The Retirement Manifesto Money Map

A new and interesting “Blog Chain” is gaining momentum in the Blogosphere which challenges fellow bloggers to “Map Your Money”.  By using various schematics, bloggers are developing visual maps which show how they manage their money (check out the complete list at the bottom of this post).

Today, as a Special Friday edition of The Retirement Manifesto, I’ve decided to join the fun. To add some value to my map, I’ve added some “Tips To Follow” by the appropriate money flows.  Hopefully, the map speaks for itself.

The Retirement Manifesto Money Map

With that, here’s The Retirement Manifesto Money Map.  In simple terms, it shows how our money flows. The most important takeaway, in my humble opinion, is that we FORCE MONEY INTO SAVINGS before it hits our checking account.  We’ve been doing this for 3 decades, and it’s the biggest single step in growing our investment portfolio. This concept, called “Forced Scarcity”, results in knowing you can spend the money in your checking account, and know your savings are growing at your targeted rate.

The Map Your Money Blog Chain

I love the blogging community, and thank Apathy Ends and Budget On A Stick for managing this Chain!

(For those new to Blog Chains, I initiated the concept a few months ago with this Retirement Drawdown Strategy Chain, which was followed a few weeks later with this FIRE Prowess Score Chain.  It’s a fun concept, and I’m happy to see it gaining momentum.)

Here are the members of the Map Your Money Chain:

Anchors: Apathy EndsBudget on a Stick
Link 1: The Luxe Strategist
Link 2: Adventure Rich
Link 3: Minafi
Link 4: OthalaFehu
Link 5: The Frugal Gene
Link 6: Working Optional
Link 7: Our Financial Path
Link 8: Atypical Life
Link 9: Eccentric Rich Uncle5
Link 10: Cantankerous Life
Link 11:The Retirement Manifesto
Link 12: Debts to Riches
Link 14: Money Metagame
Link 15: CYinnovations
Link 16: I Dream of FIRE
Link 18: Spills Spot
Link 19: Making Your Money Matter
Link 20: Life Zemplified
Link 21: Trail to FI


  1. Excellent map to FI! Part minimizing wants is to minimize “fixed” expenses like mortgage and cable type bills. Just like you pay yourself first to automate a habit, having fixed recurring expenses work against you every month! Always be weary to add fixed or recurring expenses.

  2. I need to get hot on these blog chains. This is a really insightful way to see where your dough flows. In some respects it could validate your savings rate. Show the money to the bank where part is lost to interest, while a part comes “back” in the form of principal gained.

  3. This “chain gang” is growing quickly. Great stuff. I love the concept of getting the money out of a checking account asap and putting it in an investment account. That is a psychological game that I play too. Once it is invested, I cannot spend it on stuff I don’t need.

  4. Ahhh, how does money flow through a 401k into your checking account? I imagine this is a difference in how engineers map things vs normal people, me being an engineer.

    1. Ok, Steve, I’ll give you that on a technicality. I’m sure you know the symbolism intended (especially since I have those handy “tips” in red font) – force money into savings before you even see it. I work with a bunch of engineers, and know how you guys think, and I’ll give you credit for your point. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Smiles.

    1. HSA account funding could also be added as another method for adding auto-contributions.
      Since the contributions are pre-tax….they are a great way to also reduce your tax burdens.

  5. Hi Fritz,

    I’ve been reading your blog and have not only enjoyed it but have learned so much. I’m a 50 year old US Government teacher married to a 45 year old Marriage and Family Therapist. We are Tommy and Page Heisser and have two incredible daughters, Abbi 20, and Grace 13. We live in Lubbock, TX which isn’t hell but you can see it from here. Ha!

    Page and I are way behind with our retirement savings and I’m reading your blog and reaching out to you so I can learn more and more.

    I hope you’re doing well and perhaps we could correspond at some point.

    Take care,


    1. Tommy, thanks so much for your note! It’s for people like you that I do what I do. As mentioned in my personal email to you, there are folks who have been in your situation, there are folks who have walked the path ahead of you. Have faith that there is a path to a successful journey from exactly where you are, I’m pleased that my words are having an impact on your lives. Good luck as you move through your journey, and please keep me updated as you make your way forward! Thanks again, your words mean more to me than you know.

      1. Hey Fritz,

        Congrats on your recent retirement. I’m happy for you and a bit jealous. This time of the year is difficult for me, let me explain. I’m a high school teacher and have had the last 6 weeks off and it’s always so difficult to go back to work. All I think about over the summer is retirement but that’s at least 10 years away. We have one daughter at the University of Texas and another entering high school. My wife and I are committed to helping our children with their education. I’m writing to thank you for working on this blog. I’m still learning so much from it and because of it, we have added $20k to our retirement in the last year. Index funds!!!

        A big challenge at this point is our desire to live somewhere different in our later years. We HAVE to get out of Lubbock, TX. We have had 25 days over 100 degrees this summer. It’s awful. The issue is the low cost of living in West Texas and whether we can afford to move.

        Thanks for “listening”.


        1. Tommy, I tried to send you an email, but it didn’t go thru. Pasting here, hope you see it!

          Thanks so much for your comment, and for being a reader of my blog!  I’m honored to hear that my words have helped you on your journey, and congratulate you on your +$20k of retirement savings!!

          My parents were both teachers, so I can totally relate to the “end of summer blues”.  The long summers you earn being a teacher are both a blessing and a curse.  Folks are always envious of the extended breaks that few professions beyond teaching afford, but the school year is grueling and that return to the grind every Fall is brutal.

          Given that you’re 10 years away, I’d encourage you to focus on keeping your nose to the grindstone for at least the next 5 years, and find things in your life that bring you excitement outside the “normal” working hours.  Start thinking about some “bridges” that you can begin building which will last beyond retirement, and try some new things.  This blog was one such bridge, and it providing my a lot of personal satisfaction as I ground out my last 3 years of work.  Talk with your wife about the concept, and see what you can come up with.  

          I applaud your dedication to helping your children with school.  We felt the same way, and supported our daughter through her college years.  My parents did it for me, and I felt it was only right to do it for my daughter.  It’s rewarding to “pay it back”.

          I can relate to the Lubbock heat.  We lived outside Dallas for a few years during my career, and those summers are brutal.  Dream a little, and plan some AirBNB rentals during your coming summers in places you think might work for retirement.  You’d be surprised in how little it can cost to live in some out of the way places (I’m thinking Arkansas or E. OK in your case, as examples).  We bought our cabin in N. GA for $200k, and are more than content with the decision.

          Thanks again for your note, and best of luck as you progress toward your retirement!

  6. Pingback: My Money Map, Sir!

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