one mental model 🧠 that i discovered to be helpful in managing personal finances while bootstrapping a startup has been: "am i above or below the line for daily spending?" this came from dreading the continued use of larger budgeting apps, spreadsheets, or analyses that overly complicated my personal finance. i wanted something to help build better habits so i could have peace of mind. i wanted it to be as simple as reading a 🌡️ thermometer, like when deciding to bring an insulated later when walking around dolores (somehow the answer seems to be yes, always 🧥) as i naturally think more intuitively, i seemed to understand if after a certain time frame (week, month, quarter etc) i was on track to hit or not hit my spending/saving goals. that alone did not help me understand which levers i could pull to optimize expenses nor discover patterns to keep or change up . i needed something to 🔑 feed in more granular data to augment how my brain naturally worked v. try to take it over with unneccesary data visulizations or organizational level tools. one of the simplest check in models for inspiration comes from The Conscious Leadership Group, where there's a line for self awareness. to be above it is to be acting consciously with intenions and to be below it is to react to a situation reacting unintentionally. applying this check in for spending, looked like this (all numbers are made up) 1. map out income to savings goals • monthly income: $5500 • saving goals: -10% --- 2. minus large recurring expenses • monthly allowance to spend: $5k • rent in SF + recurring expenses (utilities, insurance, etc): -$2500k --- 3. add in buffer just in case • monthly allowance to spend (minus rent/recurring): $2500k • monthly buffer: -15% --- 4. divide by total days in the month • monthly allowance: $2125 • dividy by total days: 30 🎯$70 a day i now had a target that would take less than 5 minutes a day to log - did i spend more than $70 today or less? 🔴 if more, what caused it to be so high and what can i do in the next couple of days to average this back down to $70? 🔵 if less, cool... what can i potentially use this for later in the week? it felt like unlocking a superpower in understanding by painlessly managing personal expenses as well as getting an even stronger sense for averaging weekly spend from daily habits.
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