Tag Archives: financial samurai

Samurai Reserves: Money Moves

 

Building your financial reserves is also about cultivating your samurai mind.

Building your financial reserves is also about cultivating your samurai mind.

If you’ve been following my blog recently, you know that I am taking a course called Build Your Personal Foundation through CoachU.   I am currently on a unit about building your “reserves.”   According to the guide book “the more our needs are handled the more we can stretch and grow.”   The course emphasizes building reserves in 10 areas including:  time, space, money, energy, love, information, wisdom, self, and integrity.

Just beginning to read this chapter made me turn to my internet banking account.   It’s been about ten years that I learned from Phil Laut that it is really important to have multiple savings accounts.   I use different savings accounts not only to keep my financial resources focused, but more importantly as a way to train my brain to think about myself and my potential.

The Building Your Personal Foundation course explains, “part of you is so focused on survival that there isn’t time to stretch and move and say no.”  Creating savings accounts in different areas, even if you only add small amounts, is a way to send your brain a message that you are creating room in these areas.  Having an internet account like the one I have at capitalone360.com (no plug intended – do your research) allows me to create accounts and nickname them for different purposes.  I have many accounts including:  cash flow, business development, clothing, apartment, classes, financial independence, freedom days, large purchase, and impulse.

I’ve explained the purpose of multiple savings accounts elsewhere.   Each account serves a different purpose and not only let’s me save money, but it also helps me energize different areas and projects in my life.   However, I have automated most of these savings so they happen on a regular basis without me expending my time and effort.  However, reading the article on reserves made me realize that I should also openly think about where I am putting my resources instead of going on auto-pilot.

So the other I put $20 in four accounts–not only to save money but also to put a mental bookmark on projects and processes that I want to make happen.  “Business Development” is to invest in making a better blog or increasing my skill set.   “New Apartment” is for our future three bedroom or townhouse.   “Financial Independence”  is an account that Phil Laut recommended for training yourself to live off investment interest.   Last month I made a whopping $.15 in this account, but I think the big pay off is that it opens you up to the possibility of becoming someone who can live off of investment income.

The last account I invested in was the “Freedom Days” account.  This is an account that I can use for thinking about creating days, months, or years where I won’t have to work.  Part of the energy behind this account is fighting the “part of you [that] is so focused on survival that there isn’t time to stretch and move and say no.”   By saying no you can say yes to bigger things to life.

I think I will be moving my money a little bit more consciously in the future.   Even if I only have a dollar to spare, doling it out in actual accounts seems like a powerful way to think to think about and energize projects and priorities.

Build your reserves.  Stretch and grow.  Act small.  Think big.

Other articles about keeping money in balance:

 

Money Buckets Samurai

Energy flows.  Life flows.  Money flows.  In the end everything goes back to the source. In the meantime, flourish from the flow with the bucket strategy.

Energy flows. Life flows. Money flows. In the end everything goes back to the source. In the meantime, flourish from the flow with the bucket strategy.

One of the best things that I’ve done to impact my creativity and productivity is to get my financial life straight.    I’m not independently wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but soon I will be down to no debt and am accumulating a modest amount in a retirement savings account.  I am a money buckets samurai.  I have multiple savings accounts for different purposes.  Having that system, catching that flow,   has helped me get clearer and more creative in other areas of my life.

There is the retirement bucket.  Steve Chandler in his book 100 Ways to Create Wealth suggests having a boring, automatic saving system along side to your more ambitious service and wealth producing ideas.  Though I never want to depend on money for my sense of security, there are times when I look at that slowly growing sum and think, “if something happens I could survive for a few years on that if something happens.”  Obviously, this is fear-based thinking and it is not advisable to touch your retirement account, but when my mind goes on fear, this account is one strategy to deal with it.

Phil Laut, author of Money is My Friend, introduced me to the concept of multiple savings accounts.  He explained that one of the reasons that it can be hard to save money is because people keep it all in one savings account.  For many people it can become a mental juggling act to remember the purpose for that money.   What I found revolutionary about Laut’s ideas about is that by having different accounts, you are also training your mind how to think about money.   Money buckets for the samurai mind.   Here is what Phil suggested:

You don't need to wait until you are financially solvent to sustain life around you. (In fact you might become more financially balanced if you focus on contribution and connection.)  However, the point of mind, body, wallet is also to be a vessel that overflows.

When I began to get control of my finances I was inspired to lead “Mind Body Wallet” workshops not as a financial expert but more of like cheerleader to encourage people to create better “vessels” for their financial and creative energy. B-U-C-K-E-T!

  • Cash Flow Savings Account:  this is an account where all your earnings go and where you pay yourself out from.  Laut suggests keeping a months earnings in this account and “paying yourself” from this account.  “The practice of spending last month’s income this month removes you from hope about money.”
  • Large Purchases Savings Account:  this is an account where you have the freedom to withdraw from it to save for and buy whatever you want.
  • Financial Independence Account:  you deposit money here and only withdraw the interest.   You are training your brain to think in terms of financial independence.
  • Millionaire Savings Account:  here you are training your mind (and your finances) to be prepared for making investments.
  • Annual Income Savings Account:  in this account you save to take a year off of work, and to benefit from the creative energy that would bring to your life and work.  Laut suggests building up to take a day off, a week off, etc.  I haven’t tried this one but it sounds fun.
  • Generosity Savings Account:  this is an account where you practice giving it away.  Laut writes, “You will find that generosity will enable you to let go of your desire to control others and will increase your ability to express your love freely, instead of looking for something in return.”  I like the act of just giving back to a world that has already given me so much.  I love giving to public libraries.

Luckily, having multiple savings accounts is a lot easier than when I first started.   Capital One 360 (formerly IngDirect) makes it easy to create and nickname different accounts and make deposits through the internets.   Interest rates, of course, are way lower so you would have to investigate different kinds of financial buckets beyond savings accounts.  But the key thing here is training your little ole samurai mind to catch your flow, financially and creatively.  Bucket!

Samurai Money Journal: Seeing is Believing

I used to do a series of "Mind, Body, Wallet Workshops" to encourage people to think about money.  Sometimes money is a reflection of thought patterns that obscure reality.   Surfing is great but if your mind is ruled by these unobserved and uncontrolled waves it can lead to trouble. Keeping a money journal helps.(Drawings are by Ken Polotan)

I used to do a series of “Mind, Body, Wallet Workshops” to encourage people to think about money. Sometimes money is a reflection of thought patterns that obscure reality. Surfing is great but if your mind is ruled by these unobserved and uncontrolled waves it can lead to trouble. Keeping a money journal helps.(Drawings are by Ken Polotan)

I have to admit that I’m over my head.  As part of the All Japanese All the Time process, I am trying to listen to materials that I am interested in.  Books on tape aren’t as common as they are in the United States.  One title that interested me was いつのまにか「お金がたまる人」のさりげない習慣 .   My dose of soy sauce translation of this is:   “Before you know it, You’ve Saved a Lot of Money:  Casual Habits”  or “Casual Habits for Casually Amassing Money.”

I’m interested in the topic but I admit I don’t really understand the majority of the CD.  One of the first points that the author makes is that in order to save money you need to adjust your hobbies.  Most “sarariman” (Japanese businessmen) tend to go for gourmet food, cars, and golf.  However, these interests take a lot of money.  His top three suggestions for alternative hobbies?  Drum roll please: Continue reading

Do Money or Money Will Do You: Rich Samurai/Poor Samurai

Screen shot 2013-07-18 at 1.42.14 PMSorry about the Rich Dad/Poor Dad reference.  I just had to.  Truth is, I found that book in our book sharing shelf in the building and I haven’t gotten around to reading it.

Now, remember, I am just a motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river.  I am not a Rich Dad or a Poor Dad.   I am a dad.   However, I have stopped “being done by” money.

Take care of finances, so finances don’t take over your life

I made that decision in the middle of the wilderness in Western North Carolina.  I was at a base camp of the North Carolina Outward Bound School, where I went to learn how to be an outdoor educational instructor.   I woke up that morning to the hooting of barred owls outside of the rustic cabin I was staying in between wilderness trainings.   Someone came to my cabin and said,   “Juan, you have a phone call.”  I put on my fleece jacket and shuffled down the trail to the base camp office and picked up the phone.  It was a collection agency.  My credit card and college loans debt had caught up to me. Continue reading