Thursday, December 14, 2006

Financial Tips from a Crack Addict

You can learn a lot about personal finance from a crack addict. I did when I read Confessions of a Crack Addict, in today's Wall Street Journal. But the subject is not drugs, but rather mountain climbing -- scaling cracks in tall, vertical surfaces.

"Perhaps I should explain. I've been hooked on crack for two years now. To get a fix, I've done things I'm not proud of: spent money I didn't have, blown off friends and family, traveled across oceans, lied to bosses about my whereabouts, risked my life in scary places most people with common sense would be afraid to set foot.

I'm talking about rock climbing, of course. Crack climbing, to be precise." --Wall Street Journal.

From that excellent piece by Micheal J. Ybarra, I've mined a few frugal and financial lessons.

Here's what I've learned:

1) It's good to be a girl. "Climb like a girl," is a tip the author received from a crack maven.

...use technique and finesse instead of trying to muscle up a route -- WSJ

In my personal finance efforts, I've had the best results when I've taken an easy-does-it, very modertated approach to my budget. Overly strict fiscal measures prompt rebellion and then I shop like a Paris Hilton-type of girl, albeit without Hilton's cash, extensions, blue contact lenses or expensive pumps. Oooh.. and I get snarky also.

2. Inches count. I save the most when I look for extra frugal and financial frothy inches in my budget. I look for the small cracks, which as the author explains can ruin your manicure:

And then there's crack, where you wedge your body or whatever parts of it you can -- fingers, hands, arms -- into fissures and inch your way up. Crack climbers have lousy manicures and many scabs. --WSJ

3. Recognize your addictions: Hi, My name is Sharon and I'm a former addictive shopper. That knowledge is power and therefore, I try to avoid my favorite crack houses: Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie (except for my once a year, end of season, massive sale splurge).

But otherwise, I'm careful. I can even do serious damage at CVS or Walgreens, where I've been known to spend $50-$80 on so-called sale merchandise.

5. Enjoy the process. It's just a game. It's just money. It's just stuff! The process, the discipline and fellow climbers are the real deals.


The Frugal Duchess Boutique

1 comment: said...

Quite an interesting comparison, thanks for the good read