Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Can you name a Fortune 500 company that doesn't have a budget? Don't spend too much time thinking about it - there aren't any. Successful businesses around the world have one thing in common: they budget their money. And they do it because it works. But although making money and making a budget appear to go hand in hand, a report on consumer finance by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that throughout most of 2005, American households shelled out more money than they took in. Clearly, the overwhelming majority of Americans do not have a personal budget. So, do you know where your money's going each month? In this article, we show you how to get a better idea of how you spend your money by putting together a personal budget.
Get Over the Terminology
Part of America 's aversion to budgeting may be rooted in language. The word "budget" - much like the word "diet" - has negative connotations. Budgets and diets are viewed as restrictive reminders of things we cannot have. This is linguistic nonsense. A budget and a diet are both tools. If the tools are used properly, they lead to a desired outcome. Nobody dislikes the word "shovel", even though the use of the shovel requires effort. People use a shovel to dig a hole. They use a diet to develop a healthy body, and they use a budget to develop a fiscally responsible lifestyle. If it makes you feel better about the process, drop the word "budget" and call it a "spending plan". Instead of viewing the plan as restrictive, think about the things it allows you to buy. After all, a budget is nothing more than a plan for how you will spend your money.
Many people complain that they can't create a budget because they don't know exactly how much money they will earn in a given week. While it is true that workers earning an hourly wage or working on commission don't get the exact same dollar figure in each paycheck, the amount that you earn has much less to do with the basics of budgeting than the amount you spend. Instead of focusing on whether you earn a few dollars more or a few dollars less each month, focus on your monthly spending. The question is simple: where does your money go? Regardless of how much you earn or when you earn it, everybody has fixed expenses, such as the following:
Beyond the Basics
Once you have the fixed expenses covered, it's time to plan for the variables, such as the following:
Look at Your Income
Now it's time to take the theoretical aspects of budgeting and apply them to your life. Take a look at your monthly income.How much are you bringing in on your worst month? Compare that number to the amount that you are spending. Ideally, the income is larger than the output. If so, it's time for a personal savings plan. In other words, don't spend everything you earn - save some for yourself. If you are spending more than you are earning, it's time to review your spending habits. When the output is larger than the income, you have two choices: increase your income or cut the expenses.
Strategies to increase your income include getting a new job, getting a second job or finding a roommate to help you with expenses. Strategies to cut your expenses include eliminating impulse buys, which are a major expense for most people, and cutting out planned, but unnecessary, expenses. Keep in mind that simply cutting out that cappuccino in the morning can save you more than $40 a month. The concept is really quite simple - if it's not in your spending plan, you don't buy it.
Create Your Spending Plan
Nearly everyone wishes for more money at some point. That said, all but the wealthiest among us are essentially living on a fixed income. In other words, you bring in a certain amount of money each month, and when it's gone, it's gone. Accepting that reality is the key to living a happier, wealthier life. Keep in mind that your creditors don't work for free, so spending money that you don't actually have is also incredibly expensive. Fortunately, getting your finances on track isn't that difficult, and while there are spreadsheets and software programs designed to make the budgeting process faster and easier, all you really need is a piece of paper, a pencil and the desire to live within your means. The example below will help you get started:
As a general rule, you should also plan to set aside enough money to cover at least three months' worth of your expenses in case of an emergency. Once that money is put away, you won't need to rely on your credit cards should you lose your job or experience unforeseen expenses. Like every other recurring item in your budget, the emergency fund is something you fund one month at a time until you reach your goal.
Despite its negative connotations, a budget is really just a tool that can work to put your personal finances on the right track. If the most successful multi-million dollar companies must budget their spending, it makes sense that a typical household should have to control its expenses in a similar way. Budgeting your money need not be seen as a chore. After all, accepting the limits of your income is the best way to take control of your spending, live within your means and, ultimately, reach your financial goals.
baldimerah:: bila gajiku mahu masuk..sob sob sob...
Sunday, January 14, 2007
14 Jan 2007
PLUTO is one persistent planet. Kicked out of planetary orbit by astronomers on Aug 24 last year, it simply refuses to revolve into the recesses of the layman’s memories.
It has, in fact, found an orbit around wordsmiths.
The planet Pluto has given birth to a new word: "to pluto" or "plutoed". The words were coined following the decision to demote Pluto from a planet to a dwarf planet. To "pluto", therefore, means to demote or devalue someone or something.
And linguists, lexicographers, editors, historians, etymologists, professors, writers and scholars belonging to the American Dialect Society named "to pluto/plutoed" Word of the Year for 2006. What a victory. Within four months, it has won recognition.
Although the word’s connotation may be negative, Pluto will become more entrenched in the layman’s mind. If, that is, the word "plutoed" finds common currency among speakers and writers.If not, it will be just a fad word that, to borrow from the greatest English wordsmith ever, "struts and frets its (his) hour upon the stage and then is heard no more".
If you remember, at its meeting in Prague last year, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union redefined the term planet and summarily sent Pluto crashing out of the planetary system.
Pluto, the Roman equivalent of the mythological Greek god Hades, was demoted by a show of hands, to a "dwarf planet". And there it is languishing despite the efforts of some astronomers who did not agree with the demotion to realign its orbit so that it can join its planetary brethren again.
The 117-year-old American Dialect Society voted for the word at its 17th annual Words-of-the-Year gathering on Jan 5. But victory for Pluto did not come easy. It had to slug it out with "climate canary" in a run-off vote.
"Climate canary" means "an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe on the horizon".According to a Press release on the society’s website, the meeting was presided over by its executive secretary Allan Metcalf of McMurray College and its chairman of the New Words Committee, professor Wayne Glowka of George College and State University.
The American Dialect Society chose "truthiness" for 2005. "Truthiness" refers to the "quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true".
If you ask me, we already have another word for that: Wishful thinking. It’s unambiguous. It’s direct. And it has a softness of tone that truthiness does not.The word won official usage sanction when, last month, Merriam- Webster announced "truthiness" as its first Word of the Year (for last year) after an online survey.
The American Dialect Society website says the society, founded in 1889, "is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it".The Press release said the Word of the Year was interpreted in its broader sense as "vocabulary item", and included phrases.
It added: "In conducting the vote, they (society members) act in fun and not in any official capacity of inducting words into the English language."Glowka was quoted as saying: "It was good that the society focused on a genuine scientific concern though I believe the nomination came from outer space."
It also said that the society’s "sibling organisation", the American Name Society, voted Pluto as Name of the Year 2006 in its third annual Name of the Year contest.So, if someone you know is demoted and you are looking for a synonym, look no further than 4.28 billion kilometres to Pluto (its minimum distance from Earth).
Then again, "He has been plutoed" sounds rather crass, don’t you think? Particularly since "plutoed" rhymes with "torpedoed". It certainly gives a sinking feeling.
But if someone is "plutoed", one can always point upwards and say: "It was written in the stars."
I have July 14, 2015, emblazoned on my calendar. That’s our arrival date at Pluto. We are now quite certain of that.
— Alan Stern (project leader of Nasa’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, launched in January 2006)
Saturday, January 13, 2007
selamat berjuang mencapai cita2 masing... amin
p/s kata-kata semangat yang ditulis kat tayar tepi padang jalan ke rumah pengetua masa SDAR masih lagi si Sikamat.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Our elders are the most valuable, but often most underrated source of insight. Having lived full lives, they have suffered the whole run of human experience. Many endured wars and devastation, and lived to tell about it. And yet many of us see them as burdens, promptly dispatching them to retirement homes.
But older folks can be great mentors if we let them be. Having committed a lifetime of mistakes, their wisdom can spare us many years of it. Your dad,mom, grandpa,grandma uncle, aunty,etc would be glad to disclose some of his/her hard-earned lessons.
I decided to ask a few of the cooler older men I know a bunch of questions. The following ones afforded the most interesting replies. Go ahead and use them yourself.
How does life improve with age?
You'll also learn that you'll develop a more solid view of the world and a steady philosophy on life. For instance, you'll learn that growing old means accepting death as a normal part of our existence.
How important is it to enjoy your line of work?
What is the ultimate accomplishment?
If your relative says that children are the greatest thing, ask him if you should have them early on or in your 30s and 40s, after you've enjoyed your life. You may be surprised to hear that earlier is better, as you'll be more able to relate to children in your 20s than in your 40s.
Is it possible to ever be completely happy?Like advanced math and philosophy, there's no straight answer for this one, as many folks will say it depends on how you define happiness. For some, happiness is not wanting anymore, and the day you're content with what you have, you will be completely happy.
Which friends are you likely to keep all your life?
When should you follow your gut vs. your logic?
What should the biggest priority be in life?
How do you adapt to changes in society over the years?
Can a man/woman be faithful?
What are essential qualities in a good wife/husband?
Do you have any regrets?
How do you get young people to respect their elders?
Of course, some may say that immediate punishment often does the trick, which is why it's good to ask several elders.
If you want to know how to live a fulfilling life, ask those who already went through it all, and who know exactly what not to do. Go ahead, ask them. They'll be impressed that you actually realize you don't know everything. You'll walk away with advice that will keep you out of more trouble than you can imagine.
AS hukum Saddam
Sebenarnya bukan kerajaan Iraq, sebaliknya Amerika Syarikat (AS) yang memilih untuk menjatuhkan hukuman ke atas Saddam Hussein secara terburu-buru sebaik sahaja hukuman ke atasnya disahkan, sekali gus menidakkan semua perbicaraan yang sedang menantinya.
Kerajaan Iraq yang ada sekarang tidak mempunyai apa-apa untuk disembunyikan jika perbicaraan-perbicaraan itu diteruskan, tetapi AS mempunyai sebab untuk berasa bimbang.
Bagi memahami dan mengetahui susur-galur sebenar, perkara yang perlu adalah mengimbas semula pencerobohan AS ke atas Iraq pada Mac 2003.
Saddam's Verdict Will Not Meet Expectations
By Firas Al-Atraqchi
Shiites celebrate the verdict against former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Sadr City. Many analysts expect the verdict to further split Iraqis apart (Reuters photo).If anything holds true about the trial of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his closest aides, it is that it was beset with expectations from many different sides that are party to the chaos that has fallen on Iraq since March 2003.
The first set of expectations, built on false assumption, was that issuing the verdict — ostensibly the death sentence — to Saddam on the eve of the midterm elections in the United States would resonate with the American voter.
Nurse tells of 'gardener' Saddam
When Sgt Ellis left, Saddam Hussein said he would be his brotherSaddam Hussein watered weeds in a jail garden and drank coffee while smoking cigars to keep his blood pressure down, a US army nurse who cared for him says.
In an interview with a US newspaper, Master Sgt Robert Ellis provided a rare glimpse into the last years of Saddam Hussein, who was executed on Saturday.
Sgt Ellis looked after the former Iraqi leader - whom they called 'Victor' - in 2004 and 2005 at a camp near Baghdad.
Saddam not hanged 'for revenge'
Saddam Hussein's body was handed to clan leaders for burial
Final moments Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's execution on Saturday was not an act of revenge, Iraqi officials say.
"This whole execution is about justice," Hiwa Osman, an adviser for the Iraqi president told the BBC. Mr Osman's remarks come after new video filmed on a mobile phone showed a man taunting Saddam Hussein on the gallows. Correspondents say the manner of the execution may exacerbate divisions in Iraq between supporters and opponents of the former leader.
p/s: For whatever reason, he still a muslim.. al fatihah