Tag Archives: Free

Three Years Credit Card Debt Free

This post is to acknowledge that I have managed to remain out of Credit Card debt for three years now.  More recently I have used the card that I have, but I have used it for it’s insurance features rather than the carrying a debt over several months feature.  I made sure that I had money in the bank prior to using it.  I remember paying it off about two days after I charged it to the account.  The online statement system couldn’t handle it.  It said I had to pay a minimum payment but I had no balance.  I have absolutely no intention of carrying a debt now – it becomes just another bill to pay!

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Two Years Credit Card Debt Free

This is to mark the fact that today it will be two years since I last used a credit card.

Cash is sooo much simpler!

Wonderful feeling.

🙂

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Debt Free In Ten%

I have known about this method of becoming debt free for a while now, its pretty simple and although people have shown interest in it when I have told them about it they haven’t asked for details.  Here is a pretty good place for purging and sharing.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Make a list of all your debts and list them from the smallest to the largest.
  2. Keep paying the minimum on all of your debts through out your time trying this.
  3. While doing this find a way to reduce your outgoings by around 10% of your net monthly income. (turn the heating down a notch, eat less takeaway, drive more sensibly, stop going to starbucks catch a bus, walk to the corner shop – however you do it, make a plan to scrape this together)
  4. Now pay the 10% you have scraped together in addition to the normal minimum payment on your smallest debt (the first on your list from step one).
  5. Keep this going until you have paid this off completely.
  6. Now the fun starts.  Now take your 10% you will have got used to scraping together each and every month AND what was the minimum payment of the first debt (now cleared) and use both of these to start paying off the next debt on the list.
  7. As you clear this debt, add the minimum payment of this second debt on your list to the minimum payment of the first debt and your 10% that you have scraped together and start paying the third debt on your list. … etc.

By the time you clear two to three credit cards and a loan you will have a huge amount to use against your MORTGAGE (oh yeah!).  When you get to this stage you will find that you can reduce a 25 year repayment mortgage to between 7 to 13 years depending on how much debt you were in in the first place.  The funny thing is that as long as you can actually afford to run this system at the beginning, ie pay the minimum each month and find your 10% you will find that the more debt you had at the start the more you will have to pay towards your mortgage in the last stage – and the quicker you can be debt free.  (and thats TOTALLY debt free!)

I can’t pretend that I invented this, I didn’t.  It’s called many things on the web but “Debt Snowballing” is the most popular name.

I have been meaning to share this here for a while.  If this helps someone then mission accomplished.

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The ultimate question?

Is life worth living?

According to Nietzsche our lord(s) and saviour(s); our God(s) are dead.  Dead in that their originating source is undefined and Religion(s) appear to be systems that provide a social structure for the continuation of our species.  Interesting stuff!  He points out that if indeed God(s) is dead this isn’t necessarily a negative thing.  Our horizons will have been opened up by the lack of moral boundary.  Anything is possible; at last.  However, if there are no Gods, then what makes life worth living?  If life is not a period in which to attempt to satisfy all Karmic debts, then what value does life have in and of itself?  Procreation and maintaining human numbers is one potential offering, but there are already probably way too many people on this planet so this seems like a very weak argument.

Baudrillard coined a wonderful term “Desert of the real” to describe the mere fragments of our experience that are actually sourced in true authenticity.  In the west we are surrounded by imagery which is used to construct our reality.  Only the other day did I realise the depth to which I had been conditioned by TV.  I was at a friends house (hi Jono!) and he put his TV on as background noise as people do.  The BAFTA awards were in their early stages.  People who I mostly did not recognise due to lack of exposure to the entertainment media over the last five years or so appeared in smart attire and were furiosly photographed by photographers.  As I watched with new eyes.  As if I hadn’t seen this kind of thing before, I saw one section of the media photographing another section of the media, to be published in a different form of media; the whole event being televised which obviously is another form of media.  TV was displaying its own child.  I think this is a simulacra or simulacrum?? (Answers on a post card please!)  Anyway, I remembered “The desert of the real” and as I watched actors and actresses be treated incredibly specially I wondered what they had done?  Have they saved lives?  Have they prevented wars?  Have they solved world poverty and starvation?  No, they have entertained those of us who are lucky enough not to be starving.  There are awards for this kind of thing.

So in the potentially godless desert of the real, is life worth living?  If not should it be ended?  If it is worthy of our effort how do we know?  What benefits do we reap?  In my experience the death of a loved one is an interuption to the precession of simulacra presented to us as reality on an everyday basis.  Maybe those who acknowledge and accept in their own mind that life isn’t of any value and act on this personal reality bring a moment of reality to the lives of their nearest and dearest?  Those who I have lost most certainly have brought a moment of reality and clarity to my experience.  I am grateful.

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100 Things

I have recently been introduced to the 100 things concept.  Basically what you do is pare down your possessions to just 100 in total.  These are personal possessions, so the sofa doesn’t count, the bed doesn’t count etc.  I started my list expecting to have a large excess of 100 things that I really wanted to keep and imagined that the emotional trauma that would follow if I decided that yes actually I was going to go for it.

Here’s my list:

1.Ganesh
2. Shiva
3. Aarti lamp
4. Trays
5. Incense sticks
6. Puja sundries
7. My many religious texts (one single shelf full)
8. Tabla
9. PC and cables mouse keyboard etc
10. A3 printer
12. Kettle
13. 5 mugs
14. Bicycle
15. Helmet
16. Pannier bags
17. Cycling tops, pants, overshoes and gloves
18. Tech toolbox (limited to what fits within)
19. General toolbox (limited to what fits within)
20. Blackberry bold and 8820
21. Belt
22. Braces
23. Tie rack and ties
24. Sock hanger
25. One weeks set of pants, socks
26. One summer coat
27. One winter coat
28. One box of cufflinks and collar stiffners
29. My Portfolio
30. My MA work
31. Bread maker
32. Shredder
33. Poker set
34. PS2 & Games (selection only give rest to Nat)
35. Bollywood Movie collection
36. Music CD collection (34,35 & 36 must fit on 1 benno cd bookcase
37. External Harddrives (home and work) bin the other crap.
38. Billy Bookcase
39. Puja bookcase
40. Ibook (?) Mac mini (?)
41. Hoover
42. Ironing board
43. Iron
44. Water sprayer
45. Wok
46. Tawa
47. Kitchen Radio
48. Umbrella
49. Backpack
50. Trainers
51. Catapillar boots
52. Suit shoes
53. Slipper shoes

There are several things that interested me about this exercise.  Firstly that my desire to keep should extend to my bed.  Secondly, I don’t have 100 personal things that I really want to keep.  I realised that this list is telling me that I have a lot of junk!  At least a lot of things that I don’t care for enough to list – which is interesting.  I think the circumstances in which the list was made is significant.  I made the list on my blackberry of the period of three evenings just as I was about to jump into bed and set the alarm for morning.  Its amazing how clear your mind is when it has the expectation of restful sleep.  (I sleep like a log!)

So anyway, I felt like sharing my list.  Its under development.  I encourage you to make one too.  Its interesting how it clarifies whats important to you right now.  If you have a go, post me a few lines I would like to read your comments.  For your benefit this is where I found out about the 100 things challenge.

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Free Internet

I’m not a thief!  If its in my home naturally and I haven’t taken it from anywhere else then its mine to use!  Well thats my excuse.  I’ve been reading several websites about receiving wifi signals from a far through make shift parabolic shaped sieves and USB wifi receivers. Yesterday I decided to actually try it out.  I went to my local Chinese Supermarket and spent 12.95 on a 12″ brass dumpling sieve.  I Borrowed a USB wifi dongle and grabbed a USB extension lead from my small collection of gadget leads.   After picking a hole in the middle of the sieve I placed the end of the lead through the hole and plugged in the dongle, after initial testing in various places of my home I can confirm that there are lots of people “on my block” that have broadband and wireless.  out of about 10 different connections only 1 didn’t have WEP or PSK encryption.  I got the following page through this connection:    Illegal ?I have probably incriminated myself here, but you know what?  I pay for my own internet connection and I use that all the time.  The exercise was to see it the sieve worked and it did.  I found it interesting that there were loads of SKY connections around my home.  They have recently spent loads on a massive advertising campaign to get people to have their internet / tv / phone (and probably their water, heating and air) through them, it must have worked at least 5 of the connections were being served by sky.  I wonder if they changed the default password on installation?Reference: http://www.instructables.com/id/%22Poorman_s-WiFi%22–USB-adapters-%26-DIY-cookware-refl/

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