14 May 2007

Two intriguing blog posts from the last few days

I try to catch up on all the blogs first thing Monday morning when I can. My Money Blog reveals some misinformation (or at least misleading use of information) in Suprising Truths (and Half Truths) About Credit Card Debt. I've heard several times that when looking at more robust measures, credit card debt is not nearly the epidemic that the media makes it out to be, and it's nice to see that confirmed with some hard data. I haven't ever carried a balance, so I'm in that 29% category. It's nice to know that less than half the country carries credit card debt at all-- and I bet a small fraction (maybe 15% overall) are in what I would consider "problem" credit card debt. Great info!

The other strikes me differently. S. Shugars wrote a post at PFadvice claiming that the money-saving result of kicking the smoking habit is a myth. I think this is probably a good point for a lot of people, but not everyone. I'm familiar with the phenomenon of eating, drinking, or some other vice taking the place of the smoking, but I don't think this is by any means universal. I live with a counterexample. My girlfriend quit smoking almost 5 years ago, and to my knowledge she has picked up no nasty or expensive habits to replace it. She was ready to quit and be rid of cigarettes, and once she had done it, she simply became a non-smoker. Perhaps that is the key-- you have to be emotionally and psychologically ready to kick the habit, not just the nicotine. Those are the two components of a smoking addiction and they're both difficult, from what I understand. It's hard to quit unless you can do both, and if you can't, you may develop these other habits that continue to make your life expensive and less healthy.

15 comments:

savingadvice said...

Thanks for the mention...while I also don't buy the entire argument, it is one that I have not seen before that has some validity and I think that one of the most important parts of personal finance is looking at situations from a lot of different angles (and why I was willing to put it up).

pfadvice

Brad said...

Absolutely-- the angle or opinion that runs contrary to popular thought is absolutely crucial when you think about issues like this. I'm glad you posted it. I found it interesting too, especially since the author put numbers to it.

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