A few years back I was watching a hit Indian comedy movie where the small town hero had come to the city to create his fortune and save money towards his cherished goals. Nothing unusual except he had set up 3 earthen vessels with the different financial goals he had set for himself including one for his ageing grandmother. Every time he got some extra cash, he allocated it to those vessels.
I loved the idea. As a lifelong saver who got into the habit of putting aside 10% of her take home pay every month starting with her apprenticeship stipend into money earning financial instruments from , I know how money grows with the principle of compounding interest. The rest of the money was spent on living costs and if there was any left over – it was put in a savings account. It’s a habit that continues even today with 10% of any income from any source for the month being saved whether or not I have a financial goal.
This practice was included in last week’s assessment of financial practices too! If you missed it, here’s the link Money matters: Are you really on top of your finance game? or click on the image below. (Link will open in a new window)
Savings are personal and there are a number of factors that would determine how much you should save each month to meet your financial goals. There will be months when it is easy to save and those months when you won’t record any savings.
Other factors that you will affect your ability to save include but are not limited to your life stage, whether you are employed, unemployed, self-employed, employed part-time or retired; your income level and money mindset.
You may find it challenging to set savings aside if you haven’t done it before or are in a financially strapped situation, have debts that need to be serviced or have an irregular income.
To get into the habit of saving, start with saving a small amount from each of your pay cheques or from any income that you receive and put it into an interest bearing account or accounts. Just seeing your savings grow and the interest that the savings earns will motivate you to continue saving. As your income increases, you can increase the amount that you save without creating any discomfort.
What is important is to put money aside in a systematic manner.
Progressing from our Hero’s Earthen Vessels to JARS
The method that the Hero used is similar to the one that I read about much later called the JARS Method taught by Harv T Ecker.
I like it because it isn’t just a savings creation strategy but one that can help you manage your existing money.
As a Chartered Accountant who’s created enough corporate budgets, I can assure you that the most important part of managing money is to allocate your income or funds for specific purposes. In this week’s blog post, I’ll share how to start managing your money using the actual JARS Method or an improvised one. Both will help you tap into the energy of money.
Anyone can start using this JARS method of managing money – even if you think you do not have a lot of money to manage. The key is to develop a habit of managing the money that you do have. There is no minimum limit to begin with – even a dollar or rupee will work to start using this system.
In short, here is how the JARS system works:
You have 6 jars each of which is labeled for a specific purpose and you will put the money that you receive, whether it is your salary, paid invoice or money gift according to a specific percentage into each of these jars.
Financial Freedom Account (FFA) – Put 10% into your FFA whenever you receive money; say your salary, invoice or a money gift. The money that you put in this jar is not to be spent on anything other than to purchase or acquire passive income streams to grow your money such as investments or savings deposits. You may spend the interest acquired from the FFA if you want to, although it is recommended that you do not in order to benefit from the power of compounding interest. Keep the interest inside the FFA to grow your capital and interest faster.
The idea here is to use this money as a wealth multiplier. If you believe in the law of attraction, this FFA is actually your money magnet.
Long Term Savings For Spending (LTSS) – Put 10% into your LTSS whenever you receive money. The money inside LTSS can be used for major expenditure such as savings for your children’s education, buying a house for yourself, keeping aside contingency funds.
Education– Put 10% into your Education Jar whenever you receive money to use towards your professional development, say books, seminars and events and even hiring a coach!
Necessities – Put 55% into your Necessities Jar whenever you receive money. You should use the funds inside your Necessities account to settle all your essential bills such as phone bills, electricity, clothing, eating, driving, travelling, hair etc. If you cannot survive on 55%, simplify your lifestyle. Instead of driving a car, perhaps you can take public transport, or drive a Honda instead of a BMW. In other words, simplify your life. Don’t worry about having fun because the next category is Play.
Play – Put 10% into your Play account whenever you receive money. You are supposed to spend this money every month to pamper yourself. I call it my Happy Money. The key is to BLOW this Play money away every month so that you will feel good about having money and spending it without any sense of guilt. Maybe you can buy yourself something that you really want but have been thinking twice that you cannot afford it. This Happy Money is meant to help you get that.
If the money falls short, then consider accumulating it for a few months and then pamper yourself.
Give – Put 5% into your Give account whenever you receive money and use the money for donations to charities, use it to help someone in need to activate the vibrations of the Law of Giving and Receiving. In Shakti Gawain’s book Creative Visualization, she refers to the practice of Tithe which is donating 10% of your money to good causes to activate the Law of Giving and Receiving.
If you feel that you need to put more money into another jar say for your long-term needs or financial freedom, increase the percentage for that jar by reducing the percentage in the Necessities Jar.
This is a great Money Management System as it covers most aspects, if not all, on how one usually spend their money. It is an amazingly simple yet profound method to manage your money, regardless of how much money you already have! It can work for you even if you have trouble saving and for anyone who just needs a little more help in managing their money to achieve a financial goal without feeling overwhelmed.
But what if I’m financially strapped?
The Jar Method can be daunting if you are starting out initially so here is my improvised version that harnesses the Energy of Money and simplifies things for you.
In this strategy, we take the basic premise of the Jar Method but simplify it to just 3 Jars that are focused on your goals with the caveat that one of those jars is Financial Freedom and we put some money in them every day. .
This improvised method works even if you are in a financially strapped situation. In this case, put money at least into your money magnet Financial Freedom Account every day. This is the account you use to invest and create passive income with and the real money magnet.
At the end of the month, check how much you have in each jar and transfer it to a special bank account that you have created for that purpose and let the power of interest grow your money.
It doesn’t have to be a big amount, even a rupee or a few cents will work to raise your vibration. When you are ready to raise the amount, proceed to raise the amount you put in. You’ll not only raise your money vibration but also find that you have the discipline to save money, even when you are financially strapped.
Your turn, how do you allocate your funds? Do you have another method of saving money without affecting your lifestyle? I’d love to learn more in the comments box below.
PS. I’ve shared 3 more actions you can take to manage your money in this month’s teleclass. Sign up to listen to the replay!
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