Micawber’s Favorites – September 23, 2017

Links to some of my favorite recent articles on money and life:

Replace Chore Charts With Requests to Promote a Proactive Work Ethic by Bill Dwight at Family Finance Favs

I wish I would have learned about this idea when my kids were young. Children need some money of their own to learn how to manage it when the stakes are low. However, there is an ongoing debate about the best way to accomplish this. Should you pay children to do family chores, or just pay them an allowance and make chores a requirement for being a member of the family? The idea in this article suggests an interesting compromise with the added benefit that it teaches kids how to be proactive and how to negotiate, skills they will need their whole lives. I really love this idea.

Save First, Ask Questions Later by Finance Yo Self

I have long believed that saving is the key to personal finance, and the most important measurement of your financial well-being is your personal savings rate. Learning how to invest is important, but not as important as saving. This article advises young people to start saving in a 401(k) even if you are not sure how to invest it. You can learn how to invest later, and you should, but don’t let your lack of knowledge stop you from saving now.

Could You Earn the Boy Scout Personal Finance Merit Badge? By Ty Roberts at Get Rich Quick’ish

As a scout growing up (I can’t remember if I earned the Personal Finance Merit Badge) and a volunteer scout leader for many years, I enjoyed this article about the Personal Finance Scout Merit Badge. A lot of adults could benefit from completing these requirements.

The Most Dangerous Kind of Learning by Morgan Housel at the Collaborative Fund

A couple of years ago I had a desk calendar featuring a “word of the day.” The word one day was “sesquipedalian” which was completely new to me. As far as I can remember I had never heard or seen the word before. Later that day I found the word in a book I was reading and that night it fit perfectly in a conversation. I had lived 50+ years without a need for the word, but once I learned it I started noticing it everywhere. That is probably not a good thing, as it is not a terribly useful word.

The point of this article is that having too much knowledge about obscure, rare things can skew our judgment. We start finding uses for the knowledge even when it doesn’t really apply. We are usually much better off sticking to the simple, timeless, principles that apply to most situations rather than trying to fit our esoteric knowledge into every new situation. This article will definitely make you think.  

By the way, the definition of sesquipedalian is: given to using long words.

When You Get Money, Get Rid of It by Mel at Broke Girl Rich

Some more ideas on how hiding money from yourself is a good thing and creating artificial scarcity can help you use your money more efficiently.   

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