Friday, September 24, 2010

Fiscal Fridays: charts

I realized that with last week's inaugural Fiscal Friday post, I got WAY ahead of myself. It will probably be more useful for me to explain how I route my money, and then break down each account in turn.

Also, let me preface this by saying: some people like things simple, but apparently I don't! The important thing, of course, is that this works for me. Anyway, thanks to the good folks at bubbl, I've created this work of art:

I fear it's not very legible, but hopefully the colors will help. Here's the deal:
I get paid regularly (paycheck square, top center). A chunk comes out pre-tax into my 401(k) - just enough to get the full company match.

The rest of my paycheck gets dropped into the account I call day-to-day spending (red block, center), and I route more than 85% of the cash right back out again. It goes into the following accounts, all linked and easy to work with:
  • bright green block on left: short-term savings 
  • three light green blocks in the lower middle: travel, misc budgeted spending, mad money
  • right-hand dark red block: bills
The gold boxes in the top left represent my retirement accounts, one of which is orphaned and is the last loose end for streamlining my old 401(k)s. I rolled two old accounts into one IRA and doing this last one will feel GREAT (when I get around to it!).

I'll talk about these more in-depth as I touch on the various accounts, but I found that it's a really interesting exercise to chart out all the accounts in my life. I first did it in 2007 and this is the first time I've tried it since. I highly recommend doing it!

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