Lazy friday afternoons

I bet that’s not something most people have many of. Fridays are a working day for most people in daily jobs and even for shift workers it’s a time of getting up and getting ready for their day to start.

The only time we really experience a lazy Friday afternoon appears to be when we are on holiday, and most people don’t seem to get many of those any more, with many companies now only giving statutory holidays each year.

The solution I’m working on is a halfway house between working full time and having proper family time. I’m actually thinking of dropping an afternoon at work, in order to have that lazy Friday afternoon. So I will be working four and a half days per week, but I’m estimating that the improvements in my emotional health will outweigh any problems with finances.

Never going back to the payday loan world

But don’t worry, if you been reading this blog you will realize I am very nervous about money having been in a situation where I had to rely on online payday loan lenders in order to stay afloat and keep my family together.

Dropping that time work will only happen if it’s a luxury I can afford and also if the freshness I get from it will allow me to put my energy into doing something new which might make some more money. I might look at freelancing because even a couple of hours per week at a time I choose will add up to the time I lose through dropping a half day in my full-time job.

It’s been long all struggle getting to where we are now and I have no intention of going back to the bad old world, we are financially solvent and the kids are doing well at school.

We are having a family photo taken this weekend. It will be the first one we have ever had done. It’s going to cost a bit of money but we are aiming to have a really nice print done to put on our wall in a frame. I know it’s probably a little bit ostentatious and self-indulgent, but I think after the hard times we have had I’m really keen to do something that is just nice to do.

And that’s the key to life, sometimes just have to do things which are nice, rather than necessary and this is probably the first time we will have done something that is nice and not necessary for several years. I’m seeing it kind of as a new beginning for me and my family after several years of hard times, with debt and worry to cope with on a daily basis.

Anyway, I’m rambling now and it’s time for me to go and get on with my day. I hope something of what I’m writing is useful to somebody out there, as I say it’s more of a therapy for me to get my thoughts out in writing than it is with any idea of it being useful to anybody else, but if you are finding this useful then I’m really glad.

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We could all do with just a little bit more self control

I think it’s safe to say that as I get older and see the modern world around me and begin to realize that we could all do with a little bit more self-control in almost everything we do.

There is so much temptation, from consuming food and drink, through to cheating on partners, through to not controlling personal finances, it’s so easy to get into debt both in terms of money and emotional happiness.

We basically need to learn to control ourselves a lot more. Diet and eating unhealthy foods is one area for example, sugar is evil stuff and yet it is in almost everything. If I do eat the bad stuff I always feel like rubbish afterwards and then I crave even more. It’s no surprise that the manufacturers put sugar in so many foods, it gets you hooked on the next fix.

And it’s the same with money. The more you spend, the more you need. And this leads to an unhealthy spiral down into personal debt, which leaves you needing payday loans and other short-term, high cost financial fixes to get you out of it. Is that horrible cycle of debt that short-term loan lenders prosper in, and I don’t see it ending any time soon, can you?

Our governments are the same. They throw money at stuff we don’t really need, and then they pay us off to get their votes, and each time the cycle spirals deeper and deeper.

I just finished a work out and something went pop while I was doing it. I’m not sure what it was, but my wife seems quite concerned. It is painful across my chest but I think I just strained something, I don’t think I’m going to have a heart attack or anything.

Something nice is happening tomorrow night, we are having friends round. So we are both in full house preparation and food preparation mode. Going back to what I said at the start of this, we are already back in the addiction cycle by buying far more food than we need, trying to over impress and even buying things will problem not use again for another few years.

I know we are healthier than we were a long time ago, but I’m sure most of us crave a simple life now and again. With holidays few and far between, and even on holiday you still have to deal with bills and other things, I do wonder what it would be like to just hunt in the morning, eat then do maintenance work and lay around the fire chatting at night, just like we did for thousands of years.

This post is a bit all over the place, but that’s because I have given up energy drinks. The massive sugar and caffeine hit was making me jittery and since I’ve given them up I’m struggling a bit, but I think it will be worth in the long-term both in terms of happiness for my heart and a more even mood for me generally.

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The 5 biggest financial life errors to avoid

Something bit different for you in this post. I read an interesting article that gave a big list of the largest personal financial mistakes that you can make and avoiding your life to prosper.

I found it really great and I boarded benchmark myself against the list. To avoid having to take out personal loans and get into debt, I think it’s wise for people to take on board some of these ideas.

What I’ve done here is to boil them down into five of the best ones I think are most relevant to most people.

1. If you have any money invest it

Money won’t grow sitting in a savings account. You have to take a little bit of risk and invest it. You can invest in start-ups example. Or you could invest in stocks and shares, but don’t gamble. What I mean by not gambling is don’t try and do something silly like daytrading or binary options trading, stick to investment funds, where there is a small amount of risk in a higher level of expertise.

2. If you have a talent exploit it

if you can make something that you can sell, do it. If you think the service you can provide through and expertise you gain in your life then try offering it out to people. It’s that entrepreneurial spirit that most people miss in their lives. If you can think of something you can sell, get yourself a website, or use a marketplace site to try and sell your product or service to make that money on the side. You can then use that money to do what I outlined in number one.

3. Always buy property

if you possibly can invest in property. It’s a no-brainer if you can afford it. The reason for this is that house prices are always rising faster than most other types of investment. And if you get somebody into rent the apartment from you they are in fact paying off your mortgage, leaving you at the end of the day with property you own out right, with money you can draw out, and a regular income if you keep tenants in it.

4. Don’t put off paying your debts

it’s so easy to take payment holidays, or restructure payments to minimize them while maximizing your disposable income. The problem is that you then chuck away the money you have and still have a large debt for the long-term. Especially in the beginning of most loans, like mortgages, you are paying off the interest first, so it makes sense to pay every single time, to the maximum you can afford even if this means overpayments. In fact overpaying is a great way to minimize debt as you are minimizing the amount you have to repay.

5. Learn to make money, not cut back

too many of this when we are short of money spent all our time trying to cut costs. All that happens is we end up with a poorer quality of life and not a lot more money. You need to look at the real cause of the problem, which is always your income is not high enough. By all means cutback on expenses, but don’t think that that is the reason why you are short of money, because often you are living within your means, is just that your means and not adequate to live by.

They go, I hope these five tips been useful and they are certainly things that I am starting to do in my life. After hitting rock bottom and clawing our way back up, my family are doing okay and I urge you to live by simple means but make progress as well.

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Do you get annoyed by parked cars?

Outside my apartment is communal parking, where everybody and anybody can park.

It’s tucked around the back so it’s not people just parking on there because there’s the road, it’s people who live in the apartments and people visiting.

During the day it’s fine, but come rush-hour it becomes a free for all. If you don’t get in by 6 PM that you are left driving around the local area trying to find somewhere to park.

What really annoys me is there are no spaces marked out. It’s just an area where people can park. So all it takes is a handful of morons to basically half the number of spaces available.

There’s even one guy who has a small motorbike and he insists on parking it like it’s a semi or something.

It annoys me so much that I have printed off labels and put them on people’s windshields when they are not parking sensibly.

Perhaps I’m just having a bad day, it’s been a really bad day at work and I’ve been thinking a lot about the situation people find themselves in when they are getting into personal debt. It was triggered by what I read the other day, and it’s really annoyed me.

My wife is already sick of hearing of it and I think she just wants to move on because it somewhere we were in our lives, but we aren’t now. I can see where she’s coming from we did all that hard work to get out of debt and now things are much better for us. Our finances are stable, we both have work and it’s not the sort of work where you can work hundred hours a week and still not make a decent wage, which is unfortunately something too many Americans are doing.

On a more positive note work is good. I sold three cars this week and that means decent commission for once. I still have an ambition to upgrade my car next year, and that would really signal to me that we have climbed the wall and escaped from the prison of personal debt.

Before I stop banging on about payday loans are just want say that I read a startling fact about them the other day, that the average amount paid back on a $300 loan is over $800. That says everything I need to know about how the industry needs regulation, rather than banning.

On a brighter note the kids doing very well at school at the moment and the eldest came home today to tell us that she had got 10 stars that day. They have reward system at the school where the kids get a star every time they do something well, with 10 being the most. If they get 10 then they going to a hat at the end of the week and a name is pulled out in the school assembly to get clapped and receive a prize.

It’s the first time she’s ever got 10 stars we’re both really proud of and I think it’s another sign of how stability in the home can really make children perform better at school.

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A surprising story about online payday loans

I read a surprising story the other day which I thought I would share here because it took me by surprise and I’m not sure what to make of it.

It seems the state of New York has banned all payday loan lenders from trading in the state. Read the story here payday loans online.

The bit that is surprising is how there is a blanket ban on payday lenders in the state.

Now I’m all for regulation and for people being protected from being ravaged by unscrupulous financial dealers. But I think I’m a little concerned at how something what is in many cases a legitimate source of easing financial crisis has been cut off at the route wholesale.

Look at it this way, the people who take out payday loans are desperate and usually have poor credit ratings and no access to any other way of getting money. If the industry was regulated properly, but allowed to exist in a state of New York then it would at least give desperate people and outlet within the confines of a more tightly regulated system.

It feels to me like the state of New York are basically saying that they don’t fancy dealing with online payday loan lenders so let’s just ban the lot.

This feels wrong to me. As somebody who has been in debt and had a really poor credit rating, a payday loan actually bailed me out. I was perhaps lucky I got a good lender and also that I had the presence of mind to make sure I understood the terms and conditions and I compromise on everything else in my life to pay it back as my situation improved.

Now there are a lot of people who are not going to be in a position, but it’s important that there is an outlet these people.

Perhaps online payday loan lenders just need regulation?

My proposal would be simply to have tight legislation on the industry, but allow it to exist in a state. There are already safeguards and limits in place at federal level, so why not have at state level that are more realistic?

That way there could be an in-state industry that is tightly regulated, where people with poor credit ratings get access to cash and the company is still make enough money back to cover the risk of lending.

What we should be focusing on is weeding out the unscrupulous lenders and prosecuting them, and then implementing better regulations across the United States in order to allow people with poor credit ratings to get access to loans without them being exploited.

Now obviously you have to accept that there will be higher interest rates because the companies lending are taking a higher risk, but there has to be some balance in my view, rather than just a blanket ban on what can be a valuable service that can actually help desperate people to get the breathing space they need, to get their head above the parapet and look around them.

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