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Category: Self Management (page 1 of 2)

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.

Fuck Commuting

I worry for commuters. I really do. Having been one for a long time in different cities in the world, using all kinds of transport, I genuinely empathise with the long term sufferers of the daily work commute.

The average person will commute to work during peak traffic hours. Trying to get to work in an ever increasing over populated city, they will sit in cars and buses in a midst of invisible carcinogens, constantly worrying if they will make it on time. Your car is most likely a mobile carbon dioxide expulsion system design to fuck you up.

Peak traffic is also seriously dangerous to your mental health. Listening to radio news shows giving them the latest catastrophic Geo-political uproar, the latest disease outbreak and doomsday economic crash warnings. Dealing with morons cutting across you and jumping lines will increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Your mood can degenerate instantly to pure rage.  Twice daily. Every working day. Over the long term this will – Break. You. Down.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who gets to listen to nice podcasts on a tram/train once you’ve managed to squeeze yourself through the germ riddled, sliding double doors, inhaling other peoples bodily gases with your depleted immune system. Nothing to stare at except masses of beaten down depressed faces or your personal addiction device, mindlessly thumb-fucking through some social feed.

Or maybe you are a high risk nutjob otherwise known as a cyclist. Risking life, limb and testicles traversing and weaving through the aforementioned psychotic, rage induced, caffeine wired drivers. I love cyclists. I really do – they are saving money and the environment but the bravery/lunacy required to navigate disintegrating roads and cycle lanes comes with too high of a cost versus the potential for actually dying in an RTA .

And how bloody long is it taking you? I hear people talk about 90 minutes commutes like that is “not bad”! That’s three whole fecking hours every day. Fifteen hours a week out of your personal life – away from your family and your passions. Fuck that. That’s like having another stressful part-time job on top of your primary job.

I’m not saying quit your job in the morning. Of course it isn’t that easy. I’m saying that “job location distance to home” should be a much higher weighted factor that you take very seriously during your next attempt at finding a new job. Most people will automatically chose highest possible salary which can be understandable. But considering the taxman will rape that extra cash, you should also consider the commute costs of both money and time. Ask yourself some serious questions…

  • Can I get a job physically closer to home for a similar or increased wage?
  • Can I get a job physically closer to home for a decreased nett wage but with lower fuel/transport costs?
  • Can  I work in a different direction to other commuters thus avoiding congestion?
  • Can I work remotely from home for all or some of the working week?
  • Can I change profession to remove my need for a commute at all? #ballsy

The gold standard is not working from home. The gold standard is not working – at all. Choosing when you need to travel and having the luxury of avoiding rush hour traffic completely. Always make sure you have a pathway to Financial Independence by building your Fuck You Money.

To all you hardened commuters out there, just remember – Paddy gives a shit. Hang in there.

#fucktraffic #fuckcommuting

#Paddygivesashit

 

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.

 




You are not a unique snowflake

“What would Tyler Durden do?” became a familiar phrase in the years after the release of the 1999 (fuck I’m old) movie Fight Club.

This expression did not circulate and stick around for nothing. It spawned many a Shopify store t-shirt for a good reason. There is a phenomenal amount of ideas and philosophical content articulated by the Durden character within the movie which can be utilised in your own everyday life.

One of the strongest comes from the quote below (Chuck Palahniuk being the original author) spoken by Tyler Durden.

“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

This phrase recirculates the concept of the Latin Christian expression  Memento Mori – or, remember you must die. Pure rays of sunshine those Christian lads. But the concept is far more ancient than some medieval grumpy self-flagellating bastards but stems back to Socrates and early stoicism.

History lesson aside, the point is you’re going to die, we’re all going to die and mortality is THE ultimate equalizer of all men and women. Every single one of us will die regardless of wealth, morality, longevity or favourite Batman actor.  Every politician, monarch and religious leader will decompose and eventually be forgotten.

This point is not to put you in your box and make you feel like shit (well, maybe for the Christians). On the contrary, it should make you get some perspective on your lifespan and what you will do with it. Fuck procrastination in the ass and take a leaf from Seneca.

Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day”

Consider this the next time you sit down to a twenty hour box set binge or thumb scroll your way through mindless drivel on your “smart”phone. Don’t put off contacting that friend or relative you’ve been meaning to visit. They will die too.  Read this very sobering blogpost and then put the call in…




The other aspect to the Tyler Durden quote is the uniqueness of your existence. Sure you are unique, but so what. You eat, you breathe, you sleep, you wake and you excrete. So do the rest of us. Don’t waste anytime whinging and whining about how tough you’ve had it or how oppressed you are. Accept your circumstances and if you don’t like them, change them. Have a life of value and remember that a valuable life stems from being useful to others, the strength of your relationships and following your passions.

Now, fuck off your phone and tell someone you care about that you love them.

~Stoic Paddy~

How you can become an ignorant prick like me

I used to be addicted to news. Primetime, Newstalk, BBC, Al Jazeera – Domestic, National, International. Politics, business, it didn’t matter. I’d lap it up and shout at the TV or send in angry texts to the radio. Ooh and I liked arguing about it on the internet too. Getting worked up about unions, and human rights, global warming etc on the odd forum or social media.
Now all that stuff is important. Sure it is. But it took up way too much of my energy and despite my ego, no amount of my ranting and raving on the internet would have the slightest impact on any of those matters. And it is relentless! There are news sources everywhere.  I was heavily investing my time into an activity that provided no benefit to anyone. From an opportunity cost perspective, I was wasting time that could have been spent on family, learning, sleep or, well, any positive activity.
I docked an idea from Tim Ferris and his 4HWW book about choosing a Low Information Diet and Selective Ignorance. Not necessarily a novel idea but execution is everything.
So I executed. Over the course of a month I gradually wound down my consumption of news programming. I said goodbye to Claire Byrne, Vincent Brown and other late night news panel discussions and claimed back sleep time!

Now, or course it is important to stay informed on current affairs but now I batch information consumption. Maybe you like reading Sunday papers or take time to read through Saved Links in your FB feed. Do whatever works for you but keep it down to an hour or two each week. Eliminate arguing on the internet too.

The results are significant. Better sleep and zero fucks to give.

TLDR: Nothing really changes. Unions threaten strikes. The US is at war with someone. Some political scandal.  Stop wasting your precious time consuming details of events that will provide no tangible benefit to your life.

 

Building mental strength with iron

Happiness is a cold iron plate. I have long held the view that sport provides a human with a variety of necessary skills to deal with the rest of life. None more so than weight lifting. The never ending goals of improved technique perfection, increased strength or increased size provide a human with a necessity to constantly strive to overcome barriers. All top sports men and women understand what it is like to come up against mental blocks, physical limits and dealing with the inevitable injuries that come with training and performance. The experience of being mid-lift on  a new PR attempt in a deadlift where your body feels like it is imploding to a bench press where you feel like you are fighting for your life in a tunnel vision of sweat, ceiling light and a sudden acute awareness of dust particles in artificial lighting cannot be replicated in real life on a daily basis unless you have a death wish. If you succeed, you will immediately want to progress to the next weight of 2.5Kgs or 5kgs and push your next boundary. Fail, however, and you are forced to look at yourself. The failure is not external and the focus must be on technique, focus or effort.

All weight lifters meet failure on a regular basis. They also know the only way to deal with failure is to deconstruct the failure and learn how to overcome the current limit within oneself. In Irish culture, failure is viewed as the end of an effort and generally combined with a sense of pity with the failed individual. Some platitudes that resemble the language of the helpless will be pointlessly voiced. Failure is not the end of anything. It is a learning tool. The ability to deal with failure is an oversight in Irish culture and education and remember that gym memberships are cheaper than counselling. There are few feelings of content or satisfaction that can be experienced at the frequency offered by the challenges of weight lifting.  Now, get to the gym.

Turning child abuse into strength

So I came across this book Don’t Hug Your Mother and I couldn’t put it down until I had read it cover to cover. Long story short, two young pre-teen brothers in the early nineties were extracted away from their mother by their asshole father. He then psychologically manipulates them, brainwashes them to think their mother is an evvil person and trains them to be servants to cater for him and his new partners needs. Over the years their other older brother ends up in mental health services and the boys spend eighteen years alienated from their mother.

You have to admire the brothers, now men, who took their shitty upbringing and said fuck it, let’s write a book about it and help others in a similar situation. It takes serious testicular fortitude to turn your experience of child abuse into a best selling book. They have now featured on Matt Cooper’s Last Word on Today FM and featured in national press.

So, if you’ve had a tough time of it, remember to play the cards you were dealt with.

In the meantime, make sure you pick up the lads book HERE today!

New to StoicPaddy? Start here

What’s this shitty blog about then? Good question. It’s somewhere where I, Stoic Paddy can explore tools, philosophies and tactics to grow. Personal growth  and learning comes from challenges, experimentation, failing and the acquisition of different perspectives. The core values of this blog are the deep appreciation that one must take full ownership for the circumstances in which one find oneself, the ownership to develop a range of skills and strategies to progress through life, to prepare for all eventualities and be equipped to persevere through challenges and profit from opportunities. I don’t have all the answers. I am on a search for some. Stall it.

 

Playing the cards you were dealt

Personal responsibility is for the rich and for the poor and everybody in between. Some of us have had horrific shit to contend with like child abuse, neglect, poverty and some of us had a nice silver spoon and two jacks in the gaf. But taking control of your own situation and making the best of it up to each of us individually. You could get emotional and say that it’s not fair or you had it hard but remember that is the language of the helpless and you’re better than that. Examine your current situation and establish what is your highest priority for resolution or improvement. It could be financial, educational, fitness or personal relationship. Then read and learn how to improve the situation and perhaps if not all the time, that starts with looking inwards and developing your own internal skills such as self-discipline, emotional intelligence, will power and temperance. What you will find is that your personal development and the exercise and practice of these skills will benefits all areas of your life. Your history does not define you. It was just your start point.

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