Finding Freedom

How quickly can a fool find his money again?

I currently have a whole bunch of debt. Hmm...I wonder how much I could get for my kidneys?
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Thursday, November 02, 2006
Hi All
I have eased on down the road over to

If y'all would consider updating your links, that would be mighty groovy! Also, if you notice any bugs over there, let me know, and I'll work to figure them out.
posted by shamedsteven @ 5:51 PM   2 comments
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
A Faustian Bargain
I had heard commercials talking about Cash Call. They starred Gary Coleman. Although I certainly don't need any more money lended to me at interest right now, on a whim I went over to their site to check them out. The site seems pretty legitimate; it almost seems like they are just looking to help people out who are down on their luck.

However, in examining what users have said about them, that help that they offer comes at a great price. While I suspected that their interest rates weren't kind, but I had no idea that they were as bad as they are.

Many of the people are locked into loans with an interest of at least 85%. You read that right; eighty-five percent interest. At least.

Can you say preying on those least able to protect themselves? This is horrible, and it makes me sick.
posted by shamedsteven @ 4:38 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Library
I know that this is silly, but I have a confession to make: I love the library.

For someone who enjoys reading as much as I do, I have found that reading can be a very costly habit. Though I normally wait for books to go to softcover, there are certain books that I want to read right away. And, even when I do wait for softcover, I still find myself shelling out ten to twelve bucks a pop.

Although the duration of enjoyment is perhaps commisserate with the price, if you buy too many books, you're going to find yourself in the poorhouse pretty quickly.

And so, yesterday, as I ventured back to the library after a long time spent away, I remembered how nice it is to be able to read what you want for free.

Recommendation for the Day: Read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It gives fascinating insight into how we know things intuitively even before we can prove them empirically.
posted by shamedsteven @ 11:58 AM   0 comments
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Gambling at the Office
On Monday, one of the personal assistants to one of the big bosses was going around asking for money for an exercise contest that we are apparently having here at the office.

The contest is simple: the person who loses the most percentage of weight in a month wins, and by wins, I not only mean that that person will likely have a longer and more enjoyable life, that person also wins the money that had been collected.

Little do the folks know that they have combined not only my love winning money but also my love of potentially weighing less than a Humvee.

The pot is nearly five hundred bucks. Easy money.
posted by shamedsteven @ 1:21 PM   3 comments
Monday, September 25, 2006
Pete Rose and Supply Versus Demand
According to a recent post over at the Freakonomics Blog, Pete Rose, the famous baseball player and manager who was banned for life from the game in 1989 for betting on baseballgames, signed some baseballs with the inscription "I'm sorry I bet on baseball" for some of his friends who were memorobelia collectors.

Somehow, some of these balls got into the hands of other collectors, who opted to auction them off on ebay.

When Pete Rose heard about this, he started selling new balls with the same inscription over at his own website, thus devaluing the price of the original signed balls.

I think that this story is very interesting. My question is, was Pete Rose angry that somebody stood to profit over something that he had intended as gifts for his friends, or did he himself see an opportunity to make a few bucks, and he ran with it?
posted by shamedsteven @ 2:41 PM   2 comments
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This Has Nothing to Do with Personal Finance
I saw this news headline over on yahoo, and I needed some place to share it because I thought it was hilarious. You are looking at that place.

Man Bites Panda After Panda Bites Man.

As you can imagine, this happened after a man who had had a little too much alocohol thought that he would recreate a photo op. Oddly, that panda didn't want to recreate it, and opted to bite the man instead. With no other real weapons at his disposal, the man opted to bite him back, only to discover that the bear's fur was too thick to bite through.

If that doesn't bring a smile to your day, I don't know what will. I know it brought one to mine.
posted by shamedsteven @ 1:11 PM   2 comments
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Disney Is a Smart Company
Disney has made over a million bucks in the last week from selling digital copies of some of its movies on itunes. Because of how well this went, the company is expecting to make over fifty million big ones by the end of the year.

What did they find out about the process? They found that the results of selling movies online made a negligible difference in their dvd sales.

I always knew that Disney was a source of innovative entertainment, but what didn't really strike me until I read this article is the fact that they really are an innovative company. Companies have to be willing to adapt in order to continually achieve profits, and Disney has found and developed a new trend in entertainment moneymaking.

Good for them.
posted by shamedsteven @ 2:51 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I am at home today, taking a sick day because, well, I just didn't feel like my body was working like it was supposed to when I woke up.

When I think about it, besides the obvious immediate gratification of not having to work when you don't feel like it and getting paid, in my mind, at least, it seems that the company cares for me enough to take care of me when I'm not feeling well. This, in turn, increases my morale and makes me very glad and thankful to have the job that I have, even if I don't particularly enjoy it.

Because I'm thankful for my job, I'm more likely to do it well than if I were not thankful for my job, which, I imagine, is kind of why they have these policies.

It's kind of interesting to reflect on how things that don't specifically make sense in conjunction with one another (not working and getting paid) make sense when you think about them in a broader context.
posted by shamedsteven @ 2:59 PM   0 comments
Monday, September 18, 2006
Continued Gas Ponderings
According to this article at, the average gas price for a gallon of the precious, precious liquid in America is $2.50. However, where I live, gas is, on average, about $2.85.

Therefore, somewhere in America, gas must logically be $2.15 per gallon.

My question? Where is this gas, and why don't I live there?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
posted by shamedsteven @ 7:33 PM   2 comments
Thursday, September 14, 2006
This Weekend
I just wanted to jot off a quick post letting you all know that I'll be gone for a long weekend due to the fact that one of my very best friends is getting married. I'm really happy for him because his fiance seems like she's just about perfect for him.

I hope you all have wonderful weekends; I know that I will.
posted by shamedsteven @ 10:21 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Speaking of Funny Things People Do with their Money...
The Arizona Diamondbacks are disappointed with how much money they're making.

Do they,

A) Do nothing and hope things get better on their own,
B) Spend money on trying to get some better players,
C) Spend more money on scouting out the best college players, or
D) Change the team's colors.

If you guessed D, you'd be right.

I have to say that I agree with the analysis in the article above, especially the lines, "Attention Diamondbacks: Fans will buy your merchandise and go to your games if your team does well. I don't care if your team colors were baby pink and eggshell, if you made it to the World Series, you would have plenty of rabid fans eager to spend money on everything from Diamonbacks hats to Diamondbacks breast pumps."

This is an issue that holds particular interest for me because I went through a situation that I think is very similar.

For my B.A., I went to a very small, accredited Christian college. The year after I graduated, the school, like the Diamondbacks, was finding it difficult to make ends meet. So, the administration decided that the best course of action to get new students was not to implement long lasting changes so that the course structure was better or seek out professors that may have been a little bit better at what they did, but instead, to change the school's name.

And it makes perfect sense, when you think about it. Implementing lasting change is difficult; who wants to do that? Besides, when you're going to college, you don't want a name that you can recognize; you want something flashy, like, "A Legitimate College" or "President So and So's Party Fun Time University."

I just don't get it. I don't get why people will go for a gimmick when the obvious answer is staring them right in the face. Perhaps one day, the answer will come to me.
posted by shamedsteven @ 1:20 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
For Those Interested
My call-back on Saturday went really well, and I have really high hopes for it. The auditionees seemed really impressed with me, and I don't know that I could have done very much better.

Unfortunately for me, rehearsal for the show won't start for another month, and so the theatre has a large amount of time to figure out who they're going to cast.

As it is common practice for theatres not to call those who didn't get parts to let them know that they didn't get parts (because, really, who would want that job?) and as they did not tell us when they would be letting us know, that leaves a lot of room for self doubt between now and next month.

If this were myspace, I would put that my mood was apprehensive. But it's not, so I will awkwardly include it as a new paragraph in this post.
posted by shamedsteven @ 2:21 PM   0 comments
Monday, September 11, 2006
9/11 - Where Were You?
I saw a similar post over at Financial Freedumb, and I thought that I would post my own story over here.

I woke up mid morning. Still being in college and not having class until eleven, I was afforded such luxuries.

After taking my shower, I went back to my room to get dressed. I turned on KPBS to listen to while I was going over some homework for my class. I overheard words and phrases like "planes" and "safety issues." Figuring that this was just another round table discussion about something that didn't really impact me, I clicked the off button as I grabbed my stuff and headed off for class.

As I was walking, a friend came up to me and said, "So, what do you think of all the craziness?"

Not knowing what she was talking about, I said, "What do you mean?"

She replied, "Our country is being attacked right now. What do you think about that?"

I laughed out loud. I said, "What? Are you serious? That's the most ridiculous thing that I've ever heard."

She asserted that she was telling the truth, but before we had the opportunity to talk further, we realized class was about to start, so we each went our separate ways.

When I got to my class, the teacher looked grave. Once class started, he told what he knew about what was going on, which, to be fair, was not much. We didn't know at the time whether planes would keep flying into buildings, or if other terrorist acts would occur.

Shoot, we didn't even know that it was terrorists that had done the attacking.

Being in San Diego, we were all mildly concerned about our health due to our proximity to the large military community in surrounding area. Would they be attacked next?

The teacher decided that we should continue with class. I've got to say, not a lot was learned about that subject that day. After class, I rushed back to a common area on campus that had a tv, and I watched the replays of the planes hitting the WTC. Over and over and over the news showed the same surreal scene, which was almost necessary in that even when I had seen it several times, I still had a hard time believing that it had happened.

I still do.
posted by shamedsteven @ 1:52 PM   0 comments
Friday, September 08, 2006
As I read articles like the one over at CNN that tell the story of a 23 year old woman who has been actively saving and investing since she was 16, I am encouraged. I feel similarly as I browse through the difference personal finance sites that, if you're reading this, you likely write.

It is both fascinating and uplifting to see how each of us is progressing in our attempts to put our minds over our money.

So, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the personal finance writing community for showing me, by example, the way to the straight and narrow way to financial freedom. Each of your personal experiences and bits of advice that you share with the world on your sites shows me the way to a better life.

Thank you.
posted by shamedsteven @ 12:41 PM   0 comments
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Google Adsense
Just out of curiosity, for those of you who use Google Adsense on your sites, how many times per day do you check it?

I find myself checking it several times per day, though I should also include that I check it to see how many page views I'm receiving as well.

Am I sick? Surely at the rate that I'm earning (which could certainly be much better), once per day would be enough.
posted by shamedsteven @ 11:23 AM   2 comments
About Me
Name: Steven shamedsteven
Home: San Diego
About Me: Well, boys and girls, I, like a whole bunch of other people, made a series of "conscious, deliberate mistakes" and have ended up with a buttload of debt. What is chronicled here are some musings about the journey out.
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