Artificial Deprivation

When you can’t have something, you want it more. This fact of human nature can be exploited to save you money.

Personal Example:
Despite having built up a nice amount of cash from several businesses in my early college years, I would subconsciously deprive myself of money, making me “virtually broke” so I didn’t spend too much money.

I did this by just pretending I didn’t have any money in the bank. Unfortunately this method worked a little too well. I would only spend about $60 a month on entertainment, not a lot for a socially active college student.

My Remedy: The spending account.

I created another free account with BankOfAmerica and labeled it my Spending Account. This is the money I designate for spending on anything I want. This money is MEANT to be spent and not saved. It kept me from spending too much money, but also kept me from living like a total cheapass.

If I don’t have enough in the spending account, I don’t buy it.

Thanks to this method, I have a healthy amount of money to spend, and I don’t take it overboard.


After this Financial Times article, I am now mentioned in 4 out of the 5 news sources needed to meet one of my medium term goals.

Blog posted on: May 9, 2005

6 comments on “Artificial Deprivation

  1. Manny

    Hey Nev, I have a question: Let’s imagine that you’ve had a busy week, and your spending account balanced has reached single digits. All of a sudden, a desirable event pop-ups that you would love to go to, but it requires a double-digit cost.

    Would you withdraw the money from the general account? Beg for money? Actually not go? I know this happens to me a lot. Therefore, I have to withdraw some money from my “untouchable” savings account.

  2. Neville

    That situation happened VERY often when I first started the account. I went through a little trial and error to sort it out:

    What I do now is PLAN AHEAD. If I know a concert/big party will be held 2 months down the road, I start putting a little money away for it in advance.

    If I DO NOT know about a party I just HAVE to attend but have no funds, I will 1.) either not go or 2.) Borrow money from my SECOND spending account known as my General Account.

    Once I get more money deposited in my spending account, I replace the money I “borrowed” plus five more dollars to punish myself for borrowing. I try not to let myself borrow any money, as then you get in that habit which reminds me of CREDIT CARDS.

    I also try to keep at least a $50 minimum in my spending account for “just in case” money.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. How’s the magazine coming along?

  3. Wirthy

    What type of Bank of America’s checking account:

    Bank of America Advantage® Checking
    Advantage for Seniors
    MyAccess Checking®
    Regular Checking
    CampusEdgeTM Checking
    Express Account

    Do you actually get checks/debit card or do you just transfer money in and out?

  4. Neville


    My Spending Account is a MyAccess Student Checking or Regular Checking. Something that allows me to freely withdraw/add money often as I like (little or no interest is given on these accounts)

    My Permanent Savings and Investment accounts are Savings Accounts which only allow 3-6 withdrawls a month.

    There is no way in hell I would carry a card for each of the million accounts I have with BOA. I usually cut up the cards and toss the checks when I get them. I only use one card and checkbook which is linked only to my general account.

    I then transfer money via Online Banking.

    I like your site slogan, “I get drunk and then I type shit”!


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