I wrote a previous blog on money management where I shared some tips on how to identify where you are wasting money and then gave my own personal formula (via an downloadable excel spreadsheet found here) the gauge all of your spending. If you are coming from that blog, then you are in the right place. If you are just looking at this blog for the first time, it may be prudent to go back and check out the previous one I wrote or at least download the excel spreadsheet because you will need it for the next step.
Step 2 – Formulating a simple budget that you will actually follow.
It was told to me early on in life by a very wealthy mentor of mine who I respect dearly that if I couldn’t manage $1, then I couldn’t manage $1 Million dollars. This is so true, I meet people all the time who’s personal finances are garbage even when they are making great money in their career.
It all comes down to money management and budgeting. Again, this is another common thread among all wealthy people I have ever met; they all have a budget based on a formula that uses money as a tool never spending it emotionally. Here is what to do.
Take that excel spreadsheet you just downloaded. (or get it here)
The idea here is very simple. Manage any and all money that you get. EVERY SINGLE CENT! If you know what your monthly income is, it becomes very easy to budget, if you are like me and get paid in lump sums sporadically then disciplining yourself to a system like this is crucial!
Ok so here is how it works: For every dollar I take in, it gets split up and put in to different bank accounts. Each bank account represents a different aspect that I am saving for. In my case I have 8 Bank accounts. I explain what I use them for and the benefits.
For daily spending and bill payment, I like Wells Fargo. The important thing to remember here is to bank with a bank that is convenient to for you with lots of locations and low fees across the board. As of right now, I pay NO FEES with Wells. I think B of A is the worst, and Chase Bank is in the middle when it comes to big banks.
I use Discover bank because they give you the highest rate of return for a savings account. 0.95% to be exact and…
I use Capital One 360 because they pay a pretty good rate of return on money in savings and my account doubles over as my top pick for a travel debit card that has
Now take some time to look it over the excel spreadsheet. If you need to open a couple accounts, don’t worry, this can literally be accomplished in an hour, follow the links above to use my recommendations, or feel free to open up accounts where your want to.
Keep in mind that I am a 1099 independent contractor that means I pay my own income taxes each year. If you are a W-2 employee, then you can zero out the taxes line because your taxes are collected before you get paid. Personally I set aside 18%-20% a year for myself, you may pay less or more depending on how much you make and what your tax liabilities look like.
Ok by now you probably have a good idea of what I am driving at here, but I will explain anyway. This formula is partitioning all of your income into different savings columns to give you a well rounded and financially savvy money management system.
The breakdown as seen in my excel sheet looks like this.
This whole idea was adopted after first reading the age old book The Richest Man in Babylon. When done correctly you will learn to pay yourself first and then save and invest the rest of it leaving a little hear and there for having a good quality of life.
My parents generation saved about 20%-30% of there income on average. My generation saves a measly 5%-10% and knowing that we are going to need a least a cool million to retire on (4 times as much as my parents will need) we need to get on this today. There is literally no time to waste.
Again, if you are in debt, or not making a lot of money, apply this formula anyway. Rework the numbers to make them fit your situation. If you are in some serious debt, check out my blog on &^%&^%&*^%&* if you are just not making that much or spend money stupidly, then I challenge you to try this for 90 days. If after 90 days you don’t feel like you have a better handle on your finances and that you are heading in the right direction, comment here and I will jump out of an airplane to promote what ever you want me to.
Money is a tool. It is only emotional when you don’t have enough of it. It controls you, or you control it, simple as that.
****And as a bonus, if you are still not convinced, Acorns is a nifty little app that allows you to invest pocket change from rounded up expenditure in to the market as a long term investment. Follow this link to check it out and get $5 for opening an account.
I have written many blogs on personal finance, today I am going to speak specifically about investing, but not investing from the standpoint of a 40-something somewhat wealthy person with savings in the bank, a house and a stable career he or she has been in for over a decade.
This blog is aimed towards Millennials. If you a person age 18 to 34 then listen close because applying the small techniques that I am going to share in this blog could mean the difference between your financial success and failure later on in life.
Before I get in to the Nitti gritty of this, I want you to know that if you feel like you are broke at the end of each month, living paycheck to paycheck or simply just not making enough to meet your monthly nut and save a little bit at the end of each month then this blog is for you.
You could also be one of the thousands of recently graduated college students on the job hunt drowning in school loan debt wondering how you are ever going to get ahead.
Or, maybe you are doing ok financially and you are just looking for more ways to become savvier with your money.
Whatever category you fit in, what I am about to share is going to help you tremendously! Enough said, lets jump in to it.
Step 1 Gauging where you are.
I have never met a wealthy person who did not know where they were at financially. People who have built real wealth have some type of formula they use to save, invest, pay taxes and to live. This has been one constant that I have experienced with every wealthy person I have met that didn’t inherit the money or get lucky.
What you need to do is figure out where all your money is going. I think you would be surprised to find out that you probably waste about $20 a day on bullshit. What I mean is you may have a daily Starbucks Frappuccino habit, or maybe you never cook at home and eat out 3 times a day. What ever it is everyone has their vices and they are costing you greatly.
So, first thing is first, write down all of your expenses. Everything. From monthly fixed expenses like Rent, mortgage payments, car payments utilities etc. right down to your varying miscellaneous expenses. This will allow you to see where all of your money is going.
Remember we cannot fix a problem until we can recognize there is one, and this is going to help you gauge where you are at financially.
In part 2, I am going to share with you the simplest budget you have ever seen that anyone can follow even if you think you are to broke to save. In fact, I am going to share with you my own personal excel document that you can use to do this exercise.