Reblog: Short Money Rules

I feel like I am becoming tad wiser these days by reading Morgan Housel’s Collaborative Fund blog. This list of 29 Short Money Rules is one such gem I read on this blog today.

A few rules that stood out to me:

21. Being nice to people is the easiest career competitive advantage.

22. Being smarter than others is the hardest.

Choose wisely!

Then there is this rule that I liked:

2. Most people are afraid of looking wrong.

I think not worrying too much about my ego, always being open to feedback and iteration are what makes me unafraid of looking wrong.

As an aside, if you have more time, I highly encourage you read The Psychology of Money post on this blog. It is a long and interesting read. I first found it in my colleague Jeremey’s newsletter and have read it three or four times since. I am sure I will read it a few more times. It is such a good analysis of human psychology and behaviour.

Kindle, Kano and a money lesson

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite and Kano Computer Kit while I was in the US last week. I also did not buy an iPhone 8 Plus.

My first attempt to buy Kindle was at the end of 2010. But that Kindle was lost even before it reached me along with my friend’s lost checked-in baggage.

Over the years I have been reading a lot on iPhone, iPad and physical books borrowed from the library. But I felt like I could benefit from Kindle in the following ways:

  • Easy to carry.
  • Gentle on eyes for reading in the night.
  • Distraction-free reading.
  • Can add notes and highlights.
  • Cheaper books.
  • Longer battery.
  • Fewer barriers between me and my books which should result in more reading.

I also had my eyes on Kano computer kit for a while. So as soon as I saw it on the store shelf I knew it will be a great buy. I bought it mainly for my son as a birthday present, but I too am excited to learn a thing or two about computers. We will unbox it once my son turns seven in June. It is my attempt to get him excited about creating rather than consuming things with computers.

I am also glad that I did not give into my impulse to purchase a new iPhone. I use iPhone 7. I was thinking about the iPhone 8 Plus for a few months. The trade-in deal Apple Store people offered means I will get the iPhone 8 Plus for $600 NZD cheaper than buying it in New Zealand.

But then I recalled an important financial lesson: No discount is too good for the things you don’t need.

The price of iPhone 8 Plus in NZ is $1450. But if I buy it in the States, I could get it for $850 NZD by trading-in my pristine iPhone 7. That’s a good deal but only if you need, not want, a new phone. If I took that offer I would have spent $850 on a phone that I didn’t really need. Sure, I get the latest large screen phone with a good camera. But they are not really game-changing features for me given how I typically use my phone. So eventually I walked away from the Apple Store without buying anything.

I can tell that it was a lot of inner struggle to think clearly and not giving in to the temptation of a shiny new iPhone. I felt particularly hard to resist the urge while standing amidst all the cool gadgets in the Apple Store and with cash in my bank. But in the end the feeling of exercising some choice and thought while standing right amidst the temptation made me felt like a super-hero. If only I exercise my choice in a few more areas of my life.