This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Article: Steps to thin your health risks, fatten your wallet

Posted By Paul

A friend sent me a link to a great article that I wanted to pass on.

As my family tries to live a frugal life and keep costs (including food) down. We often run into a conundrum.

Often the cheapest foods are not the healthiest foods. This is something I run into a lot with restaurants (where the cheapest fast food options are often not very healthy at all), and also with groceries (where organic and fresher ingredients are often more expensive than processed foods).

My wife and I made the decision some time ago that spending a little more money now to eat healthier will pay off in the long run by avoiding various costly health issues.

Of course such a decision is based purely on supposition and we won't ever really know if we made the right choice, but it was nice to see an article that suggested that our philosophy had some merit.

Check out the article and tell me what you think:

Steps to thin your health, fatten your wallet

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Article: Why Only Thinking About Affordability Makes You Poor

Posted By Paul

I saw this article on a blog that I discovered today.

I really liked the article because I use the term 'affordability' a lot when I talk about money. When people ask me if I think it's okay for them to splurge on something I often ask the question: "Can you afford it?"

This article emphasizes that many people when answering that question are simply asking themselves: "Do I have the money now to cover the payment?"

It talks about how using that definition can lead you into some poor choices.

The article lists a set of other questions you should ask in addition to just basic affordability when making a financial choice:
  1. Is it necessary or is it nice to have?
  2. Is there a more economical version?
  3. Would most people in your situation want to buy it?
  4. Would you still buy it if you had time to think about it? In other words, is it an impulse decision?
  5. How is that going to affect your short and long term goals?
I especially liked item 5....considering the choice in relation to your financial goals.

I think that now when discussing financial choices with people I'll have to ask the question: "Can you afford while meeting your other goals?" as a starting point for discussion.

Check it out:

Why Only Thinking About Affordability Makes You Poor

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pretetending You're Broke - Follow Up

Posted By Paul

Just a little follow-up on the 'Pretending You're Broke' experiment, a couple of small things that I came across that ended up being great ways to save a few bucks:

My son and I have a standard routine where on Thursday nights we go and so something fun (generally his choice) and then after we go to a restaurant (also his choice) and get something to eat before heading home.

Well luckily my son usually wants to go to the same place, a kids activity center. We go there so often that we purchased a one year membership which has already paid for itself.

After the activity center we went to our usual restaurant where my 3 year old gets his usual meal. I often get food there myself but this time I just got a drink (well specifically I shared a drink with my son) and it was actually fun. I didn't really miss eating there and I just grabbed a bite as soon as we got home.

Another thing is that I'm getting together with friends this weekend. We often try to meet for lunch or dinner but due to our schedules we were only able to get together around 3PM so we're going to meet for coffee instead.

I realized that this was a great way to get together and save a few bucks. Instead of a full meal I'll just be getting a coffee. I still get to sit and chat with my friends, which is the real point of getting together anyway.

So far the 'pretending you're broke' experiment has been a really good experience.