There is no such thing as a free lunch. From my experience, that’s completely true. Yet, I constantly advocate using free services all the time – the library, the parks, and so on.
Lately, a few readers have called me on this seeming contradiction, pointing out that, indeed, these things have costs. We pay those costs when we pay our taxes. And some people with a certain political perspective think it’s wholly unfair that we should pay for libraries and parks and the like.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s a sunk cost. We’ve already paid our taxes – and those taxes paid for those libraries. The money is already paid – so why not enjoy the fruits of those dollars? If you politically disagree with such services, act in a political fashion against them – but don’t eschew services. You’ve already paid for them. Use them.
Tyler Durden’s Guide To Personal Finance This is a humorous reworking of “Fight Club,” translating the themes of the movie into pretty sensible personal finance advice. I enjoyed reading it. (@ man vs. debt)
Thomas Carlyle’s Advice to Young Men This is brilliant advice for everyone today. Don’t follow advice to the letter – instead, explore and learn what works for you. A truly worthwhile person is able to find their own path and utilizes advice only in terms of trying to see things through another’s eyes. (@ art of manliness)
In Defense of Solitude (Part Two) I spend multiple workdays in solitude. For me, being alone is essential – a key part of being able to bear down and focus on tasks at hand. I find that interruptions make it much more challenging for me to complete anything well, so solitude is a key tool for my work. (@ soul shelter)
Banishing the No Momentum Monster Without some sort of crutch, I find it’s really hard to maintain the momentum of continuous work, like writing or exercising every day. For me, the “chain method” works well – I have a printed calendar on the wall in my office and each day I accomplish my specific goal, I put a big colored X on that date on the calendar. When I get a string of them going, I *really* don’t like breaking that chain, so it gives me motivation to do it. (@ unclutterer)
Off My Giving List I do the same thing – if a telemarketer from a charity interrupts me, I cease giving to them. I am a charitable person, but I value my family time and I don’t want it intruded on by some ham-fisted telemarketer. (@ free money finance)
Are Online Savings Accounts Worth It? We use an online savings account (ING) for most of our banking, but we also have a local bank for some specific teller services (cashing checks, mostly). We have the two accounts linked and everything just works like a charm. (@ bargaineering)
How to Destroy Your Investment Portfolio You can solve all five of these problems by simply buying a broadly based index fund and just sitting on it. Sure, you won’t hit a home run, but you will have consistently strong investment results over the long haul. (@ frugal dad)