We try to mix it up, really we do. But sustained excellence is something to be cherished and noted, not downplayed. In 1997 the NBA named Karl Malone its most valuable player for no better reason than the voters were tired of giving the award to Michael Jordan. Malone’s Utah Jazz met and got eviscerated by Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the finals that year, and the following one, leaving one to wonder what might happen to that poor (literally and figuratively) chubby self-indulgent whore from So Over This were she to square off against Trent Hamm in this year’s Financial Retard Championship Series.
Yes, the sage behind The Simple Dollar is our honoree yet again. For those of you unfamiliar with Trent Hamm’s act, he’s a socially inept hypermiser who tells his mouth-breathing minions to save money by making their own toothpaste, not turning the oven light on, and swimming in their underwear. (That sentence sounds like a hyperbolic attempt at humor. We swear on our account balances that every word of it is literally true. And we’d link to the offending stories, but it’s easier for you to just go into the search box at the top right of this page and enter “Hamm”.)
Having conquered the realm of personal finance, Trent Hamm is now going to take on relationships. He and his lovely wife have figured out the way to eternal happiness, and in between the child-rearing and collecting of rocks by the roadside (another literal truth, search our archives), it involves some wildly unimaginative gestures:
One of the most effective ways to cement our relationship and keep it strong is something incredibly simple that costs almost nothing and is something people have been doing for hundreds of years.
I just write a little note for Sarah and stick it somewhere where she will find it later.
The more of Trent Hamm we read, the more we’re convinced that his father used to beat him with a giant wooden nickel. No one can hate/fear money that much without having a lasting reason. Don’t just send notes because it’s something couples do, do it because it’s cheap!
Later in the same post, just in case you missed the part about how cost-effective leaving notes can be:
It takes a few minutes to do and it’s practically free.
So once you’ve written a note, you should gingerly place it atop the summit of K2 or inside Fort Knox, right? Or perhaps you should seal it inside a bottle, toss it into the ocean and hope for the best?
stick that note somewhere where your partner will discover it. Drop it in a purse. Tuck it in a wallet. Stick it in the console of their car.
You see, if you place the note per Trent’s directions, the object of your note will then find it. Finding the note is the key to having it read.
The above tip has nothing to do with personal finance, evidence that Trent might be slipping in his dotage. The old, hungry Trent would have given stationery prices and explained much you can save on ink if you don’t dot the i’s in said love notes.
It takes more than just a sappy and pointless observation to qualify someone for Financial Retard of the Month status, however. Earlier this week Trent went on a rant about “mindfulness”, in response to a “reader” (named Trent) who “wrote an email” (that is, thought to himself) about how to be frugal. Of course. Here’s Trent on mindfulness:
Let’s say I’m thirsty. We’re on a long road trip and I’m feeling a little drowsy, too. We stop for gas at a gas station, so I head inside looking for a beverage, since our cooler is empty.
If I’m not mindful, I’d just glance for the first high-energy drink, buy it regardless of the cost, and happily head out to the vehicle. It’s tasty, it’ll give me an energy boost, it’ll quench my thirst – why not?
There are a lot of factors involved, though. Is it healthy? Is the package just going to get tossed in a trash bin? What does it cost? Will I actually feel better after consuming it or just get jittery? Do I respect the company that makes the product? Am I setting a good parental example?
The superfluous words in his sloppy writing never get old. “We stop for gas at a gas station”, as opposed to stopping for gas at a hardware store.
You want to know how to be miserable, indecisive, morbidly obese and stuck in Iowa? Ask yourself half a dozen questions before doing something as routine as buying a drink while your Prius fuels up.
How does this nut make it through the day? What happens if he finds a drink that’s healthy, and that comes in an decomposable and/or edible package, and that’s inexpensive, and that will make him feel better after “consuming”* it, but that comes from a company he doesn’t respect, and that makes him set only an indifferent parental example? That’s 4 out of 6, right? A passing grade.
The only thing more depressing than our nation’s $16 trillion budget hole is that Trent Hamm has 92,675 readers (according to the latest Feedburner data.) If you’re one of them, and God help you if you are, get out now while you can. If spending 99¢ on a bottle of Aquafina requires that much conscious thought, think about what you’ll be getting into if you ever have to buy a house. As for how to buy a house, read Chapter VIII here. You’re welcome.
*He means “drinking”, for all you conversational English speakers out there. Trent is also the only person on Earth who routinely says “children” instead of “kids” and “automobile” instead of “car”. Roy Maloy thinks Trent’s prose is stilted.