Psychology of Spending

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59 Posts with this tag

How to Think

The truth about extended warranties, and what to do instead

Buy a car, house, or virtually anything expensive, and we usually don't walk out the door without first being hit up for an extended service plan, or warranty. These warranties are sold as a way to protect our investments, but do they really work? A better question: Do we actually use them? The truth is these extended warranties often do nothing more than serve as a healthy source of commission for your salesperson. Darn near 50% of the cost of warranties are kept by the retailer. The margins a
Mar 27, 2018·5 min read
Guest Posts

Impostor no more! How one Ph.D. engineer bested her impostor syndrome

I am currently a researcher at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. I completed my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, worked as a product design engineer for Apple, founded my own business, and pursued my research passion combining textiles and electronics. Despite my accomplishments, I often felt like a failure, not believing that I truly belonged in engineering. This is imposter syndrome. [Note from Steve: Fay (a long-time friend of my wife Courtney) reached out to me afte
Mar 7, 2018·7 min read
Minimalism

Kill It: Minimalism need not apply

You've heard it time and time again, I bet: Minimalism is where it's at. It's how to declutter and take back control of your life. But, I also don't believe living that small is required to take control of your life. You don't need to be a minimalist.
Mar 5, 2018·4 min read
Blogging

Here's one of the most powerful videos I've ever seen on mindless consumerism

This week, my wife Courtney sent me a link to a video and asked for my thoughts. Little did I know, I was about to watch one of the most powerful videos I think that I've ever seen on the subject of financial independence and mindless consumerism. Do yourself a favor and stop whatever it is that you're doing and give this video your undivided attention (and for the record: I don't know this guy. Never met him -- it's just a bad-ass video, one of the best I've seen). It starts out with a quote
Mar 1, 2018·1 min read
Change Your Life

I plan to be the president

In my 4th grade class, one of our assignments was to pick a student to exchange interview questions and then present their answers to the class. The point of the exercise was to learn a little more about our classmates and generally make us care, at least the tiniest bit, about someone other than ourselves. I interviewed a kid, and all was going well. That is, until we got to the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I sort of expected this kid to respond with what most 4th grade
Feb 2, 2018·3 min read
How to Think

Set yourself up for success by lying to yourself

I'm a strong believer that life is nothing more than a mind game. We create our version of reality in our heads, then blaze a trail through life as if our reality IS reality. We live it because we actively believe it to be true. With all facets of life, this seems to hold. If I'm a fan of the New England Patriots (I'm not), then they'll probably be the best team in the NFL - at least to me. Or, if I drive around in a Toyota (I don't), then Toyotas will most likely be one of the best cars to driv
Jan 31, 2018·4 min read
Financial independence

We bought a $110 bottle of Tequila; no regrets

Financial Independence isn't about not spending money. It's not some challenge to see how long you can go without buying this or that, or how minimal you can get your home. You people know how much I hate the term "minimalism " anyway. :) It's an over-simplification of saving money and becoming independently wealthy to chalk up the large majority of life to not spending money. While that will eventually lead to financial
Jan 18, 2018·3 min read
Black Friday

How can retailers afford those Black Friday deals? They can't

Here's the thing about Black Friday - it's a day where we see the absolute marketing genius of many retailers truly shine, as they offer so-called deals on products that you probably could have picked up cheaper during other times of the year. > How does the math add up with all these discounts? It doesn't. As I was going through some media photos of the hysteria of Black Friday this year, I couldn't help but wonder how all of these retailers can afford to "slash prices" down to "rock bottom".
Nov 29, 2017·3 min read
Financial independence

My side hustle idea; whatcha think?

Raise your hand if you're sitting in a half-full office today? The week of Thanksgiving, every office I've ever worked in was at least half empty. It was one of my favorite times to be at the office, actually. It was slow. And, I didn't have to take PTO! And, you're probably making the rounds throughout the blogosphere with those folks who've actually posted something today - like this article, which is quickly turning into something relatively meaningless... I've published this post to say som
Nov 21, 2017·3 min read
In Retirement

Are early retirees rule followers?

I am not a rule follower. Then again, I'm not necessarily a rule breaker, either. According to one psych author, I'm what you call a "questioner". If I don't feel that a rule applies in my situation, I'll do what I want and won't look back. Okay, I say this with one major caveat: I must understand WHY a rule has been put in place before I break it so I don't fall into the trap that the rule was designed to prevent. For instance, I am not going to drive around a sharp corner at 60MPH if the sugg
Oct 16, 2017·5 min read
How to Save

Minimalism sucks: Wrong word for a positive movement

Though I have written in some detail about our desire to downsize (minimize) our possessions and live a more simple (read: minimal?) lifestyle, my goal is not to become a minimalist. In fact, I do not believe that the concept of minimalism is all that helpful in our path towards financial independence and early retirement.
Jul 12, 2017·4 min read
In Retirement

Some will never retire early, and it's all their fault

Some will never retire early, and it's all their fault. It's true. The choices we make and motivations we hold make a profound impact on accomplishing our goals - early retirement or otherwise. I'll let you know right off the bat that there's a wheel barrel full of tough love in this post. I know that I'm going to piss some people off , and that's fine. It comes with the territory. I'm okay with it. Still want to continue reading? Goooood. If you're
Jun 12, 2017·7 min read