Jerry Seinfeld has a story about his problem with the silver medal in the Olympics. You win the gold, and you go down in history. If you win the bronze, well, at least you won something. But, instead of thinking of it as 2nd place, that silver award is like saying, “No one lost better than you did. You are the biggest loser.”
For the longest time, when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie coined the term BFF, I had no idea what it meant. Then, when I found out it meant Best Friend Forever, my soul searching began. I am always fascinated when someone introduces one friend to another as their BFF. It is done in the same tone of voice when a girl introduces her boyfriend to a group of girls. The undertone is BACK OFF. This person is mine. In a way, I can understand the boyfriend introduction for those who honor the girl code because it’s a way of saying this area is a no fly zone. But, why does one girl want to hurt another girl’s feelings by introducing another friend as their BFF? It is as if they are saying, “No matter how good of friends we will become, I have a BFF who is closer to me.” What is up with that?
In my life, I don’t think I can really say I have had a BFF. I have great friends that I cherish, but I’m pretty positive each one of my friends can identify a BFF that isn’t me. That’s not because I haven’t wanted one, but it’s because the story of my life is kind of the number 3. I’m always the 3rd wheel, 2nd place (if I’m lucky). If I meet 2 other people in a situation and we all don’t know each other, chances are that the other 2 are going to get closer than to me. While I have struggled with this for a very long time, I’m realizing that this is happening to me for a good reason. I might not have a BEST friend, but I can be a BETTER friend forever, and what I put out in the world comes right back to me.
Move over Paris and Nicole, because there is a new sheriff in town. I officially proclaim BFF to stand for Better Funded Future! The Learning Club’s focus if officially on how to make a better future for yourself. There will be lots of tools and training offered soon to see how to make your future your best.
If you want to get started today without the official program in place here, you can do 2 things. You can start by doing 1 thing, or if you are super motivated today, you can do both. Here is your map to your BFF’s house:
- Open a savings account at your regular bank or online. Even if you already have a savings account, open a new one. Title it your BFF or Better Future Fund. You are going to be making regular deposits to this BFF, and so it has to be easy to transfer money either through your ATM or online. This is a savings account and not a checking account. We want to make it kind of a hassle to take money out of this account, and you want to earn some interest.
- Get some kind of tracking software that works for you to track your expenses. My personal preference is Quicken, but Quicken is not in the cloud and is just desktop software. But, it is the most comprehensive tool for tracking your money. Even though I’m a CPA and use lots of other sophisticated software packages, I still use Quicken for my personal books. I am going to soon be offering tutorials in Quicken (and Excel for those who don’t want a full system) for tracking your expenses. Part 2 of this step is to estimate how much money you spent last month on your food. Then, calculate how much you actually spent on your food. In that calculation, include your ATM/cash use for food, your restaurants and tips, and groceries from your bank accounts and credit cards. How far off was your estimate from your actual spending? If you are shocked at how much you are spending just on food, this is an indication that you could benefit from some money planning tools. The Learning Club will soon be offering very many tools to making a better future for yourself, but here are the first baby steps on traveling to your BFF’s house. Happy travels!