Sunday, April 30, 2006


I always annoy my wife when we go shopping by purchasing large numbers of sale items we use on a regular basis. For example, we both eat cereal for breakfast (5 days a week.) Today I purchased 12 boxes of the 1.99 (sale price) which normally sells for $3.69 (or more). This translates into a $20.40 savings - (not including the sales tax on the purchase.) This translates into a savings of 54%. What investment can you possibily make that would yeild a similar savings?

This habit translates for other types of purchases as well. What is important is that you must USE what you purchase and have enough liquidity that you can afford to make the investment.


Friday, April 28, 2006


you can remember that the national debt was a smaller number than the 100+ billion stars in our Milky Way. But don't worry - President Bush and the Congress are heading us towards national bankruptcy.

(Note: just for personal reference - "one billion" measured in seconds is slightly over 32 years on a calendar.)


Monday, April 24, 2006


and even if it did I doubt if most people would read it.

I was reflecting the other day on a female acquaintance who told me that MEN never understood her. I thought how much easier it would be for her date if he had an OWNERS MANUAL preceded the dating experiences. Perhaps something like a CONSUMERS REPORT critique should be part of the dating community.

If your not smiling - I am ....


The garbage disposal quit working the other day. I checked the electrical panel and wiring and discovered the device was receiving electricity. I cleaned the "sink switch" to make sure it was not clogged - it wasn't. My conclusion was that the "switch" was broken and needed replacement.

I was going to go "on-line" to check the DIY (do-it-yourself) sites for suggestions but instead happened to converse with an electrical contractor and asked if he had any suggestions. He causually remarked "Did you press the RESET button on the bottom of the unit?" SIGH, I had forgetten the button because in the 10 years that I had the unit I had NEVER pressed the button.

Pushing the button worked.... remembering there was a button....that was another lesson.


Sunday, April 23, 2006


Following my retirement last year I have increasingly been spending more time "organizing" THINGS not only in my life but also in those people in my immediate circle (family & friends). What I have discovered is not only does it make "things" work better but also makes life less expensive. I have discovered that I have NUMEROUS duplicate tools (to which I have added more purchases in the past because I simply could not find them when I needed them.) The organizing list goes on in countless other categories as well (applicances, kitchen utilities, etc.) I stress this point because while INITIALLY organizing your life takes some time - PRESERVING that organization is a relatively painless process.


Friday, April 21, 2006


You can find all kinds of discount coupons on-line to local establishments. Here is a good link if you live in St. Louis:

AND if your into less expensive gas prices:



Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.

~Booker T. Washington


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


An interesting snippet from Kiplingers Money Magazine.....

Buying by the numbers
Lenders look at three things when you apply for a mortgage: credit score, debt-to-income ratio and down payment. "If you've got two of the three elements working for you, you're in good shape to buy," says Jim McMillan, a senior loan officer with JP Mortgage/JPMorgan Chase.

All lenders are credit-score-driven these days. FICO scores, the most commonly used, range from 300 to 850, but the number to shoot for is about 750, says McMillan. The higher your score, the more flexible lenders will be. But even with a score of 700, he says, you'll still be considered an A borrower and qualify for the best rates.

Another big consideration is your debt-to-income ratio. Traditionally, lenders have followed the 28/36 rule: No more than 28% of your monthly gross income should be dedicated to your mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance, with total debt equaling no more than 36% of your gross income. But if you have no other debt, you can dedicate 36% of your income to home payments. With an FHA-backed loan, you may be permitted to apply as much as 41% of your income to total debt.

Coming up with the down payment is a struggle for many buyers, but it can make a big difference, especially if you don't have stellar credit. The more money you put down, the less risk the lender takes on. A 20% down payment is the threshold at which you're exempt from private mortgage insurance, which can add a few hundred non-tax-deductible dollars to your monthly payment.


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Once a year you can obtain a FREE credit report from each of the three major Credit Review Agencies. It is strongly recommended that you do this. The following article is from "" and represents excellent advice. (Note: while there is a request for your SSN# it is on a Secure site.)

How to get your report"
The reports will not automatically be sent out. Consumers must request their reports in one of these three ways:

Go to, which is the only authorized source for consumers to access their annual credit report online for free.

Call toll free 877-322-8228.

Complete the form on the back of the "Annual Credit Report Request" brochure, available from the FTC, and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

You'll be able to order all three credit reports at one time, or you may order at different times throughout the year. It's your choice. Be sure to order from the centralized agency. If you go directly to the credit reporting agencies, you will be charged a fee unless you fit another criteria for a free report. And beware of ordering your free credit reports from fraudulent, deceptive and misspelled domains that will charge for the very same service you can get free.

The new ruling doesn't replace the other ways to receive a free credit report. You're still entitled to a free credit report if: you've been denied a loan, insurance policy or job based on your credit report; you're applying for unemployment or receive public assistance; or you currently reside in a state that already offers one or more annual free credit reports.

A credit report contains a consumer's history of loan payments, including those for mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. It is used by lenders to judge whether to grant additional credit to consumers, and at what rate. It is not the same as a credit score, which takes the information contained in a credit report and distills it into a three-number score. Credit scores are not included in the credit report, and must be purchased from the credit bureaus.


Friday, April 14, 2006


This should probably be a song title. I have been disposing of "leftovers" and "cast-away" items from the family basement on recently. And what prompted this entry is the unbelieveable number of people who will respond to your OFFER without reading and observing the directions.

I recently asked for anyone interested to MY OFFER to 1) What they would do with it 2) When they could pick it up 3) Give me their name and phone number so I could TALK with them. Out of a dozen responses only TWO people supplied the information requested.

I have come to believe that following directions should either be taught in school OR more people should enroll in bomb demolition school.


Thursday, April 06, 2006


I was sitting at the Doctors office this morning and I happened to chance upon a “medical infomercial” about a new type of "professional support" called a “Life Counselor.”

A “life counselor” is evidently a person who helps a person focus on the future and not the past (role of a psychologist). My gut impression is that anyone willing to pay $300+ a month to have a professional “friend” to assist a person focus on their “life mission” probably needs more professional services (Perhaps a good bartender like “Moe” on the Simpsons.)

Perhaps this is a “career” opportunity for someone having a store front called “Rent a Friend”. And just think there are no qualifications (like for a teacher, CPA, or policeman.) Life goes on....with or without you!


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


What is your word worth? To the people you work with? To your friends? To your family?


Monday, April 03, 2006

SUCCESS....(According to the Book of Jobs (Steve that is)

And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.

-- Steve Jobs to Business Week, Oct. 12, 2004


Saturday, April 01, 2006



Making your feelings known to others (in a calm and clear manner)

Gathering all the necessary information to discuss the situation

Formulating a written plan with ALL the people who part of the solution

(That wasn't so hard was it?)