Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The one about my money

Although I've still been reading your blogs, I've been spending a lot more time reading personal finance blogs, written by non-professionals and we'll call that my excuse for not writing here more often. I've got to blame it on somebody besides myself. I also find that by telling all of my "stories" to someone over the phone (or IM or email) I don't have as much motivation to rewrite them here. As evidence, note my decline in output since June (or so) of last year. Again, blaming it on someone else (who will remain nameless because she's really cute!).

I worked on my taxes last weekend (did you know that it is tax season?) and it looks like I'm getting a big sexy refund. Obviously I'm not opposed to getting a refund, but it means that the IRS has been using my money free of charge and I don't like that. Since I already have a regular, steady savings plan (don't you?) and monies earmarked for home improvement, I'm going to treat this refund as found money. I'm going to put 1/3 away in my long-term savings (Russian mail-order bride), 1/3 in my short term savings (planning on a trip to Hawaii this fall), and I want to spend about 1/3 of it now. I'm usually very modest in my spending, so I figure I'm entitled to treat myself. Only trouble is, gee whiz, I can't decide what to buy for myself...

- I never did buy those boots that I wanted for my birthday.
- Even though winter is over, I've been told that I need a new jacket.
- I've been thinking about buying a R/C helicopter, since I haven't bought myself any toys in a long time.
- I suppose I could buy a game console, since I know at least one person hooked on this thing and, apart from it looking awesome on my 57" HDTV, it might get her to visit me more often.
- On the other hand, I could upgrade my PC so that it can play the latest games in addition to doing all the stuff that a console cannot.
- I would really like to upgrade to a dSLR camera, but unless I expand my budget I'd be looking at a lower-end body and kit lens. If I wait until closer to the Hawaii trip (since I won't really need the camera until then) I can probably do better (and spend more).
- I could buy every book and DVD on my wishlist.
- I could buy an "upgrade" for my car.
- I could buy & frame some art for my walls.
- I love a clean house, so one of these might be fun.
- And I could go on and on (but I won't).

If you had $500 (approx. ¥60,000 / R3600 / AU$635) and you had to spend it on yourself, what would you do?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The one about current events

I was thinking that as a fun activity (which you can play along at home) I would jump on the bandwagon. I call this game "jumping on the bandwagon" although you need neither a band, nor a wagon with which to cart them around. Jumping, also, is optional. Here's how you play- When two or more people do something stupid, you do it too. That's the only rule. I'll get the game started with a few:
- I will have a made-up disease I will call Restless Legs Syndrome. I will abbreviate it RLS so that people will ask me more about it when I tell them I have it and I will take a handful of pills.
- I will not be ashamed of my Syndrome.
- I will rush right out and buy whatever the latest iPod is as soon as it comes out.
- I will make fun of Microsoft products, even though they're just as good as anyone else's.
- I need more credit card debt, so I will put the iPod on my Discover card. I will not pay it off each month.
- I will drive an SUV. It's just me in the vehicle, but I need it. It should be a Hummer so that I can drive recklessly, with the knowledge that I am invincible in my Hummer.
- I will claim to have fathered Anna Nicole Smith's daughter.

My resolution to read more is going very well. I've finished 2 books so far this year, though I did start one of them before New Year's, so it's really only 1 and 1/2. I don't know what to read next though. Since February is a short month, I was thinking I'd read a short book so that I'd be roughly back on track to read one a month. But then I realized I wasn't going to stop reading if I finished one before the end of the month, so what is the point of trying to synchronize with the calendar. This is exactly the kind of internal debate and monologue with which I fill my days and you can never get back the time you spent reading it.

I had lunch with some friends at a Chinese buffet last week. I'm not a big fan of the buffet. Mediocre food is supposed to be better if you eat a lot of it? I am a big fan of the fortune cookie, however, but this one was pretty lame: Keep on keepin' on. What the hell kind of fortune is that? I think that was one of the Brady Bunch songs when they formed that groovy family band. You don't see enough 5+ member family bands these days. Three & four family members, sure, no big deal. But the Jackson 5, the Partridge Family, the Osmonds, the Bradys. These are the names everyone knows & remembers. I think that's how I want to be immortalized. I want to have 6-7 kids and usher in an era of the nostalgic family band. I'll be rich beyond my wildest dreams but I'm not in it for the money.