Monthly Archives: July 2012

MDMS: If I had Unlimited Time/Money

I have all the time I need, this needs to be about having unlimited money.

  • I would buy a home for my mother so that she can live independently for longer.
  • I would start a ‘bank’ and loan money to creative people so they can buy real estate at reasonable rates, no matter what their credit history looks like.
  • I would open a publishing house for beautiful occult books that are made to last lifetimes.
  • I would fly in a private jet – just so I could have my pets with me when we live elsewhere for months at a time.
  • I would donate generously to Planned Parenthood, the EFF, the ACLU, and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
  • I would have a personal nutritionist/cook to plan meals with and create amazing food I *want* to eat to stay healthy.
  • I would have a daily workout followed by a massage to stay in peak condition.
  • I would replace all of my paperbacks with hardbound.
  • I would have an exercise room, steam room, and sauna in my house.

MDMS: Ways I am Extravagant/Silly

My house is huge.

I spend too much on food (either at home or dining out).

I indulge in personal care (this is not so true since May) like massages and similar making-the-body-beautiful services.

I keep buying clothes I think I will fit into, and then put them away for the future. (leading, eventually, to donating them — essentially brand new — to Goodwill)

MDMS: Ways I am stingy

(I suspect that people around me would have things to add to this list.)

I re-use/re-cycle as much as I can. I have been known to wish for children, just so I could make craft projects out of jars and containers for them. I print or write on the back of pages that were already written on.

I save crafting elements for later, for a special project, for . . . anytime but now. I almost have to force myself to use products I bought specifically to use in my crafting.

I use items until they are falling apart.

I won’t see a movie unless I am sure I will like it. Otherwise, Netflix is my friend.

I try to save energy throughout the house.

I return items that I don’t want, or don’t work the way I thought they would.

MDMS: Times I Have Capsized Success

All the time, with my physical health. Often, with my writing (I suspect that my “I can’t write when the Muse isn’t there” is a way to keep from being too successful. For me the capsizing is usually *before* I get started on something, rather than after I’ve begun. I do a little too much ‘this won’t be perfect so I’m not even going to try it’ and that censors my actions.

Specific events aren’t coming to mind: this is definitely a ‘I sense’ answer rather than a ‘I have concrete evidence’ one.

MDMS: Do I Have a Pattern of Self-Sabotage?

Oh yes. Notably around my physical self care. What’s worse is that I don’t have ongoing patterns that I can easily change. No, I’m a blitzkrieg who does well for a while, starts to show progress, and then –WHAM! – eats donuts for breakfast, egg-bacon-cheese sandwich for lunch, and ends with a steak dinner accompanied by lots of wine. I don’t fall off the wagon, I jump from it, whooping and yelling at the freedom.

MDMS: My Rationalizations for Ruining Something Good

“It doesn’t matter” or “It won’t make a difference” – these two phrases are keywords for me, they indicate that I am, effectively, depressed and not in my right mind. I try to hear myself when I say them, because they can help me break a pattern of sabotage before it gets too messy.

Unfortunately, I have evidence from my life that those phrases are, in fact, correct. Two examples:

Right now I am working out 4-5 times a week, for an hour a time, doing a variety of things. My eating is the same, or better (in terms of quality and variety) than it was a year ago. Yet I remain the same weight.

Both of my books are good. I’d venture to say that Magickal Connections is even great. Both sold horribly, despite my doing a pretty good (with no publisher) support of writing articles, building a fan base, and making appearances.  So, I did what I was supposed to do, and got no reward.

MDMS: 5 Things I Would Love to Do

Go back to school. I know I’ve said (loudly and at length) that I would never go back, but that was based on my going to school for a degree. If I could just go to learn, and had time and energy to really make a go of it (i.e., not have to work for a living) I think I would really enjoy it. I love psychology, I’d love to do more writing course. History and art would be fun, too. Maybe even language.

Study with another witch. Christopher Penczak offers a year-long course (with several levels) that I would love to do. Or find a local person to work with.

Travel: Spend a month in Venice. Spend a year in Tuscany. Spend a year in London. Spend a year in Provence.

Learn to Sew. I muck around with sewing, I even have a new machine to play with, but I have no idea what I am doing.

Start a podcast. I’ve been urged to do this by several other people; I’m just not sure what I’d talk about.

MDMS Sidebar: How Wealthy Are You?

Most people likely relate wealth to net worth. I know I do. Net worth is defined as:

Net Worth = Total Assets – Total Liabilities


Kim Kiyosaki, wife of Robert Kiyosaki who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, wrote a book of her own, Rich Woman. She has an interesting way of looking at one’s wealth: ‘A person’s ability to survive X number of days forward‘. By her way of looking at it, you would:

Step 1: Calculate your total monthly expenses

For me, my total monthly expenses (housing, transportation, food, personal care, entertainment, and other) is around $3,500, and I can pare that down to $2500 to extend my savings.

Step 2: Calculate how much money you have (I exclude retirement monies, she doesn’t)

Savings – $31,000

Home – illiquid asset

Step 3: Divide money you have by your total monthly expenses (Step 3 = Step 2/Step 1)

$31k/$3500 = 8.85 months.

$31k/$2500 = 12.4 months.

$11k/$2500 = 4.4 months (this is post-investment project)

This is a comfortable number for me to have saved up, except post-invesment project. I will have to plan to squirrel away extra cash to increase my savings once we’ve gone ahead with that venture.


This truly puts my net worth into perspective for me.


The ultimate goal is to increase my passive income, which for me is generally going to be savings and 401(k) while paying off the home as quickly as possible. This gives us a lot of freedom in our later years.


MDMS: An Inventory of My Assets

Savings – enough to live for ~6 months (see later blog post), plus an investment fund for a future project we’re excited about.

401(k) – growing each month, I save the IRS-allowed maximum ($17k) each year, and my company matches 100%.

IRA – rolled over 401(k) monies from previous jobs. Its about $25k, but hasn’t moved significantly off that over the years. (9/11 wiped out about a third; just when I recovered from that, the 2008 tank took its toll.)

A home – we’re ‘underwater’ based on the last tax assessor’s notice, but that is only relevant if we want to sell; which we don’t. This home is our last until retirement (all things being equal, of course.) So, we have equity in our home, and will continue to grow it over the years.

Jewelry – not a ton, but I have some very high quality pieces, and a number of gemstones.

Furnishings – a legacy from my 1st marriage; I have quite a bit of silver, china, and crystal. There is also a largish Belleek collection I’ve collected and inherited.

Art – our indulgence. We own a number of Thomas McKnight serigraphs (signed), Magic: the Gathering original art (signed), as well as signed pictures from Thomas Mangelsen.

Furniture – we have some very good-quality furniture: a china cabinet, media cabinet, and two display cabinets. Our couch is good quality as well.

Between the two of us we have ~1000 CDs and ~500 DVDs. We own ~2000 books, including a complete set of Sandman in comic form, as well as a number of other graphic novels (Mage, etc.)