That made me smile

Thank you. As it turns out, you’re one of the ones who really inspired me to “go all in”, knowing that you run your business as a cash operation. That’s been my main reluctance, was dealing with the various vendors who are accustomed to getting either automatic payments or electronic transfers or whatever. I’ll have some big purchases to make in October, just as normal part of operations, and that’ll feel VERY weird. But if other folks have found ways to do it, so can I.

Just dug out the little brown wallet with all the little envelopes still inside from class, and it’s sitting on my desk at the moment awaiting my attentions later today. I’ll go through and ensure I have an envelope for each section of my weekly budget. Feel in some ways like I’m starting over, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Been ridiculously busy around here

for a variety of reasons I won’t get into (most of which are quite boring). But one pretty big deal – I’ve decided that October will be my first earnest experiment with going cash-only. Yes, you read that right. After years of telling myself I didn’t need to and didn’t want to and wouldn’t benefit from it and it wouldn’t work anyway, I’m going to give it a try. We have been working really hard to nail down our budget the last few months, and making major headway on doing so. But I’m still experiencing weeks (more often than not) where I run out of money before I run out of week. That’s a planning failure; there’s no two ways about it. And it’s just too easy to whip out that debit card and hit the ATM and transfer the cash I need from one of our other sinking funds. It’s a habit I simply MUST break if I’m ever going to really truly accomplish the financial progress that we first learned three years ago. Yes, it’s been three years. Making these kinds of mistakes as we’re just starting FPU is understandable. Making them now is proof that I still have work to be done before I’m really the master of my spending. Hence, going cash-only.

So as of this Friday, when our financial October really begins, think of me filling my little envelopes (which I still have from class), and thinking “ok, this has to last me a week……….” Each Friday for October, I’ll be repeating that cycle. I’d be a liar if I claimed I wasn’t a bit intimidated by making this shift. But hey, it’s often good to shake things up and try something new now and then. So, wish me luck.

Which actually does have some relevance to getting out of debt

storing up food, provisions and an emergency fund. In short: do it while the sun shines.

I read an article by the Wall Street Journal the other day about the 5 things you should know about the Occupy Central (Hong Kong) situation. It was laughable how wrong it was. Although they did quote a 70 year old woman who wished the students had taken a few more history lessons. That was salient.

Housing is small in Hong Kong (the country). I think the average apartment is about 800 square feet: some larger, but way more are far far less. It is a culture which lives literally, for the moment: food is bought daily, water (for the day) is boiled daily, and housing and life there doesn’t really lend itself to stockpiling food, water, or provisions to ride out a calamity. A great many people do have money in the bank, but they won’t be able to access it if Beijing shuts it down, nor will they have a way off the island itself, and since they built the “new” airport (located WAY off island on a different island), getting to an airport will be constrained too.

I feel bad because at the end of the day the vast majority of people on Hong Kong island are going to find out quickly that are stuck, with few options. The ones who listened to counsel and prepared (and those will be very very few in number, even among those whose churches teach preparedness), will be slightly better off, but I’d be surprised if they could ride out more than 72 hours.