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5 principles I (try to) live my life by

Principle #1: Life is for living aka YOLO
Do the things you want to do in life. BUT:
1) Don’t spend all your money YOLOing, you still need to live your day to day life, take care of your family and retire eventually
2) Prioritize your needs and wants, based on what will bring the most happiness. Some people can find happiness in some simple and cheap things like laughs with friends/family.
3) Plan for the things you want to do and find ways to minimize the cost of it. Find deals, look for groupons and research how other people have done it.

This principle helps me make up my mind when facing tough financial decisions. It leads me to ask myself, how will I look at this decision 10 years from now? Will I remember the decision? Will I regret not making the right decision? Based on this principle I am saving and investing as much money as I can while also going to four trips this year. It’s also based on this principle, that I saved up ~400,000 Aeroplan miles to pay for the four trips my wife and son are taking this year.

Principle #2: Maximize the bang for your buck ratio
I love steak, but a $50 steak at the Keg does not make me 10 times happier than the Junior Chicken and McDouble I can get for $5 at McDonalds, nor does it make me 50x happier than when I make instant noodles for $1 at home. #Thurdayisnoodlenight. How are you spending your money and time? Does is it make you happy? Could spending less on something else make you just as happy or even happier? They might not be for everyone but here are examples of how I apply the bang for your buck ratio:
1) Buying clothes at Costco – I bet you only my closest friends (besides my wife) would notice. I personally don’t value new clothing – it doesn’t bring me happiness – so I only buy new clothing when I need it. And that calls for a trip to Costco.
2) On the rare times my wife lets me leave the house and I’m at the bar with friends, I order doubles of rail liquor. Why?? A double is cheaper than two singles and there is less non-liquor in a double. Short answer is, it’s the most efficient way to get to my objective, which is feeling the effect of the alcohol.
3) For the things I don’t like doing but I have to do, I do them as fast as I can. Folding laundry and cooking fall into this category. I will literally race to fold all of my laundry so that I can spend my time doing the things I do like better.

Principle #3: “All’s you can do is all’s you can do
When I was in high school struggling with grade 11 chemistry, a friend’s dad told me:

“All’s you can do, is all’s you can do and that’s all you can ever do”

This really stuck with me. He probably meant it as don’t beat yourself up about struggling in school, but I took it as stop complaining and put some real effort in. The truth of the matter was that I had not studied… at all… and my marks were reflecting that. I took the words to heart and still apply them to this day. So next time you are about to complain, ask yourself, have I done everything I can do to make this situation better? Here are all the things I did because I asked myself is this all that I can do:
I went back to school for a master degree, I got into real estate, I started investing in stocks and stock options and I started this awesome blog. If you think about it, you’ll find there’s always something more you can do improve things.

Principle #4: Sleep when you’re tired
I sleep just enough to function at 100%, for me that was 6 hours a night before my son was born. Since my son was born it’s been like 4-5 hours. The more time you dedicate to hustling, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Remember, there is no limit to how much money you can make, but there is a limit to how much you can save and cut costs. You need to live somewhere, you need to eat things and principle #1 YOLO. #makemoney #hustle #sleeplater. For the record, I do sleep, watch Netflix and chill, but generally it’s only after I have finished all of the things I wanted to finish that day. Having read business books and many articles, I found that this principle is actually employed by a lot of successful people and companies as well. Facebook, Elon Musk, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all prescribe to the “work hard, sleep less” philosophy. The Arnold link is especially motivational. If you haven’t watched it before, I highly recommend it. This all segues into my last and arguably most important principle, be efficient.

Principle #5: Be efficient
So based on the last 4 principles, you are living life, maximizing the bang for your buck, hustling hard and not sleeping. With all of this happening, it is really important to be efficient. Click here to see my previous notes on being efficient. There is a whole book dedicated to it. Spend your time and energy wisely. Think to yourself: do I need to watch all of The Office for a fourth time? Probably. But eventually, after memorizing every word to Michael Scott’s masterpiece “Threat level Midnight”, you will want to do something else. How about: plan for the rest of the week, read a book, research a stock or start a side hustle? Being proactive and planning ahead has helped me get through a lot of challenges both in my personal life and in my work life. Remember, your future is a result of all the decisions you’ve made to that point. Proactive and efficient steps every day is the key.

Hope you enjoyed this post and the principles I try to live by. What are some principles you live to?

Best,
Steve

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