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Musings

Living Beneath Your Means

Years ago, I and my bride were talking with a young engaged couple and the subject of finances came up. I shared my thoughts and seemingly gave them something to ponder. I said that most people in the US live beyond their means. They live paycheck to paycheck, are overextended, and one little glitch sends […]

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Musings

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

I remember when my wife and I were building a house. Actually, we watched someone else build a house for us. Though there were times I wanted to help, I suspect they would have charged more if I tried. The early stages clipped by quickly: digging the basement, pouring footings and basement walls, framing the […]

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Musings

How Much Does it Cost?

I’m not one who spends money easily or frivolously. It should surprise no one that at some point in a purchase decision I will deliberate on the cost of the item in question. Can I afford it? Is it within my budget? Is this a wise use of my money? Will I derive sufficient value? […]

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Musings

Three Kinds of Capitalism

Capitalism is under fire. Pundits take potshots at capitalism. They decry its evil nature and harmful outcomes. Indeed much of this criticism is warranted. Just look at the many people who practice it wrong. I call this, greedy capitalism. Greedy Capitalism Greedy capitalism is the insatiable lust for more. Profits, not for any real purpose […]

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Musings

How Much is Enough?

When asked “How much would be enough?”, John D. Rockefeller reportedly answered, “just a little bit more.” That push for more has propelled people to accomplish some amazing things, but left unchecked and unexamined it can leave a wake of devastation—destroying lives, organizations, and resources. When the push for more focuses on wealth, it is […]

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Musings

It’s That Time of Year…to Make Your Annual Budget

With Thanksgiving behind me and Christmas cheer beckoning me forward, it’s hard to think about the new year and the task of making an annual budget. You do have an annual budget, don’t you? I do—and I encourage you to use one, too. Although I’m an organized person with a penchant for planning, I don’t […]

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Musings

The Cost of Daylight Saving Time

Did you change your clocks over the weekend? (About 70 countries currently observe Daylight Saving Time, though they may follow a different schedule than in the US.) As I was adjusting clocks over the weekend, I contemplated the cost of switching to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST)—and the amount of time it takes, not […]

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Musings

Is it Time For a Checkup?

In my newsletter a four years ago, I recommended we periodically check our credit reports. This is a wise move in order to correct reporting errors and catch possible identity theft. Other finance related initiatives include making an annual budget, having life insurance, establishing an emergency fund, and planning for the future. On the health […]

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Musings

End Poverty Now: Reasonable Goal or Impossible?

From time to time, I read about some group that wants to “end poverty” or “stamp out poverty.” I don’t give much thought to such pronouncements—because they will never happen; they can’t. But before I explain why, let me share two similar sounding initiatives that are more important and can happen: Clean Drinking Water: It […]

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Musings

Homeless: A Statistical Profile

When you consider the homeless, what do you think they are like? (You do think of people who have no homes, right?) Here is a statistical profile of the homeless in my local area: 32% of the adults are employed 37% are children 27% of the households are headed by single parents (implying that 63% […]