Are you above the golden arches?

I was browsing the internet today when I came across a rather interesting article. You can find the full article here, but this is the gist of it…

McDonald’s creates jobs for long-term unemployed.
Fast food giant McDonald’s is offering 85 jobs to the long-term unemployed across Kent. It is part of a nationwide programme that could see up to 6,000 vacancies at McDonald’s filled by people who have been out of work for at least six months.Job Centre staff will explain the scheme to candidates and those who are interested may be offered a trial in a McDonald’s restaurant…

This article got me thinking two things.

1) Heck Yeah McDeezy! That is super cool to open so many positions in a depressed economy. Although I’m not the biggest fan of your food (your ice cream is amazing though) it definitely makes me respect you more.

2) More importantly, it made me think… If I was “long-term” unemployed would I cruise down to the local McDonalds and turn in my resume? Am I above working for The Man…aka Ronald McDonald? How long would I have to be unemployed before I considered the fast food industry as a temporary employment option? I know one thing for sure, I would work for McDonalds before I would use my credit card to subsidize my bills.

I often listen to the Dave Ramsey Show and listen to people call in complaining that the job market is terrible where they live and they haven’t been able to find a job in 3, 6, or even 12 months. Every time I listen to one of those calls, I think “What kind of jobs are you looking for!?” If you’re unemployed and have bills to pay or mouths to feed you don’t have the luxury of casually browsing the job market. Don’t complain that you can’t get a job when you haven’t walked down to the local 7-11 to apply for one. At some point we need to realize that not one of us is above the blue collared industry and if necessary, I would hope everyone would be willing to say, “Would you like fries with that?”

How do you help the helpless?

“I’ve always been lazy, I can’t change. This was a quote from one of the kids that I tutor, oh wait, tutored. That’s right I was forced to resign on Monday by the young chaps’ parents…and honestly I can’t blame them. I’ll give ya a little background on this kid.

His parents are ridonkulously wealthy and are very good people. They got my information from one of their family friends (whose kid I also tutor) to try and help their son apply himself in his math class more. He’s in 10th grade and in Algebra Two. After tutoring him for my first time, six months ago, it was obvious this kid did NOT need a math tutor. In all honesty he was probably smarter than I am (shhh…don’t tell him that though). His problem wasn’t with comprehending the material he was presented, it was that he was freakin’ lazy! I’m talking like goes-out-of-his-way-to-avoid-homework-at-all-costs lazy. Within our first few tutoring sessions we set up a game plan and made a calendar of all of his upcoming projects/tests/quizzes/etc and a timetable of when he needed to start studying and preparing.

I thought for sure with a little motivation from yours truly, I could get him to bring his math grade up to where it should be. Fast forward six months...Mission Accomplished! His math grade is faaaaar better than it was when I first started tutoring, but….(can you guess where this story is going)… he essentially stopped doing all of his other homework. Literally, he didn’t turn in one history assignment this semester and has only completed about half of his chemistry assignments. So this last Monday night I sat down with him and his parents and we had a little conference. We discussed why we think he is lazy only to have him interrupt with “I’ve always been, I can’t change.” So I responded “That’s a bunch of bullpoo, you don’t want to change!” We talked for a little longer and after an hour or so of conversation I left.

I will no longer be tutoring him and I’m pissed off. Even with my best efforts he remained unchanged. I’m not mad because I’m out $40 a week, I’m frustrated because I couldn’t motivate this kid to apply himself academically. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Ever tried convincing someone that has no problem being in debt to avoid using their credit card? It’s super difficult, if not impossible.

I guess at the end of the day lazy people are too dang lazy to change.


Festival of Frugality = New Best Friend

Holy Guacamole! I just made a new best friend yesterday. I recently wrote about my 9 month blogging hiatus . In my short lived blogging stint last year. I was averaging about 5 to 15 viewers each week. During the 9 months I fell off the face of “bloggers earth”, I was averaging a solid two visitors per day. Fast forward five months and it has been a little over a week since I got back in to it, and with the help from J. Money  at Budgets are $exy, and a finance rap, my veiwership skyrocketed from 2 visitors to about 10 visitors a day. After, submitting my article “a dilemma ” to the Festival of Frugality for this weeks carnival. I hit my record for unique visitors in a single day 97!!! That is like an 11,000% increase. That makes me very happy. So I just wanted to take time to say thank you to the Festival of Frugality and all who stopped by to read the article. I’m totally motivated to keep on truckin’

P.S. Im a huge dork cause when I saw the statistics I called my girlfriend to tell her that I almost had 100 visitors to my site…she pretended to care (isn’t she sweet).


I LOVE having a net worth of Negative $2,000!!!!!!!

No Im not crazy! I’m super excited to have a net worth of -$2,000 because on 01/08 my net worth was -$28,000. Never would I thought owing money would feel so good! Essentially my net worth is pretty easy to calculate because I don’t own very many things. I have a savings/checking account and a couple retirement accounts . I chose not to include things like personal belongings (laptop, camera, etc) or my car (which would add probably $5K to my worth) because I figure those are things I will always need and wouldn’t really want to go with out. My negative net worth comes from my evil Aunt Sallie Mae  and her 25,000 friends (It used to be 28K). I have been making double payments on my student loans every month (minumum payment $178) and trimmed $3k worth of fat off her last year.

So read it and weep fellow bloggers. Below is my net worth graph. The green bar is the cash I have in savings, checking, and my two retirement accounts. The blue bar is the amount of debt I owe (again all school loans). The red dot is the tracking of my overall net worth (you can see on this graph I was worth negative $22K this time last year). The goal is to have that red dot cross the threshold and enter into the green zone in ONE MONTH baby! Can’t wait to actually have a POSITIVE networth!!!!!

It feels good to be broke,

This is the way I live…

So if you are poking around this page that means you’re like me and you like knowing other people’s financial situations. I guess I really have no problem letting people ask questions about my money. Call me crazy, but if you are looking at this article than you have at least SOME interest also.

So here is how this little gem work…

  • INCOME pretty self explanatory. This is my monthly pay from my current job. If you have read my other posts, than you know I also tutor to make some spare change. I decided I didn’t want to include this in the income section of my budget as that income fluctuates each month and I did not want to build my spending habits around inconsistent income. I include the tutoring income at the bottom of the spreadsheet and I underestimate it for each month. I’ve been averaging $1,000 a month, but I still don’t want to change it’s current $500 value…I know that makes my budget less accurate, but less accurate in a good way right 🙂

  • INVESTMENTS, TAXES, and EXPENSES. Again, pretty straightforward so no real need to elaborate. I will mention, however, that I DO have health insurance, but since I am 23 I was able to stay on my parents plan (you know I’m gonna ride that out till I’m 25 and get kicked off their policy). I included a 5% increase section on my expenses because sometimes ‘ish happens (consider it like a mini-monthly emergency fund).

  • GOALS, BILLS, and PRIORITIES. The top right section is where I set out my financial goals on January 1 of each year. It starts with what I had in my accounts on 12/31/08 and I make assumptions as to what my accounts will look like come 12/31/09. The section below this is where I keep a list of my fixed monthly expenses…otherwise I’d be forgetting to pay that darn cable bill. And lastly, below that is where I list of the priority of all of my expenses. I did this so if I’m ever in a situation where a ninja stole all my money and I was fired from my job, I would know exactly how to spend each precious dollar that I had. Basically I put the most important bills at the top.

So that’s my life in a spreadsheet form. Hopefully it makes sense to you all, but if it doesn’t feel free to shoot an email or comment and I’ll let you know how it works.


California is expensive

How much would you pay for the sunshine? Is it worth a 10% income tax? How ’bout a housing market few can afford? I personally think California is overrated. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and after living in California for 6 years I have realized it’s just not worth the cost. Not only is California overpriced, but I’m not a big fan of the lifestyle. It’s too fast paced for this small town kid. I’m getting itchy to make the move back to the PNW so I can establish myself there and settle down.
Kinda weird, I’m 23, but ready for the life of a 70 year old.

P.S. California I’m pissed at you cause I pay a lot of money for that sunshine and the forecast shows a chance of rain tomorrow!