One of the phrases that always “gets my goat” is one that popped up again today in the little box of Yahoo Financial articles: “Reduce monthly expenses by trimming the financial fat in these seven key areas.” My problem with the phrase is easy to see when you look at the tips given in the article; ALL of which advise folks to save money by simply “trimming back” what they spend on frivolities. Thus, the use of the phrase “trimming the FINANCIAL fat” is intrinsically linked to the cultural belief that in order to trim a person’s PHYSICAL fat, the same sort of logic applies. Obviously if you’re in tight financial situations you are spending too much and need to cut back; just like OBVIOUSLY if you’re fat you’re eating too much and need to cut back. Simple logic, right?
However, I do cheer when such articles allow comments and I see some skeptical comments to such financial advice articles; comments which point out that if you aren’t already overspending in the manner that the author assumes, then these tips have absolutely NO USE for people still struggling financially.
Now if only people could take that one sort of realization just that one logical baby step further and look at advice given to fat folks in the same manner and recognize the tips for the inanity they truly are. Because if I already DO follow all of the prescribed tips, why aren’t I already financially secure, or physically thin? But oh wait, that’s right! Silly me, I forgot! All poor people overspend and all fatties overeat and anyone in either situation suggesting they do otherwise is a big liar, right? Yea, right.
Learn to ask questions about assumptions. It just might surprise you to realize some of the bias and assumptions you still hold and how they color your snap judgements of the world around you.