Perry Carter (Krusty Krab) and James Scalise (Chum Bucket) are the writers of UNC’s premier (only!) satirical advice column. Results may vary.
Dear Perry and James,
I’m writing because I think I want to get better about saving. Do you have any tips for how I can invest in my financial future?
You’ve come to the right place. My mom works as a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, and the other week, she sent me an email with all these financial tips from American billionaire Warren Buffett. One piece of advice stuck out to me, and I’d like to share it with you as well as how I have applied it to my own life:
On the topic of savings, Buffett says: “Do not save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.”
I love licorice. I’m a licorice head. I think it’s a good-tasting, timeless snack that’s also fun to eat. If I could eat licorice for every meal, I would. Actually, that’s not even a hypothetical. I eat licorice for every meal. When I do my budget each month, I set aside a certain amount of money for living expenses, and then I set aside what I’m going to spend on licorice. I really try to stick to that amount because otherwise I would spend on licorice what I should put toward rent or gas or, more importantly, savings. Normally, I live by the words of Warren Buffett and put away what I plan to save as soon as I get my paycheck. But this one month it didn’t happen that way.
I had gone to Popalop’s Candy Shop at Crabtree Mall to pick up my regular licorice order. They had it all bagged up for me and I was ready to pay when I noticed a new display set up over by the jellybean wall. It was for a Finnish brand of licorice I’d never seen before. The cashier told me they’d just gotten it in and that it would only be in stock for a limited time. A fear rose in me: What if the Finnish licorice runs out before I come back next month and I never get to try it? I’d already spent all my licorice money that month ... but I hadn’t deposited my savings. I had a split second to make a decision: I splurged.
The Finnish licorice was everything I could have hoped for. It was ropey in texture and authentically sweet, due to its cane sugar base. Was it worth it? Warren Buffett would probably say no. But, the way I see it, sometimes it’s better to savor than it is to save.
You’re actually looking at someone who spent last summer interning at an asset management company! Unfortunately I can’t remember a single thing about it, so I’ll just tell you about my roommate Yining.
I was staying at NYU’s Lafayette Hall for the summer, in a shared room. Yining was an NYU student taking summer classes.
Yining’s most prominent characteristic was how much he talked to himself. At first I thought he was simply talking on the phone a lot, but I learned that this was not the case when he continued this conversation to the shower. Understand that me thinking he was talking on the phone reflects on both the volume and the frequency of his speaking.
Yining primarily spoke on MMA fighting. I learned from Yining that as an MMA fighter, you can’t keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome! I learned this because he was speaking at a volume you would use to communicate with someone across the room.
Yining was also a gamer. I believe he played League of Legends. One night, at roughly 12:30 a.m. on a weekday, Yining was clicking his mouse at a speed I thought impossible and unsustainable. But sustain it he did — he was clicking for more than an hour! Eventually I had to ask Yining to stop playing his game, for his loud and incessant clicking was precluding my sleeping.
Yining was also the loudest apple eater I had ever heard. He would finish an apple in perhaps less than eight bites, then continue onto another apple. One night he ate at least three apples in a row using this technique.
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