Archive for the ‘bipolar wallet’ Category

Where Do They Go?

October 31, 2007

Old blogs that is. I considered calling this “coda”, but I’m not sure it’s time just yet to cash in the chips, call it a day, and so on. In glancing over the more recent posts I note that there’s nothing about my passing the licensing exam. And that’s ancient history.

We are back in debt, to the tune of a few thousand at least. That I only have a ballpark idea indicates where we’re at. Still, it’s confined to one card now. We just hit that wall of “I want that.” That wall is tough. Plus, what do you do when your bank balance is $0.00. That was a new one, courtesy of overdraft protection. But it didn’t last for long and soon we were at -$207.


The Crass Construction of Desire

August 8, 2007

Smooth Persuaders: Leveraging Human Nature.

…Would you mind? The pf community is a great place for otherwise scarce information about debt reduction. Pfbloggers are making a public commitment to debt reduction — a powerful motivator. Perhaps you will post something to the next carnival, respond in kind? Since you’re reading this, it only makes sense.

In a brazen and hamfisted way, the opening section of our debt reduction carnival attempted to incorporate many of the common techniques advertisers and politicos use to separate us from our money:

  • I appealed for a sense of commitment, “would you mind?” by making an innocuous request.
  • I mentioned that there were limited resources in terms of debt reduction advice (patently absurd). That’s an appeal to your fear of scarcity, and the tendency to value things that are scarce, or even might be scarce.
  • I stated that other people are doing it too. In other words, why don’t you? Particularly in ambiguous situations, we model our behavior on what other people are doing.
  • I appealed to your sense of wanting to return a favor. Reciprocity is simply one of the foundations of society, and as social creatures we feel a strong desire to reciprocate. A big part of this is that we generally hate to feel we owe others something! (Funny, given the personal finance context of trying to reduce or avoid debt…)
  • There’s a war going on out there — and if you don’t watch out, you and your pocketbook will be the casualties. That’s one of the central thrusts of Dr. Robert Cialdini. His book has sold over 1 million copies. If you think you are largely immune to the ploys of advertising, read on!

    Cialdini on unconscious modes of persuasion.
    I mentioned Cialdini, a social psychologist, in an earlier post. You can find his books in the business section. (A recent New York Times article “Who’s Minding the Mind?” covered the surprising range and variety of powerful ways we can be manipulated — without any conscious knowledge of what is going on. In the Yale study, people’s judgment was strongly affected simply by handing them a cup of coffee.) Cialdini writes about the ways in which human beings respond automatically, without thought. Here are the ways he outlines that we can be easily manipulated: (more…)

    Spring Roundup — Some Favorite Posts

    July 3, 2007

    Greatest Hits.
    Spring has come and gone, it’s not quite 7 a.m. and sun is blazing through the blinds, and I’ve yet to put together a greatest hits package. So here it is, in no particular order. This debt-reduction ride has been fun. I’m seeing that choosing favorite posts is like choosing favorite children — well, if we had three kids, we would have picked one.

    A few things that stand out: LadyDough has really been kicking butt! The phenomenon of sense-of-humor failure is something to watch out for. This ride really has its ups and downs, that’s for sure. While short posts are delightful, rants have their place…

    Psychology of Personal Finanace.

    • Mental Health Day, A Good Investment. Click here.
    • The psychology of getting frugal. Ever wondered how to really leverage habit building? Click here.
    • A numbers running rant.
    • Freud on Money. Click here.
    • The all-important emergency fund. Click here.

    La Vie Frugal — Living the Dream.

    • Destitute Credit Zombies. Click here.
    • It’s the little things. Click here.
    • Getting into Gas. Jasmine. Errands. Click here.
    • Getting into the groove of austerity. Click here.
    • Debt gladiator. “Could there be such a thing as a bipolar wallet?” Click here.
    • Chicken Suizas Lean Cuisines never tasted so yummy. Click here.
    • Frugal Bugle. Getting into the car thing. Click here.

    The Sense-of-Humor Failure: When Frugality Turns to Self-Flagellation.

    • A day in reassessing debt. Confronting an ugly phenomenon: Sense-of-humor failure. Click here.
    • Loosen up a little! Click here.
    • Driving, more. A minor sense-of-humor failure. Click here.
    • The bottom. Humor completely absent. Not for the faint of heart, but instructive. Click here.

    Parenting Posts.

    • Parents gone wild. Click here.
    • Keeping up with the Joneses. Click here.
    • Capital of Consumerism. Click here.
    • Daughters and Mothers. Click here.

    Well, that’s it for May and June. Next time, July.