Stuck is a State of Mind

by Bill on February 26, 2014

Being Financially Stuck in Life

Seth Godin has some really good posts often; and I found one from 2011 that is no exception. As usual it stuck to a point I can relate to. It’s about being stuck and how to find a way out of it.

Which of the four are getting in the way?

You don’t know what to do

You don’t know how to do it

You don’t have the authority or the resources to do it

You’re afraid

Once you figure out what’s getting in the way, it’s far easier to find the answer (or decide to work on a different problem).

Stuck is a state of mind, and it’s curable.

I want to add that “stuck” also comes in various levels and difficulties. Different issues can lead to being in a state of mind. At this point in time, at least today, the state of mind is real and the cure isn’t visible yet. I have some thinking to do to find that cure. I know it’s out there. I’m sure of that. And that is the one thing I wanted to get across, the answer is out there someplace.

Anybody got ideas? Did you ever get stuck?

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Damn It I Need That Nickel

by Bill on February 17, 2014

Minimum Wage Creates Underearning Worried Over Basic Needs


How bad is it when you actually worry about your dog chewing up a nickel deposit bottle? I mean all the pup wanted was something to chew on. At first I saw the bottle and took it away thinking “damn it I need that nickel”; but do I? Did I really need that bottle so damn badly that I would take away joy from somewhere else? Yes it was from my dog, but still. I panicked over loosing a nickel. And yes I did give the bottle back to Bella.


I’m always complaining there is never enough. I get upset when something gets lost, broken or wears out because I cannot replace it right away; I don’t know when I will replace what I’ve lost over the years. And that’s my problem. I continue to need replacements for little things like books, movies, clothing and such.


I found myself recently debating if it was a good choice to recycle all those little cans of tuna or cat food after the food is gone. I remember people using them for cigarette butt cans, coin holders, soap containers, and one person who used to keep them to feed the cats with as dishes. I almost thought aloud how this reminded me of the 1930s and the Great Depression. Back then I’m not sure if we, as a country, had a hording problem. But there is the problem. When you debate on keeping something because there might be yet another use for it, are you a hoarder, a survivalist, or just frugal to the point of being really odd?


When you are not used to having much you tend to make due with lots of things that you wouldn’t ordinarily. Butter tubs are my best example when they become food storage containers; they’ve also doubled as mixing bowls for everything from pet food to egg salad to pancake batter. Old socks become either rags for cleaning up a mess to toys for the dogs when they want to play tug-o-war. I buy the large 2-quart or gallon size drinks so I can use the containers as pitchers later on. Currently I have two in use.


But for some reason when one of those butter tubs, juice containers, the odd spatula or the still useful sock gets the attention of one of my dogs I get upset. Its not that those things cannot be replaced sometime; or that they are so important as to be vital to survival. It just upsets me because, when you are as low on cash as I am many days, replacements seems far off. Stress over little things is common when you can’t figure out the little things like how you will replace socks or mixing bowls.




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Living on Nothing Because You’re Supposed To

February 12, 2014

Authors Note: this is an unpaid op/ed piece I wrote for the Ithaca Times newspaper which appeared on February 12, 2014. I’m a newly minted public assistance escapee. In other words, I gave up playing their game and decided it was best trying to work out life myself. Why? Because the hoops and barrels you […]

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Underearning and Making a Run for It

January 20, 2014

I wrote a post prior to this about having a B-rated life. With the analogy of how B-rated movies and their lower values and expectations could relate to your life. Today you get tips on how you can “make a run for it” to a better life if you think you are an underearner. Survival […]

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Do You Have a B Rated Life?

January 16, 2014

You’ve heard of “B” rated movies right? These are those movies that are low-budget, low-expectation and lower production value. Do you see your life in a similar fashion? If so you may have a B-rated life. Here’s how to find out. According to Brian Taves in the book “Grand Design” (Chapter 8), a B-rated movie […]

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Fewer Toys Makes Better Kids (and Adults) Trust Me

January 10, 2014

Happy kids all have toys they love and tend to use a lot. Is there ever too many toys? When is the amount of toys taking away from other areas of life? Do these problems follow the children into adulthood? My answer to all three questions is a resounding yes. I am not against having […]

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Top Six Personal Finance Mistakes I Learned Watching Other People

January 8, 2014

Do you do one of these personal finance mistakes? If you think you’re alone you’re not. I’ve learned the top six from watching other people. I’m a people watcher. I just notice things people do. A lot of the things I see are either just plain dumb, or make me wonder if they know they […]

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The Reason Reporting Suspect Charges on Debit Cards Matters and Why You Should Care

January 7, 2014

Fraudulent charges on either debit or credit cards cause similar trouble; but the laws protecting debit cards and credit cards are not. Here’s why reporting suspect charges on debit cards matters. Different Laws for Different Cards The Canadian Banking Association (CBA) is a banking association where the banking industry allows for zero responsibility should a […]

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A Unique Way to Deal With Holiday Credit Card Bills in the New Year

January 6, 2014

If you find yourself needing aspirin in January after looking at your credit card bill, you’re not alone. Most people don’t realize how much they actually owe until after the bill arrives. Say No to Plastic So, unfortunately for many people, the hard part comes first – putting down the credit card. If you’re going […]

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Using Plastic is Killing Your Financial Health

January 3, 2014

If you think using credit cards adds to your financial well-being, think again. Here are five signs that using the plastic may be killing your financial health. Are Your Personal Finances Dependent on Minimum Payments? At one point in time I used to hate getting mail in the middle of the month. That’s usually when […]

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