Most Basic Rule to Personal Finance

Spend less than what you make.

A very very simple way to explain this… If we compare two persons, one making $50,000 and spending $45,000 and the other making $100,000 and spending $105,000, who’s going to be better off and has more money?

Now to be able to do that, it means following one or many of the behaviors below:
– don’t spend more than your monthly salary
– tracking your finance (money in-flow an out-flow)
– have a monthly budget
– distinguish wants” and “needs”
– try not to “borrow” from credit cards
– pay off any “bad” debt at high interest rate

Originally posted 2007-02-26 23:24:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

When the Intention is Pure, the Action Follows

For every action in this world, there is an intention behind it.

To know yourself, it is very important to be aware of this intention behind each action. Therefore, to choose which action to take, one can first decide on this intention.

Notice I used the word “pure” instead of “good”. There lies the key because purity has nothing to do with good (or evil). What action follows the intention may not always be considered “good”, at least at certain time to certain people. So by pure, I mean to the degree which you are aware — of yourself and reality, as they are. Hence, if you are going to be evil, how pure can you be, act, and follow through on your evil intention.

Also notice that I also used the word “intention” instead of “thought” because the thought behind the action may not be the true intention. We have gotten too proficient in deceiving ourselves with our minds. Therefore it is important to examine the thought behind the action to be aware whether that is true intention. We must be honest with ourselves.

For example, charity donation. It is often discussed, especially on personal finance blogs, as many have it as part of their budget. Some questions I could think of for that is (for you to explore but not for me to answer and decide right or wrong)…

Is it to be done because we SHOULD?
Is it to be done because we will feel good about ourselves?
Is it to be done because others will cheer and praise us?
Is it to be done because of tax breaks?
Is it to be done because we feel guilty of all these “stuff” we have?

Or, is it to be done because we are truly compassionate about people out there who are starving, malnutritioned, without homes, without education, etc.?

One other quick example is… behind many actions that we take, how many of them is all about money? I understand we have to be practical in life, which is why I have a job, but I cannot help but wonder, money… is that all there is to our life?

Learning about yourself. Learning about your true intention. Finding that pure intention is important.

Acting out of that pure intention leaves no room for regret because that means you fully understand the circumstances and is making the best choice, and that choice is solely yours. As a result, you are also being fully responsible. It leaves no room for “I should have this, or I should have that” or “So and so told me to do it” or “If I had known better…” (because you could not have know better if you were already fully aware)

Therefore, “When the intention is pure, the action follows.” Given that the person is being honest with himself about his intention.

It will also do us well to be observant and fully aware of others’ intention behind the actions. That way, we know who are friends, and who are… not-so-friendly.

Lastly, I want to link this to the law of attraction. The law of attraction has been thrown around A LOT. Consequently, “affirmative thinking” has also gotten pretty trendy. Maybe it works for someone but I don’t believe in “affirmative thinking”. What I believe is that the true mechanism of attraction… lies in this pure intention. Thus, to make the law of attraction works with you requires awareness.

Whatever type of TRUE intention you have, things and intentions of the same types will happen more frequently. Note again, intention can be different from thought, especially for people who barely know themselves. If your true intention means well, better things will more likely to happen to you. Likewise, if your true intention is one of anger, hatred, selfishness, more of that will also happen to you. If the intention is half good half bad… I suppose that cancels out.

And well, if you don’t know your true intention, then everything around you probably seems to happen at random.

The paradox is though, if you go around doing good things because good things will happen to you, that is a selfish intention… and it also falls back onto the “agenda mindset” that I talked about last. Something I leave for us to think about.

Originally posted 2009-04-10 23:54:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Efficient Driving

As a part of my frugality, I feel that I have always drive my car quite fuel-efficiently. Even driving both locals and highways, I am able to get around 28 MPG each time out of my Scion tC, which is measured at 23/30 MPG. I’ve always tried not to have to brake and timed the street lights to avoid full stops. I thought that was pretty good!

But alas, check out this dude named Wayne Gerdes – the Hypermiler from Wisconsin, who takes it to the next level.

But it was driving his wife’s Acura mdx that moved Wayne up to the next rung of hypermiler driving. That’s because the suv came with a fuel consumption display (fcd), which shows mpg in real time. As he drove, he began to see how little things—slight movements of his foot, accelerations up hills, even a cold day—influenced his fuel efficiency. He learned to wring as many as 638 miles from a single 19-gallon tank in the mdx; he rarely gets less than 30 mpg when he drives it. “Most people get 18 in them,” he says.

But if you read, some of his techniques include going into sharp exits/turns at 50 mph! AND by turning off the engine and glide! I’m not sure if I want to do that… and I am definitely not one to drive like a dead man at 50 mph on a 65 mpg speed limit highway. Especially I’m in the Bay Area, I probably get flicked off and perhaps even tailgated and assaulted. Haha…

But there is a lesson, which is to drive fuel-efficiently as much as we can:

  • Avoid complete stops without having accidents :)
  • Go easy on the brakes. Note that your cars DO slow down if you take the foot off the gas pedal.
  • Get to know the traffic light pattern in your local area.
  • Start gliding if you see a red light ahead
  • Drive at a consistent speed.

Originally posted 2007-03-08 21:54:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Truth and Untruth

To fully live, to be in the moment is to recognize reality as it is — in other words, the truth. To recognize truth is also to recognize untruth as a condition of life. To comprehend truth and untruth and their relationship fully is the step beyond good and evil. Having a perception beyond good and evil is where genuine, compassionate living begins.
– Kin

Originally posted 2012-02-27 21:18:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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