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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. …


Images courtesy of Pexels.com, except for the ones I made myself. You’ll know which are which.

I learned quite a few things while digging my way out of debt. All in all, my wife and I repaid about $35 thousand worth of debt in about a year. During that time we started questioning a lot of what we now refer to as worldly wisdom.

Let me explain that phrase.

Debt is also a tool, and debt is easy. It solves problems fairly quickly. Using debt doesn’t take a whole lot of critical thinking or planning ahead. …


Some images originally from pexels.com

This story is an illustration. It aims to show how personal finances are often derailed, not by a single event or stroke of bad luck, but rather a lifetime of less-than-optimal financial choices.

I challenge the reader to compare Janae’s decision-making to choices they’ve made in their own life. In addition, I would ask the reader to put themselves in Janae’s shoes. How would most people view their situation by the end of this story? Where would they assign blame?

All characters are fictional. Any similarities between actual people or events is coincidental.


Image courtesy of Pex… err… I mean Unsplash.com. Huh. That’s new for me.

At this point, I’m utterly convinced that if companies could discover a way to force-feed commercials to you in your dreams, they would jump all over your Inception-based nightmares in seething masses.

So I’m going to talk about a new patent filed by a car company recently. First, a few obvious caveats.

Companies and individuals create and file patents through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) all the time. Just because an entity files a patent does not mean that said entity intends to implement the patent within its business, processes, or products. According to Forbes, 95 percent of…


Images, yet again, courtesy of Pexels.com

Americans don’t particularly like to talk about money. Almost three out of four people seem to think it’s rude to do so. The stigma is so real that a third of couples don’t even know how much their live-in partner earns.

One possible hint at the cause of this taboo is that there’s no structured system in America to teach about money and money skills. Some even consider teaching the topic in schools a mistake. As a result, financial literacy is literally a fifty-fifty gamble in this nation even though it’s the richest country this world has ever seen.

Despite…


As always, images courtesy of Pexels.com

I found an interesting article from Axios (though the format of these “articles” makes me question using that word to describe them. Bullet-points, maybe?) that throws around terms like “fragmented” and “turbulent” when describing a new 20-year global forecast. The article makes mention of the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer (No, I never heard of it before, either) that signifies an eroding of global trust in the world’s largest economies, namely the US and China.

One amusing takeaway from the barometer I found was the mention of “record lows” in terms of public trust in news sources, with social media and…


Images, yet again, courtesy of Pexels.com

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


Images courtesy of Pexels.com

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…

RD Rhoads

Programmer by day and a writer by night. Somehow finding the balance in between.

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