Are you a good money juggler? The word money juggler comes to mind when I see a person who has a job, has consistent income, and has debts and some more debts. Yet the person is able to keep himself above-water, managing to juggle his money or finances to ensure everything run smoothly.

Example of a money juggler

For example, let’s say we take a person and named him Ed. He works with a computer shop doing marketing, sales and technical support. He is happy with his job. He rents an apartment and is still paying off the balance of his car loan.

The bulk of Ed’s money goes towards rent, car payment, car petrol, food, personal insurance, utilities, gym membership fees and entertainment. The highlight of his work week is the weekend which he likes to spend with his friends or girlfriend. The good thing about Ed is that he consistently saves 10 percent of his take-home pay. The rest of his income is all spent off.

When an emergency crops-up, like a visit to the dentist, he does not touch his savings nor does he cuts back on his 10 percent monthly savings rate. He has learned to juggle his money and instead cuts back on his weekend entertainment or eat simply for a week to cover the cost of the emergency.

I'm a money juggler too

Sometimes I do this with my spouse with regards to the family finances. Whenever there is an unexpected expense like having to replace a broken air-pot or water-pot, we juggle the finances between us to cover the cost. We could also take the needed money from the food or entertainment budget. We could have taken the money out from the emergency fund but this takes out the fun of juggling our money.

I would say the best time I had learning about juggling money was during my university days as a student struggling to survive on a limited budget. I believe everyone has had personal experience when it comes to juggling their money. What is yours?

Note: Before I sent this article for posting, I gave it to my spouse to read. He said the article portrayed both of us as a stingy couple. I reminded him that stingy is a negative word, instead I prefer to call it being frugal and living within our means or even optimizing our family budget.

Read other articles by Jacquelyn at on parenting matters and on solving marriage problems.

    9 replies to "Juggling Your Money"

    • Gerald

      All the comments and tips are excellent. We learn something new everyday. Whatever the capacity is, putting aside 5-10% of monthly salary is great. And that savings should not be touched. We must cut down unnecessary spending. One good way that I used, for two months I wrote down every single thing/item I spent on, everything. After the two months, I analysed and realised that I do spend unnecessary. I am now more cautious and still enjoy life but have more to save. If one does not have the capital to buy properties for investment, invest small amounts in unit trust funds, currencies, etc. We got to start somewhere.

    • Lai Chun Shen

      Thanks for sharing such a good article. I had read that from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. This is the theory introduced by Robert.T.Kiyosaki.

      I think all of us should allocate an fixed amount of money each month to an account. And this account should not be touched even in emergency case. This helps to train our “business mind” because it forces us to think on how to generate new income to overcome the current financial emergency.


      Juggling Your Money…

      Who and what a money juggler is…

    • wk

      Yes, frugal not stingy, it is not only represent personal discipline but also determination. good article.

    • masz

      Thank you for a good article. I am bad with money, only recently that I found out that I need to have a high disciplined in handling money. Great to have found your site.


      Great article.

      People also like to tell me that I am stingy. This is because the way I allocate my money is different from them. I spend my money based on value. That is why I very seldom go out with them for luxurious lunch. Instead I go to hawker center.

      Well, for me, I give special provision on my personal finance to meet unexpected needs or wants. It is not part of my emergency buffer, is provided on monthly basis and is taken away from my Net Worth in balance sheet. Since it is a provision, the money is actually still there if I do not touch it. I use this provision to fund my ocassional entertainment like watching movies or to have short local trip. I believe it is important to have such provision as it will not jeopadize my financial plan while at the same time am able to enjoy my life.

    • sayeed

      Great topic to discuss on…
      You call it money juggling and i called it budget allocation, actually ever since we (my wife and I) have started our own monthly accounts monitoring and budgetting, one of the pocket we allocate was emergency wallet.
      We would allocate $300 in this emergency wallet for every month on top our monthly saving (self payment) allocation, if there is a need for it, this fund will be used and if it doesn’t then it get accumulate into the account month over month untouched.
      Upon next 3 months, the rolling 1st month, if there is balance will go into saving accounts. So at any time over the period there is a $1200 budget for emergency allocated and guess what, every month there is an additional $300 goes either into our savings or credit card release payment, if we have not used it at all.
      Now again, this requires a heavy discipline that you only use this for emergency, so put up the list of what we considered as emergency to use this money.
      Is this a full proof system? Well maybe others have better ideas, but this worked for us till today. And why $300? No special mathematical analysis but just that our budget were allocating us that much only.

      • Mrcoolku

        I like your idea of dealing with emergency expenses. By this, we have additional cash flow into our account every three months. These money either can be used for saving or investing in the future.
        Ya, it really need a lot of discipline to retain the money for not simply use for “emergency”.

    • Henry

      It’s a very nice article, thanks for sharing!!

      For me, it doesn’t sound stingy, in fact, I call it the smart tips of preserving your money.

      Work hard is not sufficient, we must learn how to work smart. When it come to handling cash, we need to handle in a smart way too!!

      For me, to handle emergency case, I won’t use the 10% of saving, instead, I’ll try to cash out money from saving in:
      1) Petrol – reduce on traveling around (environmental friendly too :p )
      2) Food – eat at home more often, avoid junk & fast food
      Above 2 parts are my major spending, so it can be reduce as in emergency cases.
      3) Entertainemt – no movie, no concert, no Genting 1 day trip.
      4) Phone call – reduce phone call bills, although I’m not doing much call nowdays.

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