Bad Spending Habits

Ten Things I Wanted To Buy This Year – But Didn’t

I’m proud of myself. In the past year, I’ve wanted several expensive items for myself, but I’ve fought off the urge to buy them. The closest thing to a splurge for myself in the past twelve months was my investment in a new laptop when my desktop machine was literally dying. So, instead of spending …

Why You Have To Keep Up With The Joneses

Recently, I came across this article from an older issue of Scientific American entitled Opinions and Social Pressure. I didn’t find the article too interesting until halfway into the second paragraph when the following sentence appeared: The same epoch that has witnessed the unprecedented technical extension of communication has also brought into existence the deliberate …

Battling The Convenience and Costs of Fast Food

The biggest advantage that fast food has is that it is so easy and it saves time by allowing us to multi-task. On busy days, I can stop by a fast food restaurant and pick up a quick meal and eat it on the road as I hurry off to a meeting; it’s very difficult …

The Ten Second Rule

A few times in the past, The Simple Dollar has mentioned some reference to a “ten second rule” or a “count to ten rule” without explaining this incredibly powerful tool in detail. In short, the “ten second rule” says that any time you are about to spend any money at all, count to ten slowly …

Living on Half Your Monthly Income: Could You Do It?

Here’s an interesting mental exercise that grew out of a community dinner the other night. Would you be able to make do with half of your current monthly income? It’s not as obvious of a question as you might think, so just take a minute and imagine yourself with half of your current monthly income. …

The Value of Personal Appearance

One of the greatest challenges of living a lifestyle of financial freedom is determining the exact value of personal appearance. How does one balance a desire for less expensive clothing and personal care items with the expectations of the culture that enables their income and personal lives? On the one hand, many people who overspend …

Video Game Addict? Here’s A Plan For Saving A Lot Of Money

Even during my worst days of spending, it was clear to me that I was overspending on my video game hobby. In fact, it became one of the first things that I cut my spending on. I was able to do this by developing a clear plan for cutting back on my video game purchases. …

If I Could Do It All Over Again: Advising Myself At Age Eighteen

Ten years ago, I was in the midst of my freshman year in college. I had very little concept of money or what to do with it, but at that point I still had an overall positive net worth. If only I knew then what I know now, I sometimes think to myself, particularly when …

Applying the Peak-End Rule to Personal Finance

The peak-end rule is a psychological phenomenon that indicates which parts of a past experience we recall and use to define that experience. From Wikipedia: According to the peak-end rule, we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended. Virtually all other information …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #9: The Road to Recovery

Yesterday, I described my financial meltdown, when I reached a point where there was more money going out each month than coming in with no real hope for redemption without a change from within. Then, thanks to some inspiration, I made that change. The first thing I did was I laid out every single expense …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #8: Meltdown

Yesterday, I detailed the impact of a baby on my downward financial spiral; suffice it to say, the finances were not good. Everything was set up for a collapse and I inched up to the precipice, largely oblivious of how close I was to the lip of Mount Doom. The most fundamental problem was that …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #7: Here Comes Baby

Yesterday, I talked about the period in my life where my wife and I spent money like it was going out of style in order to obtain a “yuppie” lifestyle. Then, that magic moment happened: we took a home pregnancy test and discovered that a little one was on the way. I can remember that …

The Author of The Simple Dollar Admits to Being an Idiot

That’s right, readers, I’m an idiot. There’s really not much more to say other than that. I am capable of coming up with some useful ideas and combining them into sensible plans, but in terms of putting them all together… well, the best I can say is that sometimes you have to learn from your …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #6: The Yuppie Years

On Saturday, we learned how love and marriage caused me to sink even deeper into a financial hole I was digging for myself. I had hopes that as a married couple we would begin to get our financial house in order, but it was not to be. My first big mistake is that I bought …