One of the better “time management” tricks I have run in to over the years, has been the 10 minute rule, where my interpretation of it is:
If something takes 10 minutes or less to get done, do that first, and do the other stuff afterwards
It has been useful for me, as I have a tendency to get “stuck” and be unable to select any task to complete, but now, I simply find the little tasks and start doing those (which then gets me going to work on larger tasks), but how can we carry out this in terms of personal finance?
I guess the question is, what is a 600 second task financially ?
Updating your books (in Excel, Quicken, or whatever) should take less than 10 minutes, if you are doing it regularly.
Pay a bill as it arrives. Michael James commented on my Too Many Bill delivery Mechanisms posts that this is how he makes sure all bills get paid, pay them when they show up.
Given my amazing relationship skills (yes, like my investing, blind luck can be passed off as a skill), I figured I’d help out some folks with a set of useful questions that you can ask on your first date to find out if that person is compatible with you (or not), and has no Financial Skeletons in the Closet. These financial first date questions are important to a relationship. I actually stole the concept from Reddit, but I have put a very financial spin on things, and please add your own questions in the comments, if I miss any good ones.
Good Financial First Date Questions
How many credit cards do you have in your wallet? How many total? Note, if the answer is more than 4, run, don’t walk to the exit door
Have you declared bankruptcy in the past 10 years ? This might even be a pre-first date question.
How much did that purse cost? -or- How much did that watch cost ? If the purse cost more than your monthly rent, you are out with someone who likes the finer things in life (and that is not a compliment).
Do you smoke? Any answer other than “no” means higher insurance rates later in life.
Active, Passive or Dividend Investing? If the answer is, “I beg your pardon?”, steeee-rike three!!! Can a dividend investor live happily with an active investor?
Would you rather owe 100 people $10 or 1 person $1000 ? Again, there is no correct answer, the correct answer is, “Why would I owe people money?”
When you need cash, do you use a “white” or no-name ATM? There is no way you should stay with someone who thinks $3 a withdrawal is OK.
TFSA or RRSP ? Again, the answer “What?!?” is an automatic FAIL!However, if they answer TSFA, be on your guard.
How much debt are you currently carrying, and what is your plan to pay it off (if you have debt)? If the answer is, “I have no debt”, he or she is a keeper! However, if they say they are carrying $120K in student loans, ask what their profession is, if they are a Dentist, Doctor or some other well-paying professional, then you might be OK, but be wary.