Psychology

Money as a Social Barrier

I came across an interesting article on How To Change The World on the idea that thinking about money can create social barriers. He quotes a study by Dr. Kathleen Vohs on the topic. Here’s an excerpt: To examine this idea in a more controlled setting, Vohs, now at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, …

Categories: Psychology

What Money Can’t Buy

Early this morning, I was thinking about Julia, the first girl that I ever had any interest in whatsoever. I have a lot of faded memories of sitting in the park with her on the swings, talking about everything and nothing, and of hiking through the woods. I only got to know Julia for a …

Categories: Family, Psychology

Curing Writer’s Block – And Other Mental Blocks

GolbGuru over at Money, Matter, and More Musings recently asked me how I’m able to consistently post so much material on a daily basis and keep it as only a small part of a daily routine. The answer is fairly interesting, and it applies to many aspects of life, not just writing. The biggest aspect …

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 …

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 …

100 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Financial Mindset

Recently, an old friend of mine came to me quite upset. She was drowning in debt, much like I was, and she told me she didn’t know where to even start. I told her that I would be glad to counsel her, but that I didn’t want to actually look at her financial numbers because …

Categories: Psychology

Is There Something Wrong With Me If Suze Orman Appears In My Dreams?

Last night, I was reading through a personal finance book (one of the upcoming ones in the 52 Weeks… series) when I dozed off to sleep. In my dream, I was playing catch with Suze Orman in the outfield at Wrigley Field, and she kept shouting at me in that distinctive tone of hers that …

Categories: Psychology, Suze Orman

Dreams and Wishes – and Reality

As an exercise, I made a list of every single material thing I would like to have if money was no object at all. My list was pretty basic: a nice five bedroom home (because I would like to have three children and a guest bedroom), a very reliable automobile, a computer that wasn’t literally …

Categories: Family, Psychology

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 …

Building a Financial (and Personal) Idea Diary

Although I (really) like to bloviate about all sorts of personal finance topics, I keep many more thoughts on my own finances to myself. I’ve found that keeping a handwritten diary of my non-numerical financial thoughts has been invaluable (for the numbers, I use a computerized ledger). I personally use a Moleskine daily planner for …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #10: What I Learned

Yesterday, I indicated some of the specific mechanics that I adopted to turn my financial situation around, and I’m happy to say that my finances have never been better. The solution to the problem, though, is much greater than mere financial tools. Even though I was able to discover and apply tools to solve my …

Remembering A Painful Childhood Experience

I was recently working on a self-evaluation exercise in which I was asked to consider memories from my childhood that had to do with money. These memories would then be used as a reflection on which to see my own personal finance biases today – and thus the connection would enable me to strengthen my …

Categories: Family, Psychology

Turning Off The Financially Irresponsible Mindset

Since turning my financial life around, I’ve discovered that frivolous spending really is a psychologically addictive habit. That little rush of buying something enjoyable for yourself or someone else becomes a part of your life, and when you begin to turn things around, it is a very hard habit to break. Over time, though, I’ve …