Principled money posts of the week #3: professors, do we worry about the wrong things and plumbing advice
It is Sunday again and a dark, rainy one at that. In anticipation of a nice, wet and cold run I am building up my expectations for a stimulating discussion. Expectations may be high but the reality is even better: intelligent and provoking posts are plentiful (well, there are some exceptions but I don’t see it as my job to deal with those; may be one day…). Choice was hard again but here are some posts that made me think and question. Let’s play.
Top of my list this week is My University Money where Teacher Man discusses the Brandon University strike. Well written and well argued piece displaying the right amount of emotion and moral standing. This is also an example that a text is inevitably co-constructed by the writer and the reader (just a fancy way to say: this really struck a chord with me). In the UK, universities, schools and other public sector employees will be on strike this coming Wednesday. Do I believe that we should defend our pensions? You bet I do! Do I believe that a strike is the way forward? Not at all! Universities going on strike make everyone think: ‘Well, the profs are doing exactly what they do most of the time – nothing!’ I have different ideas about a protest but there may be a whole post coming on this one. Now, this is what I call exciting and stimulating post.
In Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut set out the principles of Bokononism. One of its religious books was entitled ‘Given the past can we have any hope for the future’ and consisted of one word: ‘No’. This week, J$ at Budgets are Sexy did almost as well. He presented the most concise book on personal finance consisting of one sentence: ‘Spend less money than you make’. True with the same fruitless finality!
I normally feel invigorated by what I find on Early Retirement Extreme; Jacob has the right combination of intelligence, information and wit for me. This week I enjoyed his rant: this is exactly how I feel and although some of the arguments are rather obvious he did warn us it is a rant. Like any rant, it did make me feel better and I did enjoy the company.
KrantCents asked the million dollar question this week: are you willing to deny yourself all pleasures of life so you can have a great retirement? His answer is that you don’t have to choose between money and your life and I have been playing around with ways to do this. Theoretically, choice is eliminated by eliminating the difference and this can be done either by getting rid of one option or getting rid by the differences between the options. Simply put, you don’t have to choose when you a) have money and no life; b) life and no money; c) money becomes your life; or d) life becomes your money. The choice is yours! I’ll go with the last option.
CB at One Cent At a Time has come up with one mega-tip for becoming rich: if you want to be rich you have to create value. In some sense this is one of the oldest tricks in the book – achieving goals by substituting them or ‘operationalising’ them. Earning $1,000 is a worthy goal but to achieve it one has to figure out what will bring this in. Check out the list because this may just turn out to be the thing that will move you forward.
MoneyNing asks whether always thinking about money makes him really happy. Good question but the answer is one that won’t shame an economist; you know, the kind that says ‘on the one hand…but on the other hand…’. We shouldn’t hold this against him since the question is profound. One thing I would say is that if the economy ‘tanks’ properly the problem is not how much savings you have but how to ensure that what you have doesn’t melt away in the heat of hyper-inflation . Have you wondered why the at the moment trade in precious metals and stones is booming?
Stirling Effort is a refreshing find of mine and this week I was seriously impressed. Ash wrote about being young, uneducated and not investing a penny …all this in the UK. Gosh, thing are changing! I was just thinking that deep differences in the traditions of wealth and class make us ‘sniff’ at ‘side hustles’ and looking after our money – smells too much of ‘trade’, ‘new money’ and ‘lack of class’. Reading this article gave me hope; for all our sakes.
Ultimate Smart Money raises the issue of refinancing one’s mortgage. He did it himself and it seems like a really good deal . One should always watch for local and personal variations though – this may not be for everyone.
I like the Your Finances Simplified weekly recap . Congratulations on the deal; as to the dishwasher calling out a plumber may be premature. Dishwashers don’t drain when the mechanism that moves the water out gets stuck and this happens very often because they started making it out of plastic (so any amount of fat makes it stick). Great example of how efficiency kills effectiveness. You just have to clean it – there are instructions how to open the machine on You-tube and don’t forget to take a picture before you take it apart. It is a dirty job but the saving may be as much as the cost of new dishwasher.
This is it for today, folks. As to me, I am looking forward to another week of writing reading and thinking. Just now I’ll be off for a run. How much better can life be?