What are bubble accounts?

Apr 15, 2024
A picture of some bubbles with income account in the middle and arrows pointing to other bubbles with names like bills $, Play $ and Focus $

You know when you have a bubble blower, and there's heaps of bubbles floating in the sky - all different colours, and different sizes? When I sit face to face with clients and we start designing a plan for their money, I end up drawing a whole load of bubbles.


That's what your money plan can look like: a whole load of bubbles all on one page.

This is a simple structure you can use to create your household budget, without having to spend hours creating and updating spreadsheets.

Picture this - a few small bubbles, that are pockets of money set aside for use for small lots of bills, for play money or  money to set aside if you get a tax bill each year.

Then a couple of bigger bubbles for where most of your money goes - or the biggest priority.

When creating a spending plan using the bubble method, I like to itemise & name each thing that we spend from that account, so it is visible to me and to my family who shares the plan.  This way, we can all see what money goes into each bubble (bank account) and what it is for.

This can then be translated into your internet banking.  Set up a bank account for each account, and give it a name that reflects what the spending is for.  

For example, it might be Bills, Annual Bills, Taxes, Property, Play money and Your Focus.
For each account, write down what your expected spending is for each expense grouped under that account, and then total it up.
For example under the Property account, it might include:

Rates $2,000
Water $1,500
Maintenance $1,500
Electricity $2,500
Mortgage $700x26 =  $18,200
TOTAL = $25,700

If you are paid fortnightly, then divide this number by 26, and this is what you want to add into this account as a minimum ($988.46).  If you were able to keep this bubble afloat with $1000 per fortnight, then it would give a bit of a lift to the balance, so if there was an unexpected bill or price rise happens to come out of the account, you would still be able to cover it.

Don't let your bubble pop!

Keep monitoring your bubbles to make sure they don't pop!
Ensure you have enough money keeping the bubble afloat - that the money going in covers the money going out.

How to monitor this? 

Each pay day, choose one bank account to monitor - grab out your bubble account one page plan, and compare what you assumed to be coming out and compare it to the actual cost. Because there's only a few things going out of the account, it should be easy to check and update.

If the bank balance is lower than expected, then it's time to decide if you can cut back on the spending or can increase the amount going in, if there's not enough to cover costs.  

If the bank balance is higher than expected, check whether there's an upcoming cost coming up or if you have missed a bill payment.  (Sometimes we cancel something but keep the money going in to increase the buffer on the account).


If you are interested in getting help setting up your bubbles, please book a meeting here: https://calendly.com/intentionalmoney/15minzoom

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Stop wasting money today!

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- know where your money goes
 - prioritise your spending
 - have better conversations with your partner about money

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