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anything but not everything

August 21st, 2011 at 08:18 pm

I read an insightful article about decision fatigue in the NYT Sunday magazine.

The basic point of the article is that decisions of any size require energy. The more you make during a day, the more likely you will either make a crappy one or that you will go with what is recommended to you ... and in a sales situation, its always going to cost.

Insightful to the frugalistas and frugalistas-in-training, for a number of reasons.

Remember the saying "you can have anything, but you can't have everything"? Of course, it means that you have to figure out what your anythings are in the whole universe of everything ... which means setting priorities .... which means decisions. Lots of decisions.

People sometimes consider my tactic of setting a routine to be ho-hum, but it means that I don't have to re-make routine decisions and I free myself for the biggies during the day.

Every so often the question, "what is the most frugal skill one can develop?" pops up. I thought it was math estimation skills but I might make the case that preventing decision fatigue might well be it.

2 Responses to “anything but not everything”

  1. Tightwad Kitty Says:

    Great article

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    That is really interesting.

    I think making decisions is exhausting, and I don't think I make very many decisions on a daily basis. Not a lot of new decisions come up, that need any thought!

    Also, if you focus on living within your means, or avoiding debt, you have a lot less to decide. While many people I know are trying to decide if they can afford another home, a new car, private school, college, etc., generally with a lot of debt, the question for some of us is simply, "Do I have the cash?" That makes it an infinitely easier decision. I always felt this was simplistic and easy, versus the complexity one can add to one's life with large amounts of debt readily available.

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