Pocketmint

small change toward a rich life

Tag: spending

  1. Gasoline spending: the problem

    21 December 2012

    This is the first of two posts about how I adapted our budget system to control our gasoline expenses. When I set up our budget in July 2011, Jak and I both had contract jobs. That meant two things with regard to transportation: a long commute several days per week, and free transit passes. Mostly, […]

  2. To give great gifts, think like a behavioral economist

    13 December 2012

    For Jak’s last birthday, I gave him peace of mind. Also, sushi. Our mutual favorite restaurant in the area is Mashiko Sushi, way down in West Seattle. These days we eat out very rarely — a bit less than once per month — but we spend more time at Mashiko than anywhere else, in no […]

  3. Now Read This — what you really want, house happiness, and the fiscal cliff

    30 November 2012

    Erica Strauss on getting what you really want Remember ‘miswanting’? Erica at Northwest Edible Life offers a another way to rethink your tangible purchases with Occupy Your Brain (Why You Don’t Really Want What You Want). She lays out a nice little chart to help you dig down past the initial desire-reflex and examine the […]

  4. Setting up the Great Cash Experiment

    18 October 2012

    Having been convinced by numerous psychological studies that credit cards are causing us to spend more, on October first Jak and I began our Great Cash Experiment, in which we try to replace plastic forms of payment with cash — as much as is feasible, here in twenty-first century America. As you might expect, there […]

  5. The credit card rewards system is gaming you

    8 October 2012

    Warnings against credit cards, while common, are almost always of the ‘don’t carry a balance’ variety. Over and over, we are told that as long as we pay off your balance each month and avoid fees and interest charges, we’ll come out ahead. I’ve noticed that bloggers in particular love to trumpet the advantages of […]

  6. The secret to the new iPhone’s popularity

    14 September 2012

    So the iPhone 5 goes on sale in just one week. Here’s an early look at what people think of the improvements over last year’s 4S model: This cracked me the hell up. You’ve probably heard of ‘planned obsolescence’, where products are deliberately designed with a limited lifespan. There’s a bit of that with the […]

  7. Unpackrat

    23 June 2012

    Here’s some of what I’ve been doing since getting back from our various trips: Cleaned out the refrigerator, including the usually-ignored door shelves. Discarded a crazy amount of half-used condiments, some dating all the way back to 2008. Reorganized the freezer and deep freezer. Pulled up the oldest items and forced myself to incorporate them […]

  8. Accidental tourists

    1 June 2012

    Our month in Mexico was all the travel we planned for this year. But then we were invited to attend a wedding in Jak’s family. In Texas and … Costa Rica. With round-trip airfare generously paid. Well, gosh. Touring a Costa Rican rainforest has been high on my bucket list for nearly two decades, ever […]

  9. The Conflict-Free Family Budget: Your Turn

    8 February 2012

    In creating the Conflict-Free Family Budget, I was striving to accomplish two separate but interlinked goals: reduce spending and reduce conflicts. I think these work best in tandem, but that’s not to say that you wouldn’t derive some benefit by implementing just one or the other. I’ll try to tease them apart here for that […]

  10. The Conflict-Free Family Budget: Our Results

    27 January 2012

    Our new budget system accomplished everything I hoped for, and then some. Still, I’ve been surprised by a thing or two about my own reactions, and even more so by Jak’s. (This is Part Two in a series. See the Introduction and Part One if you missed them.) I fully expected that for at least […]

  11. The Conflict-Free Family Budget: Our Plan

    19 January 2012

    Here’s the complete rundown of the new budget agreement I worked out and proposed to Jak last June. This post is part of a series. See the Introduction if you missed it. First, I started with by calculating our net income from a single day job. (At the time it was me working and Jak […]

  12. Eschewing Black Friday, embracing Small Business Saturday

    29 November 2011

    I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend (well, those in the States, anyway — I hope everyone else had a great ordinary weekend). We had an awesome dinner, if I do say so myself. I am almost done with the cost calculations I promised; I just need to get a few prices from Costco […]

  13. Spending money to save money

    5 November 2009

    We’ve done a pretty good job of cutting back on unnecessary expenses during this period of reduced income. ‘Magazine subscriptions’ seems like an obvious category to eliminate, right? Yet I kept mine. Here’s why: they save me way more money than they cost. Consumer Reports My first-ever magazine subscription, when I was 19 years old, […]

  14. A visit to the Island of Misfit Foods

    4 August 2009

    The first of my two guest posts is up at Get Rich Slowly. GRS has long been my favorite personal finance blog, and was one of the main inspirations for Pocketmint. (Which is sort of a neat karmic circle, since JD credits my online personal journal of twelve years ago as the inspiration for his […]

  15. Parental generosity versus financial limits

    28 August 2008

    A recent conversation on the Get Rich Slowly forum about finances and children caught my eye — specifically, how do you balance the desire to give your children everything they want (or everything you did or didn’t have) with the practical need to limit expenses? This is an issue that Jak and I negotiate regularly, […]

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