Anachostic

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Tag Archives: finance

May The Odds Be Forever In Your Favor

I ran across a letter recently that was addressed to the participants of a company’s retirement plan.  From what I gathered, it seemed like a pension plan.  You know, those old-fashioned things where you work X number of years and they will pay you Y dollars for the rest of your life?  Well, if you haven’t paid attention to that, (and if you haven’t, that’s excusable, because pensions are pretty rare anymore) you would find that companies are doing anything they can to avoid having to pay out those Y dollars.

I read a book a while ago that explained the multiple schemes that were being performed to avoid any sort of pension plan funding.  That book is Retirement Heist.  It’s a good book and you should read it.  This letter to pensioners was just an illustration of those exact cons, and the letter was selling it like it was the greatest thing ever.

Here’s the gist of the letter.  Because of two laws, and I need to write these laws out because they are totally insane, the Moving Ahead For Progress In The 21st Century Act and the Highway And Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (blahhhh), pension plans are allowed to calculate their numbers differently.  Differently in that they can make the badness go away.

So, in this example, before the laws, in 2016, the pension plan was short $8.3M dollars to cover the costs of the members’ retirement.  After the laws?  $0.  Percent funded before the law?  86%  After the law? 104%  The law completely fixed the problem of not having enough money!  Amazing!!!

How was this done?  The projection of how much money would be needed was based on interest rates for the last two years.  Why are they looking at interest rates?  Because that’s how the fund stays solvent while money is being withdrawn, through investments with interest.  If the plan doesn’t make enough money in interest, the corporation has to pitch in extra money to keep it going.  Hmmmmmm.

If you have a savings account in the last couple of years, you know that you’re not making any money off of it.  And a pension fund wouldn’t be making any money either.  So because the fund is not sustaining itself from its investments, that means the corporation would have to supplement it with additional money.  Corporations everywhere collectively said, “Fuck that” and instead spent the money on lobbyists to change the laws. 

They succeeded.  Now, instead of considering that interest rates in the future will be the average of two years, now it’s going to be the average of 25 years.  25 fucking years.  Fortunately that range includes the late 90’s and early 00’s, where interest rates were around 5%, instead of 0.1%

So, do you get it?  They refuse to accommodate current market conditions and instead want to pretend the future is going to be as great as the past.  But here’s the thing, if these corporations would just fucking suck it up and pay into their pension funds now, like they are supposed to, when things get awesome in the future like they CHANGED THE LAW to reflect, they wouldn’t have to pay anything then, because the funds would be fully funded or even overfunded.

Now the infuriating part.  This letter says all of this.  It doesn’t hide anything.  They can tell the truth because a) lots of people won’t understand what just happened, and b) it’s the law; it’s all perfectly legal now.

Whole-Life Hatred

If you follow any financial pundits, eventually you will hear them say that whole-life insurance is a bad choice, how it is a poor “investment”, and sometimes, how you’d be stupid to buy it.  Well, I was just reviewing my numbers and I’m not sure I understand what all the hatred is about.

First off, you need to think about why you have life insurance.  The purpose of life insurance is to make things easier on the ones you leave behind.  Primarily, in my case, it is to pay off my mortgage.  Whoever I leave behind should not have to be saddled with a mortgage payment when that was my responsibility.  Other assets like cars could be repossessed, so what?  My credit score doesn’t matter anymore when I’m dead.  The secondary purpose of insurance is to replace whatever income I was contributing to the family until whoever is left behind can get back on their feet.

So these two reasons are enough to have life insurance unless you are a total loner and have nothing you want to pass on to someone else.  But that’s only good when you’re dead.  What if you keep living?

If you don’t know anything about life insurance, here’s some quick info.  You typically buy a “term life” policy, which is effective for a period of time (a “term”).  If you buy a Term 30 policy, it is active for 30 years.  Buying it today, the policy will expire in 2046.  If you die in 2047, your beneficiary gets nothing.  But, by that time, I would expect your mortgage would be paid off so there’s no burden on your heirs.

Whole-life policies have no expiration.  As long as you keep paying the premium, you get the benefits.  However, they are vastly more expensive (I’ll share my numbers in a bit).  Additionally, whole-life policies have a cash value, which can be accessed as needed, either through an expensive loan or as a retirement account when/if you get to retirement age.

That’s the part that finance people hate.  Whole-life is so expensive, but your cash value is locked up and there’s little way to access that money without spending a lot in interest or waiting until you’re old.  They call it a savings account for people who can’t discipline themselves to save.  It’s almost like a 401k, but without the tax advantages.

Whole-life insurance is a hard sell and brokers will push on you pretty hard to sell it.  As such, there’s some salesman-ish stuff that gets promised.  For example, I was sold on the idea that the dividends from my whole-life policy would eventually pay the premiums for my policy, then I’d basically have free life insurance.  Awesome, huh?  Well, it will happen, eventually.  I just have to be really patient.

Ok, let’s look at some real numbers.  I have $250k in life insurance.  $100k is in a Term 20 policy and $150k is in a Whole-life.  I pay $118/mo for the whole-life and $16/mo for the term.  Now do you see why people freak out about whole life?  It’s almost 10x more a month. 

There’s not much to say about the term policy.  It has no cash value and expires in 2027.  In 2028, I will only have $150k in life insurance.  Hmmm, that sounds like a good thing.  I’m not dropping to zero, and I don’t have to worry about qualifying for a new Term policy at such an old age.  It almost sounds like a “plan”.

So how about this Whole-life policy?  Well, since 2007, the cash value has grown to $9500.  The value is growing at about $1300/yr.  But wait, I’m paying a little over $1400/yr in premiums.  So my net cost is about $100/yr, which is actually almost half the cost of my term policy.

So, what am I glossing over?  For one, the $1300 in cash value increase hasn’t always been that high.  Four years ago it was $1200, and since 2007, the average rise has been $1055/yr.  But, the value should continue to climb through the magic of compounding.  But, I just want to say that I’ve got 9 years into this, and you wouldn’t see numbers like these right off the bat.

You could argue that I’ve spent $12,771 in premiums to gain $9500 in cash value.  That sounds horrible.  But that also works out to getting a 150k life insurance policy for $363/yr or $30/mo.  And that average cost is over 9 years.  That number is going drop over time as the cash value increases relative to my constant premium payments.

One more number to give consideration to.  After 9 years, my annual dividend is $781.  My annual premium is $1400.  I’m a little over halfway to the point where my dividends will pay for my premiums.  That’s going to coincide well with the expiration of my Term policy (which would also reduce my premium by almost $200/yr).

Let’s recap the whole scenario.  I have $250k in life insurance now, when I am most vulnerable with the most mortgage debt and the most to lose if I die.  If I had a family, that money would be needed to pay bills and help replace my income.  11 years from now, my Term life expires.  I have less life insurance coverage, but I also have less financial burden.  If I had a family, they would be grown and on their own by then.  The insurance would just pay my reduced debts.  I would also have $200/yr less in expenses because the policy expired.  Looking even further ahead, when I don’t have any reason to have life insurance because all my bills are paid, then I can start withdrawing money from my whole-life policy.  And guess what?  I still have the life insurance policy.  By then, my dividends will probably be paying my premiums, too, and I won’t have that $1400/yr expense anymore.

When you hear financial people trying to sell you on a “plan”, it can be hard to swallow all that information and difficult to see what the future will look like.  It was hard for me as well, but I took a leap of faith and now that I’m a significant way into the “plan”, I can see further ahead and understand that yes, it was a good choice.  Early on, it would have been easy to say, “I’m throwing away my money!” But like any investment, it takes time to grow.

Coming Soon, Housing Crisis 2.0

This guy I know, well, I know him because he’s the one who used to own my house, but anyway, he keeps me around to do computer work for him.  And I do it.  And I get compensated handsomely, despite me telling him I don’t really need the money.  Well, anyway, I was at his house the other night doing computer stuff and he and his GF were having a conversation in hushed tones.  But I was right there beside them, and I was the only other one in the room, so I don’t know exactly why they were talking like that.  Except, I kinda do.

But let me first say this about the guy.  He’s successful.  Quite so.  He runs his own business in a subset of an industry where there is little to no competition and he is sought out for that skill and expertise.  He’s down to earth, but at the same time, he’s got plenty of money to spend.  You name it, he’s got it.  Boat, Corvette, camper, truck, huge house on a large plot of land, huge TVs everywhere.  Just got a divorce and is swallowing multi-thousand dollar alimony payments without slowing down.  Has someone who runs over right away when he has a computer problem and pays them much more than necessary.

And he’s pretty business smart.  I mean, he has a very successful business of his own, but he also had the sense to buy the land his house was built on when it only had a couple of trailers on it.  He now rents out the trailers and that pays his mortgage and then some.  So, I guess you would say he’s a successful landlord as well.

But now, in whispers, he’s talking to his GF in front of me about an opportunity to become a house flipper.  He has heard of an opportunity to buy a distressed house and he thinks he can flip it without investing any time or effort and learn how to do it correctly.  He may be right or he may not be.  But when I hear, “I just want to be the middleman”, it kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe he’s been watching too much Flip or Flop.  Maybe he’s been inspired from stories from his GF (who’s a property appraiser).  Maybe he’s just got too much cash lying around (what a problem to have). 

The thing is, experts say that when the rabble starts acting like experts, it’s time to make for the exits.  I’ve been reading stories about the increase of flipping and I’ve seen the HGTV shows that are promoting this more and more.  It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we were here.  But here we are.  I’m going to have to get myself prepared for this.

In Memoriam, In Advance

I stopped by my local pool place last weekend for some chlorine.  At the checkout they had a sign stating that as of August 1st, they will no long accept credit cards – cash or check only.  I asked for more clarification, no debit cards either.  So, I give them about 2 months to live.  Definitely won’t see 2017.

This business had recently tried implementing a “cash discount” and that didn’t seem to work, because I don’t see those signs anymore.  I’m very confused as to what their logic is.  Accepting a check is probably more risky than accepting a credit card.  No one carries $500 around with them to buy a chlorine generator.  It’s unlikely businesses would set up accounts with them unless they can do monthly invoicing and hold out the net 30 terms.

I thought this would make their online sales unworkable, but a quick check shows that their website cart uses PayPal.  This raises even more questions.  Why not get a PayPal mobile card reader and use the same account for store sales and online sales?

I mean, if they are getting hammered with CC swipe fees and TX charges, they need to renegotiate.  Or they need to look at their margins.  I’ve always known that the ones paying cash were getting shafted because a store’s prices had to assume that CC fees would be included.  I’m puzzled by this in the same way I’m puzzled that gas stations can survive with Cash/Credit pricing.

But in the end, my guess is they won’t be sticking around much longer.  Here’s the important thing.  They’ve made a decision they can’t easily take back.  They may get one more transaction out of each customer (they already got mine).  But after that, customers like me aren’t going to return.  If they realize their decision has now brought the business into a death spiral and they want to start accepting credit cards again, who’s going to know?  All the former customers have written the business off.  They could put a banner out front saying “We fucked up and we accept credit cards again!” but that’s some serious crow to eat.  Maybe the banner will be “Under New Ownership!” which might invite old customers back to see if the payment options have returned.

It’s sounds like another case of small-business America dying, but sometimes that death is caused by a self-inflicted injury.

Much Fun With Finance Institutions

A Libertarian view of the world is that government interferes with life too much.  Also, that government regulation costs businesses so much money to remain legal that the business can’t make any money. On one hand, I agree.  On the other hand, I say, you made this bed, now look at the fucking mess it is.

Here’s the thing.  New laws and new regulations don’t just appear out of thin air.  They are created in response to a case of abuse to prevent the abuse from happening in the future.  That’s it.  You look at every law and regulation and tell yourself, “That law exists to prevent someone from doing it.”

So now I’m in the process of refinancing my mortgage.  The last time I dealt with a mortgage was when I bought my home, 11 years ago.  You have heard the stories from that era, where you only needed a pulse to qualify for a mortgage.  That’s not the case any more.  So here’s what I have experienced with the new, modern, regulated mortgage industry. 

I initially spoke to a “mortgage consultant” who took my information, ran my credit and locked me in on a mortgage term and interest rate.  Then, I was handed off to a “mortgage processor”.  This person was unable to do the tasks of the consultant, and isn’t actually involved with the mortgage approval process.  They collect the documentation for the “mortgage underwriter”.  One of the documents is the house appraisal.  But the processor can’t call an appraiser directly.  They place an order with a company who will dispatch an appraiser.  After the documents are collected, they are submitted to someone in “pre-underwriting review” before they are submitted to the underwriter.  The pre-underwriting team can request additional documents for the processor to collect.

So, after you get through the mortgage consultant stage, you are charged a pretty significant application fee, which also includes the appraisal fee.  Then you have to fight your way through three boss levels to succeed in your goal of a mortgage.  And each one is going to be pickier than the rest.  I thought I was being proactive in providing a scan of the cleared check proving that I bought out my ex’s share of the property.  Nope.  That just raised red flags.  “Where did you get that money from?”  Are you fucking serious?  That’s pretty much none of your business.

But you know what?  It is their business.  And you know why?  Scammers.  God damn scammers.  Why would they ask that?  Well, what if I cashed out equity in another property to cut that check?  What if I cashed out my 401k for that money?  To you and me, that doesn’t matter.  It’s my money and I’ll use it however I want.  It doesn’t matter if that money came from equity (it’s my money), a 401k (it’s my money), or from saving from my paycheck (it’s my goddamn money).  But to them, the source of the money can be a liability.  And actually, the money is nothing more than a reduction in my net worth, which is something that is very important to them.  No bank wants an over-extended client struggling to pay his mortgage.

How did this come about?  Because scammers.  Because people scammed the system and got away with it.  And now everyone has to suffer and prove that they are not a scammer, too.  Because their actions resulted in a lot of regulation forcing a separation of concerns.  There is absolutely no way for collusion in this structure.  No one talks to the underwriter.  No one talks to the appraiser.  It’s like offering sacrifices to some pagan god and hoping for acceptance.

But It Was The Right Thing To Do

I’m sorry, Kaitlynn.

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Your ATM card is dead.  You left it in the Publix parking lot tonight.  There were no other cars around, so I couldn’t try and find you.  I had a thought to turn it in at the customer service counter and see if you would call and say you left your card there.  Instead, I called your bank.

Bank of America.  What a great bank.  In their phone queue, they ask for my (your) account number.  I enter it from the card.  They ask for the last four of your SSN.  Hell, I don’t know.  I said 0000.  I was wrong.  So they start to blow me off (a machine, saying eff off –  wonderful) and I say “operator” (that’s supposedly a trick to get to a human).  Sorry, their customer service center is closed and no one can help me (or you).  Instead of getting pissed off and hanging up, I got pissed off and listened to the rest of their message.  I could report a stolen or lost card by saying “lost card”.  Bingo!

The lady handling the situation was pleasant.  She said she would deactivate your card right away.  I said that deactivating a card could result in a huge hassle.  Can’t you call the person and tell them their card will be waiting at the Publix service desk?  Nope.  Who knows who’s seen and copied the information on that card already before I found it.  Fair enough.  Goodbye, ATM card.  Goodbye, scheduled online payments.  Goodbye, electronic means of buying cigarettes (my assumption).  Oh, and they’re not going to call you either and say your card was found.  They’ll just wait for you to notice it’s gone and report it missing.  Seriously, that’s what they said.

So, I’m sorry.  But you should be happy it ended like this instead of the alternative.  Also, you need to sign your card before using it.  It says right on it: “Not valid unless signed.”

Happy holidays.

A Comparison Of Credit Card Sites

Recently, I got a call from Capital One’s Fraud Department, which I always take immediately.  They told me my card was compromised and they would be sending me a new one right away.  Then they asked a bunch of questions, and that was that.

First off, I stayed on guard the entire call.  You need to always be aware that someone could be spoofing your bank to get information from you.  However, the call was legit and the operator asked me for nothing suspicious and only asked me to confirm recent purchases.  So, I had to start using other credit cards while my primary card was being replaced.  Right now, I don’t think it was a fraud issue on my card.  I think it was an excuse for them to issue me a new card with the new embedded chip.

But anyway, the point of this post is that after using Capital One exclusively for so long, I had a chance to see how my other cards compared.  There’s nothing to the actual use of the card – they’re all the same.  The difference I was interested in was the web sites.  And there was a big difference.

I used three other cards in this time period.  The branding of the card is probably as significant as who it was issued by, since the web site contains that branding and could be completely different code bases.  So the cards I used were: Bank of America’s Elite Rewards VISA, Barclays’ Choice Privileges VISA, and Citibank’s Sears MasterCard.

The Sears MasterCard is my oldest card (from 2001) and actually was converted from my former Sears store card, which was actually my very first credit card.  It doesn’t get a whole lot of use, and they know it.  My credit line on that card has been chopped down to a pretty low limit. 

The site itself is managed by AccountOnline.com, and I have no idea how it is operated.  The transactions must be processed in batches because I checked yesterday and there was nothing.  I checked today and I have activity between 7/31/15 and 8/3/15.  There doesn’t appear to be a way to see pending transactions, which would make sense if the transactions were refreshed on a schedule.  They do provide a way to download transactions to common financial applications, but you can only download a full statement or the current activity – no date ranges.

The Sears card is a rewards card, and the site does allow you to view your rewards balance and provides a link to searschoicerewards.com where you can spend your points.  I had all of 150 points and the cheapest gift card I could get was $20 for 2,500 points.  I guess I won’t.

A good sign of a website’s age is their minimum system requirements.  In this case, you need at least IE 4.0, Firefox 1.0, Safari, the IE browser in AOL, and Chrome must fall under “Other”.  They use security questions and the password complexity is 6 chars min, including 2 numbers and 1 letter.  You can use spaces, but only one consecutively.  You can set alerts on balances and payments, but not on transactions.

The Elite Rewards VISA (since 2009) is a newer card, so it would make sense that it has a newer website.  It also has the same style of transaction downloading as Sears, where you can download current activity or a past statement’s worth.  BoA doesn’t support downloading in Money OFX format, so you have to use Quicken.  I don’t see any obvious display of pending transactions, but I think they do display them.  BoA has a nice clear link to notify them if you will be travelling with the card, to prevent declined transactions from suspected fraud.  Capital One has that as well, but it is tucked away off the main screen.

The site uses SiteKey, an image that supposedly ensures you are on the correct website.  They’re getting rid of that feature soon, they say.  I was never a believer in whatever security it provided; pretty sure it was just a cookie.  BoA has a two-factor authorization called SafePass for transfer transactions.  They also use security questions.  The site’s password (which they term “passcode”) has a complexity of 8-20 characters, 1 letter and 1 number, and allows some special characters.  You can set alerts on balances, payments, and transactions.  I set mine up to email me on any charges over $1.  That’s something I have set up on Capital One and one of the reasons I doubt there was fraud on my card, because I got no unexpected notifications.

Choice Privileges VISA (from 2013) is my newest card, so you’d expect it to have the newest website.  Well, as these cards get newer, the websites have more flashy features, and the Choice VISA is right there with them.  They allow downloads for Quicken and CSV only and download by date range.  Pending transactions are easily accessible on another tab in the list.

The site uses a SiteImage and security phrase like BoA.  Password complexity is 8-30 characters, must have 3 of: uppercase, lowercase, numbers, or special characters.  The last 5 passwords can’t be reused.  Security questions are also used.  BoA and Choice won’t show you what the current security questions are, which I guess is a good thing.  You can set alerts on balances, payments, and transactions.  Again, I set my transaction notifications here as well.

So in summary, my newer cards are just as good as my Capital One services.  But to Capital One’s credit, their card is my second-oldest card (2003) and yet they have continued updating their website to be just as secure and functional as my newest card, unlike my Sears Citibank card.  After the big meltdown in 2008 where card companies were closing accounts left and right, I lost a few accounts.  One was another Citi card and I seem to remember the website was more fully featured than my Sears card is.

Time and Money and Pots and Trees

So the last few months have been spent in what I’ve been calling “austerity.”  The trick is, you give something a somewhat clever name and you will get more enticed to see it succeed.

But the end result has been positive.  Prior to starting this exercise, I was blowing my budget on my credit card spending.  Usually, that’s not bad because the budget isn’t the full amount I have available.  Then I started blowing through that buffer and had to start drawing from savings.  That wasn’t as bad as it could be because I had some silent transfers into the savings account.  But it was bad.  My savings account balance was about cut in half and I began to get worried.

However, at the same time, I paid off the car loan and did a refinance on my second mortgage, so that was two monthly payments that immediately went into savings.  Then I went hard-core and eliminated all extra spending except for food and gas.  That has been very productive.  I’ve been slowly draining my savings account for probably a couple of years now, and even with the replenishment I’ve been doing lately, it’s still at only 50% of its peak value.

Right now, I can see the future balance forecasts and they look great.  I look at the amounts being deposited and I think, “I could be buying (this gadget) every paycheck with that money.”  And somehow, that really puts things in a sad perspective.  Every paycheck, I could be buying some neat new toy.  One thing, for all that money.  That makes it seem like I’m not saving that much at all.  Then you all all those together and it’s like, “that’s really not a lot of money at all.”

Wait a minute.  I had a spending problem where I persuaded myself that I wasn’t spending a lot of money, now I have a savings problem where I feel like I’m not saving a lot of money.  What a mental mess this is.  So let’s look at it from another perspective.

They say you should have 6 (used to be 1, then 3, now 6) months worth of income saved for emergencies.  So right now, I’m at almost 3 months. To get to 6 months savings, it’s going to take maybe another 4-5 months of my current effort.  What’s that say?  I’m saving 33% of my pay by “hiding money” and another 14% in voluntary savings.  My fixed expenses are about 25% of my net pay a month.  Almost half my pay is being saved.  I shouldn’t feel bad about that at all.

So why do I feel bad?  Is it the watched pot never boiling?  Is it a case where I can’t see the forest for the trees?  Is it a psychosis like washing your hands over and over and never believing they’re clean?  That’s what I’m worried about.  I have to keep reminding myself things are good and I’m on track.  But does that mean I can give myself permission to spend?  And then what?  Will I fall back into my over-spending habits?  I have a big list of things I want.  I don’t need any of them.

We’ll revisit this in a couple of months.

No Budgeting Changes, 2015

A blogger that I follow and enjoy for his personal product reviews recently did a review of a financial product called You Need A Budget.  This product isn’t new to me; it’s been around for a while.  In the post, he invoked the names of Mint, MS Money, and Quicken, so of course I was intrigued.

Also in the post, he gave a rundown of his former money management process and I was startled that it was exactly like my current process.  So I read the rest of the entry with great interest and then went to the YNAB site to read more.

The result?  I’m sticking with the way I’ve always done it with MS Money.  And you know why?  There’s one feature in Money that sucks in Quicken and doesn’t even exist in Mint: Cash Flow Forecast.  And that feature is how I handle my money.

Although my management technique mirrored the blog author’s, after I calmed down, I realized even though I do all that, I do something more.  The three key actions I do are:

  • Put every recurring and non-recurring expense in the Bills Summary feature
  • Put every source of income, recurring and non-recurring in the Bills Summary feature (including tiny things like manufacturer rebate checks)
  • Check the Cash Flow Forecast regularly and make sure the balance is rising

That’s pretty much it.  Cash Flow tells you if your income exceeds your expenses.  If you take on a recurring bill that makes the cash flow become neutral or negative, something needs to give.  The forecast can tell you when you will have the funds to take on a large expense or how long it will take to recover from an unexpected hit.

For me, I have 14 recurring expenses in my list.  They range in frequency from monthly, to quarterly, to yearly.  By keeping an eye on the forecast, nothing is ever surprising.  Since I am of the philosophy to charge everything and pay it off monthly, I just have a catch-all bill for credit card.

That is what YNAB seems to be trying to eliminate is the feeling of “where did the money go?” at the end of the month when the CC bill exceeds what is budgeted.  I can sympathize with that a lot.  Money does have a report, “Spending by Category”, but that is historical (unless you run it for the current month).  To make up for that, I just log my receipts more frequently and I can see where the money is going.  That’s something I’ve said before: keep your numbers in your face as much as possible.  Whether using YNAB, The Envelope Method, or Money, that’s the key: awareness.

Stranded

Today, I got in my car to go to work today and I took note of the gas gauge.  I have enough to get to work and I can get gas at lunchtime.  So I head off to work.  Out on the interstate, there’s an accident.  Great.  Still doing good on gas, though.

It was a delay of about 10 mins.  I’ll be fine.  I decide to stop for breakfast.  At the Dunkin Donuts just down the road from my office, I get out of the car and something immediately feels odd.  Just as I realize what it is and my hand moves to my pocket, I have a flashback of the previous night.

I’m leaving my office and heading to bed and I look down at my desk.  I say to myself, “I have to remember my wallet tomorrow morning.  It’s not in its usual place.”

It’s still there on the desk.  How am I going to get breakfast?  Lunch?  Gas?  I have to go back and get it.  but I’m going to be late for work, like almost 2 hours late.  Nevermind, I’ll have to deal with that when I get back.

I jump back in my car and it hits me.  I don’t have enough gas to get back home to get my wallet.  My mind starts racing trying to figure out how to resolve this.  My only option is to continue to work and borrow some money to get me back home.  But what a ridiculous reason.

Ridiculous or not, that is what I did.  I went to my boss and explained the whole situation and he lent me the money to get the gas to get home and get my wallet.  I have a real issue accepting help from other people, so I took this a little harshly.