Monday, July 28, 2008

Todays Joke - Why do you even give a shit?

At 72 years of age, a man picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, the Doctor said the man was doing ‘fairly well’ for his age.

A little concerned about that comment, the man couldn’t resist asking him, “Do you think I’ll live to be 80?”

The Doctor asked, “Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?”
“Oh no,” the man replied. “I’m not doing drugs, either!”

Then the Doctor asked, “Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?”
“No, my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!”

“Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?”
“No, I don’t,” the man replied.

The Doctor then asked, “Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?”
“No,” the man said proudly.

The Doctor looked at the man. And, after a slight pause, he said, “Then, why do you even give a shit?!”

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lessons from Grandma’s Cookie Jar

Budgeting and our household finances have been high on our priority list to try and get under better control. I have been reading a lot of personal financing blogs (Thanks to Google Reader) and stumbled across this one on Frugal Dad

Going over to Grandma’s house and knowing she had just baked some fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies is one of the the highlights of childhood. The tantalizing aroma of sweetness and chocolate wafting through the screened door always dominated my mind as I walked up those back porch steps and I couldn’t think of anything else. Couple those warm and gooey cookies with a glass of icy cold milk and I just knew what heaven was going to be like. Even if they weren’t freshly baked, I knew where the cookie jar was, and I knew she would set me down at the kitchen table and watch me devour as many as I could…as quickly as I could. I always knew that the cookies were there until I (or my little brother) ate them, but when the cookie jar was empty, it was empty. There were no credit advances. The beauty of Grandma’s cookie jar was that not only did it satisfy my sweet-tooth, but it taught this simple and effective approach to managing money: The cookie jar was not a bottomless pit. The outgo could NEVER surpass the income. There was no such thing as a cookie credit card. There was no “cookie debt.” Today, we can use the cookie jar as a method of budgeting. Some people use envelopes, but the principle is the same. What goes in is the only thing that comes out! The amount spent can never exceed the amount deposited. To make this system work, you need two elements:

1. A plan for spending (a budget)
2. A system of self-control

The problem in our families today, in our government, and in too many businesses is that we have lost sight of these basic elements — planning and self-control. We believe we are so sophisticated that the basic principles of budgeting and self-control are no longer necessary or even relevant in our daily lives. Deficit spending, at every level, has eroded the plan because financing is always available to go beyond what we planned to spend. Problems only surface when all sources of credit have dried up and a life-style of cookie consumption has been established that’s far beyond our ability to repay.
Credit allows us to live in the short term, as if the cookie jar were bottomless.

When credit is gone, the only available options are so devastating that many people face personal bankruptcy, severely strained marriages, wrecked retirements, and ruined financial lives. Assets must be liquidated, children removed from private schools, houses and cars must be sold, and life-styles must undergo dramatic and difficult adjustments.

What’s the solution? Remember to follow the basics of Grandma’s cookie jar. Never allow your outgo to exceed your income, and plan your cookie eating so that you can stretch the enjoyment over a longer period.

The world is bent on telling you that you can have everything NOW. It’s your job to resist through proper long range planning and a steady focus on your long term plans for financial independence.

Post from: Frugal Dad

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Occam's razor

Todays Word of the Day for Webster Dictionary. I started to subscribe to this offering as a way to help expand my vocabulary. My problem seems to be retention, but overall i will say that it has worked a little - given the level of effort that i have put into it I would say that it is probably comparable.

Todays Word is Occam's razor \AH-kumz-RAY-zer\
a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

Example Sentence
Invoking Occam's razor, Eli concluded that the sill was wet because someone had left the window open during the storm.

Did you know?
William of Occam (also spelled "Ockham") didn't invent the rule associated with his name. Others had espoused the "keep it simple" concept before that 14th-century philosopher and theologian embraced it, but no one wielded the principle (also known as the “law of parsimony”) as relentlessly as he did. He used it to counter what he considered the fuzzy logic of his theological contemporaries, and his applications of it inspired 19th-century Scottish philosopher Sir William Hamilton to link “Occam” with the idea of cutting away extraneous material, giving us the modern name for the principle.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ho Hum

Haven't been in the mood to post much lately. Been in a pretty ho-hum mood. Feeling a bit overwhelmed. I believe the saying goes "when it rains it pours..." I have been fighting that feeling of drowning in debt. A lot of it has to do with the increase in how much things cost now. Seems like everything / everyone is trying to compensate for the rise in fuel costs. So we are at a point now where there are things that we want and not enough money to float them all without financing some of it. So how do you go about stretching the dollar? How do you prioritize the purchases? Ugh... I think I am going to start with things which i don't really need / use much. A yard sale of types. Hopefully that will free up some cash.

More to come...