I often find myself inspired by other personal finance bloggers and their innovative ideas for saving, investing and personal finance calculations. One such moment of inspiration came a few weeks ago when several personal finance bloggers including Budgets on a Stick, Apathy Ends, and the Luxe Strategist created their personal “money map” to show the flow of their money and how they prioritized savings, debt, expenses and investing.
The idea of a money map struck me as particularly helpful as Mr. Adventure Rich and I formalize and share our personal finance philosophy. The money map gives both you (the readers) and us (the writers) an insight into how we manage our money. So, after sitting on my to do list for awhile, I finally sat down to create the Adventure Rich Money Map!
Money Map Legend
Orange = Mr. and Mrs. Adventure Rich’s Pay!
Blue = Investing
Red = Expenses
Grey = Credit Cards
The Money Map Flow
While this should be somewhat self explanatory, I’ll add a little color here.
Every two weeks, Mr. Adventure Rich and I are paid by our respective employers.
Mr. Adventure Rich’s Pay goes directly into a checking account and is dedicated to paying our mortgage + some each month. Any leftovers head to savings accounts for various goals.
My pay is a bit more complicated. First, I have automatic deductions for my 401k (maxing out + employer contributions), HSA (maxing out, including employer contributions), Dependent Care Flexible Savings Account (our + employer contributions). Once all the taxes and other deductions are subtracted, there is a bright shiny number left over. We then divide this “shiny paycheck number” up into several goal specific savings accounts and our checking account.
My paycheck covers most expenses including our utilities, daycare, credit card bills and any cash/non-credit card purchases. As mentioned above, Mr. Adventure Rich’s income pays for our mortgage (+ a little extra) each month.
Our credit cards take the bulk of our expenses (anything that allows credit card payment) including groceries, utilities, gas, eating out/recreation and other expenses. This helps us track our spending and earn points for our purchases.
We have several investing accounts that hold funds, but are not currently being funded with additional investments. These include Mr. Adventure Rich’s IRA, the remains of his former employer’s 403b, AR Jr.’s 529 plan and my employer stock account from an ESPP.
Key Philosophy Behind Our Money Map
As I plotted our money map, I realized that there are several key aspects to our financial philosophy that show up in the way we manager our money flow.
We Automate our Saving and Investing
I like thinking and talking about money, personal finance, investing and saving. But when it comes to actually managing my own accounts, I want to be as efficient, time effective and fool-proof as possible. So, I automate it all!
401K and HSA contributions? Automated!
Savings for goals? Automated!
Most of our recurring expenses? Automated!
Our paychecks themselves? Automated!
Set it, forget it, and go find an adventure 🙂
We Use Credit Cards to Our Advantage
We try to put all possible expenses on our credit cards.
So that we can track our expenses via bank statements and earn points.
Credit Card Note: We only suggest credit card usage if you can a.) afford each and every purchase you put on a credit card and b.) can pay the card off IN FULL each and every month.
We Prefer Separate and Specified Accounts for Different Goals and Uses
2 Checking Accounts
4 Credit Cards
6 Savings Accounts
Notice a trend? We like to have separate accounts dedicated to our various goals or uses. The two checking accounts help us to keep our expense payment planning on track. The four credit cards allow us to take advantage of the best offers available on the cards for each expenses. And the six savings accounts help us to save for specific goals without being tempted to dip into one goal for another (no emergency fund $$ going to our vacation!).
Our money map is actually a bit cleaner than I expected it to be (and I had a blast creating it!). And I now have a visual for our money management and will be updating as our money flow evolves over time.
Has anyone else plotted their money map? What did you find out? Were there any surprises?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich