Act 89

Try a new recipe

I often think that food is a good metaphor for money. We all have the same ingredients, it’s just that some of us have a better recipe.

I tried a few new and adjusted recipes today. Same ingredients, better meal. Food for thought.

Act 88

Be positive about earnings.

I spent some time watching the Business News Network today. Fascinating stuff. I happened to be watching with someone for whom I have great respect. And rather than marvel at the conversations I didn’t understand, I started asking questions.

We would all do well to better understand how the stock market works. I learned about ETFs (exchange traded funds) and indexes and the total number of shares and and the share price and the market cap. I also learned about how to get into the market through an online discount brokerage or a broker. Seems it’s not as open a market as I might have thought. I’d like to consider buying some ETFs on I-Share but I have some research to do. And the more I understand about the greater financial world, the better. Be curious, ask questions. It’s worth it.

Act 87

Three easy payments

Part of debt defying is managing cash flow. Feelings and pride aside, sometimes you have to ask for options.

I did this today to take care of a business expense. My clients always pay a deposit with the balance once the job is done. But I have to pay for expenses up front. Sometimes the math doesn’t work. So I asked if I had to pay upfront or were there any other options. And there was another option.

I’m grateful. It tells me my business matters to them, there’s enough money on the table for everyone to be compensated and the deal allows for some flexibility.

And I’m glad I asked. That’s a switch for me. I’m learning. All part of the fun.

Act 86

Think about what you haven’t paid for yet before you buy something new

Spring is in the air. I know it’s tempting. A new something. A pair of shoes perhaps. Something fun and sporty. Try and resist. It’ll pass.

If you’re in debt, you have things to pay for before you buy new things.

And that’s okay. Dig out the stuff you bought last year. It’ll feel brand new. And I promise, no one will know the difference.

Act 85

Give the gift of a goal

It’s birthday season around these parts and rather than just go out and buy the thing du jour, I had to rethink my plan this time around. And I’m pleased with the outcome.

The goal is to save enough money to buy the thing. The plan is to make it a project. To save birthday money, allowance – come up with a budget and a time line – and price it out. He’s already been on several sites to price compare and is taking seriously about an e-bay account to sell the stuff he no longer wants. Not bad for my little budding entrepreneur.

So for his birthday, he got a project and a goal. And of course, the requisite silly present – a joke box full of old school pranks – the floaty eyeball, the squirt ring, the fake you know what. Cause every body deserves a good giggle on their birthday, no matter how old they are or how big their goal is.

Photo 217

Act 84

What would the rich you do?

I like to think there’s a rich person hiding in all of us. It would certainly go a long way in explaining my love of leather shoes and aged cheese.

But footwear and dairy aside, I think part of getting out of debt is thinking like a person who hasn’t any of it. Rather than spending money they don’t have, they don’t spend money they do have or they spend less than they could. So I try to do that too.

But I do often wonder what I would do if I had more money that I needed. I can think of a few things. I do think that money has become an object of accumulation rather than an instrument of exchange. If it’s not used as a means of exchange, is there not a huge opportunity cost attached?

There’s plenty of dead money sitting in corporate bank accounts. And even some sitting in personal bank accounts. I’m not suggesting it be given away or taken away, I’m merely suggesting it could be put to better use.

And plenty of us would pay to use it. Trouble is, big finance isn’t interested in little people or small business and ironically sometimes act as a barrier instead of a gateway.

So I’ll keep thinking about what I would do if I had more money than I needed and I can guarantee, the lessons of not having any won’t be lost on me.

Act 83

“Let Urgency Conquer Fear”

Some pretty wise words from the Case Foundation in the US. The Case Foundation was established by Steve and Jean Case. Steve Case is the  co-founder and former CEO  of AOL.

His work was featured on today’s Money episode of Sunday Morning on CBS where, on the world’s biggest corporate merger (AOL/Time Warner) he quoted Edison “Vision without execution is hallucination”.

His foundation recently launched a Be Fearless project to help organizations breakthrough with innovation and big change.

History suggests that the most significant cultural transformations occur when one or more people simply decide to try and make big change, rather than move incrementally.

So I’ll keep trying to think big. Really big. To eliminate my debt and help others do the same.

I’d like to start with inviting others in my situation to take a pledge. A simple act of commitment to defy debt and take back control of our own personal economies.

Act 82

Keep some perspective.

That was today’s lesson. It’s easy for me to get carried away and lose perspective. That’s just the way I am.

Then today, my son was hurt skiing. He’s okay. But suddenly, it struck me. How could I lose my perspective on what really matters. It’s not a scare I needed. But it’s a scare I got.

I’m grateful for the perspective and the lesson learned.

Act 81

The worst mistakes are the ones you don’t know about yet.

Once you know about the mistake, you can fix it, mitigate it, accommodate for it and maybe even overcome it.

Turns out, my worst mistake started over a decade over. Today, I figured out what it was. So I’m better off today than I was yesterday. Even if the realization came with quite a slap to the face.

And I’ll blog more about the mistake soon. Despite not having any real money to speak off, I suddenly understand the need to share more than ever.

I’m not the only one this has happened to. And I won’t be the last one this has happened to. And if you’ve had or made mistakes neither are you. So I’ll use what I have and share what I know and maybe, together, we can help someone else from making the same mistakes.

Act 80

Online banking is a powerful analytical tool.

Wanna know how you’re doing year to year combatting your debt? Use the tools that are built into most online banking options. Download year to year expenses in CSV values and open in Excel. Contrast and compare one year over the other or one month over the other. What’s now a 5 minutes exercise used to be a 5 hour exercise. Copy, paste, calculate and analyse. Time well spent.