My Money Routine

Every month, when my income of $55,000 comes into my salary account, it goes like this:

A cheque of $18,000 (around 1/3) goes into my investment account for investing in low-cost funds;

A cheque of $18,000 (around 1/3) goes into my mortgage account for repaying the mortgage of my rental property. It only takes around $12,000 for repayment, the rest is for saving because this account offers a higher than usual interest rate (around 1.7%) than my salary account (which is less than 1% interest);

The rest of the money $19,000 (around 1/3) temporarily stays in the salary account and will soon be used to pay bills, expenses, credit card payment, food, drinks, household items, financial support for parents, tax reserves, insurance payments etc.

It has not been always like this. I have been through some hard lessons before this.

I have only implemented this routine for 3 months but have already seen great benefits from it:

No brainwork needed

This routine frees me up to think about

  • how much I am spending that month,
  • whether I am over-spending,
  • whether I will have enough money to pay for mortgage,
  • whether I am investing enough for retirement

I can simply close my eyes and execute this routine regardless of how the market is doing, regardless of whether I have a tenant in place.

This money routine keeps my financials in place and I know where all my money is going. It also

2. Paying myself first

I make sure that money goes into the investment account and mortgage account with this routine. Previously, I do not have this regular practice and discipline of investing.

I used to save whatever amount I have left and only invest when I have saved a lump sum of money over a period of time.

For example, I saved $500,000 in 5 years and when I have this lump sum, I invest it in a corporate bond that pays 12% interest. And guess what — the company went bankrupt and all my monies were lost. I learnt a hard lesson and realised that my investment approach has to change.

I reflect on the painful experience and read a lot of books about investment to explore what other ways I can invest without putting all the eggs in one basket. And I started to realize the importance of protecting the capital. As Warren Buffett said, “no.1 investment rule is not to lose money”.

I went back to zero and changed my game plan — this money routine may look simple but this is the result of 2 years of study, testing and reflection.

3. Cash flow management

This routine is hugely beneficial for cash flow management because you have your income allocation set out.

90% of people do not have this. They simple spend money where they need or want. They don’t track the money trails and see where their monies go because tracking is so annoying and troublesome.

Despite the advice of many financial advisors, few people actually track their money, which means this is not a practical way to manage money (at least this is not something that many can execute on).

But with this easy money routine — once you started it, you would realize how easy watching your money becomes. We do not want to be a slave to our monies, we want to control and be master of our monies. And this routine offers an easy and executable way.

I am as lazy as anyone could be, but I also know the importance of money and cash flow management. According to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, cash flow is the most important thing to manage.

Cash flow simply means where your money goes — where the cash flows. It is like the blood in our body. If it stops or is blocked, the financials die. If a business has cash flow problems, there is a higher chance of bankruptcy. And the same principle goes for individuals.

This routine makes cash flow management easy because you have rules to govern the flow. And the way that you plan the flow is beneficial to your financial growth in the long run. Therefore, even if you do not think about it anymore and simply follow the routine, you are almost certain that you can have growing accounts and growing assets as time goes by.

All in all…

I highly recommend you to set up a similar income allocation routine as your money routine. This is part of your personal finance structure and this routine will help you avoid many headaches.

Note: this is not investment advice. I’m not financial planning professional. Just sharing what is working for me as part of my investing strategy or what I have learned on my investment journey. Please be reminded to do your own research and consider your own circumstances before making any financial decisions. You could also check with your financial professional to understand what would be best for your situation.

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Writes about Career acceleration; FIRE Retire in 10 years; Passive investment; Abundant mindset

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Connie C

Writes about Career acceleration; FIRE Retire in 10 years; Passive investment; Abundant mindset