greed http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4145/all en-US Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wallet_empty_174761394.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways 7 deadly sins keep her poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It turns out, most of us are a bunch of sinners. And those sins we commit regularly might be the sole reason for our financial struggles. Whether it's feelings of lust, greed, gluttony, or the others, those feelings lead to making terrible financial choices. How, exactly? Let's find out.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_56582268_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; Of course it's okay to overindulge on food and drink every once in awhile, but that can lead to celebrating with food and drink, and then commiserating with food and drink, and then eventually you're overindulging all the time and your wallet is empty. That's not great.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; When you're feeling lazy, your motivation to do pretty much anything is nonexistent. As with any of these sins, a little is fine. But consistent instances of slothlike behavior can ruin your career, and your earning potential.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000057148896_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; Pride is a tough sin to beat. We all want to put our best face forward. Isn't that why we're all on social media? But when you're putting all your energy into maintaining a certain lifestyle, your finances can take a serious hit.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-lust-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">6 Ways Lust Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; When you're lusting after someone or something, it's hard to think straight. You might be sober, but your decision-making ability is drunk and needs to go home. You'll make impulse decisions that won't make any sense, and could ruin your budget, and your life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; Similar to pride, envy is all about comparing yourself to others in an unhealthy way. Who cares what other people have though? Envy will never lead to happiness, so keeping up with the Joneses will only make you miserable in the end &mdash; and broke.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_99971945_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">5 Ways Wrath Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; There's nothing wrong with being a deep-feeling, passionate person. But wrath is the extreme and destructive end of that spectrum, and it will ruin you, as much as it will the object of your wrath.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; For people suffering with greed, less is never more. This sin can lead you to a life of excess, extreme debt, and becoming the kind of person who lies so much that the truth becomes &quot;fake news.&quot; And who wants to be that person?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption">The seven deadly sins of consumerism (and the frugal redemption).</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-lust-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Lust Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins">Why Scientists Say You Should Be Committing the 7 Deadly Sins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping 7 deadly sins envy fbf flashback friday gluttony greed lust poor pride seven deadly sins sloth wrath Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:31:32 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1894197 at http://www.wisebread.com Insider Trading Is a Lot More Common Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/insider-trading-is-a-lot-more-common-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/insider-trading-is-a-lot-more-common-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_counting_cash_17235688.jpg" alt="Man learning what insider trading is" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've heard the term. You've seen the headlines involving celebrities like <a href="http://coveringbusiness.com/2012/05/15/what-martha-stewart-did-wrong/">Martha Stewart</a> and <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/pro-golfer-phil-mickelson-made-1-million-from-insider-trading-w207122">Phil Mickelson</a>. It has also been a focus for movies like <em>Wall Street</em> and <em>Boiler Room</em>. But do you actually know what insider trading is, and why it is illegal? Here is a breakdown of the practice that can land people in jail, and ruin careers.</p> <h2>What Exactly Is Insider Trading?</h2> <p>To be honest, it's not something that is a black or white issue. If you Google the term, you will get a result that is something like this:</p> <p>&quot;The illegal practice of trading on the stock exchange to one's own advantage through having access to confidential information.&quot;</p> <p>That all seems cut and dry, until you dig into a few of the terms.</p> <p>Now, an insider can be anyone who's ownership of the company stock is greater than 10% of the firm's equity, and/or someone who has access to information about the company that has not been made public.</p> <p>The problem comes with the legality of how and when you use that information. There is no law against an insider buying and selling shares of the firm that he or she works for (that would be ridiculous, and incredibly prohibitive, if you think about it). As long as these transactions are logged with the Securities and Exchange Commission (more commonly known as the SEC, who regulates trades and monitors for illegal activity), it's completely fine.</p> <p>However, once an insider takes undisclosed, or secret, information that he or she has and uses it for monetary gain, then it becomes an illegal activity. And in this instance, an insider is not just a person working directly for that company. It can be a spouse, a relative, a friend, or a colleague.</p> <p>One of the best ways to illustrate this is from the movie <em>Wall Street</em>. Bud Fox is a young stockbroker, and his father works for Bluestar Airlines. During a casual conversation, Bud's father reveals some information about the company that has not been made public. Bud gives this information to the infamous Gordon Gekko, who buys stock in the company, and makes a sizable profit when the shares rise in value.</p> <p>If you want another example, imagine you are chatting with a friend who works at a big company that is currently involved in a lawsuit. Your friend tells you that the lawsuit is going to be settled out of court, and the company will be fine. You go and buy shares in that company, and your shares rise when the lawsuit settlement is announced. Congratulations, both you and your friend are now involved in an illegal insider trading deal.</p> <p>This, in a nutshell, is illegal insider trading. Using undisclosed, insider information to take advantage of stocks and make money. However, it is <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-difference-between-a-hot-day-trading-tip-and-i.html">not the same as a <em>hot tip</em></a>, and that can muddy the waters a little. If you hear, through rumors or gossip, that a company like Apple or Google is going to have a great quarter, and you buy shares, you are not breaking the law. This tip has not come directly to you from an insider, and is not based on undisclosed information. It's simply a tip, like the Internet reporting that &quot;More Spirit is a favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.&quot;</p> <h2>Why Is Insider Trading Illegal?</h2> <p>This has been debated among professionals in the industry for decades. After all&hellip;who really loses from insider trading? Someone who works at the company gives a friend some information, they buy shares, the shares go up, and everyone makes money. There's no specific loser in this scenario. That money was not stolen. It was created by the stock market.</p> <p>However, insider trading creates a &quot;rigged game.&quot; If corporate insiders use the information they have to make money, then it would lead to a scenario in which only a chosen few would make most of the profits from the stock market. This would lead to a lot of people running away from the markets, because they know they will not be able to make any money, and the entire system would come crashing down.</p> <p>Basically, if insider trading were made legal, the stock market would experience a catastrophic meltdown, and businesses worldwide would be ruined.</p> <p>Think of it like a casino. If you knew that some people at the Craps table were allowed to a play with loaded dice, would you bother taking a turn?</p> <h2>How Do You Know if You're Doing It?</h2> <p>Here's the part you need to be aware of; you do not want to end up like Martha Stewart.</p> <p>The first question to ask yourself is, &quot;Does this feel right?&quot; Really, we all know when we're doing something a little shady, and although it's very easy to justify our actions, we know when something is wrong. However, if your conscience is clear, but you still want to make sure you're doing the right thing, consider the following points:</p> <ul> <li>If you are acting on information that has not been made public, you are almost certainly breaking the law. Don't do it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you are passing on undisclosed information to someone, and they use it to make money, you are both guilty of insider trading.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you receive a tip from someone, check to see if it is based on information that has been made public. If it hasn't, you could be in trouble.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you know someone who works at a company you want to invest in, do not ask a lot of questions. You may inadvertently get them to reveal insider information, and then you will both be in a lot of trouble.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you are worried about the trade, don't do it. Or, report it to the SEC.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you ever been tempted to use insider information to score a win on the stock market?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/insider-trading-is-a-lot-more-common-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-finally-time-to-invest-in-marijuana-stocks">Is It Finally Time to Invest in Marijuana Stocks?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-does-the-stock-market-keep-going-up">Why Does the Stock Market Keep Going Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-how-to-invest-with-these-5-stock-market-games">Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-kids-started-with-the-stock-market">Getting Kids Started with the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment crime gordon gekko greed illegal insider knowledge insider trading martha stewart phil mickelson stock market Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:30:44 +0000 Paul Michael 1757853 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_seeing_money_000087743301.jpg" alt="Man learning ways greed is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Greed is a particularly ugly sin. While there are positive characteristics of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/seven-deadly-sins" target="_blank">pride, or even envy</a>, it's almost impossible to use greed in any way that isn't an insult. It conjures images of fat cat CEOs hoarding millions, while their workers earn minimum wage. But although Ebenezer Scrooge and his ilk are portrayed as misers with serious money, greed can sometimes make you poor. Here are six examples of the way greed can eat away at your pot of gold.</p> <h2>1. Wanting It All</h2> <p>Not content with their lot in life, some people look at all those things they could have that make life even better. Or so they think, anyway. The latest smartphone. The upgraded car. The bigger house. The 80 inch flat screen TV. The huge deck. The patio. The yacht. Sadly, all those expenses have to be paid, and it can lead to crippling credit card debt, loans that cannot be paid back, and the eventual loss of everything to pay back creditors. As Tyler Durden famously said in Fight Club, &quot;the things you own end up owning you.&quot; So, be very wary of greed. Happiness from those items is fleeting anyway.</p> <h2>2. Living to Excess</h2> <p>More wine. More beer. More junk food. More everything! When greed manifests as the intense and selfish desire for food and drink, it can lead to a plethora of health problems. And as we all know, health care can be very expensive in the USA. Overeating, leading to obesity, is responsible for as much as $210 billion in healthcare costs in the United States. An obese adult spends 42% more on healthcare than someone with a healthy weight, and obesity can lead to many other illnesses.</p> <p>Then there's greed that turns to alcoholism, or drug abuse. While there are definitely other factors involved, including depression and other mental health issues, greed can contribute to a whole host of health problems from drug abuse. Recovery can be costly. And then there are the other problems stemming from an excessive lifestyle, including time taken off work, a lack of drive or motivation, and the sheer expense of maintaining that kind of diet.</p> <h2>3. Breaking the Law</h2> <p>Greed can make people do some strange things, which leads to committing unlawful acts. This does not mean they go out and rob banks, or scam people out of their savings online. It's more that they see an opportunity to make a lot of money for doing something they believe is harmless, albeit illegal. And then, they get caught, and face a prison sentence and a career in ruins.</p> <p>One example is Scott London, a once successful audit partner at a huge accounting firm. He was earning $900,000 a year, but it appears that wasn't enough. London decided to start selling sensitive information about some of his clients to a friend. This is known as insider trading, and it's against the law. Although he made just $70,000 from the deals (a lot for most of us, but for him, a drop in the bucket), he was caught by the FBI and sentenced to 14 months in prison.</p> <p>However, for others, it may be something smaller that leads to the poor house. Cheating on taxes, even just for a few bucks, is a federal offense. And shoplifting as little as three belts, or a couple of jerseys, has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/23-petty-crimes-prison-life-without-parole">landed people in prison for life</a>.</p> <h2>4. Avoiding Generosity</h2> <p>There is a misnomer that every rich person is greedy, and every poor person is not. This is actually not true, and financial guru Robert Kiyosaki has devoted a <a href="http://investmentwatchblog.com/robert-kiyosaki-forget-the-rich-the-poor-are-the-greedy-ones/">one-hour radio show</a> on this subject that is well worth listening to. The basic idea is this: Having a generous spirit, and giving back to the world, will pay dividends. Investing in people, and in projects that have real potential, will reap rewards. On the other hand, hoarding your possessions, never giving to charity, and stockpiling wealth is not a positive way to manage money. Being generous, and doing good, can build much greater wealth than saving every penny and watching it grow a few percent a year in a bank account.</p> <h2>5. Gambling Away Everything</h2> <p>You know the stories. You've seen the movies. Gambling can bring people great wealth in just a few seconds. But, for the vast majority, it's a losing proposition. Couple gambling with greed, and you have a recipe for tragedy just waiting to happen. Every year, millions of people try and get lucky, and for most, it's just a flutter. Win or lose, they walk away. But 2% of people who gamble get seriously addicted, and greed takes over. A win becomes an adrenaline rush. They want more. And more. They want to see the dollar signs multiply. Before they know what's happened, they have lost everything trying to win back the money they once had.</p> <h2>6. Finally&hellip; the Impact of Corporate Greed</h2> <p>Sadly, it's not personal greed, but corporate greed that is having an impact on our wallets. And in some instances, it keeps people in poverty. From the greedy politicians who take cash to vote against the public interest, to the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, America has a serious greed problem. Many of us feel it a little, here and there. But for some, it's the cause of great hardships.</p> <p>One recent example comes from Wendy's. After the recent minimum wage hike, and plans to raise it to $15/hour, the fast food giant responded with automated self-service kiosks. &quot;We continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that's customer self-order kiosks, whether that's automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant,&quot; said CTO Todd Penegor (who was&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.salary.com/Todd-A-Penegor-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-WENDY-S-CO.html">compensated over $3 million</a> in 2014). The moral of this story &mdash; demand a living wage and you're out of a job.</p> <p>The defenders of this say that these jobs are entry-level, but with so many manufacturing jobs going elsewhere, and the employment of low-wage workers who do it &quot;cash in hand,&quot; it's getting harder and harder to find a decent paying job that doesn't require an education and a ton of experience; something many people never had the chance to get.</p> <p>Of course, the massive financial meltdown in 2008 was also caused by massive greed, and that impacted millions of homeowners and led to bankruptcies. It's safe to say that even if you are the least greedy person on the planet, you will still be affected by greed in your day-to-day life.</p> <p><em>Has greed cost you? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor">5 Ways Wrath Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity excess gambling greed healthcare illegal losing money minimum wage poor seven deadly sins sins Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1722968 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Scientists Say You Should Be Committing the 7 Deadly Sins http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sins_000034919106.jpg" alt="Happy couple committing seven deadly sins because science says so" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sinning ain't what it used to be. Past societies considered many things to be sinful that we would let slide or even celebrate today. And if one were to take every line in the Bible as law, you would never get a tattoo, gossip, or wear a goatee.</p> <p>But could the big baddies &mdash; the Seven Deadly Sins &mdash; ever be considered good for you? Turns out in one way or another, science supports some version of all of them.</p> <h2>1. Pride</h2> <p>Pride's developed a bad rep in years past, but nowadays we're always being told we should have pride in ourselves, our school team, and even our ethnicity. So which is it?</p> <p>Apparently both, according to laboratory research by psychologists Jessica Tracy and Richard Robins, who isolated two distinct forms of price: hubris (bad) and &quot;authentic pride&quot; (good). People who exhibit authentic pride value hard work and tend to be engaged with life. And did you know that Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook to <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pride-it-brings-out-the-best-and-worst-in-humans/">boost his pride</a>?</p> <h2>2. Greed</h2> <p>&quot;Greed is healthy,&quot; alpha trader (and later convicted felon and Gordon Gekko inspiration) Ivan Boesky famously told UC Berkeley grads. But is it really?</p> <p>Greed is an easy sin to condemn, in part because it's so easy to hate people who have taken more than their share. Look up Forbes' list of billionaires and ask yourself how fond you feel of each of those individuals. Any of the super rich who are well liked probably get their following from donating large portions of their wealth &mdash; an apparent <em>lack</em> of greed.</p> <p>But let's be honest: We're biologically programmed to go out and get what we need. &quot;Greed is what gets you and me out of our beds and off to work. It's what keeps us out of debt and saving for our retirement,&quot; <a href="http://wealthpilgrim.com/is-greed-good/">certified financial planner</a> Neal Frankle wrote.</p> <p>Greed is almost always good for the individual that feels it, but it could be bad for the individual's society, writes Washington State University communications professor Richard F. Taflinger. But laws that constrain individual greed too much could also be harmful, because people whose greed isn't rewarded can lose the will to work. Look at all the failed communes out there.</p> <p>&quot;Unrestrained greed is detrimental to society; unrestrained disapproval of greed is detrimental to society. People attempt to find a balance between biological imperative and social necessity,&quot; Taflinger writes.</p> <h2>3. Envy</h2> <p>Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D. and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605093513/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1605093513&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TLF3PCEGVBVPC4T2">Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction</a>, counsels that we can harness feelings of envy or jealousy to push us forward in our careers.</p> <p>&quot;Envy can open up doors you never saw or were afraid to walk through before. Jealousy can lead you to treasure things and people you might have taken for granted,&quot; Reynolds writes in <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wander-woman/201103/envy-can-be-good-you">Psychology Today</a>.</p> <p>For instance, if you find yourself feeling envious of a colleague who won an award for something you also do, ask yourself what you can learn from your colleague's success? What is she doing that you're not?</p> <h2>4. Wrath</h2> <p>Carnegie Mellon psychologist Jennifer Lerner studied anger by forcing test subjects to count backwards by sevens on camera, and making them start over every time they goofed. People who exhibited fear showed higher biological signs of stress than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-bad-habits-that-are-actually-good-for-you">people who showed anger</a>. And as any woman who has given birth probably knows, another sign of wrath, letting loose a few expletives, is <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-swear/">clinically proven to relieve pain</a>.</p> <p>So shout, shout, get it all out. It's healthy!</p> <h2>5. Lust</h2> <p>You might have already heard that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-drugs-rock-n-roll-and-other-surprisingly-healthy-activities">sex is good for you</a> when you're in a committed relationship; it's aerobic, reduces stress, and so forth. But that's boring old &quot;in a relationship&quot; sex. What about <em>lusty</em> sex? As in, outside a relationship sex?</p> <p>Turns out that how hooking up affects people's wellbeing depends on their motivation for hooking up. According to New York University and Cornell researchers, undergrads who &quot;slept around&quot; actually <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/24/casual-sex-study_n_5522421.html">felt better after sex</a> &mdash; as long as they were hooking up for positive reasons like the fun of it. If they were engaging in revenge sex or had been pressured into the act, the emotional consequences were negative.</p> <h2>6. Gluttony</h2> <p>In the history of mankind, stuffing as much as we could down our gullets was surely the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Binging was probably useful in our evolutionary past, when food was scarce and our ancestors needed to eat as much as possible after they came across a berry patch or brought down a fresh kill on the hunt,&quot; writes Karen Schrock Simring in &quot;<a href="https://ntp.neuroscience.wisc.edu/documents/Briand_Baldo_Article_for_website.pdf">Accidental Gluttons</a>&quot; for Scientific American.</p> <p>But now that an era of plenty has exposed residents of the world's wealthy nations to the dangers of obesity and diabetes? We can only say that scientists would advise you to be a glutton for the right foods. If you're going to indulge, at least <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-indulgent-desserts-that-are-actually-good-for-you">indulge in some nutrients</a> you might otherwise be lacking.</p> <h2>7. Sloth</h2> <p>Do coworkers give you the evil eye because you take a break for a personal phone call, or a nap on the lobby couch mid-afternoon? You might need to find a lower-profile place to nap, but don't stop taking breaks.</p> <p>A study from the journal Cognition showed that taking even the briefest of breaks can <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm">improve your performance</a> on tasks, meaning that when you look like you're slacking, you're probably gearing up to outperform your nose-to-the-grindstone co-workers.</p> <p>The <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping?page=0%2C1">benefits of naps</a> are well documented. The National Sleep Foundation acknowledges that nappers may be burdened with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-science-says-its-okay-to-be-lazy">stigma of being lazy</a> or having low standards, but asserts that if we get past that, many of us &mdash; especially shift workers and long-distance drivers &mdash; can really benefit from a 10-minute nap now and then.</p> <p><em>Do you regularly run afoul of these sins? For good or ill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption">The seven deadly sins of consumerism (and the frugal redemption).</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-lust-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Lust Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks eating greed jealousy lust napping pride seven deadly sins sinning Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1386090 at http://www.wisebread.com Why We're So Materialistic (Even Though We Know It's Dumb) http://www.wisebread.com/why-were-so-materialistic-even-though-we-know-its-dumb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-were-so-materialistic-even-though-we-know-its-dumb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-76663396.jpg" alt="shopping bags" title="shopping bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently came across a photographic essay that showed the bedrooms of dozens of <a href="http://www.jamesmollison.com/wherechildrensleep.php?project_id=6&amp;p=synop">children around the world</a>. It&#39;s beautiful and interesting, but what stands out the most is how much <em>stuff</em> some of these kids have &mdash; closets bursting with toys and other possessions, while others have so little &mdash; a straw mat, a cup, a threadbare shirt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso">Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Kids</a>)</p> <p>Of course, my instinct is to feel sorry for the little girl with only one doll, or the little boy who sleeps on a wooden pallet and proudly displays a few tattered books. Then again, that might just be materialism talking. After all, the photographs reveal nothing else about these children; whether they get enough food to eat, a safe, warm place to live, and parents who take good care of them. It&#39;s just so easy to assume that they are disadvantaged because they don&#39;t have a television and a mountain of toys.</p> <p>The truth is that most us (myself included) have way more than what&#39;s required to meet our basic needs, more than is required to make our lives more convenient and comfortable, and even more than what we need to keep us happy. Well, here are a few key reasons why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-our-brains-want-to-buy-new-stuff-even-when-we-dont-need-it?ref=seealso">Why Our Brains Want New Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Because We Can Be</h2> <p>True materialism is a bit of a luxury. You can only hang your happiness on the things you acquire when you actually have the money to acquire things. If you don&#39;t, you probably have to find happiness elsewhere, such as in experiences or connections with others. As it turns out, those are better places <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/29-scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-happier-this-year">to look for happiness</a> anyway.</p> <h2>It&#39;s an Easy Fix</h2> <p>Money always holds the promise of opportunity &mdash; the chance to look better, to feel better, to fit in with everyone else. The problem is that while clothes and cosmetics and fancy electronics often tempt us with these sorts of promises, there&#39;s only so much they can deliver. I thought about this when I read a piece about a young woman who spent a <a href="http://thebillfold.com/2012/05/i-spent-my-66000-inheritance-on-basically-nothing/">$66,000 inheritance</a> on &quot;basically nothing.&quot; Guess what? Once the $66,000 was gone she still felt like she had nothing. Even though she had $66,000 worth of stuff.</p> <h2>We&#39;re Sad or Stressed</h2> <p>You&#39;ve probably heard the term &quot;retail therapy.&quot; If you&#39;re an average North American, you&#39;ve probably indulged in a little retail therapy yourself. (I sure have.) As it turns out, people don&#39;t just look to shopping to cheer them up after a particularly dull day at work. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science found that people in a war-torn area (in this case, Israel), even tried to use it to treat the post-traumatic stress they suffered as a result of bombings in their area. As you might have guessed, <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11747-013-0345-6">it didn&#39;t work</a>. In fact, the most materialistic people in the study were most likely to try to soothe themselves with compulsive shopping, and to struggle more to recover from their stress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank?ref=seealso">How to Mend a Broken Heart Without Breaking the Bank</a>)</p> <h2>We&#39;re Hoarders</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed how very satisfying it is to spend all day trying to find the perfect pair of shoes? Actually, it&#39;s so satisfying (at least for me) that even the shoes pale in comparison. That&#39;s why many economists and politicians believe that materialism comes naturally &mdash; that it&#39;s in our blood. The truth, however, is a lot more complicated. One recent study found that hunter-gatherers with little contact with commercial society <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/12/26/257394308/are-we-genetically-inclined-to-be-materialistic?start=10&amp;textSize=medium">tended to be <em>less</em> materialistic</a> than those who lived near urban centers, and were more likely to trade and share among each other, rather than try to amass more goods for themselves. So, while the desire to attain things might be universal, the need to keep them is probably cultural. True hunter-gatherers must share to survive, while in modern economies, hoarding more goods may actually be more beneficial &mdash; at least to a point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out</a>)</p> <h2>Our Media Encourages It</h2> <p>Advertising tells us we need more clothes, cosmetics, cars, cleaning products&nbsp;&mdash; you name it. There are no ads that tell us to save our money or live with less. There are no ads that tell us that these things won&#39;t make us happy. In fact, they imply the opposite. And they do it really well. It&#39;s why I stopped reading women&#39;s magazines; every one seemed designed to convince me that my skin should be smoother, my hair should be shinier, and my butt should be smaller. Of course, they also had all the product suggestions to go with those admonishments. How very convenient.</p> <h2>Possessions Are an Outward Sign of Status (and Progress)</h2> <p>A poll conducted by IPSOS in 2013 took a look at the level of materialism in countries around the world. The <a href="http://qz.com/158282/china-may-actually-be-the-most-materialistic-country-in-the-world/">most materialistic country</a> &mdash; by a long shot &mdash; is China, where a whopping 71% of people said they gauged their success based on the things they owned. The Chinese were also most likely to say that they felt they were under a lot of pressure to make money and be successful. Other developing countries, like India, Turkey, Brazil, and South Korea, reported similarly high levels of materialism, while in the United States, only 21% of people said they rated their success based on their possessions. It appears that a country&#39;s stage of development is correlated with how closely possessions are equated with success among its people. Perhaps for those who&#39;ve become accustomed to living with so little, luxury goods have more appeal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">Are You Poor Because of Peer Pressure?</a>)</p> <p>But I suspect something else is going on, and that those of us in more developed countries simply take the fact that we will have a lot of possessions for granted and are now on the hunt for something <em>else</em> to make us happy.</p> <p><em>Why do you think we&#39;re so materialistic? Please share your ideas in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-were-so-materialistic-even-though-we-know-its-dumb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from">Would You Accept $200,000 If You Didn&#039;t Know Where It Came From?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-important-financial-lesson-from-fight-club">The financial wisdom of Fight Club</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows">Stop Paying For Cable Television But Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tactics-of-the-rich">Tactics of the rich</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living greed materialism Mon, 27 Jan 2014 11:24:25 +0000 Tara Struyk 1116894 at http://www.wisebread.com Would You Accept $200,000 If You Didn't Know Where It Came From? http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Button,Button.jpg" alt="Button Button" title="Button Button" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">You know, I hear a lot of people say that frugal people would do anything for dime. Personally, I think that applies more to greedy people, but it got me thinking of a question that combines morals with money. Would you accept $200,000, no strings attached, if you did not know where it came from.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">As I was thinking of this question, a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button,_Button_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29">classic episode of The Twilight Zone</a> popped into my head. Based on a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765312573?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0765312573">story by Richard Matheson</a>, it was one of those episodes that creeped me out for days, and I was only a young lad at the time. Here's an outline of the episode &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068NVLQ?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00068NVLQ">Button, Button</a>&quot; (you'll see why this is apt in a moment):<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>Norma Lewis is the wife of a down-and-out man named Arthur. One day, they receive a mysterious box with a button on it. Then, a smartly-dressed stranger comes to their door and explains that if they press the button on the box, two things will happen: they will receive $200,000, and someone &quot;whom you don't know&quot; will die.</em><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">The episode then concentrates on the enormous decision that Norma Lewis has to make. And, after some back and forth, the climax of the episode (and the moral, we hope) is revealed:<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>Norma decides to push the button. She does it and her husband looks at her with disgust. They go to bed after seeing nothing happens. The next day the stranger returns, takes back the box, and gives them a briefcase with the $200,000. The Lewises are in shock and ask what will happen next. The stranger ominously replies that the button will be &quot;reprogrammed&quot; and offered to someone else with the same terms and conditions, adding as he focuses on Norma, &quot;I can assure you it will be offered to someone whom you don't know.&quot; </em><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">It's a classic Twilight Zone scenario, in which greed is rewarded with the ultimate penalty. But what if there wasn't a penalty; at least, no penalty that you were aware of?<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If the Lewises has been offered the money and told &quot;accept this money, no questions asked, and you will feel no repercussions&quot; I doubt they would have taken as long to accept the money. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Imagine, especially in these tough financial times, that a stranger offered you the money with absolutely no chance that it would come back to bite you. There would be no mob guys knocking on the door, no prison terms, no danger. The only condition is that you cannot know where the money came from. Would you take it? Would you even hesitate?<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">The problem here is that although the money could come from a generous benefactor, it could also be the result of something terrible -- perhaps the slave labor of children, war profiteering, drugs, prostitution or something worse. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And yet, it's not so far-fetched to think that we all do this, every day, on a much smaller scale. When we choose the $59 Nike shoes, do we think about the way in which they were made? When we demand lower prices for clothing and toys, do we care about the conditions that exist in order to make those deals possible? When we buy cheap eggs, do we care about the factory-farming hell that created them? Food, electronics, cars, beverages, everything we touch these days has a moral price attached to it. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So, think about that question again; would you take the $200,000? At what point would a no become a yes? At what point would your conscience kick-in? And when is a bargain something that has a much higher cost associated with it? Over to you...<o:p></o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial;"><i></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></i></span> </p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><i>&nbsp;</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-end-your-marriage-for-100-000">Would you end your marriage for $100,000?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-dirty-is-your-money-really">Do You Know How Dirty Your Money Is?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-ive-been-trying-to-say">What I&#039;ve been trying to say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">6 Reasons I Still Don&#039;t Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs choices frugality greed money Rod Serling tv Twilight Zone Tue, 07 Jul 2009 20:52:26 +0000 Paul Michael 3358 at http://www.wisebread.com Would you end your marriage for $100,000? http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-end-your-marriage-for-100-000 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/would-you-end-your-marriage-for-100-000" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/184816147_1d41b7bb7c.jpg" alt="Divorce" title="Divorce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How about $200k? Or $500k? Well, I guess it all depends on the state of your marriage, but the bigger question is this: what would you do for money? I ask because I’m getting a little disturbed at just how far people are willing to go these days for a large wad of cash. Case in point - The Moment Of Truth. </p> <p>I don’t watch it, I generally try and stay away from television shows that aren’t at least slightly informative (although I do watch Lost…sorry). And these kinds of intrusive, home-wrecking reality shows are a cancer in our society, in my humble opinion.</p> <p>Not content with being voyeurs through shows like Big Brother, Survivor and The Real World, we’ve gone one step further. Let’s intrude into the private-most thoughts of people and see just what they’ll reveal for the prospect of being a little but richer. Notice I said &quot;propect.&quot; The money is dangled out there like a carrot in front of a donkey, but people often walk away empty-handed and with a shambolic life to put back together. </p> <p>This clip that follows is one of the most brutal from The Moment Of Truth. The poor husband must have known something was going on, but maybe he thought he had a stable marriage and could make a little cash from it; big mistake. Huge. </p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/DrCl84ejQaQ&amp;hl=en" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/DrCl84ejQaQ&amp;hl=en" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fear Factor is another such show that seems to be pushing the limits for a little bit of money. This girl is literally horrified at the idea of eating a spider, but the money waved in front of her is too much to turn down. It&#39;s an older clip but one that sticks out for me from the viral emails I have received. </p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/rzOsf15tFCI&amp;hl=en" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/rzOsf15tFCI&amp;hl=en" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What is going on? In my dad’s time, dignity and self-respect were things you just could not buy at any price. These days, not only will we happily sell them, we’ll do it in front of millions of people! Is the mighty dollar so mighty that it can force us to do anything? What’s next I wonder? Lose your virginity on air for $1 million? Or how about risking your life, yes your life, for a cool $10 million?</p> <p>Don’t think it can happen? Well, I leave you with this video clip from The Running Man, a fairly poor film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that was made around 20 years ago. But, it did have a point. It warned us that society is becoming so obsessed with both money and television that we’ll eventually live and die by them. How true. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ntz0_besT04&amp;hl=en" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ntz0_besT04&amp;hl=en" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Back then, in the late 80s, it seemed far-fetched. These days, a show like “Climbing For Dollars” would fit quite happily into any prime time schedule. Please NBC, ABC, CBS...don&#39;t get any ideas. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-end-your-marriage-for-100-000">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from">Would You Accept $200,000 If You Didn&#039;t Know Where It Came From?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8000-housing-tax-credit-can-now-be-turned-into-cash-at-closing-according-to-fha">$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conspicuous-spending-fading-to-black">Conspicuous Spending: Fading to Black</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs greed money tv Tue, 18 Mar 2008 22:14:22 +0000 Paul Michael 1930 at http://www.wisebread.com Black Friday...black in more ways than one http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/857597_girl_on_stairs_0.jpg" alt="sad" title="sad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today, November 23rd, is Black Friday. A day that as a Wisebread writer and bargain hunter I love. There are deals everywhere, we all get a chance to save a bit of dough before the Holidays, we all smile a bit more. At least, that&#39;s what I thought. But as I trudged around today in the sales, with lines of people looking more stressed than a factory farmed chicken, I realized that this day has increasingly become more of a black day on the calendar.</p> <p>Black Friday got it&#39;s name from a financial term. It was a day many retailers went from being &quot;in the red&quot; to going back &quot;in the black.&quot; Great, money-savings opportunities popped up everywhere and over the years it has become a momentous day for shopping. When I first arrived in the US I was staggered by the kind of deals you could get on Black Friday. It was a consumer&#39;s dream. But that dream has slowly become a nightmare, as I witnessed today.</p> <p>It&#39;s difficult to know what to make of us as a race when you see fellow human beings trampling all over each other in a mall to get their hands on a half-price sweater or portable DVD player. With the deals being advertised earlier and earlier before the big day, the hype is magnified. And this year, the hype was bigger than ever. Black Friday ads were leaked up to a month before today, and the general public has been drooling like Pavlov&#39;s dog for a great bargain.</p> <p>I, for one, was one of those drooling dogs last year. And the year before. I got up at 6am with my wife and sweet baby girl and dragged them all over Colorado to save $20 on a pack of re-writable DVDs and $30 on a DVD player. Nice saving, but a what cost to me and my family time? I&#39;ve noticed this trend in other people, the mania growing like a virus. But today I did a quick search to see if there were any security camera images of the hysteria. Here&#39;s one of the more impactful... </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>Saving a buck is great. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, is it worth it, really? With the Internet most people can find very good deals, ones that rival or beat Black Friday deals, without having to step outside in the rowdy rabble. No need to punch and kick. No need to step on a fellow human to get that cashmere sweater for $80. I speak as someone who had what has only been described as a &quot;moment of clarity&quot; today. I&#39;m not saying don&#39;t enjoy the sales. I still love a deal, always will. But Black Friday, something I applauded as early as this morning in our Wisebread writers forum, has began to turn my stomach to reveal the true nature of us all, if we let money rule our heads instead of compassion and patience.</p> <p>I love a great deal. I&#39;ll never let one go. But I won&#39;t screw someone over just to save a few bucks on the latest &quot;must-have&quot; toy or gadget that eventually (sooner rather than later) becomes some $5 item in a garage sale.</p> <p>It&#39;s the day after Thanksgiving. A time we should still give thanks for what we have. Maybe we should remember that and spend a little more time with the ones we love, and a little less time with the retailers looking for a big, fat bottom line. </p> <p>Have a wonderful holiday folks. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advertising-jargon-that-aims-to-mislead">Advertising Jargon That Aims to Mislead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs bargains consumerism fear gluttony greed inhumanity insanity savings Sat, 24 Nov 2007 05:00:53 +0000 Paul Michael 1421 at http://www.wisebread.com When greed backfires - an iPhone story. http://www.wisebread.com/when-greed-backfires-an-iphone-story-1 <!-- google_ad_section_start --><!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/iphone.jpg" alt="iphone store" title="iphone store" width="306" height="202" /></p> <p>As you all know, the iPhone launched recently to a flurry of press and TV news coverage. Eager geeks (sorry, but it seems applicable here) sat outside stores for hours and hours to buy the new phone, happy in the knowledge that they were about to get something that will help them feel a little bit cooler. Just a little.</p> <p>Far, far worse than these iPhone nuts, though, are the vultures. The folks with enough money to swoop down on a store and buy up a whole bunch of product, only to recycle them on eBay for double the price. Hey, that&#39;s good ol&#39; healthy capitalism at work, right?</p> <p>Well, as you&#39;ll see in this <a href="http://www.myfoxdfw.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=66434CA6FE6500D6A04B9F946D779145?contentId=3641729&amp;version=2&amp;locale=EN-US&amp;layoutCode=VSTY&amp;pageId=1.1.1&amp;sflg=1">video</a> , money really doesn&#39;t buy you everything (hmm, <a href="/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">that rings a bell</a> ). Certainly not a stack of iPhones. It looks like this is one woman who has way more money than sense. And for all you geeks out there, you&#39;ll be pleased to know that there&#39;s a happy ending for your fellow iPhone nerds who really did just want a phone. Moral of the story...check the small print before you withdraw thousands from your over-stuffed bank account.</p> <p><em>Video link courtesy of Fox 4 news.</em> </p> <p><em>Main photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/myke/">Myke</a> </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><!-- google_ad_section_end --><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-greed-backfires-an-iphone-story-1">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-dirty-is-your-money-really">Do You Know How Dirty Your Money Is?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-teenager-started-a-multi-million-dollar-online-business-with-a-parrot">How a Teenager Started A Multi-Million Dollar Online Business with a Parrot. UPDATED</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from">Would You Accept $200,000 If You Didn&#039;t Know Where It Came From?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-end-your-marriage-for-100-000">Would you end your marriage for $100,000?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs apple AT&T bribe cash greed iPhone launch money queue rich Mon, 02 Jul 2007 20:54:23 +0000 Paul Michael 798 at http://www.wisebread.com The seven deadly sins of consumerism (and the frugal redemption). http://www.wisebread.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/demon.jpg" alt="demon" title="demon" width="243" height="212" /></p> <p>Sit ye down, hold your loved ones tight, and get ready for the seven deadliest sins of the modern day consumer.</p> <p>(By the way, I know I&rsquo;m a movie buff when I can reference two of the greatest films ever made in one blog headline. If you don&rsquo;t know what they are, shame on you. But even more shame on you if you&rsquo;re committing these sins right now.)</p> <p>Who says they&rsquo;re the seven deadly sins? Well, I do. I&rsquo;m no authority on the subject, I certainly didn&rsquo;t write the consumer bible. But life experience has taught me that indulging in any of these sins leads to a path of debt, disillusionment and despair. If you find yourself in the position of indulging one or more of these sins on a daily basis, seek the frugal redemption.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/greed.jpg" alt="greed" title="greed" width="300" height="244" /></p> <p><em> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll take that, and that, and that, and that&hellip;and who cares how I&rsquo;ll pay for it. In fact, I&rsquo;ll put it on the good old credit card and think about it later. Hey, it comes with six months no interest anyway. Sweet!&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Sound familiar? Greed is fairly ugly and I see it everywhere. Our obsession as a society with material things has gone beyond the norm. As Madonna once said, we&rsquo;re living in a material world. But I don&rsquo;t think anyone realized how bad it&rsquo;s become. The &lsquo;buy now, pay later&rsquo; mentality is rife. But when our own government is in debt to the tune of $8,892,888,862,434.37 (that was at the time of writing this article, and climbing $1.93 billion per day) they&rsquo;re hardly setting the standard for fiscal responsibility. An argument for another time perhaps. Still, the message is clear. Give in to greed, make way for debt.<br /> <strong><br /> The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> If you can&rsquo;t afford it, don&rsquo;t buy it. By that I don&rsquo;t mean save up $300,000 and drop it on a new house. But examine your budget (better still, MAKE a budget&hellip;the first step on the road to debt is not having a budget). Have three bank accounts &ndash; one for saving, one for bills, one for fun. If you spend your fun money for the month, hey guess what, you&rsquo;re done. </p> <p>Get out of the cycle of wanting things you really don&rsquo;t need or can afford. Stop and think. Often my wife will go shopping for baby clothes for our newborn. She&rsquo;ll get to the counter with an armful of clothes, then think again about what she really actually wants or needs. The pile gets much, much shorter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/sloth.jpg" alt="sloth" title="sloth" width="300" height="225" /></p> <p>It can wait.<em> &quot;401k? It can wait. Savings account? Next month. Paying off the credit card? I&rsquo;ve got time. Coupons? Waste of time. Deal-hunting? Why bother?&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Sloth is a great enemy of frugality. And I know, I was a former indulger of sloth. I put off the 401k contributions because I wanted to use the extra money. I hated clipping coupons, and they were only worth 50 cents or a $1 so who cares? But boy, those little amounts soon add up. </p> <p>Basically, you snooze, you lose. Put off saving in your 401k (especially if your company matches it) and you&rsquo;re literally throwing away money. Plus, you have to put a whole lot more away later on to catch up. Make the minimum payments on your credit card and you&rsquo;ll be paying it off for decades. </p> <p><strong>The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today? Make it the day to finally start getting your life in order if you haven&rsquo;t yet made plans for the future. Ask your HR officer about the 401k plan. Look through the coupons in the Sunday paper. You will find some that apply to you, I guarantee it. Start adding more to your savings account, even if it&rsquo;s just $50 a month to begin with. Add more to your credit card payments if you can. This is all about forming good habits. </p> <p>If you can get a better deal by walking 10 minutes further down the high street, do it. Shop around whenever and wherever you can. The exercise won&rsquo;t hurt either, we&rsquo;ve become a nation of drivers. Use Internet shopping comparison tools to find great bargains. Check out sites like <a href="http://www.bargainist.com/">The Bargainist</a> , <a href="http://www.consumerist.com/">The Consumerist</a> , and of course, Wisebread. It&rsquo;s very easy to be lazy, but in the long run you&rsquo;re only fooling yourself and hurting your future. Seize the day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/gluttony.jpg" alt="gluttony" title="gluttony" width="300" height="225" /></p> <p>My dad used to say to me <em>&ldquo;your eyes are bigger than your belly&rdquo; </em>and he was right. I was always happy to take more, be it candy or extra roast potatoes on my Sunday lunch. But all too often I didn&rsquo;t eat them and they went in the trash, or went bad. Or I made myself sick. </p> <p>Sadly, I am still the same today, although I&rsquo;m really trying to get out of it. &ldquo;Hey look hon, 8lbs of cheese for $10, bargain!&rdquo; It&rsquo;s only when my wife tells me that, as usual, the cheese will go bad before we finish it that I&rsquo;ll think twice. I&rsquo;m a sucker for BOGO deals, regardless of whether I need two, or even one of the item on sale. Buying in bulk is deceptive. Great for things like rice, toilet paper and diapers. Not so great when it&rsquo;s got an expiration date that&rsquo;s fast approaching. No-one wants cheese sandwiches three times a day. <br /> <strong><br /> The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> Again, this is all about asking yourself a few questions before you pop something in the shopping cart. Do I really need 5 cartons of orange juice because I can save 20 cents per quart? Will my family benefit from this buy 10, get 10 free offer? Is it a deal, or false economy? As those great infomercials often say, when you throw away food it&rsquo;s &ldquo;cash in the trash.&rdquo; Remember, just because it&rsquo;s on clearance or a bargain, it doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s the bargain for you. Being a glutton for special offers could make you a glutton for punishment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/pride.jpg" alt="pride" title="pride" width="300" height="225" /></p> <p>I know people who tell themselves, &ldquo;heck, I deserved it&rdquo; when they&rsquo;re sporting a new jewel-encrusted watch or hand-made pair of the finest leather shoes. Maybe that&rsquo;s true, but it doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s a wise move. It&rsquo;s fine to splurge once in a while, but making a habit of it can lead to all sorts of problems, including shopping addictions. </p> <p>Worse still, pride has this nasty habit of making you do things you don&rsquo;t want to do. People will borrow cash to go out on the town rather than admit to being short of money that week. And that means buying a new dress, or buying a few rounds of drinks, plus the expensive meal. All because pride won&rsquo;t let them admit, to their friends no less, that they&rsquo;re trying to save money or that they just don&rsquo;t have the cash. </p> <p><strong>The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> Give pride a vacation. It&rsquo;s good to be proud of an achievement, or something your son or daughter has done at school, but embracing pride to allow yourself too many luxuries is never going to have a happy ending. Avoid places that will tempt you. If you have a habit of going nuts in Target or Macy&rsquo;s, stay away. If you&rsquo;re a sucker for a particular section of the store (watches, shoes) steer clear. </p> <p>As for feeling too proud to admit you don&rsquo;t quite have the cash to go out, your friends will understand. Your co-workers will understand. In fact, anyone who doesn&rsquo;t is probably someone you really don&rsquo;t want to know. There&rsquo;s no shame in staying home on a Friday night if it means you avoid the cycle of borrowing, debt and depression. Pride has its place&hellip;but it can be a frugal shopper&rsquo;s worst nightmare. <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/wrath.jpg" alt="wrath" title="wrath" width="300" height="179" /></p> <p>&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t get mad, get even.&rdquo; Wise words, although the &lsquo;getting even&rsquo; part is not always appropriate either. I think it would be more apt to say &ldquo;don&rsquo;t get mad, get what you want.&rdquo; </p> <p>Anyway, the point is this. I&rsquo;ve watched people blow up at customer service folks. I&rsquo;ve seen angry letters, I&rsquo;ve heard angry phone calls. I&rsquo;ve witnessed huge lists of demands spouted by human versions of the Tazmanian Devil cartoon. Most of the time, all it gets them is higher blood pressure and a security guard showing them the door. Anger is the first way to show you&rsquo;ve lost control of the situation. </p> <p><strong>The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> A frugal shopper knows that you get way more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. My <a href="/how-to-complain-and-get-a-good-result">former article on complaining</a> highlighted this process, but it&rsquo;s not just about making a complaint. It&rsquo;s about life in general. </p> <p>Guess what happens if you treat you waiter with appreciation and a smile instead of disdain. Quicker service, more fries, bigger drinks, you name it, I&rsquo;ve had them all. A polite conversation with most people will get you much further than raging and expecting something for nothing. Be nice.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/envy.jpg" alt="envy" title="envy" width="300" height="202" /></p> <p>This can best be summed up with that old &ldquo;Keeping Up With The Jones&rsquo;&rdquo; adage. And I have several friends who are both house-poor and car-poor because of it. </p> <p>Why are so many people in this country living in houses they cannot afford, driving cars they could never afford and wearing clothes that are way too expensive? The simple answer is still way too long to print here, but a big part of it is envy.</p> <p>I remember being told that people measure their own misery and success by their surroundings, and it&rsquo;s completely true. If you live in a nice little home and are surrounded by other nice little homes, you feel good. You&rsquo;ve done well. Transplant that nice little home into a rich area filled with mansions, swimming pools and landscaping. Now, it doesn&rsquo;t look so good. Actually it sucks. It&rsquo;s not fair, it&rsquo;s not fair, I want a big house! I want a Cadillac Escalade! I want a Rolex!</p> <p>The same applies to your job, your clothes, in fact, everything around you. But it&rsquo;s all relative. And most important, you have no idea what the people around you do, or how they pay for what they have. Maybe they&rsquo;re in debt up to their eyeballs and spend every night crying themselves to sleep. Maybe they work 24/7 to pay for the things they can never really enjoy. Maybe they had rich folks. But you should never compare, it will only lead to jealousy and misery.</p> <p><strong>The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> This one is not easy. After all, as a species we&rsquo;re always going to compare ourselves to our friends and neighbors. But before you stop reading this and look out of your window to stare at the new Ferrari parked in your neighbor&rsquo;s driveway, here are a few facts (as of Nov 2006, provided by <a href="http://www.globalissues.org/">www.globalissues.org</a> ).</p> <p>&bull; Half the world &mdash; nearly three billion people &mdash; live on less than two dollars a day.<br /> &bull; Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.<br /> &bull; Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific.<br /> &bull; According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day due to poverty.<br /> &bull; Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation</p> <p>Now, I didn&rsquo;t mean to bring you down. But it certainly brings life crashing into perspective if you think you&rsquo;re not fortunate. Trust me, if you&rsquo;re reading this then you&rsquo;ve got access to more than most people will ever have. You&rsquo;re lucky. </p> <p> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/lust.jpg" alt="lust" title="lust" width="300" height="214" /></p> <p>First and foremost, you can relax. I&rsquo;m not about to tell you that sex is not a good way to be frugal (actually, a romantic night in bed with your partner is a lot cheaper than going to the movies&hellip;and much more fun).</p> <p>No, the kind of lust I&rsquo;m talking about is that longing, aching desire that takes over you and cuts off the common sense to your brain. In my case, I&rsquo;ve been lusting after a 42&rdquo; LCD TV for about, hmm, a year now. And every week, it grabs me a little bit more. It doesn&rsquo;t help that every time I go into Best Buy they have more of them, and they cost less. But the frugal shopper in me is winning, so far. It&rsquo;s saying &ldquo;wait, the price will drop more, the quality will go up, you don&rsquo;t need it.&rdquo; But it won&rsquo;t be long before the lust wins, telling me that I could be watching my Blade Runner DVD in HD on a huge screen and be drooling at the mouth in movie nirvana. </p> <p><strong>The Frugal Redemption</strong><br /> It&rsquo;s all a question of willpower. The 32&rdquo; goldfish bowl TV I have right now is not great. But it&rsquo;s not bad either. It&rsquo;s just a TV after all, which I watch less and less these days as my babies get older. Put things into perspective. You&rsquo;re a smart cookie&hellip;you&rsquo;re a frugal shopper after all. </p> <p>My advice is this. Concentrate on what you really need, not what you want. There&rsquo;s a big difference. And think for a second about how much better life would actually be with that object you&rsquo;re lusting after right now. If it&rsquo;s a new car, how much time do you actually spend in it? Is the one you have all that bad? Could the money be spent on something way more important or impactful, like perhaps a family vacation (life experiences stay with you forever&hellip;a car, on average, 5 years).</p> <p>At the end of the day, wants are fleeting. They are all too often replaced by bigger and more expensive wants. The objects of your desire will one day be put out with the garbage, or sold, or given away. You can&rsquo;t take them with you. So, calm your lusts.</p> <p>There you go. Seven deadly sins. Not a short tale, but a worthy one I think. We all succumb to them from time to time, but we can be strong. We can.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">Jettison the Junk: Why Clutter Clouds Your Mind and Saps Your Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-better-without-spending-more">5 Ways to Live Better Without Spending More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-have-what-you-want-and-do-you-want-what-you-have">Do you have what you want… and do you want what you have?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins">Why Scientists Say You Should Be Committing the 7 Deadly Sins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Lifestyle debt debt reduction desire envy frugality gluttony greed lust overspending pride sins sloth spending habits willpower wrath Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:43:46 +0000 Paul Michael 521 at http://www.wisebread.com