Archive for the ‘Finances 301’ Category

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:


Goal: Your Fifth Number

Monday, December 7th, 2009

If you haven’t read about your first four numbers, go do it now.

Now for the Fifth Number.

This is firmly in Pookah Finances 301. It is your long-term goal. This is the amount of post-tax income you need to maintain a debt-free, comfortable, meeting the first four numbers, lifestyle that can tolerate the expense of a heart attack or two.

Fixing Your Health

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Health care is expensive. Very expensive. If you are waiting on your insurance, S.O., or the government to fix it/provide money for your care… keep on waiting. Let me know how that turns out.

By this point in your financial journey, you’ve mastered some pretty important skills. So how does your health figure into your finances beyond being a painful expense and experience?

When the Hits Keep Coming

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

It has been a rough few weeks out here in the primordial scrub.

Lawnmower broken – repaired.
Tiller broken – at shop.
Car AC/emissions system – at shop.
Death in the family.
Dying family member.
Sick Old Lady Cat.


Old Lady Cat does not feel well

That deceptively short list is just the last four weeks. It is more accurate to list it as:


Death in the Family

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Pookah is very worried about her human. Both humans have been upset and sad. But Pookah’s purring will fix it. Pookah is even willing to share human’s lap with Old Lady Cat… sometimes.

Pookah makes human feel better

Pookah makes human feel better

It happened to us recently: We lost a grandparent.

Why The Tough Apology?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Well, I’m back. Immediate family medical issues are being dealt with. And yours truly is working on a better process for this blog – so that there are fewer critical points of interruption.

So, to get back on track – especially now that my legs have healed up:

It happens every so often. Pookah climbs up into my lap, making sure she doesn’t impale me too much on her built-in scythes, and asks a question:

Why do you take such a hard line with apologies? Cats are MUCH more forgiving and reasonable.

I separate Apologies from Forgiveness for one very important reason: Trust.

We give a certain amount of Trust to everyone – friends, family, strangers on the street, companies that we do business with. We Trust that strangers on the street are not going to actively harm us – it is a foundation of civilization. We Trust that the companies we do business with are not going to actively cheat us – it is a foundation of economics. Similar foundations exist in our Trust of friends and family. I’ve posted about this before, regarding Trust, but Verify.

Trust, once broken, requires significant effort to earn back. And this is as it should be.

You are making it complicated again.

Really? Okay, let’s pull some examples from your life, Pookah.

Okay. Just keep rubbing that muscle… right… there…

Would you have come up to the food I set out to trap you if I’d kicked you?

… No.


Because if you kicked Pookah once you would do it again.

Even if I said I was really, really sorry?

How could I believe you if you kicked Pookah once already?

But I have kicked you, Pookah. Even stepped on you.

That was different.

How so?

It was an accident. You did not mean to hurt Pookah.

How do you know that?

Because you immediately stopped what you were doing, apologized, and then made sure that Pookah was not seriously hurt. You went to extra effort to reassure Pookah that it was alright, you didn’t mean to. If Pookah was hurt, you did your best to help Pookah feel better. Except for that time at the V.E.T. Pookah did NOT feel better until Pookah was home!

Is that all?

Afterwards, when a cat was in the human-walkway, you used your foot to gently nudge Pookah out of the way… until Pookah learned how to avoid clumsy humans.

So you trust me because…?

Your actions, even though they are clumsy, are the same as your words.

Now this, I am proud of! Well, I’ve got to get out in the primordial scrub to… Hey, careful with the sharp pointies!



What Is An Apology?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

First, you have to understand what an apology is.

An apology is:

  • A declaration that you, yourself, have done wrong.
  • A statement of remorse for violating morals and/or ethics.
  • An acknowledgement that you will accept the consequences of your actions.
  • A request to be permitted to undo as much of the harm committed as possible.
  • A declaration that you will bend every physical and mental effort to NEVER AGAIN commit this offense.
  • And finally, an apology is JUST WORDS. Until it is backed up by concerted actions over time, an apology is only hot air.

An apology IS NOT:

  • The final effort, labor, or work that you are obligated to give as compensation for the harm comitted.
  • The precursor to required forgiveness – you apologized, you are NOT forgiven until the wrongs you’ve done are fixed as best they can be. Forgiveness for the wrongs you have done requires work.
  • A free ticket out of the consequences of your actions.
  • Wiping the slate clean. Your apology may be accepted, but your actions are NOT forgotten.

What does this have to do with Finances?


If you are heading towards, or already in, Pookah Finances 101: You have wronged yourself, at the very least. Getting this far into debt required lying to yourself, deceiving yourself, ignoring your needs, and treating yourself pretty lousy when it comes to morals and ethics. Chances are good (but not certain) that you’ve done the same to other people or organizations. Not paying debts that you owe ranks high on the list of things you need to apoligize – really apologize – for.

If you are heading into Pookah Finances 201: You are getting back into a position where you can really make good on the harm you have caused yourself and others. Don’t waste the opportunity. You can see how damaging it can become every day on the news media – and on the web. Imagine if the people responsible for the current economic mess had owned up to it, and spent some of their millions in bonus compensation undoing the harm. Don’t end up like them.

If you are heading into Pookah Finances 301: You are firmly on the road to financial success. You didn’t get there solely on your own – other people helped. Take the time to check what’s between your ears – and what’s in your chest – to make sure you are becoming the person you really want to be. If there’s nothing there reminding you about past choices, you’re in trouble. If you are carrying a lot of “I should do X”, then you have some hard decisions to make about what you should do… and what you WILL do.

Life Of Pookah Finances 301 Page Is Up

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

If you check the pages to the right, you’ll see a new addition – Life of Pookah Finances 301.