if you don’t feed your dog
don’t be surprised if he’s scrabbling through the trash
younger man with an older women
Forget Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because in this day and age shelter, warmth, water, and food are available to every person living in a western civilisation. What most men want most, what drives almost every man, is the desire for sex, money, and power. Love is something else, and anyone actually searching for love probably has unrealistic expectations of life.
For the average man, the triumvirate of sex, money, and power almost always begins with money. Not that many women want to date / have a fling with / sleep with an average guy who is also flat broke. And, if you’re flat broke it might also mean that you don’t dress well, can’t really afford to hang out in upscale bars, and your car is a junker. Not many women want to have sex in a wreck of a car. So the average guy is caught in a Catch-22 situation, what he really wants to do is hang out in bars and find an inebriated woman to have casual sex with, but before he can do that he needs some significant folding stuff. More than that, power flows from money like water flows downstream, and many women find power an aphrodisiac.
There are but a few ways to get money. One could try gambling, but all gamblers end up dead broke. Stealing it in one way or another is very dangerous ~ all thieves come to a bad end, eventually. More unlikely ways of acquiring a bank-roll are inheriting it, marrying it, becoming a drug dealer, and winning the lottery. Do not hold your breath. The most reliable way to get cash is to work for it ~ that means being very successful in your chosen career, and that means working hard, putting in the hours, and that will keep you out of the bars where you hope to meet an easy lay. The upside to being very successful in your chosen career is that you will also become powerful.
Sex, Money, and Power form a stable equilateral triangle. The average man can’t get a lot of one without also acquiring an abundance of the other two. Or, for the extremely unethical bastard, you could find a plain older woman who happens to have money, marry her, and then entertain yourself by cheating on her, gaslighting her, and stealing from her.
Personally, I happen to know a very cool American woman I can’t meet because of a raft of insurmountable obstacles. But that’s Life for you, and 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
Of course, 90% of the above also applies to women, (maybe 90%, I’m not a woman so I can’t be certain).
Some say that commitment to just one person is am unachievable dream. And that relationships shouldn’t have rules. All I know is that some people are utterly honest, open, and ethical ~ but most aren’t
a woman sitting at the bar
and drinking alone
is only there for one reason
accept no one else’s definition of your life, but define yourself
Shakespeare didn’t think much of money-lenders
Who are you? The true answer to that isn’t as easy to give as some may believe. You might tell me your name, and then you might tell me what you do; butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, rich-man, poor-woman, beggar-man, thief….. In fact we are so wound up in ‘what we do’ that in times past a person’s ‘family name’ might well have been the trade or craft they were in. Hence; Baker, Cooper, Thatcher, Smith, Wright.
So, we might know your name and your main occupation, but that’s just what you are. It isn’t who you are. Your name and what you do to earn a crust aren’t who you are. If a name was so important then why do half of the people in the western world change their name? And if what you do is so important, why do so very many people have a career change at some time in their lives, and why are so many dissatisfied with their career, profession, job?
Your name and what you do to make a living are not who you are ~ but perhaps it’s what you are, your role, the part that you play in society. That’s if you accept that what you do is just a role, not who you are at all. We are all but players on life’s stage.
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts….. ~ Shakespeare
My career was in International Banking and Finance. I worked hard at it, and I was well remunerated in return. Was I satisfied with that? Did I think that what I did was important? Not really. I worked to make a living, to have some self-respect, and my own self-respect was why I was good at it. I’ve played some other roles, and I was very good at those too.
But now, I don’t play a role anymore. Today, right now, I am just me. And, like everything I’ve done in the past I am determined to be good at being me, the very ‘best’ man I can possibly be.
Others may have loftier callings; perhaps they want to be a doctor, priest, therapist, teacher ~ but before all of that I would first urge them to be themselves, and to be the very best at being themselves that they can possibly be.
Some say that we should all conform to what society expects of us. And that those in authority have a right to tell us what to do. All I know is that you should always be yourself, no matter what they say.
be the best you can be
but be yourself
no matter what they say
being in control of your finances is a great stress reliever
Next to being in a dysfunctional relationship, money troubles are the commonest cause of severe stress. Sadly, dysfunctional relationships and money troubles often go together.
There are four sets of reasons that may have caused your money troubles;
- Misfortune. This is not your fault, You may have lost your job, have uninsured medical expenses, your ex may have never paid child maintenance, your water heater may have exploded in a cloud of steam…..
- Laziness and Stupidity. You never open your mail, you don’t check your balance when you withdraw cash from the ATM, you can’t be bothered to balance your cheque book, you don’t bother to look for the thriftier items when you go to the supermarket…..
- Compulsive Spending. You max out your credit cards and then get another, your favorite pastime is shopping, when you’re stressed you go shopping, you buy shoes you will never wear, you’ve bought a car you can’t afford, you buy stuff you don’t really want, need, or already have…..
- Addictions. Maybe this is where things get really, really bad. You’re a drunk and you spend a fortune on booze in bars and supermarkets. You’re a drug addict, you’re always jonesing for your drug of choice, and you would do anything to get your next fix, including spending the rent on coke. You’re a gambler and when you’re in a casino you lose track of time and money. You’re a sex addict and pay for a fuck or a suck, and you’re addicted to on-line porn and sex-chat…..
So you’re flat broke, have bills to pay, and you are very, very stressed, suicidally so. So WTF can you do?
- Stay calm, make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, get a pen and paper and make some notes.
- Work out exactly how much you owe in outstanding debt, including all your credit cards, parking fines ~ basically write down and add up every single penny you owe. Depressing isn’t it?
- Work out exactly how much is the bare minimum amount a month you need to live on, including food, rent, utilities, car repayments, insurance, parking, and petrol, (gas). Compare that with how much you’ve got coming in, and if you’ve got less coming in than you will have going out, find something on your list you don’t need to buy.
- Find the nearest discount grocery store, and resolve to shop nowhere but there in future, and to buy only their cheapest stuff, providing it’s nutritious.
- Contact your bank, finance, and credit card companies and see if they can help you by deferring or reducing repayments.
- STOP FUCKING BUYING NON ESSENTIAL STUFF. If you have to, then cut up all your credit cards.
- Find a way to recover from your addiction. If you have to go to a couple of AA, or NA, or GA meetings a day then get your butt down there. Take part. STOP doing whatever it is that you’re addicted to; if it’s booze or drugs you may need medical help.
Some say that something good will turn up soon. And that the Micawber Principle is a load of bullshit anyway. All I know is that one shouldn’t throw good money down the drain.
it isn’t this pensioner’s fault that she’s broke
you should have her worries
a wise person has money in their head, not in their heart
I worked in banking and international finance for 30 years, and the most sagacious piece of advice I ever had was given to me by Mr. Williams, the then manager of Midland Bank in Durham City. He said, ‘Don’t ever be the richest body in the cemetery’. Contrary to his own advice he probably was ~ but then he had a widow and 3 daughters to think of. I don’t.
Like everything else, money follows the basic law of nature; if you have some it’s easy to get more. If you have nothing, then you are fucked. Bankers will lend money to richer people, and turn away the broken and downtrodden every time.
It’s always within your reach to be rich, but money often costs too much, especially for women. Strike that, money can cost too much for everyone, including wealthy guys. Because I was successful I found myself a trophy wife, and she cost me half a small fortune. But that doesn’t ever matter, any smart person can make money ~ nobody can make a good relationship.
That gives us rule #1 about money. If you are even moderately attractive then find yourself a moderately wealthy, moderately generous, moderately attractive partner. Some richer guys will make you feel real cool for a while, and then dump you like garbage. I know, I’ve done that ~ to my eternal shame.
Given we are not all rich, how can we manage the money we haven’t got?
There are some basic rules about money;
- Don’t buy on impulse.
- Don’t max out your credit cards.
- Do not borrow from family or friends.
- Never do anything you hate just for money.
I was very guilty of the last one. Working for a living is doing something you hate just for money.
Some say that money makes the world go around. And that the fat cats get all the cream. All I know is that it might be tough at the top, but it’s rotten at the bottom.
money will buy you any woman you want
Happiness will not come to you. Happiness can only come from you.
There are lots of books, TV shows, podcasts, and blog posts that purport to tell us how to be happy. Some focus on the practical aspects, some on emotional states, some are spiritual, and some others are religious. Personally, I wouldn’t give much weight to anyone with religion telling me how to be happy, because it will always involve God, (in one way, shape, or form).
God and I went in different directions some time ago.
There are also lots of pithy inspirational sayings about happiness.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Not everyone would agree with Roosevelt.
Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, priests, and inspirational speakers can most likely give us a host of things we can do to improve our happiness. From; building a growth mindset for happiness, to being optimistic, to ending negative thinking, to taking breaks from social media, to trusting in your higher power, and having a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle sounds like a good start to me.
Another good start to greater happiness, that comes both before and after having a healthy lifestyle, is dealing with your addictions. I have yet to meet an alcoholic, problem drinker, drug addict, casual drug user, chronic gambler, someone who often has casual sex, or anyone with an eating disorder who was happy in any way shape or form. Addicts and people who go against their inner beliefs always live with inner misery.
In fact the list of people who live in utter misery is both long and heartbreaking. The very sick, the starving, the poor, people living on the streets, those who have recently lost a loved one, refugees, and anyone who abuses their body, mind, and spirit are likely to enjoy little real happiness.
However, some say that you only need 3 big things to be happier;
- Work. Most people don’t like or enjoy their work, which is sad and bad. Those people should bite the bullet and find a better job for them. But being out of work means you’re going to be broke and miserable, and work gives you money.
- Money. Money can’t buy happiness, but try living flat broke in modern society to know what misery is. Having just enough money will make you happier than being broke.
- Marriage ~ or a stable long-term relationship. This gives you things like friendship, security, and sex. People who live alone for too long are usually miserable and can become mentally ill.
It’s much more complicated than that, but I guarantee that if you don’t have all of those three things you will be very unhappy, probably depressed, and perhaps even suicidal.
Some say that money can’t buy you love. And that sex without love is just a meaningless mechanical act. All I know is that for a healthy person to live without sex and companionship is almost the definition of misery.
friendship, companionship, and sex may come in many different forms
Should a guy always pay the tab in a fancy restaurant?
Following my ‘Shipping Forecast’ post earlier today, I have been roundly disabused about what women want. A close friend of mine has told me, in no uncertain terms, that most women do not want ‘guys who pick up the restaurant bill, arrange the vacations and buy the tickets, and who will go to wild parties and pretend to enjoy them……’
Funny, she could have fooled me, because where ever I have been with her, whatever great road trips we have been on, whenever we have been to a nice restaurant, or called at a cool bar ~ I have always paid for everything. And, from the first time I met her she has expected me to always pay for everything. (With the exception of a few drinks, or a meal once in a while…..)
Also she has expected me to enjoy meeting her family and friends at various lunches and get-togethers. Quite frankly I don’t want to get to know her family and friends. We don’t have that kind of relationship.
As it goes I don’t mind always picking up the tab, but I object when she says that’s not what she wants, and that it’s not what most women want.
Or, have I got things totally wrong, again?
the end of a great road trip
Easy Lifestyle Changes Could Save You A Small Fortune.
There some very basic things you can do which, added together, will save you a great deal of money. These changes to the way you live your life are not difficult, they’re not complicated, and they will not take up a lot of your time. In fact, all of these things are what my granny used to call; ‘basic common sense’. Get on with it, smell the roses, save yourself some money, and live a better life.
- Pay off all your credit and store card bills. The average interest rate on credit card debt is around 16%, with some banks charging as much as 79.9% per annum, this is just extortion and usury. Far better to borrow elsewhere, at a cheaper rate, and pay off your plastic.
- Use the internet and find cheaper providers for your gas, electricity, water, mobile phone, (cell phone), land line telephone, internet, cable television, and car insurance. Switch to the cheapest provider because customer service will always suck, no matter who you are with. And, by the way, do you really need all those rubbish TV channels?
- Lower the temperature of your heating, and raise the temperature of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees. We all pay far too much for heating and cooling our homes.
- Lower the temperature at which you wash your clothes. There is a 30C setting on my washing machine, (about 90F), and most of the time that’s what I use. This gets rid of most dirt and stains, but it does not get rid of germs, and it’s not hot enough to get whites clean. So, I still always wash my bed linen and whites at 90C, (about 200F). Mind you, I always use biological washing powder which works well at lower temperatures.
- Always make a shopping list. Far too many people go into a store and come out with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t really want or need, while forgetting the important thing they went in for. Make a shopping list and never, ever make impulse purchases.
- Try own-brand goods. Very often the own-brand products are just as good as the more expensive named-brands. Quite often own-brand products are made in the same factories and on the same production lines as named brands. Stores always try to make you buy the most expensive, premium goods.
- Never buy ‘designer labels’ ~ don’t be a logo whore, and who wants some other guy’s name on their clothes and shoes anyway? It’s pathetic.
- Learn to do DIY. I hate contractors, repair men, decorators, gardeners, with a passion. If it needs doing then 90% of the time I do it myself. Learn to decorate, put up a shelf, fix a leaky tap, (faucet), and save yourself an absolute fortune.
- Make your travel arrangements early and do it on the internet. Always shop around for the cheapest deal. Always pay by credit card. Get a brochure from the travel agent for information and to give you a comparison.
- Learn to drive properly. Almost everyone I know is a crap driver, especially women. Almost everyone I know drives too fast, races between the lights, uses the accelerator hard and the brakes hard, and sits in the wrong gear. Drive a little slower and learn what anticipation means and you will not only use less petrol, (gas), there will be much less wear and tear on your car.
- Don’t always buy the newest, top-of-the-range car. A low mileage used car, or the basic model in the new car range can save you thousands. Remember, the biggest cost of owning a car is depreciation. Most cars will lose between 50% – 60% of their value in the first 3 years. (Just don’t buy an Edsel ~ people will laugh.)
- Walk, don’t drive. If you don’t have far to go and don’t have much to carry, don’t drive, walk instead. That won’t only save you money, walking will do wonders for your health and fitness.
- Give up smoking / vaping. Both will seriously damage your health, both can kill you, and both will cost you a fortune. A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost you about £7 in the UK and about $7 in California, (USA prices vary by state). So, a 10 a day habit will cost you about £1,300 per annum in the UK and $1,300 a year in California ~ a lot of money for a disgusting habit that’s killing you.
- Cut down on your drinking. Too much booze will make you fat, ill, and temporarily or permanently stupid ~ it will eventually kill you. How much booze is too much? If you drink a bottle of wine a night, or 4 bottles of beer, or a quarter of a bottle of spirits, then you are drinking far too much. Decent booze is hellishly expensive.
- STOP GAMBLING. Gambling is exactly the same as throwing your hard-earned money in the trash. Gambling is an addiction, and all gamblers lose heavily over time, always, with no exceptions, (not even the Cincinnati Kid).
- Never, ever, join a gym, and if you have gym membership, then cancel it. Most people with gym memberships don’t go often enough to get their money’s worth. Gyms are poor value for money and bad places for most people to exercise ~ you’re breathing stale air, being made to listen to loud music, and you’re indoors under artificial lights. Nasty. Exercise for free instead.
- Plan ahead and buy stuff in the sales, at discount stores, and in thrift stores.
- Claim all your tax and other benefits. Use the internet at learn what you can really claim.
- Never use pay per view TV or TV services such as Netflix ~ this is just stupid. Do you really need to dumb down so much as to sit in front of the TV, and pay extra for the privilege, over and above whatever stupid cable subscription you are already paying for this crap?
- Never, ever buy extended warranties on things like a car, new washing machine, or television. These warranties are scams, not worth the paper they’re printed on, and cost a fortune.
- Stop buying expensive pre-prepared, ready meals. Learn to cook instead. ‘Ready meals’ are full of unmentionable crap, and are terrible value for money.
Remember, when you want to save money, when you want to stop wasting money, the internet is your friend. You may think you don’t have the time to spend on internet research, trust me, you do have loads of spare time, it’s just that you waste that too. Stop ruining your mind by watching hours of drivel on the TV, stop ruining your health by spending time in your usual sleazy pub / bar, and stop making excuses.
Never, ever, sign anything you don’t understand. Never, ever, trust a salesperson.
Most People Don’t Really Manage Their Money.
After more years in Banking and Finance than I care to admit, I can remember very few people who took responsibility for, and properly managed, their personal finances. In my bitter experience, most people lived from one month to another without knowing where their money was going, or what they could really afford, or what was totally outside their budget.
If it comes to that, very few people have a proper, written, up to date, personal and household budget. If you can put your hand up and say that you do, and that it is actually written down, (or on a spreadsheet, or otherwise on your computer), then you can skip the rest of this post and award yourself a gold star.
The point of having a budget is that it stops you being caught out by unpleasant financial surprises. A budget also lets you plan ahead, for the rest of this year, next year, for the next two or three years, for a wedding, your kid’s college, for your retirement…
These are the steps you need to follow if you are going to create or revise your budget.
- Make a list of all the money you owe. Before you save anything, before you make any investments, you should work towards paying off any and all loans and credit cards balances you have. And, you can’t plan to pay off your loans early if you don’t have a proper budget.
- Make a list of all the regular payments you have to make. These will range from your mortgage, property taxes, utilities bills, right through to charitable donations, cable TV, and gym membership…
- Make a list of your usual necessary expenses that you pay as you go along. How much petrol do you put in your car each month? How much do you spend on groceries, clothes, shoes…
- Make a list of how much your usual discretionary purchases are costing you. These are things you don’t actually need. How much do you spend at your local bar or any bars. How much does eating out cost you each month? What do you pay for cigarettes / vaping supplies each month. How much do you waste on gambling and booze.
- Write down anything else that you buy on a regular basis, and how much it costs you. Add in an amount for contingencies; all that stuff you can’t remember buying, and those weird impulse purchases.
- Put all these lists of the money you spend into order of importance.
- Turn all these lists into a monthly budget, which might look something like this;
Obviously your numbers will be totally different, and you may have some different categories, for example; health insurance, pet care insurance, cigarettes, booze, sports club membership…. (And as it goes, the example I’ve shown is poorly ordered, for example Transportation should be above toiletries and grooming.)
This kind of budget lets you begin to do some real financial planning.
Look at your budget, the most vital things should be at the top, and the things you could really get by without should be at the bottom. It should fit with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (albeit turned on its head)
If your monthly total is less than you earn, all well and good. Don’t save or invest your spare cash, use it to pay off some of the money you owe, like your mortgage. Saving or investing while you owe money elsewhere is stupid money management.
If your monthly total is more than you earn, you’re in trouble. You need to cut your spending, and you start by cutting at the bottom of your budget, not at the top. Spend less money in bars, buying cigarettes, eating out, gambling, buying booze, being the member of a gym…
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery. ~ Mr Mcawber, by Charles Dickens
Don’t even think about saving, investing, buying a new car, or building your pension fund, if you don’t have a proper realistic and honest written budget, one that you can stick to. You know it’s good advice, the kind of advice George Bailey would give you.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
There has been much talk about the fall in the value of the Pound Sterling against the United States Dollar and the bastard Euro since Britain voted to leave the European Union. Without getting into the politics of it, what’s all this about, and what does it all mean?
To start with; the exchange rate, or foreign currency exchange rate, or Forex rate, measures the value of a base currency, (your own currency usually), against a foreign currency. Thus the $ / £ rate is currently about 1.22, which means one pound sterling gets you one dollar and twenty-two cents. The exchange rate is the price of one currency against another. Some people also use movements in exchange rates to measure the strength of a currency’s underlying economy. This is like measuring global warming by looking out of window at today’s weather. It’s a
piss very poor gauge.
However, long-term trends do tell you something ~ like the recent fall in the value of the pound could have been predicted years ago because of the amount of UK debt sloshing around. The fall in the value of the pound has very little to do with Brexit, and a lot to do with the UK government printing too much money for years, and years, and years…
A weak economy is the sign of a weak economy, and a weak economy is the sign of a weak nation. ~ Ross Perot
Ross Perot doesn’t know much about Forex either.
What does this mean to you and me? Well, for a start, the exchange rate tells you very little about how much your savings / salary / holiday money is worth in your preferred destination. For that you need to know about purchasing power parity. What this theory says is that my money still goes a hell of a long way in Orange County, California, USA. As an example, car rental and the price of petrol / gasoline, is still cheaper for me in the USA than it is in England. So is the cost hotels, eating out, and etc. I have suffered a potential windfall loss in the change in the price of the USD against GBP, but on the scale of things does that worry me? Nope.
Worrying about movements in currency exchange rates is a lot like worrying about what the weather is going to be like next week. It’s interesting, but pointless.
Forex rates do have an effect on people, but not in the way you’d think. Forex rates, interest rates, purchasing power, inflation, government fiscal policy, all these factors kind of mush together to create an amorphous mess that hardly anybody understands. So let me break it down for you.
- The man in the street and small businesses. Forex rates hardly affect you at all, in relative terms. When it comes to the cost of your vacation abroad the movement in exchange rates is a tiny proportion of your overall spend. Here in England stuff you buy at home may get slightly more expensive, but that’s really down to lying politicians and the bosses of big businesses using exchange rate movements as an excuse for price hikes. If exchange rates had gone the other way do you think things at home would get cheaper? Of course not.
- Businesses buying and selling overseas. Here the sterling / dollar / euro / yuan exchange rates actually mean something. It means stuff you sell in pounds sterling has become better value abroad, while product you buy abroad in foreign currency has become more expensive. So what? That’s what management is all about, and if you don’t understand Forex, why are you dealing in foreign currencies anyway?
- Multi-national companies. Forex rates affect the big multinationals not at all, it’s merely another variable in their international treasury management operations. When a multinational like Unilever says they have to increase their prices to UK supermarkets because of the fall in the value of the pound, they’re lying.
What really impacts on everyone is this purchasing power parity thing, and that’s a lot more complicated than just exchange rates. For example, the national minimum wage and cost of health care has a lot to do with purchasing power parity.
As far as governments, central banks, and politicians are concerned, they could care less about Forex rates. They may talk a good talk, and wring their hands from time to time, but they really, really don’t care.
What should you do about movements in foreign currency exchange rates?
- Don’t worry about it, because it’s as pointless as worrying about the weather.
- Don’t create translation exposure. Pay for stuff in your own currency, and if you’re selling abroad, then sell in your own currency ~ (if you can, if not consider forward currency cover). Don’t ever borrow money in a currency you don’t earn. Also, don’t save in a currency you don’t want to spend.
- Don’t buy complicated Forex products, (if you don’t understand it, don’t buy it), or pay for advice on exchange rates. In fact never, ever, pay for financial advice of any kind.
- Shop around. Buying or selling foreign currency is the same as buying and selling anything else. Spend a little while looking for the best deal. But beware, there are more crooks in this market than there are in the used car business.
- Forget exchange rates and look instead at purchasing power. If I can buy the exact same thing on Amazon.com in $ as I can on Amazon.co.uk in £ which is going to be the better deal? You know what? 99% of the time it depends on where I want it shipped to.
The true currency of life is time, not money, and we’ve all got a limited stock of that. ~ Robert Harris
Mostly, movements in foreign currency exchange rates are simple ~ they will affect you in ways you cannot understand, cannot predict, and can do nothing about, so forget it. For some people, foreign currency exchange rates are frighteningly complicated and dangerous animals, but given that these people usually work deep in the research engine rooms of the world’s biggest banks, it’s safe to let them get on with whatever it is they do, which is not a lot.