Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reflections from a Week of Training ---- Changing Behavoirs

Yea!!---I'm finally back in town and am not living out of a hotel. The first thing I did after getting home was to look for that jump drive --- and it was not found, so now I will be on the look out for it. Not to self always back up work. I use that jump drive for my personal documents so not just the topics from last week were lost. I have my fingers crossed that it will be found.

I wanted to take a few minutes and share what I learned over this last week in training. In my industry I have to take a lot of different trainings to maintain my license to practice but this week I took a class where I not only learned a ton but I also have a new out look. The safety training I took was very powerful - it wasn't about new policies or procedures, everyone knows what you have to do to be safe it was about behavior change and getting people to actually follow rules for the benefit of their life. It really hit home when Tuesday a crane accident occurred on one of our job sites - not because some one didn't know the rules but because they chose not to follow the rules and two lives were lost. To me that made the behavior change even more important. While there is absolutely no comparison to the loss of life or the injuries that occur in construction accidents, I started thinking on my way home from the training about how behavior is so important in all aspects of life, for example in personal finance.

Everyone knows the basic rules of personal finance ---- Live Below Your Means; Save the Rest ---- its pretty simple but a lot of people don't play by the basic financial policies and why is that- its because of thinking and behavior. One of the quotes that was used in the training was by Kenneth Foo and states "When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs. When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations. When you change your expectations, you change your attitude. When you change your attitude, you change your behavior. When you change your behavior, you change your life."

There was an epiphany for most people when they changed their thinking about personal finance and in tern that changed their beliefs, expectations, attitude, behavior and ultimately their life.

For me, I feel a little silly as a personal finance blogger because I'm not like most of the bloggers out there who are either in debt or were in debt but have changed their lives. I've never been in dept and can't pin point an experience or an event that changed my thinking. For me I think it was a gradual awareness that occurred when I was a child, I saw my mom struggling in debt and decided I never wanted to live like that.

Have you changed your thinking so your behavior changed? What caused your thinking to change?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Work-Life Balance --- What's your Max?

This week I'm out of town and forgot to bring the jump drive with my posts for this week --- so in lieu of doing a more traditional post I'm having an open discussion.

Before starting a new topic this week I wanted to give you all some updates about work --- see it pays to drink with the big wigs when you're traveling. I guess one of the big things that came out of the bar was that the "problem" project I'm going to will be changing to 24 hours a day by the middle of April. I'm supposed to keep this under raps as the news hasn't been broken to the project team yet. This is should interesting for me as I've never worked on a project that had shifts - sure I've worked on plenty of projects where we had to go to 10 or 12 hour days, 6 days a week but never shifts so staffing should be interesting, managing the problems etc should be a real learning experience for me. The other interesting thing to come out of this was that the owner of my soon to be project is looking to build some more projects so they are trying to add significant man power to it in order to prove we can handle the next job -- this is a very good thing, it means there will be work in preconstruction department in the near future, unfortunately not enough to justify reuniting the entire department.

Okay...on to the topic for today's open discussion.

At first I thought about asking you all what your time was worth and what's the maximum number of hours you'd be willing to work but I don't know what words of wisdom I could share about this so decided against it. But then changed my mind because my blog is all about my personal opinions (with some research to back it up) so I've decided I'll ask anyway.

What is your time at work worth? What's the maximum number of hours you'd be willing to work?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When to Buy a New Car?

This week I'm out of town taking at a Safety Training Class. When I travel I'm notorious for always forgetting something - but this time I forgot something that I can't easily run to the Hotel gift shop and replace - I left my jump drive with 4 pre-planned posts I wrote this weekend in anticipation of traveling this week. Normally I don't plan posts out but I did this knowing that my company's culture is when you're traveling in a group you go out to the bar each night and with the recent turmoil at work and "temporarily" disbanding my department I figure its in my best interest to continue the practice so I can get the real inside scoop about what's going in the company after the Big Wig's have a little to drink and are more free flowing with the real story.

I know I won’t have the time to spend quality posts and I don’t want to leave the blog dormant until Saturday especially when my comment contest is ending on Friday, March 28th. I was brain storming about my options today sitting in this training class (I know excellent use of time) and came up with a brilliant thought…an open discussion – rather than me post my views and then ask for comments I’d provide a topic each day and then follow it up next week with a detailed post with some resources and my two cents. Feel free to chime in with a topic if you have one you’d like to share about.

Okay so first topic…when’s the ideal time to buy a new car?

I’d been thinking of writing a post about this recently especially since Car Enthusiast just purchased a new. So let’s hear your thoughts when is the ideal time to buy a new car considering:
-Personal Timing
-Financial Timing
-Life of the Car Timing
Etc etc etc

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday's Money Funny - 3 Star Hotel with Helipad --- I guess even the Millionaires are Trimming Their Budget

One of the regular features on my blog is "Monday's Money Funny" which are humorous (at least to me) articles/jokes/just about anything that I've discovered over the weekend when I catch up on all my on line reading that spark a need for knowledge. For example last week's was on rising gas prices and highlighted Gorda's gas prices which reach over $5/gallon.

This week I decided to change it up from the gas price topic (although I ran across many Money Funnies about gas). Instead I found a very interesting article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about how the Hilton Garden Inn near Centennial Park has installed a Helipad for its "well-heeled" clients.

Below are some highlights of the article - you can check it out in full at AJC online:
The new Hilton Garden Inn across from Centennial Olympic Park is upping the ante in luxury accommodations.

The hotel is the first in the city to offer a helipad to well-heeled customers.

"It was the brainchild of our builder, David Marvin," said Chuck Powell, area general manager for Hilton. "He saw a need for a helipad in downtown Atlanta, especially if you think of the city's traffic."

The pad, on the 15th floor, is the latest amenity offered by Atlanta hotels to distinguish themselves in the competitive lodging sector. From butlers to spas to restaurants created by celebrity chefs, the city's hotels are sprinting to top each other to attract big spenders.

Mark Newton, program director of the hotel, restaurant, tourism management program at Gwinnett Tech, said the helipad will give the Hilton Garden Inn a marketing advantage.

"Every brand is trying to find a way to get the consumer to notice their product," he said. "You want to be remembered. It's all about positioning."

Seriously a helipad at the Hilton Garden Inn? Don't get me wrong I think the Hilton Garden Inn is a nice place, but its a 3 star hotel and most people being flown in private helicopters don't stay at 3 star hotels. There's only one 5 star hotel in Atlanta (soon to be a second that's currently being built by my company), so I can understand those "well heeled" clients needing to down grade their standards a little and stay at at 4 star hotel - but you tell me who owns/rents a helicopter and then stays at the Hilton Garden Inn? I guess even millionaires are having to cut back in today's current economy.

Usually my Monday's Money Funny promote some type of research - but I'm sad to say that's not the case today, unless you're like to know how to fly a helicopter. I decided to include this article anyway since I found it rather humorous and timely as I'm going to be living out of a hotel for the next week. Too bad I can't take the Helicopter to the Hotel it would sure save on my travel time.

Stay tuned for next week's Monday's Money Funny. If you run across any Money Funnies please email them to me at and if I use them I will give you credit and link to your blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekend Round Up

Below are some of the highlights from this week in the PFBloggers World:

Living Almost Large questioned about Downgrading your lifestyle? I found this most interesting as I'm about to move into my nicest housing ever so its going to be hard to downgrade from that in the future.

Johnathan at Master your Card posted Why raise your Fico score? Check out the chart at the end of the post highlighting the different interest rates based upon FICO scores - gives me extra incentive to ensure my FICO score is as high as possible before I buy a house in the next year.

Kevin at No Debt Plan posted It’s Starting to Sink In. He and his wife area already starting to plan to buy their next car in 2012.

If you're in my age range make sure and check out Planning for your future without relying on Social Security - Part One - Starting Young posted at The Social Margin.

Seb at Pinching Copper posted Minimum wage doesn’t work be sure and check out my comment about why People who make minimum wage choose to make minimum wage.

Don't forget to check out all the other blogs in the network. I've conveniently listed them all in the left hand column for your use.

Subscribe To Recieve Email Updates of Saving Savy