The mind works in mysterious — and expensive — ways. But you can pump up your willpower or trick it into helping you spend less. Farnoosh Torabi, author of Psych Yourself Rich (FT Press, $22.99), explained a few mental approaches on Huffington Post:
Think it through.
Pressured? Rushed? You’ll spend more recklessly. Infomercials are designed to take advantage of this brain quirk.
Take stock regularly, even if you don’t have to.
Is your budget fine the way it is? So-called status quo bias means you’ll keep paying what you’re paying — cable bills, credit cards — unless you have a compelling reason to change.
Saving money is all relative.
Duke behavioral economist Dan Ariely says we’re bad at making comparisons: We may readily pay $3,000 to upgrade to leather seats in a new $25,000 car because it’s a relatively small percentage of the total price, but we’d think a lot longer about paying $3,000 for a new sofa that we’d sit on every night to watch the latest Charlie Sheen interviews.
And Ramit Sethi, who runs the website I Will Teach You to Be Rich, gave some tips on increasing willpower (financial and otherwise) to the Bucks blog of the New York Times:
Pay bills automatically to avoid late fees. Channel a portion of your paycheck to your 401(k) and savings accounts.
Will yourself to be happier outside the office.
“Identify one thing you want to do more of,” Sethi suggests, whether it’s reading the novels of Charles Portis or rowing an hour a day. Add a weekly reminder to your calendar until it’s a part of your routine.
Do a little bit all the time.
If you’re overwhelmed by choices, it’s easy to do nothing. “Instead of trying to save a little bit on everything,” he says, “focus on your two biggest discretionary expenses,” like eating out and drinking, in his case. “Over the next six months, cut each down by 25 to 33 percent.”
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.