<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Citi & Financial Discipline
 

Citi & Financial Discipline

February 29th, 2012 at 07:40 am

**Got gas today - holy cow. I hadn't gotten gas in about 4 weeks - I paid 50 cents per gallon more than last time. Was $3.96 at the cheapest gas station I know of.

Of course, rising gas prices seems awfully predictable to me - we keep a buffer in the budget for that.

**I think dh got 10 credit card offers from Citi last week. When you put his middle initial at the end of his last name, turns his male name into a female name. So both him and his female alter ego received several offers for the Citi Platinum Diamond card. No rewards, so, meh. I think he got 3 or 4 of those??? 2 offers for the Simplicity (no rewards - marketed to those who pay balance off every month - no fees if you make one late payment. As if you couldn't just ask to remove it when you make a mistake once in a very blue moon -no thanks). Another offer for the Thank You card he already had for one-time rewards. The offer was good so will apply again. Not sure if they really mean it - since he already told them the first time he only signed up for the rewards. We just closed that card a few months ago.

There may have been more - Holy cow on the Citi offers. Still *none* for me though our credit profiles are identical. Even female alter ego must have an *identical* profile - same sex and everything. Wink

**Saw another interesting blog post today through mymoneyblog:

http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/your-mistaken-beli...

I think this is so true and hard to get across. I am often complimented on financial discipline. Sure, I am sure I have a fair amount of discipline. BUT, it's not all about discipline. I think a lot of it is just about habits. This link talks a lot about automating everything. I actually don't really automate anything about my finances. I like to be more involved and in control. But "pay yourself first" is really of the same mind. When I get paid, I immediately make all transfers to savings and live with what is left. A - this is little more than habit. B - this has always paid off extraordinarily in the long run, so why on earth would I be tempted to touch that money?

Of course, automation sounds like a great means to the same end.

On another level, I just strongly believe in moderation. For example, I have never had the slightest desire to participate in a no-spend kind of challenge. No Thanks! For me, that kind of deprivation would only backfire. I know I do best with a very small amount of immediate gratification and luxury in my budget. If I am content, I don't have any problem with "paying myself first." If I feel deprived, I lose my discipline and everything gets out of whack.

Another example is how we tend to put 100% windfalls to savings. *Every day contentment* means it takes no discipline to do so. I mean, would I rather blow it on some crap I don't want or need, or have it there for when I really need it? Is that discipline?

I'd say this applies to just about everything in my life. I think both dh and I are good at simplifying things and being organized. I am continually amused how many people in real life how *perfect* and *disciplined* we are. IT comes up a lot. Which REALLY bothers me because I am probably the complete opposite of a perfectionist and dh and I are actually pretty darn laid back and low key. I can assure you "perfection" is not an image I try to project and is definitely not an image I am interested in projecting. Everyone is always asking me how I get the kids ready every day, pack their lunches, work all day, clean house, cook dinner, help kids with homework, do the laundry, bathe kids, on and on and on and on. & I always tell them, "Yeah, I don't do all that stuff." & they will never *get* it. I mean seriously, they do understand with my spouse at home we literally work half as much as them outside the house? They don't *get* it! We do the important things, we split duties to our strengths, and we are organized. Which means we work a fraction of everyone we know but appear to be doing more. I'd say we literally don't do half the stuff most our friends do. I mean, our kids aren't babies any more - they can chip in too - they can do some things for themselves, etc. Like our parents before us, we are raising our kids to be able to take responsibility of themselves in a culture where people *baby* their kids well into adulthood. Seems like "making life infinitely harder for no reason," if you ask me.

It's the same with finances. It's simplified, it's organized, it's habit, and that is the long and the short of it. Do I have more than average willpower? Heck no.

------------------------------------------------

ETA: Didn't see any articles worth sharing today in the tax sphere, but saw this and thought it was relevant to my blog today:

Are You As Busy As You Think?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020335870457723...

Interestingly, the author has written books on both money management and time management.

3 Responses to “Citi & Financial Discipline”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I ascribe to the letting yourself have a little play money each month so you don't feel deprived philosophy. So when I get the nice bumps like my tax refund, or monetary gifts from other places, I am perfectly fine with putting it into savings. I know that is an area that needs quite a bit of plumping up, and so would much rather do that than get an iPad or ??? (not really sure what else I'd spend $771 on right now ..)

  2. baselle Says:

    Have to agree that it is like through the looking glass - if one is never satisfied, always comparing, and thinking that spending will make you happy then whatever you say it'll be like speaking Martian. Keeping it simple, keeping it routine, and if you are busy you have to keep even simpler and even more routine.

  3. Jerry Says:

    I'm blown away by the increases in the cost of gasoline in the States, and I'm not even there to have to buy it. Granted, yes, it is more expensive in Europe, but that is normal for this place, and people who drive a lot here tend to just use propane or methane anyway. If the prices went up that much here it would lead people to have to literally stop driving. I hope that something gets fixed over there... it's kind of daunting to think about coming back to the States right now, actually. I'd rather have some insurance that things were on an upswing, but it hasn't felt like that in quite a long while.
    Jerry

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
*
Will not be published.
   

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]