Spending less money is actually pretty easy once you realize it has a lot to do with mindsets and habits and less about willpower. In my last post I told you about how I was able to cut down my spending habits and stay on budget for the month by simply writing down my total month to date spend on a whiteboard every day. This worked well, but it took a lot of discipline to keep up. To be fair, getting yourself to do anything everyday requires a lot of discipline, until it becomes a habit.
The whiteboard technique worked pretty well because of two reasons:
I forced myself to recognize every single thing I spent money on
I was constantly reminded of my MTD spend since it was on the wall in my room
I’ve since developed an even more effortless technique that is even more fail proof. Here’s how it looks.
Every time I buy anything I punch it in to a Google Form on my phone
You’re probably a victim of lifestyle creep. It only makes sense. I’ve always been pretty good at saving, but it’s so hard to fight that goddamn creep, man. In an effort to combat this, I’ve essentially kept my income the same since I was 22, meaning, whenever I got a raise, I would direct deposit the incremental raise to a separate bank account. It is important that this account is at a completely different bank, making it annoying to transfer funds. My theory was, if I don’t see it, I won’t use it.
For the most part, this plan worked pretty well, but it’s not foolproof. While I never touched that outside bank account, I still found myself transferring money in my main bank from my savings to checkings every now and then because I kept going over budget. This kind of negates the entire purpose of my plan. It’s hard to stick to a tight budget when deep down you know there won’t be any real repercussions if you don’t. Continue reading Combating Lifestyle Creep
Oh hey there. I see I’ve caught you admiring my picture there. Yes. I played a mini game of chicken with my credit card company and came out on top.
Anyway, last Tuesday was an awesome day for me. I got LASIK and a new job offer on the same day. While I’m super excited about this new perfect vision and career opportunity, I am equally as excited about a third thing: I was put into the perfect situation to test a long time theory I’ve had.
I’ve always wondered (but never researched) what happens to your FSA if you leave a company. Basically, once you leave the company, you lose your FSA. Also, since you’re no longer employed, they can’t fund it anymore from your paycheck. This means that if you spent all of your FSA money for this year, you don’t need to pay the difference back once you leave the company. Continue reading FSA Loophole
This month marks exactly five years since my first blog post. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for some time, I want you to know that I truly appreciate it. Every time someone tells me they read my latest blog post, I get a little happy inside, even if I try to act all cool about it. For those who are here for the first time, this is a blog where I mostly talk about nonsense and try to spread theories on things like why girls post double selfies or why diamonds are dumb. Occasionally I’ll share something useful like how to get a southwest companion pass or how to negotiate a raise.
Today I want to share my thoughts on happiness, and I’m going to try to do it in a weird way.
So let’s be honest here. I might try to act nonchalant all the time, but I really care about my web traffic. Chances are if you’re reading this on the day I posted it, I’m probably looking at my stats right this second. Whether it was my first blog post of fiftieth, the process is more or less the same. First, I share my post with the internet and second, I aggressively check my analytics. And when I say “aggressively checking”, I want you to understand that I’m not doing any sort of real analysis in any way; I’m basically just looking at how many people are currently on my site and getting a kick out of it. Continue reading Pageviews and Happiness
Before I start this story, I just want to preface it with the fact that it doesn’t have a super exciting ending. It’s not one of those internet stories where I give a homeless dude a hundred dollar bill while recording with a hidden camera, and in turn, he immediately rips it in half and generously shares it with some other dude who’s aggressively more homeless than him and then the internet buys them a house and they become roommates for life.
It actually has a really unexciting ending. So to save you time, I drew a graph of how the story progresses in terms of excitement.
On your birthday last year I stepped wildly outside of my comfort zone and publicly wrote about why I loved you so much. I remember seeing how happy it made you, so I decided to do it again for your birthday this year. Only this time, I don’t feel like I’m stepping too far out. Although, I had this really weird internal conflict about writing this because of my feelings towards PDA, which you probably know better than anyone. But, to tell you the truth, I was actually kind of looking forward to writing this this year. The reason is because, while having the fortune of spending nearly every day with you since your last birthday, I really don’t express how truly lucky I am to have you in my life nearly enough.
When you have something for a long time, you start to get used to it and when you get used to something, it’s natural to start taking it for granted. But Beatrice, I will never, ever take you for granted. It’s impossible. Because even though it’s almost the same thing every day, just being with you makes me incredibly happy. I’ve never felt so loved or special in my entire life. With you, just coming home from work is a joyous occasion. Every day, I come home and you are there, running to the door to greet me with open arms, just excited as you were the day before. This is going to be a terrible comparison, but people often ask me why I really don’t want a pet. Yes, mostly it’s because I am lazy and don’t want the extra responsibility, but also it’s because I already have someone that loves me unconditionally and gets super happy every time she sees me. Continue reading Happy Birthday Beatrice
“So… what do you do?” is probably one of the most goddamn annoying questions someone can ask you within thirty seconds of meeting you. I don’t know about you, but whenever someone does this to me in a social environment, I immediately lose any interest in talking to them.
I met some dude a couple weeks ago who asked me this immediately after telling me his name. I could kind of tell he was pretty douchey before talking to him because he was wearing a pretty douchey sweater [see picture]. I think it had leather elbow protectors too. But he was a friend of a friend so I humored him and gave him a quick rundown. It didn’t seem like he was able to size me up properly from my explanation so he proceeded to ask me the name of my company, where I went to school and how old I was. I could sense he was eager to tell me what he did for a living but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction so I just stopped talking and forced him to sit next to me in awkward silence. Continue reading The Most Goddamn Annoying Question
I think we can all agree that a key to having a successful blog is to consistently update with new content. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy to come up with relatable, financial advice on a regular basis. I know, even despite the fact that at least once every two weeks someone suggests some obscure fact for me to write about. “Hey I just saved like $3.25 parking over here instead of over there in this very specific situation. You should blog about that.” “Hey, I found a quarter on the ground on my way over here. You should blog about that.” I actually really wish I wrote down all of these useless nice suggestions I’ve gotten over the past few years so I actually could “blog about that.”
Lately, I’ve noticed it’s been more and more common where I find myself saying the words “I’m not actually that cheap” to someone who I just met through a mutual friend. I mean it feels like a necessary safety precursor because getting introduced as “Hey this is Albert. He is hella cheap.” isn’t always the best first impression. “Uhh… I know he just told you that I have a website that says the exact opposite, but it would make more sense if you knew me and…”
Anyways, when I’m not talking about how to save your money on here, I’m usually spreading some theory that I made up, which is actually an excellent segue to what’s coming next.
I don’t exactly own an Instagram account, but I can hashtag as hard as the rest of you. I have recently learned about how girls will post a picture of themselves, but instead of a regular picture it will be the same picture twice or three times. See here for examples (from the internet):
The earliest memory I have of Kelly is from when I was still in elementary school. Since I was best friends with her little brother, I once stayed at their house for a week when my parents were out of town. She woke up at 6 AM to deliver newspapers before she went off to high school to save up money to buy a prom dress. I remember this because her brother and I went with her one of those days to help and at the first house I delivered to, the newspaper somehow unraveled itself and flew everywhere when I dropped it on their neighbor’s doorstep. I quickly ran away and have felt bad about it ever since.
Fast forward to sometime last year; we were having a mini reunion at my parents’ house with some other families. Eventually it somehow became a Q and A session where the parents took turns asking Kelly questions about how she hustled to get her first job. In college, she took the bus for four hours every weekend to New York City so she could meet with people who worked in finance, whom she had cold called earlier in the week. Through this, she landed an internship and over seven years, worked her way up to Vice President at JP Morgan. Continue reading 6 Years From Never Working Again
You ever hear that story of that guy who bought dollar coins online from the government with his credit card? He just kept repeating the cycle of buying dollar coins, cashing them in at his bank, using that money to pay off his credit card bill, and earning hundreds of thousands of free points.
I’ve always been jealous of that guy. Anyways, today I discovered something almost as equally as good, even though it came out a year ago. It is called the Target Prepaid REDcard aka “RedBird”. Don’t get this card confused with the Target Credit or Target Debit cards.
Basically it’s a prepaid Target card that gives you 5% off everything at Target and free online shipping from Target.com. But that’s not all… it allows you to load it by charging your credit card AND allows you to withdraw money from it directly to your bank account… FOR FREE!!