16 April 2015

Top 5 Ways to Hide Your (Money-Related) Depression

Those of you who are un(der)employed know the story well: the bills keep mounting with no end in sight because you don't have enough money coming in to cover them. To make matters worse, all attempts at finding employment are complete failures as well and then something catastrophic happens that wipes out all your reserves. While sure, you could take advantage of the mental health portion of Obamacare, that screams of desperation. Although the struggle is real, you're not actually desperate and you might even become an hero if left alone. Never fear, these five steps will help you to keep anyone else from knowing about your problems.

Smile so that no one knows.
PC: stockimages.
1. Act Happy

It shouldn't be a shocker, but if you start acting stressed and worried, people will ask all sorts of probing questions about if you're alright and what's wrong. To avoid this invasion of privacy, always make sure that you fake a smile when you're with people, especially family and friends.

2. Hang Out

Drastic changes in routine can sabotage the best attempts to keep the façade together. Avoid suspicion and "serious talks" by continuing to do the same things that you always have. If you can't afford to participate in quite the same way, keep up appearances with cheaper-but-still-adequate alternatives.

Starting a drug habit will lead people to think you have
a problem. Don't do drugs. PC: marin.

3. Stay Away from the Four Horsemen

The four horsemen of personal finance can quickly burn a hole in your wallet, possibly even other parts of your body. Suddenly taking up a new vice looks suspicious and screams "help me". And it might be expensive. You don't want that kind of attention, so just make things easy and stay away.

4. Change the Subject

Inevitably, some people might think that something is really wrong and will try to pry into your privacy to get you to admit it. To keep that from happening, take extra steps to keep conversation from going that direction. If necessary, change the subject and follow step number one.

A change of scenery never hurt anybody.
PC: moggara12.

5. Leave

Cut off all contact and go somewhere where no one knows you and start a new life. Preferably to somewhere off the grid, as it will be hard to establish life in a modern society with lots of lodestones around your neck. There, you can participate in a sharing/barter economy that will value you based on your contributions.

09 April 2015

4 Careers that Automation will Render Obsolete

The integration of technology, robotics, and the Internet of things into everyday society provides some exciting opportunities for the betterment of all. At the same time, several industries that currently employ many thousands will no longer do so as those jobs become doable by a machine. While hardly the first time that has happened, it will probably result in the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution. The list spans all levels of society. The loss of jobs in an industry certainly isn't great for those affected, but they can prepare for the inevitable by updating their skills as the industry changes, transition to a new industry, or plan to "retire early". But another big part of preparation is realizing that you're in the cross hairs to begin with. Below are four professions that should start planning sooner than the rest of us.

1. Taxi driver
This scene will become rare soon. PC: stockimages.

The rise of "ride sharing" services such as Lyft and Uber has already gotten traditional taxi services shaking in their driver seats. Just wait until Goober hits the streets. Some enterprising individuals will certainly buy a self-driving car, sign up as a driver on the service, then let the car loose on the streets. As the technology moves beyond just being autonomous to full artificial intelligence, the cars will also take themselves for service too. All without a human behind the wheel.

2. Cashier

While some merchants will undoubtedly always have a person behind the counter, many will increase the number of automated checking machines in their stores in the future. This one has been a long time coming, but interest may increase in the coming years now that minimum wage increases are in vogue again. Despite the fact that several high-profile notorious low-wage employers recently announced voluntary hikes in their minimum wages, they are almost certainly also looking at ways to increase productivity in tandem and get more work out of the current employees, including by hiring fewer of them in the future.

There will be fewer opportunities to
to scale ladders in the future.
PC: potowizard.

3. Firefighter

Firefighting forces of the future will feature fewer people jumping down the poles when the bell rings. The Navy has been working on robotic firefighters for years now. Additionally, advances in building codes as well as the Internet of things will make large conflagrations less likely in the future. But that ignores the fact that at present, most fire departments decidedly do NOT deal with fires on a regular basis at all. The vast majority of calls are instead for medical emergencies. While some fire departments do have actual ambulance companies (not just a paramedic on a pumper truck), a lot of emergency transport of many people is ultimately done by a private ambulance company.

There will also be fewer collisions for them to respond to on the roads of the future. Autonomous cars are part of a push to create safer streets and drastically reduce the death toll on the roads. Less collisions is a welcome part of that, but firefighters will find themselves twiddling their thumbs more often. However, as municipalities continue to search for ways to control costs, the necessity for firefighters in the current shape and form will continue to come under fire.

4. Transit Operator

Sorry folks, if you currently drive a bus or especially a train, your days are numbered. High-profile cases in recent years that resulted in many deaths have galvanized America to the "danger" of transit. But almost all of those were attributed to human error. Much like in driving, the controversial removal of humans will likely result in much safer operations. Many automated rail transit systems are already in use worldwide, including some that have human operators only as legacy positions. With more automated systems coming online and automation coming to even the freight railroads, it will become much harder to demonstrate a need for their to also be a human in the cab.


Eventually, the robots are coming for us all. Just as icemen and others have all found a reduced demand for their services (though milkman is making a comeback), many more of us will also find ourselves in the same situation. The great part about financial independence/retiring early is that it future-proofs against the loss of income such as when a position gets cut for good. It is imperative that one prepares for that eventuality by working toward developing an income stream that will fund their lifestyle. When that day of the pink slip comes, it will certainly be very emotional as people hang up their hat or close doors for the last time that are never to be done again. Nevertheless, it will be much easier to accept knowing that the end of an era is the beginning of a new and relaxed way to live, possibly even the beginning of a new adventure.

07 January 2015

Hump Day Haiku: Help

Congratulations and welcome to the new year! We made it and 2015 is already a week old. Still within the time frame where everyone slips up and writes "2014" on paperwork, so hopefully you get that figured out soon too!

Help is on the way!
A guide to get through this mess,
Look in the mirror.

01 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Greetings to you in the new year! Make it better than last.
Photo: frank42/freedigitalphotos.net.

31 December 2014

Hump Day Haiku: Turn Down for What

Warmth gracious provided by artur84 on
Today is the very last day of the year! On Monday, we took a look at some of the top posts for 2014 and got ready for 2015, but today is an opportunity for one more verse about your purse. Hope you enjoi!

Turn Down for What
Turn the heat on down
And wrap a blanket around;
Wallet feels warmer.