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How to make 7 million in 7 years …

The even greater Power of 10-1-1-1-1

Yesterday’s post was about Suzy Welch’s “life transforming idea” (her words, not mine) about the Power of 10-10-10, which I believe can be applied to financial decisions as well.

Now, here’s an even better idea:

How do you know WHEN something is a ‘major financial decision’ worthy of asking Suzy’s Three Big Questions?

Simple, use this table:

If you’re on a low-to-average income, or still well-entrenched in Making Money 101, then you may want to replace each ‘$1..’ with a ‘$3..’ but, if you’re super well-off, then you just start adding zero’s to the dollar amounts to suit!

But, the ‘default table’, as presented above, is a pretty good place to start …

So, next time you’re walking past a store and see that little $99 ‘number’ on sale that you simply “HAVE to have … and, look … it’s ONLY $99! [squeal]” pull out this little table – that you’ve laminated [ AJC: don’t worry, you’ll wait at least 10 minutes in line at Kinko’s to give yourself plenty of time to decide if the cost of laminating is worth it :)) ] – from your pocket and check to see that you really need to come back in 24 hours to complete the transaction …

… chances are you won’t.

Think about even the small expenses that you may be tracking, if you keep a budget; take a glance down the list for even one or two random days and see how many you would have not bought (or bought less of, or fewer of, or the cheaper one of, etc.) had you taken even 10 minutes ‘time out’?

Is this being frugal [AJC: shock/horror … 7million7years on a frugality drive?] – perhaps, overly so? I don’t think so, because you can still make the purchases that you want to make … it’s just that you may change your mind IF you:

(a) allow a little time out, and

(b) ask yourself Suzy’s 10-10-10 questions.

Instead, you may just end up suffering a little less buyer’s remorse

Does this work?

imagesWell, when the ML Mercedes first came out, I simply HAD to have one of those [squeal] little SUV’s that drives like a car … after some self-imposed ‘time out’, I decided that I really didn’t need the car right now.

Sure enough, the burning desire to buy the car – right then and there – dissipated to the point that I forgot about it; sure enough, a year later the opportunity fell in my lap to buy a factory executive-driven vehicle (genuine … I bought it directly from Mercedes Benz head office), virtually no miles on it, for $11k off the best dealer price that I could get.

Oh, and last week I was hungry … but, after 10 minutes of waiting decided I was even more hungry, so I bought more 😛

Give it a try and let me know how 10-1-1-1-1 works for you … use the Contact Me form on the About page or just drop me a line at AJC at, I love hearing from readers (but, not spammers) …

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17 Responses to “ The even greater Power of 10-1-1-1-1 ”

  1. Joshua says:

    Adrian, this should definitely help curtailing unnecessary purchases, great idea.

  2. Smart, practical, and in my experience, it does work! I haven’t stringently followed a specific timeline versus price model, but when I see something I like, I walk away and if I’m still thinking about it down the line (whether it be a week or a month, etc.) than I will be buying with a great consciousness of how important it is to me, what the true cost is to buy it, and what longevity it will have for me. A bonus is that for several of the things I decided to buy, had a reduced price by the time I went back for it : ).

  3. Would Be Landlord says:

    This breaks down above the 1000 level for purchases like homes or down payments. Sometimes you need to act quickly to get a good deal.

  4. Mike Hunt says:


    Great post. Wish this was posted before people would commit to a $600 k house because “Real estate always goes up” and they don’t want to get “Priced out!”



  5. Adrian says:

    @ Would – You are right: this is designed for ‘consumer purchases’ NOT investments …. if the deal is good, be prepared to move quick …

    … PROVIDED that you have researched ahead of time; how long for? Use the above table as a guide 😉

  6. And where would a tank of gas fit into this?

  7. Adrian says:

    @ Di – LOL.

    Actually, perfectly! I drive around for at least another two days after the needle shows ’empty’ 😉

    … or, you could just insert the word ‘discretionary’ into the table, above.

  8. […] checked out the “10-10-10” and “10-1-1-1” idea and I’m looking forward to taking some time now and trying to see how that works. […]

  9. money blog says:

    I think the numbers need some tweaking…thinking 10 mins for $10 is too much…

  10. Adrian says:

    @ Money Blog – To paraphrase an old saying: “For want of $10 the credit card min. payment was missed … for want of the cred. card min. payment the credit rating was lowered … for want of a good credit rating the mortgage was raised … for want of a cheaper mortgage the retirement was delayed

    Tweak away! Guess it depends on how much you need the extra 10 bucks :)

  11. […] car is up to date. During May, all the MIT’s have been instructed to use the 10-10-10 and 10-1-1-1-1 pricipal for all our purchases. I anticpate a reflection of this exercise in my May […]

  12. […] having good MM101 habits is very important.  We will see how I will do in May when we apply the 10-1-1-1-1 rule. Will it stop me from spending? […]

  13. […] down in the minutia of counting check stubs (‘No Budget’ Budget) and counting minutes (Power of 10-1-1-1-1) […]

  14. […] Step closer) then spend a chunk … perhaps as much  as the top tier on your version of the 10-1-1-1-1 chart (provided it isn’t more than 5% – 10% of the total ‘found money’). Do […]

  15. […] We don’t pay off our mortgages early, here. We don’t debt snowball. And, we don’t save until we bleed (but, we do practice delayed gratification). […]

  16. […] For the money that you do want to spend, still apply The Power Of 10-1-1-1-1, but reward yourself with a little from each box e.g. spend $10 today; $100 tomorrow; and, so on […]

  17. […] Waiting to make purchases; the more major, the longer you should wait, […]

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