Money Map

By Slow Dad - September 08, 2017

Having a clear idea of where your money comes from, and where it goes, is vital for successfully managing cash flow and financial planning.
Some of the nice folks from the Rockstar Finance Forums thought it would be interesting to put together a "map" of how their finances work. Having a good understand about what goes where is an important first step for anyone wishing to get their finances in order.

Slow Dad's financial independence plan.
When things are set out on a simple flow chart it becomes easy to identify gaps, inefficiencies, duplications.

My approach

I like to keep things simple. As a general principle all my earned income, and much of my passive income, gets channelled through a single current account. This allows me to have a good overview of everything that is going on, and makes cashflow forecasting easy.

Tax advantaged accounts

One exception to the "keep it simple" principle are tax advantaged accounts, such as ISAs. Any income these generate remains within the wrapper to keep the tax man's grubby paws off it. When the time arises that I actually need this portion of my passive income to pay the bills I will channel it into the single current account also, but for now taxable investments throw off enough income to cover my lifestyle costs.

Investment properties

Another exception are those investment properties that still have mortgages over them. I'm a big fan of flexible line of credit borrowing arrangements. In the case of the investment properties all income a given property produces goes into the line of credit, and all expenditure associated with the property goes out from the line of credit. This keeps things nice and simple, turning properties (when managed by a competent property manager) into set and forget money making machines. Providing the rent more than covers the ongoing expenses, including financing costs, the properties pay for themselves.

Travel hacking

There is much written about travel hacking in the Personal Finance blogosphere. Here in the United Kingdom travel hacking options remain very limited compared to the US, and the practical ability to covert loyalty points once earned into flights or accommodation during peak school holiday periods is almost non-existent.

My approach has been to instead take out a cash back credit card, and run all spending (that doesn't incur a penalty for doing so!) through it. Over the course of the year the "rewards", for spending money I was going to spend anyway, end up paying for several weeks worth of grocery bills.

Compare and contrast

That analysis process can be boosted by comparing your plan to comparable plans of others, particularly when spotting something that is missing... those troublesome Rumsfeldian "unknown unknowns" for example.

To make that process easier Apathy Ends and Budget on a Stick have assembled the list of money maps below:
  1. Apathy Ends
  2. Budget on a Stick
  3. The Luxe Strategist
  4. Adventure Rich
  5. MinaFi
  6. OthalaFehu
  7. The Frugal Gene
  8. Working Optional
  9. Our Financial Path
  10. Atypical Life
  11. Eccentric Rich Uncle
  12. The Retirement Manifesto
  13. Debts to Riches
  14. Need2Save
  15. Money Metagame
  16. CYinnovations
  17. I Dream of FIRE
  18. Stupid Debt
  19. Spills Spot
  20. Making Your Money Matter
  21. Life Zemplified
  22. Trail to FI
  23. The Lady in the Black
  24. Smile & Conquer
  25. Her Money Moves
  26. Full Time Finance


So there you have it, a financial plan on a page. How does your approach compare to those listed above?

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  1. Hey Slow Dad - nice map! I used a funnel for mine too ... Gotta love taxes - the burning cash is a perfect depiction.

  2. Thanks Cuthbert.

    Certainly got to keep an eye on those taxes, for many of us they are our biggest expense, yet many people just blindly accept they can't manage or mitigate their impact on their financial wellbeing.