Monday, 18 June 2007

Are your hanging out with other frugalist?

I have just finished reading the chapter on asshole poisoning in the book "The No Asshole Rule" by Robert Sutton. Basically it says that our behaviour will alter and be influence by those that we have close dealings with. The arabic proverb sums it up nicely.

A wise man associating with the vicious will becomes an idiot.

The opposite is also true, in that a wise man associate with wiser man will become wiser himself. This is a basic human behaviour, and some calls this behaviour the herd instinct . It is present all animals, including humans. It is one of the main reasons why we don't want our kids to hang with the wrong crowd as they will become one of them.

What has to got to do with personal finance, you may ask? Well, for us to be successful in our frugal adventures, we need to hang out with other frugalists. Hanging out with the other frugalist may not give you a monetary gain, but will give you a solid personal infrastructure.
  1. Mindset change - To be a good with your money, your mind needs to focus and to be passionate your personal finance. By exploiting the nature of herd instinct, after a period of time, your mind will be tuned to be thinking about personal finance, and that is a good thing.
  2. Share ideas - Good ideas are really difficult to come up with by yourself, and a lot of good ideas are rarely original. It is typically a variation on other ideas. Sometimes, a really bad idea can become a fantastic idea with a little variation. By sharing ideas, you may help out a friend with a great idea.
  3. Share mistakes - By learning from the mistakes of others, we can avoid from making the same mistakes.Some financial mistakes will literally kill you.
  4. Feedback on your strategy - Personal finance works best when you have a strategy towards a target. By getting feedback from your fellow personal financers, you can gauge on how successful your strategy will be.
So what can you do to start hanging out with other frugalist.
  1. Internet Forums - JD at Get Rich Slow has a forum specifically for discussing personal finance. Get other there and sign up an account. You may want to start by just reading the entries. Some of the discussions are emotional and passionate. A nice usenet newsgroup, misc.consumers.frugal-living, also has plenty of discussions. If you know of any other personal internet forums, share them in the comments section.
  2. Start a blog - A blog allow you to publish your thoughts on the personal finance, and also a way of solicitating feedback on your ideas. You can start with a blog on blogger or wordpress. Best of all, you are publish your views.
  3. Talk to your work mates - Most people I know love to talk about finance as it is one of the things that everyone needs to understand. Work mates are generally good candidates for frugalist as they are working because they need the money, just like you and I.
  4. Talk to your partner - Your partner will definitely want to share your personal finance adventures with you as it will affect your partner as well.

I have written about one asshole rule from the same book as well. This book is a very interesting read.

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