Decisions

How much is that cheap thing costing you?

I’m a big fan of purchasing responsibly. I’m not profligate with my spending, but I do feel like it’s important to spend a little extra on certain things that provide a significant return, be it personally or financially. But I also have learned over time to take a longer view of purchases. It’s not just … Continue reading »

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The moment I learned that dollar stores aren’t a good deal

In 2003, I was living in New York City, working a retail job where I made around $13 an hour. (That’s a $26,000 salary equivalent.) My rent was $675, which meant that I was spending 50% of my take home pay just to live and keep the lights on. It wasn’t quite “result misery”, as … Continue reading »

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The problem with YOLO

I’m in Vegas this week. Everyone has a strong reaction to that phrase, and it’s quite revealing about them. Sometimes it’s, “Ugh, Vegas, what a hellhole“, but more often it’s “Awesome! What kind of craziness are you gonna get up to? Are you drinking yet? How much money have you lost on the slots?” Ahem. … Continue reading »

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The problem with wanting “more”

“I wish I had more money.” I hear this at discussion groups, coaching sessions, and even just conversations with friends. I can’t help but remember that commercial from my childhood for a trade school, with Sally Struthers as spokesperson: “Do you want to make more money? Of course, we all do.” But do we really? … Continue reading »

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Prince vs. The Barnes Foundation: do you even need a will?

I’ve found myself quite avoidant to the task of getting a will. Then again, it’s a question worth asking: Do you really need a will? Now, I Am Not A Lawyer, as the saying goes, but I do have some thoughts on the matter.

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How (not) getting a will showed me why we don’t think about finances

I’m really enjoying my life right now. More to the point, I certainly don’t have any plans for it to end anytime soon. But, well, you know, let’s face it, I’ve read the statistics, and one out of every one person dies eventually. Even the Rolling Stones will have to stop touring at some point. … Continue reading »

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In (surprising) defense of taxis

I’m writing this the night before I take off on a short trip, my first of the new year. The flight leaves at 7AM. I have Pre-Check (because of NEXUS) so I don’t need to get there all that much in advance. But that still means leaving no later than 5:30AM. And to get there, … Continue reading »

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Calculate the opportunity cost

Opportunity cost can be defined as “the value of the choice of a best alternative lost while making a decision.” Or, more colloquially, it’s “what you could have done if you had chosen differently.” I’ve talked before that one should consider the opportunity cost. But considering is one thing; how do you calculate the opportunity cost? I had … Continue reading »

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How my 1990 Geo Prizm helped me buy a home

Small moves today can create big possibilities tomorrow. In the same way, small moves years ago create big possibilities today. I’ve certainly seen this in my own life. The story starts, rather improbably, with a two hour wait on a train platform in the middle of the night. And leads, also improbably, with the keys to … Continue reading »

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Why I charge for my services

I am not good at asking for money. If you want an example of my personal hell, it would be to be one those of people who stand on street corners and accost you as you pass. “Hey friend! You’re looking sharp today! I bet you like [whales/children/whatever they are fundraising for].” (Although, come to … Continue reading »

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