Ostentatious parsimony; Don't let your son grow up to be a gamer; The 7 step investment programme; Over-achievers no happier;

By Amanda Morrall (email)

1) The good 'ole days?

I always get a chuckle out of Mr. Money Moustache's down to earth working man blogs on personal finance.

I can't decide which is more amusing, the larger than life handlebar moustache on his profile picture his handle "achieving early retirement through badassity.''

Actually, what I like most is his honesty and common sense attitude toward money.  His basic premise is there is no short cuts to getting rich.

Instead, he suggests the way to wealth is working hard, saving and spending less.

His latest blog reflects on what it was like growing up in an rural outpost in Canada before the days of conspicuous consumption took hold and keeping up with The Jones' wasn't a clinical condition. Mr. M reckons we're moving back to those days again where "frugality is the new fanciness." In that spirit, here's a cartoon that made me laugh.













2) Gaming insanity

Already my two sons are technology junkies. After reading this piece in Bloomberg on the real cost of being a video gamer, I'm determined to break the habit. Either that or send them to design school. Cripes, I stopped reading after getting to the $12k running total for consoles, games and the latest PSP generation xiii.

3) 7 step investment programme

When it comes to women in and finances, there appears to be a large gap between their confidence and ability to manage household budgets and spending and long-term investments. The irony is that most studies suggest that women make better investors than men, in part because they tend to be less cocky and therefore more risk averse, which over time can serve an investor quite well.

Here's an introductory investment guide from Investopedia.com that isn't gender biassed, just straight forward and written in plain English.

4) Chill out

According to a study comparing happiness levels of over-achievers and regular Joes, the over-achievers, for all their efforts, weren't that much better off. I don't doubt they'd have more money in the bank and more stuff but if they aren't any happier for it all, then you have to wonder what the point is - beyond greater security in retirement and comfort levels.

The story,  published here in Gimundo.com suggests it's a good reminder to stop and smell the roses, go on holiday or take a yoga class.

5) Get excited

A Facebook friend sent out a distress signal yesterday asking for suggestions on how to bring some excitement to her life. She complained of being "bored." I'm not sure how as she's a full-time working mother with three kids. I don't know when you'd find the time to get bored.

In any case, I'm going to send her this link and I'm posting it here too for the benefit of others. The blog, from financiallypoor.com, suggests those suffering from a case of the blahs, get excited about the future by inking up a calendar of events to look forward to.

It reminded me of a billboard I saw not too long ago which said happiness is: having someone to love, something to look forward to; and someone to share your life with. I know, it's a bit chicken soup for the soulish, however a useful reminder nonetheless that money needs to have a context. That's the essence of personal finance.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter@amandamorrall

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Bored? With everything that is going on in the world today, surely not!
This chap's thinking may get her brain going.
Or this:
I'd prefer a gamer son rather than a banker son. 

haha! A little IT savviness goes a long way. They'll be keeping me in the loop at least.

Must be the weather, everyone around here is a bit blue, mind you I live in a house full of women. Its the Weather, (couldn't be hormones could it) I cannot get fishing it rains all the time its cold, my children live on facebook or skype. Just need to get out and exercise.
This guy has some great bloopers

Brilliant! That guy could stand in for Bill and Doug McKenzie.

Buy a parrot and relax Andrew: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPN1lMY7pio

#2.  This is an over the top article Amanda.  If somebody buys every possible console incl a PC, + every latest game + a whole lot of unnecessary accessories then yes it will get expensive.   
A couple of second hand games, trade in old ones and so forth and it's relatively cheap entertainment.  Development of motion sensor games means no longer a sedintary activity either and can provide fun for the whole family.

Yeah, it is a bit over the top. You can spend on fortune on most hobbies if you're not careful. Just food for thought really. Cheers.:)A

It's not exactly the billboard that you saw, but this is my favourite quote and sums up what I need for happiness:
"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."  -Joseph Addison

Yes I mostly agree...except there is a concern that opening up violent games to too young is bad news but then kids have always had imagination....So is there a real worry that playing "jap racer" on a xbox translates to them doing the same thing on the road? not convinced....
Boys have always played violent games, so on a PC wacking someone with a sword see no real bruises..and tears...go out into the real world and oops....
PS Im enjoying minecraft at the moment, $25NZ......

One for Pommy immigrants and lesson for Kiwi on how life insurance companies behave!!!
 "the vast majority of customers are completely in the dark over these guarantees, largely because companies do not tell them that they exist"