Archive for August, 2008

Money and My Life (dot com)

Posted on August 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Every Thursday morning I haul my tired behind out of bed at 5:30 am. I get up this early in order to meet a friend and running partner at Piedmont Park here in Hotlanta for a weekday morning run. I’ll call him John. It’s a good thing I’m calling him John too, because that’s his name. We meet every Thursday while it’s still dark out, sip some coffee, and then head to a really nice outdoor track in the park where we and run our little hearts out for 45 minutes. John is taller than me and runs a lot faster, so I usually only see him through the cloud of dust that I eat as he passes me by.

This morning we met per our punishing routine, and we talked a bit about money and finances before the run. John said that he used to be part of a group that would discuss money matters as it relates to one’s personal life, mostly attitudes about money and how and why these attitudes are formed. When John said this, it got me thinking about a site that I joined when it first launched, and how it has grown quite a bit since then. It is a web site that focuses on just such matters as John iterated. It’s called Money and My Life (www.moneyandmylife.com) and provides a very active community forum that enables users to discuss money as it relates to many aspects of their lives.

Check out this great resource! And thanks John for reminding me of it.

I promise to have a more directly PMBA-related post for you soon. I’ve been going along with the 36 Hour Finance Course and am learning quite a bit, but I think it’s going to take me 48 hours to complete. 🙂

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I know how to pick ’em

Posted on August 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Just now I was perusing Entrepreneur.com’s 2008 Hot List for this year’s hot business ideas and those standbys that are still going strong even in this weakened economy. The latter category includes, in part, online gaming, home party sales, and upscale cupcakes. Upscale cupcakes? Holding on in this economy? Let this not surprise you. It was no accident that Estee Lauder launched the beginning of what would become a beauty empire even as the US was coming out of the Great Depression.

So I’m going to use my precious blog space to tell you about the upscalest of cupcake entrepreneurs, that can only be found of course, in New York City. They’re called Babycakes, and I so needed to have a fix on a recent trip to New York that I hauled my travel partner to their boutique from clear across town.

I’m not affiliated with Babycakes in any way, unless by “affiliated” you mean “addicted to”, and in that case then perhaps I’m a bit affiliated.  My point in mentioning them here is that a) I apparently have upscale taste in cupcakes, and b) there are plenty of business opportunities which can be taken advantage of even in this economic climate. Consumers tend to continue to buy more “luxury” items than one might expect in these times, because these items make us feel good, if only for the moment, and most people tend to need that comfort.

Now, back to my reading…. Mmmmm, finance….

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A college memory and budgetary epiphany

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

While at university, I befriended a smart, funny girl named Karla. Karla and I became fast friends and at some point our parents got to know each other and would occasionally get together if either set of parents happened to be in the other’s area. One weekend my parents were in Buffalo, NY and met Karla’s parents for dinner. As parents with college-aged children, you can imagine that the conversation centered on the empty nest, major programs, sports, and generally what trouble we kids were getting into.

One day Karla caught up with me in the school union, and she was laughing. I of course had to know what was so funny, and she blurted out “Your parents!” laughing with every syllable. Apparently my parents were making light of my fiscal irresponsibility at the afore-mentioned dinner. Apparently, a comment was made by my father, to the effect of If Pamela saw a sweater on sale for $150, she’d say to the clerk ‘I’ll give you 250!’ much to the amusement of the dinner party!

Well, I have to admit my dad was probably not far off the mark. I was never very responsible with money. This was a well-known fact, and I am ashamed to admit that it wasn’t until my more adult years that I finally got serious about my finances.

Eventually I realized the need for a budget in my life. (Dad’s going to pass out when he hears that.) One thing I realize now that I am reading the McGraw-Hill 36 Hour Course in Finance is that the personal accounting method that I developed for myself is very much like a crude accrual method of accounting. That is to say, I was using the matching principle intuitively, without knowing that such a principle actually exists.

The matching principle, according to McGraw-Hill, requires that expenses be deducted from related revenues in the time period in which they occur. Expenses can either be tied to a revenue, as in selling clothing which you buy from the manufacturer, or they can be tied to a time period, as in paying rent on an office space. My personal budget started out as a simple cash in/cash out balance sheet but I soon realized that I was not accounting for money which was “spoken for” (phone bills, electricity, etc.) but which I hadn’t yet spent. So I amended my budget to reflect better my financial state at any given time.

And voila! A very crude yet useful (to me) accrual method of accounting.

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Quick post

Posted on August 19, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Just a quick post to say the McGraw-Hill book on finance arrived today at last.  Now begins the experiment…

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Ordered the first book

Posted on August 13, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I am going to have a get a library card for all these books. In the meantime, I’ve chosen “The McGraw-Hill 36 Hour Course in Finance for Non-Financial Managers” as my first book and ordered it through abebooks.com. I doubt I’ll be reading these in the order in which they are presented in the PMBA reading list.

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Once upon a time…

Posted on August 12, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Once upon time, I was a little girl… a girl of about 10 years old. I had been going to public school, but for various reasons my parents decided to make huge personal sacrifices (I love my parents, by the way, they are super, but that’s another blog altogether) and send me, my sister and brother to a private school. As such, this school required an entrance exam. Yes, at ten years old I was being indoctrinated into the world of standardized tests. Actually, I have no idea how standard it was since that was a long time ago.

Anyway, my mom took me to the new school one weekend, and I sat for the entrance test. All went well, very well in fact, and I passed the test with flying colors. Except, there was one problem…

“Mrs DeRitis,” the school counselor said to my mom, “your daughter Pamela has done very well on her entrance exam, but there is one particular question which I’m sure she should know the correct answer to, yet she got it wrong…”

Mrs. DeRitis, in the meantime, looked perplexed, looked at the question, and agreed that I should have known the correct answer. So they both sat me down in the office, showed me the question of concern, and the offending answer. “Do you know what the answer to this question is?” asked my mom. “Yes,” I said, and immediately gave her the correct answer, without having received any hints or provocation. I knew the right answer, I just didn’t write it down.

“But why?” asked mom and the counselor, “If you knew the correct answer, why didn’t you put it on the test?”

“Because,” said I, “I wanted to try something different.”

The above I assure you, is a true story. It is too long ago for me to remember what the question was, but one thing has stuck with me all my life. I always want to do something “different.”

So, here we are today. I am a Project/Release Manager for a great company in Atlanta, GA. I am good at what I do. But that darn itch just won’t go away. I have been tossing around the idea of going for an advanced degree of some sort. That’s not quite different from what a lot of people do actually. However, my approach to it is different, I think.

I recently started searching “the internets” for books that would introduce me to the concepts taught in business school, figuring that would give me some idea of whether or not I actually want to pursue an MBA. One of the sites I searched is lifehacker. If you haven’t visited this site before you simply must. As it happens, lifehacker featured Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA* site one day, and I knew it was kismet. This kind of reading is just what I was looking for. And a whole program laid out before me to follow to my heart’s content? Well, I think I just died and went to self-study heaven.

I don’t know yet whether I want to go to biz school, but this should certainly help me decide. And to help myself along the way I’m keeping this journal of my progress for the world to see.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or suggestion. If you have ideas about how I can demonstrate my grasp of what I’m learning, tell me! I love feedback!

*Copyright © 2005-2007 Josh Kaufman, All Rights Reserved. “The Personal MBA” and “PMBA” are trademarks of Josh Kaufman and Worldly Wisdom Ventures.

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