Do you know how much money you've got?

One of the things I like to do is keep track of my own personal finances. Knowing how much money you have at any one time, what your debts are (in my case, credit card balances), what your outgoings are, etc., has several advantages:

  • You can foresee and more easily overcome cash-flow problems, enabling you to avoid those ‘a bit short this month’ problems.

  • You can spot unwelcome trends in your spending patterns, and plan better for the future.

  • You have the pleasure of being able to track your wealth growing.

I highly recommend it. Currently I use GnuCash, primarily because it’s the only mature accounting software available for Linux. Quicken and Microsoft Money seem to be viable alternatives for Windows, although you will then have to suffer the treadmill of paid-for upgrades (I used Money until a few years ago, and moved away from it for that reason).

Nokia 6630 / Podcasts / Linux

I’ve just spent a frustrating few hours trying to get my new Nokia 6630 to talk to my Linux PC properly, and have given up after OpenOBEX kept segfaulting. I did manage to get the USB connection between the two working, but this seems to do little without the OBEX support.

On the upside, I did get GoldenPod up-and-running so that podcasts will be automatically downloaded for me. This should make it easier to copy them across to my mobile when I have the opportunity. I shall buy a larger MMC card for the mobile if I find I use this often; 64MB almost certainly won’t be enough.

Make Bono History

I got a Make Bono History t-shirt about a week ago, and wore it for the first time ‘in anger’ on Saturday. I think it possibly bothered a few people. I think the manufacturer’s original thought was that it was a comment on U2’s music. For myself, it’s not (their music is a little bland but perfectly harmless): it’s a comment on the Make Poverty History campaign and its self-righteous attitude. Debt relief irritates me and is unfair on the lending nations. More free trade would of course be good, but the ‘Trade Justice’ (‘fair trade’?) advocated here is another form of protectionism, just tilted the opposite way. This is immoral and is unhealthy for building up long-term free trade. Freely giving aid (i.e. charity) is fine, but only if it comes from individuals: forcing it out of people through taxation is immoral too. This campaign only continues left-wing economic attitudes and patronises the poor.

For further reading, I suggest this blog article.

Mankiw's 10 Principles

I came across a short article the other day - Mankiw’s 10 Principles of Economics. A good 2-minute introduction to Economics, and possibly also a good clarity regenerator for those whose brains become clogged and confused like myself. I’m not sure how much point 7 aligns with my current libertarian politics - perhaps the point he makes is true, yet morally irrelevant? Still, worth a look.

Integrating blog with new-destiny

I managed to partly integrate my new blog with new-destiny, by following this guide here. The themes aren’t quite right yet, and I haven’t got the footer working, but it’s a start.

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