Aug 31, 2010

What They Do With It

So you give your child a cell phone, and what does she do with it?

She talks to people of whom you don't approve.

So you give the beggar a dollar, and what does he do with it?

He spends it on alcohol and drugs.

So you leave the waitress a generous tip, and what does she do with it?

She buys cigarettes and a lottery ticket.

So you give the government your hard-earned tax dollars and what do they do with it?

They fund programs with which you vehemently disagree.

So what do you do?

You do the right thing. You can't control how people use what they're given. If you know that giving was the right thing to do, then let it go. What happens to it after that is not your concern. Keep doing the right thing.

And then let it go. You did your part.

To whom are going to be generous today?

Aug 25, 2010

Refinancing

It makes sense to watch prevailing interest rates. My CDs aren't paying doodly-squat, but mortgage rates are very low, so we're refinancing the house. We are locked in at 4-1/4% right now. Our old mortgage was at 6-1/2%. I always go for fixed rate loans. I don't like the idea that the rate could skyrocket (and with it my payment) from year to year. I want to know what it is and keep it there for 20 years.

In exchange for our paper shuffling (gathering, copying, and signing documents, mostly) we get to save almost a hundred dollars a month for the next 20 years.

Not bad for a day's "work."

Maybe it's time for you to ask some questions about your existing mortgage.

What bank will you call today?

Aug 16, 2010

Coming Food Shortage?

Russia is having such a bad harvest, they are not exporting any grain the rest of the year.
German crop report: down 12%.
Australia reports the worst locust plague they've ever seen.
One fifth of Pakistan is under water.
Drought last spring in South and Southeast China ruined almost 2 million acres of crops, while recent flooding in Northeast China has ruined 22 million acres of crops.

You can't eat gold. If you are comfortable with the amount of your holdings that are in paper, precious metals, and other non-edibles, maybe it's time to stock up on canned goods and rice.

Just sayin'.





Disclaimer: do not take my advice. Listen to your investment professional, not a blogger.

Aug 5, 2010

Government Punishes Good $ Decisions

I looked online to see what the Income Eligibility Guidelines are for free and reduced priced lunches in public schools. They've not been published yet for the 10-11 school year, but I was directed to the usda page that talks about it. I clicked on the 09-10 form, figuring that the amounts wouldn't be very different.

It seemed like normal Government-ese until I started skimming down the definition of "income." Check out this one:

(14) other cash income.
Other cash income would include cash
amounts received or withdrawn from
any source including savings,
investments, trust accounts and other
resources that would be available to pay
the price of a child’s meal.

Let's say I used to be employed. Let's say I put money away for a rainy day. Let's say that now I'm out of work. My good financial decision to save during the good times is being punished. My savings is considered "income" and my children are not eligible for reduced price lunches for no other reason than that I exercised wisdom and good financial sense.

If I had blown every cent when I had the chance, whether on cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, or drugs, I'd be rewarded with reduced priced lunches.

Something's rotten. I didn't cause it, and I can't cure it, but I know stink when I smell it.

What stink can you smell today?