Psychology

Guilty Money: How Much Do You Have To Spend Frivolously Before You Feel Guilty About It?

Over the weekend, I had an IM conversation with an old friend of mine in which he stated that he felt guilty about spending $50 on a video game. This led us into a lengthy discussion about frivolous spending and guilt, and we found that his guilt threshold is substantially higher than my own. I …

Categories: Debt, Psychology

What Is A Lot Of Money To You?

A reader recently posed this question to me, and went on to say: I’ve heard “I’m making good money at my new job.” Without numbers attached, what does that mean? Well, to someone who just started in fast food it might mean $8.50 and hour, but to an ER physician it could mean $130K/year. This …

Categories: Psychology

What Aspects Of Personal Finance Bring You Happiness?

Over the weekend, I had a chance to read a truly excellent article entitled Finding the Joy in Frugality at David on Finance. David’s story is rather similar to mine – he went through a financial low point and is now digging his way out. What he found that surprised him, though, is how enjoyable …

Categories: Debt, Frugality, Psychology

How To Get Past The “Keeping Up With The Joneses” Mentality

This weekend, we’re staying at an exquisite estate owned by relatives of my wife. It’s a gorgeous house, gorgeous land, and well-kept, too. In other words, it’s enough to bring out those little bits of jealousy within me – it would be truly amazing to live here. Not too long ago, I would have consoled …

Categories: Psychology

The Stress of Buying a Home

As we progress through this home-buying experience (we’ve looked at tons of homes, found the right one, and are about to submit an offer), we’ve found out how truly stressful it is. Added into this is the fact that my wife is pregnant and we will be having our second child not long after moving …

Categories: Housing, Psychology

What Would You Do With Your Money If You Had Only One Year To Live?

I came across this article at Grad Money Matters recently and it got me thinking about the question on several levels. First, what would I do with my money in that situation? This was the aspect that Grad Money focused on. For me, I’d do everything I could to set things up so that my …

Categories: Goals, Psychology

How Personal Productivity and Personal Development Are Connected To Personal Finance

Recently, I’ve been reading the book The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley. It’s a pseudo-sequel to the mega-popular personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door (which I reviewed a while back) and it focuses on psychological and personal aspects of people with a net worth of one million dollars or more. As I was reading …

Nine Tricks I Use To Keep Saving Money – And Not Spend It

It’s pretty easy to save money over a short period – just make a savings deposit and feel good about yourself, right? The real challenge comes over the long haul – how can you make yourself do it consistently and also not be tempted to spend the money? Here are nine tricks I use to …

The Big Battle: Money Versus Job Satisfaction

Over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. wrote an interesting article about the relative importance of money and job satisfaction, which was itself a continuation of a pretty large online discussion on the topic: – The Brazen Careerist gives five reasons not to change careers – Paul Graham talks about how to do what you love …

Categories: Careers, Goals, Psychology

Dealing With The Stress of Buying a Home

Right now, my wife and I are waist-deep in the house buying process and it is pretty stressful for both of us. Buying a house is a huge financial commitment and we’re both rather stressed out about the whole thing – it has been dominating our thoughts and our waking hours for the last several …

The Value Of Facing Down Your Financial Fears

Recently, I was reading The 4-Hour Workweek and I tried out a mental exercise from the book. Basically, the objective is to make a list of your absolute worst-case scenario with respect to your job and then compare it to the dreams you’re giving up in order to stave off any chance of that worst-case …

Categories: Psychology

Overcoming The Social Obligation To Keep Up With The Joneses

I received a very heartfelt email from a reader that I’m going to reprint below (with some grammatical fixes). It was written to me in response to my earlier post concerning when frugality finally pays off. I’ve been debt free for five years, I own my own home, and I have almost 200K in investments …

Continuing The Discussion: When Does All This Pay Off?

Over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. posted an interesting discussion on the question of when the payoff comes for all the work of being frugal, saving, and investing. To quote Annie: I look around and see people my age buying expensive condos, carrying expensive handbags, taking trips to Iceland and Mexico and Spain. I know …

Categories: Psychology

The Tao of Setting Concrete Financial Goals

When I was first recovering from financial disaster, one of my biggest challenges was convincing myself to actually do the things I knew I needed to do. I would think to myself, “I want to save money,” but when push came to shove, it was so easy to not save money. I’m willing to bet …

Categories: Planning, Psychology

Five Minute Finances #18: Freeze Your Credit Cards – Literally

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. If the one thing keeping you from cutting up your credit cards is fear that you might someday desperately need …

How To Use Your Dreams To Get Financially Ahead

Everyone has a dream, something that they wish would happen in their life. Perhaps it is business success, or the financial freedom to be a stay at home parent. Maybe it’s just a dream of that shiny new car down the block. Some people spend their time living their dream – they’re either incredibly lucky, …

Categories: Psychology

Why Malcolm Gladwell Wants You To Be Poor: Blink, The Tipping Point, and Personal Finance

In the past two months, I’ve had the opportunity to read both of Malcolm Gladwell’s recent books, Blink and The Tipping Point. While both books discuss psychological phenomena that are genuinely interesting and useful, in both cases applying the message to your personal life is at best questionable, at least for the average consumer. Take …

Spenders Anonymous: Twelve Steps to Beating the Addiction to Spending

Spending is a psychological addiction. It is quite easy to fall into a routine where you just spend money on things you don’t need over and over again because it begins to feel right. You slip deeper and deeper into credit card debt buying stuff and falling further and further behind. Among my family and …

Categories: Psychology

How To Handle Guests That Abuse Their Welcome – And Your Wallet

This was a very interesting note that I received yesterday that I felt deserved some discussion: My husband’s brother moved into our apartment complex recently. At first I was happy to have him here, but now he spends all of his waking time when he’s not at work at our place. He raids our fridge …

Categories: Family, Psychology