Tag Archives: finances

Buy yourself a Personality: MacBook

Associative Qualities of the Mac Culture

Buy Yourself a Personality: MacBook

In my little opinion, Macbooks are not much superior to Windows and/or Linux based computing systems. The price of a Macbook can range anywhere from the $1300-$2500 and they are only optimized for their performance in memory intensive usages such as audio recording/editing and video rendering. If you are even doing Photoshop image manipulations, and you are not working with RAW files, then you do not necessarily need a MacBook. If you are reading this, and don’t even know what Final Cut, Compressor, Avid, Motion 4, Pro Tools, then you are one of those people that I like to call ‘Buying a personality’.

Cool & Trendy Factor
There is some statistic that states that out of the Personal Computing market, Apple has like less than 5% of the market share; so having a MacBook will automatically make you stand out from the pack; combine with Apple’s sleek and stylish design, people will gravitate and ask you asinine questions about your MacBook. Which essentially forces the individual to become a ‘Mac Ambassador'; someone that can give advice and their opinion about their Mac experience – and resoundingly enough it will bend toward the positive. Thus, when people become the Mac Ambassador they are embracing and becoming one with the ‘Mac Culture'; which can be defined as a free-spirited, creative, liberal, defying convention, eager individual – whom values his/her individuality from conformity (conformity being Windows culture). Those qualities will then be expressed in their clothing and swag; which is perfectly captured in the popular ‘”I’m a Mac, he’s a PC” ads.

Now, this isn’t ‘Mac resentment’ or ‘hate'; the Apple OS is a unique user experience that in my opinion is slightly better than Windows, but the cost differential is not worth it if you plan on using iMovie or iLife, or watching video on YouTube. You have to give Apple some props though, they have done a creative maeouver in giving the perception that when you buy a MacBook – which is essentially a plethora of computer parts made by other manufacturers (just like Windows machines) – you are not only being a computer, but you are buying a lifestyle. And that ‘lifestyle’ is priceless.

.:: LiBM ::.

Cheap vs Frugal

Cheap vs Frugal

Key Differences between the two, but often confused

A lot of my friends think that I am ‘cheap’, when I define myself as ‘cost-effecient'; I look for deals, before making purchaes I do my research & analysis of the pros and cons of the item, I aim to not shop impulsively, but only shop out of necessity. I am reluctant to tip at restaurants, I will try to stretch a dollar where applicable, I will avoid paying for parking in downtown Toronto where possible – even if it means walking a couple of extra blocks. So this is a clear distinction to all those lames that say we are ‘cheap’ when we are actually ‘cost-efficient’ (frugal), it is best to have us around so we can advise you out of debt, chumps!

Cheap
A miser or cheapskate is a person who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts. The term derives from the Latin miser, meaning “poor” or “wretched,” comparable to the modern word “miserable”.  Here are some interesting cheap people from the past:

Joseph Nollekens – Londoner generally considered to be the finest British sculptor of the late 18th century, he was also a notorious miser.

Charles Huffman was a miser from the 1950s in the U.S. He was found dead on a Brooklyn, New York street with no money in his pockets. The police traced him to a $7 per week room that was filled with bank books and more than $500,000 in stock certificates. He was characterized by Franz Lidz, in The New York Times, on October 26, 2003.

Frugal

Frugality is the practice of acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourcefully using already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer term goal.

Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

You may be frugal if you evaluate the following on a potential purchase:
Unit pricing ($ per pound, ounce or item)
Convenience
Shelf life (ability to store it)
Life expectancy
Versatility (does it have multiple uses?)
Functionality (is it as useful as they claim?)
Cost of maintenance
Cost and availability of replacement parts
Durability
Warranty or service plan
Taste
Strength
Quality of construction or assembly
Appearance
Safety risks
- There are other great tips of Frugality at:
http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com/frugal.html

Now, I am sure there are some cheapskates out there, and to be ‘cheap’ would subscribe one to some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder that would perpetually create a cycle of desires to horde money and stretch a dollar to nth degree. A reluctance to spend doesn’t define ‘cheap'; it merely shows that one is responsible and careful with their allotment of money so that they get the most value out of their hard earned money. Even when I am sitting in those lofty hills in the villa, deciding which of my many hybrida or diesel cars I will drive … I will still not tip the waiter!

.:: LiBM ::.

Sources:
http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com/frugal.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frugality
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheap

The Financial Times of Rappers

The Financial Times of Rappers
Virtues: financial responsibility, planning, guidance 

Let’s see how the ‘Greatest Rapper Alive’ handles his money:

Here’s a snippet from The Smoking Gun:
According to a lawsuit filed last month by businessman LeMarck deAndre, Lil Wayne (real name: Dwayne Carter) agreed to pay at least $120,000 for the repair and refurbishment of a 1999 Bentley, which is pictured below. However, after the 25-year-old rapper belatedly paid $78,000 for work on his ride, deAndre contends, Carter refused any further payments. deAndre’s December 18 Alameda Superior Court complaint, which you’ll find here, charges that Carter owes nearly $80,000 in fees for the storage of the burgundy Bentley, which apparently was going to be shipped from northern California to Louisiana, home to Carter and Cash Money Records, the label Carter headed until last year.

So what’s Wayne’s reason for not paying? deAndre says he never gave him one and people in Cash Money stopped answering his calls. But interestingly enough, Wayne was negotiating a publishing deal for several hundred thousand dollars around the same time he had this $120k+ worth of work done to this car. So, in typical Lil Wayne behavior, he was spending money he didn’t have yet. And it backfired. Peep the 7 page complaint for damages here. Interestingly enough, I’m also told that the Bentley was originally a gift from his “Daddy” Baby and was signed over in Dwayne Carter’s name. Why Baby gave Wayne a Bentley he had to pay the bills on himself is beyond me…but not surprising. Meanwhile, Lil Wayne is threatening to blame this whole incident on his managers, but his managers say Wayne frequently ignored their advice and/or just didn’t tell them about his purchases.

——
d.b says:
Well, if this claim is true, it will just be another example of how the young, rich, and powerful are not financially astute. It could also say that these artists’ have a circle around them that are not looking out for their best interests. Or, it could be that these artists’ are just stupid and even though they are presented with the education and skills to manage their money, they are mentally unequipped to handle such a capacity.

The ‘Best Rapper Alive’ may need the best ‘Debt Consolidation’ Agent alive.

.:: d.b ::.

Silly Monkeys! Part 1: The Banker ‘Strong-Arm Mike’

Silly Monkeys! Part 1: The Banker ‘Strong-Arm Mike’
Virtues: stereotypes, uphill battle, struggle, ‘cant win’

Strong-Arm Mike is the tight-ass banker. Mike is the branch manager and takes pride in the power that he has over his minions. Mike is middle-aged, unhappily married, and work is a refuge from ‘home’. Thus, it is only fitting to make your refuge similar to your fantasy, thus Mike’s branch has a suspiciously high number of young, attractive female employees. Mike is a creature of routine, habitually and consistently. Strong-Arm keeps the order and equilibrium in his branch, and of course, Mike has the last and final word on all matters.

Mike’s primary motive is to protect the interests of the bank, and to maximize profits – at all costs. So Mike is a witty, slick guy. Strong-Arm is the type of guy to give you a hard time for loans, credit, and for even opening an account; Strong-Arm likes to scrutinize a lot, and even ‘play dumb’. Even if you make sense, you have correct documentation, Strong-Arm Mike will find a way to make your life difficult. You see, Mike knows that you need him more than he needs you, and he knows that you are willing to sacrifice a bit in order to get what you want – which he controls. In my experiences, Strong-Arm Mike forced my biz partner to open up a personal account when it was absolutely not necessary for the business that we had. But Mike, flexed his muscle; not his physical, like many street thugs like to do, but his financial muscle – which is even stronger. That day we were treated like the silly monkeys, bowing to Strong-Arm, we had to accept his terms; which were so unconventional that the personal banker that we dealt with regarding this matter felt so embarrassed and shocked that this was happening to us. Hmm, she probably never seen anything like this before.

But Silly Monkeys get special treatment, right? Silly Monkey series to be continued, next the ‘Entrepreneur’ …

.:: d.b

Utmost Positive Regard

Utmost Positive Regard
Virtues: Business, Lenders, Strategy, Knowledge

Power must be the most coveted attribute in this universe; people crave for it & will do just about anything to achieve it – lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, extort … kill. In the world of business, power must mean a measure of influence – basically stating that the more influential that one is, the more power they have.

What is concerning to me is when people give TOO much power to those in high positions; catapulting such people to a level where almost anything they say is golden & coveted. Before, you point out the obvious, yes, I concur that in business, ‘powerful’ people are a valuable resource for intelligence as they can provide insight, scope, and perspective. However, powerful people should not be an irreverent source for validity – because at the end of the day a consultant, entrepreneur, investor, or producer only provides an opinion based on the information presented & their knowledge/experience.

They can not ensure success &/or failure (even though many try), they can only provide probability.

And any advice should be taken as such, and should NOT be taken as an affirmation. This is for the small percentage of the population that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, whom are at the mercies of ‘powerful’ individuals because they have money & influence. I am in such a category as my squad has innovative ideas and concepts for the betterment of society, but we unfortunately have no capital.

You, the budding entrepreneur, should have done your research & homework to know that your idea is hot; to know that your idea is feasible, and to know that there is a market out there for your endeavor.

You don’t need ‘Evan McMoney Bags’ to validate what you already know.

Ya digg?

.::
Peace,
d.b > www.vacantlot.org
::.

V~ick~ed

V~ick~ed
Virtues: Responsibility, control, logic

Its sort of wicked what happened to Michal Vick, but he is a victim of his own ignorance.

Michael Vick was on top of the world, he was an all-star Quarterback with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, with the right team chemistry, Vick could have gone on to win several NFL championships as he is a unique quarterback that can throw, run, and get out of the ‘pocket’ (football term).

However, it is unfortunate that Vick felt the need to engage in Dog fights which resulted in a 23-month jail sentence conviction. As details emerged about Vick’s dog fighting events that happened in his estate, it became apparent that Vick would do some jail time for his crimes, but I never thought he would have gotten so much time – 2 years is a lot for dog fighting. Dog fighting is inhumane, violent, and barbaric – I get that, but in the case of Michael Vick, does the ‘punishment fit the crime’? Would someone without his status receive the same sentence? Probably not, and what is even more disturbing is that there have been sport celebrities that have committed more violent crimes against humanity that have received lesser & lenient sentences. For example, NHL hockey player Dany Heatley received 3 years probation for vehicular homicide after a drunk driving incident. In comparison, a drunk driving incident that results in death deserves 3 years probation (no jail time), but a victimless human crime results in 2 years in solitary confinement? Something doesn’t seem right about that.

Now, I’m not excusing Vick’s behavior because dog fighting is against the law, and he should be punished for his actions, but what is probably the most disturbing aspect of this story that is not receiving any light, is the fact that many sport athletes and celebrities foolishly spend their money and engage in activities that are problematic. I guess its the fact that many of these athlete’s come from marginalized backgrounds, and when they are doused with a whole bunch of money; they simply act-out irresponsibly. It happened to Mike Tyson, which is really sad, because he had millions of dollars, but spent his money on foolish items and lavish luxuries; with no regard for ‘saving for a rainy day’. And with Vick, he was making millions of dollars a year, and yet he felt the need to earn extra money with dog fighting; which was only pulling in thousands of dollars a year.

Its sad, because Vick had so much potential, but threw it all away because he simply didn’t ‘grow up'; which is the problem with most celebrities (i.e. Britney, and so on), and know the system is showing him that just as much as they can bring you up, they can bring you down.

Flipping, keeping the balance


image by ddotb.grandejunction.com

Flipping, keep the balance
Virtues: hustle, equilibrium, power, control

Flip – “To sell a product or service at a higher price than what was purchased for – for the purpose of making a profit”

The concept is simple: take something at a marginalized price, mark it up, profit. That is what your neighborhood drug dealer is doing while he pushes that ‘weight’. Its what Sean John does when you buy that nice sweater for $80, is made for like under $5, and the country that the sweater is made in flips off the blood, sweat, and tears of their people in the name of globalization. But, the government still flips, they get their money, but unfortunately with each flip, there is one, or one group of people that will always suffer, always get ‘flipped under’.

When I hear pleas wrapped in optimism about equality & fairness, I laugh. Because, flipping is all about balance, but more about controlling balance. Economics are structured in a fashion where the rich exploit & profit off of the poor, unfortunate, but fortunate at the same time … ya digg? Unfortunate for the humane aspect, fortunate for the technological advances that society has made by exploiting cheap labor and parts. Corporations & the government are the big flippers in this world as they have made Africa poor, for the benefit of the West. As with anything almost in this universe is made up of matter, and matter is made up of molecules that constantly try to procure homeostasis: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.

And that is what flipping does – it keeps stability, it allows those to stay in power to stay in power, and keep those that are marginalized, marginalized. So what would, uh, disrupt this equilibrium? Well, tell me if you have an answer, because any disruption is surely going to be met with opposition, of course from the flippers. I ask myself, would a disruption actually be a good thing? I mean, can a world exist where economies of scale (world economies) are equal? Can, or will Africa ever be on par with Europe/America?

Share your thoughts, peace.

Negative World

Took a little hiatus, but hi-hate-us, I am back

Negative World
Virtues: debt, loans, outlook

No matter how bleak the outlook on life may be, you gotta remember something – the Negative World. What is this ‘negative world’? Doesn’t necessarily relate to negativity, but more so correlates to one’s financial status. A good friend told me about this world where ‘minuses’ become a way of life, below ‘zero’ is a constant theme. However, even though my friend was living in this negative world, he acted like he didn’t; actually acted quite the opposite, which shocked me, but I guess we can’t let our financial level affect our morale – to an extent I guess. I recalled being in this negative world, as a young college student, and many college students across the world exist in this world where debt is synonymous with being a student – yet credit cards still want to shower you with ‘no annual fees’ and a ‘low interest rate’.

I guess my point is, if you are in the negative world, don’t let your debt lead you to a negative life – that ain’t positive.