Finally an unrelated topic… Aren’t your eyes glad that can rest off Blender-related stuff for once?
I watched a Mexican businessman and coach called Dr. Edmundo Velasco give a talk about NLP and money management techniques, and I had to put his words in practice because they make total sense. The video is in Spanish, so if you feel like trying your way with the language or you can understand it, watch it. Highly recommended.
For the rest of you, I’ll try to put it as simple as I can.
Open 7 bank accounts. Do it now.
Why is that? Well, because your brain will thank you. When we have all our money stored in a single place, for some reason we find incredibly competent ways to make it disappear down the drain. Pay day arrives, you cheer like Homer Simpson, and three days in, you’ve managed to turn the road to the next check a very, very difficult one. By the time the next income arrives, you are like a dry flower trying not to burst in flames under the inclement summer sun. Money is like water: It makes us flow. Without money, things don’t flow well. Also, if you are one of those credit card enthusiasts, the next pay check arrives and vanishes faster than you can say “But I was gonna use that!”
So first things first, you have to be very objective about your finances. If you are spending more than what you are earning, you have to stop that. Stop the bleeding. Cut the expenses, get rid of your Netflix or even cancel Christmas. Do whatever it takes to stop being in red numbers after each month.
Afterwards, get rid of your credit cards. Don’t use them anymore. You can be free without credit. You can thrive and be a rich, successful person without a single credit card on your name. Pay them all, become debt-free. Then get rid of them.
Now, once these two basic things are sorted out, open 7 bank accounts.
One of them will need to give you interests. Most bank accounts only store the money for you in pretty much the same fashion as putting them under the mattress. But the ones that give you interest rates (albeit very very small ones) at least do something. So you’ll need 7 bank accounts: One where you receive your pay, with what you pay for things, and 6 more. One of them, the most important one, needs to give you interests.
This is how I named them. That might give you an idea of their purpose:
- Big expenses
Everyday is the original account you started with. This is your main account, the one you use, the one your debit card is on, and the one you will be managing most of the times. The money you receive will be stored here first before going to the rest of the accounts. So as long as you don’t spend more than what you put in this account, you should be fine. When this is not happening, you need to make changes to your life. Sell things you’re not using anymore, cut the unnecessary expenses or eating out, look for a new job or a second job, etc.
What’s very interesting is that people have financial problems even when their expenses are not bigger than their income. And this is because they see extra money in their account and their brains just can’t help themselves. They have to find a way to spend it. A concert, a fancy restaurant, a plasma TV, Christmas gifts, so on. Once that money is reduced to a miserable quantity, their brain stops trying to spend and starts worrying. You know the feeling: You see your balance and cold sweat starts running down your forehead. Well, this can change. All you need is to move that extra money to do something productive.
So you’ll need to monitor your expenses. Find a way to live, pay rent, food and all the facts of life, but try that you only need 90% of your income for that. Do your best, cut down the unnecessary expenses and reduce that number to a 90. If you can save 10% of what you earn every month, you’re on your way to real freedom and the end of your financial nightmares.
10% is all you need. Of course, if you can live with less, why not? How about 20? Could you imagine being able to pay your taxes, rent, transportation, food and even entertainment with only 80% of what you earn? That means you have 20% of positive savings per month. That is huge in an economy like we see around us. I believe this is worth the try.
But let’s stay with 10% for the sake of argument. Do everything else you need to live with the 90% of what you earn. That is enough to see how this works.
So out of the 10% you’re saving, this is the plan: That 10% is going to be split into 6 different amounts. Let’s say that you earn $1000 per month. So your 10% is $100, and the way you need to split this up would be something like this:
- Everyday – 90% of your income, gets used for all expenses. 10% is stored in accounts 2 to 7 ($900)
- Freedom 40% ($40) – THIS ONE NEEDS TO GENERATE INTERESTS
- Businesses 30% ($30)
- Big expenses 20% ($20) – THIS ONE CAN GENERATE INTERESTS
- Sabbatical 10% ($10) – THIS ONE CAN GENERATE INTERESTS
- Generosity 5% ($5)
- Unexpected 5% ($5)
Of course, you have the last word in the percentages you want to put for each account. Just make sure the biggest contributions go to the Freedom account, followed by the Businesses account. But feel free to change percentages around as you see fit.
The Freedom account is the most important one. It can become even more important than your Everyday one. This is the account that does the magic on your brain. There are two rules for the 40% you will store here. Number one: you can’t take money out of this account. Whatever it takes, don’t extract it. And number two: whatever interest it gives you, be it 30 cents or 1 dollar or 10 dollars, you have to spend it.
This might be tricky with an account like this because they normally don’t let you take out small quantities. So if you have to, take out a bigger amount and deposit it back minus that dollar or 1.20 or whatever interest it gives you. Sometimes online accounts allow you to receive the interest earnings in your everyday account. So with that money you might barely buy a small candy, or a bubble gum. But you have to spend it. Sit down in a park, enjoy the sun on top of your head and eat your candy. Do this while thinking that, from now on and for the rest of your life, whatever happens, every month you will receive a free candy.
Then you do the same thing next month. Take out those $100 from your income, and 40 dollars go straight into the Freedom account. Then, once the interest earnings arrive, eventually, maybe in a few months, you’ll be able to get a sandwich. So do the same thing. Buy yourself that sandwich with that money you didn’t work for, and enjoy it like it’s the most delicious thing on the planet. Then say this to yourself: “From this moment, until the end of my life, I’ll have a free sandwich per month. I am one free sandwich rich.” You might think this is ludicrous. But you cannot become rich this way. That’s not the point of the Freedom account. It’s purpose is to allow you to enjoy true financial freedom. And as time passes, your brain will start finding ways for money to flow in and transform that sandwich into something bigger. For starters, that sandwich will be there for you once a month even if you are jobless. If you fall sick or are asleep or are on holidays, that sandwich is a guarantee. That is the true meaning of being rich.
The 30 dollars you will put here per month are hard work. This is how you’ll manage it:
Every month, you will take out almost all the money you have there. If you have only $30, you can leave 2 behind and take 28. It’s not important how much you take out, the plan is that during that month, you will find a way to put back those $30 back into that account. So those 28 dollars have to become 30. Somehow, some way.
This is the resource for your brain to start thinking differently. At the beginning you might find a friend that is willing to buy a beautiful fountain pen you got online for 28 dollars in 30 dollars. You can even push him into buying it from you for 30 dollars because you tell him you’re doing this exercise for your brain and to find financial freedom, and it only needs 2 dollars from him to help you out achieving that. Plus, it’s a beautiful fountain pen! He’s gonna enjoy having it!
This will become more difficult. As time passes by, you’ll find yourself in deep trouble. Selling a 30 dollar pen is one thing; but what about something that is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars? This will be a full gym for your brain. You will have to find some way to increase that money every month. Even if you can only get 1 cent of positive earning, that’s enough. Do whatever it takes to increase that account. Maybe you’ll find you need to save 2 months to be able to do the next business, so do that. But make sure you return more than what you took out. And don’t leave that account blank.
This account is therapy. 20 dollars will go in every month to eventually get you that big flat plasma TV screen. Or they might become an important buy in the future, 2 years from now. But the reason it’s therapy is because you will have plenty of time to think “do I really really really need to buy this?” By the time the money increases, you might have changed your mind and find that you’ve been pretty happy without the giant plasma TV. You’ve actually become good friends with that fellow from work that invites you over to watch the Superbowl on his screen.
Try not to blank this account either. It’s a lot better for the therapy if there’s always some money left in there.
This account will probably be better off if it gains interest rates. The purpose of the Sabbatical account is to reward yourself in a distant future. It’s not meant to be emptied soon, so just watch it grow and start thinking about that trip you want to take. It’s your long term savings keeping your brain in a state of growth. Again, this is not meant to make you rich, but to teach your brain how to plan ahead and look forward to good things.
Rich people who are truly rich give some of their wealth all the time. They fund and support organisations, donate and help out people in need. What they have discovered is the effect of giving money to someone else in your brain: Your brain becomes convinced that you are rich. If you were not rich, then how come you’re giving away money? You will start thinking you have so much money that you can give some away with no problems. Make sure you give away money from this account every month, to whoever you want. But make sure it’s money. Don’t buy something and give that as a present. It has to be the actual cash because that’s how your brain becomes convinced you are so wealthy your cash just overflows and reaches someone else. I know this might sound very selfish, you are only giving money to feel rich, right? Well, that’s exactly the reason the rich and powerful give. They feel elated and important, they feel they matter. They are giving something to the world and leaving a fingerprint that will remain longer than their physical lives. We all crave to leave a mark. It’s our Maslow’s pyramid of needs. So give away whatever percentage you’ve destined for this account.
This is, to me, one of the greatest lessons you can learn by having 7 bank accounts: The reason we have a savings account and put money in it is usually the wrong reason. We think we’re supposed to save money “in case of emergency.”
The problem is that it gives your brain the message that you are expecting an emergency. And somehow, your mind finds it and suddenly you have to empty your wallet and savings account because the emergency is here. You are calling for a disaster if you are planning for that disaster. It’s a matter of linguistics.
The Unexpected doesn’t have the same ring. Something unexpected can be a good thing. So to plan and save money for any unexpected scenario is a good thing without the negative connotation that “emergencies” have. This account should be small because you will not need a big unexpected event to use it. Just put some money in it and don’t worry if you don’t have to use it at all. It’s meant to give your mind some peace. Those 10 or 20 dollars will feel like you have everything under control. But do not name it “in case of emergencies”. Take out the negative feel to it.
So now what?
Ok, things can make a sharp turn for you later on, and you might need to change your account distributions, or you might find yourself in an “unexpected” position; so if anything happens and you have to get rid of the accounts or empty them or whatever, no biggie. Just pay off your debts, learn from your mistakes, and then once your income is bigger than your expenses by 10% or more, open up your 7 accounts again. Teach your brain that this is worth trying. This is not a resource to magically become rich, but a teaching scenario to learn how to think different. Also, it can take you out of whatever financial hole you were leading to if you hadn’t started this distribution system.
On the other side, you might be on to something big for your life. And with a free monthly sandwich of sweet, sweet freedom.