Hi, I am Erik Wolfers. I’m the Managing Member of First Main Financial. We’ve been helping our clients live healthy financial lives since 2001. Today I want to talk a little bit about a term I coined for one of my clients—that I’ve since use more with other clients called, “the system.” This is related to budgeting, but it’s just a simple financial planning concept.
If you set up your financial life so that you’re saving enough money (and that might be just a retirement savings, or depending on your goals and circumstances, you may want to save additionally into taxable Investments) according to the calculations for your circumstances, the concept is then: extracting enough money from the system to meet your future needs.
Once you remove the money from your system you can spend the rest of your money and then not worry so much about it, not worried about your budget necessarily.
I’ve talked a little bit in the past about the concept of using a credit card or even two credit cards and splitting your billing cycle to be paying your credit cards twice a month to even your cash flow. However, if you put a lot of stuff on your credit card, whether it’s bills or just regular spending like groceries or eating out, whatever it is you spend money on—if you spend too much on your credit card one month, hopefully you have a source, like equity in your house or a cash reserve to pay it down.
This can be feedback that, “boy last month was too big” and then next month or the following month needs to be a lot smaller, and that way you kind of narrowed down your budgeting or you’re spending to just one thing—your credit card.
Of course, you don’t want to carry a balance on your credit card, so if you don’t have cash reserves or equity in your house to pay down over-spending on a credit card, then you need to modify your spending and monitor it. It takes a little practice and it takes some monitoring, but with this system approach, where you extract enough for future needs, whether it’s college or retirement or some other kind of a goal, then you can make things relatively simple.
We’re happy to have conversations with prospective client or existing client about creating a system for themselves that makes sense and that they’re comfortable with.
One another type of system that we do for clients when they’re in retirement is to manage their money and get money to them on a monthly basis so they have a paycheck. They just get paid monthly just like they did when they worked. Where the money comes from inside of their portfolio, they leave that up to us. If they need one-time spending bumps, that can be worked in as well. It’s simply another kind of a system for once you’ve retired, so that you can just enjoy your life and spend all the money that comes to you—or all the money that’s available once all the math and the other details have been worked out.
If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.