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Monday, July 18, 2011


We refinanced our house today, converting a 30 year loan into a shorter term note. While we were at it, we got a better deal on home insurance AND auto insurance, so we came out of the day in much better financial shape, only having to pay a little more a month in our house payment, and quite a bit less in insurance, while cutting years off the loan. Not only that, but I got some writing done.

Money, like time, can play some nasty tricks with your head. For some reason, both are hard to perceive accurately. What I mean is that it is very difficult to estimate costs or time frames accurately. We overestimate the time something will take, making an hour's work seem like twenty, but also let time slip away through inaction. Those two impulses might seem contradictory, but they are really part and parcel of the same dynamic, since we procrastinate when that one hour of work looms larger in the imagination than it should.

If I gave out money management tricks, they would be very similar to my time management ones. In both cases, it is all about how to perceive these quantities accurately. With money, as with time, I like to do things ahead of time, paying bills as quickly as I can, minimizing debts. I have to be quite adept at it, because I am paid only 9 months of the year and have to allocate extra funds for the summer. I spend a lot of time just transferring funds from one account to another in order to maximize my savings through a fairly complex system. As with my work time, I am always tweaking my finances for optimal results.

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