But I play one on the Internet

By Mir
October 4, 2008

Evidently I missed my calling as a financial advisor. I’m absolutely SUPER at it, by the way. Here goes: Don’t spend what you don’t have.

You’re welcome!

If you require more information than that (so demanding), well, might I suggest this excellent article by the AP’s Heather Lalley, which happens to feature some heavily-edited sound bites from yours truly.

Alternatively, I can break it down for you into just five easy steps.

And while we’re talking about money… you do know about DonorsChoose, right? You can pick the project, the school, the teacher you want to support? It’s a great approach to a great cause (bettering our nation’s schools, and you KNOW how I am about this topic), and while there are plenty of bloggers running challenges in conjunction with this, I just hope you’ll find something that inspires you to give a few dollars. If you need someplace to start, check out the BlogHer Contributing Editors’ Challenge for ideas.


  1. Michelle

    There are people here in NYC that I see whipping out credit card after credit card at Starbucks to see which one won’t be denied. HELLO? YOU HAVE TO PAY THAT BACK?!

  2. Tatiana

    Haha, love the financial advice…! So common sense, but it seems like far too many people just don’t freakin get it..

  3. tj

    Wait…you have to pay credit cards back? Blasphemy!

  4. Shalet

    You go!

  5. Mike Golch

    the best way to stay out of debt is not use the plastic for trivail things.

  6. Ramblin'Red

    The only plastic we own is as follows:
    Debit cards = must have cash!
    Home Depot card = investment in home equity and does get paid back
    Store saver cards = keep those costs down!

    I just can’t believe the serial chargers at places like *$.

  7. Catherine

    I have credit cards however I only use one of them for work expenses that are then paid back. It irritates me to no end just like your first comment that said people at Starbucks or other stores going thru each card trying to find the right one that will work. Umm hello!!! What are you thinking?? I know what the balance on every card is..and what my checking account is. What’s even more fun is when you see these people toting $1000 handbags but getting declined for a $6 cup of coffee….priorities I guess..

  8. Lilbet

    Yes, those of us who have been cash only people, why can’t we get a pass on this bail out?

    Great blog. Glad I found you!

  9. lindsay

    I enjoyed the links you gave. I really want to teach my future kids that money is just a conduit to get the things we need, and that to prioritize a couple wants is ok, but that ultimately it is the intangibles in life that will make us happy. By training me to not worship material goods (beyond a house) I feel like my parents gave me so much freedom in my adult life.

  10. Amy

    I’m curious that some people think using a credit card means people are living outside their means.

    I use a credit card fairly exclusively [in fact the only time I don’t use it is where they aren’t accepted them or at an ATM]. The thing is though, I pay my balance off every month. I have no debt and a fairly comfortable savings account. I rent so I don’t even have a mortgage. My card is a cash back card so every time I spend money I get a little bit back. It also means I can leave my earnings in my bank account longer so I earn a little more in interest. Credit cards also have better fraud protection than debit cards.

    So I’d be one of those people who would use a credit card at Starbuck’s [if I ever went to Starbuck’s] but I’m definitely not treating it like free money; perhaps the others you see aren’t either.

  11. Brigitte

    No, Amy, it was the ones who needed to go through several cards at Starbucks to find one they’d accept, because all the others were maxed out!

    You’re fine if you’re paying it off each month (as I do, too)!

  12. Tonja

    I read that in our local paper last weekend (Detroit Free Press). Nice quote :)

  13. fuzzy

    Have you seen mint.com? My husband talked me into using it and man, it is amazing for helping the lazy manage finances.


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