Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

The Finger of The Right

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Money, Sports, Uncategorized

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer confronts President Obama moments after he lands in a Phenoix airport.

In a world where we are exposed to media on a near constant basis, the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” seems outdated and cliche. Between 24 hour news channels and the internet we are inundated with images so quickly that we rarely take the time to do more than glance at them and briefly attempt to digest them before the next one comes along. The image above, however, warrants some level of deeper observation and reflection about the true state of our union.

Less than 24 hours after delivering his annual State of The Union Address, President Barack Obama landed in an Arizona airport where he was met by Governor Jan Brewer. The bad blood between the two got its’ start after the Governor called Obama’s demeanor during a meeting last year “condescending.” The President took issue with her opinion assessment which evidently compelled Brewer to confront the President.

It is both alarming and appalling to think that the political climate of this country has deteriorated to the point where anyone, let alone another elected official, has the audacity to approach the President of the United States in this manner. This is the type of behavior one would expect from a cast member of Bad Girls Club or Mob Wives, not someone elected to political office.

This is just another example of the unparalleled level of disrespect this President has had to deal with in the last three years. There was South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” as President Obama addressed Congress. More recently Congressman Sensenbrenner attempted to make fun of Mrs. Obama’s behind. And don’t expect this to change anytime soon as we have already seen Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich refer to Obama as “The Foodstamp President.”

The sad thing about the whole ordeal is that this will likely up Gov. Brewer’s national profile among many conservatives. There will be those who see her hand hand inches from the President’s face and cheer her on for “taking the fight to Obama.” That’s what this election is about for them. Not taking the country in a positive direction, which the President is already accomplishing. Not settling the inequalities that allow Warren Buffet to pay a lower percentage of taxes than his secretary. That is the sole reason Gingrich’s prospects for becoming the Republican Nominee are looking better and better every day. The good thing is, the Republican’s hate for Obama is pushing the party further to the Right and making a second Obama term increasingly likely.

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So in less than 12 hours from now, the year 2012 will be upon us. It’s probably been the most anticipated changing of year’s since 2000. This is the year that has been speculated on endlessly ever since the Mayans ended their calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 thousands of years ago. If we believe pop culture, this is the next trendy date for the end of the world. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that no man knows the day or the our of the end. I’ve always liked to view each new year as a fresh canvas, waiting to be turned into a cosmic masterpiece by the Creator.

This year, I’m really focusing on getting my financial life together. I’ve always been kind of a by-the-seat-of-his-pants-type of guy and in these tough economic times, that just isn’t getting it anymore. I’m determined that by this time next year, my financial situation will be markedly better than it is right now. I plan on making my money work for me, building up my savings and setting myself on the path to financial independence. Here are a few things I either already do or plan to practice in the coming year.

1. Pay your tithes-first and in full.

This has to be my first priority. I believe when you give God ten percent up front, he will carry your 90 percent much further than the 100 percent you would have without obeying him. The times when I’ve stepped out on faith and paid my tithes on time and in full, I’ve seen God do miraculous things.

2. Go pre-paid.

If you are under contract with one of the major carriers, you’re probably paying way too much for your phone. And no doubt, you’re getting less for what you pay every day. Most traditional carriers have eliminated unlimited web usage while making you pay more to use it. If you’re a serious techie, have no fear–you can still get a quality smartphone without emptying your pockets. Prepaid companies have really stepped their game up in the last few years. For music lovers, Cricket’s Muve Music Plan may be the best thing since the invention of iTunes. It allows unlimited, free downloads without have to sync them to your computer.

3. Cut your own hair.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…This brother has gone too damn far! This might sound like blasphemy to members of the Barbershop Brotherhood but give it some consideration. Depending on where you live, including tips, the average haircut can run anywhere from $15 to $20. You gotta stay fresh, so let’s say you go at least twice a month. That’s $40. That’s almost five hundred dollars in a year. Sure, you say, everyone would like to keep an extra $500 in their pockets, but is it worth the risk of looking crazy? Well I’ve been cutting my own hair for three years now. I’m not going to lie, the first couple of times were rough, but luckily for you, there are plenty of good youtube videos.  Invest $30 to $50 in a good pair of clippers and keep some money in your pocket.

4. Get Thrifty

Forget what those lies purported by 90s Sprite commercials , image does matter. Everyone wants to look good, but going to the mall and buying a new outfit (or two or three) every week just isn’t in my budget. I started going to thrift stores about three years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. The great thing about thrift stores is that whatever brand you favor, you can find them there for less. I’ve gotten just as many compliments on pieces that I’ve picked up in a thrift store as I have for things I brought fresh out of the rack. I would really recommend this if you’re a recent college grad trying to build up your professional wardrobe on a limited budget. I’ll post more in-depth about my love of thrift stores at a later date.

5. Save Your Change

In a time where people barely carry cash, let alone change, this may seem like an antiquated, Leave It To Beaver type idea. Over the years most people have probably lost hundreds of dollars worth of pennies,  nickles and dimes. A dime here and a quarter there doesn’t seem like much, but when the bank account gets low, it’s nice to know you’ve got a couple of bucks to fall back on.

Have any other money-saving tips? Comment and share them with the world! Happy New Year everyone!