Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You May Say I'm a Dreamer, But I'd Just Roll My Eyes

So my husband and I are working on a new budget system that pretty much guarantees that we'll be rich and famous just as we're about to die. It's pretty motivating. Anyway, the name of the system is Financial Peace and we're doing it because he got it free-ish through work. Not because I am sponsored by them. I'd much rather be sponsored by Carnival Cruises or blood diamonds or something.

Aged 92.

Anyway, we've been watching the videos for a few weeks now; it's pretty much just one guy on a stage with some props and Bible passages preaching to an audience of financial miscreants. And aside from it making me feel like a complete dweeb, I've gotta say that I'm actually learning a few things. However, there are still times when I want to punch the lovable, humorous, short, bespectacled dude in the face.

For instance, he uses this one example to illustrate the importance of investing your money. He begins by describing a guy who started investing a small amount of money at age 18. This same kid stopped investing at age 20-something. Or maybe it was 30-something. (Does it make *that much* of a difference? Clearly this is why I am in need of such videos.) Anyway, we then get the comparison of the kid's brother, a late-bloomer who began investing in his 30s. OR FORTIES. WHATEVER. The brother, however, invests a noticeably larger amount, in an effort to make up the difference for time. Or something. Who the fuck knows. GAH. THIS IS STRESSFUL.

The point is that the moral of this godforsaken example is to show everyone watching that compound interest earned on investments is like a freakin' blizzard of dolla-dolla-bills, ya'll. But (HUGE BUT), only if you start investing when you're like TWELVE. I'M THIRTY-ONE.

So this is me, sitting there, all what the HELL, dude?! Do you WANT me to succeed or do you want me to rack up a fortune in the kind of impulse shopping that dulls my nerves just long enough to get me to the top of the bridge so I CAN JUMP OFF IT?


Then there was another point in one of the videos where he tried to define most working financial relationships as being comprised of two types of people:

1. Nerds.
2. Dreamers.

Oh yes he does. And apparently it makes sense to lots of people because this guy is a gajillionaire. So I *try* to hold my judgment.

Anyway, aside from the fact that "nerd" is probably offending way tons more people than just me, I was a bit taken back by this arbitrary and ill-advised method of forcing married couples into some kind of preconceived categories.

I look back to the video to see the guy waving his arms about, gesturing to the audience, all, "Let the NERD do the NUMBER CRUNCHING!" An then, on cue, out onto the stage marched the role-playing NERD. So we could better identify one if encountered on the streets, I presume. And, yes, of COURSE the nerd was a boy. A bald, four-eyed, high-waisted-pants-wearing... ah, yeah. You get the picture.

Then the guy was all, "...and let the DREAMER just SHOW UP!"

(Ah...this is me, hoping I'm the dreamer of the relationship. I eyeball my husband, who is taking notes, adjusting his reading glasses, and sipping some milk. I think I'm good.)

Once again, I turn back to the video aaaahnd, enter hippie chick. Bell bottoms. Lennon glasses. Bandana. Tossing up a PEACE SIGN. I threw down my study guide with disgust and looked at my husband. Seriously?

"And THIS GUY wants to be our latex salesman?!" I asked him, a bit of amused by my own stellar timing and wit.

My husband gave me a scowl. He's never liked Seinfeld. So I started humming some Beatles instead and looked back at my workbook.

"Hey! Did you see that there's a category for BLOW MONEY in this budget?! Get it? Money? For blow? Hah!"


"Alright, alright. I'm watching."

It's at this point that I begin wondering if becoming a millionaire is genetic. I doubt Bill Gates would be cracking jokes during the very serious budget planning committee.

When the video ends, I'm jolted out of my reverie by my husband rising from his chair and I realize I've missed the last ten or fifteen minutes.

Ok, FINE. I'm a dreamer. There's a joke in here somewhere.


  1. Those kinds of videos (or insert other form of media here: websites, articles, street mimes) always seem to OVER simplify things. Maybe we as Americans are thought to be so dumb that we need these stereotypes to help us make intelligent decisions.

    I have seen lots of this kind of stuff, and I too am a bit behind in the savings equation for my age. But what am I gonna do? eat Ramen noodles all week just so i can put a couple more bucks away for when I am so old that's all I'll be able to eat?

    Oh, and by the way... I hear Vandelay Industries has an amazing 401k. :)


  2. So here's why you really have to start investing at 2 years old. All those pennies you threw in a jar after your mom fished 'em out of your poop? Yeah well now they're thirty years old! Antiques! And therefore worth a shit ton more money than they were thirty years ago. If you wait another thirty years, they'll be twice as antiquey! How easy is that? Yay for poo money!

  3. i read a cosmo article like 8 years ago that said if you can put $100 a month into a work sponsored 401K from the age of 30, you'd have like $1.7 million when you reach age 68. and i was 22 at the time. so i'm like, 'fucking sweet! i have 8 more years to blow my money on tattoos and computers and bullshit. i'll totally have a grown up job by the time i'm 30 with a 401k, and i'll be set for retirement!'

    i never believed my mom when she told me that i was wrong to think i know everything.

    now i'm 30, and due to a string of ridiculous circumstances from the age of 23 on, i do not have a job, any savings, a 401k (job sponsored or otherwise), and am up to my eyeballs in debt.

    the moral of this comment is FUCK YOU COSMO MAGAZINE. you're good for teaching me about orgasms, but not finances.


  4. Now I have anxiety on whether I should dream or wear nerd clothes. Should I stay broke now or later and where is the money I'm supposed to invest? Hmmm???

  5. Hey! We're working on a new budgeting plan in our house too! Our's is called:


    or maybe


    or we may end up calling it:


    Either way, the plan involves my wife going to Banana Republic less.

  6. Who has the patience to invest money that young? Nobody at 18 is thinking about retirement. My support is with the dreamer. It is more entertaining to think about the get rich quick schemes than watching interest raise in a bank!

    At least I think so, never tried the latter.Is it obvious which category I fall into?

  7. I invested for a while. Made a little money. Spent it. It was one hell of a party though.

  8. Retirement planning blah blah blah stocks and bonds blah blah blah something something 401k snore.

    Meh, I'm putting all my eggs in the "my child is going to be a millionaire and will take care of me in my old age" basket.

  9. I'm still holding out for Social Security. I hear it's a safe bet.

  10. The short pushy (slightly humerous guy- eh maybe) is Dave Ramsey. I took the class too bc I got it for free as well. I cant say that I've stuck to it 100% but it works and I've actually saved alot of $$ simply by paying attention to where it goes. Being the impulsive buyer that I am, the envelope system works for me!

    PS I thought the same thing about the BLOW $$, only I couldn't turn to the church goer next to me and make jokes without being thumped with a Bible.

  11. Simple Dude: I kind of wish I had founded Vandalay Industries. Then I wouldn't have to watch these lousy videos.

    BugginWorld: Thanks...for the tip? Yuck?

    steph gas: Cosmo is clearly part of NWO.

    The Tame One: Simple--marry a nerd. He does all the work! The financial guru says so!

    DP: Umm, yeah...that might be one of the facets of this overhaul. My Banana Republic is Target. Embarrassing, really.

    Ethan: Exaaaaahhhhctly. Apparently there are some responsible people out there in this world. Freaks. (I'm so jealous.)

    Warren: Thanks for the invite! Punk.

    MissY: Mine are still eating dirt and crapping their pants, so it's hard to bank on that just yet.

    Ed: Dude.

    Sunshine: Yeah, I know the guy's name. Can't forget it at this point, sadly. I wish we were watching the videos together...I would totally NOT thump you with a Bible.

  12. Try this one on for size: a couple of weeks ago we took 30 lbs worth of coins to the Walmart to put in their coinstar machine. All them pennies amounted to was like $38 (once you take out the like 3% the machine takes out), but that was still pretty good for 30 lbs of change.

    And buggin: Unless those are steel pennies (or otherwise rare coinage) your mom fished out, those pennies are worth how much? Oh, about 1 cent apiece. But they do add up. ;) Like 30 lbs worth! That's a lot of poop money, if ya ask me.


  13. Oh! I've been looking for a genuinely funny blog for so long! Thank you! :o)

    And also, you reminded me that I once dropped some coins in a little cow-shaped piggy bank that my friends gave me for my birthday (let's not delve into the meaning of such a gift), which means there'll be ice-cream for breakfast tomorrow, YAY! Thank you once again! :o)

  14. I'm so glad we're almost the same age. I'm 32. There's hope for us! All the hilarious people on the web are in their thirties. Right? Right.

    But seriously. Why waste your time with financial peace? You should be out spending money! :)

    Is that Dave Ramsey, by any chance? If it is, I live like right next to Financial Peace Plaza. But I had no idea Dave Ramsey was short. If it's Dave Ramsey we're talking about here.

    And I don't live RIGHT right next to it. It's in a shopping area. A rich people shopping area. :)

    I'm not rich.

  15. My husband and I started Financial Peace in 2004. Because of these LAME videos we aren't feeling the crunch of the economy like everyone else. We paid our house off last December. ($177,000.00 mortgage) at the time we started paying extra. It took us five years. Not bad, eh?

    I actually bought tickets to see Dave Ramsey live in Phoenix this month. I think he's funny.

  16. Scratch: My son has been working on his piggy bank for like two years. That thing weighs as much as his brother. It's our emergency fund. Just don't tell my son.

    Julie: Score! I just had cookies for lunch.

    Nicole: It is totally Dave Ramsey. Lovable, irritatingly rich little bastard.

    Jarie: I'm having trouble discerning if you're offended. You sound...offended. (Are you Dave Ramsey?!) I like the guy, too. And, congratulations on the payoff. You must be proud.

  17. Years ago I invested in an retirement Janus fund. It was supposed to triple every 5 years! Um 'supposed to' is not a given. The tech bubble when Bush became president we lost it ALL due to Bush. The second time was another bust! Investing is so giving it to the broker than you. Now is the time to lift the mattress! Good luck and don't get played by any investment group.

  18. Hi-ya!

    I just started reading your blog and have to say that you are WAY funny!!! And I adore that your hubs calls you "wife"!!!

  19. My husband was always wanting to save for our retirement. I used to say, "I want to live now," as I planned our next vacation.
    I'm glad I did it as we both have a chronic illnes. We are sixty now, by sixty-five I don't know if we will be able to go on vacations.

  20. That was great stuff about financial freedom which I also took. Not doing so well on. But you have heck of a funny way of putting stuff.

  21. My Love went to one of those Donald Trump run "make money in real estate" seminars. It was an hour about why you should spend a few large on six more Donald Trump seminars.

    It's all about marketing to the right sucker.

  22. I am 21 and have absolutely no trust for our social security system nor any 401 plan. Especially after witnessing the financial meltdown that has occurred in the past few years where my grandfather lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of money in stocks and bonds and my parents lost almost all of their retirement. (And I don´t even want to go in to my college savings, which was in private program that basically buckled as State school raised their tuition as state budgets collapsed.)

    So, fuck it. I am definitely a dreamer that trusts no one. If I can´t see my money, it does not exist. It is probably a lot safer to put your poop money in a jar then invest it in this day and age anyway.


  23. Toodie: I appreciate the tip! Thanks for overlooking my flippancy to get to the heart of the matter--I'm incompetent.

    kmcaffee: Thanks so much! It's one of his more endearing qualities.

    Belle: Sounds like you made a good choice for you guys...all the best.

    Twisted: Yeah, we'll see how it goes. It seems to be kind of basic common sense stuff. The self-control is the hard part. Clearly, I have little-to-none.

    Kevin: We didn't have to pay much for it, which is why I'm finding it to be so much fun. Or, you know, more fun than something that isn't free.

    Reality Bites: Certainly some understandable cynicism there. Keep on truckin'...or something.

    Misha: So I hear! :)

  24. I feel like any inspiration to become a millionaire from reading this turned to epic fail when instead I just went with eating cookies for lunch due to your later comment...I think it has made me happier though!

  25. I'm just happy to know, we are not alone. Our plan is called Tell The Accountant. It's been in the works for 15 years and there's still questions from those involved. Go figure!

  26. Well, Budgeting and projections in corporate world also seems more fictional...atleast my experience says so...

  27. Well, Budgeting and projections in corporate world also seems more fictional...atleast my experience says so...

  28. I invested for a while. Made a little money. Spent it. It was one hell of a party though.

  29. Who has the patience to invest money that young? Nobody at 18 is thinking about retirement. My support is with the dreamer. It is more entertaining to think about the get rich quick schemes than watching interest raise in a bank!

    At least I think so, never tried the latter.Is it obvious which category I fall into?