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The opportunity cost of having a girlfriend; The freedom of having F-you money; The benefits of not sleeping with your smart phone; Good spending; Student loan redemption

The opportunity cost of having a girlfriend; The freedom of having F-you money; The benefits of not sleeping with your smart phone; Good spending; Student loan redemption

By Amanda Morrall

1) Why buy the cow?

A former investment banker I know, who shall remain nameless, told me a joke once. He did ask if I offended easily in advance, so let that serve as a warning if you want to skip to No.2. It wasn't so much a joke as a brute (and callous) financial advice about renting versus buying.

"If it flies, floats or fornicates (a different f word was used here) it's always cheaper to rent.''

Economist Marina Adshade in one of her most recent columns "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" challenges that economic assumption with respect to the latter category. Surely the relationship exchange runs deeper?

The “buy the cow” expression is offensive for obvious reasons, but any good economist would tell you that you are never really getting the milk for free. And besides, marriage/cohabitation is economically efficient when it comes to the provision of sexual services and that is one of the reasons so many people think it is worth the initial investment.

2) F-you money

Wouldn't it be nice to have a stash of cash that gives you the freedom to say no or walk away from a horrible job or a bad boss? This is what's known as "F-you money.''

Just how much do you need on reserve to fund the f-you fund?

This guest blog posted via another one of my favourite personal finance bloggers, Mr. Money Moustache, considers the value of money, financial freedom and what it takes to stock the fund. A great read to start the week.

I like this idea of a guest post so if there are any interested parties willing to share their tales of financial victory (or woes) please email me directly:

3) The benefits of not sleeping with your smart phone

Technology has created all manner of efficiencies for us in the workplace but is being wired to the office 24/7 a good thing? Of course not but with the advent of smart phones, which have become permanent appendages, it's become increasingly difficult to disconnect.

Workaholics set the bar high for others but they're not necessarily setting a good example. The piece published in yahoofinance looks at the associated burn out that goes with the turf and some strategies that corporates in America are adopting to encourage employees to recharge so they stay fresh and stick around.

4) Good spending

In these recessionary times, it's easy to fall into permanent miser mode.

It's important to remember that not all spending is bad spending. In fact some expenditures might be regarded as investments if they spare you financial losses down the road or help to generate money in the future. Networking through membership based professional organisations is a case in point. Buying a decent suit, or outfit for a job interview or public engagements is another.

Here's a list of 10 good spends

5) Money in the bag

Canadian Alex Kenjeev ruffled a few feathers when he paid back his CDN $114 k student loan in cash recently. (See the Globe and Mail story for details) He was lauded and jeered on Facebook for the grand gesture. Admittedly, not everyone will be in the enviable position of being able to kiss the loan officer goodbye by dropping a bag full of cash at their doorstep. Still, you have to admire the guy for this milestone and not dragging the debt out forever.

This debt-free graduate's story is also an interesting one. He now works the Canadian version of the Dragon’s Den, a reality-TV show in which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas.

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

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"If it flies, f*cks or floats, rent it," comes from PJ O'Rourke. Apt advice.

Conversely, nothing of real value in life can be rented.  Ralph.

Conversely...Ralph...You can't take it with you when you go....therefore..!

Apt commentary.  I meet increasing numbers of people who's smartphone is their girlfriend.