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A Quick Brilliant Saving Idea

I had lunch with a former co-worker, who always had interesting ideas that didn’t always pan out but always seemed very interesting to me. During lunch, I was reminded about an interesting case study/idea he had when we worked together (many years ago). I think it is yet another brilliant saving idea if you implement it correctly.

This gentleman was one of those folks who allowed his spouse to take care of the money and he simply tried to stay out of her way. Over the years, he wanted to have some money for his hobbies so he didn’t have to feel like he was begging his spouse for money if he wanted to go out.

With this as his problem, he devised an ingenious system using the tools he had available. The tools he used were:

  • The ability to split pay cheques to different bank accounts (our previous employer allowed us to do, up to 5 different bank accounts).
  • A good income, which at some time during the year, meant his EI and CPP payments would reach their maximum and not be collected on further pay cheques that year
  • The pay splitting system could use either a Percentage of pay to each account or a set amount.

I’m sure some of you have already read ahead and figured out what was done, but for those who want the full explanation, the method my former co-worker used to give himself a little mad money was brilliantly simple.

Each year, he saw how much his net income was per pay cheque (on his first full pay cheque of the year), let’s say it is $X.xx is this amount. With this information, he would fill in the forms to have $X.xx deposited into his wife’s account for every pay cheque (for the rest of the year). The form then had another line where you ticked off a box, to put the rest of the money into a separate account. This meant that his wife saw the exact same amount go into their bank account every pay cheque (we didn’t have to worry about Overtime since we were never paid it), and once the CPP and EI were paid off, any extra money would go into the Mad Money account.

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Is that not simply brilliant?

No, I am not espousing hiding money from your spouse (pardon the pun), but you can use this system to hide money from yourself!

Use this same method to put the same amount in your working account every pay cheque and the rest of the money can go into a rainy day account, and you can (and should) then forget about this transfer, and go about with your life (checking occasionally your Rainy Day account is growing).

Voila you are now saving money in spite of yourself.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Ottawa Insurance Broker

    Thank you for writing this article. It’s good to have people out there letting us know what’s going on. Sometimes you have to wade through the chatter to get to the good stuff. Great post, thanks again!

  2. Do you have a recommendation on how the husband and wife should setup their finances from the get go?

    How many bank accounts should be setup? A joint and then allocate a certain portion to 1 personal for the husband and then 1 personal for the wife so they both have their freedom to buy what they want.

    Disagreements about money are reasons that lead to long term arguments and then to divorce. If you could elaborate on any recommendations you have it would be appreciated.

  3. In Japan, it is the norm for the spouse to look after the money and pay the bills. If you watch Tokyo Sonata, a recently released movie with English subtitles about unemployment in Japan, you’ll notice early in the movie that the man gives all the money from his job to his wife.

    I know some people that have a hard time handling the money at home … I suggest them to treat it like a business and consider the bucket the company revenue and that each should get a pay from it. It would simply be pocket money and it’s fair.

  4. Was he actually hiding money from her? Or did he tell her up front that he wanted a little money of his own to spend freely?

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