The Best Way To Lose Weight And Become Debt Free

Yesterday was one of those perfect gastronomic days.  For breakfast, there was all you can eat fruit and pastries.  For lunch, some deliciously “low calorie” Greek baked spaghetti with garlic bread you see to the left.  To top off the evening, a bone-in filet mignon, with baked potato with the works, blue cheese wedge salad, and a couple glasses of pinot noir from Napa Valley.

All told, I probably consumed some 5,500 calories worth of food!  I didn’t feel incredibly sick to my stomach (OK, maybe a little bit!) because I made sure I played an hour and a half of tennis before dinner.  It was actually a wonderful experience since I normally eat half as much.  When I was in the cab ride home, I had an epiphany.

Perhaps the reason why there are so many large folks in America is because people purposefully gorge themselves in order to lose weight!  Eating great food is such a wonderful pleasure that it’s irrational not to.  It trumps any negative feels about packing on weight otherwise we wouldn’t let ourselves go.  Furthermore, the reason why there are so many people in debt is because it’s just so rocking fun to spend money you don’t have!  Finally, it feels great once you pay back that debt!  Double pleasure going both ways is why there is such a correlation.

GAINING WEIGHT IS THE PERFECT SOLUTION

Blink And Blink Again

It’s safe to say that before you began reading this post, you had no idea you were blinking.  Blink, blink, blink.  Whatcha going to do about it now that you are aware of your fluttering eyelids?  My guess is that your memory will last as long as a gnat, and you’ll forget as soon as you finish reading this post.

It’s amazing how we can blink roughly 36,000 times a day and not even be aware.  Yet, if we were to be consciously aware of our need to blink, we’d probably drive ourselves mad.  How great it is that our bodies protect ourselves from insanity by doing the things for us we have no desire of doing ourselves.

SUDDENLY YOU’LL WAKE UP

Sun Tzu’s Art of War Applied to Your Battle Against Debt

“Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”

This was the infamous line said by Gordon Gekko in the popular 1987 film Wall Street. Derived from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, a 2400-year-old Chinese text on military strategy, the teachings of this tactical mastermind have proven useful in various aspects of present-day life besides warfare.

Although Sun Tzu’s Art of War is studied most religiously by military commanders, political leaders, and corporate executives, the concepts are scalable to conflicts as minuscule as your struggle with debt. Like in war, where the objective is to overcome the enemy resistance, it is everyone’s goal to conquer their personal debt.

Debt is the bad guy. We are the good guys. The road to financial independence is a righteous path where we’ll have multiple encounters with debt – a merciless obstacle that seeks to consume us. Luckily, an old man from many many years ago jotted down some powerful advice that may serve the purpose of securing a victory against debt.

Universal Debt Teachings

The Four Different Ways To Spend Money By Milton Friedman

The reason why Warren Buffet is so great is because he’s able to distill the most complicated financial topics into very simple terms.  Lucky for us, there is someone like Warren in the economics world.  Regular reader, Investor Junkie who disagrees with the government’s unemployment insurance extension, but agrees with the cessation of rising taxes, highlights a fantastic video by the great economist Milton Friedman about four different ways of spending money.

Professor Friedman’s examples are simple and perfectly to the point.  In an environment where we are spending other people’s money on someone else (deciding how other people’s tax dollars are spent), we don’t maximize the value of the dollar because we simply don’t have much at stake.

Professor Friedman highlights that people spending someone else’s money on others is a “distributor of welfare funds.”  Strong words with a certain amount of truth wouldn’t you agree?  In “The Ultimate Solution To A Fair Tax Policy In America”, I discuss the concept of limiting the voting ability of the 47% of non tax paying Americans on raising taxes for the other 53%.   Don’t worry, voting rights for everything else is status quo.  The reason why I suggest this rational solution is because it makes sure the country isn’t overrun by those who have their cake (don’t pay taxes) and get to eat it too (enjoy the benefits).

One can easily see an America where 90%+ of citizens don’t pay taxes and stick it to the 10% rich because it’s rational to look out for your own interests.  It’s up to balanced people who believe in equity to continue fighting for those who perpetually get unfairly blamed for our economy’s problems.  It really is ironic, because if everybody studied hard in school, volunteered their time to help others, and were self-sufficient (doesn’t have to be wealthy), America wouldn’t have nearly the amount of problems we have now!

The 4 Ways Of Spending

1) Spend your own money on yourself.

2) Spend your own money on somebody else.

3) Spend somebody else’s money on yourself.

4) Spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.

Readers, do you agree or disagree with Professor Friedman’s thesis that the 4th way of spending is the worst way of spending?  If you do agree, why do you think people feel it’s OK to spend other people’s money as they wish?

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow on Twitter @FinancialSamura and subscribe to our E-mail or RSS feed.

Should I Refinance Now? Does A Bear Poop In The Woods?

You guys know that the one and only data point I track religiously is the 10-year yield right?  Well, after the 10 year yield dipped below 3%, I went to the bank with a buddy of mine to go see how much money we could borrow.  The wiry banker sat us down like a loving couple and asked us to go through our finances at which point I kindly stepped out of the room and let him go first.  Five minutes later, he came out with a grin on his face, so I curiously went in.

He proceeded to tell me some curious news.  “Look here Sam, you can borrow up to $1.5 million dollars at a 5 year fixed rate at 3.625%!”

Holy moly really?  You mean little old me, just like that can borrow that much money at that low of a rate?  “So what’s the catch?”, I ask.

“Zero points, and $2,500 in closing costs.  But don’t worry, we are giving you a $500 credit for being a preferred member, and frankly, if you guys both take out loans, I’ll throw in another $500 credit,” said the banker.

“Done!  Where do I sign?, I ask as I think about the new Audi R8 I plan to buy with just $150,000 of the $1.5 million.  Or maybe I should be more conservative and spend $100,000 on the new 2011 Porsche 911.  Or actually, I heard the 2011 BMW  335i coupe is coming out for only $55,000 this fall.  With all the money “saved”, time for a bachelor’s trip somewhere fun!  (I’m still thinking to myself here).

NOT SO FAST! REFINANCING SHOULD BE TO SAVE YOU MONEY