Book Giveaway: I am Obsessed with SHINY OBJECTS!

by Kristina Tahnyak on December 22, 2011 · 19 comments

Shiny ObjectsGood Morning DINKS. Before we get started let me ask you a question, do you have a pet? Hold your answer because we will come back to it later.  A few weeks ago Trish from TLC Book Tours reached out to DINKS Finance and asked if we would like to review the book Shiny Objects by James A. Roberts.  Of course I was more than pleased to accept her offer because I personally love to read, and here on DINKS Finance we love to give away free stuff.

Shiny Objects by James A. Roberts asks readers “Why (do) we spend money we don’t have in search of happiness we can’t buy?” This one question sums up my entire life until about three years ago.  I was carelessly spending money and accumulating debt in hopes that I would wake up happy when I looked around my apartment and saw all of my “stuff”.  Now I am financially responsible with my money and my spending.  Now what makes me happy is to see my bank account balances build up.  I enjoy living on less, saving more, and not accumulating “stuff”.

Shiny Objects talks about how the idea of the “American Dream” can destroy our finances.  If we want to live the “American Dream” we can buy the big house and lease the new car, but we should do it with our own money. We should not borrow money and get into debt just to buy stuff that we think will make us happier because we will live to learn that spending money doesn’t make us happy, it puts us in debt. Spending money that we don’t have actually just makes us miserable when we find out that we can’t afford to pay our monthly bills and we start to lose all of those shiny objects that we once loved so much.

After reading Shiny Objects you will think twice about your purchases…all of your purchases.  After reading Shiny Objects you will start to break old bad financial habits and you will start to live a healthy financial life.  There is definitely some soul searching to be done while reading Shiny Objects, we have to find out why we have a desire to always have the best of everything.

Remember earlier when I asked if you have a pet? Now I want to know, do you? Whether it is a Goldfish or a German Sheppard, think about your pet.  Think about how much you paid for it, and how much money you spend each month pampering and providing a comfortable life for your pet.

Some financial facts I learned from Shiny Objects:

  • 70% of Americans live pay check to pay check
  • More than 1.5 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2010
  • The average American Family has $10,000 in Credit Card debt
  • Americans spend over $41 billion on their pets each year
  • I don’t know about you, but those numbers seem extremely high to me.  Think about those numbers and ask yourself if you are a financially average American?

Now that you know Shiny Objects by James A. Roberts is a great book for everyone, it’s time to give away a copy to one lucky reader.

Two ways you can win a copy of Shiny Objects!

  1. Leave a comment on this blog and tell us about your pet.  What type of Pet do you have, what is its name, and what is the last thing you bought for it including the cost?  If you don’t have a Pet leave a comment and tell us about the last non essential (food and shelter) item that you bought for yourself including the cost. Each comment receives one entry.
  2. Send a Tweet that tells your followers to follow @dinks_finance and read the book Shiny Objects.  Use #TeamDINKS in your tweet to earn a second entry.

Good Luck Everyone.  The winner will be announced shortly.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie - Careful Cents December 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

I listened to a podcast from the author, James A. Roberts, talking about his book Shiny Objects. I totally want to read it.

I don’t have any pets (although I had tons growing up) pets are expensive and I don’t feel I have money for that non-essential expense category. At least until I’m debt free.

The last unnecessary item I bought was food. On my way to work in the morning I stopped to get a bagel and coffee at the Bagel Shop. I even have my own bagels at home…it was just more convenient. Not the best decision, I know.

2 Carrie - Careful Cents December 22, 2011 at 10:51 am
3 J.Mill December 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

My husband of 6 months brought 2 cats into our marriage and a ton of their accessories (litterbox, dishes, food, toys, etc). I am a dog person and would love to get a dog, but we are waiting until we have a yard and some extra income. We are currently putting all extra savings into an account for the down payment on a house.

4 Brandy December 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

I have a Chihuahua named Dillon. I love him very much! We have health insurance for him which costs $36/month…so that is a total of $420 for the year. I buy him dog food about 3 times a year and it is $40/time, so another $120. I have spent around $200 on treats, special stuff to make his breath smell good, and getting his nails clipped this year. Total spent in 2011 $740. I don’t think that is a lot. With the health insurance, I get all his shots, get his teeth cleaned and a comprehensive exam that tests for all sorts of problems. says there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States. If each dog got as much spent on them as I spend on my dog, that would be $57,868,000,000. $57.8 billion is more than your number, and that isn’t even including cats, rabbits, hamsters, iguanas, etc.

I guess I don’t think $41 billion is a lot. If we take $41 billion and divide it by the total number of cats in dogs in the US owned by humans (164.6 per that website), we get $249.09/pet. That is not very much at all! :)

5 Jessica December 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

I have to admit my 6-year old German Shepard is the reason I feel into the Credit Card trap. My beloved dog was hit my a drunk driver and broke both of his hips, this past year with surgery, thearpy, visit to the vet I believe I have spent $10,000 and that doesn’t include normal expenses food, treats, baths, nail clippings and so forth. But I am doing something about it, I got 2 additional jobs to my day job and have paid down to the debt with only $4000 left. The thinks we do for our pets?!?

6 AKM December 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

My 9-11 year-old kitty Jackie is pretty darn healthy, knock on wood, and I think the last thing I bought for her was just kitty litter…$5.50, I believe, at Dollar General. ;-)

7 AKM December 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

ReTweeted @AKM522!

8 Amy December 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

We have a lab-Weimaraner mix. He’s spoiled and we spend a lot on him. The last thing I bought for him was a refill on his supplements he takes ~$50. Currently he is at daycare but that is pre-paid.

9 Andee G December 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

We had a cat until about 3 weeks ago, his passing was very unexpected so there weren’t any vet-related costs. (I’m really glad we didn’t have to traumatize him with repeated visits to the vet, as well. He was very ornery and only tolerated DH and me.) However, there was a cost of about $200 for the cremation and his urn.

The same week our cat died, our dog had surgery to remove a tumor from his paw. Including previous diagnostic trips and follow-up, that cost about $1500. While the past several weeks have been costly, we keep a savings goal funded for just such occasions. Now, instead of paying off a credit card, we just need to replenish our savings goal.

Otherwise, I’d say annual payments for the animals themselves was probably around $500 each for shots and food. We also have to board the dog when we travel certain places, but we usually pay that from our travel fund.

10 Flora December 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

My fiance and I have 3 cats. Yes, 3 cats. The last item we bought them was cat food. A 24-case of canned cat food costs about $20. We have to get the slightly higher-priced and better quality kind because 2 of them are prone to struvite crystals in their bladders. Emergency vet visits have cost us $400+ and everything was preventable if we had used better food as opposed to the cheapest store brand. Even though the food is a bit more pricey, it’s worth every penny that they don’t get sick and are in pain.

11 Shannon December 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

No pets, but dying to get a dog when I finally have a yard! The last non-essential item I bought was a Starbucks latte this morning. I normally splurge on coffee once or twice a week, which is a big change from my twice-a-day habit I had in college!

12 Jenn December 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I have two cats who I adore! The last item I bought my cats was tiny hats and scarves (that they won’t wear). I realize I sound crazy.

13 Retire@55 December 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

I just lost my 14 yr old, Clifford, the Big Red Dog, a Golden Retriever. We just spent $7,000 on his Cancer Treatment for Melanoma. That is the total sum we spent on his medical over the last 14 years. We now have a new Golden Retriever named Ruckus . . . Yes, we are “Raisin’ a Ruckus” :-) Anyway, the last item we bought for Ruckus was a dog bed from at 50% off with Free Shipping . . . .Total Cost in the Door was $59.95.

14 Retire@55 December 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

How do I Tweet ?
I have Never Tweeted before ?
Can I just enter the Sweepstakes ?

15 Kristina December 23, 2011 at 11:38 am

Hi Retire@55,

You are automatically entered into the contest when you leave a comment on the post, so you are officially entered.

Good Luck to Everyone. The winner will be announced next Friday :-)

Happy Holidays

16 Leigh December 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Hi! I have a dachshund. The last thing we purchased him was a few toys for Christmas, they cost about $12.

Merry Christmas!

17 Dana December 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I have a miniature dachshund and we just spent $2800 on her for back surgery. It has been an expensive year, but it is still cheaper than if we had a kid!

18 Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours January 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I’m glad you found this book so helpful! I know that I certainly fit into that “average American” category, though I’m not proud of it …

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

19 Jacqueline January 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm

My cat Jasper is 18 years old. The most recent thing I’ve bought for him is a bag of his favourite beef treats for about $3.99. However, my amazing and wonderful vet jokes that I pay the salaries of her entire staff with my obsessive care of Jasper, and formerly of his two step brothers who have now passed. She once tallied our vet bills for a period of 9 years to be approximately $35,000 including surgeries, dental work and regular visits. BTW, we do not have pet insurance, because it did not become available until after they were already considered seniors with pre-existing conditions so it was not a worthwhile option for us.

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