Archive for the ‘Finances 201’ Category

Tax Time

Monday, January 11th, 2010

It’s that time of year again…

“What?!?” you say. “It’s not April 15!!”

No, it is time to feed Pookah!

Wrong, dear reader. Now, when your tax documents are filling your mailbox, is the BEST time to start doing your taxes.

Numbers Afterword

Monday, December 14th, 2009

These numbers are one set of steps to reaching a Goal: Living life like Pookah. This is not the only process. It also may not be the best process for YOU. Your mind works different from mine. Your life is different from mine. Feel free to modify these steps as you need, and as you learn. Your numbers may end up being higher or lower than what I’ve written about here. That’s OK, so long as you understand WHY they are higher or lower.

Goal: Numbers – Q&A

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I hope you have already read all the posts about the Five Numbers. Here are some questions and answers:



Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

As in “crockpots”, not “crackpots”.

I am once again reminded of the incredible ease, efficiency, frugality, and usefulness of a chest-type freezer + crockpot combination.

S.O. caught a nasty bug, and is down for the count. Leaving yours truly to act the part of Knuckledragger. (I.E. Take care of S.O.)

Leaving one person to take care of an entire pile of rocksĀ  + primordial scrub is a LOT of work.

Here’s how we make it easier:

Keep Your Family Close

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Your family is either your best financial ally or your worst financial enemy.

Your family can help you out when times are tough – and they are very tough right now.
Ten bucks from three different family members can feed you for a month.
A couple of hours of familial babysitting gives parents some much-needed time together, gives the relative a lot of fun with the next generation, and gives kidlet(s) a break with a loved one who can spoil them appropriately.
Your family can add stability to your life.
You can add stability to your family’s lives.
You and your family can trade advice, stories, ideas, cooking, tools, and so many other things.

Hand-me-downs work great!


Multitasking for Dummies

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I have been conducting an on-again, off-again study of my own performance with multitasking.

Bottom line: It sucks.

Credit Card Interest Rates Increasing

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Many of us have already or will soon receive notice with our monthly credit card statements that the interest rates will soon increase.

For those of us at Pookah Finances 101, this creates a problem, as we are carrying a balance from month-to-month while we work ourselves out of debt.

For those of us at Pookah Finances 201 (and 301), we don’t care. We pay off our interest-bearing credit card bills in full every month, thereby avoiding the interest fees. In addition, we have the ready cash available in a high-interest savings account to pay off the full amount of our efforts with credit card arbitrage.

Needless to say, Pookah Finances 201 (or better) is a great place to be in this economy.

But as for those of us at Pookah Finances 101 (or lower), we now have a problem.


Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Many years ago, my father gave me some of the wisest words I’ve ever heard. One of the things he said was, “People who want to succeed are more often held back by what’s behind them than what’s ahead of them.”

My human’s father is very wise in spite of being male.

Ignoring the parenting gender differences between cats and humans for a bit, let me throw out some thing’s I’ve said:


What If… The Other CC Companies Do What Chase Did?

Monday, July 27th, 2009

If you read the previous post about me firing Chase, then you probably also have read how a lot of people are getting similar notices from various financial institutions about closing accounts.

I’ve gotten a few for various reward accounts that I’ve left alone. These were accounts that I got “bonus money” for opening up. Now, the financial institutions are panicking the other way (during the boom, they gave money away; during the bust, they want it all back).

So, what will I do if more – even ALL – of my credit cards get cancelled? I mean, I did dare them to do it.

Well, for starters, I will laugh at them.

Mrrrr? Pookah is not playing for human entertainment. Why are you amused?

I Fired Chase

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I’m back from dealing with the various body blows life has thrown at us. I’ve even got a good example of how living life like Pookah allows you to deal with “problem” credit card companies.

I had two credit card accounts with Chase. So, Friday evening, I got a letter from Chase:

  • Dated 06/02/2009.
  • Closed a credit card account I hadn’t touched since 10/2007 (October last year).
  • Reasons given were items on my Experian credit report: failure to pay as agreed, and past due history on one or more accounts.
  • Listed a phone number to call if I had any questions – but with no office hours on the weekend.
  • Website still shows the account as open and usable.

Here were the red flags: