Keeping Down with the Joneses

Sarah and I live in an area where most of the homes near ours are similar to our own and most of the families near us have a similar level of income and external signs of spending. This isn’t a particularly bad thing, but it’s not a particularly … [Read More...]

The Psychology of Human Misjudgment

Recently, I came across a wonderful 1995 speech by Charlie Munger to an audience at Harvard University, and I wanted to share it with you along with some of my thoughts on it. A lot of thoughts, actually. I think this is one of those longer articles with lots of things … [Read More...]

Life Stability and Financial Choices

Personal finance is often a “numbers game.” A person can sit down with a calculator and a piece of paper or with a spreadsheet and go through countless models and ideas about their financial future and, for the vast majority of those ideas, come up with some reasonable … [Read More...]

Frugal Gift Ideas for This Holiday Season

It’s early December, and that means my mailbox is full of requests from readers for frugal gift ideas for the holidays, both in terms of inexpensive gifts that will be appreciated and gifts to give a frugal person. I usually address this question in some form or another each … [Read More...]

The Baboon and the Salt

Earlier this month, I watched a wonderful excerpt from an interview with the semi-retired comedian Dave Chapelle (I think semi-retired is the best description, having read up on him a little). Chapelle walked away from his hugely popular Comedy Central program Chapelle’s Show at the height of … [Read More...]

The ‘After Holiday’ Strategy

After each holiday season, it’s pretty easy for me to write an article about how much you can save by taking advantage of huge markdowns on items related to that holiday. After a holiday passes, most department stores and grocery stores mark down items related to that holiday to … [Read More...]

When Careful Consideration of Purchases Backfires

One money strategy I’ve used since the very first day of my financial turnaround is to carefully consider all of my purchases. I try to avoid buying things unless I’ve given that purchase some serious thought, especially expensive items, but even most inexpensive ones. While this works extremely … [Read More...]

Simple and Hard

Personal finance success is simple. Personal finance success is hard. Those two things don’t contradict each other in the slightest. Simple The things that you need to do to be successful when it comes to finances are really simple. Spend less than you earn. You can do that by … [Read More...]