Starting a business

Rich, poor: Why the poor are screwed

This truth is self-evident: it sucks to be poor. I mean, it sucks so obviously that even the kids know it. I've felt poor many times in my life. When I was little and I desperately wanted a Barbie. When I was graduating high-school and didn't want to go to prom because dressing up would be too expensive. When I was in university and only came home once in 6 weeks because that's how long I needed to save for the train. When my dad died and I had all this debt to pay back. Now, many of you know the obvious reasons why being poor sucks. Being poor feels like you don't have a choice. You don't have a car so you have to take the bus. Even when it's raining. Or snowing. Or when it's raining and snowing and you are ill. You don't have a choice, you don't have other options. So you are stuck there at the buss stop coughing and wheezing and you curse the fact that you can't afford a sick day because then you won't get paid. While you think about that, you see people in shiny, warm,...
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Starting a business

How I moved on after my dad died: my success story

When you make a Big Strategic Choice, it's not about doing something big, once. It's about doing many little things, over and over. Getting fit, for example - let's say that's your Big Strategic Choice. Hitting the gym for one big workout three hours straight would be a bad decision because the next day you'll be sore all over and you will have no visible results. Instead, you have to make lots of everyday little choices in line with your Big Strategic Choice. That would mean eating an apple instead of a chocolate, and taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator. (More on that in Why the rich are rich and the fat are fat.)

How I started running

Back in 2010, when I was 24, my dad died suddenly. I was living on my own in a big city far away from home, and thanks to my recent fail at running my own business, I was having money problems as it was. Now matters only turned worse. On top of the emotional trauma, mom and I were suddenly facing funeral expenses and a huge hit in income. Mom's household income was now left without my...
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Starting a business

Are we rich or poor?

Image: MikeAndMollysHouse.com Image: MikeAndMollysHouse.comI've been thinking a lot about the ways we spend our money lately. And I came to wonder how we look to other people. If you look at me in my casual, slightly worn-out clothes on my way to the grocery, and you notice the wind playing with the cloth bag in my hand, you'd think I don't look very classy. You'd see old trainers on my feet, and maybe you'd catch a glimpse of my shopping list as I put it in my pocket - a shopping list that's written on the back of a calendar sheet reading "GUST". (When I tear off calendar sheets, I cut them into really small pieceds and then staple the little ones together to later use for notes... or shopping lists.) Judging by what you saw when I walked past you, you'd think I look like someone who counts the pennies in their hand. (Which I do.) Let's say you follow me to the store and watch me shop. You'd see me regularly check my shopping list and only take the items which go there. Those would be...
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Obsessed with saving money? Buying cheap ends up expensive

I recently wrote a post titled My husband spends too much money... or is it just me? I guess that since I confessed about how I flinch when my husband buys non-essentials like mustard and peanuts and how I obsess over how many squirts of liquid soap he uses to wash his hands, it's understandable why many readers would think I have an obsession with saving. And maybe you'd think that since I favor saving money so much, I only buy the cheapest stuff ever.

Cheap means low-quality, low-value

I think it's a safe bet to say that the cheapest stuff out there is usually the most low-quality stuff, too. See, in order to provide a really low price that's well below the market average, a producer has to cut some corners. The materials that go into the product would have to be cheap. The equipment used in production would have to be low-end. The labor would have to be cheap, too, and cheap labor means bad make. (You can't work minimum wage and tolerate your supervisor demand you give a five-star performance at the assembly line.) So you have all these factors working together to provide...
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Starting a business

Talk to Your Fiancé About Money Before You Get to the Altar

This is a guest post by Ryan Harrison. Ryan is a New York native and single dad working on his MBA.
newlyweds jar Many years ago, when a newly married Chris Rock appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she asked him: “What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your wife?” His answer: “I paid off her credit cards.” Not every guy has Rock’s generosity (or money) to pay down his girlfriend's or fiancée's’ debts, but we all know someone who’s done it. The reason we do it is simple: We don’t want to marry debt. Changes in behavior and attitude toward money must go hand in hand with paying off bills....
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My husband’s spending is NOT out of control… but my mouth is?

A female reader, Petya, left me a comment on My husband spends too much money... or is it just me? The reader comment also had a link to her blog, and I was curious to check it out. Her most recent post was titled The art of spending (in two different points of view) . Here's what jumped at me the first time I read it:
I came upon an interesting article about spending... want to share with you some of what shocked me... I realized that my spending habits are not that bad after all. Not that I was afraid they are, but it’s different when you see that you are far away from any obsessed-to-insanity money-saving addiction. I’m afraid this is not a healthy way of life... there are plenty of things that keep bugging me ever since I read those lines...
Okay, not exactly what I was hoping to see :) But that's okay, because when I wrote that piece, I did expect that most people would react like this. Here's what I have to say about the points Petya makes in The art of spending (in two...
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My husband spends too much money… or is it just me?

I’m 28 and my husband’s 35. We met a year ago. Six months later we moved in together, I got pregnant and we got married. Everything is great… except that I get angry each time my husband spends money. For example, we’re at the store and he buys potato chips. He doesn’t need them. He’s not buying them because he’s hungry. He just “wants some.” Or he takes the car to work even though he has a buss pass. He doesn’t need to take the car. He just “doesn’t feel like taking the bus today.” ...
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