This is tip #10 of at least 10 in the series. I will try to publish most of them as e-zine articles, but if any are missing, they will all be available on my blog.
In Tip #9, we discussed the need for creating a budget. Now, in Tip #10, I am going to discuss a budget in more detail. Thanks, and enjoy Tip #10…
Tip #10 – I am going to cover the best budget I have ever seen, heard of, or used, and to give credit where credit is due, much of this comes from T. Harv Eker and his 3-day ‘Millionaire Mind Intensive’ (which, with tickets from his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, is FREE!!! FYI, I personally found ‘MMI’ to be awesome.
First, you have heard 1,000 times, you need to keep track of any and all expenses for at least 1-2 months, and the longer the better. If you don’t know where your money is going now, how can you budget it? Managing your money requires that you know where your money is going.
Now, for the budget itself… T. Harv Eker suggests a system of jars, with a percentage of your income designated for each jar. This can be tweaked to meet your needs, but here are some suggested guidelines:
Necessity Jar – 50%
Education Jar – 10%
Long Term Savings Jar – 10%
Give Jar – 10%
FFA (Financial Freedom Account) Jar – 10%
Play Jar – 10%
Now, on to the main objection most of you will have immediately… “I can’t live on 50% of my income”. Noted. So here is what you do. First, you determine what amount of money you can spare for the jars, and you use that money to do your jars. If you can only spare $10/month to do your jars, spend $5 of it on necessities, and $1 on each of the other five jars. What matters here is not the amount, but creating the habit of managing your money properly. “It’s not the amount; it’s the habit!”
Also, how serious are you about creating all of the wealth you want in your life? If you are real serious, then go a little further. First, put 10% into your FFA jar. Next, consistently throw all of your spare change into your FFA Jar every day. Also, when you come into a windfall of any kind, put that in your FFA Jar. What you will find is, when you start to effectively manage your money, and you focus on it, all kinds of wonderful things will start to happen. You will get a bonus that you don’t need for necessities, and you can put it in your FFA Jar. You will get a raise, and you won’t need the extra money for necessities, so you can increase what you are putting in your FFA Jar. You will find unnecessary expenses you can eliminate, or ways to make some extra money you weren’t making before, and you will be able to add that to your FFA Jar. No matter how small it starts, if you manage your money effectively, over time what you are able to put away for your Financial Freedom Account will grow and increase in ways and amounts that you can not currently fathom! It will turn into a giant snowball, that continues to gather size and speed as it rolls down the hill!
Now, on to some details about the jars, what they are for, and the purpose they serve.
The Necessity Jar (50%) is fairly obvious. This is living expenses that you must pay on a regular basis. Rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, phone, food, car payment, gas, etc.
The Education Jar (10%) is money spent to make you better, like taking courses and seminars in your field. Stay on top of your game. The learners inherit the earth, while the learned are wonderfully prepared for a world that no longer exists (or something like that).
The Long Term Savings Jar (10%) is saving for occasional large expenses. This might be a down payment on a house, a child’s college tuition, or, depending on your preferences, maybe even for Christmas (if you have a hard time covering Christmas out of your Necessities Jar).
The Give Jar (10%) is for charitable giving, and it serves at least three purposes. First, giving is Biblical. God instructs that we give the first 10% of our income. Further, we are told that if we give, it will come back to us magnified many times. Second, helping out others when you don’t “have to” feels great. You are making a contribution to society. Third, without even realizing it, many people sabotage themselves when it comes to building wealth because they don’t feel worthy. Let me use a personal example here. I grew up poor, and I learned that rich people were greedy and selfish. Well, that mentality wasn’t exactly conducive to creating great wealth. When I started trying to improve my finances, family and friends would give me the standard guilt trips, both Biblical and otherwise, and, unsure how to respond, I would feel guilty and dejected. When I started consistently tithing, and the guilt trips came my way, I was happy to respond. “Well, I am doing win-win-win business, without ever taking advantage of any one. I am providing jobs and income for my help and/or contractors. ‘I get rich doing what I love. I deserve to be rich because I add value to other peoples lives.’ Also, I am tithing my church, and giving to some other causes as well, which I was never able to do when I was poor. Can you point out to me the flaws in what I am doing?” Wow, did that change things!!! No more guilt. No more feeling dejected. No more wondering why I was working so hard to get ahead in life. Now I felt great, and it reflected in my business and other areas of my life! FYI, when I started giving, jumping up to 10% all at once hurt too much, so here is what I did… I started giving a smaller amount, and I pledged that every time I had a windfall or a blessing to count, I would increase my giving. I quickly got up over 10%, and it was not painful at all. I only share that because it may be a good option for others who find 10% giving immediately to be unpalatable.
The FFA Jar (10%) is your Financial Freedom Account. This is your “save and invest the difference” money. This is where your money starts to work for you, instead of you working for your money. Your FFA money can never, ever, be spent! Ever! It is the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs, and you must never kill the goose!
The Play Jar (10%) is money that is for just that – play. Many people, especially those of us who grew up poor, are not very good at receiving (goes back to the feelings of guilt already mentioned). The Play Jar serves to strengthen our receiving muscles. This is not for average, every day stuff… The Play Jar is for the kinds of fantastic things that we can not normally afford, but now we can because we have money set aside just for that purpose. This is the kind of stuff we would love to do ‘when we have more money’. This is not just dinner out, but a fancy dinner with dessert, candlelight and ‘the best wine on the list’! This is not just a visit to the spa, but getting the massage with the hot rocks and the cucumbers! The play jar is where you get to experience a slice of the good life, and, used properly, it will serve to motivate you because you want more!
Now, I just shared with you the best budget I have ever seen or used, and it works (if you work)!!!
Please pass this on to anyone you know who may benefit from it… Together, let’s get inspired, let’s get motivated, let’s create some buzzzz, and let’s help some people (family, friends, and ourselves) create all of the wealth and success they want in life!!!