I am in New York for the launch of No Worries. Let’s talk about all the personal finance decisions I made to get here.
I booked coach tickets on the flight. I was hoping I would get upgraded to first class, but I didn’t. Just missed it. I have only paid for a first-class ticket twice in my life.
I took a cab from the airport. You can take the bus and the subway for $5, but it’s 19 degrees out, and it takes three times as long. My time is worth $50.
I am staying at the Residence Inn at 55th and Broadway, a $230/night hotel. It’s a nice hotel room, with a kitchen. It’s a bit small, but I don’t need to spend $800 on a hotel room for a few more square feet. I lived in a stateroom in the Coast Guard for two years.
I took my old intern out to dinner at Angelo’s Pizza and got a family-size order of baked ziti. Took the leftovers back to the room and tipped the waitress so much she asked if I meant to tip her that much.
Going to Hoboken today to record a podcast. I will take an Uber. I could take the PATH train, but again, it’s 19 degrees out. I can spend $50 to not be miserable.
Focus on the Big Things
So, let’s see what I did here…
I saved money on the big things (the flights and the hotel) and spent money on the little things (the food and the transportation). That is pretty much what No Worries is all about. And crucially, I am not sitting around thinking about money. The things I am spending money on are helping me:
Avoid physical discomfort.
And the things I am saving money on—a bigger seat on the plane and a bigger hotel room—don’t really add anything to the quality of my life.
By avoiding first-class tickets and a big hotel room, I am saving about $2,500 over four days, so I can afford to tip $30 on a $90 bill, and I can afford not to freeze to death. I don’t get cheap about the little stuff; I get cheap about the big stuff.
This is the way.
There is much more in the book. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
Have No Worries
The book was released two days ago, and it is going bananas. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, well, now is the time.
My editor explained to me once that getting people to buy and read books is getting them to climb a “wall of indifference.” Books are cheap—interestingly, inflation hasn’t impacted books, just everything else. Still, though, it requires time and effort to read, and people are busy, etc. A friend of mine got the book a little early and told me that he read half of it in one day. It’s smooth like butter, and it will fix what’s broken.
What a lot of people lack is perspective. They blow money on the big stuff, and they get bogged down on the little stuff.
Yes, it would only cost me a few bucks to scratch my way to Hoboken on public transportation. It will cost me $60 to get there in an Uber. That may seem like insanity, except when you consider that $60, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter when you are spending $2,000 or more in interest on your mortgage.
The small stuff is small stuff and doesn’t matter. The big stuff is big stuff and absolutely matters. Nobody went bankrupt over $60. People go bankrupt over $300,000. It is a few big things that determine if you have money—the house, the car, and the student loans. Now, look—I suppose if you took two $60 Uber rides every day for an entire year, it would add up to something. But on a one-time basis, it is insignificant peewee BS.
This is the book that will change the world—if you are an active participant. Aren’t we all tired of the personal finance experts saying the same dumb stuff? How about reading the book of someone who is not crazy?
Well, I am crazy, but not in that sense. I know in your book clubs with the ladies who lunch, you like to discuss your family-saga novels and chick-lit, but why not mix it up with No Worries? That will really generate some discussion.
You know what our problem is? We don’t talk about money enough in our society. It’s a taboo subject. But we can’t get better until we get it out in the open and start talking about it.
Go forth and add to cart. You won’t regret it:
Jared Dillian, MFA