This week I will just like to follow up on my blog post from last week regarding “Planning Long-term” financially. A lot of feedback that I received regarding the blog post consisted of people “freaking out” and at the same time curious to see how one would prepare for long-term financial security. I am sure there are many ways how one may prepare themselves to be financial secure not just today or tomorrow, but next year and the year after. I would just like to talk to you on how I have gone about preparing myself for long-term financial security.
I am sure it is very clear from my previous blogs that I was not always good with money. In fact, I wouldn’t even say that I am the “best” with money now. I have learned a lot but I have not yet stopped learning new things regarding Money Management. Far from it. There is always more to learn, new angles to discover, more things to consider, more life challenges and new technique to understand/implement. It never stops. In fact, I think that’s the fun of it. You shouldn’t see Money management as a chore. You should see it as your ticket to good life. In fact, we are very good at spending money to have a good life right here, right now. Speaking from my own experience I was always good at splashing the cash on myself in the heat of the moment. New flagship phone comes out, got to have it. Feeling bored? Lets drive to Starbucks and buy that fancy cup of coffee and let’s not forget that nice cupcake. Don’t feel like cooking? Let’s get a nice take-away and buy way more than I can ever eat, just because. Want to by new pair of jeans, lets go to the most expensive store and pay way too much for the jeans that have that much-loved logo/branding. I am sure some of you can relate to some of the above examples. We are all very good at treating ourselves when we have money burning a hole in our pocket. The attitude seems to be:
“Life is good right now, there are little to no real responsibilities, I have some cash in my pocket, so let’s spend it right”?
Wrong! This is exactly the time where you need to balance your wants/needs and save what you can when the times are good. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself and indulge in the good things in life. Go for it. You earn money to be able to live, so live it. However, consider your future as well as your present when treating yourself next time.
In life, financially, it’s all about balancing your needs and wants. We all need things such as shelter, food, clothes, transport etc. These things are essential and come first. You always plan to put money aside for these essential things. Right? This should be part of your routine at this stage. However, I feel that a lot of “millennials” see the remainder of the money they have as a free pass to go on a shopping spree. That’s the wrong attitude to have I feel. As you put money aside towards the essential things in life you should also put money aside (limited amount) for the good things in life and not feel the need to splurge your whole pay check after the rent and bills are paid.
I myself have 5 different bank accounts. Yes that’s right, 5! Before you flip your laptop off the table or throw your phone at the wall in an outrage, just hear me out. These 5 accounts are all with the same bank. I use these 5 accounts to divide my pay check into 5 most important financial areas. Let’s break it down:
- Current Account: Used for day-to-day expenses
- Rainy Day Fund/Emergency Fund: Used only for emergencies (as the name suggest)
- Short term Account: This is used for things like new phone, laptop, holidays, clothes etc.
- Long term Account: This is pretty much a retirement fund. I put money away in this account for my retirement.
- Big Boy Account: This money is for buying things like car, house, money for my family/kids in the future etc.
There you have it. Simple yet effective. My current plan on dealing with anything that life throws at me financially. Yes, I am sure you probably see some gaps in my plan. It is not perfect. It will probably change many times in the coming months/years, however, as of right now it helps me a lot in terms of planning for today and tomorrow. If I run into emergency or need new car or want to go on holidays, I know that there is money there to be spent without feeling guilty about it.
Now let’s break it down how you too can set up a similar system and how it can be easily maintained without feeling that life is all save, save, save. You can have fun and you can treat yourself. Here is my current breakdown of my pay check:
- Current account: 50%
- Rainy Day Fund: 10%
- Short Term Account: 10%
- Long term Account: 15%
- Big Boy Account: 15%
Every time I get a pay check that is exactly how I divide it. At the moment I do not have any real responsibilities I am young and dumb so I can afford to save more and put more away for my emergency fund. For those who do have family, mortgage etc. can use exact same system but alter the percentages to suit them. I will probably alter the percentage that I allocate to each account as I grow older. You will be (pleasantly) surprised how quickly all of these accounts grow. When emergency strikes or your friend asks you to go on holiday or new iPhone comes out you know for sure that you have money set aside to comfortably afford that expenditure without it having a huge impact on your finances or having the need to apply for a loan. I used to have all of my money in one current account and spent it freely on whatever I wanted/needed rent, car, insurance, clothes, beer, dentist etc. I didn’t plan and it backfired on me. I was always short on money and didn’t know why. Having my money divided into these accounts I have money for today, tomorrow, next year and year after. I am always prepared for everything that life has to throw at me financially. You too can start your own mini accounts. You can have as many or as few as you like. You can always alter the percentages that go you allocate to any account to reflect your current financial status. It will take a bit of time to get used to the system but it works very well for me and I believe that it can work for you.
The main point to take away from all of this is that you must start these saving NOW. When times are good it’s very easy to prepare for the bad times. When we are all thrown into recession or have an emergency to deal with then its very hard to save any money as you always seem to come up short. So it’s the time to cut back a little bit on treating yourself now and prepare for treating yourself in the future.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this blog and I hope I have explained myself well. At this moment in time I feel this is the best way of preparing for the future, to divide your current pay check during the good times so that you are not struggling during the bad times. There is always things we can control such as savings, spending etc. and some things we cant control such as recession, rising house prices etc. So lets do what we can with the things we can control so that things that we cant control wont bite us in the ass at the worst possible time. Again, I welcome any feedback, ideas, suggestions via the comment section below. Thank you very much for all of your support, comments and likes thus far. Let’s keep the blog growing and we will reach financial security one blog at the time.
Thanks everyone and chat to you on the next one.