In the world of personal finance, we are always searching for the most advantageous place to invest our money. We typically make very intentional and calculated plans of what percentage we are going to contribute into our 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, HSA's, taxable accounts, etc. We might even have a one-page financial plan that spells out the exact location for every dollar of our income. But what about the most important investment we can all make —maximizing the memories and experiences we want to create each year?
It's been said that the quality of someone's life is determined by the sum of the memories we share with our loved ones. If this is true, then why don't we treat this with the same level of strategy that we do with maximizing all of our tax-deductible accounts each year? You have a plan to max out your Roth every year, so why don’t you have a plan to travel with your family every year? Here's what I propose —add the Max Your Dash Fund to your personal financial plan and treat it with the same level of importance you would with any other account. Think of the Max Your Dash Fund as your own personal Memory Bank. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that you YOLO and stop saving for your future, but I can't stress enough how important the Max Your Dash Fund is on your balance sheet.
In order to better assist you, I've created some guidelines for the Max Your Dash Fund (MYD), similar to the retirement plan rules set by the IRS.
Contribution limits for the MYD Fund:
- If you have a 6-month emergency fund, no bad debt, and are saving 20% or more of your income, then you have the green light to invest any amount you want in the MYD Fund.
- If you don't have a 6-month emergency fund, you should not be investing into the MYD Fund until you reach that mark. It might take some time, but trust me on this one, the emergency fund takes priority over everything.
- If you have a 6-month emergency fund, but aren't saving at least 20% of your income, then invest responsibly into your MYD Fund. It's still important to invest in the MYD Fund, but find a happy medium. A good starting spot is to look for ways to repurpose wasted money in your budget to the MYD Fund.
Tax Treatment with the MYD Fund:
- Although there may not be a tax deduction for the MYD Fund, the joy and happiness you’re going to create is completely and 100% income tax free!
The point here is this: Do you have a plan to maximize your memories this year? Is it on the calendar? Is it a part of your financial plan? If not, I highly recommend thinking intentionally about the memories and experiences you want to create each year. Life goes by fast and these are the sort of things that truly matter.
Max your dash friends,