Friday, March 9, 2012

You Can't Spend the Whole Dollar!

We touched on that during the last blog entry, which by the way 13 people read, thank you very much. The reason I am bring it back up is because externally,  it may be the most valuable lesson regarding money... is that you can't spend the whole dollar. And I am not yet talking about savings, just the non-spending.

If I had a penny for each time I spent the whole dollar, I am certain that I'd have at least one hundred thousand pennies! Do you know how much that is? You will if you do the math. Spending the whole dollar repeatedly, is that my own fault? Yes. Did my parents or anyone in my youth teach me NOT to spend the whole dollar? No. But, there were adults in my life who did. And I did read more than a handful of those, what I call "economic success principle books." Some of which were located in those free library's across the country; others I purchased at book stores, and I was even given a few!

I think many more than a few of us know not to spend the whole dollar. But it's how are our minds convey or interpret a dollar to many of us. The dollar becomes 100 pennies! Have you ever heard anyone say - "I'm down to my last cent?"  On some level they believe that they have not spent the whole dollar! Don't we also all know that when we read $29.99 on a price tag, we reinterpret that to $20 something, not the actual $30 something it actually is. Doesn't your mind scrunch up when the cashier says "That'll be $32.91." It's because it's trying to figure out the leap that took you from $20 something to $32.91 (which is clearly not $20 something). The concept is actually part of what is called psychological pricing. But all fanciful research aside, you're still spending the whole dollar!

What happens when businesses and other organizations spend the whole dollar? The same thing that happened to me. They go broke! The principle applies to all...companies (cough, Kodak Eastman) countries, corner stores, a Borders Book Store, starving artist, young people, old people.

So how much of the dollar can you spend? 80 pennies or 79 if that sounds better. (Isn't that curious, it works in reverse as well)! But that's only if you're broke like me or a starving artist. For every dollar of income - 10 cents would go to tithing (or any charity or charitable endeavor) and then 10 cents toward saving (often referred to as paying yourself first). If you are not broke like me, then you get to pay yourself 20 cents on the dollar! That's your reward for having not messed up! When I get out of the red, then I too get to pay myself 20 cents from each dollar. But for now I have to pay my extra 10 cents to "someone else" (cough, MasterCard), (cough again, Visa)!

So for every dollar of our income, we get to spend 70% - 80% of it. And in this case, the smaller number really is better!

I saw that a few of those of you who are holding me accountable had checked tho see if I had yet posted today. Well the reason that this post is coming late in the afternoon is because of this accountability! You see, I woke up this morning still not having completed reading the book that I mentioned I was reading during my last post (oh yeah, and the one before that)! Now if I wasn't being held accountable and didn't have to report what measurable progress I had made in the last nine days, most likely, I would have put off finishing my reading of this book by today. Taking more than 18 days to read one (non technical/classroom) book is too long. That's not reasonable progress. How long do I expect to remain broke for goodness sake?

Will what did I do over the past nine days? I spent a considerable amount of time writing a proposal for an organization; which I did submit and we're going sit down next week and discuss. I  made a preventative trip to the doctor which I have to mention because that is important and gets overlooked way too often. I attended 3 classes in a new (or extended) field of study. And I met with a mentor who is  leading me in a critical study of the Bible. Who knows the concept of hermeneutics of suspicion? I do baby- that's who! Right on!

All great things, but that's not what took me so long to finish the book. So what do you think took up until this afternoon to finish a book that I was already half way through?

Okay accountability team, let's huddle! I'll answer any post and lets meet back here on Monday the 19th.



  1. ahhhh hummmmmm ah hummmm

    Just clearing my throat Jaymes.


  2. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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