One of the money practices I have is to create “buffers” for various important savings categories.
You can use this simple spreadsheet to help you track your progress in filling these buffers. To access this tool, do this:
STEP 1: First log into your google drive account: http://drive.google.com
STEP 2: Come back here and click this link:
STEP 3: On that webpage, click “Use this template”
Computer / Tech / Appliances
3-Months Living Expenses (ideally 6-months)
For Retirement Account This Year
Any other savings category that is important to you or your family
Once you’ve got your own spreadsheet going, here is how to use the tool:
STEP 1: Determine which buffers matter to you. Delete the rest, so you aren’t distracted or overwhelmed. You can always add more buffers later, but don’t add too many. Just enough is good.
STEP 2: How much to save for each category? Put that number in the “Goal Amount” for each of the buffers.
STEP 3: Each month, first set aside some of your income into the Tax buffer … depending on your tax bracket. For example, 25% or 30% may be a safe number for US citizens, considering federal and state. I usually save more than I think I need, and always get a tax refund each year. Better to err on the safe side and avoid penalty fees.
STEP 4: And finally, save a little bit towards each buffer. What this means is that each month, you transfer whatever amount you can into your Savings. For that amount you transfer, divide it up into however many buffers you have and add those numbers to this spreadsheet. For example if you have 5 buffers (besides Taxes) and you transfer $500 (besides taxes) into your Savings, then add $100 to each of your 5 buffers on the spreadsheet.
I’m always open to your questions and comments. May this tool help you achieve financial freedom!
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