So, the big brouhaha lately has been the fact that, after talking about abandoning unethical ads and also decrying The Secret, I then sold an ad on the site to Jack Canfield, the guy who wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, who has written a book about The Secret. Multiple readers called me hypocritical over this, which made me roll my eyes pretty strongly.
Here’s the scoop. Canfield offered to buy the ad a while ago, but I said “no” to it initially, wanting to read the book first. I did not want to post an ad for a book like The Secret, which vastly overvalues positive thinking as compared to hard work. Canfield’s book isn’t one I’ll review here, simply because in a lot of ways it’s similar to many other books and I try to stick with books with interesting viewpoints. However, what it does do is address my very complaint about this whole Secret nonsense – he makes it very, very clear that thinking positive has to be coupled with hard work to get anything done. That’s a message I agree with and so, even though I find Canfield’s writing style to be a bit over the top with the touchy-feely aspect (ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book) for my tastes, I was glad to accept that ad.
Let me repeat this one last time: I don’t put ads on this site for stuff that I have an ethical problem with. I gave up much of the site’s income because this issue is deeply important to me. I put a lot of value into the message I present here, and that includes the site sponsors. I sacrified a lot of income because I believe in that principle. If you see an ad here, it’s because I personally see positive value in the product.
Now, on with some personal finance articles.
Credit Cards, Billing Cycles, and Bimonthly Paychecks I had a hard time with this very challenge earlier in my life. The real key is to just master spending less than you earn – when you do that, this ceases to be a problem. An aside: this article is written by Mrs. Micah, one of the most frequent commenters here, and she’s really coming along as a writer. (@ mrs. micah)
Are You Discouraged By Your Finances? Most of the emails I get from readers are from ones who are either completely discouraged by their financial state or are in some form of panic mode about financial disaster. Hopefully, this article can help some of them. (@ gather little by little)
Marketing Messes With Your Head Marketing, as far as I can tell, seeks to make you feel inadequate so that you’ll want to buy a product that will make you feel adequate again. That’s not a game I want to play. (@ wise bread)
Saving Money at Fuddrucker’s: What’s Too Frugal? I thought this was a nice extension of the “what’s too frugal” discussion here a while back about bookstores and coffee shops. Is it ethical to go to a restaurant, buy the cheapest item, and then fill up on their condiment bar? I don’t really see a problem with it, since the restaurant still is making a profit, but I probably wouldn’t do it, mostly because I don’t like to eat out very often and when I do I like it to be top-notch. (@ lazy man and money)
Car Trouble: A Real Life Lesson in the Value of an Emergency Fund Stories like this make me glad I have a nice healthy emergency fund. (@ get rich slowly)