Financial Rules of 3 For 2016

The BCM LifeLong Financial Rules of 3

Please note that 2016 is divisible by 3 (multiply 672 by 3 and there you have it), so this rule is apropos to this year as well.

  • Rule 3-1: Only carry 3 debit/credit cards with you at one time. The ultimate version of this rule would be to only have 3 debit/credit cards total, in your life.
  • Rule 3-2: Ensure you have all 3 savings vehicles set up: a TFSA, an RRSP and a Savings/Trading account. These 3 are the cornerstone for setting up a successful savings plan.
  • Rule 3-3: For the first 3 months of 2016, pay for day-to-day spending with cash only. Take out a set amount on your pay-day, and use that for discretionary spending only. Can you live on cash alone for 3 months? Yes, it is easy to cheat on this one, but, you are only cheating yourself.

Some simple other rules of 3 you can follow in life

  • If you go to a conference, or workshop find 3 things that you thought were good, and try to do it. Even if all you do is find 3 good points, you have succeeded.
  • Plan your financial year in 3 month stints, and see what you did right and wrong at the end of each.
  • At the end of the day before you go to sleep, think of 3 things you did that day that you are proud of, that way you go to sleep on an “up”. I have practiced the opposite of this rule, and let me tell you it really screws up my sleep thinking of 3 things I screwed up during the day.

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Financial Resolutions and Lifespans

Let’s stay on my vendetta on New Year’s Financial Resolutions and their ability to make us miserable, cause guilt, angst and indigestion.

How long do your financial resolutions last is a very good question? I can think of a few resolutions that I hear folks say (that have a money angle to them) and how long I have typically seen these last:

  • Going to join the gym and get back in shape. This is a good resolution, however, folks usually end up going to the gym until about March (3 months), but forget to cancel their membership (or worse they buy a 1 year membership and then forget to cancel it next year at this time). Always remember to clean up after failed resolutions!
  • I am going to bring my lunch to work and save money, I have seen this one last about 2 weeks, until someone’s birthday or work just gets annoying enough that someone decides they deserve a lunch out with their friends.
    • A sub resolution is to not buy coffee at work, that lasts about a week, unless the person has bought their own coffee maker.
  • The Latte Lemma where you won’t buy a Starbuck’s Mocha Almond Vanilla Swirl, light, with sweetener and a massive ginger cookie, I have seen this last as long as 7 weeks, but not much longer. I am not sure if Starbucks and Tim Horton’s put some kind of addictive agents in their coffee (no wait that’s caffeine), but folks who like their Java aren’t likely to quit it (especially not to save money).
  • I will pay my bills on time, um, the folks I know who have to make this resolution usually can’t keep this one up for more than 4 months. It’s funny the folks who pay their bills on time normally don’t make this resolution, I suppose it’s  the same reason people who are in shape don’t make resolutions about getting back in shape?!?
  • I will write down every thing I pay for to keep track of my spending, this is another one that is really hard to keep up, but I have seen folks keep it up for 3 months, but no more than that. Folks who do this, are a specific type of person (i.e. the type who think accounting is exciting), those who strive to achieve this goal, are doomed to fail.

As you can see resolutions are much like vows of chastity for teenagers, great ideas, but not likely to work out in the end, but good luck anyhow (remember my post yesterday on My Resolutions for 2012).


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