By: Scott Henderson
Learning to stick to a budget can be a difficult task for most people. Often times, it isn’t the lack of information and knowledge that keep you from saving and decreasing your expenses, but the lack of discipline.
I will show you a simple and fun system you can use that will help you build long-term sustainable wealth. Money management in our day does not have to be boring and complicated, but the secret I’m about to show you may surprise you on how easy and effective it is to be in charge of your money. It’s called the JARS system.
I didn’t come up with the system, but the system was presented to me by the author T. Harv Eker in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” It is a simple money management system where you take six actual jars and each jar will be designated for different purposes. Each time you get paid you will deposit certain percentages of your paycheck into each jar.
When I first heard about the Jars system I thought it might be difficult to use six different jars for my one paycheck. But when I heard about it I was working on tips and would come home with a lot of dollar bills (some days none), and I would divide up the money. This helped me to understand the system and create a habit of dividing the money. It actually became very exciting to me to break up my money. I couldn’t wait to get paid, just so I could watch different accounts grow.
Let me tell you how the system is set up and the names of the six different jars:
This jar is for all of your necessary expenses such as your rent/mortgage, car payment, food, insurance, clothing and anything else you consider a necessity. “Only live on 55% of my income?” I know, bare with me.
Financial Freedom (10%)
Your savings and investment account. 10% of all the money you make, and I don’t care how much you make, it could be $10,000 a month or it could be $20 a month. No matter what 10% of your money goes into your Financial Freedom account. This is your retirement account that will build up your entire life. The only time that you will use this money is when it will bring you more money which will be paid back. This is the most exciting account to watch grow.
Long Term Savings for Spending (10%)
An additional 10% of your income will be saved but also spent in the near future. Money in this jar will go towards something in the future such as a down payment on a house, a car, a vacation, or anything else you think will be important in the coming years. I know what you’re thinking, “you want me to save 20% of my money?” Quite frankly…yeah. How serious are you about building long term wealth?
Before you think I’m some crazy disciplined saver, let me give you some room to breathe and relax. 10% of your income is going to go to having as much fun as you want. Date nights, massages, weekend getaways. You’re budgeting to play, not only save. What’s that going to do? It will assure that you have money to go have fun, but that you won’t blow the bank (or the Jar) doing it.
There must needs be opposition in all things. If you’re going to work hard to save, you also need to work hard to play. I am a saver so I often find myself watching this account build up. I then gently remind myself that I have to go blow this account. What financial counselor is going to tell you to spend all the money you have in your account?
Tithing or Give (10%)
I believe it to be extremely important to give back or to pay a tithe. I give 10% of my income each month to my church. This may be hard for some people to do, but I have found, through the blessing of paying a full tithe, that I can’t afford to not pay my tithing. I don’t even have to think about the money as my money. 10% of all of my money really is not a big considering how much God has given me.
If you’re in college, use this money to pay down some of your student loan debt. If you are not in college, invest in yourself by learning about non-traditional ways to improve your personal life, business, marriage, or your health. Knowledge is power and you should never stop learning.
The question I have received when people learn about this system is, “this sounds great but how am I supposed to live on half of my income?” It may be difficult at first, but what you’re doing it setting yourself up for the future where you will be in a different situation than most people and financially free.
I have shared with you a system that will almost guarantee that long-term wealth if you stick to it. So go to the store, or your pantry, grab some jars and start building wealth. Once you get in the habit of breaking up your money into different jars, you can create nicknamed bank accounts and continue it online. If you stick to the system you’ll find you’re going to have more freedom and wealth.