Multiple Income Streams: Five Easy Steps to Map Out Your Money Flow

charlie_imageMerry Christmas to all of our thrifty readers! The chill of winter is upon us, and it makes the motivation to go outside less than appealing! With that said, it has me thinking a lot about my passive income streams. Thinking about, if I'm concentrating on developing my passive income streams, then I'd like to have a visual of how my money is flowing. I'd like to see what accounts are connected to each other. What accounts are allowed to withdraw from what accounts. What accounts are income generating accounts and where my fixed expenses are being pulled from.

This visualization will help me long-term in knowing how flexible I am to move money from one account to another. In addition, I can automate some of my bills to be paid by my passive investments.

That is when I really start getting my money working for me and not me working for money! Here are a few steps to mapping out your own financial money flow.

  1. List out every single account – this includes bills, checking accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, loans, credit cards, and business accounts
  2. Log into each account – write down what external accounts have access to each account from this log in
  3. Rough draft your visual image of how your money is flowing – you could do this either on a napkin, piece of paper, or create a visio diagram. It doesn't matter. It's just the fact of starting some where. Below is a sketch of what I put together in my own finances in visio.

    [caption id="attachment_5898" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Draft Money Flow Draft Money Flow[/caption]

  4. Draw out your adjustments – once you've got it drawn out, then its time to make adjustments. If you are like me, then more than likely your money flow isn't “ideal”. You realize…”geez, there are some accounts that need to be linked to my investments or this existing system isn't conducive for having my money work for me.”
  5. Implement your adjustments – get off your keyster and get busy implementing your adjustments. No matter whether you are 25 or 65 years old! Now is the time to act! Your money isn't going to automatically start working for itself. You need to tell it where to go. You need to line up your side hustles to be feeder programs for your passive income investments that will feed your living expenses.
[caption id="attachment_5899" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Passive Income Passive Income[/caption]

In looking at my above rough draft money flow and my post adjustments, you can see how all my side hustles (egg sale, blog income, selling gold, etc) feed my investments that feed one of our family's primary expenses (private school).

So the big question to you is, “are not passive incomes like a pension in retirement?” What happens to people when they turn 65 and decide to put in their retirement notice? It's that individuals decision to say that he/she's investments are adequate enough to pay for all of my expenses for the next 30 years. Why do you want to wait until retirement? Why not start now!?!?!?!?! It can starts with as little as $25 (like I did in investing in peer-to-peer at The point is to start now in mapping out your money flow and get your money working for you now!

The New Year is fast approaching and what a better time to make a commitment to map out your money flow and start creating your multiple income streams.

I'd love to hear from some of our readers on what adjustments you are going to make to your money flow next year? How are you going to get your money working for you and not you working for money? For any retired readers (aka Aaron's mom) I'd like to hear your experiences on how your money flows in retirement. What advise do you have for our younger readers? What do advise younger kids to start doing with their money to be more prepared for retirement?

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  1. Very cool! I’m definitely going try this out! Thank you.

  2. I’ve never broken down my accounts like that, but it looks really helpful. Also, I think selling eggs is a really cool hustle, but something about “Egg Sales” just made me laugh so hard. PF hustlers are pretty creative folks.

    • A true thrifty guy is always trying to find a way to save a buck and make a buck! :)

  3. Gonna have to try this with the wifey at our next yearly finance meeting. Seems like a good idea, thanks.

    • No problem! Glad to help. Let us know how the talks go!

  4. My wife and I have an annual “summit meeting” on New Years. We do the sort of the tasks you’re describing here, see how we did vs. our budget for the prior year, outline big expenses planned the new year, and discuss changes in investment strategy. Lots of fun! Of course the wine helps…

    • Kurt – it is funny, because my wife and I just recently had our annual talk and discussed where our money was flowing. Something about the new year that stirs this desire of change! I’m sure the win will help improve communication! :)

  5. I like the idea of mapping out the money flow among all the different accounts. I just updated my org chart at work and use PowerPoint slides. I’m thinking of doing the same thing for my accounts now. Thanks for the idea.

    • Brian – glad I could be of some motivation. Let us know how it goes.

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