Sunday 2 July 2023

building up a system to reaching $100,000 and beyond πŸš€

I was watching an interview by The Minimalist that was released about 3 years ago but financial advice doesn’t expire so I still find the conversations in there very relevant and useful. In it, Ramit Sethi who was being interviewed talked about building up a set of systems for his finances. With this systems being done, he spends only about 1 hour per month to manage it so that he has time to do other things that are much more meaningful and fulfilling.

Interestingly, he started out with a blog and wrote about financial topics and treated his blog like a laboratory with experiments. A lot of people asked him questions and so he released a book to answer it all. Another good interview he did was here on Impact theory.

Building your own systems and making sure to stick to it, adjust if needed

His version of setting up a system is to automate everything as much as possible from bills to spending and to investments which you can read more here. In Singapore, we can use standing instructions to set up a monthly or periodically transfer to the other bank accounts/external brokerages from our main account.

In his article, he also wrote about how important it is to match up your dates especially for bills to make sure you are paying them on time. Different schedules can be set up for your bills, investments and savings. For example, if your pay comes in on the 5th, set up schedules to automatically transfer or pay the amount.

Most of us would have a regular income coming in but if you have irregular income then a good amount of buffer cash on the side will be good and you might want to put aside a little more into savings before starting out on investments but this really varies depending on the amount you are getting and frequency.

What I do is that on a google sheet, I put down the exact values of what goes into each of my accounts, making sure that it fits the after CPF amount that I receive each month then start setting up everything in the system/bank accounts. This can be aligned with the financial goals you have set for yourself and you can set up the allocation accordingly. Here is an example of how it might look like. It is just an example for reference and will differ from everyone.

At the beginning, you might realise that it is not working as well, maybe you allocated too little to expenses or too much to a certain part, try to see if you can optimise eg cut out certain spending otherwise make changes accordingly but make sure to stick to it. After you have it on over a certain time, you will realise that you do not need to make much changes unless you have a pay raise coming.

Remember that as you automate your credit card bills, do check the statements by enabling email notifications/sms so that you can look through the bills for any fraudulent transactions and also annual fee charges so that you can waive it as needed.

Your system needs time to accumulate and build, give it time to do so

Just as I have mentioned above, everyone will have different needs or goals and so your system might be different from others but what you want is to set up something for accumulation and to ensure that you are doing it consistently.

It will take some time for the results of the whole system to show as time will allow it to accumulate and you will be able to see the results after a few months or a year. The setting up might be a little tedious as you will need to look through your spending and determine what is a good amount to allocate to it and trying to cut it down so that you can increase or build up more savings.

Once you start the whole system, it will be easier over the long run as it will be automated. This will free up more time to do other times as you will not need to manually transfer the money every month. Everyone’s allocation will differ but you will find a number for each section.

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