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Author: wrldlywit Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 886541  
Subject: Re: Poll: My 2000 Budget ...lessons I've learned Date: 12/27/2000 2:45 PM
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My spiritual teacher, who taught prosperity and manifestation classes taught me: GET RID OF EXCESS IN ORDER TO HAVE ENOUGH. She said that if you looked at the homes of the wealthy there was often lots of space and a few fine items. Whereas, the very, very poor generally had cars and refrigerators that didn't work on their lawns, and the middle class had garages stuffed to the ceiling.

I'm constantly making lists of what to sell so I can replace it with something else. I traded my VCR for handyman work and bought a Go Video refurbished dual deck VCR.

I'm selling my RCA CD boombox with dual cassette for half of what I paid, for one that stores 5 CDS for the price I originally paid for the RCA boombox.

I waited and waited for my 13" Sony TV to die and then decided it would live forever so I sold it to a gal living on a boat, then went out and bought a 27" TV and since I loathed the arrogance of Viacom, my cable provider, I bought a Sony satellite dish and subscribed to DirecTV. The first month I watched films 15 hours a week as they gave me a free month of their Platinum service. Then, I rotated between HBO, Showtime and Starz, subscribing for a few months to one and when I'd seen everything in their film library subscribing to something else. DirecTV generally ran about $50. to $60 a month, including the 3 or 4 pay per view movies.

Just recently, ATT bought and then upgraded the cable system and I found that their digital TV has channels DirecTV doesn't have such as: Style, Ovation (arts) Discover Civilizations, and Odyssey and Oxygen for free, so I called DirecTV to cancel. Also, I was pissed at their new President's policies: He raised the cost of their pay per view $1. making it less of a bargain, and he raised the cost to subscribers $2. at a time when they're making so much money that both Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch have considered buying General Motors and selling off the car divisions so as to get their hands on DirecTV, originally owned by Hughes Electronics and then absorbed by GM. To my surprise, DirecTV offered me their Platinum service for a month free. Whee!! Alas, I've already seen most of the films in the libraries of HBO, SHOwtime, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, etc. besides which, in this dreary *folks next door* film era, I've become less of a film buff and instead have become addicted to hi-tech investing, to BLOOMBERG and CNBC and, of course, the fool.

I haven't even upgraded to ATT's digital cable and still find more to watch than I did with DirecTV: the many PBS stations, and the local stations that have old series I enjoy seeing again such as GRACE UNDER FIRE.

I cancelled my PacBell answering service (7.95 a month) and tried evoice which was free but not that good. Will try callwave and phonefree next.

I called to cancel AOL, ($21.95 a month) annoyed by their frequently broken connections. They gave me two free months. I will also try Earthlink which has a $1 for 60 days offer and compare the two. I'm a Macintosh person so for me there is currently no free ISP that I know of.

After finding my heating bill was $26 higher last month, I tried turning off my timer thermostat which heats my thousands of books and 20' ceiling and using just a space heater but that didn't work too well. At night, I will use an electric blanket and keep the heat off completely till 6am when I rise and turn on Bloomberg.

I didn't go shopping at all during the Xmas season, avoiding the primal consumerism annual ritual in which Americans go ever more deeply into debt. I did make the mistake of buying stocks too early: December 15. I should have waited till December 21. Will make a note of that for next year. But I bought into great companies at what was then near their annual lows: the large caps Cisco, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, several mid caps and one micro cap: Webvan, a superb company which has been delivering my groceries for 16 months now. Larry Ellison (Oracle) also gets his groceries from them, delivered to his yacht moored in Sausalito. And the company which was founded by Louis Borders (Borders Books, a company I have greatly enriched over the years) probably has deep pockets given that sponsorship.

I am selling off 20% of my thousand books, cds, and audiotapes and donating a good number as well to the Sausalito Library, which has book sales twice a week and has greatly enriched me.

I plan to return items that didn't work as advertised to Walgreen's tomorrow.

I plan to write the various catalog providers who send me catalogs at least 3 times a week it seems and ask them if they will please only send me their sale catalogs. Lands End might do it because a few years ago, I cut them off completely. We'll see about Victoria's Secret.

Hope some of this helps. If you wish, you can email me for more info.
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