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Money Perspectives

With everything in life sometimes it is important to remember that you need to have perspective of the size of your task in comparison to the pay back for doing that task. This sounds inanely simple when you read it, but ask yourself if you have been guilty of over committing your resources in these types of situations? The expression penny-wise and pound foolish does come to mind with many money perspectives.

I have seen co-workers visit city hall multiple times to fight parking tickets, and such, yet those same folks don’t file their taxes (even though they are owed money). Shouldn’t they just pay the ticket and file their taxes instead? Far be it from me to pontificate, but evidently I am mistaken in this point of view.

Do you spend countless hours looking for the best bargains while shopping for food, but don’t spend any time looking at your investments or figuring out how to get your banking services cheaper? You could be like those extreme couponing ladies who spend countless hours clipping to get free groceries, but do you need 45 boxes of tampons and 70 bottles of Catalina salad dressing? I guess tampons don’t go bad, but still, how much money do you need to spend storing all of this (or is this where hoarding starts?).

I know people who bargain for everything, and I am envious of their chutzpah, I cannot always ask for the best deal, even when I know there might be a better deal to be had (like our banking discussions yesterday). Is it worth arguing for every penny?

Writing a daily blog, taking over an hour for most days, sometimes more, and then comparing your hourly rate at work, and wonder why you are writing the blog? OK, that was a trick one, I do this mostly for my own cathartic rants, and that doesn’t really have a monetary value.

Any other “penny-wise and pound foolish” examples that I am missing?


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Doomsday and Money

Evidently yesterday many Italians stayed home from work (in Rome), due to the predictions of a seismologist Rafaele Bendani. The best part of this was that this predication was made in 1915,  so that must make it a legitimate reason to shut down a city.

Then there is Family Radio who claims that Judgement Day will be on May 21st, and Christ will return on that day. Now the world won’t end that day (luckily), but God will destroy the earth in October, after the rapture (I assume). There is also the now famous (as portrayed in the movie 2012) Mayan Calendar story where the world will end on December 21st 2012.

Now, I have spoken about the ability of financial soothsayers to predict the future of stocks, and such, but this is taking the Weatherman theory to the extreme. The Weatherman Theory is that eventually, no matter how outlandish your predictions are you will eventually be right (or you won’t be around to see the results, so in your mind, you must have been right), if you make enough predictions.

There have been dire predictions financially forever but financial doomsday is out there on the personal level if you don't plan.

What is gained by all of this doom and gloom? Notoriety for one thing (just ask Nostradamus, no wait he is dead), just think how famous you might be if you were the one to predict the end of the world? Come to think of it, I think I could live without that lofty title.

Financial Apocalypse?

This same kind of doom and gloom for the Financial Markets continues with various folks saying that the U.S. will be going back to the Gold Standard, or how the Stock Markets will fail and we will go back to a full barter system (i.e. the Financial Apocalypse). Will this happen? It’s all possible, that is the intricacy of life is that it is not entirely predictable and yes horrible catastrophic things can transpire with little or no warning (ask the folks in Japan about that). If you knew exactly what was going to happen every day of your life, would that be very enjoyable?

Will there be a stock market correction/crash/adjustment/implosion, in the next few years? Undoubtedly, will there be a recovery, most likely, yes. Will it rain tomorrow? Yes, somewhere it will rain on Thursday. As usual, I do not stand by those predictions about the stock market, the gold standard or whether I can get out of debt quickly, I will leave the DOOM and GLOOM predictions to various churches, the government and possibly a few weathermen.


Reputable Tattoo Parlor ?

So in a conversation with a co-worker about a tattoo that she recently had done she made the statement that she went to a “… reputable tattoo parlor…”, which caused me to burst out laughing.  The expression just seemed so ludicrous, that I could not keep from laughing, because my opinion or mental image of a Tattoo Parlor, is most definitely not a place where you might use the word reputable in the description of the establishment. Before I get inundated with comments from the freshly inked generation, I simply point out that this is my opinion, and because of this, the expression Reputable Tattoo Parlor sounds like a complete contradiction in terms.

Here are some accepted contradictory financial services:

  • Pay Day Loans: this expression is completely contradictory since the least likely time anyone might need a loan would be on Pay Day. I do realize that the expression is actually describing a loan to “tide you over” until pay-day, but at first glance this expression is ludicrous (and of course the service itself is financially ludicrous too).
  • Unbiased Financial Opinions: I have seen more financial advisers include this in their resumes and service descriptions, but it’s not possible to have an Unbiased Opinion, the two terms contradict each other. Ask someone giving you advice if this is an unbiased opinion, if they say yes, get up and leave!
  • Exact Estimate of a possible debt: yes, I read this on-line with a lending group, they were attempting to say they were going to give you an estimated loan payment schedule, if you weren’t sure how much you were going to borrow, but it is still not possible to have an Exact Estimate. Don’t be fooled by a Firm Estimate from a service provider either.
  • Easy Payments: while this statement is not completely absurd at the outset, ask yourself are any payments you make easy? You couldn’t think of something better to do with that money?
  • Free Credit: Anyone want to argue about this one?
  • Extra Money: I never have extra money, I have the money that I have, and the money I have spent, extra, well that is a concept that is pretty foreign to me.
  • Easy Money: Aside from blogging, there is no such thing as easy money (see I am being obtuse in a shallow attempt to be humorous), no, there is no Easy Money in this lifetime.
  • Bankrupt Millionaire:  I always wonder about that one as well, how can you be both?

Say What?

And  the ultimate Oxymoron: Honest Politician . Any profession where:

  • You can talk about the concept of “truthiness”  (there are shades and levels to the truth?!?)
  • Claim you resigned, when you were voted out of office.

Really does stretch the concept of honesty to the limits.

Any other financial mal-statements that I missed?


I promise less services and lower taxes!

What is surprising is that I originally wrote this during the last provincial election, and somehow it still seems to be on target? Wow, politics needs to move forward in the province of Ontario.

Big C8j Party Platform Plank #1

If I actually heard a politician say that I might listen closer (i.e. cut services and lower taxes ONLY, no new services), just because none of them actually have the Chutzpah to say something that makes perfect sense. The only way you can cut taxes are:

  • Cut down on government waste. I cry bullsh*t on any politician who has been elected, if they say that one. All of them waste money in their own offices, so pointing the finger at the government is the pot calling the kettle a darker shade of grey. Every one of them wants to have their own pet projects for their riding too, so no dice on that one.
  • Add no new services, but increase the tax base, so there is more money coming in (Gross). There is more money Gross, so the tax rate on individuals could drop if you wanted to get back to your original Gross Tax Income (I dare any politician to argue that one with me). This is kind of what happened in the 90’s, when the income from Taxes was so high, they could actually start paying down the Debt.
  • Cut services and programs, and not just “wasteful” programs, I mean actual programs. You do that, you are spending less and thus you need less income.

Simplistic? Yup, but the government’s finances and your finances are the same, spend less, and you need less income. Unfortunately like your finances, the government also has a massive debt (not to mention an overspending penchant called the deficit), which they must also pay for (much like your Mortgage or worse your Credit Card Debt).


Broken Liberty

Politicians are not dumb, they know nobody likes hearing that they must tighten their belt, live more frugally and live within their means (hell I say it enough times, and given by the size of my readership, that message is not popular).  Politicians will tell you about all the programs they will help you specifically with (I await the Big Cajun Man Tax Cut (for only me) to be announced soon), but they are always very vague on how it will get paid (usually by the idle rich, or corporations).

As each new program is announced by all parties, ask yourself who is going to pay for all of this? You are, it’s that simple.

And if someone wishes to paint with Tory Blue, Liberal Red, NDP Yellow, Green or Marijuana party Green, I am a Civil Liberterian at heart (i.e. get the Government the hell out of my business, please). None of the parties live up to my hopes.

I guess that makes me Undecided.


Saint Patrick Patron Saint of Engineers

(NB: This post while whimsical, in no way, condones abuse of alcohol or drinking and driving.Do not drink and drive!)

Happy Saint Patty’s Day! Indeed the patron saint of Ireland is also the patron saint of Engineers. This explains why so many of them think they are Irish on this day.

Let us thank Saint Patrick who I will extend his Patron Sainthood to cover Technology in General.

Thank you Saint Patrick for Ireland, which gives us Guinness Stout, truly a drink that passes as a meal. Guinness is the drink of all Irish Wannabes on this hallowed day. Remember to drink responsibly. Do not abuse your finances if you are under the influence of alcohol. This is true every day of the year, but especially on Saint Patrick’s day. You don’t want to wake up in a strange bed, next to a goat wondering where your wallet has gone. Never happened to me.

Remember for you younger folk The Best Advice I Ever Received Once I Reached Legal Drinking Age. Also, Remember to Always Buy the First Round. No one ever remembers any other round, but the first one, they do!

Guinness Ale
Guinness Ale

Thank you Saint Patrick for Technology, which was brought by your Engineers (and others). Without technology, the Personal Finance World of today would not exist.

Without Saint Patrick and his technology, we would not have the ATM. The ATM will be used many times this Saint Patrick’s day, to get money for the next round. Possibly to pay for a taxi cab ride home. If you have drunk enough not to remember your PIN, you have had enough to drink. How you get home without your PIN, is your problem.

Thank you Saint Patrick for Direct Withdrawal Technology. This will allow us to more easily pay for the next round on Saint Patrick’s Day, this technology truly makes this day even better. Again, once you have forgotten your PIN, you are cut off. With tap and go NFC technology this isn’t as big a worry these days.

Thank you Saint Patrick for Credit Card Chip Technology, which again, will stop inebriated users, with it’s new PIN technology (unless you have a PC Mastercard, in which case you can still smear a version of your signature on a receipt and blindly keep imbibing). Be careful of the bars with the “tap and go” technology, because then your PIN no longer is needed, and you can get in much more trouble!

Saint Patrick patron saint of technology
Patron Saint of Technology, Saint Patrick

Thank you Saint Patrick for GPS technology. The weary Designated Driver, who is driving home his or her besotted friends, only has to look at their wallets, find their address and type it into the GPS, and not have to rely on their friends’ directions to get them home.

Thank you Saint Patrick for the technology that allowed us to find our iPhones and Smartphones when we accidentally leave them in a bar or someone’s house. It also allows us to find bars using those same Smartphones, once we have found the phone.

Thank you Saint Patrick for On-Line Banking. This will allow our spouses and loved ones to track us, using our bank account expenditures. Just remember, if you are spending like a drunken student, is your wife the one who is going to see the bills (online)? Weren’t you supposed to be visiting a sick Uncle?

Finally, we thank you Saint Patrick for the Breathalyzer which will catch intoxicated drivers every day of the year, but more so today. Remember, the penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The lives you will save by not driving intoxicated might not be just your own.

Enjoy But Safely

Having said all that, I encourage you to enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day, but in a responsible way, both in terms of Alcohol and your finances. You don’t want to open a Mastercard bill in a month with a $1000 charge on it from Big Caj O’Shea’s Bar and Grill!


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