Targeted marketing

There’s always a moment of disquiet when an ad pops up, or a brief commercial shows before a YouTube video, which is targeted to something that I’ve just researched. The Volkswagen Electric Bus; passive income streams; buying and selling put and call  options; NaNoWriMo (yeah, it’s nearing that time again).

Sometimes I bite the hook, like when I saw a concoction of ashwagandha and turmeric – two supplements I take daily. Sometimes I ignore it. But the fact remains that what we put out comes back in a way meant to entice us to spend money.

This can be good, for instance if our life will genuinely be enriched by purchasing what is being advertised – I think specifically of researching medication options and perhaps a new treatment is shown that you can ask your doctor about.

This can be bad – do you really need another set of pans? Or, in my case, a Honda CR-V? No, I don’t.

I don’t know that there is a way to combat this. Only that we must remain diligent and think rationally when it comes to online enticements.

An immigration dilemma

The current view on immigration is like an infection. Fear that foreign bodies will invade and take over otherwise healthy systems. There are two problems with this view.

  1. Corrective action against foreign bodies does not take a holistic view of the patient and environment. Unless the environment that is causing infection is healed as well, no amount of medication will keep a host healthy.
  2. Most importantly, the US isn’t an infected host, and immigrants aren’t a disease. The rich and diverse cultures that make up the United States are further developed by infusing new blood into the system.

It’s not a disease. It’s an infusion.

The A – Word

I’ve been bothered by the news reports concerning abortion bills over the past few weeks. I stand on both sides of the issue – I’m anti-murder in a mostly Buddhist outlook, which includes vegetarianism and opposition to the death penalty. I’m also a strict believer in a woman’s right-to-choose, as we all have inherent rights that others should not impose their beliefs on.

I won’t ask you, beg you, or try to pass legislation so that you can’t eat meat. This is my choice, and I do it a) because I feel it right not to allow an animal to die for my sustenance, and b) it is completely personal to me.

As a personal matter, I would rather abortions not be necessary. As a political matter, it’s not my body – the choice belongs to a woman primarily, and her partner in most cases.

I don’t know that there is an answer to this political quagmire, but I know the current rhetoric is only leading to disaster.

 

Hide your stash

Focusing on personal money is a stressful prospect. Seeing the rises and falls, the balance changing, seemingly out of your control, can imbue a feeling of powerlessness. That’s why the best investors and gamblers view their pools of available money as resource, not expendable cash.

The adage among drug dealers is to never use your own stash. The same can be said for the money that you pay yourself first – savings, retirement, major expense fund… Be careful that you’re not using the resource that you set aside for your self – for your future.

That’s your stash. Don’t use it.

Refinancing

Looking at my 2019 finances, I’m a bit less optimistic than I was mere weeks ago. One reason is that my healthcare deductible is increasing. Significantly. Like, from $60 to $350.

I set a goal in 2018 to discover what was wrong with me. Whether or not I actually had rheumatoid arthritis. All signs pointed to yes. I’m still off medication, which I’m thrilled about. Really, it’s been like two years.

When I was first put on medication I could barely walk. I used a cane to hobble around, and the time it took me to get out of bed was roughly an episode of The Price is Right. I hurt, and I was slow, and before the diagnosis, I thought I was dying.

The medication let me move comfortably again, but it had its own corresponding health issues. Fatigue (occasionally severe fatigue); responses to food that I used to enjoy – now they made me sick; lethargy; increased aggression for the first few months; and liver problems. They pinballed me through all different kinds of medication, trying to find the right cocktail.

So, not needing it and showing little signs of the initial RA diagnosis, I was certain that I had been misdiagnosed. But my bloodwork last year showed elevated inflammation levels conducive with RA, along with other markers. Long story short, better for me to keep my medical insurance.

Now, that’s one expense that increased dramatically. My work is mostly on a contract basis, so that expense comes out of pocket.

How does someone living in this day and age, balancing student loan debt, the rising costs of healthcare, and basic living expenses, make it? How does one become not only stable, but successful.

My first step is a budget. And with that cornerstone, I am hopeful that the bricks will fit securely.

Relationships with money

When considering your life style, your finances and living situation, do you feel as if you’re thriving? Or surviving?

If it’s the latter, it may be harder to ever reach a place of thriving.

I’ve been an advocate for the law of attraction for nearly three years now, since I began making life changes that were so drastic that I wouldn’t have believed them possible. Prior to that, I was using reactionary methods of attraction – still creating life, but with little sense of what I was doing.

Even now I sometimes experience the reactionary method (usually around money – major purchases, debt or job issues), and I have to remind myself that what I focus on is what I attract.

So I remind you (and myself) that we live in abundance. This is not a zero-sum game, and we are all capable of winning and achieving our best lives. The trick is to believe that we already are, even if we’ve temporarily stepped out of the abundant circumstances.

The GOP Exodus

“May you live in interesting times.”

– Chinese Proverb

And these are certainly interesting times. But they’ve been clocking in that way for quite a while. Though you may argue since the 2016 presidential election campaigns, it’s been increasingly public and messy for decades in politics.

Right now, the Republican-led Congress is experiencing tumultuous decision making, trying to navigate the stormy seas of Trump’s presidency, the concerns of constituents, and their own moral compass. With such directional challenges, some are opting to flee rather than fight.

Just this week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement from Congress. In the growing instability of National party politics, Speaker Ryan seems to think that it’s time to jump ship.

You may recall Paul Ryan receiving the Speakership following John Boehner’s forced exit, amid criticism that Boehner wasn’t coalescing the party enough. Now, with the current Administration inciting divisiveness at all levels, it would be a wonder if there were Congressional Republicans who would want to remain.

We are living in interesting times, but I’m sure most Americans are hoping that every day wasn’t more interesting than the last.