Delays and Random Thoughts

I’ve been a busy beaver the last few weeks.  Work is really ramping up (yay).  I’ve had several, really busy weekends in a row.  I haven’t read all my RSS feeds and have no idea what’s coming up in the science world right now.

I’m exhausted and still have more to do this weekend.  For the first time this year, we actually got rain and now my grass needs to be mowed.  Why can’t we invent grass that grows much more slowly and yet retains the greeness?  Perhaps it could store water and provide only enough energy to maintain chloroplasts.

I want an electric vehicle.  I just can’t afford it.  Since my vehicle must be the one for long trips (over 250 miles), then I have to retain gasoline for now.  Sigh.  I’m trying to convince the missus that a plug-in-hybrid will suffice for her, but it depends on what job she gets (and where it is).

Which brings me to CONGRATULATIONS.  Her graduate thesis was approved and it’s but two short weeks until she can append MFA to her name.

It has been suggested, by many, that I get my graduate degree.  1) I can’t afford it.  2) Any degree that I actually want would take too much time from work and I’m still the breadwinner here.  3) Any degree that I don’t want, but might be useful is just information that I already know or can easily learn on my own with a little effort.  Just no piece of paper that costs upwards of $45,000.

Why can’t insurance companies function on an economic basis.  Let’s see.  New glasses every 2-3 years (for a prescription that hasn’t changed in over 10 years)… roughly $2000.  Eye surgery so I would never have to wear glasses again… roughly $2000.  It’s simple economics… Capital expenditures always end up being cheaper than pay-over-time expenditures.  Apparently, they don’t teach that in MBA school anymore (another reason getting a degree is a waste of time… the information you get isn’t even useful).

We received a new dryer yesterday.  Based on consumption habits and such, this device ought to lower my electric bill by about $11 a month.  Again, capital expenditures end up being cheaper than pay-over-time.  The device will pay for itself in about 3 years.  It has an expected lifetime of well over 8 years and should retain most of its efficiency over that time period.

BTW: I know that many green suggestions argue for air drying.  That’s fine and here, it would be quiet efficient (lots of wind).  On the other hand, there is also a lot of pollen and dust, year round.  What’s the point in washing the clothes if they get dusty and covered in allergens?

Man do I want a solar power system.  Unfortunately, we’ve hit the other side of the capital vs. pay-over-time problem.  You have to actually have the capital to invest in the first place.  In approximately another 24 months, most of my debts will have gone away… forever.  Student loans will probably never go away, but that’s another story.

Once the debts are gone, then maintaining our current lifestyle (which is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination) will leave us with a fairly large surplus each month.  Some will go into my retirement.  I want plenty of money when I retire, I want to enjoy life and do lots of things.  Most will go into savings (which is subtly different than retirement).  I have quiet a few plans that would be investment grade.

Much like purchasing a faster internet connection and a roku box then dropping satellite.  I don’t miss any TV (that I actually want to watch) and I’m saving a huge sum of money.

A lady we talked to the other day was paying over $250 a month for television based entertainments for her family.  OK, she has 3 kids, each with a TV, etc.  Let’s see, 4 roku boxes (standard definition) would be about $240 a month.  Then a ultra high-speed internet connection might come in at $60-80 a month.  Then give each kid a $30 gift card to Amazon for buying whatever they want to watch and get netflix streaming for the family.  $120+$10+$80 = $210.  Still cheaper.  That would pay for the roku boxes in six months and you’d rarely have to watch commercials again.

Well, there’s your stream of consciousness post for the day.

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2 Responses to Delays and Random Thoughts

  1. carlsonjok says:

    It’s simple economics… Capital expenditures always end up being cheaper than pay-over-time expenditures. Apparently, they don’t teach that in MBA school anymore

    Actually, as the recipient of an MBA, I can tell you that your statement is not necessarily correct.

    What they teach in B-school is to evaluate options by using discounted cash flow analysis. Spending $2000 a year from now is a better option than spending $2000 today because a) you can earn interest/gains on the money over the intervening year and, b) $2000 may be worth less in a year because of inflation. It all really depends on the company’s cost of capital and the expectations of price inflation over time.

  2. ogremkv says:

    Yeah, but you aren’t really talking about capital expenditures. There are very few cases where you can pay $2000 now or $2000 in the future and yet still retain the product. If you find one of those (zero interest car loan for example), then yes, I agree with you.

    Most of the time though, there is an additional cost associated with the ability to pay over time. Not $2000 today or $2000 in a year, but $2000 today or $200 a month for the next year.

    We used the same type of thing for some work, but my professor was always fond of saying at the end of one of those analyses “and the horse might sing”. It was his way of saying that the future is unpredictable and when you postpone events you take a risk and it’s up to you to factor in that risk in the analysis.

    For example, I’d much rather pay for a house completely rather than monthly over 20-30 years. If I lose my job or are injured, then I can still have a place to live. My father, only has a home now because of this. Can I do this? No, but I’d prefer to do it that way.

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