A blast from the past arose from the dead.

The other day my cousin emailed me to let me know someone was trying to get a hold of me. It happens very infrequently for me, as I don’t have very many skeletons in my closet, so to speak. My cousin’s first initial is the same as mine as well as his last name, so I guess this person did an online phone number search for me and came across my cousin.

The person said their name was Jamie(same as me) and to forward on the number if they had the wrong number.

The phone number was from Calgary. So back into my memory banks I went, thinking about anyone from my past named Jamie that lived in Calgary…I tried to think of those drunk nights from my 20’s when I may have wound up waking up next to someone, but I’m pretty sure I had all that in order, and never slept with a Jamie. I’m positive I would have remembered that!! lol. You ever sleep with a person who had the same name as you? You’d remember that, wouldn’t you?

I couldn’t think of anyone I knew named Jamie that would want to get in touch. I’ve been caught up on all my bills as well, so it couldn’t be a collection agent! haha. Curiosity killed the cat, and today I decided to make the phone call and see what Pandora’s Box I was about to open…

The person that answered the phone brought back someone from the dead for me!

Let me explain.

Around 3 years ago I wrote an article on this very site about Alcoholic’s Anonymous and that it may be a cult. I talked about my naive beginnings in Vancouver and the lessons I learned being exposed to a cocaine addict named Jim.

I must have part of the story wrong, because for the last 22 years I’ve thought Jim was dead. Apparently the Jamie wanting to get in touch with me was the one and only cocaine addicted, wired electrician guy Jim! And he is very much alive. I’m certain of it. I don’t talk to ghosts.

Jim’s alive!

I asked him why he was trying to get in touch with me? He started out thinking that he was looking for a woman named Jamie. Once we sorted out his foggy memories of his past, he remembered me. Mostly for my past love for the band Van Halen. Sad when people remember you for some band you were obsessed with, rather than saving the human race, or finding the cure for AIDS or something.

We chatted for a while, and Jim sounds like he has some vague memories of the people that were in his life during these difficult years. He told me that he had been sorting through around 60 boxes of stuff at his mom’s house and came across my name. He asked me about working for him. I told him that the final tally working for him, and him ‘borrowing’ money from me was that he owed me around $2000 back then.

He sounded a bit embarrassed about owing me the money and I told him it was water under the bridge. That the $2000 was good money spent on learning to say no, not to be too trusting with people you don’t know, and never to lend out money to addicts! Granted, I didn’t know he was one at the time he was borrowing the funds, but none the less I think I learned a lot from my short experience with him.

He told me that he would pay me back by taking me out for dinner the next time he’s on the island. Knowing what I know of him, and his ability to gravitate to people in his past, I politely declined, and told him that he owed me nothing and that I had to get back to my family.

Right after hanging up though, I came up with a brilliant idea!

You see, I actually know very little about Jim and his journey to 2012. It has been over 20 years. I’m curious about the life of Jim, especially since I thought for sure he was dead! I called him back, and said I knew how he could pay me back the money he owed me. I wanted to hear his story. The story that got him from the rehab centre in 1989/1990 to today. He said he would, I have cynical hopes he will come through.

I gave Jim my email address, and I can’t wait to read what he has to share!

Yes, I will post it on the site for you! I’ll keep it as anonymous as possible to protect his privacy, but knowing the stories he used to tell me, I can’t wait to see what he has to say and should make for an interesting blog post!

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Get Out of Debt by Switching to a Cash-Only Policy

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins
Image by epSos.de via Flickr

I don’t talk too much on the blog about money, except where large corporations are concerned…

I have challenges just like everyone with budgeting, buying things that I don’t need, and using credit. I have thought that it might be a good exercise to just use cash instead of credit for a while to see how it goes. Here is an article from Lifehacker about a couple that were in way over their heads and got out of debt

I might just try the cash only policy to see how it goes!

Courtney and Michael Wacker had $83,000 in debt with a 32% interest rate. That’s not the kind of debt you get out of easily, but they managed to nonetheless. They started by seeking help from an organization called CredAbility (formely the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta) and were able to get the 32% interest rate cut to 3%. Obviously this was an enormous help, but it still left them with a monthly payment of $1,456 they’d have to make over a little more than five years. That’s like renting a one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles in addition to everything else.

via Get Out of Debt by Switching to a Cash-Only Policy.

24 Quick Actions You Can Do Today That Can Change Your Financial Life Forever

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins
Image by epSos.de via Flickr

We all struggle with our finances once in a while. For some, that once in a while is once a month…There are many different books, columns in newspapers, and websites offering solutions to get out of debt, get rich, etc…

Being in the financial services industry, I see all too often people convincing themselves of an absolute ‘need’, and coming in to borrow money. Many times, they can afford it, but overall the item is not a need, but a want. After a while we have way too many wants, and our needs struggle. Like paying rent, the electricity bill, the grocery bill. But, man does that guy ever have a nice truck, TV, and ATV, cell phone, computer… I want one of those too!

I will save my financial advice for now, but will point you to a very popular site giving pointers on how to get out of debt, and enjoy your life! I am going through the pointers now, and love them…
24 Quick Actions You Can Do Today That Can Change Your Financial Life Forever.

Debt: Reader Pays Off $14,330 In 20 Months With Consumerist Tips

With all the consolidation loans I do for clients, one thing that is hard to talk to them about is how to spend less.

You don’t want to offend them by suggesting they live high on the hog, but I see so many clients yearsmartcard2 after year coming back to re-consolidate(if that is a word…), and living way past their means. With the real estate values dropping globally, one day those homeowners will not have the equity to lump in that debt into their mortgage.

I am in the same boat! So, I found this following article posted over at Consumerist.com very interesting. I thought I would share it with you! There are a bunch of great tips and tools for you to use. Good luck!
Stuck in a $14,300 debt hole, reader Trixare4kids was able to dig herself out using tips she learned about on Consumerist.com. Let’s learn how she attacked her personal finances and learned to live frugally, and did it all in 20 months.Yahoo! Buzz

“She writes: “This morning I made my very last payment on $14,300 in credit card debt and a personal line of credit for a home improvement project that was completed a few years ago. I paid it off over the last 20 months thanks to applying some of the stuff I learned at consumerist.com. It was tough. It took discipline, but I did it!

Instead of making a bunch of changes at once, I did things a little over time. It looked something like this. It’s maybe not in the order that makes the most sense to a financial planner or in the order that someone else would do things; I just know that it worked for me.”

[From Debt: Reader Pays Off $14,330 In 20 Months With Our Tips]

All companies try to get you to do is buy, and spend more of your hard earned money.
It reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favourite songs by the band Tool.tool-logo-early

All you read and

Wear or see and

Hear on TV

Is a product

Begging for your

Fatass dirty

Dollar

So…Shut up and

Buy my new record

Send more money

Fuck you, buddy

Now go out and spend more…Our economy depends on it…