June 2007 Monthly Archive
Posted by Cap in Woops, Bought Crap
on June 24, 2007 | 13 Comments
There is a very, very good reason why this post is showing up in the middle of the night.
- Maybe I’ll get less heat for buying this.
- Maybe I can delete this post before anyone reads it.
- The picture from the previous post is creeping me out.
Last year, I tried to buy some new rims for the car. The deal didn’t pan out, so I just sort of pretend I never wanted the wheels in the first place. All was well until the tire tread on my Bridgestone Potenza RE950 started wearing out.
And so, after some tough decision making while in the bathroom, I decided to buy some new wheels along with the new tires. My justification? Uh… I can save some money by putting them both on the car at the same time? Hah.
Of course, the wheels were delivered to my house after I left Southern California for Northern California. I never got to put them on at the same time.
Here are some reasons why this purchase was stupid:
- The wheels are still NOT on my car. They’re 400 miles away, sitting at home.
- There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original wheels on my car, other than them being “ugly” steel wheels with hubcaps.
- Car accessories tend to depreciate in value, along with the already depreciating car (kindly noted by dforester in the previous post).
- Did I mention I bought something that I’m not even using?
Other than those reasons above, they’re pretty cool. Cost a little bit under $400 for all four. About 12 pounds each at 15 x 6.5, 4 x 100, and +38 offset.
Can’t wait to put them on the car one day… heh.
Posted by Cap in Totally Crap
on June 23, 2007 | 47 Comments
- The very first So Truly Real collectible vinyl doll that “breathes.”
- With RealTouch™ vinyl skin, hand-applied hair, hand-painted fingernails and toenails.
- Special new ways to creep out your future partner.
- “Ashely” is dressed in a newborn’s hospital tee-shirt, warm cap and a tiny diaper.
- Spice up your Friday night by running through local hospital’s maternity ward, carrying “Ashely” and screaming: “I got the baby, I got the baby!”
- Certificate of Authenticity (aka Certificate of Insanity).
- Only $129.99 (S&H of $13.99) or 5 installments of $26.00.
From [The Digerati Life].
Posted by Cap in Even More Ramblings
on June 21, 2007 | 7 Comments
The original title for the post was “Meeting a Personal Finance Blogger is Fun.”
So just a few days ago at around 10 PM, I said good bye to fellow PF Blogger, Jonathan of MyMoneyBlog.com (as it was getting too late for us old farts).
Jonathan was in the Bay Area and he decided to contact me and Noah for some three-way male bonding. We chatted, had sandwiches, played ping pong, and gave Jonathan a quick demo of Mint.
As Jonathan and Noah got heated up in a ping pong match, I suddenly had one of those “life is weird” moment. I realized that, indirectly, I was here, interning in Mountain View because of the two guys in front of me.
You see, I started Stop Buying Crap back in April of 2005 due to a Google search result that landed me at My Money Blog, and in turn, I met Noah through my blog. It really is a new world, when strangers from the internet can somehow influence your life, whether directly or indirectly.
One thing I noticed right away when talking to Jonathan is how much similar some of our values in personal finance was. Although I was never too involve with the entire personal finance blogging community (too large to keep up), I always have an impression that the community contained a group of super-nice people (some of us in the east coast are even throwing a happy hour get together). Meeting Jonathan reaffirmed that belief, and made me realized that I certainly wouldn’t mind labeling myself as a personal finance blogger.
It’s a big change in my mind, I think. Back in the days, I would never label myself as a blogger , even though I post more frequently than I do today.
I was always imaging the potential response. “You’re a blogger? WTF is that?”
But today, it’s a part of something I do. It certainly isn’t my only label, but for now, I am definitely a personal finance blogger (even if I’m crappy, sporadic one).
And so, although I don’t post as regularly as before (for a long time now), and I’m hardly a regular contributor in community discussions, I still consider myself a part of the community (and the community includes the readers too). And why not? It’s a great community.
It’s a community of people with different ages, different locations, different ethnic backgrounds, different net worth; but we all share the same common goal, to reach financial independence so that we can take care of our loved ones.
Pretty damn cool, I think.
Posted by Cap in Updates
on June 20, 2007 | 2 Comments
Can’t believe I forgot to mention it on this blog, but the second anniversary (aww… it’s already been two years) of the Carnival of Personal Finance can be found at Get Rich Slowly.
J.D. did an excellent job with this edition, highlighting some of the recent best in the personal finance blogsphere. There were lots of great post, but I’ll just reiterate the picks that I mentioned on Mint’s blog (since they’re so awesome):
Check out the above post, or I’ll make you eat cat doo-doo.
Posted by Cap in Even More Ramblings
on June 18, 2007 | 19 Comments
I believe I’m fairly fortunate in that I’ve only been depressed a few times — maybe once or twice in my life. (And by depress, I mean seriously depressed that it affected my daily life.) So perhaps I’m not exactly a good example, but my point is that I have never been depressed about my personal finance before.
For my regular five readers, you would remember that I was in debt (only about 10k). The debt certainly gave me stress and anxiety, but it never bother me enough to cause depression.
I was talking to a friend over the weekend and long story short, he was seriously depressed about his finances. His debt is getting out of control, he worries about making ends meet, and he feels entirely overwhelmed and powerless.
Things brighten up a little bit after we talked for a bit and I shared my experiences and he shared his… but of course as anyone with debt knows, the concepts in reducing the debt is simple enough, while accomplishing it is another story.
Have you ever been depressed due to your finances? What did you do about it? How did you get out of it, or are you still in it?
Although I was depressed due to a completely different matter, I’m fairly certain depression can be alleviate (if somewhat) by opening up to people that care about you. Certainly, bottling it up all inside and dealing with it alone is not a solution in getting out of a depression.
Depression from finances does have a sore point — no matter how much you talk to someone about it, it probably won’t fix the underlying problems until you start taking action to repair or amend the financial problems.
Tough situation, I’d say.
Posted by Cap in Updates
on June 18, 2007 | No Comments
Gotta point to my own goods:
Posted by Cap in Credit Related
on June 11, 2007 | 26 Comments
A few days ago, I was in San Fransisco with a friend, eating burgers at a Korean/Japaneses/Asian fusion (whatever that is) restaurant called Namu (Nothing beats burgers at an asian restaurant. heh. Yelp reviews can be found here).
Being the awesome friend that he is, my friend paid for the lunch with his semi-recently acquired Citi mTVU student credit card. This credit card was his first credit card and it was none other than yours truly that recommended the card to him.
“Ah, so you’re using the card now eh?” I said to the friend calculating the tip amount. “Do you like the card?”
“It’s great! I’ve racked up quite a bit of points already.” my friend told me as he writes down a 15% tip.
The funny thing about all of this, is that my friend is at least a year or so older than me. He is almost out of graduate school, and will soon be making a nice six figure salary. Besides his student loan, which is also of a sickening six figure amount, my friend has never been in debt.
It was only about a half a year ago, when I had lunch with him that he pulled out his debit card to pay for his lunch.
“Why don’t you use your credit card?” I asked him.
“Oh. Um, I don’t have one.” he told me nonchalantly.
My jaw would have dropped, but this was not the first time I came across a situation like this. Despite the media report, there is still quite a good amount of college/graduate students without a credit card — and from my experiences, that’s probably a good thing.
I have already mentioned that I love credit cards (even though it is the very thing that got me into the debt mess), but that doesn’t mean I despise people that use debit cards. Like my friend here, I have many other friends that didn’t get a credit card until a certain annoying friend told them to. All of these friends that don’t have a credit card have an interesting difference to my other friends with credit cards.
What’s this difference?
You’ve probably already guessed it: None of them have high-interest consumer debt.
And so, I went ahead and recommended to these friends that don’t have a credit card to get a credit card. heh.
No no, not because I want them to get into debt — I’m not that petty, dammit. I recommended a credit card to them because I know fully well that they already have the capability to manage their cash wisely, and so I trust that they will also manage their credit wisely.
They have already been paying their purchases in full for years, so switching to a different paying method should not affect their spending habits.
Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.
As we walked out of the Asian fusion restaurant (heh) and continue to chat about the benefits of using a credit card wisely, my friend asked me this question:
Why do people need more than one credit card?
This was a really refreshing question. I was stumped a bit on the question, not because I couldn’t immediately think of a reason on why people use different cards (mileage, gas, rebates, cash back, etc.), but more so because of whom the question is from.
Here was a guy who has never had a credit card until recently. He’s enjoying the free rewards from the purchases as he diligently pays off his bill every month. He is content with the credit card that he has, and to him, having one credit card is more than plenty. He does not look forward to dealing with more than one bill, nor does he care to juggle various reward cards to get the maximum reward/cash-back.
It is interesting that for awhile, I thought it was normal and perfectly acceptable for people to have many different types of credit cards — all the while, my friend can’t even fathom the reason why people need more than one card.
“Hmm. To be honest, most people probably don’t need more than one credit card.” I finally answered my friend. “There’s plenty of good reasons to have more than one credit card, since you can utilize different card for different transactions. But yeah… at the end, having more than one credit card, or even more than a few, is probably unnecessary.”
I proceeded to tell him the usual story about the average household credit card debt, and how people get one card to transfer the debt from one to another. And then I told him about how people unknowingly get high interest card, neglect to pay in full and became undisciplined in their spending with credit cards.
“So as you can see, credit card can really be a world of trouble for many people.” I told my friend. “The only reason why I recommended them to you is because I know you won’t abuse them.”
And I’ll continue to stick with these guidelines when I recommend credit cards.
If you already have more than one credit card, ask yourself this question:
- Why do I need more than one credit card?
Depending on your answer, you may be able to see where you stand financially.
If you are considering getting a credit card, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I need a credit card?
- What would I use for it for?
- Will I pay my balances in full?
Educate yourself with the resources available. Learn to utilize cash wisely before you try credit. If you have trouble managing your cash flow, you will most likely have trouble with a credit card. Don’t know which card to choose? Ask around!
Although I love credit cards, you can probably get by these days without ever touching one. Don’t get suck into the idea that you need a credit card. Don’t get more than one credit card because you think you should. Lastly, whatever you do, don’t get a credit card just because the cashier asked you if you wanted one.
Posted by Cap in Sunday Rant
on June 3, 2007 | 14 Comments
Quick Sunday Rant.
Anyone else hate it when you get hungry immediately after you finish flossing and brushing your teeth?
Last night at around ten in the evening, I spent a good fifteen or so minutes brushing and flossing my teeth (I’m slow with my hands, leave me alone). Immediately after I toss the floss and rinse my mouth, my stomach started to growl.
And get this — for whatever reason, I really wanted some popcorn.
And nachos. And some hot dogs. Oh , and maybe a big jug of sugar-filled pop (that’s carbonated soft drinks for you young’un).
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