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Those who missed the bailout bus

As part of my finding dead posts series, here is something I wrote during the financial crisis.  I had it backed up on blogger under GNT, Geek News Today.

Everyone knows by now that the jobless rate in our country has hit record levels. Month by month the numbers come out and tens of thousands of people are put out of work in every industry. The Auto industry has gotten huge bailouts in the billions of dollars, as have banks, investment firms and Insurance companies. The crisis in our economy harms more that just bankers and big business and yet there is one group of people that have not even been mentioned during all these debates and meetings. They don’t wear suits to work, or ties, or shiny dress shoes, but they are out there day after day working long hours, getting less pay than ever before and yes, they too have lost many jobs in the current market dip.

I’m speaking of course, of Ninjas.

With funding drying up all over the world, Ninjas are having a very difficult time getting work. “The cash just isn’t out there” says Harold Barnes (pictured right), a Ninja who was forced to get other work. He went on to say “It’s tough ya know? Having to tell my 8 year old twin girls they can’t have a birthday party because no

Harold Barnes at his new job.

Some have taken part time work to get by

one can afford to hire daddy to kill people right now. It’s heartbreaking”. Harold, like many of his kind are seeking other employment opportunities right now, in most cases making as much money in a year as they would have made in one day before the crash.
The economy crashing has sent levels of street crime through the roof in some city’s and that’s causing major losses for some of crimes biggest family’s as well. We caught up with “Tony the hammer” and he had this to say ” Theys doin’ their own things and that means we gets cut out of the action you know? It’s bad man I tell ya. I had this guy that I had to have whacked but I couldn’t cause the money ain’t there you know?”

If you or someone you know wants to help out with the Ninjas situation, an emergency relief fund has been set up to donate money to help pay for assassinations. They are hoping this will stimulate the Ninconomy and get cred flowing again in the Ninja community. To donate, leave cash or money order on your kitchen table, they’ll find it.


3 Reasons to Do it yourself!

With the economy and Job market the way they have been, more people started do it yourself (DIY) projects instead of getting contractors involved. While it is in fact a good idea to use professionals from time to time, trying the project on your own can have its own rewards.

1. Money- Obviously it can be a whole lot cheaper to do things on your own. When dealing with contractors, you have to remember that they don’t get paid for the materials, they only make money on labor. For any given job they may charge you 100% – 200% of your materials cost in labor charges.

Example: It cost me nearly $2,000 to purchase the materials I needed for a new roof on my house. The contractor, who was cutting me a deal at the time, charged about the same for the labor. On occasion they will charge  3-4k for the same job. It all depends on extra work needed, how many jobs they have coming in and other factors.

2. Time – Now this could go both ways. It takes you longer to do the job than if you were to just pay someone to do it, but it can be done on YOUR schedule. You don’t have to make appointments, get measurements done, and try to time deliveries with the work crews. You can wait it out and do it when you need to or when you can find time.

Example: I got a quote for a tile floor. The labor on the job was quoted at $2,400 assuming no “extra work” had to be done. They were going to take three days for the job. One for the sub floor, one for the tile and one to grout, and a fourth if I wanted it sealed. That means I would have to be home for the crew for four days in a row, missing work and any social invites. Then try keeping cats off your floors for a few minutes let alone days. What if they had to reschedule or what if the delivery was late? More time off work, more time fighting kitties. Not worth it. I did it my self when I had time and took a few MONTHS to finish it. I kept it cat print free learned a new skill or five and saved around $3,500 in expenses and lost wages.

3. Satisfaction – The most valuable thing in my opinion. Sure it took me months to finish the floor, but it pays me back every time I enter the room. The feeling of accomplishing something that you never thought you could do is quite nice and I feel that way every time I see the floor now.  The complements I get from friends and co workers help too 🙂  .

What reasons can you think of to do a job yourself?

A great big Hiatus and the return of me.

Any one who followed my site last year probably noticed that it went away. I had a problem with Register.com, lost my domain and had to start fresh again. It did not go well.  Life got hard for awhile, I got a promotion at work that took up a great deal more of my time. I purchased a house and had a LOT of work to do on it and my life became increasingly hectic. With the Global financial meltdown quickly getting worse, I felt it was not the right time for me, an amateur, to be spouting off ideas about finance to people who are here for education and advice. That would have been inappropriate and could have led some desperate people seeking help down the wrong path.

Things have settled down. It’s a new year. My life has changed dramatically since I last posted on this particular blog. It’s time to catch up with my few remaining subscribers and refocus on what matters.

I’m back.

Don’t wet your bed

I was reading an article over at Blueprint today, and It linked to a CNNMoney.com article about advice from some well known millionaires. It’s a great read and the best piece of advice I got out of it is not to wet my bed. Go read the article and you’ll see what I mean.


The man who changed my life

If you havent heard of Robert Kyosaki by now, where the hell have you been? Some people think he’s a fraud, some say he’s a genius but weather you like him or not means nothing because he’s rich and you’re not. A little back story:

Back in 2003, I was 21 years old. At the time I was racking up debt like crazy due to my family having no clue about money, or financial education. I got a job working for a life insurance company for a short time and met a man named Raymond. Ray changed my life. While I was working for this company and by the way not making a single paycheck, I was apprentice to Ray. He was an older guy, maybe in his early 40’s at the most and was of some unanounced latin decent. He told me stories of his past involving making and losing businesses and money and jobs. From his stories I did’nt learn much, I was young and ignorant and did’nt pay them much mind, but what I did pay close attention to was what he was trying to teach me about money and my future. Long story short, he told me about this book he was reading and how it was changing how he thought about money. He’d been wrong all these years and reading this book taught him why.

After leaving the job I was in the library one day, maybe a year or so later, and I ran into the business and finance section in my wandering. I decided maybe it would a good read, so I looked for the book and took it home. That night my life changed. I couldnt belive how simlple the whole thing really was, but how we just blindly look past the obviouness of it all.

The book may be fact or fiction, it doesnt really matter, the point is that the lessons it teaches about personal finance and money management are real, and correct. It got me started on my quest and made me want to learn. For these reasons I suggest everyone read the book, at least once.

I never saw ray again.

Thanks buddy, I hope we meet again.


Pay yourself first

   Maybe not first, but make sure to pay yourself at some point. With all the scrimping and saving and sacrifice that you will be doing in your quest for financial Independence, you can sometimes lose focus or feel deprived. That’s why you have to give yourself something nice once in a while, buy little something to make you happy here and there.

    As we speak, or more accurately I write, I’m sitting on my front porch with a bottle of wine, the sun and my new laptop computer that I bought two days ago. Now, I didn’t just go out on a whim and say I feel bad, I’m buying a computer to be happy, oh no. I decided a year ago to buy a new lappy. I scrimped and saved, not for the computer, but for the whole “financial Independence” thing. The laptop came as long awaited reward for hard work and smart decisions. I decided last month that if I reach a financial goal of “X”, I get “Y”(the computer) as a reward. Clearly, “X” was accomplished.

    Money does in fact buy happiness, to a point. In this case, great financial decisions bought a new laptop for your truly and the rewards for an education in Personal finance have began to roll in. Robert Kyosaki has a great way to explain this. The poor buy what they want first to make them happy. The rich plan for the expense, they make the money first, invest it and use the excess to buy what they want. In the end, they have the item they longed for, AND still have the money in hand. Not his words exactly, but close enough.

   If you had that one thing to work towards what would it be? And in what time frame do you want to achive the goal ?

Day one 3/25/08

I’ve been reading personal finance blogs for about a year now. After talking to a few people at a new job about Personal finance, I realize that most people have no idea what money is or how it functions in today’s world. In the spirit of helping others and spreading the flow of information both ways(to and from myself) I’ve decided to jump on board the Personal Finance blog train. Hopefully I can help some people clean up thier finances as the blogging community has helped me.