Some Tricks That Help Me Be Better at Life

In college I used to do this thing where I’d treat myself to a new t-shirt anytime I’d take a test.

It didn’t matter if I did well on the test or not (as long as I fully completed it, the perk was activated!), but as crazy as it sounds, it actually did wonders to my psyche! Not that I wasn’t going to take the tests anyways, but MAN did those carrots excite me during study time. And my part-time job helped keep it sustainable too (could you tell I didn’t have any money goals back then? :))

Nowadays I wouldn’t dream of rewarding myself like that, no less hanging out at the mall so much, but it did become obvious over time that I’m someone who accomplishes things much faster – and happier – when I’m tricked into doing them. As lame as that may sound.

So today I thought I’d share some of my current tricks I’ve been playing around with, along with more proven ones over the years in hopes it sparks some good experimenting on your end too. Some of these are finance-related and others not, but so far they’re all doing me a world of good.

Here they are!

#1. As soon as I put my kids to bed (8’ish) I hurry up and brush and floss my teeth, and then hop right into the shower

This helps me get “the chores” out of the way, thereby letting me enjoy the rest of the evenings with full bliss. But it also brought another unintended benefit – it forced me to stop snacking and drinking adult beverages throughout the night! Because after all, who wants to do their chores TWICE? (<– I literally have to remind my wife about this at least twice a week when she asks why I won’t help her indulge in more ice cream, haha… Sorry honey! Habits!)

PRO TIP: If you get into *bed* right after the shower, many other fun things start happening too ;)

#2. I’m not allowed to drink coffee anymore until I’m ready to do work-work

If you’re anything like me, once you wake up the first thing you think about is coffee. So you pour yourself a large cup, start doing some random tasks to work yourself up for the actual priorities, then pour yourself another one when it’s time to get down to business. The problem with this is that by that time you actually get to the meat and potatoes you’ve already downed two cups! And now you have to get through the whole day without crashing else you keep pumping more into your veins!

So in an attempt to cut back AND be more efficient with my working, last Spring I inducted a new rule that said No Coffee Until You’re Ready To Do Real *Actual* Work, Sir. No more sipping and reading and just passing the time. You can dilly dally all you want, but until you’re ready to get to the important stuff, no caffeine will touch your lips.

And do you know what this did? A) Force me to get to my work a helluva lot faster, and b) indeed cut down on my intake! Because the first cup is always enough to power me through major item #1, and then when it’s time to work on major item #2 I’m ready for a refill and then it’s lunch time. And ever since enacting this I haven’t wanted to gorge myself anymore after that. Probably because I now associate it with “having to do work” :)

#3. When I’m around people, no looking at my phone

I’ve blogged about this one before, but I used to be horrible at staring at the screen instead of the person in front of me. The only way I knew how to break it was to make up a rule, so now I’m not allowed to pick up my phone whenever a living breathing being is around. I still slip up from time to time, but it’s proven rather successful, and the main reason I know this is because now I’M the one on the other end being ignored! And it sucks! Haha…

#4. Once my money is invested, I’M NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH IT!

mc hammer danceThis is a big one, and probably the only way I’ve been able to grow my net worth so quickly over the years. You can be as good as anyone at stashing your money somewhere, but if you’re constantly transferring it back and forth, what’s the point?

Saving only counts when it *stays* there.

You either put your money away and LEAVE IT ALONE, or you figure out how to budget better and save yourself from thinking you’re saving when you’re not. The way I’ve learned to do this well is to choose accounts that will *penalize you* up the a$$ if you pull from them. Namely, retirement accounts.

This is why I push all my investments through them!

Yes they’re great for taxes/matches/etc, but it also REMOVES THE TEMPTATION to pull from. And forces you to live like you’re poorer too, since you never see any of the money hitting your accounts (at least if you automate it). Best trick ever for my finances.

PRO TIP: For all you FIRE people – check out and to find out how to then *convert* all that money later to be used earlier than 62… But not too early, or you’re back to the beginning again!

#5. I can splurge on my hobby, but only with money the hobby itself makes

I’ve had my love and hate with coin collecting, but once I figured out the hate was mainly out of internal reasons and not external, I’ve been officially back on the loving train again :) Which is good for “having fun,” but could easily be bad for my wallet without any limits placed (as often is the case with hobbies).

So to keep things in check, I’m only allowed to spend money on buying coins with the money I’ve made in *selling* coins. This not only lets me indulge in my hobby guilt-free, but also to be more conscious of what I buy, and why. Not un-similar to how we should be spending our regular money too!

Currently I have $250’ish in an envelope for this, and I tend to spend about $50/mo on the hobby.

[Shameless plug: the best coin blog EVER! –>]

#6. Lastly, here’s one I’ve started trying this week: before you buy something, ask yourself first what you’d be willing to pay for it!

I caught this over at Sarah’s blog,, and I just love how simple – yet genius – it is. How better to place a value on something than actually *placing a value on that something* before you find out the true price? If you valued it higher than it costs, voila! Decision made! (So long as you can afford it, anyways). And if it’s a price much higher than you valued it, voila again – decision made!

I’ve done this over the years without even realizing it, like when buying a pair of shoes (“if it’s $40 and under they’re mine!”) all the way up to our last car purchase (“Please be under $20,000, please be under $20,000!”), but it’s a great thing to try and make a habit out of too.

Even when some things you can never put a value on (internet, coffee, sex ;)).

So yeah – a few things to consider!

I’ll shout whenever others make the list, but in the meantime here are a handful of other tricks and hacks/habits to consider as well:

Let us know if you’ve tried any of them before! Or better yet, share some of the ones you’re currently doing! Could be financial or otherwise – we’ll take all the life help we can get :)

PS: I feel like superheroes have the best tricks of all – throw on a suit and you can do anything! I think we need to come up with our own: “Financial Freedom Man?” “Debt Slayer?” “Super (Budget) Woman?” Only 3 weeks left until Halloween, just sayin’…

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  1. David @ Thinking Thrifty October 12, 2016 at 5:22 AM

    I have recently introduced 2 ‘no phone days’ after coming back from vacation. I forgot my charger, decided against buying a new one and attempted to go without contact from the outside world. After initially going insane, I came to really love the peace and quiet. 4 days away from everything, it was awesome!

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      I bet!

  2. Jon @ Be Net Worthy October 12, 2016 at 6:28 AM

    I have so many of these that I don’t think I even recognize them anymore! But for some psychological reason, they work great! My best money hack is that I always take 1/3 of any non-salary income that comes our way and use it to pay down the mortgage. Bonus money, tax refund, gifts, etc… 1/3 goes straight to the mortgage before anything gets spent. It’s a great habit.

    For weight management I also use the brushing teeth trick. After dinner we take the dog for a walk, go upstairs to put on pajamas and brush teeth. No more snacks for the rest of the night!

    Habits are easy to make and hard to break. On the downside, every day after lunch at work I find myself dipping into the office candy jar – every day. I can’t seem to break that one!

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      Maybe you should fill it with toothbrushes to remind you of your other habit :)

      (Great 1/3 trick btw!)

  3. Liz October 12, 2016 at 6:38 AM

    I love tip #5 – I do that with books. There’s a fabulous used book store about 40 minutes away, and when I go I take books with me to trade in for credit. So I come home with free (to me) books, and de-clutter my house at the same time! Win win.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:42 AM

      Yes! Beautiful!! And then you get the pleasure of others being able to enjoy the books too :)

      The last thing I sold from my collection was this old 60’s clock with silver coins decorating it. A mini bidding war broke out for it, and afterwards I introduced myself to the new owner of it and his eyes light up with excitement :) Said he was thrilled to bring it home with him and start using! Made the experience that much better vs it sitting on my shelves not being loved anymore.

  4. The Green Swan October 12, 2016 at 6:58 AM

    Tricks like this definitely help me too! I need to do better with not having my phone out in front of others or at the dinner table, etc so it’s about time I commit to #3.

  5. Full Time Finance October 12, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    I do many of these. That being said it actually reminds me of what my wife told me about savings. As a young kid she’d take her money and deposit it in the bank. The teller would give her a lollipop. As a kid she thought the money could not come out, and that the lollipop was the point. As she grew older she still occasionally gets herself one after a deposit but I don’t think it has the same meaning now.

    I personally am a major procrastonator as such for anything important I force myself to do important things the day they arrive as an immediate response.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      HAH! That is an ingenious idea giving out those lollipops.. much better than free toothpaste at the dentist :)

  6. Band of Savers October 12, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    My kindergartener loves to wrestle with my and his brother but has been having a hard time at school learning to “keep his hands to himself” (aka he fights when the other kids make him mad). So our new rule with him at home is that we can only rough house at home if he hasn’t had any incidents at school for at least the past 5 days. Just by giving him this one incentive we’ve seen a huge improvement with his ability to use his words at school instead of his fists to solve problems.

    For us, we reward ourselves for curbing our spending by using the left over money at the end of the month to invest in Vanguard and pay down our mortgage so that we can see the debts decrease and the assets grow, but only if we are good at not spending.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      I’m making notes about that wrestling idea as my kids are starting to enter school now and always afraid of how our craziness at home translates over, haha… My youngest (2 y/o) is currently in a pinching mode. He gets a kick out of running up and sneak attacking you with one, and then running away in complete laughter. I don’t think that will go over well on the playground :)

  7. Apathy Ends October 12, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    One way we continuously find new ways to save is I won’t stop or reduce an auto transfer I have setup – so if I want to try out a new platform or service I better start earning more or spending less.

    so far I have stuck to it, even through months where our spending went a little nuts

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:37 AM

      Great idea!!

  8. rosie October 12, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    I really like these, especially the one about not drinking coffee until you start work. Rewarding yourself works well – I am quitting smoking and am rewarding myself with an old paradise street coffee (the best blend I have ever tasted and so worth the price) for each day I stay clean. It might be expensive now, but I guess my health improving will save money in the long term!

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:36 AM

      Haha – ain’t no shame in that!

  9. Josh @MoneyBuffalo October 12, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    I like your tip #2 about coffee. I have cut back to only one or two days each week and mostly is because it is a timewaster. Once I get into work I forget I have a cup and it will sit there almost until lunchtime. So I usually just drink water instead.

    Except for the weekends when I will putz around with a pot of coffee.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:36 AM

      Water is sooo much better for you for sure. I start downing it like crazy after lunch time to replace my coffee and still give me something “to do” when I’m working. And usually I’ll carry around a big jug so it’s another mission to try and clear it all out by end of the day :)

  10. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 12, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    Before I go to buy something, I always estimate what the price should be in my mind. It helps me decide if I really see value in it or not. I’d pay x for y. If the numbers don’t align, it’s a pretty good indication that I don’t need or want it.

    I also try to do things I don’t want to do right before something I enjoy. And that can change from day to day. If I don’t particularly want to work out, I’ll promise myself that I can sit down with tea and book afterwards. If I’m in the mood to move around, I’ll make myself grade 10-20 essays first and then go run. Basically, I’m 30 years old and still not above a good bribe.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:33 AM

      Love that!! It’s like my test thing, only scattered throughout the day :)

  11. Paul October 12, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    Instituting a waiting period on purchases is a big one for me. No specific time frame but I need to be able to rationalize a purchase to the point where I feel that it is actually a need. Doing this has saved me from trading in my 2008 Camry (with only 60K miles on it) for a barely used crew cab pick up that can seat 6 and provide me an frustration free trip to the dump and home depot. I keep coming back to it in my head but at the end of the day getting a truck is just a want, and visualizing myself transferring money every month into the loan makes me sick to my stomach. It would have some benefit but I cant comfortably say they are worth $25k-$30k to me.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      Right on..

      I imagine you could always xfer the money over and *pretend* you bought it too, and then eventually over time you’d have enough cash to pull the trigger down the line, but something tells me dumping out $30k in CASH is even harder to do than taking out a loan :) I used to get paid in cash at an early startup I worked at (long story) and I swear I spent a lot less because of that… It’s hard to pry yourself from cold hard cash!

      1. Paul October 12, 2016 at 10:40 AM

        Maybe I should start doing that but put it in a taxable index account, once I get that account up to about 120K I could just draw about 400 a month from it and have “free” cars for life.

  12. Rachel October 12, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    If we’re picking a superhero, I personally think Debt Slayer is the best name. But then again, I am pretty partial to Slayers. (<—Hardcore Joss Whedon fan, here.)

  13. The Grounded Engineer October 12, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    Not using your phone when other people around is difficult! Were you able to stop this habit cold turkey, or did you do anything differently to stop this habit? I’ve tried before, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far….

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:30 AM

      It took a loooooot of patience and catching myself at first (it’s amazing how many times we look at it even when we’re not noticing! stop lights, waiting in line for stuff – in the middle of talking to someone) but eventually it became a habit just like any other. I guess the main trick is just leaving it in your pockets (vs out in the open or in front of you) so hopefully by the time you go to reach for it you catch it and then leave it alone :) Also muting all the alerts so it doesn’t ping you every 5 seconds helps too – more chance of forgetting about it.

      (Ooh – something else you could try? Making your screensaver say something like “PUT ME DOWN!” haha… that would prob help :))

  14. Free to Pursue October 12, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    “The Money Maven” (works for a male or female superhero…but I think it fits a female character best).

    Love the tips. My money question is “Is this purchase more important than my current and future dreams (personal freedom, a dream purchase, educational pursuits)?”. I’ve avoided a lot of spending this way, including overcoming a shoe addiction.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      Very smart, Money Maven :)

  15. Mr Crazy Kicks October 12, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    I’m self motivated but its definitely based on a rewards system. There are no set rules, but things like surfing the web or having a beer do not come until the days work is completed.

    BTW.. I have a coin collection I was thinking to clear out if you need a home for that $250 ;)

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 10:32 AM

      You do know that one of the most exciting things EVER for a collector is seeing someone’s collection right? Especially someone who doesn’t know what they have? Most of the fun is sorting through stuff looking for hidden gems!

      So, yes. If you’re serious about offloading your collection I would be more than happy to help take it off your hands in return for $$$ :) I’d imagine $250 could last you quite a bit investing in beers.

      1. Mr Crazy Kicks October 12, 2016 at 12:15 PM

        I know the feeling – I was a ruthless coin trader on the playground in middle school. At the library I only ever took out coin books to study values. One time a kids parents had to get involved when I traded junior out of a dozen silver quarters – I still have half of them ;)

        If you’re ever up my way, let me know – we can do a deal on my ill gotten gains. With $250 worth of hops and malt I can make enough beer for an army :)

        1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:17 PM

          HAH! Yes please!

  16. Mrs. Picky Pincher October 12, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    These are some awesome tips! I also need to be better about staying off of my phone around people. I try to be conscious about it already, but I slip up too every now and then. Mr. Picky Pincher and I sometimes look at our phones during dinner, and that’s probably something we should stop doing!

    I really identify with the hobby rule. Blogging is my hobby, and as much as I would LOOOOOVE to drop $500 on my blog, that’s awfully expensive. So I’m only allowed to spend the money that the blog brings in (which really isn’t a lot lol). It just means getting a little creative!

    I have one hack that really helps me, but it’s not for everyone:

    I’m an annoying morning person. I wake up at 6 am and I’m ready for full conversations, sans coffee. I am that person that everyone hates before 10 am. :)

    Anyway, because I’m more energized in the morning, I do all of my chores before I leave for work. This includes doing the dishes, vacuuming, making the beds, sweeping and mopping, and tidying up. I can’t leave for work (to make money!) until all of these things are completed.

    This means I always have a clean house when I get home. It also deters me from sleeping in when I’m feeling lazy!

    1. J. Money October 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

      YES!!! BRILLIANT!!!

      I’d love to be around someone with that type of energy in the morning too :) I’m up around 5am these days and feed off energy of others, so we wouldn’t even need to talk or anything – it would motivate me to work even harder knowing someone else is near me! Haha…

      Want to move to Maryland?

  17. Joe October 12, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Hmm… I need to make some good rules. I used to brush and floss right after I put the kid to bed, but I still snack around midnight. Maybe I’ll try that again and see if it works better now.

  18. Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog October 12, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Hey J!

    This is great! I do the same with my phone. I think it’s really important to appreciate and be grateful for the technology we have, but to also be respectful to others and let them know that they’re more important than your phone — especially the wifeys (or significant others, in general)!

    I love that you set parameters to make everything happen!


  19. Shawna October 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    I do #6 all the time while shopping for clothes, which is why clothes shopping is so hard for me! I seem to never want to spend $25 on anything haha.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:19 PM

      Same :) Which is why I tend to scoop up a ton of clothes *all at once* the second I find something I love and also fits my price range! Especially if there’s multiple colors or designs or something – get it all done in one trip! :)

  20. Mrs Groovy October 12, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Love the flossing idea. Mr, G does that too, to avoid snacking. We have two large piggy banks that yield us about $1,000 when we cash them out. And we’ll earmark the money for a vacation. All spare change and occasional $1, $5, and $10 bills go in. It’s tempting, but we have a no dipping into the piggy banks rule.

  21. Fiscally Free October 12, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    These are all great rules to have for yourself, and a lot of them are hitting home for me.
    It’s funny you mentioned the bedtime routine, because I’ve been wanting to implement something like this for a while. You are inspiring me.

    I recently switched to decaf coffee and have no regrets. I have never been interested in the caffeine in coffee; I just find the flavor and warmth very comforting.

    Finally, spending on hobbies, or as I called it, frivolous spending, was actually the topic of my latest post. I have a trick to limit my spending in that area too. You can check it out here:

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:22 PM

      I read that one! Really enjoyed it :)

  22. BeachMama October 12, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    I want so freaking badly to be able to do #3 but due to the nature of my job, I can’t. I’m on call 24/7/365 and it feels like prison at times…especially when my little guy asks me why I always have my phone with me :(

    On a happier note, we do #5 with records. We buy at garage sales and thrift stores and then flip to other collectors (unless it’s something we want to keep for ourselves). It takes patience to find the good stuff, but it’s fun to dig through stacks of vinyl…or at least we think it’s fun.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:21 PM

      Beautiful! I did that too a few years ago and finally whittle down my LP collection to about 30 or 40 now – after buying/selling/donating/hundreds…. I once picked up 400 for $20 once from a hoarder who was starting to de-hoard himself :)

  23. Amanda @centsiblyrich October 12, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Thanks for the coffee trick. I’m in serious need of something, anything, to break the coffee addiction! I’ve even written down my goal to cut back on coffee and never follow through. Though I do rely (heavily) on the coffee in the morning, after that I think it’s just a habit. It’s weird, but I like to sip on a hot beverage, even during the summer. One trick I’ve been experimenting with that is working: I won’t allow myself to have a cup of coffee until I drink a large glass of water. Some days that means I drink an awful lot of water!

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:24 PM

      Brilliant!! My afternoon rule is “water only” which helps even out and better hydrate for sure :) Not unlike guzzling it down after a long night of partying, haha… I’d use to trick myself by pouring a large glass and putting next to my bed *before* I’d go out to make sure I’d see it and then remember to drink when I came home :)

  24. Mr Defined Sight October 12, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    The coffee thing is so damn true. I was just telling my wife last week how much of a time waster that is. Seems like 20 minutes for me per cup especially on the weekends. At least during the work week I’m actually pretending to do something productive while I drink it :)

  25. Financial Panther October 12, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Not touching that invested money is big! The good thing about investing is that it does give you a little barrier between you and your money. If you really want it, you have to do a bunch of work to get it, and does anyone really want to do that? Put those barriers between you and your money and you’ll definitely start to see it grow.

  26. Todd October 12, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Great article J :) We have a 2 week rule and a 1 year rule. If we want to buy something for ourselves we wait and think about it for 2 weeks. Usually whatever the item is becomes unimportant after the wait and we move on and save the money. The 1 year rule is that if we have anything that we haven’t touched in over a year it either goes for sale on Craigslist or gets donated. Keeps us clutter free and makes us some money from time to time. Thanks!

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:27 PM

      Very smart on both :)

  27. Michael October 12, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    I like #3, no looking at the phone when we are around people. I read recently that people look at their phone or social media roughly every 4 minutes when they are awake?

    Isn’t that absolutely crazy? Sometimes, I am strongly feel distressed that I don’t fall far from the statistics.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:28 PM

      it is crazy. and it’s only going to get worse with all new technology coming out unless we do something about it :(

  28. Crystal October 12, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    I love the “no phone with live people around” rule. I try to leave my phone in my purse, in a different room, whenever I hang out with friends. It’s harder when I know I am waiting to hear from someone, but it helps me to actually connect with friends and family…

  29. Tawcan October 12, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    I need to practice #3… definitely have been pulling out my phone too often lately when I’m around people.

    I have been doing #4 since I started investing. You can’t invest with money you need in the short term.

  30. Mike from Tip Yourself October 12, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Love the coffee habit idea! I’m going to start using that tomorrow. I’m 100% guilty have having slow starts to my morning. Knowing that “real work” is going to be rewarded with coffee should be just the motivation I need in the morning. Love it! #TipYourself

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:29 PM

      Let me know how it’s working??!

  31. Tonya October 12, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    I love stuff like this! It works for me as well. I am NOT willing to participate in the coffee strategy though. I get up at 5:20am because I am the mom of a toddler and full time teacher. It is really better if I can devise a strategy to get the coffee to my lips before I even get out of bed.

  32. Kevin October 12, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    I don’t think I could do #5. I don’t want a hobby and also have to worry about making revenue/profit. Not every hobby needs to be a side hustle just IMO.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      Oh, agreed 100%! It’s just my way to make sure I *limit* myself from overspending, really :) I have/had plenty of hobbies that cost money and no desire to make an income off of. Though I do like the ideas of matching up side hustles with money to splurge on stuff (want to spend $500 on a new golf club? Let me go write some freelance articles first, haha…).

  33. Bridget Todd October 13, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    So many great suggestions! Love the idea of putting money away in a place you can’t touch it, as long as you’ve already planned for intermediate term goals. So often clients think only about retirement and their current cash needs, they forget that life happens in between and they will need their money for homes and cars and school and countless other thing between now and then (I’m guilty of this myself). That’s why so many people end up taking money from their retirement savings and getting hit with this penalties you mentioned.

  34. Ty October 13, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Leaving my savings alone has always been one of my biggest money obstacles, so I love your #4!

    My trick is to try and calculate how many hours of my life I have to work for something. When I think about products or services in terms of how much time they cost me vs. how many dollars they cost me, it really changes things. More than once I’ve walked away from an item because I wasn’t willing to trade X hours of my life for it.

  35. ZJ Thorne October 13, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    I love these tricks! I’m a big fan of asking myself if I’d like to clean/maintain the item before purchasing it. So much is not bought this way.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      Haha – that’s a good one too.

  36. ChooseBetterLife October 14, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Especially love #3. Sometimes when I’m out with friends I wonder if they’d even notice if I left. They’re so busy on their phones they miss out on real life.
    I try so hard to keep it in my purse and out of sight, and my family knows to call (yes, actually CALL) for true emergencies!

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:38 PM

      Haha… you TOTALLY need to do an experiment with disappearing and then blogging out the results :) I would not be surprised if that went viral!

  37. Chris @ Dadding Value October 15, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Great tips. I too really like the no-phone (put it down, don’t even hold it) while talking with someone. This is especially important for my kids to see. I don’t want them to think it’s natural to constantly hold onto and look at their phones when they become old enough to have one.
    A big thing that’s helped me cut down my phone time has been turning off all of my notifications (and removing Facebook completely). The only time my phone makes a noise or blinks is when someone calls me or texts me. It took a few days for me to break the habit of constantly looking at my phone to see which notifications were showing (which I found quite disturbing). I definitely feel more free and more present now.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:40 PM

      GREAT point re: kids!!

      Now if only you can have all their friends’ dads do the same :(

  38. MrSLM October 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    So with #5, does that mean if the hobby doesn’t make money you can’t indulge in it? Or there’s some cap in how much money can be put in? Just curious if this habit basically steers you towards hobbies that make money.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:42 PM

      It’s only to make sure I don’t go overboard in spending on it :) Unlike some other hobbies out there, you can literally drop hundreds of thousands (or even millions!) on one coin and having the limits of what I can spend helps me make sure to use it better. Not that I’d ever spend hundreds of Gs on a coin – but it def. keeps me in check :) I don’t have rules for any of my other hobbies, other than just making sure i have the $$$ first and not going into debt for them.