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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Les Miserables: A Movie That Inspires Social Good

While I certainly don’t view myself as a film critic and most of you will thank me for refraining from commenting on films in general, I want to take a moment to encourage you to see Les Miserables

The Victor Hugo novel is, in my largely irrelevant view, the greatest work of fiction ever. I’ve never felt that any production of Les Mis that I’ve seen has ever lived up to the novel–until now. The production, the music and the actors all came together perfectly to capture in a relatively brief time the full emotional impact of the novel.

The point of the story seems to me to be that we are all human, all fallible and all capable of change, of becoming something better–much better–than we are today. 

The story makes clear that we become better by putting aside our selfish interests in service of others. In fact, Jean Valjean is heroic because he renders service specifically in direct conflict with his apparent self interest.

I came away from the movie as excited as I’ve been in months to focus my time and energy in service to others. Like you, I still have to make a living, but I will try to make service to others a higher priority in 2013.

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theadventureproject:

Hey Friends, could use your help sharing and giving: http://theadventureproject.org/home/liveforadventure

We’ve got ten water mechanics still waiting for sponsorship in India. Our friends at People Water will MATCH water donations till the end of this year, to help us reach everyone.

Please help rally and double your donation! We only need 110 people to give $25 dollars each and we’ll help 10 mechanics learn how to maintain wells for 50,000 people in India. Incredible impact.

176 mechanics down – TEN more to go!! #giveten

My new job is 40 miles from my home; Should I move closer to work?

Anyone who has moved a family recently can tell you they hope never to do it again. Memories fade, however, and many do it over and over again. If you land a new job that is, say, 40 miles away, it may be tempting to move closer to work. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

  1. Rent or own?If you are renting your current residence, the cost of moving is much smaller, and the opportunity to save enough to pay for the move is much more likely. If you own your home, it could take decades to save enough in transportation costs to pay for the move.
  2. Car or train?If you will have to drive to your new job every day, the costs of the commute will add up more quickly than if you can take the bus or train most or all of the way.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

My spouse makes $85,000 per year; I make $15,000 part time: Can I afford to quit?

Here in the U.S., the tax code punishes the second income in a household in ways that few people understand. If you are earning just $15,000 per year working part time, you may be surprised to learn that you not only can afford to quit—you may not be able to afford to keep working!

If you love your job and love working, the question of whether or not to work isn’t purely financial. If, however, you hate working and only do it to help make ends meet each month, read this article carefully.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

Recently, I was invited to do an interview with the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. I was invited to talk about my book, Your Mark On The World. This gave me an opportunity to explain to to start thinking about doing more for a cause you support.   

I’m planning a vacation abroad; how do I avoid currency related problems?

Travel abroad is exciting, fun and scary. There are so many new things to worry about: language, traffic patterns and signs, delicious food, strange food and colorful money. Virtually every currency in the world, except U.S. currency, is bright and colorful. Figuring out how to use the beautiful, colorful money without overpaying in country or being charged high fees along the way takes planning.

The following are currency related issues that you should plan for when traveling abroad:

  1. Exchange rates:Exchange rates, the price of foreign currencies in terms of U.S. Dollars, will vary from one day to the next. In fact, they vary from one moment to the next, though in most retail exchange locations you won’t see changes happen throughout the day. On the internet, you can watch exchange rates fluctuate moment to moment. The rates you’ll see on the internet will always be better than the rates you can get when you are exchanging currency. There is no easy way for consumers to hedge or protect themselves against painful swings in currencies while planning for or going on an international vacation.
  2. Exchanging Money:As a general rule, you want to exchange money as seldom as possible. Do some research and careful budgeting for your cash use on the trip and exchange once at the beginning of the trip all the cash you plan to spend so you won’t have to frequent money exchange services, banks or ATMs with frequency.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

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