Category Archives: General

But I’m your biggest fan…

I bought all your records, clipped every magazine article, videotaped you on Letterman, saw you play at the Roxy, the El Rey, the Wiltern, and the Bowl. I joined the fan club, wrote you letters, and sent you photos. So why didn’t you talk to me that night at Swingers when I came up to you and Malcolm McDowell in the booth in the back?

Thanks to the “life streaming” phenomenon, every Joe can now feel like a pop star when the quietly obsessive Jane comes up to them and starts talking casually about Joe’s life. As I’ve mentioned before, between your various profiles, blogs, Twitter and photo streams, any idiot who bothered could piece together a well defined picture of your life. Your education, where you were last night, what you ate on Sunday, what you saw on your last vacation, who your friends are, your political views, your favorite liquor, what you bought from Amazon, your hobbies, the name of your cat.

Example 1: Beatles, Yoga, Jon Stewart, New Age, sympathetic, Jewish, born in November, liberal, Democrat, alternative, 80’s, classics, Ivy League, no land-based meat, emotional.

Example 2: Netflix, Tivo, born in December, museums, clubs, drinking, food, web 2.0, fashion, spends time with grandma, owns property in AZ, developer, Lessig, Heroes, Britney, SNL, gay, Jewish, tall, karaoke, make that very gay.

Example 3: food, Blackberry, hospital, County-USC, Democrat, alt/indie music, ninjas, music, Obama, AIDS, food, garage sale, Silver Lake, probably hipster, NPR, WBR, Darfur, ACLU.

Bonus points if you recognize yourself in the examples. 🙂

Curry Takeaway

It seems that some readers may have come away with the notion yesterday that when I said “debt” that I meant credit card debt.

I’ve never carried a balance on a credit card in the 18 years I’ve been using them. And of course I use them all the time in lieu of cash and for paying bills online so that I can earn points/miles, participate in the purchase protection programs, have an electronic copy of my spending habits, etc.

No, the debt I was talking about was housing, cars, and student loans.

The main point that inspired the post, the one that I completely failed to make, was the fact that the “paying off debt vs. doing something else” calculation changes completely based on whether that “something else” is investing or saving. At least in my mind. Investing is about return. Saving is about safety.

Extra credit question: Which maximizes your NPV? Putting $10,000 into a 4.5% CD or paying $10,000 toward your student loans (4.25% interest rate) or paying $10,000 toward your mortgage (6% interest rate)?

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Thinking about money sucks

I’m often torn between the idea of paying off a little more debt or doing something else with the money.

For instance, I just sent my lender an extra car payment so that I could pay down the principle a bit faster. Paying an extra payment now is equivalent to reducing my number of payments by 1.3 payments. It would be really nice to pay off all these car and student loans so that I feel like I have more options and more freedom.

A month ago, I socked away a grand in a CD that earns 5% a year, since it seemed like an amazing interest rate. However, if you compare this rate with that of the car loan, I’d earn a better “return” by using the money toward the car loan.

Then there’s the idea of saving money for a disaster. If I lose my job, how many months could we last without that paycheck? Not many.

Better start saving more.

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