Why Make a Money Map?
Wouldn’t it be cool to “see” your personal finances visually?
Well, I certainly thought so and I set out to find a way to do this. Here’s what I came up with… a Money Map to give you the ultimate clarity into your personal finances.
A Money Map will give you a high level “30,000 ft” overview of your personal finances, but will also allow you to “focus” into the details for a specific area or account.
No more wondering what a personal balance sheet is, you can finally see its structure! (For those of you not familiar with the accounting term of “balance sheet“, click for a definition.)
(Try to double-click on these sub categories and it should expand or collapse the tree.)
After moving it around a bit, I think you’ll get the gist of what it is. Intuitive, right?
This is the actual Money Map I use personally, although I changed some of the labels to generic titles. This can easily be modified to add in your own personal accounts and details.
In the center, you’ll find “My Money Map” which designates you. Branching off from here, you’ll find the three main sub categories.
This is where you’ll add all of your bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, and miscellaneous personal property you own.
This is where you’ll add any loans (eg. student loans) or debts (eg. home mortgage).
You may find it a bit strange to find Insurance as one of the main sub categories, but I really felt it’s an important part of managing your overall finances. The older you get, the more risk averse you will typically become (consider when you get married or have a child, you’ll naturally start thinking about how to protect them in addition to yourself). This helps you to understand the different policies you may have such as life, health, and liability & casualty.
Okay, want your own Money Map?
This next section I’ll walk you through how to create your own Money Map.
After searching for a while, I came across a FREE mind mapping cloud software called MindMup. It’s a pretty cool cloud app that allows you to create mind maps of anything really. You can use it to document business processes, build your family genealogy, and much more!
So I decided that it would be the perfect tool to use to create my Money Map. This is what I came up with and you’re welcome to borrow, copy, and modify this to your heart’s content.
- Computer with Web Browser (Optimized for Chrome)
- Google User Acct w/ Google Drive
The Step-By-Step Setup Guide
Download MY MONEY MAP
First let’s start by downloading the MY_MONEY_MAP.mup file. This will be your template your can work from. (Or, you can start completely from scratch.)
MY_MONEY_MAP.mup <— Make sure you remember where you download this file to. Most browsers typically will save to your default “downloads” folder, or will ask you a location to save to.
Launch a New Browser Window
Open a new web browser window and enter this web address – https://drive.mindmup.com/ and press Enter.
On the main MindMup page, you’ll find a “Sign In” button on the bottom right of the screen.
Click it and it will prompt you for your Google Login credentials.
Create New Map
Once you’ve logged in, it will take you back to the main screen.
Now click on “Create New Map”. This will setup a generic mind map.
Import The Template File
Next click on the “File” menu and select “IMPORT”
This should open up your Google Drive and show you a list of files. Since we just downloaded the My_Money_Map.mup file, we’ll select the option for UPLOAD.
At this point you can “Select a file from your computer”, or simply drag the file if you’ve downloaded it to your desktop. (*This step will look a touch different for everyone depending on if you use a PC or a MAC, but it should be very similar nonetheless).
Select the file “MY_ MONEY_ MAP.mup” and begin your upload. When done uploading it should automatically begin converting the file to a MindMup 2.0 file.
When it asks if you want to keep the original or trash it, I’d just “trash it” since we don’t need it anymore.
That’s it! Your Money Map is ready to go and customize. Any changes you make are automatically saved to your Google Drive.
You can easily change the name of your Money Map by clicking the file name in the top left of the window.
Also, notice the tool bar up top. These are some basic tools you can use to customize your map. Each point is referred to as a “node”. You can change colors, add pictures, or drag things around. Just start playing with it and you’ll see just how intuitive it is.
If you’d like some further detail on how to use it, checkout this video.
More Possibilities for a Money Map
As you can see, a personalized Money Map can be very powerful for organizing your personal finances, and of course getting clarity and insight.
But, don’t let that initial application limit your imagination. There are countless other ways this can benefit you.
Consider how incredibly helpful it would be if you’re managing the finances for your family. What happens if something were to happen to you? Would your spouse or children be able to figure out where all of your assets are? (I’ve gone so far as to print a PDF of my own money map for my family with instructions should anything happen to me.)
Or, you could even create a branch to inventory your household items for insurance purposes. Again the possibilities are endless.
Readers, let me know if you have any questions. Has creating your own Money Map given you new insights? What other ways could you use it to simplify your personal finances?