Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phil's solution to all Money Problems, Government or Personal It's all the same!

So I've been thinking a lot lately. I know that's a shocker! But really, I've been thinking about Taxes, personal finance, and MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEYYYYYYY (feel free to sing along).

Those who know me well know that I'm a growing Dave Ramsey "kill your debt" fan. I think that Dave has really changed my view of money. Today on his radio show he had the founder of Hobby Lobby (my wife's favorite store) on. Hobby Lobby just adjusted their minimum wage to $11.00 an hour— pretty awesome compared to other retailers (Wal-Fart). But really caught my ear were two things: 1) "we have no debt" and 2) "the Bible says all the money is God's and we think that the Bible is a pretty good book so we subscribe to that philosophy. It's not our money; it's God's and we're just stewards of it. It's a lot easier to give away God's money than your own."


I once had a sales job where we provided products to our clients who then sold them to others. We had a deal that we would give our clients their order and not expect payment for 30 days (net 30). I had one company who was my biggest customer and they never paid within the 30 days. So I had huge orders on hold waiting for these HUGE payments all the time which meant that my little commission was also on hold. I had a great boss who really tried to help me help my customers pay up. I just didn't get it. I hated to hound my customer to pay their bills. (I don't know how I ended up in banking with this kind of attitude. . . .)

Finally my boss was so frustrated with me that he lost his cool. "Phil, collections is really simple. The customer ordered and got the merchandise. If it's what they wanted then they pay. If it isn't what they wanted then they send it back and they don't pay. There are no other options!"

Low and behold when I repeated this word for word to my customer he said "Your right, here's my check."

Why do we have to make taxes, government finances, and personal finances so complicated when there's really nothing complicated about them.

Taxes- You live, play, or partake of the United States of America. You should help pay for that, PERIOD.
  1. No more free rides: Everyone Pays something. I love the idea of the flat tax. If it works for God in the form of tithing 10% then why won't it work for the government? Now, fine— if we have to have a graduated tax where the wealthier pay a little more, okay, but keep it simple.
  2. I heard on the radio yesterday that our current tax code was something like 90,000 pages long... That's just plain STUPID! It should fit into a 30 page pamphlet! What if you just printed 20% in 190 pt font on one piece of paper. DONE!
Government Finances-
  1. Spend what you have, NO MORE! (You might want to save 15% for a rainy day too.)
  2. If your tax income is short of your budget by 20% then every program gets cut 20%. This is the only "fair" and adult way to handle the situation. This would include education, health care and even libraries and police forces. This isn't rocket science.
  4. This works for federal, state, and local governments.
  5. I triple dog dare any pansy politician to make this happen and they will go down in history as one of the greatest Americans since Ben Franklin.
Personal Finance-
  1. Stop acting like spoiled little brats.
  2. Parents: stop bailing out your adult kids! It's not helping them be ADULTS!
  4. If we all start living within our means, our economy will crash pretty hard, but I have a shocker here for you: if we don't do it now, the coming crash when we all go bankrupt will be much worse. The reality is that America is bankrupt right NOW. We spend too much money.
  5. We're all trying to have everything. I'm a perfect example of this. Every week it seems like there's something else that I have to have. Last month it was a used car dealer's license. This week it's a really scary looking gun that I can use to scare the snot out of any bad guys who come into my house. Bottom line is that I can't afford it right now so I need to BUDGET, SAVE and EARN what I really want.
  6. Money is really simple.
  • Debt is a chain that will strangle you, it's NOT a tool. If you can't afford it, you don't really need it—you only want it. (Certain exceptions apply, like heart transplant surgery. However, education is included in this. If you can't afford it, you don't need it! Save your way because the burden of student loans won't go away for a long time and the odds aren't 2-1 that you'll make more money. Also included are houses, cars, cloths, food, TV, appliances, yards, pools, solar panels, patios, furniture, and any other consumables that drive our consumer economy).
  • If you want more, figure out a way to make more.
  • Live on what you have. "Do you really need a BOB stroller or do you just want one?"

So there you have it... Why do we make this stuff so dog gone complicated?

Peace and love to all. I'm a novice at this stuff and still don't apply it very well but my eyes have been opened, I've seen the light, I have tasted of the fruit and know that it is good.


P.S. here's what's at stake.

P.p.s. I was in Denver a few weeks ago and saw this truck.. Look really closely at what's written in the dirt.