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My Money Map: Simplicity and Automation

Recently I came across a post in a chain by other bloggers suggesting we create a money map as a chain of blog posts. I have written in the past before about simplifying accounts and automating money.  It occurred to me this idea might help to show how I have implemented these ideas throughout the years. So, without further ado, I present my money map.


My Money Map

My Money Map Expenses in Purple

The first thing you might notice are the purple boxes on the right. These represent our financial outflows. This literally equates to all our financial outflows, just 5 boxes.

You may be thinking churned rewards credit cards can be many accounts, and in some ways, you would be right. But typically, in any given month we only use 2 cards. One card is for reoccurring payments and one card is our latest travel churn. Once we hit bonus limits the second card changes, but we are only ever using two cards at once. Because of this super simple 5 expenditure setup it’s easily to track spending amounts. The only values that are variable are in the churned credit card box, so if they box increases significantly we know we have an issue.

My Inflows Need to be Adjusted

The second thing you may notice are the blue diamonds at the top. These represent our inflows. Currently all inflows go to one account. Given how quickly my wife’s self-employment gig started we have not yet gotten her business income to flow to her business account. At present, it all flows through the joint account. Generally, this is a bad move as it leads to poor tracking of business expenses/income for tax purposes. Thankfully the business has one customer and maybe 4 expenses so now the tax risks are minimal. We plan on resolving this next year.

Business Account and Emergency Fund, be sure to Cycle Funds

The bottom blue rounded corner rectangle represents one financial institution where we hold 2 accounts. These are Mrs. FTF’s business account, which will eventually take her business income and expenses directly. This also contains our emergency fund. We have not touched this money in about a year. Given escheatment laws it is time to rotate some money in and out of this account.

My Employer Investment Account

Finally, we have the accounts on the left. The top one represents all my investment accounts. Most of these are employer driven though I’ve chosen to co-locate my Roth with these accounts. This money is primarily sourced directly from our paychecks. I did not draw a line but typically my Roth is funded from RSU’s so there is minimal direct movement from the joint account to my brokerage accounts. We started ESPP this year and I have yet to determine my plans for this money.

Our Primary Investment Account

The bottom blue block represents a legacy taxable investment account my wife still holds, her Roth IRA, and her Solo 401K. This is our primary new money investment vehicle for money beyond automated employer savings.

My Wife’s Stranded Former Employer Account

The middle blue block on the left are my wife’s former employer driven accounts. Now, they are sitting to be left alone accruing return. I am contemplating moving the middle block of Mrs. FTF’s accounts into the bottom block. However, given her 401K has decent low-cost options and her pension has a decent return compared to the lump sum payment, I have yet to decide. In addition, if we chose to roll her 401K to a Solo 401K this could trigger additional tax reporting as Solo 401K are subject to additional report when they exceed $250K.

Join the Chain Gang

I hope you join us and create your own Money Map:

  1. Write a post in which you create your own map, be sure to talk about any financial insights it might provide.
  2. At the bottom of your post link back to those before you in The Chain
  3. When you socially share your post link back to those who came before you.

The Official Money Map Chain Gang:
Link 2: Minafi5
Link 3: OthalaFehu2
Link 4: The Frugal Gene8
Link 5: Our Financial Path
Link 7: Eccentric Rich Uncle5
Link 8:The Retirement Manifesto3
Link 9: I Dream of FIRE3
Link 10: Spills Spot3
Link 11: Life Zemplified2
Link 13: Smile & Conquer
Link 14: Her Money Moves


  1. Amy @ LifeZemplified
    Amy @ LifeZemplified September 13, 2017

    Love the simplicity FTF. I’d not heard about the Escheatment law before, interesting.

    Nice to see the chain growing so much, welcome!

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 14, 2017

      Thanks Amy. It’s definitely an interesting concept.

  2. SMM
    SMM September 14, 2017

    It’s simple for sure; thanks for sharing! Do you pay your home utilities via credit card (because I didn’t see that one in a purple box)? I don’t think my utility company allows me to otherwise I would.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 14, 2017

      Good question.
      Internet/Phone/Trash all pay on the reoccurring card automatically.
      Electric sometimes I pay on a card. Sometimes I pay direct. There is an extra charge so it depends on the cash back situation and the percentage of our bill representing the fixed fee.
      Water/Sewer- I live on a well with septic, so the costs are in my electric.

  3. Cubert
    Cubert September 15, 2017

    Love to see the churning credit cards in your map – I don’t call my cc’s out as such in my map, but rest assured that’s what I’m doing. I also appreciate that you have joint bank accounts – your sh*t is together!
    Nice work, FTF

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 17, 2017

      Thanks Cubert.

  4. Christine
    Christine September 15, 2017

    Good to keep the escheatment law info in mind. I have an account I barely use in the Seattle, I should check out the laws on escheatment in Washington! Great post!

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 17, 2017

      You definitely have to watch it. My state, Delaware, derives a large portion of their revenue from Escheatment laws.

  5. DC @ Young Adult Money
    DC @ Young Adult Money September 17, 2017

    I haven’t seen other bloggers do this, so really cool to see. I may have to create one myself!

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 18, 2017

      If you do send it our way, I look forward to reading it.

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