Television personality and chef Alton Brown is famous for his wit in addition to his culinary expertise: one of his best-known segments derides the rise of “unitaskers,” those absurdly specific and single-purpose gadgets you can purchase for your kitchen. With many variations on zany and utterly impractical uses, such as toasting hot dogs, cutting strawberries and removing corn kernels, the “unitasker” is emblematic of a huge problem in our spending and financial attitudes. Namely, too many people will be fooled by the perceived convenience of a particular investment or financial tool to notice the fact that its utility in the long run is near zero relative to its cost.
In short, be careful about spending money on products or services that let you do just one thing. A single, reliable and multipurpose solution is almost always going to provide a better platform to accomplish your goals than a bevy of highly specific ones.
This principle can help you with unnecessary spending and focusing your budget on making purchases that will last and help you do a lot over a long time. If uncluttering your life is one of the steps to your financial goals, seeking out “unitaskers” of any kind is a great place to start.
Innovation in the financial sector is often used as a buzzword that promises an easy solution when in reality the results it provides are empty and not very useful at all, much like the proverbial unitasker. When looking for strategies to manage your finances and relieve debt stressors, it is up to you to do the research that separates a true innovator from a service providing high perceived convenience with little long term benefit.
Just like a good knife will solve ninety-five percent of your kitchen tasks, a simple and well-designed financial strategy free of clutter and perceived convenience will benefit you financially in the end.