Tips on how to have money

WARNING: This article isn’t designed to help make you rich. I would recommend these wonderful links for that goal. This article intends to help you have money. A finite amount of money for a finite amount of time.

Do you wish to have money?

We all know at least one person whom you can always count on to have some cash on hand. This person may or may not be filthy rich but tends to have the important things in life covered. That’s one of the major constituents of adulthood.

Trivia: Adulthood used to be defined by sexual maturity. Today, it is directly tied to your financial stability. I’ll give you a moment to blame society.

The term Money here denotes the abstract concept of wealth, financial stability, liquidity, cash and everything else within. Having sifted through countless “get rich now” articles, most of which can be whittled down to “save and invest, wisely”, like telling someone with depression to start feeling better. Some people are simple more adept at money matters than others. However, everyone has a right to a little stability in what is otherwise a buffet of chaos.

Let me also clarify that if you actually know/knew me, you’d have injured your eyebrow muscles from all the judgemental frowning you’d have to do. I am horrible with money, always have been. I have a spending problem and an impulse control problem. However, life has a simple 2-step, “bombardment with calamity” plan that nobody can escape from. I took that opportunity to learn at least a thing or two. Which I share now. If I learn how to make it rich, I’ll be sure to share it with you all as well.

1. Where do we start?

As with any endeavor, before we can decipher where we want to go, we need to recognize where we are. To appreciate our financial standing, we need to take the following into account.

1.1. Money on Hand

Look in your wallet, your bank account, any cheques you haven’t cashed, things you’re trying to sell. The combined value of these items represent your entire cash situation. Whatever amount this constitutes to represents your life right up to this point. This is liquid cash. The agenda is to ensure that this amount grows. For some it might be enough to see through the year, while others will be lucky to see through the end of the day.

1.2. Money tied up

Some people have financials stuck in investments like real-estate, mutual funds. Others have given loans that they cannot seem to get back. Some regularly scheduled payments (bills, rent, fees, foods, etc.) that you should calculate and consider tied up as soon as your next payment comes in. This defines money that you earn, or have earned, but, cannot use elsewhere. This money you cannot have. This amount does not go into your wallet, it does not go into funding any habits or wants.

1.3. Patience

Despite its popular usage when talking about money matters, Patience is an inaccurate term for the relationship one should have with money. It carries a stench of expectation of the extraordinary. The notion that, if you wait long enough, something big will eventually happen. This thought is quite misleading. Life can worsen almost instantly, but it takes time for things to improve. Just waiting is insufficient and irresponsible. What you need is to exercise all the synonyms associated with patience. i.e. forbearance, tolerance, restraint/self-restraint, resignation, stoicism, fortitude, sufferance, endurance, et al. while you’re actively working on improving your financial situation. It’s probably better to watch an egg boil in water, than by just staring at it and hoping.

1.4. External Factors

These factors are time, opportunity, life in general and all things in between that are never truly within a human being’s control. Though one can save time, manufacture an opportunity or two, live a healthy life to increase one’s chances at a favorable outcome, nothing is guaranteed.  With the acceptance of that helplessness, a realistic self-audit is an important first step.

2. How do we fix this?

2.1. Learn about yourself

A wise man once said:

the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.

Any time you forgo the act of writing your expenditures down, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn about yourself. There are numerous apps for this purpose, all of which can simplify the process, or if you prefer, go with the tried and tested pen and notebook methodology. Whatever the tool, you need the results. Write it down in as much detail as possible. Keep in mind that this is even less than a prophylactic measure, it is not designed to modify your financial situation. However, having data puts you in a more amicable situation.

2.2. Save, don’t penny pinch

There exists, a fine line between not spending extra on certain things and becoming a miser. The appreciation of this line helps people live reasonable lives. A miserly living makes sense for short periods of time in dire situations, but shouldn’t be a benchmark. One shouldn’t eat at a fancy restaurant every night, but one should not resort to skipping meals either. The act of saving is being able to afford to live. Don’t starve, don’t give up showering, don’t throw away your sim card. Nothing drastic. Check out this amazing reddit built around getting you to live a regular life without spending too much. The advice within is phenomenal and a precursor to this very article.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/

2.3. All extra money goes into a bank/investment

If you have extra money coming in through some professional or personal endeavours, then understand that this money wasn’t part of your original plan and is not going to change your life (even if it is a significant amount). So this amount must go immediately into either savings or, if you have figured out some investment scheme, there.

3. Understanding Money

3.1 Finances

This means to understand the world of finance a little better. You don’t need to become a Chartered Financial Analyst, however, you do need to better understand simple terms that can help you see where the market is going.

3.2 Banking

Money in the bank, should not be considered safe. Money will lose value just sitting there, that’s called inflation. Sooner or later, you will want to take that money and put it somewhere were it can start making money for you. If it’s a large enough amount, you can invest in real-estate. If it’s small, you can invest in other instruments and securities (a financial way of saying “opportunities”). This isn’t hands on advice, that is because there isn’t a blanketed solution that will work for everyone equally. However, if you understand finances, you can figure this out yourself better than any internet article can advise you.

3.3 Nobody is perfect

Everyone is always hemorrhaging money. Some manage to bring it down to a leak, while others just open the floodgates and end up without it soon. I’ve seen people gain and spend millions without ever analyzing their lives and I have seen people go from poverty to riches without really making any real change. The point is never to bank on things to change for you. The idea is to understand that mistakes happen and if you do fall, pick yourself up, take a deep breath, dust yourself off and start all over again. If people universally possessed the ability to differentiate between smart and dumb choices when it comes to money, poverty would face obsolescence.

3.3 Always evaluate

Think of every expenditure in long-term. Will it be cheaper to buy a car now or travel by careem/uber for the next 5 years?  Time is already money, the longer it passes, the more you lose. Can you turn it around and gain money with the passage of time?

Any way, this is pretty much where I am so far. I am happy to integrate any feedback and make improvements to both my life and my advice. Hopefully someone will benefit from this. Keep well people.

I am Adi and these were my two cents. They were my last, so I’d like them back

Blogging in 2018 – Like An Idiot

Day 1: A Waste of Words

What Are We Doing Here?

This post is a manifesto for this blog,  I’ll explain that after exactly 106 words.

Print is dying a drawn out, agonizing death, while we all gather to gawk at its last painful moments. Unfortunately, on its way out, it might be taking blogging with it.

The act of reading the written word has severely receded as a global activity, as signaled by the decline of numerous blogs as well as a staple of print.

So, astute reader (notice the singular), you might be wondering what brings you here. Perhaps a Google search undertaken in a drunken stupor, or simply a toddler playing around with a keyboard. Or, possibly because I guilted you here. Welcome to the experiment.

The emergences of digital was print’s extinction event, major publications are succumbing to the toxicity. Some blogs are just oblivious to this and even conflate the lack of breathable air with “startup challenges” and stick to just one single medium for publication.

*Assume an appropriate Gif that might go here*

Nothing in digital media is set in stone. Simply because of how varied our demographics are. The purpose here is to learn by doing. Regularly publishing content in various formats. You’ll be subjected to my visage every now and again as well as my voice. So YouTube and Podcasts are part of the learning experience, with some impetuous livestreams thrown in.

Okay, so what are we doing here?

The experiment has the following aims:

  1. Learning
  2. Applying
  3. Wondering why people aren’t coming
  4. Wondering why that one post gained traction
  5. ????
  6. Selling soul for traffic
  7. ???
  8. Where’d that come from? Who put that there?
  9. ??
  10. Profits

That’s stupid, who even are you?

Advanced warning,  this section is entirely about me and I do love talking about me. If that does not interest you, then I invite you to skip to the next one.

Now, that the a-holes have skipped. Let me tell you nice folks about myself (in excruciating detail) I operate a digital media company called SurgEngin (the appellation of which we will visit another day). Our clients trust us to bring about significant digital change for them. My personal specialty has been the SEO niche, the sub-specialty being content generation. Despite all the hoopla around those three letters, it’s not that a complicated concept. Often, it’s quite paint-by-numbers. However, someone like me is called in when things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to. My vocation is synonymous with optimization. Optimization is the first step to growth, I now strive to understand that concept.

A significant amount of my life has been spent writing for magazines, popular and nameless alike, news sites, popular blogs, tech blogs, some random ones and then there was that Peabody Award Winning show (we’ll get into that in a future post).

All of this writing prepared me to embark upon the journey of how long it takes to go from point A to point B (if point A is total anonymity and point B is global fame). I realize that point B is not a universally accepted goal.

On top of that, I am also a teacher. I like taking what life I’ve lived (and this blog will stand as a testament to that adventure) and sharing that in a meaningful way with students.

Despite there being a tinge of hope in my heart that this might be the very thing that somehow revives the entire reading industry, realistically, I am expecting to attract a mere fraction of the audience I might have 10 years ago (if any). However, the agenda now becomes to say what you need to say and have it available to the world with as little friction as possible.

While I am very much interested in getting valuable feedback on this content, I also wish to emphasize that this blog stands as purely an experiment, so the tone will evolve, the content will change, the idea will change. The only thing I know, for certain, is that it will be frequent.

So what’s with the Design?

I don’t quite appreciate your blasé line of questioning, its coming off rather hostile, please.

Logo

The logo, or at least its facsimile, was chosen with the idea that it should look retro (as should the blog itself). I chose this tutorial to guide me on how to use illustrator well enough to pull it off. I have a problem that I need a whole lot of things spelled out for me and most tutorials, especially series, tend to assume a certain level of literacy that renders me useless. That  phase of the experiment did not go quite as well as I had hoped and I ended up with jumbled typography. I immediately scurried into the safe arms of Photoshop and churned out this little number (circa July 2018, in case I change it in the future).

The Logo I came up with in Photoshop Circa 2018

Fonts?

Which one is pretentious and which one is readable? Originally I was writing in Segoe UI, as I found it to more agreeable than Calibri or Arial. Then, I sought a font with serifs, as those are traditionally more readable and if you intend to keep up with the blog, there will be a lot of reading involved. The least I could do is make it less of a chore. I realize I could also make the actual content interesting, but that’s just more work for me. Hence, Book Antiqua. It’s easy to render online, it’s enjoyable and if you have a high resolution display, it makes the session fun too.

Theme

Two factors went into this particular choice.

  • Was it free?
  • Did it look like an old blog?
  • Will the visitors immediately see the latest content or will there be friction?
  • This is clearly more than *goes back to check* the Two factors promised at the origin of this list, what’s up with that?
  • Is there an archive? (there isn’t, I’ll have to revisit that someday)

What’s the process?

The following is how the brainstorming for this blog worked out.

I will sneak in personal anecdotes where I can, but I can’t deviate too far from the topic, lest I incur the wrath of the google bots and be deemed unworthy of ranking. Unlike today, where a topic, or purpose is nary to be found.

I then had to figure out how to make a logo using illustrator. So, why not hire a professional, like I would for a client? Simple, I don’t want to spend much on this. Rest assured (this sentence presumes you were emotionally invested in my finances, this sentence is a presumptuous asshole) that I do plan on spending some money on digital marketing, because it’s next to impossible to get meaningful growth 100% organically. However, any money spent will be logged and the parameters shared candidly, because you’ll recall that I plan on learning as I go just as much as I plan on growing.

I am absolutely certain that there will be thousands of similar experiments in full swing, but that’s part and parcel with the whole blogging gig and I plan on connecting with as many as possible to increase the knowledge acquired. I also want to create the least resistance to content, no matter the platform, it should be accessible.

I will make a follower count on each major channel as well as analytics on how it got there. These might be excessive, or they might be limited. The only way we’ll know is by doing.

To be fair, I am not starting from scratch. I have a pretty good idea about what I am doing here, the only challenge being that I have not yet crossed the 1 Million mark with any of my professional endeavours (clients or personal) and I must understand how to touch that.

When Are You Giving Up?

So, passive aggressive, dang.

I don’t know about that, my aim is to learn. I don’t think I’ll be giving up on that. The goals are small and achievable. Post frequently, spread, learn, apply, repeat.

I am nothing if not easily distracted. I looked up how to make a logo in illustrator, then I learned to make a monogram (taking a quick detour on how to make a good signature) and circling right back to the graphics design, and played some Red Alert 3 in the meantime.

Immediate thoughts: I should have added some images. I probably should have stuck to humor and the structure could possibly use some adjusting, but let’s see how we do. I’ll revisit this in a week and see if I can spruce it up.