The 3-digit rule to enjoy your money

Next month I’m doing something crazy.

I’m going to a bachelor party.

In Munich. For 3 nights.

It’s a 12-hour flight from LAX.

But here’s the crazy thing.

I don’t drink beer.

And my cheap ass wouldn’t spend the extra $700 on Premium Economy.

So instead I have a middle seat. For a red eye.

Only 3 digits matter

A friend of mine (who’s a wealth manager) has a rule of thumb for his clients.

The only 3 digits of your net worth that matter are the left 3.

So if you have $463,218 — you’re not thinking of the $218.

And if you have $3,649,855 — the $9,855 doesn’t move the needle.

Which means you can spend anything to the right (i.e. up to $999 and $9,999, respectively) without thinking.

His rationale: Since you don’t think about them conceptually, they don’t matter in real life.

(Note, there are probably edge cases to consider.)

Now my ticket to Munich cost $1,800. An additional $700 would bought me a lot of comfort.

But that’s a 40% premium.

So I didn’t do it. And stuck with my middle seat.

Yet as detailed in my personal balance sheet, my friend’s rule gives me cover for up to $9,999.

Old habits die hard. (Especially when your business ain’t doing too well.)

And while we’re months away from the bachelor party, I’m quietly dreading the flight.

Where does your attention go?

I recently learned that human beings have 80,000 thoughts per day.

Obviously we have to breathe, eat, move around and work. But all that living can’t consume all 80,000 thoughts.

Where your attention goes, your energy flows.

I heard this mantra during a recent guided meditation.

I quickly compiled a pie chart of where my attention goes.

Yup, I think a lot about money. I worry. It’s a proxy for ambition, status and self-worth.

It’s why I’m constantly fretting about this flight to Munich.

And over the years, my attention has bounced around. But generally it has flowed into:

  • How much money did I make?
  • How much money can I make?
  • How can I make my business grow?
  • Am I working enough?
  • Am I learning enough?
  • Will I live a long and happy life?
  • How many followers do I have? (Yes, I do think about this more than I’d like to admit)

And if I’m truly honest, there’s a lot of “me, me, me” on this list. And while I do think about being a great dad and husband, it’s usually after I’ve thought about things on the above list.

So here’s my question to you:

Where does your attention go?

Now back to the Munich redeye

After wayyyyy too much deliberating (and an entire blog post), I decided to upgrade to Premium Economy for $700.

And when I got on the phone, I realized I didn’t have to – I could buy an aisle seat for $44.


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