Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mint-Manage Your Money

For years I have been budgeting using an excel spreadsheet. With only sporadic success because I had to spend a lot of time with it, entering information from my bank account every month. So a couple of months ago I decided I needed another solution.

I chose Mint

All you have to do is enter your username and password for any account you want to keep up with checking, savings, credit cards, investments etc. You can then set up a budget under any category, many of which they already have or you can enter your own. And it is FREE!

What I like about it is it will send you an email or phone alert when you go over budget on something or when a payment is due. It also pulls your spending into categories and shows you where you are spending the most money. For instance "food and dining" if you click on that it will show all transactions related like the grocery store, dining out etc. You can compare your spending from month to month.

One concern of course was the safety of online budgeting. But this is safer than shopping online. Your banking information is not stored on this site and no money can be transferred or moved by using this site, unlike sites where you shop online and they store your credit card information. Here is more in depth information about safety

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shares on Wall Street began to slide

Breaking News Alert The New York Times Wednesday, November 19, 2008
-- 4:15 PM ET-----
Stocks Fall Sharply on Fears of Deepening Recession

As hope for an emergency bailout faded Wednesday for American automakers, shares on Wall Street began to slide. The DowJones industrial average was down 427.47 points, or 5percent, settling below 8,000, while the broader Standard &Poor's 500-stock index was 6.1 percent lower. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 6.5 percent

See post below for relevancy.

Now lawmakers will feel pressure to stop the Wall Street madness and they will bailout the auto makers anyway. No congressman wants the label of the one who tanked the economy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What might happen without a Big 3 bailout

How many jobs are at stake?
GM (GM, Fortune 500) has about 120,000 U.S. employees. Ford (F, Fortune 500) has about 80,000 and closely-held Chrysler LLC has about 66,000.
In addition, the three automakers have about 14,000 U.S. dealerships that between them employ another 740,000 workers.
The suppliers used by the Big Three also employ an estimated 610,000 people.
Add that up and you have more than 1.6 million jobs tied to the auto industry.

We know that our current economy can not absorb 1.6 million jobs, an excellent economy couldn't do that.

-So lets do the math......

  • 1.6 million jobs and lets say that there is an after tax average of each worker making 40k/yr.
  • With unemployment you get ~60% of your salary and let's just say for 1 year , which is 24,000

For a grand total of $38,400,000,000 in unemployment pay tied to the auto industry alone.

This is not including other government needs like medicaid for those that no longer have nor can afford health insurance.

This is not including a trickle down effect that will happen to the suppliers of the auto makers, the business in the town that these plants are located in. The towns and states depend on the tax revenue. The aftermath of letting the big 3 automakers go under will cost taxpayers exponentially more than a 25 billion dollar loan. Not to mention that this will again send panic through Wall Street and the financial markets.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Fidel Castro has not been seen in public for more than two years and earlier this year I predicted that the Cuban leaders death had already occured and that it would be announced probably by August this year.

That did not happen however in June a video of a supposed meeting with Fidel and Chavez was released and this week a picture of Fidel meeting with a church official was released.

But I want you to look at them....and the difference in Castro in both. The first one released in June is of a thin man with almost white hair. Then the pic last week it seems Castro has put on a lot of weight and his hair got much darker! Something isn't adding up. Not to mention I can't believe that this media loving leader who would give speeches to the public that would last for hours, would not be out and about if he was able. -June - November

Nutrition Data

This is a great site I thought I would share

You can look up just about any food that you might eat including restaurant meals. You can enter everything you ate in a day or just an individual food and it will tell you not only calories, fat and carbs but also the vitamin content. What you will learn is that no matter how healthy you think you are eating you probably need to take that daily vitamin. These features are under "MY ND"

You can also enter recipe ingredients and find out calories per serving. For instance I make these chicken enchiladas that I made up the ingredients to and I found out that they are only 98 calories per enchilada! However, I also discovered that no matter how hard I try I almost never get enough calcium without a supplement.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Literacy for Life

I spent this past Saturday in a 6 hour training class. Why would I give up my Saturday for a training class?

Because I am going to teach someone how to read.

I am excited about this opportunity. I was looking for volunteer opportunities in Plano and ran across Literacy for Life. One of my favorite things to do is read and I just couldn't imagine not being able to do it. So I decided I would dedicate a Saturday to learn and 2 hours a week with a student and teach them how to do something I treasure. I haven't met my student yet but I know she is a 36 yr old woman who wants to learn to read so that she can help her young daughter in school. I hope I am successful.

I hate cilantro

Actually I LOVE it, but some people don't. 2,285 people so far.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


If you have not already voted, don't forget Tuesday is your day. Take either your voter registration card or your driver's license (or both).

While I will not tell you who to vote for, I will ask one thing. Please do not chose your candidate based on what your friends or significant other say, or information in emails forwarded to you (it is usually false information). And certainly do not base your vote on what the television says! Take just a few minutes to read about each candidate and what it is they are trying to do with our nation.

Something I think all should consider.....even though I am still not telling you who to vote should consider history.

The longest reign of peace and prosperity, with a balanced budget and federal surplus came from former President Bill Clinton

When Clinton took office from Bush Sr. the economy was headed south and Bush Sr. had driven the national debt higher than any other president in history. (only to be topped later by his son)

So don't let anyone tell you that Bush Sr. set Clinton up for success or that Clinton set Bush Jr up for failure. After 8 years your successes and failures are your own.

And finally, you know what situation we are in today with the economy. So I voted Thursday for the candidate that I believe will bring back that peace and prosperity that we enjoyed under Clinton.

Either way VOTE