I’ve always been interested in money. It’s been a tool that’s created the opportunity to study with outstanding people throughout the world in the areas of investing, personal growth, peak performance, and movement. It’s also provided many lessons to me in the game of life.

Back in the late 90’s, my mother went to Harv Ekar’s Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar and brought home a CD set that was a live recording of the weekend. I told her I’d listen to it, so I did.

The entire program was based on our relationship with money and how our psychology (our inner world) impacted our reality (our outer world). Although I didn’t understand a lot of this at the time, I began implementing one of Harv’s strategies to create wealth immediately. This strategy was the Money Jar system.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Because so many Pilates instructors are fantastic at teaching Pilates and helping people. And so many struggle with money and are dead broke. This isn’t right and I want to help make a shift in this thinking… and reality.

When you have information about how the body works, you can pay better attention, you can ask better questions and make better decisions. Same goes with money. When you learn how money works, you can begin to do things that will increase your chances of financial success. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money to make money, but it does take a bit of strategy, foresight and consistent effort.

What are Money Jars and how do they work? 

Money Jars are a super easy savings tool that not only helps put money in your bank account, but also moves you forward energetically. Anyone can and should do this, kids, adults and even Pilates instructors/movement educators. Yes, that’s you.

Here’s the concept. You get 6 jars and label them as follows: financial freedom account (FFA), long term savings for spending (LTSS), education, fun, charity/giving, living.

The idea is that each month you take a set amount of money and put it in the jars. There are recommended percentages to put in each jar, but you can tweak them as you need.

When I started, I had very little income, so I modified the program. I committed to saving a smaller percentage to each jar each jar every time I earned money because it was what I could afford at the time. The important thing was that I got started, momentum built and with time I was able to increase the amount to each jar.

Online options

Although this is a Money Jar system, you don’t need to use an actual jar. These days online banking seems to be a more accessible. You can even pre-schedule automatic withdrawals to each account. This will automate your program so you don’t forget.

My accounts are set up at Tangerine (formerly ING Direct), because they’ve got a high-ish interest savings account. More importantly, you can label your accounts and set up savings goals. This really excites and gets me going!

Here are the basics of how each of the Money Jars works.

  1. Financial freedom account (10%)

This is like your retirement account that should be put into a long-term investment like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate or something comparable. There are great Canadian tax savings vehicles like TSFA’s and RRSP’s which some of the above investments can be held in. If you’re from outside of Canada, you may have other options available to you.

Wherever you decide to hold your money, it’s important that you keep reinvesting the growth of your money. Meaning, if you earn 5%, you put that 5% back into your account and don’t spend it on a new pair of yoga pants. That way, you can grow this account faster and when you finally grow it to a huge amount, you’ll have enough interest to live off of.

  1. Long term savings for spending (10%)

Back in the day, it seemed like people used to save a lot more for big purchases. Today, it’s easy to put things on a VISA then spend the next 10 years paying it off.

With the long term savings for spending account, you can save for a car, down payment on a house, purse, vacation, Pilates equipment to add to your home studio… any large purchase. The great thing is that when you make the purchase you’ll be able to make it with money you have and not need to go into debt to get it. You can also psych yourself up for your purchase. It’s a great feeling!

  1. Education (10%)

This is my favorite account and I always seem to add a bit (or a lot) extra here. Money in this account will pay for books, conference calls, courses, Pilates and movement trainings and any other educational opportunities you are interested in. It’s important we challenge our minds and keep learning and growing.

If you have a student loan, your payments towards it could also come out of this account.

  1. Fun (10%)

This account must be spent on yourself every month. You can let your imagination take over here. Go out on a special date, to a movie, to a concert, treat yourself to a day at the spa or a ski day with friends.

The most important thing is that you reward yourself and enjoy the process.

  1. Charity/Giving (10%)

Giving back is a just a good thing to do. Not only does it help others, but makes you feel good as well. It’s recommended to give 10%. You can also give time instead of or in addition to money. There are so many causes out there waiting for your help.

  1. Living (50%)

This includes your daily living expenses like food, housing, essential clothing, transportation, etc.

It might seem a bit extreme to live on only 50% of your income, so if it’s not realistic right off the bat, you can gradually build up to it. The point is choose what percent of your money you will allocate to which jar/account and commit to saving at regular interval periods. This may seem silly and slow at first, but sooner than later your money will begin to grow and you’ll have many options available to you. You’ll find that the more you save, the more fun saving becomes and you’ll want to do more.

For the self employed

One final note, if you are self employed, make sure to create a separate account and set money aside for taxes before you allocate theses percentages. 30% is a good starting point, but you’ll need to check your tax bracket and figure out how much tax you’ll owe at the end of the year so you’re not stuck scrambling when tax time comes.

Commit to yourself!

You deserve to commit to yourself, your abundance and your future. I encourage you to start the Money Jars and give yourself the gift of financial empowerment. Go ahead and set up your jars and start saving. If you’re curious to learn more about the money jars system, check out Harv Ekar’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind or one of the Millionaire Mind Intensive seminars.