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A post-Cup Match financial workout

Getting serious: Try a 14-task plan over a two-week period and find out how it can help you keep track of your finances and make smarter decisions with your money and investments. Martha Harris Myron explains how 

Uh, oh! Cup Match was awesome — a great event checking out friends, catching up with the family, and starting new relationships. You arrived in spectacularly stunning duds to join the fashion display, snacked and sipped, danced and dallied, made a few passes at the Crown and Anchor. Then it was over, all too soon.

Hey, it was a holiday — everyone got in party mood! But, you overindulged just a bit: overages on your credit card, that fabulous Bermuda cooking and holiday libations sitting right there on the waistline, a few losses at the C&A table — but you never win anyway, what did you expect?

Forgive yourself for those indulgences. Let’s face it — we all do these things when we get into the holiday spirit. Now it is time to get back to your disciplined financial self by taking control again of your budget.

In May 2015, Business Insider’s Libby Kane came up with a terrific idea — a 14-day plan to radically improve your finances. Each day, you work on different aspects of your plan — preferably with another person to make it less tedious and more fun. With all due attribution to Ms Kane, her plan is tailored for the United States readers / market. We will use her article as incentive to Bermudianise the plan to fit our jurisdiction. We will replace or substitute internet venues (i.e. US spending software) and other criteria that generally won’t work for Bermuda residents.

Today is Saturday. Are you ready to put your plan in place, say one-two-three weeks from this Monday? Of course, you can start immediately by reviewing the full calendar using the Business Insider link to the plan.

The link is: http://www.businessinsider.com/improve-your-finances-2015-5

Ready? Let’s begin with the summary calendar.

1. Monday — Analyse your income and expenses for the last 90 days.

2. Tuesday — Set up a system to track your spending

3. Wednesday — Add up your debt.

4. Thursday — Create a budget.

5. Friday — Decide what you are saving for.

6. Saturday — Find money to save — here is where Bermuda Tightwads excel.

7. Sunday — Set up savings to be automatic.

8. Monday — Explore options to earn more than you making now.

9. Tuesday — Review your investments — this means your pension too.

10. Wednesday — Understand your credit card billing / credit score

11. Thursday — Review your bank offerings.

12. Friday — Organise your documents and a safe place for your password.

13. Saturday — Check to be sure you carry adequate insurance.

14. Sunday — You are finished — Plan out your calendar for the future.

Fourteen tasks in 14 days may be way too much for many readers. For instance, Day 1 — Analysing your income versus expenses for the last 90 days may take more than a day to complete, so use the 14-day plan as a guideline or consider setting aside one day each weekend for 14 weeks instead.

What ever you decide to do — personal finance will be writing topical coverage on this challenge for the next 14 weeks as well as posting articles and comments on the Bermuda Financial Planning Primer at http://www.marthamyron.com/BermudaFinancialPlanningPrimer.htm

We will also track progress of anyone who wants to report in (anonymously, of course) on how he/she is doing with the 14-task financial challenge by “just getting on with it!”

And now for the weekend, here are some great reads to motivate you to start to manage your finances better. The two books listed below are written by two very familiar wealthy entrepreneurs who started with nothing. You know them. Think Shark Tank!

Mr Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, whose astute blunt assessments of applicants’ proposal for venture capital funding on Shark Tank has written a second book chock full of reader anecdotes and his own wisdom, it is called The Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women and Money: 50 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them.

Mr O’Leary attributes much of his success to his mother who preached but also followed her own advice, that the three most important things to do with your money are:

• Don’t spend too much

• Mostly save

• Always invest

Daymond John is another dramatic example of a hugely successful Shark Tank panellist. Display of Power, #1 in the series — opens with Mr John being assaulted, watching his life flash in front of his eyes as the holdup man takes his gold chain, throws him to the ground and points a gun to his head.

According to Entrepreneur in a lengthy interview on “The 6 Books Shark Tank’s Daymond John Wants you To Read,” Mr John stated that he realised that he was dyslexic (from an early age) after challenges using social media and texting. He has to read books several times in order to fully understand their content, finding this exercise full of opportunities to further leverage up his game by gathering “pearls of wisdom” from other thought leaders.”

Mr John never attended college. In 2011, Babson College announced that FUBU creator and ABC-TV’s Shark Tank host Daymond John has been named entrepreneur in residence at Babson College for the fall semester. It said: “Over the last 20 years, Daymond John has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to one of the most sought after branding experts as well as business and motivational speakers in the country.

“Mr John’s creative vision and foresight enabled him to build one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years. FUBU, standing for ‘For Us By Us,’ represented a lifestyle that was neglected by other clothing companies. Realising this marketplace void, Mr John created the untapped urban apparel space and laid the groundwork for other companies to compete in this newly established market.”

Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John e-books are available for Kindles. You can also use the free Amazon Kindle app for MacAir, MAC laptops, iPhone, or Windows, Androids, etc. These books are cheap, less than $15. If you can spend for fun at Cup Match, you can afford these life-changing books. Get them. They will motivate you to become financially successful.

Sources on Kevin O’Leary:



Sources on Daymond John:

Kim Lachance Shandrow, Entrepreneur staff, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247711



Martha Harris Myron CPA PFS CFP JSM, Masters of Law: International Tax and Financial Services. Appointed to the Professional Tax Advisory Council, American Citizens Abroad, Geneva, Switzerland. The Pondstraddler* Life™ Consultancy provides cross border financial planning for internationally mobile individuals and their businesses residing, working, crossing borders, and straddling ponds in the North Atlantic Quadrangle. Specific focus on residents of Bermuda, the premier international finance centre.

Contact: martha@pondstraddler.com