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Archive for August, 2009

What's your biggest financial lesson? Mine is today is tomorrow.

August 22nd, 2009 at 05:11 pm

I am a born procrastinator, and it has and is costing me dearly. The bad part is it is a progressive disease. Fall a little behind, no big deal, you can set aside some time and work extra hard to catch up. The all nighter syndrome a few of us may remember from our school daze. And it actually feels good to work hard and complete something. But fall behind big time, and you start to lose hope. THEN it starts to get REAL bad. Little things turn big and snowball, another term and concept that we debt-troubled people are all too familiar with.

In contrast, I know a guy, a former Boy Scout, who always does things as soon as he can. And he is a financial rock of Gibralter, I'm sure largely due to that and other good habits. He says he grew up poor, but I think it is also due to the Boy Scout experience, probably along with genes. My nature, in contrast, is a laid back "thinker", an absent minded professor who is interested in concepts rather than details. Needless to say, that ain't good in the anal world of finance. I try to concentrate and focus and I succeed for a while, but it's always a struggle and I then backslide big time.

It is an interesting paradox. The payoff for procrastination is obvious and I am hooked on it. But the payoff for hard work is also obvious, and I also love that. But it takes hard work! And actually, I'm more a fan of easy but satisfying work - you know - doing the laundry, etc. So a lot of financial chores actually do fall in that category - paying the bills, keeping track of a budget, etc. But I tend to put it off too long even though it is relatively easy. After thinking about it a while it is the feeling of being overwhelmed that snowballs on me. So now, since I have LOTS of saved up "staycation" (a vacation that isn't dirt cheap is, in my current financial situation, absolutely unthinkable). So cheer for me as I try to work hard to bail out the sinking financial ship.

By the way, what is your biggest financial lesson?

So is the credit crunch a good thing?

August 3rd, 2009 at 09:47 pm

Is the way CC companies are closing down lines of credit just a return to fiscal sanity? Will it force people with debt problems to bite the bullet and get 'em paid off?

I have mixed feelings, but in the long run it's probably a good thing. They got some of us hooked on crack and now they have withdrawn it suddenly.

So my big question is will colleges respond to supply and demand, and lower their prices as people who used to depend on student loans are denied en masse? My feeling is no, they will behave more like government, where the only way to cover their uncontrolled expenses is to keep jacking up the price. At least until people figure out alternatives to college.