Saturday, May 24, 2008

Top 40 Radio with WLS on Memorial Day

Got this in my email this week.

If you grew up listening to out of town radio along with the local stuff then perhaps you'll be interested in this too:

Lujack, Landecker, Chuck Knapp, Fred Winston, Bill Bailey…they’re all back for Chicago's “Big 89 Rewind.”

Big 89 RewindWLS – from its top 40 heyday – still has a mystical hold on folks who grew up glued to their transistor radios to hear what animal stories “Superjock” Lujack and Tommy Edwards would come up with, or how John Records Landecker would handle the nighttime “Boogie Check.” Last year’s holiday weekend “Rewind” was a hoot (based on the Art Vuolo video that I saw), and now this year Citadel’s hosting another 19-hour Memorial Day flashback. Even the names of the newscasters are burned into your brain, if you recall big voices like Lyle Dean and Gil Gross and sportsguy Les Grobstein. The Big 89 really was bigger than life. Vuolo’s back with his camera this year, and he says Chuck Knapp’s coming in from Minneapolis to do mornings, Lujack and Tommy Edwards will do 9am-noon together, and several other folks who contributed to last year’s Rewind by ISDN will be present in the studio this year – including Jeff Davis and (in from San Francisco) Gil Gross. It happens on Monday, the official holiday.

Of course we can even listen on line (Google it)!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dealing With People and Ourselves

I used to have a dog. Twice as a matter of fact.

Pets can be easier to deal with than people. But while they may make nice companions and foot warmers, they lack the ability to converse the way we can with other people.

I grew up as an only child, with no relatives in town except my folks. Later I married into a family with lots of nearby relatives. My second marriage a few years ago added even more family into my life.

There was conflict growing up, between my parents and at one time I thought about becoming a therapist, until I got burned out helping them to sort out their relationship.

Sometime in your life, (most likely multiple times), conflicts will arise and feelings will be hurt. What matters is what happens next.

Are you willing to fight for the relationship?

Are you willing to forgive, even if the other person hasn't apologized?

These are tough questions and I hope your long weekend isn't filled with a lot of turmoil, but when people get together, things sometimes happen.

And you shouldn't swat them with a newspaper.

For more on this, read this posting from the Dumb Little Man Blog that arrived in my email:

How to Forgive: The Tug-of-War Between Heart and Head

Posted: 22 May 2008 06:02 PM CDT

Written on 5/21/2008 by Shelly DeVous.

This is not an easy article to write. I have been hurt by someone very close to me and I know that I need to forgive that person, but it is easier said than done. Intellectually, I know that until I can forgive, I will stew in my resentment and hurt - harming myself, not the person who hurt me. I could seek revenge, but countering a wrong with a wrong is… well, wrong.

What to do?

As I reside in the limbo between true forgiveness and painful hurt, I struggle with the tug-of-war between heart and head. I won’t seek revenge, but I am also not ready to forgive despite the realization that forgiving is precisely what I have to do to stop hurting.

People don’t ask to be hurt, but the offended must be the ones to initiate the resolve.
Forgiveness is the pill we must swallow when we suffer from hurt inflicted by others. We must move past the feelings of a hurt-felt heart and use our reason, our mind, to guide us to healing.

Age, maturity, teaches us to “let it go,” “forgive and forget,” but sound reason does not manifest a quick cure. It does, however, keep us from making a bigger mistake. The mind must win the tug-of-war between heart and head. To do otherwise, we would be hurting ourselves even more.

How do we make the head win?

When our heart and mind are conflicted, thinking more about the offense will only exasperate the situation; we need to distract the mind. Our thoughts need to move on, get off-track, and the best way to distract the mind is to busy the hands.

Performing tasks like cooking, gardening, car maintenance, writing, anything that requires the mind to think about what the hands are doing will give our heart and head the time to eclipse the pain and coalesce into a more productive, positive realm. Manual exercise restores the balance to life necessary to heal. The sooner we become productive, the quicker we will be able to forgive.

Busying the hands also gives us the time to move past the initial harm. We still may feel hurt, but the hurt won’t feel as deep. The urge for revenge will pass; the head eventually wins.

If you’ve been hurt and find yourself in the tug-of-war between heart and head it may be helpful to take the
Forgiveness Test created by Dr. Susan Brown as part of her doctoral dissertation at Fuller Theological Seminary. It is a 14-question, multiple-choice test which helps to identify personal thoughts and behaviors regarding forgiveness. I took the test and discovered I’m half-way there.

What I neglected to consider (as I wallowed in my self-pity) was the
source of the problem. Question 13, “I looked for the source of the problem and tried to correct it,” caused a light bulb to go off in my head.

Again, the heart was clouding my rational thought
The test made me realize that if I don’t want to be hurt by this person again, I should look for the source of the problem and work to correct it. Being hurt involves two people. Forgiveness is what I do, but that is only half the solution.

Resolving the source of the hurt involves both of us. That is what’s necessary for true reconciliation and lasting peace...the ability to truly forgive and forget, forever.
I’m glad I took the test and I’m glad I wrote this article. I took the time to busy my hands. I don’t feel as hurt now as I did when I began writing.

I’m getting closer to true forgiveness and realize I have more work to do before all is well again. In the end, my head won, but so did my heart.


What to do with those half empty bottles of booze

As a service to those of you that have decided to give up vodka and clean up your act this weekend, I have an alternative for what you were planning on doing (selling them in a garage sale, NO!)

This is from the site

The Many Uses of Vodka

By: Dahlia Rideout

Aside from being a fantastic drink, vodka has many uses which you may not have known about. Since vodka is one of the world's most popular drinks, many of us have a bottle handy in the home. And since its typically filtered and pure, it makes a handy liquid to have around.

Here are a few uses:

  1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves adhesive
  2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.
  3. Clean jewelry. Soak the jewelry in vodka for five minutes, then rinse, and dry.
  4. Clean lipstick from clothing. Rub the stain with vodka, then throw into your regular wash.
  5. Remove the glue left behind by a bumper sticker. Rub the glue with a soft, clean cloth soaked with vodka
  6. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.
  7. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.
  8. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.
  9. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.
  10. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.
  11. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.
  12. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.
  13. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.
  14. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.
  15. vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.
  16. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.
  17. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.
  18. Soothe a sore throat. Add a tablespoon of vodka to glass of warm water and gargle. The alcohol helps numb the sore throat.
  19. Eliminate swimer's ear. If you don't have rubbing alcohol, fill an eardropper with vodka, and squeeze it into the affected ear, then let it drain out
Article source: Miss Photo courtesy of Kaishin on Flickr (via Creative Commons)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Free OnLine Storage Sites

I had a couple of minutes today to check email and this was in one of the newsletters I receive.

I have NOT checked them out yet, but you can.

Allow me to show you two sites that offer 5GB totally free: Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive and 4Shared.

More than just this

More Shameless self promotion.

I have written over 1500 Blog posts.

It all started just over 3 years ago, in February 2005.

This blog has nearly 500 posts. And is updated at least once a day with something.

Most of the posts, (nearly 900) are on another blog that I started in March 2005 called Collective Wisdom which is dedicated to Advertising, Marketing and the Creative Process. It has a minimum of three new posts each day.

I also started a related blog, "The Not So Secret Writings of ScLoHo", which is a collection of my thoughts and observations on the subject of Marketing and Advertising. 58 posts are there at this moment.

Finally, on another creative tangent, I started a Picture blog. which now has exceeded 100 posts of both personal photos and pictures found on the web that tickled my fancy.

I invite you to dig around, explore, and even comment on any of these.

I have an easy way to find the links and that is to go to my website, and click on the links on the left hand side.

There's more to explore at too, but I'll let you discover it for yourself.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Plant Closing?

Fort Wayne has suffered significant job losses when a major employer leaves town or shuts down.

Years ago it was International Harvester.

Later it was Lincoln Life.

There have been plenty of others, but those 2 stick out in my mind.

The following story is of local importance because on the southwest edge of town, we have a GM Truck plant that pumps lots of money into the Northeast Indiana economy.

What, (if anything), is being done if that plant closes?

Read this:

GM Studies the Future of Full-Sized Trucks

General Motors might be closer to becoming more of a car company and less of a truck company.

The automaker is conducting a major study on full-sized trucks and SUVs. The internal study looks four years ahead to determine market conditions and how much GM should change its lineup, possibly by offering fewer trucks and SUVs.

GM has asked its researchers to "give us a view as to what the long-term truck and full-size SUV demand might be and why you think it is that way," Troy Clarke, GM's president of North America, said in an interview with Automotive News.

He said GM needs to understand whether the current shift in sales mix from big pickup trucks and SUVs to more fuel-efficient vehicles represents a long-term change -- what Clarke calls a "structural impact."

The industry also has seen demand for the vehicles decline in an era of near-$4-per-gallon gasoline.

Through April, sales of GM's full-sized pickups were down 18.5 percent compared with April 2007. Over the same period, GM's SUV sales were down 31.5 percent compared with last year. That is making GM consider adding more crossovers, says Mike DiGiovanni, executive director of global market and industry analysis.

"We're keeping a close eye on full-sized trucks and asking ourselves how much more aggressively we want to enter the crossover space, given where the world is going," he says.

DiGiovanni is leading the study. He is looking at all the factors that drive up oil prices and considering the impact on GM's lineup if gasoline prices stay the same or go higher.

"I will tell you that even with higher oil prices, there'll still be a sizable market for full-sized pickups," DiGiovanni says. "It'll be down from where it is now, but it'll still be there."

If oil prices stabilize, there would be modest declines in SUV demand, DiGiovanni says. But, he adds, "All bets are off if oil skyrockets."

(Source: Automotive News, 05/19/08)

For all you stay at home workers....

And I'm not talking to those of you that are full time parents.

This is for those of you that have a home office and that is the center of your universe.

Yesterday, I met with a concert and event promoter that could use this advice.

I also work with a couple small ad agencies that are home based.

And I have a brother in law that runs an international company via the internet from his home office.

Most of the folks mentioned above are well adjusted and don't need these words of wisdom... but just in case you know someone that does need it, pass this on like I'm doing from the LifeDev Blog:

7 Ways the Home Worker Can Find a Meaningful Relationship

Mom & Dad
Creative Commons License photo credit: Hometown Invasion Tour

Editors note: Post written by Heather Johnson.

Working from home presents as many challenges as it does opportunities. When it comes to developing a meaningful relationship, the home worker may feel that they’re behind the proverbial eight ball. You’re not out in the world as much as the guy that works in an office in the city. You do lose out on some chances to meet new people, whether it be someone from your office or at the after-work bar everyone goes to. But there are definite ways you can forge a solid relationship and here’s how:

  1. Value yourself. Many people who work from home may feel differently about their jobs than people that commute day in and day out. Don’t let yourself feel any less than the “regular” worker. If you develop these feelings you’ll bring them into every other facet of your life. Take pride in what you do and you’ll emit this positive attitude into your relationship pursuits.

  2. Make the proper time. When working from home, chances are you have a much different schedule than your mate. Try to regulate your work schedule to make things as normal as possible when trying to get together with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

  3. Communication is crucial. If you’re working from home then you probably have more leeway with talking while on the job. Your partner may not be able to chat as much as you can. Respect their jobs and don’t expect to have dialogue all day long just because you can.

  4. Stop working after hours. The temptation to check your email and keep working at odd hours is huge for home workers. Just because your office may be next to your living room doesn’t mean you should avoid spending time with the ones you love because you feel the urge to always be working.

  5. Follow the same work habits. If your wife is planning to take a day off because she’s burnt out then you should do the same. Even if the two of you are just staying home then stay away from your work too.

  6. Leave the job in the “office. Everyone talks about their job when they leave for the day, but most will know when enough is enough. It’s harder for the home worker because they’re always at the office. Try to develop a habit where you can avoid always talking about your work. This will make a positive impact on your relationship.

  7. Act like you’re going out in the real world. It can be tempting to roll out of bed and start working without ever getting out of your pajamas. Don’t do this. This can cause animosity and jealousy from your mate. It also makes you look like a slob.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of date sites.

Stupid Waste of Time

I'm warning you. But if you really want to any way, click here

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Misunderstanding Women (A Man's Perspective)

Monday evening my wife sent me a link to Eric Pennington's Blog and a posting regarding customer relations and sales. I'll be reposting that on my Collective Wisdom Blog in the future.

In the meantime, Eric had another post dealing with Husbands and Wives that is worthy of sharing, read on, and I'll add some additional comments at the end.

Why Men Don't Value Wives and Motherhood

I've been thinking lately about what we value and what we don't. This is important because our values do define our lives.

For example, if your career is what you value most, then everything (I mean everything) will be second to that. I'm not writing to judge, just stating a reality. It's ironic how little values are considered in our current age.

The above brings me to why men (significant numbers) don't value their wives and motherhood. I know this post might generate some scathing comments, but I speak as a recovering jerk in the area of valuing my wife and my motherhood.

I worked, as many readers/subscribers know, in corporate America for many years. The majority of that was at a senior level. And yes, I drank the kool-aid, participated in the rah, rah sessions and terminated the employment of people who were deemed disposable. I was paid well and thought (at times) my path was only going to get better.

During this time my wife gave up her career to raise our two children. This decision was mutually agreed upon. The idea of her being the primary care-giver seemed like the right thing to do. To this day, I would say our children are the better for this decision.

But along the way I began to see our roles as separate and equal. She took care of things at home and I took care of things career related. There were times when we'd share the burdens, but I thought little about her struggles and work load. After all, I saw it as her role/job. The "taking things for granted" process settled in.

Many times she would call me at the office to vent or seek affirmation. I gave her words, but not my heart. Life went on, money was made and security (perceived) became the normal. We lived this way for almost ten years, and then things changed. My wife went back to work and corporate America said goodbye to me. I became a man who did many different things (author, consultant and stay-at-home dad). All of sudden the world looked strange. For example, work on the book manuscript and make sure my son got to preschool. Ironically, after about six months, I found myself longing for affirmation and encouragement from wife for all of my hard work at home. I felt like a man exposed by his ghosts.

I don't claim that my experiences are unique or more important than other men. But here are the reasons why many men don't value their wives or motherhood:

  1. As men we are taught early on that money makes the world go round and you'd better work hard to get it. Therefore, making money becomes part of our root system. Like a tenacious weed.
  2. We assign roles without understanding or caring. I made so many assumptions without taking the time to understand my wife's greatest needs.
  3. We're too busy (cop-out) to give the attention where its needed. We decide that our wives are fine in our mind, and then we just move on.
  4. We don't evaluate the magnitude of motherhood. We don't consider what our wives went through to carry and birth a child, let alone be the primary caregiver.
  5. Being a wife and mother doesn't, in form, produce money. Assigning value becomes tough and we just take it for granted. If wives and mothers started being paid for what they deal with, we'd probably stand-up and take notice. But it would be too late to applaud then.

The Eric that walked the halls of corporate America is dead. The post-corporate America Eric is learning how to live and has been given a chance to be remade. It's very difficult to live differently at times, but I have found a life worth living.

My wife Kathy is my second wife. I am her second husband. We are step-parents to each others kids.

As I read what Eric wrote, I could relate. It is at times a struggle to reprogram my mind to consider all the things that Eric talks about, but it is worth it, not because Eric says so, but because my heart says so.

Guys, I urge you to also examine the way you interact with the mother of your children, step-children, even your own mother.

Two ways to find Music on the Net

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Don't Do It.

There are too many scams out here on the internet.

Sometimes they come into your home in the form of an email.

Simple rule: If you don't know who it's from, delete it.

Not all bad people are as obvious as this one:

Answers from Prav's World

A few years ago, when I used to use Yahoo!, I came across Prav's World. This came in a an email Sunday:

Anybody there?

One way to truly annoy your customers is the modern day convenience of automated phone systems that don't allow you to talk to a real live person.

Where I work, I sometimes get the automated system, if our receptionist is busy on another line, and I just hang up and dial again. Friday I dialed 5 times just so I could talk to Bonnie.

If you hate automated phone systems as much as I do, check out these websites suggested by Kim Komando for numbers and tricks to talk to a live person.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Wisdom from Harvey to start your week:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

If you want to be happy, practice compassion

A Native-American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt.

He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."

The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"

The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

According to one definition, compassion is an emotion that is a sense of shared suffering, most often combined with a desire to alleviate the suffering of another and to show special kindness to them. Compassion essentially arises through empathy, and is often characterized through actions, wherein persons acting with compassion will seek to aid those they feel compassionate for. Compassionate acts are generally considered those which take into account the suffering of others and attempt to alleviate that suffering as if it were one's own. In this sense, the various forms of the Golden Rule are clearly based on the concept of compassion.

Where, you might ask, does compassion fit in business? Will it hurt the bottom line? Will it make our company look soft, or like a pushover?

The answers are: at all levels, no, and definitely not. Compassion and profitability are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, companies that are perceived as people-oriented and good corporate citizens have a far better chance of succeeding than those that put profits ahead of people.

When I was interviewing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for my book, We Got Fired! ... And It's the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Us, the mayor told me that one thing he never forgot was the people who called him after he was fired by Salomon Brothers.

"I remember the exact list," Bloomberg said. "If any of them ends up in trouble, I'll call them. If you see them on the way up, you should see them on the way down. Whenever someone gets fired or has some real problems, I always call to tell them my thoughts are with them. And if I can be of any help whatsoever, please let me know."

Michael Bloomberg is right about being there at the dark moments. I have always tried to call people when they were down or to do what I could to help them get back on their feet and succeed. I believe compassion should be a vital part of our character.

There is a big difference though between compassion and sympathy. Sympathy sees and says, "I'm sorry." Compassion feels, and whispers, "I'll help." Compassionate people really care.

There are scientific studies that suggest there are physical benefits to practicing compassion. People who practice it produce 100 percent more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 percent less cortisol — the "stress hormone."

The main benefit is that it helps you to be happier and thus make others more happy. Compassionate people are also more positive. That's why you should practice compassion every day of your life.

Businesses that are committed to compassion care about their employees as well as their customers. The company makes sure a paycheck isn't the only thing workers take home—they also have a sense that they are working for a company that is committed to a good product at a fair price with excellent customer service. They know that when there's an issue at work, there will be a fair and reasonable hearing. They know that their company is a good corporate citizen that is committed to giving back to the communities where they do business, providing opportunities for volunteerism, financial support, expertise and/or product.

The Dalai Lama said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

One of my closest friends, Lou Holtz, the legendary college football coach and current ESPN analyst, always concludes conversations with this offer: "If there is anything I can do for you, let me know." And he means it! What a great way to show that you care. Maybe that's why he's always so happy and positive.

Confucius said wisdom, compassion and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of a person. I'm not a big philosopher, but I couldn't agree more.

Mackay's Moral: Helping someone up won't pull you down.

Tired of School?

This is for those of you that feel like you want to chuck it all and get a "joe" job.

(Sorry to all my friends named Joe.)

Remember there is an alternative to the struggles you are going through with school and work and life.

But you have to learn how to say, "Di ja wan' fries wid dat?"

Stick it out, or figure it out.

Personal Money tips

With gas prices just under 4 bucks this weekend, I thought it would be a great time to share with you this wisdom about your Wallet from Dumb Little Man:

Seven Spending Sins: Fast Track to Financial Torment

Posted: 16 May 2008 07:59 AM CDT

Written on 5/16/2008 by M. Taylor of Gregory Pennington, a UK based Debt Management Specialist.

Seven’s a good number for lists - enough to be comprehensive, but not too big to remember. We’re surrounded by significant sevens: seven days in the week, seven continents, seven colors in the rainbow, seven wonders of the world, seven dwarfs…

It’s a significant number in money too, and not just for accountants. However many bad habits you have, each is likely to stem from one of just Seven Spending Sins.

Sins of the wallet

The (original) Seven Deadly Sins focused on spiritual matters, but our Seven Spending Sins are more about material consequences. Avoid them and you’ll be better off in this world; if you end up being a better person as well, think of it as an added bonus.
  1. Greed

  2. Do you really need it?

    While not the sole culprit behind our financial troubles, greed certainly accounts for more than its fair share. Think back to your last five financial mistakes and you’ll probably find (be honest) at least three that are down to greed.

    Did you really need that big holiday / fancy stereo / new outfit? How much would you have in the bank by now if your house wasn’t full of CDs you never listen to, clothes you never wear, books you’ve never read…?

    Whether struggling through a financial crisis or just looking for ways to stretch your pay packet, you’ll reach your goals much faster if you stop before every purchase and ask yourself: Is this a ‘need’ or a ‘want’?

  3. Impatience
  4. Do you need it now?

    If you’re buying on credit, you’re throwing money away. Unless it’s interest free, any kind of ‘buy now pay later’ deal means you’re paying more than the product’s worth – probably a lot more.

    Anyway, even interest-free debt is still debt. It means you’re committing yourself to living on a lower disposable income for the next X months / years. Maybe you can afford it today, but what about tomorrow? If you lost your job, could that expense be all it takes to push you over the edge?

    (Plus, if you’re looking at a high-tech purchase – plasma TV, computer, cell phone, etc. – it’s almost guaranteed to be cheaper if you wait a few months.)

  5. Pride
  6. Perhaps the most ‘male’ of all the sins.

    Let’s divide it into two categories:

    ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ syndrome.

    Does your male ego insist on having the loudest stereo, the biggest TV, the fastest car? If the guy next door buys a louder / bigger / faster one, does your wounded pride keep you awake at night?

    Don’t be fooled. How do you know he’s not deep in debt (or living on beans on toast) to pay for it all? If you’re driving a smaller car but sleeping soundly and eating gourmet meals, maybe you should take some pride in that.
    ‘Never ask for directions’ syndrome.

    It’s a classic ‘guy’ joke – as a gender, we’re incapable of asking for help. For women everywhere, it’s a source of great amusement. They know we’re always on the internet checking out advice, tips and commentaries (like this article), so who do we think we’re fooling?

    So if you’re wondering (for example) which credit card, bank account or debt management plan is best, just admit you don’t know. Either go back to school and spend two years studying economics or talk to a financial adviser. The best deal for the guy next door isn’t necessarily best for you – it all depends on your lifestyle and financial circumstances, so talk to someone who knows what questions to ask.

  7. Laziness
  8. Take the time; put in the effort.

    If you’re one of those guys who spends 3 months choosing a stereo and 30 minutes choosing a mortgage, be prepared to pay through the teeth. Mortgages, car loans, hire purchase deals… they’re serious decisions, and they deserve some serious thought.

    Do the research, check out your options, ask the questions, and read the small print! If there’s anything you’re not sure about, get a second opinion.

    And never underestimate the importance of 1%. A 6% deal isn’t 1% more expensive than 5% – it’s 20% more expensive. Let’s say you spend the next 25 years paying off a $200,000 mortgage:

    * At 5%, it could cost around $1,200 a month, and around $150,000 interest in total
    * At 6%, it could cost around $1,300 a month, and around $185,000 interest in total

    Ask yourself: if someone offered you $35,000 to spend a week doing some research, what would you say?

  9. Misplaced respect
  10. Careful who you listen to.

    Possibly the flip side to ‘never ask for directions’ syndrome: when we admit someone knows more than us, we’re tempted to trust them on everything from debt to real estate.

    Your smart buddy might know a lot about computers, but does he understand loans like a professional debt adviser? Your friends and family mean well, but they’re not going to understand the pros and cons of your various financial options – or the recent news, or the upcoming industry changes. And they certainly won’t be able to build up a complete picture of your personal circumstances, so they can work out which financial service does what you want.

    And while we’re on the subject, don’t ask your bank manager for stock tips. Tax advisers, accountants, bank managers, stockbrokers, etc. might all be ‘in finance’, but there’s a world of difference between them. (Why else would all those different jobs exist?) If you want specialist advice, talk to a specialist.

  11. Gullibility
  12. Be a man!

    Blame the advertisers if you wish, but learning to stand up to peer pressure is a major part of growing up. If you buy everything the TV and magazines tell you to, you’re certainly enhancing someone’s lifestyle, but probably not yours…

    Anyway, never mind what they think – what do you think? If the shirt looks good on you today, it’ll look good next month too, even if that color / style / brand is “like so out this week”.

    Some girls might be impressed when you flash the cash, but if you’re living beyond your means, the party has to end sooner or later. If your girlfriend sees you as an ATM – and if you’re OK with that (!?) – what’s she going to do when it all catches up and you spend the next 10 years living on a shoestring?

  13. Miscalculation
  14. Do the math.

    Miscalculation comes last in the list as it’s not really a character flaw – just a question of short-sightedness…

    How many people spend $5 on the lottery every week and complain they can’t afford a savings account? They’re wasting $260 a year on a long shot. What would happen if they spent 10 years putting that money into a bank account with 6% interest?

    * They wouldn’t have that 0.00001% chance of winning big bucks.
    * They’d have a 100% chance of ‘winning’ around $1,000 in interest – on top of the $2,600 they’d saved.
Basically, when you’re looking at any financial deal, you need to figure out the stakes and the odds. Focus on just one of the two and you won’t be thinking straight.

A quick test

Look at this sentence: “Extra insurance on a rental car will cost $10 but might save you $10,000.”

Which words jump out at you?

1. ‘will’ and ‘might’, or
2. ‘$10’ and $10,000’?

What does your answer tell you about yourself?

Written by M. Taylor of Gregory Pennington, a UK based Debt Management Specialist.