Financial Tips from Nate the Economist
market took a real hit this week. I read up on it. Apparently it has
something to do with China. I know, confusing, right?
As we dwell
on the precipice of the 21st Century’s first American
depression, it struck me that, as one of the country’s premier
economists, I am obligated to both predict our economy’s future and
offer financial advice.
I get into the nitty-gritties of the overwhelming world of finance, rest
assured that I think we’re all going to be fine. Really. I read that
to the advice.
most important thing to do is to stay calm.
need to stop going out so much. Those pre-work lattes and post-work
cocktails have got to go. They say the average American watches only
four hours of TV per day. Does anyone realize how much that means we’re
missing? Instead of fulfilling this artificial need to “get out,” you’ll
find that it’s much more economical to simply stay in. Perhaps you
merely watch the late show. Consider watching the late late show.
Perhaps you’re used to coming home to the six o’clock news. The truth
is, the five o’clock news is just as exciting. Some say it’s even more
current, although I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of that idea.
Did you know that, with the right package, you can get access to as many
as 2,500 channels?
what’s the cable bill?” you say. I say your thinking is very
short-sighted. The extra $40 you spend on your monthly cable bill will
more than pay for itself with the hundreds you’ll save on what you’d
normally spend by “getting out.” As I always say to my economist
friends, you’ve got to spend money to make money.
before I begin, I want to reiterate that this strategy need not be
employed indefinitely, because, as I said, the economy will bounce back.
But for the time being, we must do the best with what we have. Now that
we’ve stopped going out so much, our focus must shift to economical
grocery shopping. A chicken dinner at a restaurant – at least $12; the
same thing made at home – around $6 with some interspersed bills for
heating your oven and other petty electronic usages; no chicken at all –
priceless. The same goes for produce. The fact of the matter is there
are substantially cheaper foods out there. One of the things that we
just have to accept is that financial health does not necessarily go
hand-in-hand with physical health. This is OK. As my economist friends
and I like to say, better to stuff your body with preservatives and
processed food than to beg for the same thing later, albeit slightly
and I say this with some degree of caution because I’ve heard more than
one account of people who are just plain irresponsible – a while back a
very smart person invented what we now refer to as the credit card.
Essentially, it works like this. You sign whatever you have to sign in
order to convince people with money to give you this small, flat,
rectangular piece of magic plastic. Once they give it to you, and trust
me, they always do, you can pretty much get whatever you want with it
for nothing. I’m still investigating this one with my economist friends,
because we all realize it sounds utterly nuts. But the fact of the
matter is, it works. You may have heard it said that the best things in
life are for free. Once I discovered the credit card, I said to myself,
You’ll be amazed how much money you’ll save by
adhering to these four simple steps. I think the overarching philosophy
is that, in the financial world, unconventional thinking is the key. One
has to earn the right to get off the couch, or to eat healthy foods. No
one simply starts out like that without a giant inheritance. But that’s
what credit cards are for. That’s why an incredibly charitable soul
invented the dollar menu. It’s for the up-and-comers who understand that
the long road to financial freedom is lacquered with mindless
entertainment, saturated fat and credit card debt.
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