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When the Going Gets Rough, Don’t Spend Money

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Today is one of those days for me. It's the most depressed I've been in easily a year - probably much longer. When I lost my job I was happier. When I was passed over for a well-paying position that was absolutely perfect for me I was happier.

It's all because of a football game. I read the 7 words of the last sentence over and over again. My mind can't make sense of why something like a football game matters. The only thing more depressing to me than the result of the football game is realizing that a football game can make me depressed.

Some people might go into a spending spree to take their minds off of it. The mental rush of acquiring a new Wii is tempting to me right now. However, I will choose not to spend money today. Instead I will do the following:

  1. Guard myself against depression. Here are a few tips that have helped me in the past.
  2. Take a Self-Appreciation Day.
  3. Realize how lucky I really am. I wish everyone were as fortunate as me. We should all be so lucky that the result of a football game is the most depressing thing to happen to me in years.

If that doesn't work, I have two sure-fire ways to chase away the blues.

  • Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles song is depression Kyptonite. I can't be unhappy when it's on.
  • Watch a laughing shark - I've seen this a hundred times and it still makes me laugh. I never said I was normal.

Last updated on February 5, 2008.

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14 Responses to “When the Going Gets Rough, Don’t Spend Money”

  1. Ernesto says:

    I grew up in the Boston area myself. Fortunatly, it was the 80s and the Patriots sucked. I lived in Boston for the first 20 years of my life and still don’t know where Foxboro is.

    You could cheer up watching the Celtic! Oh wait when you grew up, the Celtics sucked.

    Buck up camper, there’s always next year.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    I’m 31. That means I got to see a lot of great Celtic teams.

  3. RateLadder says:

    The Celtics will cure your funk… the Playoffs are around the corner…

  4. Laura says:

    Try to look at it from the perspective that this was one of the best Super Bowls in recent years.

  5. Brip Blap says:

    @RateLadder: no, the Celtics will not cure Lazy Man’s funk. I am pretty durn sure of that.

    @Laura: I don’t think that will help much…

    I remember back in 1998 when the Jets lost to the Broncos in the AFC championship. I’m a big Jets fan, and I was devastated – I was sure the long drought was finally over. Being a sports fan is tough. I still remember seeing my college team, Ole Miss (Eli Manning’s alma mater, too, incidentally) lose 62-27 to Alabama. Ole Miss was up 27-0 when Alabama ripped off 62 straight points. You don’t get over stuff like that. Ever. It doesn’t matter that it was a great game from a technical football perspective. It hurts.

    I would gloat more but as a Jets fan I’m still slightly jealous of the Giants’ success. Welcome to “there’s always next year”, Patriot nation.

  6. RateLadder says:

    I’m pretty sure the Orlando Magic have the Celtics # this year. (I grew up a season ticket holder.) But I cant figure out who Jet’s fan thinks is better than the Celtics.

  7. acehbee says:

    “There’s always next year!”…. that is the key. I am a Cubs fan and I am still waiting for that “next year”.

  8. Eric says:

    I’m with you about that laughing shark. That shark is gold!

  9. Joseph Sangl says:

    The shark is not funny. You are making fun of the fact that a shark does not have access to a good dentist.

    OK, so maybe its a little funny … OK, a lot funny.

  10. Lazy Man says:

    I know you weren’t serious, but I think the funniest thing about the shark is that the commercial spends half it’s time on it. It wouldn’t have been funny at all if it just passed once or twice. Four passes? As Eric said, that’s gold!

  11. It’s ok, Lazy Man. We are Cleveland Browns fans. Can you say 1964? We are also Cleveland fans in general, so we have a system of getting our hopes crushed every year. We cure our depression by moving on to the next sport/team, only to be crushed again. It’s quite a cycle.

    So if you’re feeling bad, just say to yourself, “At least I’m not a Browns fan.” If that doesn’t help, say it a couple more times. Trust me.

  12. Brandon says:

    Caring that much about football *is* lame :(

  13. great video!

    “Here comes the sun” is one of my favorites too!

  14. Richard says:

    The People Next Door

    It seems easy to understand why the people next door drive a car that must be 14 years old, dress quite plainly and don’t much if anything on landscaping. He is a sell-employed carpenter and she is an assistant in a doctor’s office. Neither has a college education. But, each of their three children went to an Ivy League undergraduate college and then on to an Ivy League business, medical and law school. One of the children mentioned to you how grateful they were to have left school without a cent of debt. When you’ve spoken with either of the parents over the years, they’ve never complained about their children’s educational expenses or indeed about anything to do with money. How can this be? Their combined incomes can’t be over $100,000, yet it seems they may have paid over a half million dollars in educational expense for their children. Your annual household income is $250,000 but you live paycheck to paycheck.

    The main difference between you and your neighbors is that they are sitting on a stock portfolio worth $4 million, throwing off more than $120,000 per year in dividend income. You couldn’t raise $10,000 if you had a month to do it. How in God’s name did this come to be? Neither of the neighbors inherited anything.

    Here’s what happened. In the early 1970’s, when your neighbors and you were in the early 20’s, they realized they would probably not make great incomes so they decided to live beneath their means, utterly to ignore advertising, to buy used cars, stay out of bar rooms, restaurants and malls, and to invest what little they could spare in the stocks of companies that sold things to other people, such as you.

    They bought shares in what was then Philip Morris, and of Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, GE, Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, William Wrigley, and Abbott Laboratories. They got into Microsoft in the late 1980’s at 10 cents per share. They had the broker deliver the shares to them so that they could reinvest the dividends and buy more shares without paying brokerage commissions. Over a period of some 35 years, your neighbors invested maybe $200,000 of their own savings plus all the dividend income. While you were going through your considerable income buying new cars, running up big credit card balances shopping at Burberry’s, Barney’s and Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomindales, eating out 5 times a week, ordering drinks made with premium priced liquor and leaving money on the tables of Indian-run casinos, your neighbors were reserving against their future obligations and for a time when they might not want or indeed be able to work. While you were unable to separate your wants from your needs, your less well educated neighbors had no trouble doing that for themselves. The result is that capitalism turned your income into your neighbors’ principal. One not so small consequence was that their children could apply to Stanford, Princeton and the University of Chicago without requesting a cent of financial aid. If you don’t think that sways the minds of top college admission committee members, think again.

    Now, your neighbors love their jobs, in large part because they know they don’t need them and could cease working on any given day. You and your spouse hate your jobs because you know you have to keep them and maybe to work until you are 70 or older. You might want to continue to be most cordial to your neighbors’ children. When you end up looking for a job, one of them might give you a reference.

    Oh, wait – you suddenly awaken from the horror of this wretched scenario and discover it was but a dream and a nightmare at that. You are still only 28 and what has been written above is but one possible outcome. Fortune has favored you and given you a second chance. If you are comfortable with the future outlined above, keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get it. Keep spending all your income on consumer junk and trying to live as if you were a person with money and be sure to plan to work for a high school kid when you are 70, maybe parking cars.

    If, on the other hand, you want to be able to live more or less without financial worry, curb your spending now and begin investing. Sure, driving a flashy car, having $50 lunches and $100 dinners, drinking martinis made with Grey Goose vodka and buying $500 Jimmy Chu shoes seems stunningly enjoyable now, but, I assure you, it won’t come up to having $4 million when you are 60.

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