“Where are my suitcases of cash?” – my wife on graduation day
What up, y’all! I’m back! A day in Suckville, well, sucked, but fortunately a dose of fresh air and wondering the real world helped shake me out of it. Did you know there are places called “libraries” where you can get these “printed books” to read? For FREE?? Amazing! ;)
Here are some other thoughts that bubbled up while I was away too… even about money, *gasp*.
I wanna jump back into philanthropy again. I miss all the good we did with Love Drop back in the day (only minus all the hullabaloo), and if I make it another project of sorts I know I’ll actually hold myself accountable to it :) I’ve already got a half-baked idea brewing, but I’ll need y’alls input before hitting “go.” So if you’re into this sorta thing, drop me a line or wait for the post on it!
Getting a degree doesn’t = $$$ right away. My wife jokingly spouted that quote up top after receiving her PHD in May, and we’re still waiting for the cash to arrive ;) Turns out getting a job straight out of school is still pretty tough, and we move into month #3 of job searching. Please send over some positive vibes! Though don’t tell any of my kids – they’re loving mom at home and spending quality time together. And my wallet’s not missing those $2,000/mo daycare bills either – hah.
Cutting your monthly expenses DOES = $$$ right away. I just got an email from Republic Wireless saying I’ve now been with them for exactly 12 months – wow. I didn’t switch everything over until once I knew that I liked them enough, but making that one move has literally saved us over $1,000 so far. Pretty incredible for a one-time change.
Complaining on the internet gets companies to listen to you. I don’t like bitching just for the sake of bitching, but if you’re ever having trouble with an organization, I can tell you they tend to listen a lot quicker when it’s shared online. Even just Twitter or Facebook (just make sure to tag ’em on it ;)). This worked when I couldn’t get my wedding photos delivered to me that we fully paid for in ’08, it worked when my wedding band was falling apart and the company wouldn’t help me, and it may or may not have worked with my Capital One nuisance the other week. No one reached out to me, but my $5,000 deposit-by-phone limit magically went up to $25,000 making me one happy man. Now to find out how to earn $25,000 this month!
Doodling on art can help you nix your debt. Cait came across this for Rockstar Finance and became one of my favorite reads of the week: Coloring in this picture helped me erase $26,000 in debt
I committed to coloring in a swirl each $100 increment I paid toward my credit cards.
Other good reads I came across mostly shared on Rockstar Finance – a place you should be signed up to if you’re a true lover of finance ;)
- Stop Wasting Time on Minor Life Decisions by I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- Money in Your 20s vs. Your 30s @ The Cooper Review
- The Early Retiree’s Weekly Schedule @ Root of Good
- The Beginner’s Guide to Swagbucks @ The Penny Hoarder
In other news…
Personal Capital came out with a new retirement calculator. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like, though I can’t say we’d all have some of those examples in there, haha… ($400k inheritance? $40,000 wedding??)
Forbes had a good write up on it and summed up the tool like this:
With the tool, the client can run through as many scenarios as she likes, without having to ask the planner to run them for her. The simulations allow her to see, as Del Favero put it, “What are the long-term implications of short-term decisions?” He called it the financial equivalent of asking “What would I look like if I didn’t have fries or a burger every day for a year?” And since the software is pulling the user’s latest financial data, it can make answering some traditionally difficult questions, such as how much one expects to spend annually in retirement, easy to answer… After taking into account her saving and spending patterns, asset allocation, costly life events, expected Social Security benefits, plus life expectancy, inflation, tax bracket in retirement, and other important factors, the tool will show the median and 10% worst-case scenarios to the user, letting her know what percent chance she has of reaching her goals.”
If you’re already a user, you should easily be able to find it when you log in. If you want to learn more about PC, here’s the review we did on them here – they’re pretty cool, calculator or not.
Need to liquidate your entire house? There’s a site for that! EBTH.com (“Everything But The House”). An old PR friend turned me onto it and seems like a cool alternative to other, more old-school, ways to sell an estate. They come in and take inventory, then snap pics of everything for an online auction. Which apparently bring estates almost $20,000 more than the national average ($27,000 vs $7,000). So if you or anyone you know needs to cash out their lives, you now have a good place to start! haha…
There’s an interesting new reality show out: “The Briefcase” I haven’t seen it yet, but fellow reader Veronica makes me want to:
Have you watched “The Briefcase” on CBS? We’ve watched the first 2 episodes and it’s very interesting. If you haven’t seen it, the idea is that two families are each presented with a briefcase of $100,000 and they can choose to keep all, none, or some and whatever they don’t keep goes to the other family. Both families have kids/debt/etc. The trick is, neither family knows the other family has been presented with a briefcase, so they think there’s only $100K in play and they’re in total control. There are other things that happen that make it even more interesting. I thought it was a fascinating human experiment. I think you’ll be surprised what some families choose… It’s not on Hulu. It airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET on CBS.”
It turns out not everyone approves of the show, but I’ll admit it’s intriguing. And also very, very, stressful, haha… I’d like to think I’d give the other family all of it, but something tells me the producers don’t make it so easy to decide ;)
Lastly, I came across this on Twitter the other day and I think it’s pretty timely. I can’t remember who shared it (sorry!), but I wanted to hug the person as these tips are great:
Anything that keeps us more conscious of our lives I’m liking by the day. I’ve actually started a similar habit myself over the months which has helped immensely: No picking up my phone when other humans around. I’ve been doing it for a while when eating meals with people or just hanging out with them one-on-one, but making it a rule when *anyone* is around *at all* is a whole other story. You don’t realize how much you actually look at your phone until you start paying attention! And now, unfortunately, I realize just how many other people are doing it around me too, it’s not fun ;)
Anyways, here’s to a great weekend! Thank you all so very much for your kind words and encouragement this week – especially Tonya, Romey Rome, Jessie, Dorsey, Khunara, Takiia and Tosh. I’ve said it before, but I really feel like we have one of the best communities online as I’ve never seen such a supportive and genuinely caring group like y’all. So thank you for being here!
[Cool suitcase/video camera pic up top by laverrue]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!