Cleaning up and Sunday’s Best

The importance of making sure things are clean and well behaved in life is very important (financially), however if you are running a petit business the way I am here (small just doesn’t really say how small it is), it is very important to know what you have written and what is still hanging around in your archive of stories. I have started cleaning up my archives, and will continue to do so for the next month or  so, and I may then change the look of this site as well (I am sick of it, and have been for a while).

Yesterday was Bastille Day in France, so hopefully my French cousins enjoyed their Independence Day (effectively).

With this clean out, I may go back under 2000 posts, we shall see, but because I am wandering through the archives, my Tweet posts from the archives are much more interesting these days as well:

  • If you did Donate $25 a Week, you’d be surprised how much money you were actually giving away every year (and I am sure there are Charities that would love to have the money too).
  • With OK My Man I ranted about the lack of respect shown by many folks in the service industry, now I don’t get too rude with them in return, however, I do try to find ways to not use the service if this happens as well (i.e. vote with my feet).
  • With the iPhone being 5 years old and RIM announcing terrible numbers on that day, I figured I’d look back at my initial views on the iPhone.
  • With Occam’s Razor I took the concept to a financial point of view.
  • I figured I’d give some good news with If this gets paid off, ANY debt is payable! I remember when the actual cost of the Big Owe was published and I thought how can $1B get paid off by a city, well, it happened a while ago.
  • It’s important to keep things simple and that is the point with If You Hear Hoof beats…. , most of the times the obvious answer is the right one.
  • My Own Money Advice MeMe died with my post, but still a useful piece of advice.
  • Pay Day Loans, No, No, No! Points out my hatred of this industry, I will be attempting to extricate the 3rd party advertising that is allowing them to advertise on my site, in the next few weeks.

And for a little fun for Sunday, did you know how much Cookie Monster likes cookies?

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Bloggers for Charity: 16 Going on 30

As a preface a while back I asked my readers to join into the Bloggers for Charity program that was started by the Blunt Beancounter. I was glad to hear from other participants how much money was being paid to charity to get a Guest Post on their blogs, I was also disappointed to see no one take me up on the offer (you had your chance, I will return to my standard Guest Post policy in the future).

The Blunt Bean Counter actually had such a great response that he had folks on his “waiting list” so I am helping out by having a young writer who donated $200 to write a Guest Post. The topic which is a little off topic for me, but still a very good subject is about Junior Achievement.

I recommend you have a look for other Bloggers for Charity as well!

16 Going on 30

By Rosie Mandla

Guest Post: Charity Competition

There is something extremely satisfying about investing in the leaders of tomorrow.  I’m not talking about opening your wallet and handing out a twenty dollar bill – instead, taking time from your busy schedule and sharing your years of experience and wisdom with the young’ins. Just think… someday we’ll all have to pass the throne on to the next generation.

Junior Achievement (JA) is a not for profit organization created to inspire youth to succeed in our ever-changing and global economy.  JA’s premise and continuance depends heavily on the direct involvement of today’s business masters.  What better way to support the leaders of tomorrow than by passing practical guidance from the leaders of today?

A few years ago, a friend invited me to be an advisor for the Company Program with the firm I was working for. The Company Program is one of many programs run by JA, and it inspires high school students to understand the role of business in our society by founding and operating an enterprise of their own.

So that is what we did. For eight long months, a group of 30 or so students from various high schools met weekly and started a company. This included issuing shares to each member, setting up Facebook groups to share product ideas, weekly trips to the dollar store in an effort to minimize product costs, advertising their product on a personally developed website, canvassing door to door to sell their product (I was wrong… opening up your wallet and taking out a twenty dollar bill does help too), and producing proper accounting records.

I admit, the process had its ups and downs. Sometimes products did not pass the quality control test, and the website’s user experience was questionable.  However, in the end, what impressed me the most was the perseverance and creativity these students displayed. To see the transformation from clueless adolescents to legitimate business novices was utterly amazing.  Not to mention their profit margins!

By teaching our youth the fundamentals of business early, we promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and resourcefulness.  It is with this knowledge and awareness that we, each and as a society, prosper.  As the Chinese proverb goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.  I parallel this quote to JA’s mandate.

I will conclude by saying that there are many worthy charities that each aim to better this world in some way. For me, there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that my words may have impacted the life of one student.  And that student may grow to change the lives of many others.

For more details about Junior Achievement, you can visit their website at http://www.jacan.org.

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Random Thoughts: Happy Birthday to Me!

Somewhere in the past few or next few days will be the anniversary of my birth that is somewhere over the number 50 (need to be vague for security and my vanity too). Birthdays are a mile marker in your life, and in my case many interesting things have occurred on my birthday (the most interesting was when I was almost expelled from University (along with my residence floor) ’nuff said there). My hope is that nothing too interesting happens this year (however I think that is a dubious wish, given my track record).

Other more interesting events are happening globally, with the GOP attempting to choose a candidate to attempt to unseat the current sitting President (never an easy task). We also have the Iranians rattling sabers about the Straits of Hormuz and whether the U.S. should be around there, and the question of what happens next in North Korea? All in all 2012 starts in a very confused way, let’s hope there is more clarity coming soon.

Weekly Recap

For this birthday week I was a little less financially oriented more slice of life but don’t worry I won’t be publishing recipes for raisin muffins, back to money next week:

  • To start the week Year of the Dragon and Sunday’s Best I discussed how this is a new year for most folks, except for 1/3 of the world’s population
  • Employment numbers still are not getting better and with Unemployment up to end 2011 the news is not getting that much better
  • I started veering off course with Prices Going Up, where I playfully pointed out it costs nothing to read this site (and it will continue to be that way)
  • I am sick and tired about reading how folks can get rich working at home so I had a go at those folks with Make Your Hobby Pay,  no you shouldn’t do as I say.
  • I vented in Observations on Telemarketers these folks are like jackals constantly phoning me!

And thanks to those who added me on Twitter I am now over 980 folks who follow me, wow!. Check out my Facebook page as well.

Links for the Week

Luckily no one else was aware or commented on my upcoming birthday, however I did find a few new places to read in the new year too:

Carnivals this Week

I did make it into a few carnivals this week too:

Other Bookkeeping

A Real Birthday Cake!

Remember my RSS feed is available too, for those who enjoy reading without looking at my crappy page lay out, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well.

Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on Digg as Big Cajun Man, on Reddit, Tumblr and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes). As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often!

This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle US Blog list, if you are interested, not available in Canada yet (because no Blogs are available in Canada on a Kindle?!?).

Remember

“About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.”

Author: Unknown I think I am understanding that more now.

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Some Thoughts on Financial Bloggers

As a mental exercise I have put together a few possible queries, conundrums and concepts about what financial bloggers like myself (yes my mind has wandered off the beaten track, and I am dragging you along to show you what I found):

How many financial bloggers do you need to change a light bulb?

None they won’t do it, but they will tell you whose fault it is that the bulb is not working in the first place, and suggest how it could have been avoided, and link to three sites which promise that they will solve the problem for you.

How would a financial blogger hunt an elephant?

Financial bloggers wouldn’t actually hunt an elephant, but would give you a top 10 list of the best methods to hunt down the elephant (that they found on someone else’s web site)

How many economic down turns have financial bloggers predicted?

10 out of the last 3 at least (I am one of the best sources for that one)

When financial bloggers go out for dinner what is ordered?

Two order beers, one has a tea, one has coffee and one orders dinner and the others watch him eat (no this really happens when the NCFBA meets (guess who orders dinner)).

Why did the cosmos (or God) create financial bloggers?

Someone needs to be wrong more often than weathermen (and husbands (and politicians (and astrologers (etc.,etc.,etc.,))))

A financial blogger will first convince you the importance of saving and investing for your future and then convince that there is nowhere safe to invest or put  your money, so you should just pay off debt, which you shouldn’t have built up in the first place, and if you don’t have debt, well, put your money in your mattress, or whatever. The better question is, if you don’t have any debt and you have money to invest, why are you reading a financial blog and not writing one!

The number of optimistic financial bloggers on the web is the same as the count of agnostic priests in the Catholic Church.

Some call financial bloggers Barstool Stock Consultants or Monday Morning Economists, however, most financial bloggers wouldn’t hang out in a bar (possibly a McDonald’s booth economist?).

Only financial bloggers can think that they can make money, writing about making money, without actually telling you how to make money, or what money should be used for (and put disclaimers that they are only suggesting all of it), and at the end of it say they don’t actually do it themselves and use the argument Do as I Say, not as I Do. (makes us sound like parents actually)

If those who do do and those who can’t teach, how do you explain a financial blogger?

Did I miss any? I challenge any financial bloggers to add to this list (and if you call it a Top 10 list I will come over and spank you!).

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Random Thoughts: Happy Canada Day!

Canada is 144 Today

The old girl doesn’t look a day over 135, but yes Canada celebrates Confederation today, and luckily it falls on a Friday, so we can all enjoy a long weekend (except those in Service Industries who have to be at work tomorrow). This year in Ottawa we have the added excitement of having the new hot couple with Prince William and his new bride, which means there is no reason to go to Parliament Hill (you won’t be able to get near it). It’s kind of weird to watch the festivities on TV, knowing I could take a bus, and then watch it from 700 yards away instead.

The year is pretty much half over now, holy cow! It’s been a tumultuous year for a lot of reasons, but hopefully it will start calming down a bit? No, I am not that lucky, I get the feeling this is going to continue on as another action packed year of fun and frivolity. Oh, and you now have less than 6 months to plan Christmas as well (just being helpful).


With all the construction going on at my place I did manage to get a full compliment of posts out this week:

  • On Saturday I put up a simple post to stay with the previous week’s getting out of debt theme with How to Get out of Debt, pretty straight forward isn’t it?
  • I first pointed out the impending Christmas in 6 Months ’til Christmas (and Oldie but Goodies)
  • With Carnival of Personal Finance #315: Bring on the Long Weekends there was an anthology of good personal finance posts from the past week as well. Hopefully this hosting will be less controversial than the last time.
  • Replacing windows can help the value of a house and with Model Home Version 0.1 I point out the advantages of new windows and the things you can learn about how your house was built, when you rennovate too.
  • A recurring theme on my blog is planning for the worst and with What is Your Financial Plan B I point out that sometimes life can make sudden drastic changes that you need to deal with, or at least have an idea of how you might deal with it.
  • The most disturbing financial news for the week (other than all the fun in Greece) is in post Yikes: CPI hits 3.7% and Gas to Blame, now gas prices seem to be moderating, but not really dropping, so what will that do to the economy?

I actually enjoy all comments (even the ones that question my sanity), and will try to respond to most comments, so please feel free to comment away. For you spammers who continue to inundate me with your drivel, keep it up as well.

With the European economic system teetering on the brink of collapse, and with Canada Post returning to work there was a fair amount of good commentary this week in the financial blogging world:

Carnivals this Week

Not only did I host a Carnival this week, I also submitted posts to a few carnivals:

Other Bookkeeping

Canadian Flag

Canada Day or Dominion Day or Whatever les Quebecois call it.

Remember my RSS feed is available too, for those who enjoy reading without looking at my crappy page lay out, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well.

Have alook at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on Digg as Big Cajun Man, on reddit, Tumblr and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the side of each article, where you can cast your votes). As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often!

This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle US Blog list, if you are interested, not available in Canada yet (because no Blogs are available in Canada on a Kindle?!?).

Remember

“The essential ingredient of politics is timing.”

Author: Pierre Trudeau

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