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Riddle of Steel Roundup

Posted By Jim On 11/15/2008 @ 9:17 am In Personal Finance | 3 Comments

Brip Blaps talks about the riddle of steel [3], which is a direct reference to none other than Conan the Barbarian. “Over the last couple of months we’ve all learned that some of the advice that we’ve been handed over the years will not be easy to swallow. Learning to live within your means and invest in index funds and network to maintain your job are all nice, friendly pieces of advice when the economy and the market are headed in a never-ending positive direction…. Now for my generation (Gen X) and the rest of the country it’s time to learn the riddle of steel.” Credit-fueled spending isn’t going to get you into Valhalla.

It’s important to challenge your assumptions. Here’s a simple example everyone can relate to and it involves a story I read at One Caveman’s Financial Journey. Caveman has been buying ground beef in bulk at his local warehouse store [4] for at least four years and always picked up a 6 lb. log, what he thought was the cheapest per pound price. For years, he overlooked the larger meat logs because he thought they were sausages. Well, recently he went ot the store and saw his favorite 6 lb. meat logs were actually 5 lb. meat logs and a little more expensive, so he gave those weird sausage products another look. Turns out they were 10 lb. meat logs that were thirty five cents a pound cheaper! How many times have you made assumptions only to realize they were wrong? Fortunately this wasn’t a huge oversight, he estimates he’s spent about a hundred bucks more over the course of four years, but it’s a good example of how you should always challenge your assumptions.

I used to read Dan Melson’s Searchlight Crusade [5] all the time when I was buying a home. I stopped reading it as much the last few years because I wasn’t planning on buying a home and didn’t really need his expertise. The other day I had a reason to stop by his site and was once again reminded how well informed he is (it’s partly his job) and how well he explains certain topics. In fact, a post this week tackles the very problem that David of My Two Dollars was facing [6]how to qualify for a loan with irregular, 1099-MISC income [7] (it talks about more than that). If you’re going to buy a house in the next year or two, read Dan’s stuff. (Oh, also check out his Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate [8])

Lazy Man always asks himself five question before he buys something [9], it’s a good process to go through sometimes our brains run on autopilot. We buy something because it looks good or was pitched well, but we never ask ourselves the five questions Lazy Man does.

Finally, I leave you with this thought – Is the Baby Boom Generation the Shallowest Generation [10]?


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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/riddle-of-steel-roundup.html

[3] riddle of steel: http://www.bripblap.com/2008/the-riddle-of-steel/

[4] buying ground beef in bulk at his local warehouse store: http://www.thatonecaveman.com/2008/10/i-only-thought-i-was-being-frugal.html

[5] Dan Melson’s Searchlight Crusade: http://www.searchlightcrusade.net

[6] David of My Two Dollars was facing: http://www.mytwodollars.com/2008/09/02/qualifying-for-a-mortgage-as-a-freelancer/

[7] how to qualify for a loan with irregular, 1099-MISC income: http://www.searchlightcrusade.net/2008/10/will_i_qualify_for_the_loan_to.html

[8] Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate: http://www.searchlightcrusade.net/2008/10/consumer_focused_carnival_of_r_20.html

[9] asks himself five question before he buys something: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/five-questions-i-ask-myself-before-making-a-purchase/

[10] Baby Boom Generation the Shallowest Generation: http://seekingalpha.com/article/103202-the-shallowest-generation

Thank you for reading!