Recently, The Mint Blog published an interview with me in which they asked for a picture of my wallet.
Here is that wretched piece of leather.
Now, I am not a neatness freak by any measure, but the stuff that I pulled out of my wallet before taking the picture almost made me recoil in horror - people probably experience that kind of feeling when they *suddenly* realize that they are deep in debt.
I have intended to clean it up many times in the past few years, but those intentions never materialized. It must have started with just a single receipt (or perhaps a business card) which I did not dispose off in a timely manner - and since then, receipt by receipt, it has grown into this huge nonsensical mass of paper. Why did things come to this point? I think it’s just because of one single, transcendental, cliched reason - procrastination. It’s the result of not getting things done on time.
This brings me to a couple of interesting analogies:
- Some people gain weight everyday by a fraction of a pound - if they procrastinate and don’t exercise (or do anything about it) at the right time, they *suddenly* find themselves overweight or obese after a few years.
- Some people pile up their debt everyday by a few dollars - if they procrastinate and don’t pay it off regularly, they are bound to *suddenly* find themselves overwhelmed by a huge debt after a few years.
Makes me wonder if procrastination might be at the root of most misery. In the past I have written about the positive side of procrastination, but I guess that works only in moderation [ironically, the title of the post was "Procrastination is Good for Your Wallet" - my wallet will tend to disagree with that]. Too much procrastination, with things that really matter, is definitely going to cause problems.
Fortunately for me, it was just the wallet; but I can appreciate how this can easily happen to people in other, more crucial aspects of life.
Anyways, going back to the topic of the interview, here are some of my responses:
Current Financial Strategy:
Save-Save-Save. I try to keep my financial life simple. Generally, most financial transactions are a â€œreturns vs. headacheâ€ deals for me and at times, I tend to minimize headache rather than maximize returns. I used to budget our finances to the penny, but of late, I have realized that such micromanagement tends to harm productivity (at least in my case) so I donâ€™t do that any more.
Of course, I spend less than I earn. But thatâ€™s not a strategy, itâ€™s a way of life.
Now, some people will disagree with the headache part because I use credit cards 99% of the time (notice that there is not a hint of cash anywhere in that wallet picture above; that’s how it is most of the year) - but for me that’s what is more peaceful than having to keep track of cash.
Best Financial Tip:
Keep an open mind towards financial ideas. Donâ€™t bias against (or in favor of) a certain idea without thoroughly analyzing it. Always take financial advice with a grain of saltâ€¦whether it comes from the guy next door or the latest financial guru.
Head over to The Mint Blog to read the rest of it.
Meanwhile, do feel free to share what’s in your wallet.