Personal finance: Ur doin’ it rong

I stumbled on this article today, and the sheer lack of intelligence behind the central premise just struck me.

The problem, though, is that cappuccino is not a line item in our family budget. We don’t make room for such things when deciding how to spread our dollars. Last year, Joe asked me if I wanted to add it, cautioning me that I’d need to cut out another cost.


The truth is: When it comes to small indulgences — fancy espresso drinks, tubes of drugstore lipstick — I see the budget as an aspiration. Like a diet, it’s something to respect and work toward.

What follows is basically a series of irrational rationalizations and excuses for busting their budget to the tune of $1000 a year, while essentially saying “I shouldn’t have to reduce what I spend on other things because it’s an indulgence!” The article culminates in this gem of pseudo-wisdom.

To my mind, a few out-of-budget small purchases aren’t going to break us.

If you think that, then you don’t understand what “out-of-budget” means.

The worst part? This is an article from the Wall Street Journal. How did this drivel even make it into publication?

If this is what passes for modern financial wisdom, no wonder our economy is going into the toilet.


[Source: Wall Street Journal article on Yahoo! Finance, retrieved 4/24/11]

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