Ever wondered why there’s so much debt?

I love this video—10 year old Holly explains where debt and money come from.

Please watch the video, I’d love to know your thoughts.

This is something that I’ve been getting more and more concerned about over the last couple of years: where does our money come from, why is there so much debt, why do prices just keep going up and up and up?

I can’t remember where I first came across the Positive Money campaign, but over the next month or two I’m going to take a closer look at what they’ve written and published. What I’ve read so far sounds promising.

I’ll report back…

Download Microsoft Money 2005 for free

ms-money-2005-02-homepage

Despite not being developed for over 15 years, Microsoft Money 2005 still works perfectly in Windows 10 but you will need to download and install the last-available versions. This post explains how.

Continue reading Download Microsoft Money 2005 for free

Getting my head around our finances

British money

One of the reasons that I’ve not been blogging as much as I would have liked to these last few weeks is that I’ve been trying to get my head around our finances. It’s not been a particularly easy task, but it’s been very rewarding.

Like many people, I imagine, for many years I’ve had a rather unhealthy approach to managing my finances. It’s involved largely of two key components:

  1. Ignoring them
  2. Saying things like “We’ll be fine …!”

Microsoft Money

Because I’m a computery kind of a guy, I’ve been using Microsoft Money 2004 to manage the data about all of our accounts, transactions, withdrawals and deposits. It’s been laborious and time-consuming but well worth it. Our accounts in Microsoft Money go back to 1998, when I was a lowly theology student in Edinburgh.

I love how Microsoft Money allows me to run reports on existing transactions, set up ‘what if…’ scenarios and set budgets. It keeps me right. It’s just such a shame that

Discoveries

I’ve discovered all sorts of things like the house insurance we were paying for 3 years on a flat we no longer lived in! And the breakdown cover on the washing machine that went to the tip 6 months ago. Ahem!

I was amazed too at how many transactions I remembered making, even going back 5 or 6 years.

Here are a few totals that took me a little by surprise. This is table of the accumulated totals spent between 1998-2010 at the following stores:

Company Total
Argos £2,344.99
Boots £6,840.51
Co-op £18,108.47
DVLA £1,235.75
Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op £1,448.07
Esso £5,877.91
HMV £2,019.22
Tesco £20,916.67

Graph

I love that we’ve spent more at the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative than paid car tax to the DVLA.

But those Tesco total and Co-op totals … that’s an awful lot of Clubcard and Dividend points.

The God who wasn’t there

Has anyone (who reads this blog) seen the movie The God Who Wasn’t There? And if so, what you thought of it?  I’m thinking about my Christmas list on Amazon and it’s a toss up between this and Trumpton – The Complete Collection.

Here’s the blurb on their website:

Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture.

Super Size Me did it to fast food.

Now The God Who Wasn’t There does it to religion.

The movie that has been astounding audiences in theaters around the world is now available on a high-quality, feature-packed DVD. Own the taboo-shattering documentary that Newsweek says “irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed.”

I did discover a website by GakuseiDon, who describes himself as “a moderate Christian” that examines the claims in film pointing out its inaccuracies.  That website alone makes for interesting reading without seeing the film.

Zeitgeist

Reminds me of part of the film Zeitgeist – The Movie. Now there’s a film with a few interesting things to say about money, given the current financial crisis.

Makes you wonder …