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Category: Financial Management (page 1 of 2)

Direct Debits Make You Poor

“Unpaid Direct Debit Fee €12.70”

In an earlier life, that phrase would ruin my day. I’d stupidly forgotten to have cash in some account on a specific day for some unknown bill.

Lingchi is more commonly known as “death by a thousand cuts” was a form of slow torture used in China that would result in a slow, lingering and painful death to the victim. Direct Debits are the slightly less dramatic Lingchi of the consumer finance world.

Direct debits and instalment plans are a means of making people poor and keeping them that way.  This post will teach you how to give the companies the middle finger.

(Note: If you at level 3 or above of the SP Game and enjoy automation this post is probably not for you)

The Corporate Vampires know how to suck blood from you over long periods of time

Or course the Directs Debits are pushed on consumers as an “Easy Payment Option” by spreading payments into monthly installments for a product or a service. Pro-tip: If you ever hear the word “affordable” from a company, run away.

Companies, banks and finance companies loves them and here is why…

  1. Banks or Finance Companies will charge a premium or interest for the provision of a direct debit plan
  2. Banks of Finance Companies will charge to fees for bouncing a direct debit
  3. It is in the interest of companies use direct debits as a means of spreading and managing their cash-flow
  4. Some utility companies (gas, electricity, broadband) will also charge you failed direct debits fee on your account

Let’s work through an example:

You ring up an insurance company and are offered an annual motor insurance policy for say €500.  If you are a person “with your shit together” you will pay the €500 there and then. But more than likely you haven’t got €500 so the company offer a direct debit option of a €100 upfront deposit to be paid now and to spread the remaining €400 over 10 x monthly payments of €40.

By the end of the call the €10 x payments of €47.99 and you’re like WTF? So, you ask what’s the story with the extra €7.99 x 10? They inform you that another company Evil Finance Ltd is providing the direct debit plan and that they charge a fee AKA administration/service charge/interest/blood money. At this stage you only have €100 in your account to pay for the deposit, so you go for it. Sure it’s only €7.99 for fecks sake.  You get your car insurance disc in the post and get on with your life.

Over the course of the next ten months, you inadvertently miss two of the direct debits. for whatever reason. Each time you notice a line on your online banking “Unpaid Direct Debit Fee €12.70” and you’re like “for fuck sake”.

€500 + €77.99 + €12.70 + €12.70 = €603.39!

That’s right, You have now ended up paying €603.39 for a €500 policy.  In other words, you are paying 20% more than people with money. You’ve also spent time each month worrying if you have enough money at the right time for this direct debit and any other payments.

WARNING: if you are doing Direct Debit Installment plans for motor insurance, private health insurance,  gas bills, electric bills, motor tax, life insurance policies and car PCP plans you are MULTIPLYING out the RISK of unpaid direct debits and the STRESS of trying to figure out how much you need at different dates in the right account.

What would Stoic Paddy do?

Stoic Paddy would give the companies and the banks the finger by getting his shit together.

1. Predict the future!

Bills and payments are entirely predictable. If you know when something will happen, you can prepare for it.

Go to your online banking and get a list of everything you are paying by Direct Debits.

Write down the month each renewal falls e.g. Motor Insurance Jan, Health Insurance April, House Insurance July etc.

Get a current quote for each of them. It will not be exact, but it will give a likely amount that you will need when the month comes around.

If it is a utility bill, just look at the bill for the same period last year for a rough idea.

Congratulations – you’ve just learned how to read the future!

2. SAVE in advance!

This is the hard part. It might mean giving up your Latte’s and old-fashioneds but put your grown-up pants on.

3. Pay Shit Upfront

Go in and cancel your direct debits one by one until they are all gone. Pay for each thing upfront as they come up.

Never worry about failing direct debits again.

 

Advanced Paddywans

“Hey Paddy, I prefer Automated payments”. If you are even asking this question, then you probably already have your shit together and have sufficient cash in a current (checking) account for direct debit/standing orders etc go for it.

There is something tangible about making manual payments online/phone which can be rewarding feeling after saving.

This or course will take the self-discipline and effort of sitting down once a month and working through.

I’m not here to judge either way. I just want to make sure that more of your money stays in your pocket and not in the bank/companies.

PCP Car Finance – Don’t do it!

In the old days, a deal to buy a car was between you and a car dealer. The car dealer buys cars in bulk at a discount. She then sells you an individual car at a higher price. There was one transaction – you got a car and the dealer made a profit.
But now you no longer deal with just the car dealers – they have brought in Finance Houses, Credit Institutions and their own set ups like Ford Capital Europe and Volkswagen Bank.
All these geniuses want to make a profit too – from YOU. So they came up with PCP.

What is PCP?

Generally the plan works in 3 stages, by you stumping up a deposit, paying installments for a number of years and then actually buying the vehicle at the end with a lump sum.

Or using the remaining “equity” and “rolling it” into the upgrade to a new car. (I’m laughing out loud as I type this bit)

What does SP think PCP is?

Stoic Paddy thinks PCP is a marketing ploy to take advantage of people by keeping them in long term debt arrangements by preying on an inability to resist a shiny new car and poor math skills.

PCP or Personal Contract Plan is a mathematical method of sucking as much money from you at every single stage of the deal. The term PCP is pure marketing – Personal Contract Plan. It make it sounds like it is tailored specifically for  you  and that you are in control – which is fucking hilarious.

I would hazard a guess that the person who made up the term had a laugh at the similarity to the other PCP i.e. the drug Phencyclidine a.k.a. Angel Dust which causes mind altering effects and out of control behaviour. Sounds appropriate.

What is GMFV?

GMFV is a term which means Get Mega-Money From Vehicle. The marketing term used is Guaranteed Minimum Future Value. The concept is that when you return a vehicle in say, three years, you and the car company have a set price regardless of the current market. Either way it is a term made up by some wizards who wish to extract as much cash from you as humanly possible for a depreciating asset.

GMFV values are calculated by people smarter than you using computing software and algorithms you don’t understand.  Who do you think is going to win?

 

Top 5 Reasons not to do PCP

  1. You will be the person who will SUFFER the cost of depreciation on a vehicle you are only renting!
  2. You have to stump up a considerable deposit just to LEASE a vehicle
  3. You will PAY for all maintenance and repairs to a car that you are leasing
  4. You ALLOW the company to dictate what maintenance and repairs must be carried out (most likely by their mechanics at their overpriced rates)
  5. You will only own the car after you STUMP up a significant last installment – By which stage you have been bled dry, the car is a number of years old and devalued

Top 3 reasons to do PCP

  1. You are really bad at math
  2. You are immature and have no ability to delay gratification
  3. You like giving free money to car companies and banks

What would Stoic Paddy Do?

Buying a new car is a luxury. People have forgotten that. It is not an emergency. Luxury spending of this nature is probably best undertaken when you are financially secure with zero debt.

Stoic Paddy would never willingly enter into a PCP deal. Stoic Paddy would give car finance companies the finger by saving up and buying a vehicle with cash.

Ultimately, entering into a PCP is financially reckless.

How to Spend in a Financial Emergency

This blog post relates to Start position of the Stoic Paddy Game.

When you are at the start you are trying to achieve financial independence for accommodation and income.

This can be a tough place to be if you also have mountains of debts, credit cards and loans from friends and family.

You need to treat this as a Financial Emergency – and take a serious approach to combating and resolving the emergency.

The good news is that financial emergencies are temporary by nature. We want to get you out of this situation as quick and painlessly as possible.

Stoic Paddy would prioritise all expenditure with the following for you or your family unit.

  1. Food
  2. Accommodation
  3. Light/heat
  4. Ability to earn (transport, motor, internet)

 

1. Food

At a minimum you are sitting down once a week and doing out a list of 21 meals per person. 7 x breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If you have ever done meal planning for fitness and body composition like bulking/cutting – this will be easy for you. If not – learn.

I don’t know if you’re vegan, carnivore, vegetarian, paleo, Atkins (yeah I’m old) – and I’m not about to judge here (or care for that matter). Food is way to individual for me to start lecturing you. The point is you can eat healthy according to your diet for cheap.

Grains are cheap, vegetables are cheap, grass fed and free range meats are cheap – Real food is cheap. Processed shite is expensive.

  • Do a list for the week
  • Buy in low cost supermarkets only
  • Use reusable containers for ALL external meals like work and school lunches.
  • Cook in batches
  • Don’t leave the house without a (non-plastic) bottle of water and some small snack
  • Stay out of all small convenience stores, newspapers agents and garage forecourts

If you are really hardcore then you can try some Intermittent Fasting with me to get sexy abdominal muscles and save more money.

 

2. Accommodation

If you are paying some contribution to rent or some government scheme, it is vital to keep this up to date. To paraphrase an old Irish economist – You are living at the mercy of others.

Let’s keep a roof over our heads. Homelessness is real.

 

3. Light and Heat

Lets keep ourselves and loved one warm with home cooked meals

4. Ability to earn

Once you have your basic food and shelter costs covered we must maintain our focus on completing this level. We have to ensure that we can apply for a job, get to a job and keep a job.

This means bus cards, bicycles, basic internet connections for CVs etc.

5. Nothing Else!

Any remaining cash must be kept for next levels emergency fund.

Here is a list of things Paddy wouldn’t do during Level 1 – (Remember this is TEMPORARY before you start rolling your eyes)

  • Pay for non-essential subscriptions (Spotify, Sky Sports, Netflix etc.)
  • Buy gifts for anyone outside of immediate blood family unit (One of the hardest)
  • Take a vacations/holiday (You’re broke – get a grip)
  • Eat in restaurants/ fast foods / Order Takeaway Foods (All food should be bought in one go and home cooked prepared)
  • Leisure activities (cinema/bowling/dance lessons etc)
  • Non-essential grooming (fake tans, nails, hair, barbers)
  • Upgrade non-essential items like furniture, interior (You’re broke – get a grip)
  • Private Health Insurance
  • Gym memberships/fitness classes (Try running the beach, do pull ups in the park, dance/aerobics to online video)
  • COFFEE (Seriously. You’re buying expensive takeaway coffees as a “treat” no wonder you’re skint)
  • Cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes, angel dust, meth, heroin, Ibuprofen, Fisherman’s Friends, St Johns Wort and chocolate. (You know what you’re up to)

 

Stoic Paddy Emergency Spending Example

Below is a sample of what I have done. It’s probably not for you food wise but if you are in a genuine financial emergency give it a try.

If you are on the dole and you’ve been in a McDonald’s, a Chinese takeaway and a Starbucks this week look away now…

Dole €198 per week (one person – customise to your circumstance)

  • Food €30
  • Accommodation €100
  • Internet/Phone €10
  • Transport €10 – Cycle for free and some bus fares for job interviews
  • €48 Emergency Fund Savings
Meals

Breakfasts x 7 Porridge Oats

14 Meals for Dinner/Lunches – Make 4 batches of any 4 meals (16 meals with 2 spares). Cook on Sundays, store in containers, freeze and thaw when needed

  • Free range chicken/rice/broccoli/peas
  • Beef/potato/carrot
  • Lamb/couscous/spinach
  • Soups/Stews
  • Salads

€5 – Keep a fiver for a cheat meal once a week to keep you sane.

Note: As with any example given by Paddy – take it as a guide and build your own.

In conclusion, this is not supposed to be fun. It is a tough frugal method of combating a temporary Financial Emergency until you get steady employment.

But there is satisfaction to be had in taking on the personal responsibility of undertaking the challenge once you have a clear purpose and vision to move to the next level. It will make it all worthwhile.

Intermittent Fasting…for your Pocket?

Intermittent Fasting is fasting for long periods of a day and then taking in all your food within a specified window.

“Fuck You Paddy” is indeed a reasonable position on the surface but hear me out.

I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for about 18 months now and I’ve had better fat loss results than I’ve ever had in my life – whilst retaining muscle.

I have been following a straightforward 16:8 IF which means fasting for 16 hours and consuming the daily calories in the allocated 8 hour window. A typical day would involve eating lunch at 12 noon and then not eating after 8pm in the evening.  Yes….that does mean not eating breakfast. You would be surprised at how quickly you can adapt to this regime.

You can up-regulate and down-regulate your metabolism. This is something they should have taught you in school instead of the fucking food pyramid.

Benefits

  • Cash savings! – If you are eliminating a possible four hours worth of calories out of your daily diet you are saving the cost of an average 30 meals a month
  • Fat loss – Especially if you trying to see those abdominal muscles lower to your crotch.
  • Food tastes better – You wait 16 hours and see how damned good that home made Tupperware salad tastes!
  • Clear head – Mental acuity during your day. Combine IF with a reduction in processed carb and you can even stay awake in the afternoon!
  • Physiological Control – Imagine being able to control hunger instead of hunger controlling you…

Yes. These are subjective benefits to my experience. I am always reluctant to talk about diet because it is a very individual for each person. So this works for me. It may not work for you. But is it worth trying? Can you do it for a month? You can do anything for a month.

Go listen to some smart people like Dr Rhonda Patrick explain the goodies better than I can.

 

 

 

L1: Pay Your Future Self First

This blog post relates to Level 1 of the Stoic Paddy Game.

So you have already put a lot of hard work into getting a job and then actually working. You should treasure that hard earned cash.

Pay Yourself First is a common expression that is well intentioned to invest/save portion of wage first. However, I think it is misunderstood as “reward yourself first”. You see, most people will go and celebrate that first wage with pints of booze/shopping or some vice as a reward for completing the first week/month of a job. This is a terrible idea as it immediately creates a habit that can easily get out of control.  You will get to reward yourself but just hold your horses for a minute.

Stoic Paddy says “Pay Your Future Self First!” If you are currently still at the start of the Stoic Paddy Game and working through level 1 you need to build up sufficient cash to afford to live independently. This should be your primary goal and you need to look after your future self in order to achieve that goal.

Your money should be divided into 4 areas:

  1. Future You i.e. Savings Account to achieve independent accommodation.
  2. Obligatory contributions to accommodation (if any required to maintain)
  3. Maintaining the minimum standards to keep your job (grooming, transport)
  4. Food

Example: Single person 40 hours @ €9.55 minimum wage – Please adjust these to your local figures/currency/tax

Nett €357 

  • Savings €200
  • Accommodation Contribution €100
  • Transport €27 (weekly travel cap)
  • Food/grooming €30

Let us assume that you will require €400 towards clothes and some minimal entertainment – You will have €10,000 savings.

In order to maintain this frugal level of minimal spending you will have to undertake some Fuck Poverty hacks.

You can also save an additional €324 if you can walk or cycle to work because Fuck Commuting.

You will also not be participating in gambling, charity, travel holidays and accepting any non best friend/immediate family weddings/events.

People might say this is extreme. But then, they probably haven’t experienced the risk of being homeless. You are in the process of avoiding poverty and you don’t give a shit what other people think.

In one year you have put yourself in good standing in your job and maybe even got a promotion and you will have a €10,000 in the bank.

You Future Self will love you.

 

 

 

 

Iron your shirt you lazy prick

I learned shit the hard way so you don’t have to and today I want to talk about ironing your shirt.

“What the fuck are you talking about Paddy – ironing your shirt? ”

Look – This is the kind of shit they didn’t teach you in school Remember, you just lobbed your school jumper over that crumpled piece of shit, BO smelling shirt?

I can tell you that I’ve interviewed young people for jobs wearing creased shirts and it just looks awful. I’ve seen

The reality is – maybe nobody has ever shown you how to iron a shirt. Maybe there isn’t even an ironing board where you live. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon up our arses.

Well, let’s get started and get you looking sharp and feeling good about yourself and hopefully…interview ready.

 

So, you’re on the dole and it suck balls. I know – I’ve been on the dole queue in places like Kilbarrack and Aungier Street. It’s not fun.

You want to feel good about yourself, so you need a little bit of purpose and you want a job.
Any job interviews you have to go to – you need to wear a shirt and preferably a tie.

 

Buy a shirt

If you haven’t got one, I’d suggest taking a few bob out of your precious €152.80 and buy some shirts. You don’t need flash right now. That day will come. Presentable is what we’re looking for and cheap.  Aim for a max of 20 quid for a shirt. If you are starting out and not sure what to get – just start with a plain white shirt.

  • Don’t fuck around with trending collar styles. They come and go fast, and you’ll look like a knob. Trust me.
  • Stick with standard pointed collar.
  • Don’t get double cuff shirts – they are the ones for cuff links. Worry about that after your first pay packet.

Tip: Ask staff – don’t be shy – be nice and polite, even if they are assholes.

If you don’t know what size collar you are ask the staff would they have a measuring tape. You need to get your neck measured spot on – you don’t want to be choking and it’ll look stupid if its too loose.

This will look good with open collar or great if you have to wear a tie.

stoicpaddyshirt

 

Fitting and size

There are relatively standard shapes/styles  of shirts in various stores like Marks & Spenders, Burton, Next

Tailored, fitted, regular and slim are the kind of common terms.

If you’re fat or normal, you’re looking for Regular shirt – that’ll give you the space you need to breathe around the mid-section – also – lay of the carbs but we can get into that on another day.

If you’re one of those super skinny lads aim for the slim fit.

If you’re in good nick, with a decent chest and shoulder to waist ratio go for the fitted/tailored style.

 

Learn how to iron

First of all – you need an iron and an ironing board. I’m not going to make assumptions here so if you don’t have them. You can grab an iron for €8.99 in Argos and a board for €14.99

If that is too much – you must make friends with buy and sell websites like Adverts.ie and Donedeal.ie or whatever similar websites are in your region.

You will grab a board for 3-5 euro – search by your county and try and get somewhere that you can get to by walking/bus to eliminate additional costs.

 

Watch a couple of youtube videos like this dude below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7DqqQXwX0w

 

WARNINGS

DON’T BURN the goddamned shirt – you’ve just spent precious resources on it – start with the lowest heat setting on the iron and work up slowly until you are happy it is at the right heat –

Test the iron temperature on the inside bottom of the back of the shirt – that way if you do burn it, nobody will see it when its tucked in.

I’ve burned too many shirts over the years and it’ll ruin your fucking day if you let it.

Also – and I mean this – wash the shirt if you’ve worn it. If you don’t wash the shirt, you will get build-up of aerosols/roll on deodorants on the under arm and this kills the life of a shirt prematurely.

You will feel good in yourself if you can start off with this.

Summary

This might seem like a tiny little step but trust me, if you learn this it will help your confidence and you will feel good about building up another little skill.

You will look smart, clean and presentable. Put a smile on your face.

 

Remember: When nobody else does, Stoic Paddy gives a shit.

 

This is part of the sort your shit out career series – Dole to Director

Sign up here for free training.

Terry Crews will save you money this Black Friday

Stoic Paddy hates Black Friday and you should too.

It is a feverish, zombie-esque act of worship to the all powerful consumer gods.

Stoic Paddy loves Terry Crews and you should too. His face alone can save you money and act as a protective spirit against the retarded masses of online shoppers.

A year ago a twitter user posted a tip that he printed a picture of the character Julius from Every Body Hates Chris (played by Crews).

He keeps the picture in his wallet so that every time he attempts to spend money he gets a strict look from a stern Julius.

Suffice to say Terry Crews being the absolute legend that he is, loved the idea and started to do it himself!



More, recently he has even given a lady in the States permission to use his image on her credit card to help her avoid making unnecessary purchases. Absolute hero.

So if you want to make big savings this Black Friday…

  1. Print the Julius picture
  2. Put it in your wallet in front of your cards.
  3. Don’t fucking buy anything.

 




Selection Boxes for your lack of imagination

Stoic Paddy declares an all out ban on buying overtly expensive obese treats wrapped in ocean-life killing plastic.

 

  • Do you need to buy xmas rubbish this year?
  • Do you buy dumb shit because you feel you are supposed partake in mindless consumerism?
  • Are you in debt because you have no self control?
  • Do you need to ‘bulk up’ the cheapy crappy present you bought?
  • Do you enjoy being the middle man between plastic waste and the ocean?
  • Do you suffer from being a complete tool?

Well selection boxes are on a supermarket shelf near you!

Increasing in price and decreasing in content!

Honestly, nothing like Xmas to bring out the absolute worst in human stupidity.
Would you please stop being so damned moronic and buying pure junk?

via GIPHY

 

Please share this with all your friends and family and tell them to take this xmas off from being a moron…

The kids will thank you, the parents will thank you and the little fishies will thank you.

Happy holidays from Stoic Paddy




Plastic water bottles – Because you’re a fucking idiot

When you buy a plastic bottle of water you are giving a signal to the world. A signal that you are dumb. Congratulations! You have just spent €1.50 to contribute to plastic waste that is accumulating around the planet. You have spent money on something that you can get from your own tap.

I remember when I first saw bottled water in Ireland in the mid-nineties and my original reaction of disbelief has not changed in twenty years.

“Ah but the bottles are recyclable Stoic Paddy.” In theory perhaps…but how many bottles do you think actually end up in landfill? Many people will dump them in the bin and into the black bin collection. Even if they do go into the green bin collection that is no guarantee that they will be recycled.  Check out this story that will make you think a bit more about what you put in your green bin and think happens.

You may not believe this but when we were thirsty we would just wait until we were home. Imagine that. A thirst that was not immediately quenched. Barbaric shit altogether. Shops used to have one small refrigerator that would contain some fizzy drinks. But now fridges take over half the shop with they mystical array of colours.

#PaddyHint: We didn’t get thirstier. We got dumber.

Image of man in mountains of wasted plastic bottle

So the message is clear.

Stop buying plastic.

Stop buying water.

Save your money.

Stop being a fucking idiot.

You don’t need a pension. You need Fuck You Money.

All the time. It’s on the news. All the time. “Pensions Timebomb!”. Do yo know who listens? Nobody.

Talk to a millennial about a pension and watch their eyes roll at you. Mention a pension to a tired and stressed worker and they will “get around to it”.

The media are selling it all wrong. Tell the people. Tell the people they need “Fuck You Money”. It goes by many names, Early Retirement, Financial Independence or Financial Freedom for starts but I’ve always preferred Fuck You Money. The average person lives 5 years fun, 15-20 years school or college and then 40  working through stress, boredom, anxiety and life sucking commutes in shite weather and then hopes that when the 67 birthday rocks around that the state will provide a few bob for them to live off or hope there is a nice stash in their pension fund.

Fuck You Money is the amount you would need to be able to own your own time and freedom without requiring employment. Thus, having the ability to tell anyone to fuck off ,even your employer and not giving a shit. You might be thinking you need millions but the real number is probably a lot smaller than you think. One simple method of calculating is the 4% Rule. A version would be something along the lines of – take what you spend a year now, multiply by 25 and you have the number you need to accumulate which would in theory generate 4% returns that you could live off.

Example average Irish worker  earns roughly €36,000  according to the CSO. After taxes they probably live off €25,000 per year. Multiply €25k x 25 =€625,000

In theory, you could withdraw your €25k each year without affecting the lump sum.

Now, plenty of folks will happily argue on the internet about how to calculate Fuck You Money, 4% Rule and inflation and all other nice and important points…but you get the jist.

And even if the calculation is way off, a person with €625k in the bank is going to be in a far better position than the average Irish punter waiting on a state pension.

And oh yeah. Of course you need a fucking pension. It’s a very useful way of reducing your current tax bill.

In future post, I will give you lots of way of building up your Fuck You Money

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