By working with the Flow app and budgeting with jars, you get more insight into your finances. You have an overview, a better idea of what you have to spend and you always have enough money to pay the bills. But what is the best way to start if you've just downloaded Flow?
There are five basic jars that are always good to have. With these five, you actually set the automatic foundation for your money plan. You can expand them over time with further triggers and flows that suit your situation, or just leave it as is if this works well for you.
Jar 1: Fixed expenses
Perhaps this is also the least fun jar, for the least fun expenses. But you can't get away from it, so it's best to set aside some money for it. By automatically transferring a portion of your income to an account for your fixed expenses, you can be sure that you always have enough to pay the rent or mortgage.
Of course, what you consider to fall under fixed expenses can vary from person to person. But think especially of your house, your insurance, your car and your subscriptions. Make an overview of these costs for yourself and determine what you will or should set aside each month. By making this overview you may also discover a few opportunities to save. A nice side benefit!
Jar 2: Groceries
Also something that everyone has to pay for: food and drinks. By automatically reserving a portion of your income for groceries, you can be sure you'll have enough money for them. This prevents you, for example, from buying new clothes and then running out of money for groceries at the end of the month.
Jar 3: Money for fun things
This item is easily forgotten, but it is very important. You don't want to spend all your money only on the standard things like mortgage, insurance and groceries. There should also be money for fun things: hobbies, sports, eating out or going to the movies. And for parties and birthdays, weekends away and shopping trips. Just what you like. A jar with money for fun things should definitely not be missing from your money plan.
Jar 4: Holidays
You probably recognize it: the whole year you look forward to your summer vacation, but you forget to save up for it. So just before the summer you suddenly have to take money out of your savings account to pay for your plane ticket, campsite or hotel. A shame! And easy to prevent, by saving for your summer vacation during the year. Therefore, this jar is not to be missed.
Jar 5: Savings buffer
Unforeseen costs. They are annoying, but important to take into account. And how unforeseen is unforeseen really? So it's smart to include a savings buffer in your automatic money plan. It's bound to happen that your washing machine breaks down, your electric bike stops working, your TV won't turn on anymore or your dishwasher leaks. It's nice to then have some money on hand so you don't run into problems.
If you take these five jars as the basis for your finances and divide your income between them, you have a safe money plan. This way you ensure that you have enough money for everything you need. If you have this basis right, after a while you can expand with more specific pots, new flows or other triggers. For example, you can start investing, automatically donate money to your favorite charity or save extra for retirement. In our guide you will find all the possibilities!