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Or “What is a Programmer Doing Writing so much?”

Pictures still courtesy of Pexels.com, because I like them.

As a software developer for more than twenty years, I’ve spent a lot of time and focus into the art of creating software. As a writer on the side, I’ve tried to hone that creativity into worldbuilding and picture-painting.

A few years back, I tried my hand at publishing some fiction under another name. This time around, I’m focusing more on consumer advocacy and finance. …


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There’s a springtime hike in car prices affecting buyers. Dealerships and manufacturers will be quick to blame many things, namely a decrease in automotive production due to COVID-19 and a current shortage of computer chips meant to govern heavily software-reliant vehicles. These factors in combination with tax refunds, stimulus checks, and the American population slowly emerging from the dark confines of their isolationist basements have resulted in a sudden spike of car prices on dealer lots to the tune of nearly 14 percent as of February.

I’ve written about how long car manufacturers have been extending the zero-percent financing offers


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If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?

Conventional wisdom might impulse the average person to deny. Not to mention our built-in rebellious nature against our parents that liked to abuse this little stinger. Research, however, says something different.

So grab your bungee cord and strap it on tight. According to the math, you as the average customer will trot right along and fling yourself off the cliff along with the rest of the herd.

Occasionally referred to as the Lemming Effect, for quite obvious (and amusing) reasons, most people typically mirror responses they believe a “majority…


Images courtesy of Pexels.com. This was basically my reaction to this news.

So this is happening.

I mean, I’m not surprised in the least. With how long these zero-percent-for-six-years financing deals have been hanging around, this is pretty much the next logical step. But now it’s actually a thing:

Nissan will start rewarding dealers that goad customers into signing 84- and 96-month loans.

Ugh.

Just so we’re clear on why this is a god-awful thing, and what kind of damage this can do to someone’s finances, I want to go back a little bit and explain what this means. What it honestly means. …


Images courtesy of Pexels.com, except for the ones I jacked together myself

I want to talk about this little pitch received from a car salesperson recently. I have some family members that are currently shopping around for a vehicle, and this is a proposed one-sheet they received from a local dealership.

If you ever wanted to know how to identify the bull crap in a car contract versus what is a legitimate line item, this might be a good starting point for you. Take this as an example for identifying dealer profit makers in a car contract and how to avoid them.

Let’s start with the one-sheet itself, and then I’m going…


If you’ve been car shopping recently, you may have realized that not everyone says what they mean, and most certainly don’t mean what they say. Let’s dig into what it means to “show the numbers” at a car dealership.

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Mean what you say; say what you mean.

A common adage. But one that rarely works in the world of sales.

Modern sales theory features a strict focus on the ability to control and improv. By that, I mean the skill required to dominate the customer’s experience and guide them to a sale. That’s control. …


Images courtesy of Pexels.com, again. Hey, they’re awesome, and why break what works?

My parents sent me an article in AARP Magazine recently where a finance writer proclaimed the wisdom of refinancing your home prior to retirement with the intent of taking out (financing) additional capital. Her goal is, as she puts it, to consider using this borrowed money to “add to your investments”.

Moreso, she even quoted a financial advisor from Massachusetts that stated that “refinancing your home might be the best way to raise (cash before retirement)”.

Oy.

A financial writer for AARP Magazine and a financial advisor. Both say you should finance your investments, especially close to retirement. They say…


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The COVID-laced year of 2020 will hold an odd place in my memory. Of course, most of my thoughts about that year will center around quarantine, rising daily numbers, and the ever-surging body count swelling through America. I consider myself fortunate that my immediate loved ones — so far — have emerged intact, though not without some losses in extended friends and family.

But to counter these ideas, 2020 was also the year my wife and I — except for our home mortgage — emerged debt-free. …


Americans are bad at spending money. Here are seven ways to avoid your government-funded influx of cash.

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It’s almost time for Round Three.

Regardless of your thoughts as to whether or not the government should be sending out stimulus and for what amount, the truth of the matter is that the bill is signed and it’s looking quite likely that the IRS will be sending out the next batch of checks soon.

Last time around, Americans seemed to spend their checks mostly on food and utilities. This newest batch of funds promises to be the largest yet, so let’s figure out the best ways not to spend your newest influx of funds!

The usual disclaimer: I am…


It’s more than just two words. It hints at what companies expect from you.

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End-user ownership is on a decline. To illustrate shortly, we’re going to talk about a banana. First, a quick story.

One of my favorite shows in college was Kiefer Sutherland’s 24. Quite popular at the time, it featured a then-novel feature in storytelling. One storyline took place over an entire season spanning twenty-four real-time hours.

It sounds silly to type that sentence now. Finding a television series these days that doesn’t follow the same model of one overarching story taking 12 episodes or more to tell is difficult. But back then, it felt new.

Except for perhaps one season, I…

RD Rhoads

Programmer by day and a writer by night. Somehow finding the balance in between. Look for my next article on Wednesday, April 21st.

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