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15 Little Life Hacks

Here are my 5 modest resolutions for 2007

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Many of you know how how much I hate dumb people (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, etc), including pundits who try to predict things but quietly fade away when the results come in, and hand-wavy arguments that people use to rationalize not getting started (like here).

Anyway, this year I’m going to make 5 very modest resolutions. New Year resolutions are always weird to me. Isn’t it odd how we treat the new year like it’s a complete rebirth, which often leads to unreasonably ambitious resolutions that never seem to happen? And we ignore that this pattern has been repeated for the last 20-something years? Now, I’m all for ambition and anything that will help us be more productive and happy, but one of the core tenets of iwillteachyoutoberich is recognizing the difference between being sexy and being Rich.

It would be sexy to say “I’M GOING TO MAKE A BILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR!!!!!!!” or “THE CURRENCY INFLATIONARY CRISIS, COMBINED WITH INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIZATION AND IMMIGRATION, HAS MADE ME BEARISH ON THE STOCK MARKET, SO INSTEAD OF INVESTING I INTEND TO HOLD MY ASSETS IN CASH AND PERHAPS GOLD.” Really? Instead, I’d probably just say “I’m going to set up an automatic transfer of $500 from my bank to my investing account on the 1st of every month” or “I’m going to read one book per month on personal finance.” Not as sexy, but with a long-term horizon, I think it works.

As Paul Saffo recently wrote,

As this portentous year draws to a close, many are tempted to forecast a coming new utopia — or unimaginable new hells. Both outcomes are unlikely. Instead, humankind will do what it has always done, namely muddle its way forward.

Okay, that’s definitely cynical, but the message still comes through: Instead of grandstanding, small, simple steps work for me. So after some thought, here are my modest resolutions:

  • About 23% of my readers are women. I want to increase that number to 35% by the end of 2007. This will be hard.

  • Go against my personality and say “no, thanks” to opportunities that might seem interesting, but aren’t a core part of what I want to do this year.
  • Share what sources I read more frequently, including links to other blogs and 2 book reviews per month.
  • From a personal-finance perspective, I’ll make more, save more, and spend more than ever before this year. I spent most of December thinking through a new asset allocation, which I might write about later.
  • Write for 30 minutes every day.

That’s it! Happy 2007.

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  1. I’m curious … how do you plan to increase your female readership?

  2. The plan is to research money and women more (I’ve just begun), figure out what issues I’m not addressing, and write about them in a way that will help equalize the gender imbalance on this site. Then, work hard to get the message out.

  3. That’s awesome Ramit. I look forward to reading more from you in the new year. Keep up the great work!!


  4. Hi Ramit, how about guest posts by personal finance bloggers who are women and vice versa. That’ll introduce those readers to your site and expose your readers to a female voice without you having to spread out of your core. Although, it might not hurt to learn about women 😉

  5. I’m female, count me in, I’ve read your site for 2 whole days….part of MY New Year’s resolution… something about Finance daily. Now, mind you, I read all the past entries and really won’t want to see many like the “tie purchase”, (even tho the responses were QUITE entertaining) and if you want my opinion of how to get more readers, GET MORE SERIOUS! I don’t just want to see 2 different credit card offers, I want someone to tell me which one is BETTER and WHY. I want nuts and bolts I can read tonite, use tomorrow morning, and take to the bank by the end of the week. I’m working on my master’s, so I don’t have time to read 2 finance books per month….but you do……SO give me the highlights, just the meat sir.

    Tall order? Well you asked for more female readers. My husband said he’s rather have a root canal than to read a financial blog… someone has to do it!

  6. You could always increase your percentage of female readers by decreasing your male readership (kidding!). I’m looking forward to reading about your new asset allocation, per your 4th resolution.

    Continued thanks for the invaluable information and resources.

  7. I don’t know if you’ve had any considerable spike increases in the past five months, but have you considered re-doing the poll to obtain more accurate figures for January?

  8. Guest writers would be a brilliant way to increase your female readership. Perhaps you could also inquire as to why women in general (from my experience at least) seem less interested in finance than men. Could be an interesting topic of debate.

  9. I’ve noticed quite a few people are making writing a part of their new years resolutions. The more I read that resolution the more I think I should be writing about half an hour a day as well.

    And I agree with Jennifer – start with as accurate numbers as possible and maybe ask for suggestions on how to attract more female readership.