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My Money Map

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I finally got to mapping my cashflow this weekend! My money map and cash flow is pretty simple and straight forward since I don’t have any combined finances at the moment. This money map IS a great way for people to see all the random accounts I’ve opened in the name of my side hustle…collecting checking/savings account and credit card bonuses!

I’ve been sneakily reading other personal finance blogger’s money maps because I love seeing how everyone organizes their money. The personal finance blogosphere is a perfect place to see just how different everyone’s money management is (and also how differently they think about their money systems). It’s more proof that there are so many ways to make it to a goal like financial independence!

I have a lot of next steps to level up my financial plan, but so far I’ve got all the basics covered:

Millennial Money Diaries Money Map

I currently only have rent mapped out here since it’s such a large expense, but I would say 80% of my spending occurs on credit cards and then 20% occurs from checking and is usually me paying back friends via Venmo.

Retirement Account

Aside from taxes, I have a pre-tax contribution maxing out my employer sponsored 401k. Sadly there’s no match from my employer, but I’m happy to get some tax sheltering. The percent I contribute pre-tax is about 14%.

I don’t have an IRA yet, and I’m still debating whether I should open one mostly because I think my 401k alone will be in good shape by the time I can actually withdraw from it.

I haven’t really considered 2 factors:

  1. Withdrawing early from any retirement vehicles if I retire before 59.5
  2. Possibly working for a company in the future that doesn’t offer a 401k, in which case I’d be significantly capped on any tax sheltered investments

The more I think about it, the more I think it’s probably a good idea to open one…

Savings Accounts

I have 2 savings accounts:

  1. Barclays High Interest Savings Account – 1.2% APY
  2. CIT Bank High Interest Savings Account – 1.35% APY

Barclays was my first savings account and so it still gets my direct deposit from my post-tax paycheck. I automatically transfer 35% of my paycheck into savings every month.

My CIT Bank account was opened a couple months ago to take advantage of the free $100 they were offering as well as bumping up my savings interest rate.

I generally keep emergency savings in these accounts as well as short term savings goals, e.g. the money I want to pay my parent’s back for Hack Reactor in December.

I haven’t moved my direct deposit over because frankly, CIT Bank’s user experience is a little lacking. I don’t mind if I’m just letting money sit in the account to accrue free money, but I do move my money around a bit so I’d prefer for Barclay’s to be the account that’s issuing the transactions (plus it’s already tied to all my accounts: direct deposit, checking, brokerage).

Investment Accounts

Outside of retirement, I have a couple investment accounts:

  1. Schwab Brokerage for standard ETFs + Index Funds
  2. Robinhood for one off stock buys – I don’t mind the mobile only interface since I don’t really buy many stocks, I’m in it for the waived fees!

I generally transfer 50% of what goes into my Barclay’s savings account into my brokerage to continue regular investing. I consider the money in this brokerage long term investments for withdrawal before I can withdraw from my 401k.

I rarely ever buy stocks, I think the last time I did was in April. I may be losing out on the benefits of dollar cost averaging here, but stocks are really just for fun/what if in my book. If I have more money to play with one day, I may switch over to Schwab.

Checking Accounts

I have 3 checking accounts, but only one is really “active”:

  1. Chase Total Checking – where 65% of my paycheck ends up, I opened it long ago for a $200 bonus
  2. Discover Cashback Checking – I only opened this account to get $50 for free since there were no fees! Deal’s dead, but they are running a $150 and $200 Savings Account promo!
  3. Capital One 360 Checking – I only opened this account to get $200 for free, also fee free! Deal’s dead, but this is actually a great account since interest is paid on the checking balance, but it just doesn’t fit with my current system (all my active credit cards are on Chase…)

Generally at the end of the month if I don’t max out my budget, I’ll transfer money out of Chase Checking to Barclays to give my Savings a boost. It ends up coming out to about 5-10% extra on top of the automatic 35% direct deposit. I also use my Chase Checking account to pay off my credit cards as well as funnel other accounts like Venmo (not included in the money map).

Credit Cards

I only actually use 2 credit cards out of the ones I have. I’ve closed a few credit cards now, but these are the ones I still have:

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve – Got in on the 100k point bonus last November, meaning I was able to get the $300 account credit in 2016 and 2017! I’ll probably cancel or downgrade this card to a Freedom Unlimited depending on whether I get approved for the 2 Southwest cards I just applied for. I still need to finish my global entry application in the meantime.
  2. Chase Freedom – Hello, old friend. My first credit card! My college boyfriend convinced me to get this one to get a $250 cash back deal. The rotating categories has served me well and I’ve transferred many points from this card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred.
  3. Chase Sapphire – Regular Chase Sapphire that I downgraded after it was time to renew my Chase Sapphire Preferred
  4. Capital One Venture – I opened this one literally 2 months before the Reserve came out. I ended up using the bonus from this one to pay for my Thailand trip back in March. I still have it open now since they waived the fee for another year, and I haven’t done any research on whether I can get the bonus again anyway.
  5. Amex Blue Cash – I got this during my unemployed period when I first moved to New York so I could get something like $100 or $150 for free. I was probably spending $400 a month back then, so it was sort of a big deal.
  6. Gap – Randomly got sucked into getting this card because there was a pair of jeans I really wanted to buy but didn’t want to pay $50 for. Stores usually have a store card and a store credit card, but if you’re credit is great, it’ll auto approve you for the store credit card even if you just wanted the store card. I learned this the hard way…

Accounts Summary

3 Checking Accounts
2 Savings Accounts
3 Investment Accounts
6 Credit Cards

Post-Tax Paycheck Spending Breakdown

Needs: 22%
Saving: 35 – 45%
Wants: 33 – 43%

Join The Chain

This is the master list compiled by Budget On A Stick and Apathy Ends, who started this wonderful exercise! Also special shoutout to The Luxe Strategist because her money map was the first I’d seen!

Anchors: Apathy EndsBudget on a Stick
#1: The Luxe Strategist
#2: Adventure Rich
#3: Minafi
#4: Othalafehu
#5: The Frugal Gene
#6: Working Optional
#7: Our Financial Path
#8: Atypical Life
#9: Eccentric Rich Uncle
#10: Cantankerous Life
#11: The Retirement Manifesto
#12: Debts to Riches
#13: Need2Save
#14: Money Metagame
#15: CYinnovations
#16: I Dream of FIRE
#17: Stupid Debt
#18: Spills Spot
#19: Making Your Money Matter
#20: Life Zemplified
#21: Trail to FI
#22: The Lady in the Black
#23: Smile & Conquer
#24: Her Money Moves
#25: Full Time Finance
#26: Abandoned Cubicle
#27: Freedom is Groovy
#28: Millennial Money Diaries
#29: A Journey To Fi
#30: All About Balance


Jing is currently a software engineer based in Oakland, CA. She left her job in New York, moved to San Francisco unemployed, and more than doubled her salary in 4 months.

8 thoughts on “My Money Map

    1. I know right?! That week everyone was posting there’s I was like…I gotta make mine! But it looked so ugly I just abandoned it. I was reinspired this weekend!

      They seriously get you because they always ask at the counter. I always start considering it when I’m buying a lot and I’m like “This discount is gonna mean so much!!” So not worth a hard credit pulll…

  1. Your money map looks like a cool Sephora graphic–nice!

    I only opened an IRA because I needed to roll over my 401k somewhere. I had lower salaries so for me a Roth made sense at the time. An IRA could be good to defer your taxes, though.

    I also love that your needs are so low. I feel like when people try to rejigger their budget, they only look at ‘wants’ and ‘savings’. And it’s like, dude, what about reducing your needs? It gets overlooked.

    1. Yay thank you! I got so inspired while spending Saturday looking at infographics!

      Yeah I haven’t investigated a Roth yet because my salary is a little over the contribution limit and I think I’d have to go the backdoor Roth route, which I haven’t wanted to spend time investigating! I may try a conversion in the future if I leave my current company.

      I have plenty of wants, but definitely few needs, though the only thing in the calc for needs is rent. I know I can get groceries down to $100-$200 as I have in the past. And beyond that…well you don’t need much more than food and shelter! Definitely have survived unemployment enough times to really know what the “needs” are.

    1. Thank you! I don’t think it matters too much if it’s simple or not, it’s a helpful exercise even for yourself! I feel like my map is overcomplicated because I have so many accounts that I don’t even use 😛

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