While wading through a very bad argument on The Volokh Conspiracy, I (and other critics) were dressed-down in the comment thread by Clayton Cramer. His critiques were of tone, rather than substance, which I take as evidence for the rightness of my opinion.
I clicked on his website, to get a sense of where he was coming from politically, and found the following very valuable essay on How To Become Wealthy. In the midst of good financial advice, there’s some funny bits, such as this one from the “Cutting Spending” section:
At the financial planning class I attended in Irvine, the instructor told us a very funny story. One of his new clients was on the edge of bankruptcy; he was unable to raise a family in Orange County, California, on $100,000 a year. (Obviously, the cost of living was a lot lower in 1985 than it is today–substitute $180,000 today.) As he went through this guy’s monthly bills, he found one bill for $75 a month made out to some sort of doctor.
“What’s this for?”
“That’s the dog’s psychiatrist.”
“Why does your dog need a psychiatrist?”
“If we leave him in the house, he pees on the carpet. If we leave him outside, he barks and the neighbors get upset.”
“You’re about to go into bankruptcy. Get rid of the dog!”
Learn to distinguish “need” from “want.” Shelter, food, transportation to work and school are needs. Vacation, pets, fancy cars, entertainment equipment, a health club, and yes, dog psychiatrists, are wants.
I’ve seen friends who take this advice and they do well. Others do not and are in constant struggle. The choice is yours.
…becoming more fiscally responsible…