The JARS System: The Secret to Building Long-Term Wealth

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 10.26.51 AM

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:

Necessities (55%)

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?

Play (10%)

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.

Education (5%)

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.


Money Apps All College Students Should Have

Looking for some apps that will help you with your money? Here are some of our favorites:

Budgeting Apps

Not sure how to organize a budget? These apps will give you the tools you need to maintain a personal


Mint- One of the sleekest budgeting tools out there, Mint is a website as well as an app

downloadable on both iPhone and Android phones. By linking your financial accounts to your

Mint profile, you are able to track your spending habits and make adjustments as needed. The

idea is to create a personalized budget plan based on actuals instead of hypotheticals and to

track just how much of your income actually goes to things like rent, groceries, entertainment


Good Budget- Available for iPhone and Android as well as in website form, Good Budget

transforms the old-school envelope budgeting system into an electronic version. Geared

towards families trying to maintain their budgets, this app can help you give each dollar a

purpose in your life.

Money Saving Apps

Want to save more money when you shop? Use these apps to find deals, rewards and spending tips.

Smith’s- If you do your grocery shopping at Smith’s, this app is a necessity! Downloadable on

either iPhone or Android phones, you can get the weekly ads, a list of current coupons and sale

items at the store nearest you, a place to write down your grocery list and more. By connecting

your Fresh Values Rewards Card to your app account, you can load coupons directly onto your

card, check up on your fuel points, and scan your rewards card straight from your phone.

Unsplurge- If you have a goal to save up a specific amount of money, this is a great app that

keeps track of your progress. You set goals for specific things like savings, a shopping spree or

more customized vacations or big life purchases. Create your goal and share it with “the town”

so that others can see your progress and you can cheer them on with their goals too. Available

on iPhone.

Lunchbox- Find Free Food- Want to find free food on campus. This app will keep you updated on

when, where and what kinds of free food is available on campuses all over Utah (BYU-Provo,

BYU-Idaho, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, and, of course, University of Utah).

Available with iPhone or Android phones or online.

Money Making Apps

Need some extra cash? These apps can help you find alternate sources of income to supplement your


Receipt Hog- If you’re looking for a fun way to use your old receipts, this app is great. Upload

pictures of your receipts in order to earn coins that can then be cashed out or put towards

Amazon gift cards. Available with iPhone or Android.

Poshmark- This app available with either iPhone or Android will help you earn money from the

old clothes hiding in the deep dark corners of your closet. Create an account and then upload

pictures of your unwanted clothing. You can set a price and then other Poshmark users can

submit offers. Choose the best offer and sell your item and within 3 days you will get your

money, guaranteed. You can also use this app to shop for clothing or just get ideas for styles and

what to wear.

Bookscouter- If you want an easy way to find places to sell back your textbook, this app is great.

It is available on iPhone or Android phones, however, the website is a little bit more user

friendly. Just enter your book’s ISBN number and Bookscouter will find the places where you can

sell for the most money.

Control Your Spending

By: Kayleen Chen

Whether you’re considered a saver or spender, you are bound to spend at a point in your life. However, there are many times where it goes out of hand and self control is where it all comes down to for spending. Without self control, we lack a sense of awareness over our actions. If not caught, one could find themselves in difficult situations. Here are some tips on how you can start implementing a life with better self control over finances.

  1. Budgeting

As most financial counselors suggest, budgeting is always a great way to overcome your spending. This being because it puts everything in a better perspective. Doing so could slowly reinforce the individual to be more hesitant when spending because of the hassle to  to write down and recall everything they spent.

  1. Leaving Credit Cards at Home

If using credit cards are your fear, start by leaving them at home and paying with cash. However, over time it would be wise to use credit cards and keep track of what is spent. A tactic I like to suggest is first mastering your debit card. Start by preloading an amount for the month and making a goal to still have some money by the end of the month. If you manage to not go over your starting amount, then you could start slowly implementing that with your credit card.

  1. Understand the psychology of spending

Get in tune with yourself on why you buy. Are you an impulsive buyer because you are feeling stressed, unhappy or anxious to keep up with the Jones’s? Also catch on to how marketers frame their products. For example, things are marked up higher so when there are good sales, it appears to be a good deal. However, a deal isn’t a deal unless you need it!

  1. The 24 hour rule

If you’re feeling impulsive, tell yourself to do the 24 hour rule. This strategy works really well for online shopping. What the rule does is it forces you to give yourself at least 24 hours to think about the item you feel the urge to buy. If the 24 hours pass and you still want to purchase this item then go for it. Of course, you will want to factor in your budget and whether it’s a need or want.

  1. Living under your means

One thing that really helps you control your spending is by pretending you don’t have savings. In other words try to live within how much you have from your paycheck (rather than what you have in general). By doing so, it helps you live within the idea of a smaller amount of finances. Just never view credit cards as another source of income!

Savings v. Paying Off Credit Card Debt: What’s the Right Move?‏


Shared via Suze Orman’s Newsletter
Suze Orman
One of the hardest challenges managing your financial life is figuring out how best to juggle multiple goals. And one of the most vexing decisions is what to do if you have credit card debt and you have money sitting in your emergency savings fund.

From a purely financial standpoint, it makes plenty of sense to pay off the credit card debt. The average interest rate these days is around 15%. Meanwhile, money you have in a savings account at a federally insured bank or credit union is likely not earning even 1%. So using the low-earning savings to pay off the high cost credit card debt is a smart financial move.

But you and I both know that money decisions are never purely financial. Emotions play a big role. And I am totally on board that for many of you, knowing you have money set aside in an emergency fund to handle life’s “what ifs” is what helps you sleep at night.

That said, if you have credit card debt, you need to make it your top priority to get it paid off ASAP. Here’s how:

  1. Look into transferring your credit card balance to a new card that charges no interest for at least a year. Some cards offer a zero rate for 21 months; that gives you a lot of time to pay off the debt while not owing interest. Search online for transfer deals that do not charge a fee on the amount of the transfer (some cards will charge you 3% of the amount you transfer) and that also do not charge an annual fee.
  2. You are not to charge a penny on this new card that you don’t intend to pay off in full each month. Read the fine print of your new card deal. While the amount you transfer gets the great zero interest rate, that’s not the case with any new charges you don’t pay off each month.
  3. Use an online credit card payback calculator to figure out how much you need to pay each month on your new card to have the balance paid off before the zero rate expires. That’s your new goal.
  4. I challenge you to scour your current monthly spending to come up with the money you will need each month to be on schedule to pay off the credit card debt during the zero-rate period. If you are truly serious about getting rid of the credit card debt you will find ways to scale back on your spending. Instead of looking for one big-ticket expense you can drastically cut or eliminate, consider this strategy: Look for at least a dozen monthly expenses that you can cut by at least 10%. Once you add up all those savings you may be very close to what you need to pay each month on the credit card balance.
  5. If you are still coming up short, I want you to consider dipping into your emergency fund each month to make up the difference. I realize that may make you somewhat uncomfortable, but I am not suggesting you empty out your savings in one big withdrawal. This way you will still have some money in savings, while you are working fast and furious to get rid of the credit card balance while the interest rate is at zero. Once you’ve got that polished off, use the money you were sending in each month to pay off the credit card bill to replenish your emergency savings fund. Trust me, the ultimate sense of security will come when you are free of credit card debt and you have an emergency savings fund.

2016 Game Of Loans

Private-student-loansThat special day is finally around the corner. Graduating is a thrilling experience and is filled with excitement and joy. Some students are fortunate enough to graduate without student debt compared to the students that have to focus on paying back their loans.

Paying off student loans can be stressful whether you are a college student or a recent graduate. When working through college, we all have those times where we would rather spend the money we earn on what we want or even need at the time rather than focusing on paying off our debt. Doing this, we put the loans that we are accumulating on the back burner. After all, being poor college students searching for innovative ways to cook our ramen in order to save money, why would paying off our debt be at the top of our priority lists?

Accumulating a mass amount of student loans can be stressful. We need to start living frugally before we graduate from college and shave off some of the stress about loans we might feel in the future. Just think of how wonderful it will feel to graduate  with a low amount of debt! Now, you are probably thinking that this is a great thought, right, but HOW can we achieve this goal? Here are a few tips listed below of how to start focusing on paying off your student loans today:

1.     Set a realistic goal when you want to finish paying off your student loans

2.     Focus on paying off the unsubsidized loans first since the interest rates start once you take out the loan and once paid off, focus on the subsidized loans

3.     Calculate the percentage you would like to pay towards your student loans from each paycheck

4.     Calculate and incorporate the amount you will have to pay each month into your budget in order to reach your goal

5.    Even though you are not required to pay back the loans while in school, treat your loans like a monthly bill that you are required to pay each month

6.       In order to reach your goal, be realistic in terms of your standards of living while paying off your loan

Whether you are contributing only $100.00 or $600.00 towards paying down your loans, the amount slowly adds up and lowers the amount of debt you owe before graduating. Take the challenge and start today!

The 10% Shift

Local First Utah | Locally Owned and Independent Businesses‘Tis the season for shopping and we all know what that means: over the river and through the woods to the shopping mall we go. The holiday season brings extraordinary levels of profit for big businesses, especially for the retail industry. In 2014, the retail stores raked in 616.1 billion dollars in November and December alone (nrf.com). That number is expected to increase to 79.4 billion dollars this year, a 13.9% increase (statista.com). These numbers are amazing, to say the least, but it leaves one wondering where does all that spent money go? Who really is reaping the profit?

According to a study done in Utah by Local First Utah, not much of the money earned by national chain retailers makes it back to local economies. Conversely, independent business return to local economies much more. The study showed that “in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Wayne County… locally owned retailers return 55.3% of their revenue to the local economy.” It compares that to national chain retailers who “return just 13.6% of revenue. That means every dollar spent at a locally owned, independent business returns more than four times more to the local economy than a dollar spent at a national chain retail” (localfirst.org). Shopping locally boosts our local economy. Daniel Houston from Civic Economics puts it this way: “The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits. In short, local businesses create better places” (localfirst.org).
So who’s going to reap the profit this holiday season? Of course it will be a time of booming sales for national retail chains, but we can also help boost our local economy by shifting more of our purchases to locally owned retailers and restaurants. The Local First Utah study concluded that “shifting just 10% of purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers and restaurants would keep $1.3 billion in the Utah economy” (localfirst.org).

Check out http://localfirst.org/buy-local/find-a-business for a list of local Utah businesses!! 


Detoxing From Your Holiday Expense Hangover

After the holidays, many of us feel stressed. We start to realize we have overspent and feel flustered once our bills start to roll in. We shouldn’t feel stressed out or hopeless! Here are some guidelines to help you recover from those expenses.

debt woman

First, you need to face the reality of your holiday spending habits. Calculate how much you overspent. If possible, look over your receipts and calculate the total amount you have spent during the holidays. Compare this to your previous average monthly expenses. Afterwards, calculate the difference from your average amount, then deduct that difference from your next month’s expenses. If you have overspent a large amount, don’t worry about balancing out your budget within the next month. Instead, limit your spend for the next couple of months. The key here is not to feel like you aren’t not able to spend, but that you can accommodate what was spent and repair your bank account, little by little.


Afterwards, look over the items you spent too much money on. Re-evaluate whether you actually need the items you bought. If not, see if there is something you could return and buy later in the year. Gather your items together and arrange them accordingly to the same store. Plan your returning trips so you can save time and gas.

When it comes to the actual process of recovering from your expenses, you may need to accommodate your lifestyle by making small changes. You may need to eat out less and start making more meals at home when it comes to social activities. You don’t necessarily need to stop eating out, but you could instead consider free activities such as going to the park.

computer woman

In the end, don’t feel like just because you overspent on your holiday budget, you are restricted in your finances. It’s all about adjusting to what you need and don’t need. You can recover from your holiday splurges!