Wednesday, June 28, 2006

10 financial urban legends

The Basics

Writing checks in red ink won't prolong the float, and yes, you really do have to pay income tax. Here's a look at these and other lingering myths

Every now and then you read about a retiree snookered in a Nigerian bank scam, or some nitwit marched off to jail while still insisting the income tax is illegal, and you just shake your head and wonder who could believe that guff.

Unfortunately, a lot of people.

Just ask Barbara Mikkelson, co-founder and researcher at, a Web site dedicated to the destruction of urban myths. Mikkelson spends a lot of time getting to the bottom of financial tall tales that she encounters.

So does Catherine Williams, vice president of financial literacy at the nonprofit credit counseling agency, Money Management International. Williams has a slew of oddball beliefs folks have shared with her during the company's educational seminars.

"We get into situations where we can't pay our bills, and we become like 3-year-olds: the 'dog ate my homework' routine," she says of Americans' willingness to latch onto urban legends. "We want to believe there is some excuse, and something will bail us out of still owing the money."

Read more at MSN Money

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chichi's letter to Tim...

June 22, 2005

Dear Tim,

Yesterday when Juliet told me that Madam Dormitorio wanted me to sign an excuse letter for you from CAT, I was in pain knowing what this means to you.

Tim, as a mom who loves you so dearly and who takes care of you since birth, I really want the best for you. Many times I felt so frustrated when I cannot give you a lot of things and permit you activities that you want. How I wish I can take away that epilepsy in just a whim. I wish you can have that leadership training you want. I know how much you can learn as much I have learned and enjoyed the one that I had. I understand how you must have felt. You are a young bright high school kid, eager to explore the world of possibilities. I wish you can ride a jeepney by yourself, swim by yourself, go places, drive, play basketball without the fear that fatigue may set in and puff up that seizure.

But these are just wishes which I am powerless to grant. God in His goodness and mercy, in loving kindness, in His wisdom has other plans for you. There is no fathom to the pain and hurt I feel every time you have a seizure. It is my prayer for you that this thorn will be gone forever. I may be powerless but I am not hopeless, Tim. We have a God who is merciful and gracious and wise. He knows your every seizure and frustration. He does not sleep at all. We may not understand what is happening. But He does. Someday we will exult Him as we will come to know that His decision is indeed wise. But for now, let us continue to trust Him.

When we will sign up the exemption letter, it is with due consideration to the people around you. Your teachers and your classmates want you to be exempted not because they are cruel but because they care so much about you. They are not confident of what they have to do when an attack comes and they have that fear that because of ignorance they could do something worse to you. We have to be considerate of them also.

Tim, Daddy and I are proud and have great admiration for you because you are not sulking in your condition. Please keep it up. As a family we will continue to pray and trust in the goodness of God. We will pray too for more opportunities for you to use your God given abilities without the physical jeopardy. We may not always be there but be assured of our love and support.

Tim, please continue to be the boy that you are – gentle, loving, generous, adventurous, determined, obedient and God-fearing. Continue your pursuit to know God and to do His will.

May He reward you soonest.

I love you,