My mind has been very much on my money the past couple of weeks, and reading Liar's Poker the past few nights has served only to focus my attention on it all the more keenly (in addition to not working).
I've never been particularly interested in money, or in being wealthy. I just never saw much point in money for money's sake, or in ostentatious displays of money. I've always seen money as a tool - it allows me to do things that I need (or want) to do, and I've thus always, no matter my income level, always managed to do a pretty good job of spending what I made, even if that involved saving for a while to spend on something particularly grand.
Recently, however, it's occurred to me that one of the things I might want to do is not live in dire poverty when I'm older. So I've been inquiring into various retirement strategies.
But this also feels a little silly to me at times, as there's very little in my history to suggest that I'll still be alive by the time I can draw from my SEP without penalty. So what, then, is the point of that? Now that most of my debt is gone, it's time for me to figure out what to do with the money that's left over at the end of the week.
Buying a cab is high on the list, and basically seems to be an idea so obviously good that the only mistake would be in not following through on it. But that will only add to the "problem" by likely increasing my income. There are only so many comic books that can be bought.
A girlfriend continues to seem like a good idea, I've always enjoyed sinking costs into dinners at good restraunts, vacations, and other such things that I enjoy a lot but seem to never do alone. There are actually a couple of promising leads in this department. On the other hand, lavishing all of my money on someone else seems unhealthy both personally and for a relationship, so as with the comic books, this is an expense that'll have to be moderated.
So what's been occurring to me lately is that I'd really, really like to make a movie. A documentary, so not a particularly expensive one. This seems like a good way of gobbling up a lot of dough, between learning how to do it and then filming, and then editing. It also sounds completely ludicrous, and I've never really been the "follow your dreams" type.
I've been thinking a lot, then, about currency markets, and/or investing in precious metals. Also about environmentally and ethically responsible mutual funds. Or shorting stocks. The thing is that I have absolutely no interest in acquring and then maintaining the knowledge necessary to act effectively in a global market, and I don't really trust the people who have put in that effort. I certainly don't believe that any of the ones who are actually good at it would ever deign bother with me and what would be a very tiny portfolio.
Another idea is starting a record label, which also seems like a good way of losing money. The trick, I suppose, lies in small-business loans. I don't feel like I have the social connections or skills to pull this off with much success.
The way this is related to driving a cab is that driving a cab is what brings me money. In case you haven't noticed, this blog has become more about what it is like for me to drive a cab, and how it effects my life, than about my interactions with customers. I'm hoping to have it also be about Portland, but I left my digital camera in Texas and have been holed up at home the past few days. Both of these things should be changing soon.