26 June 2018 FT — Articles to Read

26 June 2018

 Question: According to MSN: Money, what are 8 steps to quit living paycheck to paycheck?

 The US census counts on having all the data – Pg. 8

       …constitutional requirement to count “the whole number of free persons” every 10 years, achieved since 1790 by a census.  Who, though, should count as a “free person”?

       In March, the US government reintroduced a question about citizenship status, not asked since 1950, to the 2020 census. 

       In 1999 the Supreme Court described the census as the “linchpin of the federal statistical system”

       But courts have upheld that apportionment be done by total rather than citizen population.  The 14th Amendment makes no distinction between citizen and non-citizen: representation shall be based on “counting the whole number of persons in each state”

 Amex wins legal battel over merchants – Pg. 12

       …the US Supreme Court said that it could block them from steering customers to use cheaper credit card payment methods

       American Express is a two-sided platform, where the company deals with merchants on one side and consumers on the other.  The ruling could require antitrust enforcers to prove that increased prices on one side of a market were not outweighed by benefits on the other side

 Answer: (1) Know where your money goes (Prof Note: I literally have rebuilt my own Quicken in MSExcel.  I track every expense, categorize, and reconcile (credit card and bank statements).  I realize Quicken has many fans but I highly recommend building your own system, capturing every receipt image, etc.); (2) Make saving painless (Prof Note: NOOOO…saving, in my opinion, should be painful.  What I mean is that it should not be automatic, it should be physical, i.e. at the start of the month physically transfer $X to savings.); (3) Live on less than you earn (Prof Note: While the list-serve has been around for 11 years and I will readily admit my blessings occurred about that time, prior I drove 10+ year old cars, rarely went out to eat, stayed in cheap hotels, etc.  Now I love having guests to the house (I am a horrible griller), etc which is most fun and much cheaper); (4) Get comfortable saying “no” to the kids; (5) Cut your housing costs (Prof Note: My personal residences are small and my investment properties actually have the tenants living in nicer digs than me….MUCH nicer.  However, fixed operating costs are omnipresent in my mind and I am always attempting to reduce them); (6) Drive a used car (Prof Note: I do not agree!  Purchase cars through your LLC and depreciate them…remember….you better be doing the hustle!); (7) Learn to cook (Prof Note: I am not much of a cook though I can make a thick burger and purchase high-quality meat.  It is about the company); (8) Forge an independent spirit (Prof Note: Learn to enjoy things that do not cost $$$.  If you try and email/call me at sunset it is unlikely I will respond until after the sun has dipped below the horizon.  We only get so many sunsets in our lives and I am going to enjoy as many as possible!  If you have not seen it, check out the Green Flash!)