Financial Advice in the Oddest Places

I was reading the latest Cosmopolitan Magazine (August 2014) and found a very good to the point set of advice by their  financial columnist Alexa von Tobel .

Let me preface this discussion with a short explanation about why I might be reading Cosmo: First, I am the Father of 3 lovely young ladies and married to a wonderful wife who enjoy reading the magazine, and I have found it an interesting read usually; Second, I was reading it at the Library so it was free, well not really, I was reading it using the Ottawa Public Library’s Zinio App ; Finally, I read many different magazines, not just the Economist, Bloomberg, or the like for ideas to write about.

Bloated Wallet

That is my actual BLOATED Wallet

Ms. von Tobel’s 1 page teaser titled, “Are Your Finances a Total Me$$?”, brings some very useful points forward that I have talked about before (but they can never be repeated enough) (see Page 130 August 2014 Cosmopolitan for the complete article):

  1. “Clean out your Wallet”, I have talked about myGeorgeConstanza-like wallet, so I really do need to do something about that.
    • “Keep gift cards at home“, now that is one I hadn’t really thought about in terms of impulse buying.
    • “Carry your driver’s license”, what is it with folks not carrying ID with them? I always have my license, but I seem to be the exception.
    • She doesn’t mention the importance of not having a big fat wallet and how it might throw your back out if you carry it in your back pocket and sit on it, but that really wasn’t the point of her writing either. A big fat waller is a Chiropractor’s best friend, as you will throw your back out with it eventually.
  2. “Control your paperwork”, has lots of standard things, that are good to remember. Maybe what you need to do is start scanning things, or only keeping E-copies of things, but I am not completely clear on the CRA’s point of view on only have scanned copies of original documents.
  3. “Never Miss a Payment”, has a few things that made me nod my head and mutter, “Good idea”
    • “Keep money e-mails separate”, which is not a bad idea. Make sure the account you use is something you look at often (however) or you’ll end up having an out of sight, out of mind problem.
    • “Set Calendar Alerts” is really important too. I tend to do that using my Google Calendar, which I share with my phone and my wife, so I don’t have the “I forgot about that bill” excuse.

All in all a fun article, and it just shows you can find really interesting Personal Finance tips everywhere (well maybe not in Playboy or Hustler (not that I read those ) but you get my drift).


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Barry @ Moneywehave August 21, 2014, 12:14 PM

    If we all followed these simple tips then I would recommend everyone to read Cosmo.

    I definitely need to clean out my wallet, I half debate how badly I need to have my health card on me at all times.

    • bigcajunman August 21, 2014, 12:38 PM

      I think having your Driver’s License and Health Card are a must, all others are would be nices (unless you are an immigrant, then maybe some immigration papers too).

  • David Leonhardtd August 21, 2014, 8:32 AM

    Serious? People drive without their driver’s license. That kind of blows me away?

    As for the gift cards, I would advise the opposite. When I get to Home Depot, the last thing I want is to realize that I have to pay cash for something while a $150 gift card is sitting on my desk at home.

    • bigcajunman August 21, 2014, 8:38 AM

      Yes, I think I agree with your comment, but understand the sentiments of the author as well.


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