Is $100 a Big Deal?

100Tim Ferriss. He’s out of touch. If you somehow missed it, there was this one time when he spitballed the fact that people have $5000 in disposable income to spend each month on his podcast. No, dude, they don’t. But he’s not the only person who might be out of touch with money. Last week, I thought I was the one with the money math problem. Continue reading “Is $100 a Big Deal?”

Is $100 a Big Deal?

The $5000 Tim Ferriss Math Problem

Math (2)Disposable income. The amount of money someone could spend on voluntary or non-essential costs. You know, the money that’s leftover after you’ve paid taxes, paid your bills, and paid yourself. In our house, we think of it as fun money. My grandma loved to call it her mad money. Whatever it’s called, it’s money that can be spent, no harm, no foul.

This past weekend, I was catching up on my favorite podcasts as I paddle boarded across the lake, and I nearly sent my phone to its watery grave in an effort to re-listen to something I surely misheard. I had already seen enough tweets and references to the Tim Ferriss episode “How to ‘Waste Money’ To Improve the Quality of Your Life”, so I thought I already got the gist of it. But I wanted to give it a listen regardless*. What the rest of the Twitter-verse didn’t tell me was the number he uses in his hypothetical number crunching. Hold onto your iPhones, folks. Continue reading “The $5000 Tim Ferriss Math Problem”

The $5000 Tim Ferriss Math Problem

The Privilege of Pretending

PretendingMy heart started to hammer as I unloaded my grocery cart items onto the conveyer belt and I started to mentally run the numbers. We might not make it under our $200 grocery budget for the month. How could this be? What was different? Did I buy too much fresh produce? Should I put something back? For a short month, this budget dilemma seemed unexpected and unexplainable. Rice, eggs, apples, cereal, almond milk, black beans, Roma tomatoes, the list goes on. After eyeing everything in the cart, I realized that any extra trips to the store in the next week would, in fact, push us over our budget. Then, as I watched the family in front of me quietly swipe their SNAP card through the card reader and then thought about my own impending bill, another thought popped into my head: So what?

Something really inexplicable has been happening as of late. More and more people are talking about being poor. Gwyneth Paltrow and her SNAP Challenge. Tim Ferriss* and his calls to  practice poverty. Even bloggers, like yours truly, get so married to their budgets that busting them seems like end-of-days music should start playing in the background as spreadsheets are filled.

I have no qualms about this kind of conversation. I’m on board with simplifying. In fact, I admire people who can eschew life’s excesses and really drill down their consumption to the bare minimum. In many ways, that is exactly what the impetus behind this blog is: more purposeful living. But make no mistake about it. There’s privilege in being able to pretend. 

Continue reading “The Privilege of Pretending”

The Privilege of Pretending