Tag Archives: work

Ego Depletion and Your Bottom Line

Flickr Creative Commons

Here’s the thought experiment: You come home on Friday evening after a hard week at the office, do you…

1. Immediately order a pizza and pig out.

2. Have that pizza on Sunday evening after a few days rest.

Most people go right to number 1.

According to a guest post by Professor Dan Ariely on Tim Ferris’ blog, this is called ego depletion. Basically, there’s a connection between exhaustion and consumption. In this case, when you’re exhausted — a state called “ego depletion” — you tend to be more drawn to bad food choices, like junk food.

“I’ve always suspected that we start each day with a limited number of decision-making points that, once depleted, leave us cognitively impaired. This is part of the reason that automating minutiae, adopting rituals, and applying creativity only where it’s most valuable (e.g. not deciding what to eat for breakfast) is so important to me.”

Ego Depletion and Personal Finance

I’m wondering whether this doesn’t work for bad personal financial decisions. One of the reasons that I’m interested in automated trading is because there are human weaknesses — like ego depletion — that can interfere with trading, investing, and spending.

So, let’s explore how ego depletion may affect your personal financial situation.

Check out this scenario.

You’ve been trading all week long. You’ve been trying to maintain your discipline and set strict stop loss rules. But things are turning south by the end of the week. You see a pretty risky trade brewing.

Do you:

1.) Cut your losses and re-charge your batteries.

2.) Take a stab at turning a quick win before the week ends.

I’m suggesting that most would take that trade.

Here’s another scenario we probably all can relate to.

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The Ten Percent/Ten Percent Solution for Financial Problems

There are two ways to face down personal financial upheavals: decrease expenditures and increase revenue.
In other words, save money and make money. 

As the number of coupon clippers and group sales social networks attest, a lot of people are getting the first lesson. They’re trying hard to save money.

That’s only one part of the equation.

To really take control of your financial picture, you need to save money AND make more money. You also need to set definite goals. (For some, saving money is hard to maintain–it just takes a major purchase or a shopping binge to throw you off your game.) 

You might want to consider the ten percent-ten percent solution.


Four Tips To Stay Productive When You Work At Home

This guest post was provided by Katheryn Rivas, who regularly writes for online universities.  She welcomes your comments at katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

Working from home can be a great way to save money on commuting expenses, as well as overhead costs related to leasing an office space and paying monthly bills for utilities and so on. This sort of cost-reduction is especially important in this economy, given the trouble we’ve seen in the past few years and the looming rising gas prices due to unrest in the Middle East.

Image courtesy Heather Harvey

The one thing you have to make sure if you do plan to work from home is that you can remain just as productive and focused as though you were working in an regular office. Your home can provide a sanctuary for your work; however, it can also be a very distracting environment if you’re not careful.

Here are a few tips to keep up your productivity and stay focused when you work from home. If you can think of others, please feel free to add them in the comments section.

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Get Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek for Free!

One of my top 10 favorite books of all time the The 4-Hour Workweek. And, now you can get the eBook for free! Don’t wait because I don’t know how long the offer will last. I have written about this book previously here.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on this link.
  2. Click “Checkout”.
  3. Fill out the required information.
  4. Click “Complete Free Checkout”.

I have mentioned this book many times before, and I think that everyone should read it. It is wonderful because it helps open our minds to new ideas and options about making money.

If you prefer the ol’ skool paper version, you can get it from Amazon. Notice the 5 star review average. That is really amazing.



The True Cost of a Car

Like most things in life, we usually make snap decisions about buying a car. We go to a dealership to “look at cars”, and two hours later we are excited to discover we are driving our shiny new car home. Has this happened to you? It has to me.

Unfortunately, this is the worst possible way to buy a car. $250 per month may sound affordable, but nothing could be further from the truth. $250 per month does not come close to the cost of owning and using a car.

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America is the Best!

Recently I have written a bunch of posts about America’s worsening financial situation, and the economic chaos that could ensue. I believe that it is important to manage our finances in a responsible way, and that it will serve Americans as well as the rest of the world to clean up our financial mess. However, that doesn’t change the fact that America is the best country to live in.

Everyone wants to come to America. Nobody is sneaking into Cuba. Nobody is sneaking into Iran. Everyone wants to come to America. We have the most opportunity, the best government system, a good legal system and, most importantly, freedom.

America is so great because anyone can come here and succeed. Millions of people have come without any money or even knowing the language. However, our free economic system allows anyone to work, build a business, and become wealthy. That’s why America is the land of opportunity.

In fact, the desirability of America has been its greatest asset. Smart, hard working people from every country in the world have come here because it offers them the most. As they grew and succeeded, so did the country. In just a few hundred years, America became the most powerful economic power in the world because of the hard working people who came here.

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Who Is Your Boss?

We all tend to think of the boss as the man or woman in the corner office, or cube, who controls our lives for at least eight hours a day. Usually more.

After work, you carry the boss home and spend the remaining hours of the day discussing, kvetching, and bitching about him or her.

For most, this is when the idea of financial freedom becomes so appealing. The line of thinking is: if you have money to escape the job, you’ll have money to escape the boss.

It’s good thinking. But look closely. Who really is your boss?

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Is The Job Market Finally Turning?

Graph from Investors.com

For those without jobs and those in positions they can’t stand, the Investor’s Business Daily had some good news… Finally.

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy has started to add jobs.

A senior analyst from Barclays, Michelle Meyer, concurs with the assessment.

“Before summer, the recovery should lose its jobless label. By the end of the year, the recovery will feel like a recovery not just to economists but on Main Street too,” she said.

Economists expect the job market will be adding 200,000 jobs a month by year-end.

That’s all great news. But it doesn’t mean anything if we haven’t learned from this.

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Turning Your Hobby Into Your Job and Your Job Into Your Hobby

John Grogan was a hard-working writer.

He rose up through the ranks of journalists, winning lots of awards and recognition. The pay wasn’t bad either–by journalist standards. But it certainly wasn’t enough to fund his real dreams–those aspirations that bubbled under the surface. The ones that his friends and families probably rolled their eyes when he mentioned. The ones that “didn’t pay.”

John wasn’t deterred, though.

John worked hard and wrote a tale about his attention-deficit dog, Marley. The book–Marley and Me–and the movie based on the book became blockbusters and the financial freedom opened up new career paths for the writer, including his dream of becoming an editor of an organic gardening magazine.

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How to be a Bad Employee, But Stay a Good Person

Pic by mamamusings @ Flickr

Most employees are bound by a strict code. To keep employed, they’re expected to be loyal, dependable, perform tricks on demand, and subvert their own will to the will of the organization.

If this description sounds vaguely familiar, it should. This is basically the description of both a good employee–and a good dog.

In most workplaces, employees are cogs in the inevitable means-to-an-end. And that’s the way they’re treated.

The problem is that most people want to be good employees. It’s tied in with the work ethic that makes these workers feel like they are both a bad employee and a bad person if they don’t offer anything but their best work. On the other hand, they don’t want to be treated like a faithful hound, either.

There are ways, though, that you can be a bad employee, but remain a good person. It starts with the novel idea that no matter who signs your checks, you are always working for yourself.

Here are a couple tips:

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