When is a Loophole or Hack Immoral? And Can It Be Considered Theft?? Asking for a friend…

This post was featured by Rockstar Finance. If you clicked over from there, THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy the read. If you just happened to wander over here and are interested in all things Personal Finance or FIRE (Financial Independence/Early Retirement), I highly recommend you hop over to Rockstar Finance to check out their site and all the awesome bloggers they host weekly.  Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Rockstar Finance Forum where you can chat PF to your hearts content. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will follow along on my long and winding road to FI!

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I have been sitting on an issue that has had my brain a mess and I didn’t think until now to get your take.  Maybe because I fear you would side against, or maybe because it is too multifaceted to really discuss.  In the end, I decided to write about it because this community means the world to me and I’d hate to let a little hiccup tarnish my view on it, or on people’s views of me.

First off, I would like to say that I am no Mother Teresa.  I stole when I was a kid.  A lot (sorry, mom). My best friend at the time, C, was a girl who had moved from the city to the burbs and for some reason still unknown to me, she befriended me first.  C immediately became the most popular girl in school and, by proximity, I became one too.  She was much more “mature” than the rest of us girls so I always felt like I was rushing to catch up.  C had boyfriends that were older, parents that were divorced, and a house that was bigger and more grand than any of my other friends.  Her older sister smoked cigarettes and I remember the day we sat out back of their large house, under the stair well, while they pressured me to try my first cigarette.  It was not my finest moment, and I certainly didn’t look cool.  But I am getting off track…

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C also taught me how to steal.  She was used to being sneaky (escaping her big home to go out with boys at night took some mad skill), I was not.  I remember the time when her mom dropped us off at the mall.  These were the days of Z Cavaricci’s and IOU sweatshirts and to be anyone who is anyone you had to have them.  Both brands were expensive and my baby sitting money was precious to me.  I never thought much about brand names, but hanging with C meant I needed to up my game.  I used to borrow C’s clothes but, while in the mall that day, she decided it was time for me to have my own pair of Cavs.  We found our way to Merry Go Round, the hottest store in the mall, and picked a pair that she thought would look good on me.  C made sure there were no tags that would set the alarm off, then rolled them up, put them in my arms, and pushed me out the open doors to the mall.  I was shocked when nobody came yelling and screaming and so I followed her instructions, walked to the bathroom in the food court, and waited in a stall for her to meet me.  Those few minutes seemed like a lifetime while I played out all the things that could possibly be taking her sooooo long (360 seconds?), the worst being that she had been caught.  But she wasn’t.  A few minutes later she strolled in, knocked on the door, and I opened it to her Cheshire cat smile.  We had gotten away with it, but it didn’t feel good.   Continue reading “When is a Loophole or Hack Immoral? And Can It Be Considered Theft?? Asking for a friend…”

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365 Days…

Ugh…don’t you just hate these 1 year blogiversary things??  I’m with you!!  I have only read a few (and one in particular) that hit the nail on the head but those are such a rarity.  Overall, I am not huge on self congratulating indulgences, however, for historical purposes of my own interest (it’s all about me, after all 😉 ), I feel it necessary to future me to have this post to look back on so feel free to humor me or move on…I promise my feelings won’t be hurt!

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It’s official.  Today is one year since my very first blog post as Miss Mazuma.  I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by!!   I have read that first post a few times over the past year wondering what the fuck I was thinking starting a blog in this genre in the first place.  Reading it again just now, I realize my intention to help others steer clear of some of my own financial mistakes was well intentioned but, in some ways, completely missed the mark from what I’ve actually experienced.  I thought my purpose was to help others but it turns out I needed the help more! Continue reading “365 Days…”

Unfuck Yourself… A Non $$ Lesson From Camp Mustache

Life is funny. Sometimes the most fabulous times collide with the hardest of moments…I believe the word appropriated for such times is “bittersweet”.  This weekend was a perfect example.

As many of you know, my Nana has been sick for the past few weeks and passed away this Sunday while I was out of town.  Though I knew it was eminent, there is nothing that can prepare you for the news that someone you love has taken their last breath and it broke my heart that I wasn’t with her.  There are no words to describe the feeling that goes with the hole in your heart that can only be filled by the shape of that person.  The pain is too fresh to poke at that bear, but in time I hope to dig deeper to tell you some of her stories. For now I’ll just say that she was not only my grandma but she was also my friend and will be greatly missed.

I can’t let this week pass without saying thank you to all the families of the military who lost loved ones as they served our country.  In 1943 my Nana was deep into marine boot camp when she received word that her fiance, Marine First Lieutenant Mike Hoffman, was killed in the Battle of Tarawa (for which he earned the silver star).  It is in his honor that she continued with her service until the war ended, eventually meeting and marrying my Papa, also a WWII veteran.  Nana was extremely proud of her time in the military and of her country.  Whether you believe in war or not, someone today is mourning the loss of their son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or friend so that we can live in peace.  On their behalf, please take a moment to appreciate that sacrifice.

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On the sweet side, this weekend I attended Camp Mustache. For those of you who don’t know, CM is a gathering of like minded folks who read and act on the writings of Mr. Money Mustache, accidental leader of the “Mustachian Cult”.  Like my Nana’s life, words can’t do justice to my experience but as a writer is mused to do, in this case I will give it a try. 🙂 Continue reading “Unfuck Yourself… A Non $$ Lesson From Camp Mustache”

That Says a Lot About You.

This post was featured by Rockstar Finance. If you clicked over from there, THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy the read. If you just happened to wander over here and are interested in all things Personal Finance or FIRE (Financial Independence/Early Retirement), I highly recommend you hop over to Rockstar Finance to check out their site and all the awesome bloggers they host weekly.  Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Rockstar Finance Forum where you can chat PF to your hearts content. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will follow along on my long and winding road to FI!  Now, on to the post…

You know when something happens in your life, when you hear something or see something that is somewhat defining but doesn’t yet make sense so you sweep it into a corner of your mind and wait for the thoughts to mature enough to make sense on their own?  This is such a story and after years and years of it creeping in and out of the corner, it finally makes sense…

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When I was 16 years old, I was being driven home by my date at the end of the night when we stopped at a red light.  We hadn’t had a great evening and I was happy it was coming to an end.  The left turn arrow lit green before the light to go straight did and I broke the silence of that quiet moment to ask if he ever felt like taking the first light even though home was the other direction.  To this day I remember the exact words that came out of his mouth, “That says a lot about you.”  Hmph.  We broke up the next day when he asked another girl to prom, but those words have always haunted me.  What did that say about me??  Was I so different from my peers?  Did no one else yearn for the path less taken?! Continue reading “That Says a Lot About You.”

Traveling on a Dime…OK, 2!

Many people have asked how it is that I can travel so cheaply…you know, besides the obvious of the free flight perks my job allows me.  If you have been reading here awhile you know that it helps that I am more frugal than most, but I also take a fare amount of time to prepare for my trips in advance.  Here are some tips I have learned over the years to get the most bang for my buck while globetrotting this big round orb…

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Just a Bit of Money I found While Hiking Lamma Island, Hong Kong

As an avid traveler (both on the job and off), one of the largest expenses while on the road is…wait for it…

Continue reading “Traveling on a Dime…OK, 2!”