Blarg! The deadline for this year’s video contest was Sunday night, but we may have run into some technical difficulties. Some folks are reporting that their submissions were reported as “received”, but they’re not showing up in the pool of contest entries. This is Not Good.
If you submitted an entry to the video contest, please check the list of entries. If your submission isn’t there, contact me directly or leave a comment on this post. There were enough problems with this year’s process that we won’t use it again in the future. I apologize.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of my favorite personal-finance stories from this week:
Turtles vs. rabbits
As you may recall, I recently discovered Jacob Fisker’s fantastic Early Retirement Extreme blog. I’m now reading his book (look for a review in the next month), which I like. There are many, many great articles at Jacob’s site, but I was naturally drawn to the recent discussion about financial turtles vs. financial rabbits. Posting in the forums, George notes that many financial books and blogs advocate getting rich slowly. He also notes that people who achieved huge success often took some sort of shortcut. In other words, they got rich quickly. Or quicker, anyhow.
This observation produced a thoughtful discussion, and a follow-up post from Jacob on his blog. (It may also lead to a post from me at Get Rich Slowly…) I believe strongly in the power of getting rich slowly. But, I also believe in the importance of hard work, calculated risks, and seizing opportunity. The “get rich slowly” methods form the bedrock of sound financial future. The calculated risks sometimes help accelerate the process.
Speaking of saving slowly, US News has a great piece on saving for retirement on a low income. This article will be useful for many folks, but I’m sad that it misses a crucial point. If you have a low income (and you’re unhappy with it), the best way you can boost your retirement savings is to find a higher-paying job. Yes, I understand that there’s more to it than just saying, “I want another job.” But that’s the fundamental solution to this problem.
Frugal Dad has a list of 15 things our grandparents lived without (and we probably could, too). Color me a Luddite, but I agree with almost everything on this list. I’ve been particularly baffled by the proliferation of GPS devices over the past decade. I just don’t get it. What’s wrong with a map?
Finally, Studenomics has an interesting little post that discusses what personal finance is not about. This is a fun way to frame the problem. Instead of thinking about why you’re saving money, think about the things that don’t motivate you. I’m not motivated by conspicuous consumption, for instance, or saving for the sake of saving. I don’t need to understand every little piece of personal finance.
This article is about Spare Change