Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lesson 13: Using Gift Certificates Wisely

A while ago I was given a gift certificate for $25 for Aveda. It just so happens that I will be needing a brow wax and hair cut in the now, so I have decided to use it. Here are my calculations. A brow wax and hair cut combined at Aveda will create a total of
$25 for brows + $50 haircut= $75 minus the $25 certificate which will bring you back to $50
If I use my gift certificate there I will only pay for the hair cut, but there is still a calculation of tips. Tips are 15% so I will take 10% of $50 which is $5.00 and divide the $5 in half to get my 5% which will come out to $5.00 + $2.50= $7.50 in tips owed for the hair cut. But when you tip at a salon you don't want to look gauche by using pocket change so that comes out to $8.00 total. Then you have to take into account the brow waxing tip. You might have got the service for free but the associate still expects a tip. In Calculation, %15 of $25 is $3.75 for a tip, but that is rounded out into $4 - 5. So your equation will look something like this:
-$25 + $50 +$8+$5 = $63 total for everything not including tax
Then I thought about it. I don't have a uni-brow, so there obviously isn't that much of a problem with them for me to spend $25. No matter if I will be getting the service for free, the price exceeds the maximum threshold I am willing to pay for the service. I just need them to be groomed not excavated to perfection. So I decided to go with Paul Brown, which charges $16. I would then put the $25 certificate to use in decreasing the cost of my hair cut. Now my equation looks like this:
$20 brow wax + $50 hair cut - $25 certificate = $45
We still need to add in the tips so I will re-write the equation like this:
$20 wax + $4 tip + $25 discounted cut + $8 tip = $57 total for everything not including tax
If I compare the two prices $63 - $52 = $11 savings total
So by figuring out the maximum threshold I am willing to spend, then distributing the services by cost, I can create an opportunity to save. Anyway, my font and spacing is all wacky, I'll try to fix it later. Wow even blogger (my service provider) is anti-math!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

An opinion of the political work climate in Oahu

Interestingly enough during night school, someone made a comment about trouble in the work place. One of my class mates commented that the work persona in Hawaii is different that that of the mainland. In Hawaii things are more passive aggressive and it's all about who you know not necessarily what you know. This is a bit disturbing. It shows that people here would rather go about sabotaging others in a sneeky way rather than be upfront about the real issues. It shows that people here are a whole would rather hire their good friend kimo who will probably do a so-so or not so great job rather than joe who might be an excellent worker. These claims are not new, but they frustrate me. It's extremely annoying to have to deal with this type of climate that exists when you are trying not to be apart of it. In psychology I learned that one of the tests psychologists use to measure sanity is a group picture exercise. A psychologist will show a picture to a group of people and solicit individual answers. If a person continually answers differently than the group they are prompted for further evaluation. So, because I refuse to be apart of this climate does this make me abnormal? Having a different opinion can be educational. Having a different opinion can change the way things are done. Having a different opinion can create better methods of doing things. I know from experience that it is very hard to get people to envision change, especially adults. As a consumer I want to explore all options fully before spending my money on something. As a person I want to help others see it that way too. I want people to see that they don't have to be passive aggressive, because that type of behavior never promotes a solution. I want to help people give others a chance, not just because of familiarity, but because they have quality services or products. If I can do all of that then maybe things could be better, because I sure don't want to be known as coming from Hawaii the USA's most passive aggressive state. Speaking of being angry here is a fun little thing that combines anger and humor; its great. (not a pop up link)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Another tape that I like to listen to. It has mostly 80's pop music.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to read Financial Statements

Being able to read Financial statements is useful if you plan on getting into investing in stocks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lesson 12: How to Detect a Crappy Accountant

According to my professor there is only one existing accounting joke in the whole world. I think there are more, but she was just trying to make a point that accountants are stereotypically quiet, un-humourous, and serious people. Stereotypes are all fun and games, but when you start to use them as a point of measure in the hiring process or in standardized testing, I object. When running a business it is essential to motivate your employees by allowing them access to their score. Business is like a basketball game, if you don't know how you are doing based on the numbers, then it is impossible to play the game. Well, perhaps you could still play the game, but it would much resemble Drew Carry's "Whose line is it Anyway?" In order to have an accurate score you should be familiar with basic accounting principles and hire an accountant. Finding a good accountant is essential to score keeping. Here are some tips that were imparted to me by a veteran accountant, professor and established owner of her own firm:
  1. If you ask them how they got the numbers and they tell you that it is too complicated for you to understand, fire them.
  2. If you ask them for an analysis and he or she says they will get back to you in a week, fire them.
  3. If you ask them for advice on improving your numbers and they just shrug their shoulders, fire them.

Good accountants will be familiar enough with how they arrived at their data; so much so that they will be able to explain it to you on your terms. Good accountants are punctual and know how to meet deadlines on your terms with in reason. Good accountants will be open to helping you out on your tax related matters rather than being a tool that just cranks out numbers. If you come to them for advice about improving your scores, they should be willing to help you out with some tips.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I love Ramen!!

One of the restaurants my friend raves about is Gomaichi. They are said to have the most authentic tasting ramen on the island. I don't really know who made this great claim but I ate there twice and can tell you with confidence that it is true to me. They have this special ramen that they serve there that tastes like no other, the name slips my mind at the moment. One minus about the place is the location. Parking is a pain in the neck, so make sure to bring a lot of quarters. Ramen is also a great meal for those on a budget; as the prices there are relatively low. Here are a bunch of links for the ramen fanatics out there! Ramen Miscellanea, Ramen Blog and Go Ramen.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Motivational Tapes and Me

Thanks for the "Massive Love Songs" wendebular. How could I not post this tape, this one has total eclipse! Classic I tell you. Brandon you know you like this song. Another audio adventure I went on consisted of Brian Tracy and his take on Goals. For those who are interested in the main idea, but not actually listening to the whole 3-4 hours I will boil it down for you. To reach your goals faster treat them like your space seat in hyper drive. Imagine that you are a commander of an elite space ship like on Star Trek. Should you need to accelerate to the fastest speed your main concern is to have a chair to strap your self into so you don't have a Space balls scenario. You can hold onto and can visualize your chair. You make sure that it is in working order every day in order to prepare for hyper drive and use it to reach all of your high tech navigating equipment. Treat your goals as if they are as real as an in-animate object. Know about them so well that it is effortless to identify in your mind. I really liked all the filler though. It gave me a lot of profound insight regarding the subject.

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