“Found Money” and the golden ratio

For the longest time, whenever we “found” money, we’d follow a simple ration: half to debt, a quarter to savings, and a quarter to spending. (What’s found money? Money you weren’t expecting to have – a gift, overtime, side hustle, reduced spending, etc.) This is how we paid off our six figure debt and bought a house (at the same time). 

For years, that ratio was simple and straightforward and applied to any sum – whether $10,000 or $100 (or sometimes even less). 

But now that we’re debt-free (except for our mortgage), it’s time to re-evaluate that ratio.

Part of the reason behind this blog is to explore what it means to become (and be) an ethical millionaire. For me, a big part of that involves giving back wherever I can. I don’t want to wait until I’ve achieved some nebulous goal, partly for the same reason that I don’t want to wait to travel. You never know what’s going to happen, and as far as we know, you only live once.

So that ratio needs a re-vamp, and I think it looks something like this: 

Found money = 25% (spending) + 25% (mortgage) + 25% (savings) + 25% (charity) 

That’s not quite right. I don’t think we need to increase our spending. We have everything we need (and way more, frankly. Privilege check!) 

Probably something more like: 

Found money =  50% (mortgage) + 25% (savings) + 25% (charity)

That’s better. Now I just need to “find” some more money, and figure out what charities I want to support! 


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