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Make Money from $4 Gas

May 21st, 2008 at 05:46 pm

Most of us are seeing the effects of $4 gasoline. I have a 30-mile commute to work each day, so on Quicken, I keep seeing the "Fuel" section of the pie chart gradually eat up the other pieces of the pie. While this may seem like a bad thing, it has the potential to shower financial benefits.

Okay, maybe "shower financial benefits" is a bit too strong, but I believe that we can make money or at least pay less for gas now than we were a year ago. $3.30 seemed to be the tipping point for me. When gas rose above that price, a fellow teacher and I decided we would start carpooling. With gas around $4 per gallon, carpooling drops that price to $2 per gallon for my friend and me.

What are some other ways that we can benefit financially from $4 gas? Carpooling is an obvious choice, but I'd like to hear some creative ideas from you all.

State Budget Cuts = My Job in Danger

January 10th, 2008 at 12:40 am

Well, Kentucky needs to balance its budget. That means education funding is about to be cut. Potential staff layoffs, hiring freezes, and other such wonderful things are on the horizon. Letters and memos have already been flooding through the state everywhere from community colleges, to state universities, to high schools: funding is being cut.

I pride myself on being an advocate of the free market. If a company can't compete, it shouldn't receive any help. The people who work in those careers should move on to more productive positions in the economy.

I may be faced with that now. The claim is art, business, home economics, and PE will be cut. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that the 800+ students in my high school are going to receive English instruction unless there are the same number of English teachers as there are now. I guess I'm trying to say that I'm 70% sure that I'll have a teaching job this coming fall.

I don't like those odds one bit. Maybe I'm completely wrong. Maybe the last thing on anyone's mind is cutting English positions, but I'm the new guy. Other teachers there have houses and kids and tenure.

As I said before, I'm an advocate of the free market. I'll move on if I have to, but I'm not going to fib: it's going to hurt a bit.

This is why I save money. This is why I can't imagine living paycheck to paycheck. I currently have three month's living expenses saved up. With the three months of summer that I'll still have paychecks and insurance IF I don't have a job next year, that's at least six months of living expenses. I could feasibly have ten months in my emergency fund by the time next August rolls around.

It may seem like I'm blowing things out of proportion. I'm just saying that I see a storm coming, and I'm going to be caught right in the middle of it. I stand by my 70% chance of having the same teaching job next year. If I don't get rehired, I'll have plenty of money saved up. I'll easily find employment somewhere else.

Like I said, though, it's not going to be painless.

Farewell Benazir Bhutto

December 27th, 2007 at 09:35 pm

I am shocked. Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated and declared dead at 6:16 p.m. Pakistan time.

I am shocked and saddened by this event. Benazir Bhutto was a moderate Pakistani politician. She was a strong female leader in a part of the world beseiged with prejudice and persecution.

As she was a politician, I am quite sure that she was no saint. Nevertheless, she was a voice of moderation and reason in Pakistan, a place that cannot afford to lose its intelligent, semi-honest leaders.

While everything I write about on here does not have to tie in to personal finance, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto ties in as much as anything else. An unstable Pakistan equals a world market that is less stable than it could be. An unstable world economy directly affects me.

I am not shocked and saddened by the world economy at the moment, however. I am hurt that this has happened. I am sad that such hate and violence exist in the world that a leader like Bhutto is not safe to seek democratic election.

This is a loss to Pakistan. This is a loss to women. This is a loss to democracy. This is a loss to capitalism. This is a victory for terrorists and religious fanatics. God be with Bhutto.