basing your cash flow decisions based off how much you currently have in your account at that time.
If all of your spending is coming from one account— your bills, your spending money, etc. then you never truly get a chance to see what your surplus is and how much money actually belongs to you and nobody else.
Here are 5 types of accounts that you should have to help categorize your income into three buckets: your fixed expenses, your “now” money, and your “later” money.
The “fixed” bucket.
1st Account: Your 30 day money. (bills, bills, bills)
- What are my past commitments? (Car insurance, rent, phone bills?) This is your 30 day money.
- Where is your money coming from to pay those? Define exactly how much funds you need in this account.
The “Now” Bucket.
2nd Account: Variable spending account
- Your 7-day money. Your present choices.
- This is like creating a 21st century envelope system: separate accounts for separate things.
3rd Account – Emergency Reserves “buffer” account.
76% of Americans are living check to check. Roughly the same amount of people wouldn’t have the means to afford a $200-$500 emergency.
The emergency reserves account is different than your emergency fund. This is for unexpected, high-ticket expenses.
- You expect to have to use this money. You know things happen, but you don’t know exactly when or how much they’ll cost.
- Thin: annual expenses like new tires, vehicle taxes, etc.
- This acts as a buffer account so that when “something comes up” you can be prepared.
- You want to turn your emergencies into inconveniences.
The “Future” Bucket
4th Account – Your Emergency Fund
This is the money you use in the event of an income loss.
- Entrepreneurs: a capital reserves account — what if my business doesn’t do well for a while?
- Working Professionals: 6-12 months of living expenses.
- Savvy investors: keep 3-6 months of funds in this account and invest the rest bc if you can pick a risk-tolerance profile that’s in alignment w/ the risk scenario that you can take the money out relatively quickly, but still capitalize the funds while in that investment Account. Liquidating your 401k is not your emergency fund. Your emergency fund is not a placeholder savings account either.
5th Account – Your Major Expense account
This acts as your savings account for large expenses such as:
- Family vacations
- New house
- New furniture
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