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Buyer’s Remorse

By: Michael Blankenship |

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” 

– Dr. Seuss

Did you know that food tastes better when it’s prepared by someone else (source), even if it’s the exact same recipe? We’ve been looking for an excuse to eat out more often. This looks like it. 

This email is made possible by Odyssey Snacks, a company that sells prebiotic protein bars focused on improving your gut health… and giving you a delicious (and healthy) mid-day snack. 

– Mike & Alec

Buyer’s Remorse

This might be the cringiest viral video we’ve ever seen — a man takes his wife out for a date and, mid-meal, verifies his net worth is still $500,000 to justify spending $25 on drinks. 

Awkwardness aside, many people are afraid of spending money… even on things they love and can easily afford. 

There’s a word for it: chrometophobia.

But let’s take the long-term view. 

According to this research, the top financial regrets American adults have are… 

  • I did not start saving for retirement
  • I relied too much on my credit card
  • I did not maintain an adequate emergency fund
  • I didn’t pay off my credit card balance each month

Nick Maggiulli from Of Dollars & Data explains the implications of this. 

“What this suggests is that it’s okay (and probably beneficial) to not spend money on something if you are still getting your financial house in order…

However, once you’ve gotten the big things taken care of, you probably don’t have to worry as much about every spending decision (at least from a regret perspective). Of course everyone is different, but the data suggests that most of our spending regrets revolve around messing up the big things.”

We’d also argue — as Bill Perkins in Die With Zero does — that it’s a mistake to have extra money and not spend it on experiences and memories that are meaningful to you.

Time is far more valuable than money. 

Focus on maximizing your joy rather than your bank account balance.

If you find that hard to do, here are some techniques that Maggiulli suggests… 

Invest What You Spend (i.e. The 2x Rule) “The idea is that when you save for something you should save 2x the original price. So if you were going to buy $500 concert tickets, you’d also save another $500 to invest in income-producing assets. The beauty of this rule is that it is easy to remember and it will also benefit you in the future.”

Consider your Memory Dividends “The idea is that your spending should focus on experiences not just for the initial happiness you get from it, but also from long-term benefits it will provide you when you re-share or re-live it in the future.”

Focus on Fulfillment “What do I mean by fulfillment? Something that brings you long-term value and meaning. So spending money to get a running coach to eventually complete your first marathon is something that can bring deep fulfillment even if it doesn’t contribute to your short-term happiness (running is hard). You can take this simple example and expand it out to cover all the things you care about.”

Only Spend within Your Wealth Level (<0.01% of Liquid Net Worth) — *Check out the article for details on this one.*

This post is made possible by Odyssey Snacks

I dare you to look at the ingredient list on your current snack of choice. 

I just did… and there are multiple ingredients that I have no idea what they are. 

Odyssey Snacks makes protein bars packed with chicory root fiber, a strong prebiotic that supports the good bacteria in your gut with no fake ingredients. They’re free of ingredients that cause discomfort in the stomach like sugar alcohols, gluten, soy, and even dairy for certain flavors. 

And to top it all off, they taste amazing thanks to the real flavor from the real foods put in them! 

That way, you can have a tasty snack without feeling guilty. 

For a limited time, readers of The Tonic can use #PREBIOTIC15 for 15% off their first box of prebiotic protein bars today!

Go get ‘em.

The Tube Test

In this clip, Andrew Huberman (our favorite neuroscientist) explains the fascinating results of what he calls “the tube test”. 

“It’s called the tube test, where they take two rats or two mice and they put them in a tube… and they start fighting for position in that tube. One mouse pushes the other mouse out inevitably — that mouse is the winner. The one that got pushed out is the loser. We know statistically if you put those mice back into another tube test, even with another mouse, the winner has a higher probability of winning and the loser has a higher probability of losing.”

That’s not particularly surprising. 

A mouse that won in their first showdown might be a bigger mouse, and perhaps they’ll win again simply because of their extra girth — the opposite might be true for the losers. 

But it gets more interesting. 

“But if you take a losing mouse and push it from behind with a stick so it wins, even if it doesn’t win on its own effort, it becomes a winner.”

And just like other winners, it has a higher probability of winning in future competitions. 

It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that something similar happens in the minds of humans (we’ve all experienced this first hand). Winning begets winning and losing begets losing. 

How should that shape our behaviors and our mindset? 

Here are a few thoughts…

Losing is Learning — The more you view your losses as shameful, the more negative of an impact they’ll have on your mindset. Learn from your losses and use that information to win next time.

Maintain Momentum — If you’ve recently had a win, use the positive energy that creates to keep winning. The bigger your dreams, the more momentum you’ll need to build and maintain to accomplish them. Don’t let the boulder stop rolling. 

Small Wins Matter — On a losing streak? Then get some small wins. Even little accomplishments like walking or cleaning can start to give you a winner’s mindset. Then keep building that momentum. 

A Plan & A Purpose

Recently, I’ve been in an exercise slump. 

I exercise, but not as consistently or habitually as I would like — 3 to 4 days a week and always at different times of day.

But something changed. 

My wife and I decided that we’re going to run the Rome Marathon (we’re moving to Europe soon) on March 19th.

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I love Rome — so this is something I’m particularly excited about. However, I can currently only run a max of maybe six miles (on a good day). So my wife and I found a 6-month marathon training plan to get our fitness up to snuff.

The last week, I’ve been reinvigorated. 

I’ve woken up at 6:30 every day to knock out my runs. Even on my rest days I get up to go for a walk in order to maintain the habit.

It’s fun. I feel good. And honestly, it doesn’t even seem that hard. 

I think it’s because I have a reason (the Rome Marathon) and I have a plan. 

Those two things are critical for building new habits — a plan and a purpose. 

Why are you doing it? And how are you going to do it? 

Answer those two questions with clarity and excitement… and you’re well on your way to forging motivation for yourself. 

Extra Stuff

Here is some other stuff we found interesting this last week!

This Week’s Image

“12 photos of sun every month, same spot, same time!” via Reddit

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What two things can you never have for breakfast?

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

Do you spend money in a way that is meaningful to you?

This Week’s Challenge

Think about your budget. Should you dedicate more resources to building up your savings account and retirement? Or should you start spending some of that extra money on experiences and memories that are meaningful to you? 

Riddle Answer: Lunch and dinner.

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