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The Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover
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I have heard of the philosophy of not needing a credit history or credit cards, but never really believed it could work for me until I read this book. Ramsey describes many carefully planted myths about money and money management that hurt normal people and benefit companies and how our ignorance of this is killing us financially. We are trained by meticulous marketing techniques to live a lifestyle that will keep us in debt forever (a lesson I've lived personally).

Read this book to get a practical and easy-to-implement plan that will get your personal finances under control. Stop wasting money, stop worrying about the future, stop being a slave to your debts. And, yes, I'm debt free and have been for more than four years now. Never again.

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Wikileaks Prepares; Bank of America Panics

I'm fairly ambivalent about the whole Wikileaks issue. I've long been a supporter of whistleblowing in general as companies and the governement should be held accountable for abuses and wrong-doing and often it's only fully public scandals that allow that to happen (though sometimes not even then).

Anyway, as to whether Wikileaks has done anything wrong, one must first ask if there was anything posted that caused significantly more harm than good (which so far has been a "no" it seems).

But to the point, Wikileaks is expected to release a lot of data about Bank of America very soon. There's a lot of speculation, but more interestingly, there are reports that Bank of America is preparing focused teams to respond to whatever drops when it drops.

I look forward to seeing how slime covered that rock is when it's lifted.

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Mint Data Lets You See Anonymous Purchase Trends

I've never liked Mint.com. Not because they're bad at what they do (they're not), but because you have to give them too much access to take advantage of it. So you get a little money management help, so what? You have to give away your password to do it. Not only that, Mint is (surprise, surprise) using all that juicy data you provide for their own purposes.

For now, it seems that they're not actually telling you who purchased what, but there's no telling when and if they'll start selling your valuable personal data to 3rd parties. Until then, showing truly anonymous purchase information is kind of neat so long as they don't take it further than that.

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Mint Data Lets You See Anonymous Purchase Trends

I've never liked Mint.com. Not because they're bad at what they do (they're not), but because you have to drop your trousers to take advantage of it. So you get a little money management help, so what? You have to give away your password to do it. Not only that, Mint is (surprise, surprise) using all that juicy data you provide for their own purposes.

For now, it seems that they're not actually telling you who purchased what, but there's no telling when and if they'll start selling your valuable personal data to 3rd parties (maybe they are already). Until then, showing truly anonymous purchase information is kind of neat so long as they don't take it further than that.

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Smart Money Advice – How To Afford Anything

Money
(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

This is some great stuff:

If big business has its way, which it usually does since those with the gold make the rules, business will suck every penny you have out of you until you can't earn any more and are left dead or dying. This is the way a competitive economy works: there are winners and there are losers.

The great thing about America is that anyone who wants to can achieve anything, limited only by their imaginations, but the bad thing is that those who just want to slide along in life usually slide off a cliff to the benefit of those who are paying attention.

Here he explains how to buy whatever you want, but to do it intelligently and cheaply. He drives better cars than his friends, but paid far less. He saves tons of money so he can afford to buy the toys he wants. He avoids credit and worthless expenditures.

Sounds good to me 🙂

About the only thing I disagree with is his stance on TV and video games. I happen to learn quite a lot from those. A whole lot. Really! It's totally not a waste of my time…

Ok, maybe it is, but he spends all his time working on cars. Everyone has to have their hobbies.

Anyway, read it. It's fun and interesting like this section here:

I got lucky with my wife. She's even cheaper than I am, but she's rare. Want to know how cheap she is? She hates flowers because she can't bear knowing that they die in a week and then the money is gone. She'd rather just have the money. I sometimes leave a $20 on the counter. When she asks "what's this?" I respond "flowers." She then gets all smiley. Marriage is weird.

Oh, and extra points to the author for doing advertising right! Way to go!

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Out and About Defense

The best defense against non-credit ID Theft and a variety of other risks is to adopt a mindset of protection: Data Defense. Learn how to protect your information with simple and sometimes free countermeasures all based on a simple philosophy that the less people who have your information, the safer you are.

This page is part of my Goodbye Identity Theft course and is restricted to members.
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