money health weekly


Cheap...or Mindful?


"What if doing what's considered 'NORMAL' is the problem?"

-Carl Richards


It's 2008 and I'm walking through the food court at lunch. I work downtown and get to ride the bus to work, so I'm fortunate. I'm lucky because my car doesn't work. I haven't driven it in months. Lucky for me, there is a car dealership in the same building as the food court.

I walk in and look around. I'm talking to a salesperson who tells me about a smaller sedan. He walks me through the cost and the monthly payments. I can swing the payment. Just out of curiosity I ask how the bigger sedan. I can't comfortably afford the monthly loan payment, but the salesperson tells me that, for just a little bit more, I can get into the more expensive car if I lease it.

I don't really know about leasing vehicles, but I work at an investment firm with people who drive nice cars. That draw is strong. I end up leasing the car, getting myself into a car that is more expensive than I need.

I don't value fancy vehicles; I never have. Since my car is broken down at my apartment, I realize I do value reliable transportation. But reliable transportation is not the same as having a fancy car. I let the thought of coworkers and colleagues influence my spending (even though they didn't know they were). I spent my money in an area that wasn't important to me.

I spent more money than I needed to. I leased a car instead of buying it. I didn't want to be thought of as cheap, and I paid the price for it.

you're not cheap, you're mindful

Talking About Money is Hard

Money is probably the biggest taboo in our culture. People would rather talk about politics, religion, sexuality, and even gross problems before they'll consider talking about money. If you are ever stuck in a conversation you don't want to be in, try asking the other person how much money they make or how much money they spent on their car. We hate talking about money.