• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

23 September 2009

when common sense can't help you there is always brutal honesty

I read a lot of personal finance stuff, on and off. There are a lot of good tips, like the idea that if you want to save more of your take-home pay, maaaaybe you shouldn't have that HD DVR Super Extra All-The-Sports-Channels FX HBO cable package.

The thing is, we don't. We don't have cable at all actually. We also don't have Internet on our cellular phones (which we use exclusively - why pay extra for a land-line?). We don't pay other people to mow our lawn, or shovel our snow, or anything like that. I don't get massages or manicures or routine waxings or whatever. If we find time once during a week to eat lunch away from our respective offices, we're lucky. And you certainly won't find us out at the bars with friends. My point is: we're already doing most of the stuff finance advice columnists suggest.

It's just like losing weight. I'd like to lose a few pounds. When I look up tips for doing such, they're things like "Don't drink your afternoon can of Coke" (I don't drink that kind of thing anyway, why waste perfectly good calories?) and "Stop putting cream in your coffee" (I already drink it black-as-black can get) and "Take the stairs instead of the elevator" (well, duh, I personally believe that elevators are reserved for the handicapped and the elderly).

So what happens when commonsensical people still need to find more to cut? For calories, I guess the advice turns from "just cut a corner here and there" to "quit eating so damn much."

And for financial belt-tightening? "Quit spending so much money" is the obvious solution. I'm guessing that I wouldn't make the NYT best seller list if I wrote a finance book with that -- and that alone -- between its covers.