Then we started using the JARS money management system discussed in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.
How to use the JARS system
Here are the jars and a short description of each one.
- Necessity account (NEC - 55%): This account is for managing your everyday expenses and bills. This would include things like your rent, mortgage, utilities, bills, taxes, food, clothes, etc. Basically it includes anything that you need to live, the necessities.
- Financial freedom account (FFA - 10%): This is your golden goose. This jar is your ticket to financial freedom. The money that you put into this jar is used for investments and building your passive income streams. You never spend this money. The only time you would spend this money is once you become financially free. Even then you would only spend the returns on your investment. Never spend the principal.
- Education account (EDU - 10%): Money in this jar is meant to further your education and personal growth. An investment in yourself is a great way to use your money. You are your most valuable asset. Never forget this. I have used education money to purchase books, CD’s, courses or anything else that has educational value.
- Long-term saving for spending account (LTSS - 10%): The money in this jar is for the bigger nice to have purchases. My wife and I have used the money from this account to go skiing in The Rockies in Whistler, BC. We also used this money last September for our trip to Italy and Switzerland. The only reason we’ve been able to make this happen is because we’ve accumulated a nice sum each month in our LTSS. A small monthly contribution can go a long way.
- Play account (PLAY - 10%): This is my favorite account. PLAY money is spent every month on purchases you wouldn’t normally make. The purpose of this jar is to nurture yourself. You could purchase an expensive bottle of wine at dinner, get a massage or go on a weekend getaway. Play can be anything your heart desires. My wife and I each receive our own play money, and here’s the best part. We’re not allowed to ask what the other person spends their money on.
- Give Account (GIVE - 5%): The money in this account is for giving away. Trisha and I give money every month to the Sick Kids Hospital Foundation. We also use the money in this jar to give to family and friends on birthdays, special occasions and holidays. You can also give away your time as opposed to giving away money. You could house sit for a neighbor, take a friends dog for a walk or volunteer in your community.
How the JARS work
Here is a sketch of how we use the jars. Actually, we don’t use jars at all. All of our accounts are electronic savings accounts with our necessity (NEC) account being the only exception; it’s a checking account. Trisha and I deposit all of our personal income into our necessity account. The money in our necessity account pays for all of our expenses. The remaining money is distributed into five other accounts.
I learned very early in the process that the jar percentages are not critical. To guarantee your financial success, just start using the system and build the habit. This is the key. It doesn’t have to be perfect when you start.
Managing money doesn’t restrict freedom — it creates freedom.