Web Miscellany: Compilation #108

Hello friends!

Happy Friday! I hope the week has been good to you. Any fun plans?

My parents received news that the cat they fostered, Georgie, is celebrating one-year in her forever home (this is the first update since she was adopted). The fiery young lady has softened up and is now quite the cuddle-bug. Her baby, Friday, is also is a loving home. I’m so happy!

Well, I hope your week to come is a good one!


Food for thought

Just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you can afford it.

In a recent survey by a consulting firm, 52% of millennials said they expected to retire before 65. In the same survey, 36% of millennials reporting saving 5% or less of their income, 26% had taken a loan from their 401k, and 25% has withdrawn funds from their 401k.

Perhaps the early retirement folks are different respondents than the “live now, save later” folks, but still… we don’t have pensions anymore, and social welfare programs aren’t substantial enough to survive on.

Even though I am maxing out my 401k and Roth IRA, early retirement feels like a pipe dream. I don’t expect social security or other safety nets to be available, I don’t expect any inheritance, nor am I counting on future kids to help. My goal is to save aggressively now, so I won’t be impoverished in old age and forced to work until my death. It’s a bit harsh but after studying economic trends and running the numbers, it’s the likeliest outcome. Saving like hell now to avoid starving later. Retirement is a dollar amount, not an age.

The saving rate of those survey respondents is baffling to me! This is especially perplexing, given that many are going on exotic vacations and buying designer handbags instead of paying off their debts.

So, for anyone living paycheck-to-paycheck and not saving much for retirement, here are so thoughts for you to chew on:

  • If you have to finance it, you cant afford it. If the money in your bank right now, don’t buy it.
  • Don’t buy one of something if you can’t afford to buy at least three. This goes for cars, clothing, electronics, and more. The exception would be a home, though this is a good guideline for mortgage payments.
  • Learn to differentiate wants from needs. Food is a need, but steak and wine are wants. Shelter is a need, a luxury apartment is not.
  • Quit working a job you hate, to buy things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t like. Read that again.
  • Learn to think long-term and converse with your hypothetical future self. What will your 70-year-old self say to you when they’re working as a greeter at Walmart because they don’t have enough savings to cover the bills?

With each passing year, I’m worried we’re going to shift further towards socialism and those who have made sacrifices into order to practice fiscal responsibility will be left to foot the bill of those who haven’t. Let’s please not go there.

Something actionable

Here are a few hacks if you have an uncontrollable itch:

Self-talk. We can think of it like receiving severely negative feedback from someone whose opinion we don’t value all that much. We can say “Okay I accept that you think I did a terrible job, I can acknowledge that, but ultimately that’s not gonna ruin my day or alter the way that I move forward or do what I do.” Scratching eczema or a bug bite makes it worse, so you have to resist the urge, and the self-talk can help.

Pain overwhelm. Since pain uses the same nerve endings as itchiness, so you can also use the ‘hot spoon‘ method. Pour boiling water over a metal spoon to heat it up, then very lightly and quickly touch the bug bite. You want it to be hot enough to hurt but not to scald. The pain lasts for a second and the itch stays away for about an hour. With mosquito and some bug bites, the itch stays away for good because the heat denatures the proteins in their itchy, itchy saliva.

The final hack? Just take some antihistamines. But not too often because chronic use of the active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is linked to dementia.

Just for fun

When I was eleven, my cool uncle 😎 gave me a set of “mixtape” CDs. It was one of the greatest gifts ever, as he introduced me to around 100 new artisits. One was Jamiroquai. I recently stumbled across The Making of Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity, 1997 MTV Video of the Year. It’s fascinating, fun, and nostalgic!

Meme of the week

I am ever-grateful that I didn’t have to navigate dating while ill. This gave me a chuckle.

18 thoughts on “Web Miscellany: Compilation #108

  1. Good stuff. I’m amazed anyone in my age bracket thinks they’re retiring. Even if Millennials Ramsey up, if the government tanks it’ll be like those poor cancelled pensioners in Sweden there. And we won’t be able to blame it on the financially irresponsible, in full. Wars. International aid. Forced charity. There are all drains which do more damage to the economy than poor individual planning- which I agree must be curtailed, if for no other reason than the country’s dignity. But again. When your government sells you up the river, most folk being childlike don’t intuit much future and foible their plans.
    … … … … …
    I have tried the Guido spoon. I have a good pain threshold so all I did was turn the bite into a burn. Probably a metaphor in there.

    Off to pay me wages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right. It’s not just the financial ignorance. The government is no longer a servant to its people, and I think our forefathers would be turning in their graves to see what’s become of their hard work. Don’t even get me started on this week’s “domestic extremist” convictions… Yesterday, I saw a headline about a man who was bailed out of jail for domestic abuse by a charity because he was a surely “good guy who made a mistake” and immediately went home and killed his partner. Only some types of people are allowed to make mistakes, it seems.

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      1. But I don’t want to minimise personal responsibility either. I’d imagine our Founders would be unimpressed. I’d imagine the former British Empire would be saddened. And maddened. Caligula would be disgusted. Nero would still be a misunderstood fiddler without a roof.

        Stochasticism… yeah buddy. What a quagmire. I used to take it personally and do the White outrage and ye olde “how come X can do Y but I can’t do Z…” but at the end of the day, I’ll have never murdered anybody. My being an advocate of voluntary segregation/secession while maintaining a doctrine of autonomy of consent… is objectively far more benign than that.

        Yes. “Mistakes.” That’s a rant for another comment. Suffice to say, I do not advocate spousal abuse.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the last meme. Made me smile, being a wordy girl and all.

    I also read an article about the millennial expectations regarding retirement. I laughed out loud. It ain’t gonna happen, kids– if you don’t start saving every penny you can now. Somehow that generation seems oblivious to financial realities. You said: “Retirement is a dollar amount, not an age.” Yep.

    Happy Weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I got a kick out of that meme, too! And I think we all have those days… 😂

      It’s so crazy to me how oblivious young people are. My younger sister (mid-20s) and her cohort are into the buy-now-pay-later model and a generally “living large” paycheck-to-paycheck, while I’m skimping to save all I can. I have strong concerns for their future. We’ll see how things unfold.

      Happy Weekend to you, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pretty sure that I’ve instilled in my adult kids that there really are no guarantees in the future. I remind them, as a boomer, who is already seeing changes to future financial stability that they have to think how now impacts later. I’ve actually been doing that since high school for them. You gave some great reminders! Sadly for many it’s just too easy to think only in terms of the here and now takes priority.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful that you’ve been passing along that wisdom to your kids, Deb! I’m fortunate that my parents taught us about personal finance from a young age and had financial literacy books on the shelf (like The Millionaire Next Door) that I read. Yes, I think many don’t have the capacity to consider the future, nor how their choices today might impact their future–positively or negatively.

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  4. Such a potpourri of fun and wisdom! As someone who gets eaten up by mosquitoes, I’m going to use that hot spoon hack — what a bright idea. Beats the smelly (and I still say, dangerous) bug spray options. Very ‘into resting’. LOL! Loved the meme, Erin! Happy Friday back to you! 😊😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get eaten up by bug bites too and I’d never heard of the hot spoon trick. I am going to try that. What a fun potpourri and great thoughts about saving and retirement! “Don’t buy one of something unless you can afford to buy three.” Wow – that is a fascinating maxim. Thanks, Erin!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The “don’t buy something unless you can afford three” is something I picked up from my parents. While not always practical, it’s a great guideline. If something you own is lost, stolen, or damaged, it’s not the end of the world if you can easily replace it.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Woohoo, thanks Vicki! Yes, the hot spoon certainly beats the sprays. And, actually, I just realized I used to always get bites, but haven’t in years. Four years ago, a dietician noted that I was deficient in potassium, and I have been supplementing my diet for that long with banana, potatoes, or and potassium pills. So, that may be another hack to keep the pesky little buggers away. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

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