Category Archive: Polls

Reader Poll – How Far Out Are You Planning?

I am not going to start this post with the words “Due to the recent economic downturn…

I am not going to start this post with the words “Due to the recent economic downturn…

I am not going to start this post with the words “Due to the recent economic downturn…

I have already written about my financial priorities and my annual goals – and now I think I’m ready to put together a comprehensive plan for the next decade (or two).  Thinking about the future, I couldn’t help buy wonder -

How Far Out Are You Planning?  Are you thinking about future, or are you just trying to get through the month?  I’d love for you to vote in the poll – and leave a comment, explaining your vote.

By the way, when I say “planning” – I mean – “thinking about, running the numbers”.  In other words, do you have a vision for the future and a real plan to get there?

Edit:  To clarify – If you are planning for 5 years out, then I’ll assume that you are ALSO planning for next month and next year.  What I’d like to know is, how far out do your plans go, at their maximum.  For the purposes of the poll, let’s assume that, if you are thinking long-term, you are also thinking short-term.

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Thanks so much for participating.

If you are viewing this via Email or RSS, you’ll need to click through to vote.

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Do You Really Care What Other People Think?

Today, I was hauling off some trash in my old pickup truck.  The radio in the truck barely works and will only receive AM stations.  As I was bumping down the dirt road, headed to the landfill, I hit the seek button, and the radio stopped on a talk show, hosted by some dude I’ve never before heard.

He said, and I quote – The reason most folks overspend is that they care too much what other people think.  They’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, so they spend and spend.

The station faded before I could find out more about the dude or his radio program, but his statement got me to thinking.

Do I really care what other people think, about the things I own or the car I drive or the clothes I wear?

It’s an interesting question.

On the one hand, I’d like to think that I’m secure enough, happy enough, and strong enough, and that I don’t need the approval of other people, especially when it comes to ‘stuff’.  But, at the same time, I do conform to certain social norms, and I do so, quite honestly, so that I’ll fit in and be accepted.  Does this conformity reach past social behaviors and into my wallet?  Do I buy things so that I, or my children, or my spouse, will fit in and be considered normal?

I really don’t know how this post should end… So I guess I’ll just open the floor for discussion.

Do you really care about what other people think, when it comes to the stuff you buy?  If so, why?  And, if not, what do you mean by “No, I don’t care.”?

By the way – I realize that there is a certain segment of the population that doesn’t “care” what anyone thinks about anything.  That’s not, really, what I”m writing about.  I’m thinking more along the lines of – Do the opinions of others, people you love and respect, alter or change your spending habits?

(If my posts seem a bit more abstruse this week, I’m sick and I’ve stopped counting the cough syrup doses, as evidenced by my use of the word abstruse – and, what I fear is, an extreme over usage of commas)

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How Much Do You Pay For Television?

Back in January, I purchased a new high definition television.  In order to get high definition channels, I signed up with Dish Network.  Our monthly bill is $92.73.  We live in a very rural area, and there aren’t any stations available via over-the-air antenna.  We also live in area where cable is not available.  So, if we want high definition content, we are pretty much stuck with choosing one of the satellite providers.

How much do you pay for television?  Do you watch television?  What about some of the online options like Hulu or Miro?

When we were getting out of debt, we radically reduced our bills and we only had the most basic satellite package.  But, over the past couple of years, we’ve upgraded our package.  The high definition content looks stunning – but I’m not sure it’s worth what we are paying.

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Reader Poll Results – 6 Months Worth Of Expenses And The Emergency Fund

A month ago, I asked my readers to share their ideas about emergency funds, how much money it takes to cover 6 months worth of expenses, and the best place to stash emergency fund cash.  I’ve been amazed by the response to the poll.  More than 1000 readers have voted – and almost 50 left detailed answers in the comments section!

Here is a quick summary of the poll results, as of July 22, 2008.

For most folks, six months worth of expenses is somewhere between $8,000 and $25,000.  But, for many, their goal is more than $30,000!  That’s pretty interesting.

As for where to keep the emergecny fund, most opt for an online savings account, a few use a regular savings account, and still others use money market accounts from their local banks.

Because of the poll’s popularity, I’ve decided to keep it up for another month.  So, if you haven’t already, head over, cast your vote, and leave a comment.

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