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Circle of Financial Growth

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The following is a guest post from Evan, who writes at My Journey to Millions, a blog about personal finance, estate planning, taxes, his multiple streams of income and whatever else he feels like writing about that day.



I have been thinking about this post for a while but didn’t know where to take it until Crystal became my unlikely muse. In her post announcing the newest member of team Crystal-For-Hire she mentions,

So yes, all of our eggs are in one very new basket, but we wove that basket well. I have created a growing business that I love and that hopefully shows. My husband is fantastically detail-oriented and very intelligent, so with his help, this business will continue to grow, be able to expand even more, and we have always been able to handle more together anyway.

Between reading that post and knowing about her mortgage destruction plan something started to click for me and it was the Circle of Financial Growth.

What is the Circle of Financial Growth?

Often those not obsessed with personal finance will take one step forward and one step back. This means that they will “insert money saving technique here” but never actually capture the gain. We all have that friend who will be pumped up about savings $50 on his cable bill monthly, only to increase his monthly trips to the bar completely negating the gain. Interestingly, people tend to do this with weight loss as well. I have a friend now who has given up all alcohol until June but continues to eat loafs of bread when he goes out to dinner. Notwithstanding my portly friend, the idea is to capture your “money-win.”


For Example, this past year I destroyed my last non-mortgage/student loan debt. Instead of just letting that $300 accumulate in my checking account (which is a financial disaster for me since I have to keep myself cash poor) I set up an automatic ING deposit in the same amount. Now my family’s cash flow never changed but I am saving more money. Crystal on the other hand is using her circle to pay off her mortgage early. What will that do by its very definition? Free up more cash flow. Which in then can be used to build yet another circle that will fund her next project.

Applying the Circle of Financial Growth to Multiple Streams of Income

I am obsessed with getting to a place in my life where I have multiple streams of income. The theory in it of itself, never less the actual accomplishment, provides me with a feeling financial freedom. Currently an abridged version of my secondary income looks something like this:



All most all of my blogging income is used to keep that machine running and some is used to build more circles.

What are some of your Circles of Financial Growth? Are they debt related only right now (Debt snowball)? Or are you trying to build multiple streams of income as well?

Crystal’s Comments:  Yep, saving money doesn’t mean anything until you figure out where to invest it, put it, or what to pay off with it.  As Evan already noticed, we are paying off our house with some extra income and building up our investment portfolio with some of it as well.

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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15 thoughts on “Circle of Financial Growth

  1. Sounds like a great concept for preventing lifestyle creep! Unfortunately, I think we tend to fall more in the one step forward one step back camp. We are being pretty aggressive in retirement savings but any further budgeting cutting or random income boosts (we don’t have multiple income streams) go to keeping our heads above water.

  2. Like you, I would like to build multiple income streams including blogging and dividends to supplement my full-time job.

    I am looking to buy a house sometime soon, so if I start to make some additional income on the side, I will use a part of it to pay down my mortgage faster.

  3. Being able to make extra principle payments on our mortgage and socking away money for retirement and investments is the motivation I need to work harder and develop these side muses. It’s celebrating the small achievements that keep me going!

  4. Totally agree. I have a “found money” and posted about having a “no” account where you deposit money that you have because you said … wait for it… “no” to buying something. It’s a great way to get (and stay) ahead.

  5. Agree wholeheartedly — I like your “circle” thought, and have used it (without really knowing) to redistribute my income to other bills, because like you, I need to keep myself cash poor.

  6. yes! You have to stick it somewhere for the savings to be worthwhile. I have a colleague who brags about saving money by finding great deals on things… only to use that as an excuse to buy even more stuff.

  7. I will definitely use this technique of setting up an ING account once I start to pay off my student loans. Because the loans will be taking up a lot of my monthly income, once I have paid them off that money going into a separate savings account will certainly help me build my savings without ever really noticing it. “Extra” cash tends to burn a hole in my pocket, so even though I consciously know its there, by not seeing it go directly into the account I use everyday, it will definitely help me to stay on track with not spending so much.

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