Update on the Useless Stuff

I felt I needed to write an update on the Useless Stuff challenge because as November is ending soon, I’m struggling not to buy anything, and I failed.

The other day, I was browsing YouTube videos, and you know how it goes: you watch something, but your eyes are constantly straying to the “recommended for you” section.

So I clicked on another video about a girl who saved 100 000$ in a little over 3 years without a 6 figure salary. She explains in detail how she did it, but I couldn’t watch the full video at that moment because she mentioned a book that changed her finances.

Of course, I’m all pumped up because who wouldn’t want to save $100,000 in about 3 years? I want to know the secrets that she found in the book.

Chloe Morgane - Smart Woman Finish Rich

I headed over to Amazon, and searched for Smart Women Finish Rich. I immediately pressed the “Add to Cart” button. Had it been a Kindle book, I would’ve failed my buy-no-shit-November challenge.

I thought about all the books I already own on the subject of finance. I opened my Kindle app on my MacBook, and searched for “money”, “finance”, “frugal”,”rich”, and “wealth”. I created a collection from the results, and ended up with 34 books to add to my new “Money” collection! I’m sure there are more books that didn’t come out in the search results because the Kindle app searches only titles and authors, not categories.

Wow! I bought 34 books related to finance, and I’m still not a millionaire!!! 😛

Chloe Morgane - 34 Kindle Books About Finances

The thing is, I read only 7 out of the 34 books. One more isn’t going to make me wealthier. All I need to do is read the books I already have. Even better would be to reread the books, learn the lessons, and apply them to my finances.

That was the first time I almost failed at my challenge since I’ve made that IKEA list.

A few days ago, I convinced myself I needed a new camera and lens to shoot my videos. It shoots in 4K, is smaller and lighter than my GH3, and, well… It’s new! I had it in my Amazon cart along with one of the lenses I’ve been dreaming of. I was this close to purchasing it, but I remembered my challenge, and quickly closed the browser’s tab. I avoided a second failure.

But my impulses got the best of me yesterday.

Chloe Morgane - I Bought Word Hero

Every week, I receive an email with book deals from BuckBooks. It’s so easy and cheap to get great reads when you’re subscribed to the newsletter. I succumbed to the temptation after scrolling through the list of all the yummy books they offered me. 1.99$ later, I realized what I’d done. I didn’t even think, I mindlessly pushed the “Buy Now” button.

I didn’t make a big deal out of my failure, but I learned the lesson. If I don’t want to do something, e.g. eat that cake, buy that book, mindlessly scroll my Facebook timeline, I must eliminate my exposure to it.

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I still have 6 days left in my challenge. I must stay vigilant. The buying impulse is sneaky, and the best way to not give in is to stay away from temptations.

The Next Avenue

When you comment on a post, your ideas sometimes meet with something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Like Mark said on “Can This Work for Me“:

I too am guilty of rationalizing away the solution all too often. And you nailed it! Because it takes me outside of my comfort zone. So I just give up and look for the next avenue.

You see, I read tons of books (and that’s the problem), but I get frustrated because I’m not retaining the information I’m reading. Science says we remember only 10% of what we read. Even so, with 10% of everything I’ve read, I should be pretty close to hitting Nirvana! I should be the happiest, fittest, healthiest, most organized person in the world!

Unfortunately, I’m far from having completed this feat. Which is a good thing in a way, because I can continue to grow, but it’s also frustrating because I feel like starting over and over again from ground zero.

My frustration is caused by my hunger for what Mark calls “the next avenue”. I read the book, implemented a few of the things the author prescribed, and then forget about what I’ve learned because I’m reading another great book, from which I take a few tricks to make my life better, and this loop just goes on.

There’s a lot of good information. My problem is I want to have the best information, and use it to grow into a better person. So I’m still chasing “the next avenue”.

One solution I found for this never ending chase is to re-read books that I find have the most life changing information.

Taking notes is tedious, but the rare time I did it, and went through them a few times were when I made the most progress.

Another solution is blogging. It has helped me retain more information and put it into action.

I guess it’s only a matter of getting into the habit of taking notes, re-reading, and blogging. But there’s always this teasing voice telling me, “what if this next book has what you’re looking for?”…