Creating a system that is automated is the next step to freeing up you finances.
In my last post, we looked into creating a budget and why this is an important first step. We also went through an example budget walkthrough.
After finding out what is leftover after paying all our essential and non-essential spending we are going to create a system with what to do with the leftover money. This will include:
- An allowance to spend per week,
- Saving for goals
Well done starting with a budget. Now we are going to create a system with your money.
Why Set up a System?
A system with your money is so important so fundamental to your success.
It is good to have goals but you need a way to achieve them. This is a system. The goal may be to save $1000. You aren’t going to achieve this easily by putting whatever you feel like weekly.
It needs to be regular, routine and automatic. Rather than focus on the goal of saving $1000, we are doing to focus on putting $50 into a savings account once a week. This is made easier since we know how much money we have leftover after paying all our expenses.
We are going to this by setting up the correct bank accounts and using automatic payment methods.
How to Start?
To begin I am going to have access to two banks with multiple accounts as follows:
- Bank A
- Cheque account #1: Expenses
- Cheque account #2: Spending Money
- Bank B
- Savings account #1: Emergency Savings
- Savings account #2: Item
- Savings account #3: Travel
- Savings account #4: Gifts
- Savings account #n…
I have a simple way of managing money. My income comes into one cheque account. All my expenses come out of this bank account as well like rent, gym membership, and so on. I leave the card linked to this account in the draw of my bedroom side table and I only take it with me when I need it. For example, if I am going to get petrol or making a planned purchase. This is all linked to my Expenses account.
Every time I get paid, I have an automatic payment that takes 10% of my take-home pay that comes our of my Expenses account to my Spending Money account and put this into another cheque account that I use for spending on anything I want. That means a meal out somewhere, a coffee, or a small item that I want to get. So let’s add this to our spreadsheet. The reason we are using automatic payments is that it makes this automatic so it requires no willpower from you.
The idea behind an account for unconditional spending is that it is important to have that release valve. We can’t be restrictive all the time.
I like to use the example of food. You can eat healthily all week and when you decide to have the occasional treat, it won’t throw your diet out the window.
The card linked to this account I carry around with me. The beauty behind having this in a separate account for unconditional spending is that I know exactly how much I can spend on certain things. When I see this account become low, it gives me immediate feedback to hold off on spending and not effect by savings are my ability to pay my bills. This is much easier than having all your money lumped into one account.
Next, I am going to create another automatic payment for when I get paid from my Expenses account to a savings account called Emergency Fund.
This account is strictly only accessed for emergencies. That means job loss, or an insurance excess, or a hefty medical bill and nothing else. That means no end-of-year sale.
I use another bank because I won’t be able to see the money in this account. That helps by removing any temptation to spend from this account.
Let’s add this to the spreadsheet. I aim to put 10% of take-home into this account.
Even if you have plenty of money in your emergency fund. This can also double as a house deposit if you are a first-time buyer and also you can never have too much saved up for an emergency.
Now, we are going to create savings accounts for individual short-term goals with our second bank.
You can make up how much you want to save for these. I aim for maybe 1-5% of your take-home income for each item.
Just like what we did for the Emergency Fund and we are going to set an automatic payment from Spending Money to these individual savings accounts every time on payday. Some ideas of things to save up for are gifts for not only Christmas but for birthday gifts, holidays, and any items you might be eyeing up.
I’m going to update this on our spreadsheet.
With your money system, I would encourage you to create some space for investing. This can be done with the money you have left after you have made your savings targets.
Investing is the act of money making money. It grows while you enjoy your life, while you are with your family and while you sleep.
We will cover investing in another post.
We created a system to handle our finances. This is only possible by working out your income and your expenses in our budget.
Now, we have created an automatic system that puts money where it should be without us even thinking. That allows us to focus on more important things in life.
I’m hoping this helps you. If you like what I have written, please stay tuned by subscribing to my newsletter. Thank you for reading. What is your money system like?
Finally, as a disclaimer, I am not a financial expert or professional. This post is for educational purposes only. A lot of what is on here is anecdotal and I would advise you to perform your own research or seek a financial professional.