Okay, okay, staggering is obviously a relative term, but we like to think our wealth can reach such levels in the future. If you’re just tuning in, when Mr. MMM and I started living our adult lives after college, we both started down the path of least resistance, like most people do. That means, we would spend money as soon as it hit our bank accounts, and we even spent more than that! Credit cards, payment plans, and automatic billing made separating us from our hard-earned money a really easy task. In order to grow our wealth to staggering levels, we needed to change a whole bunch of stuff. First things first, we had to meet each other!
After joining forces a few years ago, we pulled our heads out of our butts and got serious about our future together. That’s when we committed to living a more simple and more fulfilling life. In case you missed it, you can catch up on our story in this post! Since starting our financial independence journey a few years ago, we’re constantly on the lookout for new and inventive ways to help us reach our financial goals faster. Hence, we created our family’s 1-4-4 rule!
The 1-4-4 Rule To Grow Your Wealth
But Mrs. Mad Money Monster, what the heck is a 1-4-4 rule? Oh my, am I ever glad you asked! Simply stated, the 1-4-4 rule is as follows…
- 1 = A Single Year
- 4 = Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall (order doesn’t matter here)
- 4 = 1 goal per season (4 total each year)
Obviously, this rule is mighty simple to start and even easier to stick to. We all know there are things we either need to do or things we should do to keep our finances moving forward. Some things require little time and effort while others can be major time sucks and cause for frustration.
For example, setting up a taxable brokerage account that is goal oriented, like say, to buy a rental property, could be considered an easy and fun thing to do. This task can easily be checked off over a lunch break! And, it still counts as a task for one ENTIRE season! Other tasks, on the other hand, are a bit less fun and require massive thought and action (Think: Creating a will. Yuck!). But, by using the 1-4-4 rule you can combine the easy with the hard and alternate to give yourself ample time for completion. Winning.
- How We Slayed The Debt Monster
- We’re Reaching Financial Independence Without Bikes Or Beans
- The Long And Sometimes Windy Road To Financial Independence
The Ease Of Tracking 1-4-4 Goals
The beauty of this rule is its simplicity. With everything we have going on in our lives, coming up with a detailed roadmap for financial tasks, like making sure we have enough life insurance, can seem tedious, at best. Fortunately, not all tasks are tedious and not all tedious tasks need be scheduled back to back. Big or small, tedious or fun, the point is to check a box every 3 months, keep moving forward, and, ultimately, grow your wealth. The power is all yours!
And because this rule is so simple, we (and probably you) don’t even need to write it down, even though we do. Since I’m a super nerd and love my spreadsheets, you better believe our 4 tasks have their own tab for the year. Truth be told, this is a new rule we have implemented this year and it’s worked out wonderfully.
NOTE: Whether you write down your goals or not, there are also seasonal changes and corporate quarters that can easily trigger your memory to ensure you don’t forget about your financial goals.
- S.M.A.R.T. Fall Resolutions That Can Change Your Life
- How We Save Money By Having Our Groceries Delivered
- My Incredibly Boring Plan To Manage A Whoppin’ $200 Windfall
Our 1-4-4 Goals
So far this year we have accomplished all our goals on time! Although I must say, giving ourselves 3 months to accomplish each task kinda seems like it shouldn’t be legal. But given we made The Rule, it is! Ahh, life is good.
Check out the list below for our personal goals for this year. All of these combined sound really daunting. I don’t know about you, but when something seems really daunting to me, I tend to push it off until it’s so far on the back burner I oftentimes forget I ever had the intention of doing it in the first place. But, since we have allowed ourselves the luxury of 3 WHOLE months to complete each task, suddenly daunting isn’t a word I would use to describe any one of these tasks singularly.
- Re-evaluate the need for continued life insurance
- Transfer our taxable brokerage account to a discount broker
- Increase investment portfolio contributions by $200/month
- Ensure 401k contributions achieve the maximum allowable amount for year
As stated before, the beauty of the 1-4-4 rule is not only the generous amount of time given to complete each task, it’s also the vast flexibility to schedule around busy times of the year, like vacations and holidays. I mean, you really didn’t think our 4th quarter goal was to transfer our taxable investment account to a discount brokerage firm, did you? Um, no. Our 4th quarter task is to increase our investment portfolio contributions by $200/month. Easy peasy – just the way I like it around Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 🙂