Standard eBooks: High-Quality, Free, Public Domain eBooks

sebooksThe Standard eBooks Project is a new volunteer-driven, not-for-profit project that produces carefully-formatted, open-source, and free public domain ebooks. They improve upon the work of sites like Project Gutenberg and HathiTrust in the following ways:

  • Modern & consistent typography
  • Proofreading with careful corrections
  • Light modernization of language (spelling, hyphenation)
  • Additional metadata
  • Ready to download in .epub (iBooks), Kobo, and Kindle native formats.

Basically, it makes these public domain books easier to download and more pleasurable to read. The only drawback so far is that the library is somewhat limited. You can also contribute in a variety of ways, from reporting errors to proofing entire books. Found via Daring Fireball.

The .epub format works with iBooks and most other readers, so you can download directly from iPad or iPhone. If you prefer to read on an Amazon Kindle, visit the website using your built-in web browser and download the .azw3 file directly. This saves you the step of having to transfer files from your computer.

Another source of free eBooks with improved formatting is Feedbooks.

Work + Skill + Luck + Risk = Big Success

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A new book called Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker promises to reveal surprising facts about what really determines success. The publicity tour has generated several articles about how high school valedictorians are less successful than you might think:

Beyond the clickbait, what really happened? I haven’t read the book, but I did learn that Dr. Karen Arnold of Boston College tracked 81 high school valedictorians and salutatorians for 14 years after graduation. Here are some of the findings of this study:

  • 95% went on to graduate college.
  • The average college GPA was 3.6.
  • 60% went on to receive graduate degrees.
  • 90% were in professional careers.
  • 40% are in highest tier jobs (not exactly sure what this means).

Apparently, none of the subjects became billionaires or “changed the world” in a meaningful way. Why not?

The theory is that high grades are a product of conformity and obedience, while being “successful” is about mastering a unique skill and non-comformity. Research has found that high grades are only loosely correlated with intelligence. In addition, out of a survey of 700 millionaires, the average GPA was only 2.9. If you are devoted to a single passion, it can be hard to have good grades in all subjects; thus you tend to struggle in high school.

My question is – How you define “success”? If it’s a respectable career with above-average income, it seems that being valedictorian gives you a much higher chance for that. There’s a reason why many parents want their kids to get good grades and become an engineer, doctor, accountant, or lawyer. You are playing the odds. There are many starving artists and writers, but not many starving nurses.

If “success” is becoming a billionaire, then yes it seems that being a valedictorian may not match up with that. If you want to get rich quickly, you’ll need to start your own business and take some sort of ownership stake. The richest people all own something – music copyrights, book copyrights, businesses, real estate, something.

The difference is taking risks. By definition taking a risk means there is the chance of failure. A small business can make you rich, but most small businesses end up failing. However, you’ll only get graduation speeches from the winners. This is called survivorship bias, as this XKCD comic explains:

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There is no direct formula for success, but you can still break it down into the required parts:

Work + Skill + Bad Luck + High Risk = Failure + Experience

Work + Skill + Good Luck + High Risk = Success + Experience

No Work + Good Luck = Failure

The takeaway is that you need hard work, valuable skills, taking a risk, and some luck. Luck plays a role, but you need the other three or you have no chance at all.

If you can be a high school valedictorian, I feel you are able to do hard work and thus have the ability to develop valuable skills. That’s a good base. The difference is… will you take the risk? Will you risk putting all your time and energy into developing a skill or a company that may or may not result in something valuable? Will you accept that chance of failure? Or would you rather go with the odds and do something with more reliable results? Perhaps statistically valedictorians take less risk than other groups.

I plan on advising my kids to take calculated risks when they are young and can devote 70 hours a week to a single task. That’s possible when you aren’t taking care of your kids (or your parents). However, I would also teach them that a reliable stream of above-average income plus a high savings rate equals financial freedom, aka early retirement in 10-20 years. (Getting rich via ownership just accelerates the process even further.) Once you have that financial freedom, you can do whatever you want with your life. Start a charity, write a novel, spend time with family, travel the world. Living a lifestyle aligned with your values certainly sounds like “success” to me.

Frugal Entrepreneur Earns $5,600 a Month Farming Other People’s Yards

Here’s a cool story at the intersection of entrepreneurship, frugal living, and sustainable farming. Jim Kovaleski is a one-man farm, growing produce and selling it at local farmers markets, earning over $5,000 a month. What’s unique is that he doesn’t have a central plot of land – he grows his plants on other people’s residential yards in Florida and Maine. Some stories say he “leases” the land but in the interview below he says he doesn’t pay in cash, only in veggies.

He’s profiled above on the Justin Rhodes YouTube channel. Found via Kottke.org.

This nomadic gardener travels between Maine to Florida gardening leased front yards. With a frugal lifestyle and revenues as high as $1.5K a week, he’s living the dream.

It’s not an easy job, but he gets to work on his own terms while developing a unique set of skills. I’m impressed both by the yield he gets from relatively little space, and how he keeps people’s front yards looking relatively nice (as opposed to industrial or commercial). If you live in a neighborhood with the right vibe (like my old one in SE Portland), this idea could probably be replicated.

Best Places to Find a Decent Used Car For Under $1,000

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I suppose my pre-Uber generation might be the last one to equate having your own car with fun and freedom. In high school, I would comb through the “Under $2,000” section of the newspaper classified ads every day. How it looked didn’t matter as long as it meant I could go places without my parents. More recently, I bought a cheap beater car on Craigslist in order to learn how to drive a stick shift. Goofing around in that thing was great nostalgic fun, although I sold it soon after.

This Car and Driver article compares the various places that you can find your own cheap-yet-decent car:

  • Impound lots
  • Junkyards
  • Airport Auctions
  • Public Auctions
  • The Spare Car on Facebook
  • Government Auctions

The author Steven Lang has been an “auto auctioneer, car dealer, and part owner of an auto auction for nearly two decades”. Amazingly, even after inflation the target price point is under $1,000.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth: To spend less than $1000 on a car, you have to be willing to risk that money and spend maybe $500 to $1000 more to get it back into tip-top mechanical shape. So do yourself a big favor and don’t be lazy in your pursuit. Go where you can have the least uncertainty and invest in the automotive beauty that lies within.

While I still enjoy learning tips about the “hunt”, these days you will find me driving around in a comfortable and reliable Toyota Minivan. My philosophy is now “buy new and drive it for at least a decade”.

See also: Top 10 Best Dirt Cheap Beater Car Models?

Free eBook on Reducing Smartphone Data Usage

tingdataTing Mobile has a free Cut Your Data eBook (PDF) about lowering your cellular data usage. The eBook is a nice collection of data cutting tips that ideally don’t reduce your actual enjoyment. Examples include:

  • How to turn off background data usage.
  • Disabling auto-play videos or auto-downloads in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.
  • Data compression in Google Chrome and Opera Mini web browsers.
  • Offline downloads of music, maps, Netflix, and other media.

Worth a download if you are trying to maintain a lower tier on your cellular data bill. You don’t need to be a Ting customer (I use them for my parents’ phones – see my Ting Review).

Digit Review: “You Won’t Even Notice” Automated Savings Account

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Update April 2017. Digit is now a paid service. After a 100-day free trial, Digit will charge a $2.99 monthly subscription. If you are a current user, you also get another 100 days free but after that they will start taking $2.99 out of your linked checking account automatically. If you don’t want this to happen, you need to close your Digit account at this link. All your Digit balances will be moved back into your linked checking account.

I am disappointed Digit couldn’t make their business model work by simply earning interest off people’s savings balances. While some people criticized that aspect, I thought it was a fair trade-off. Although transparency is good in theory, my prediction is most people will balk at paying $3 a month. Digit has increased their Savings Bonus to 1% annualized (previously it was 0.20%). However, you can earn that at online banks elsewhere.

Updated full review:

Want to save more, but don’t want to actually think about it? Digit is a fintech start-up that combines a FDIC-insured savings account that want you to give it permission to tuck some of your own money away for you. There’s mindless eating, mindless spending, and now mindless saving.

How does it work? Instead of rounding up your card purchases or getting you to commit a regular savings schedule, Digit is like a helicopter parent sneaking into your wallet/purse and taking out money when it thinks you won’t notice. Okay, so it’s more about an algorithm that tracks your income and spending patterns… and then takes out money when it thinks you won’t notice. It keeps on depositing that money into a savings account until hopefully one day you have something substantial Here’s a slick video about it:

SMS Text-based interface. After you link up an existing checking account, ongoing interactions with Digit can be done almost completely by text message. If you prefer apps, Digit now has an iOS app that offers a little bit of extra polish to your normal text message program. I thought it might be redundant, but I actually prefer using the app now. A few screenshots:

digit1   digit2

Free. $2.99 a month. Digit used to make money by keeping any interest that might be earned on your savings balance. As of April 11, 2017, they now offer a 100-day free trial and then will charge a $2.99 monthly subscription fee. The good news is that you now earn more interest, currently a 1% annual Savings Bonus (details below). They still promise not to sell your transaction data.

Minimum balance protection. I actually started using Digit a few months ago, but turned it off when I found out they didn’t (at the time) have a minimum balance protection feature. For example, you might have a bank account that requires a $1,000 minimum daily balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee. Digit used to have no way of knowing that, although they did promise to refund any overdraft fees. Now, you can set a minimum value that Digit will not allow your account to go below.

Savings Bonus. Essentially, Digit pays you interest on your balances with them including your Rainy Day balance and any Goalmojis. Every 3 months you will receive a Savings Bonus from Digit based on your average total balance over the previous 3 months. Currently Digit pays a annual 1% Savings bonus. So for example if your average balance was $4,000 over the last 3 months you would get a $10.00 savings bonus that quarter.

My personal experience. Every few days, random amount like $5.22 or $11.35 would be debited from my checking account. Honestly, for some who likes to be in control, having all those extra entries on my bank statements got to be a bit annoying. After a couple months though, I had over $300 saved up. Was this amount more than I would have saved anyway? Would I be better off with a formal budget? It’s hard to say. I can imagine some people really liking the feeling of “found money”, though.

Recap. Digit offers mindless automated saving, which is definitely a unique proposition. After a 100-day free trial, Digit will charge a $2.99 monthly subscription fee. You’ll have to balance that fee with their ability to save you money that you wouldn’t otherwise. You might prefer giving someone else the steering wheel. You might not. If previously-reviewed Qapital was “set-your-own-rules”, Digit is more “leave-it-up-to-the-robots”. You could even use both apps at the same time.

Buy It Nice, or Buy It Twice: Kitchen Edition

wusthof200Reader Chris sent in the following question (edited for clarity):

I read in your website about cast iron pans and KitchenAid mixers. I want to buy a small home and have nothing. What are some must-have kitchen items that will last a long time and be used most often? So they are an “investment”.

I finally figured out why people make you register for nice things on your wedding registry. After getting married over 12 years ago, I had to stop buying Hungry Man frozen dinners and really learn to cook at home. This also meant developing an appreciation for well-made kitchen items. When you “go cheap” on certain things, you not only have to replace it down the road (“Buy It Nice or Buy It Twice”), but you also feel a bit of annoyance and regret every time you use the inferior tool. In the words of Marie Kondo, owning high-quality tools “bring me joy”.

Here’s a list of high-quality items that are actually in my kitchen as I type this. There is no order, just a quick mental inventory. Some cost a few bucks. Some cost hundreds.

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Lodge 12″ Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
With over 10,000 reviews (!) and a 4.6 out of 5 star average rating, I know I’m not the only fan of these heavy-duty beasts. Great for searing and pan-frying, oven-safe, no worrying about scratches or dings. They will outlive you. Got a rusty one? They are easy to resurrect; here’s a quick video on how to season your cast iron.

lecreusetblue

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven
I cook multiple times a week with our Staub and Le Creuset enameled cast-iron dutch ovens. Cast iron isn’t a lot of maintenance, but you do have to keep it dry after each use to prevent rusting (and seasoning it again takes time). With enameling, you can just wash and leave it wet. The dutch oven shape also makes it perfect for braises, stews, and soups. (They also look nicer at dinner parties.) They do run $200-$300 but spread out over 30+ years of use it’s not that bad. But I’ll be honest, I don’t know how much better they are than this Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven which regularly runs under $80.

kitchenaid

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
We’ve used this machine regularly without any issues for over 10 years across multiple apartments, studios, and houses. We use it to beat eggs and knead dough for pizza, pasta, cookies, and bread. I don’t know what kind of motor is inside, but it is durable. The bowl has some small dings and there is a little rust on the exterior but nothing that prevents good operation. I notice a ton of different versions now, but I think the Artisan is the classic version.

peelersingle

Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler, Red/Green/Yellow
These may not last forever, but they have lasted a lot longer than my previous peelers and I’m still on my first one. (I also have a serrated version that I don’t use as often.) I bought these after seeing them recommended by America’s Test Kitchen and they peel much more easily and comfortably. Note: I see some Amazon reviews that say “I love my old Kuhn Rikon peeler but this one I just bought from Amazon is horrible.” My thought? Counterfeits. I would only buy these “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com”, even if it costs a few cents more. You’re still getting the best peeler out there for ~$4.

wusthofclassic

Wusthof Classic 7-piece Knife Block Set
I remember wondering if Wusthof and Henckels were worth the price as I zapped them onto our wedding registry. Then someone actually bought us a set of Wusthof Classic knives and we proceeded to use them nearly every day for over a decade. They have been professionally sharpened a couple of times (less often than recommended), but they still work perfectly with no chips or rust spots. I bought a $40 Asian cleaver from a shop in Chinatown a couple years ago, and it only lasted a few months before large rust spots appeared. My mom told me I didn’t treat it right. I told her I’d rather spend $80 on a knife and have it last decades even after not treating it right. So I did. 🙂

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J.A. Henckels International 8-pc Steak Knife Set
We also got a set of Henckels steak knives as a wedding gift. They’ve also lasted over a decade as our family’s only set of steak knives. They still cut great. Yes, they cost about double the price of the AmazonBasics steak knives set, but I wonder if I’ll ever have to buy steak knives again.

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Zeroll 1020 Original Ice Cream Scoop, 2 Ounce
Didn’t see this coming, huh? This is the best ice cream scoop, period. Once you try it, you will wonder why all the other ice cream scoops in the world are so bad in comparison. If you walk into an ice cream shop, this is probably the brand that they use. It has conductive fluid that makes it easier to get through rock-hard ice cream. It creates the perfect ball shape for placing on cones. The 2-ounce size makes a small/medium-sized ball, but other sizes are available. Why not own the best ice cream scoop in the world for about $15?

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things. There are also many other items I on my wish list that I haven’t bought yet. What high-quality kitchen items would you consider a good “investment”?

Shout out to Gita, Ben, Kiran, and family! Thanks for reading!

Dollar Shave Club vs. Dorco USA Razor Price Comparison

dsc-vs-dorco

Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s are supposedly “disrupting” the shaving industry. Honestly, I don’t get it. Buying a razor is like buying shampoo, soap, or toilet paper. In other words, I buy them in bulk when Costco has a coupon for it. 😉 Last time, I bought this set for $1 per 3-blad razor and it lasted me two years. However, after doing some research, I decided to try a different product for 2017 and 2018. (I already tried Harry’s razors and decided it wasn’t for me.)

Did you know that Dollar Shave Club doesn’t even make their own razors? Well, now that they’ve been bought for $1 billion by Unilever, this might change, but for now their 4-blade and 6-blade razors are made by a company named Dorco. Dorco also sells razors directly to US consumers at DorcoUSA.com. Which is the cheaper option?

Dorco USA has regular sales and coupons. There’s always some sort of sale or coupon, so you should never pay full price. You can sign up for their newsletter for updates, although it is a bit annoying to get weekly e-mails when you only buy razors once a year. You can also check the usual coupon sites. In my opinion, I would wait until I see a discount of 40% to 50% off with free shipping. (Maybe I’ll refresh this post once a year when a good sale hits.)

Use a cashback shopping portal too. You can also stack additional savings via cashback shopping portals. Specifically, both BeFrugal and TopCashBack offer 10% cashback at the time of this writing and I can confirm that I got the cash back credited through TopCashBack.

Example deal with 4-blade razors. Right now until 3/25/17, you can get $20 off $50 order with free shipping with code MMadness20. Here’s an example of what you could put together. I’m doing Men’s razors but they have equivalent Women’s razors as well.

The Pace 4 Starter set includes 1 handle and 2 cartridges for $6. The Pace 4 refill set has 4 cartridges and costs $7.15. Buying 1 starter set + 7 refill sets = $6.50 + $50.05 – $20 coupon = $36.05. That’s 30 cartridges total at $1.20 per Dorco 4-blade razor. If you use a 10% cashback portal, that’s $1.08 per razor.

The Pace 4 looks nearly identical (see top image) to the “4X” blade from Dollar Shave Club, which runs $6 for 4 cartridges per month. This works out to $1.50 per Dollar Shave Club 4-blade razor. If you count the $1 first month promo, over a year you’d pay $1.40 per razor.

Example deal with 6-blade razors. The Pace 6 Plus has 6 blades + beard trimmer blade. The Pace 6 Plus starter set with 1 weighted handle and 2 cartridges cost $6.50. Pace 6 refill sets are $9.65 for 4 cartridges. Buying 1 starter set + 5 refill sets = $6.50 + $48.25 – $20 coupon = $34.75. That’s 22 razor cartridges total at $1.58 per 6-blade Dorco razor. If you use a 10% cashback portal, that’s $1.42 per razor.

The Pace 6 Plus looks nearly identical to the “Executive” blade from Dollar Shave Club, which runs $9 for 4 cartridges per month. This works out to $2.25 per 6-blade Dollar Shave Club razor. If you count the $1 first month promo, over a year you’d pay $2.08 per razor.

The specific numbers may change as the promotions vary, but the Dorco razors usually still come out ahead. You may see $10 off $30, $20 off $40, Buy 1 Get 1 Free, etc.

Bottom line. If you are okay buying in bulk (20+ razors), buying directly from Dorco USA can be cheaper than getting what appears to be the same razor from Dollar Shave Club. In the examples above using frequent sale pricing, the savings were roughly 30% off. You also avoid a recurring subscription (always try to automate savings, not spending).

(How are the Pace 4 razors? In my non-fussy opinion, they are fine. They are slightly nicer than my 3-blade razors from Costco, but that’s about it. So far, it appears they will last about the same length of time as well.)

Food Rankings: Most Protein Per Dollar, Caffeine Per Dollar

icedteamixA while back I did a post on What Does 200 Calories Cost? The Economics of Obesity, where I found that you can find the cheapest calories in things like flour, pasta, oil, bread, and doughnuts. Meanwhile, the most expensive calories included all the fresh fruits and vegetables.

Michael Kirk of Efficiency Is Everything has put together his own nutritional spreadsheets and come up with other rankings. Below is an excerpt of his list of foods with the most protein per dollar. While lentils and pinto beans aren’t a surprise, I did find it interesting that white bread had more protein per dollar than whole wheat bread. White pasta also ranked higher than whole wheat pasta. Obviously, there will be some variability in the actual prices at your local grocery store.

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Below is an excerpt of his list of foods with the most caffeine per dollar. It’s good to know that powdered iced tea can give good caffeine pop for the buck (I’m saving this discovery for summertime), but I’d still rather drink a good cup of coffee than take a pill.

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I do like efficiency, although I don’t know if it is “everything”. I probably won’t plan my weekends around the alcohol per dollar list. 🙂

RingPlus: Free Cellular Phone Service Ending 2/11

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February 2017 Update. Well, looks like the party is officially over. As predicted, it ended quickly and messily. Ringplus sued Sprint. Sprint announced they were kicking R+ off the Sprint network on February 11th. Both announced that R+ users will be automatically migrated over to Ting if they don’t leave on their own. The timeline is yet unannounced. More details here and here. This is a soft landing as Ting has solid customer service has agreed to honor R+ balances. At the minimum, they’ll give you $35 in Ting credit. To activate service, you will need to put a credit card on file and agree to Ting’s terms of service online. My Ting Review here.

Ting will gladly honor the RingPlus Top Up balance that you had as of February 5, 2017. If you had $35.00 or less in RingPlus TopUp credit, you’ll receive $35 in Ting credit before your first bill. If you had $35.01 or more in RingPlus TopUp credit, you’ll receive $35.00 to start and then $5.00 each month until all of your remaining RingPlus TopUp credit balance has been honored.

I received over 1.5 years of free service on a secondary line for a one-time $10 fee and I’ll still end up with $35 in Ting credit, so it ended up bring a pretty good deal overall.


November 2016 Update. The most recent update:

Starting December 1, 2016, all Plans that are not Mad Plans will not renew at the end of their billing cycle. Members can change to any of the currently offered plans from our website. Phone Swaps will be free starting Wednesday (11/23/16) until further notice.

Realistically, this was always the type of deal that was not going to last forever, and hopefully if you participated you got good value out of it. I got over a year of Sprint-based cellular service with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text, and 1 GB of data for an total cost of $10 (technically the $10 is still in my account). The party is winding down… in the meantime I recommend taking the following precautions:

Know that your plans can and will be discontinued with little or no notice. Don’t buy an expensive phone just to switch to R+. Don’t pay for their lifetime Member+ plan. To put it simply, commit as little money as possible. Have a plan to port your number elsewhere; Ting can use Sprint or there are many free or $1 SIM cards out there on GSM networks.


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Generic Epipen Alternative from CVS for $110 Cash or $10 with Insurance

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If you are like me and have to purchase multiple Epipens every year, you may like to know that CVS has a new generic Epipen alternative with a cash cost of $110 with a cost of $10 for many people with commercial health insurance. In most cases, the discount can be applied right at the pharmacy counter. You have heard of Adrenaclick, but this is technically a generic version of Adrenaclick made by the same laboratory.

Patients can now purchase the authorized generic for Adrenaclick® at a cash price of $109.99 for a two-pack – the lowest cash price in the market. This authorized generic is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved device with the same active ingredient as other epinephrine auto-injector devices.

Many parents of children with allergies have to buy multiple Epipens. The school usually requires one to be stored with them at all times in the classroom. If there is an afterschool program in a different area, that’s another Epipen. You may also want one to keep one at home, one at the grandparent’s house, and more for your purse, “Go Bag”, or vehicles. On top of all that, they expire after only one year, so you have to buy them all over again every school year.

Even with health insurance, they may only cover one or two, or perhaps you have a high deductible. Epipen made the news when the cash cost reached $600, but even at lower prices it can all add up quite quickly. I haven’t tried to buy any of these CVS versions yet, but I will look into before the next school year starts.

CVS has the following advice for those switching over. Note that an existing prescription for “Epipen” may not work as that is a brand name, so you’ll need a new one written for “epinephrine auto-injector”.

How can a patient switch a prescription from EpiPen to the lowest-cost epinephrine auto-injector?
First, the patient should speak with his or her prescriber about whether the authorized generic for Adrenaclick is a good fit for their specific medical needs. The prescriber can then write a prescription for an “epinephrine auto-injector” to ensure the lowest-cost product is filled. Patients who already have a prescription on file with CVS Pharmacy can ask their pharmacist to check with the prescriber about making the change.

You may also want to print out this $100 off coupon and bring it in.

New Year’s Resolutions: Nudge Yourself Towards Success

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It’s now late January. According to “the internet”, over 30% of people have already failed at their New Year’s Resolution. Well, I say let’s have a do-over since I haven’t even got around to making mine yet. Jonathan Clements has an excellent post called Committed where he outlines some strategies to help improve our chances of success. I’ve re-worked them below according to my own tastes. In my view, all of them involve making failure painful and/or inconvenient (really the same thing, just different levels and frequencies of pain).

  • Tell everyone. Announce your resolution on Facebook, Instagram, or other widespread manner. Somebody (frenemy?) will likely follow-up. You’ll want to avoid the mild shame from lots of people you know sorta well.
  • Tell just one important person. Share your resolution and deadline with a person whose opinion you care about. You’ll want to avoid that acute shame from a close friend or relative.
  • Tell nobody, but bet money on it. You could set up a bet with a friend, or use a website like DietBet. You’ll want to avoid the financial pain from losing money.
  • Put hurdles between you and bad habits. Want to spend less? Use cash for everything. Institute a cooling-off period of 1 week for every $100 of cost. Cut up or freeze your credit cards in ice. Cancel any “bad” subscriptions, and make yourself pay for it manually each month. (Try Trim if you need some help canceling things.) Remove junk food from the house, so you’ll have to go out and buy it. Make it a hassle.
  • Make it automatic. Make “good” subscriptions. Set up (or increase) an automatic paycheck withdrawal for 401(k) and/or IRA retirement accounts. Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account. Sign up for a service like Digit. After the initial setup, the lazy thing is now the good thing.

You might use one, or you might use all of them, depending on your specific goal.

Photo credit: Angus and Phil comic by Annie Taylor-Lebel.