Money Prick 101 – The Big Rig


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Too many “men” trade their family’s security for their manly big rig image.  Don’t believe me?  How many guys do you know who sold their tripped out 4X4 diesel pickup and bought a beater economy car to save money for the emergency fund or kid’s college fund?

big rigLook around any parking lot.  Pay attention to what’s driving down nearly every street.  They’re everywhere – beasts like those hideous Hummers and other big ball rigs.  My wife calls these overblown vehicles “compensation rigs.”  These big muscle rigs are oversized to balance out something that is lacking.  Like brains, a backbone…or something else!

And ladies, if this fairy tale hits close to home then maybe you should wake up from your trashy romance novel trance too.  Women blow their share of money on “need something dependable” rigs every bit as much.  Whenever I see these full size SUVs choking the streets around town and crossing into my lane at every curve, like the drivers have a thumb up their rear end, I always figure it’s a woman driving.  No offense, girls, but maybe some orange cones and an abandoned parking lot are in order to work on some skills.

Now there’s nothing wrong with buying an impressive set of wheels, if you can afford them.  And that is the problem.  Too many people who buy these impressive rigs can’t afford them.  Really – who can afford them?  Only the rich and I can assure you, there aren’t that many rich people out there and they don’t drive that crap.

Don’t let a fancy rig wreak financial havoc on your family.  Put down your pride and swap the “ego rig” for an “eco rig.”  That is macho.

Excerpts from Money Prick by Taylor Young

Money Prick 101 – The RV


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A “rolling house on wheels” is an awful investment.  Really, investment is the wrong word since investments are supposed to go up in value.  Motor home and camper values drop like a rock the minute you drive or pull them off the lot.  A new RWV (Reverse Wealth Vehicle) is intended for people who can’t do math or are so rich they don’t care about the math.  Would you buy a house knowing it would drop half of its value in a few years?!  You gotta be rich or rash or both to do this.

Good old RV

Living the American Dream

The cost for maintenance, licensing, insurance, and fuel is jaw dropping too.  If the RWV is not motorized, it takes a beast of a truck to pull it.  Either way, going on a trip is like running hundred dollar bills through a paper shredder, then burning them just to be sure they are toast.  All this just because you don’t want to sleep in a motel bed?  Granted, motel beds are a little nasty, but a can of Lysol spray is a lot cheaper than a camper.  Get over it.

What is wrong with the good old-fashioned approach to travel, such as a seedy motel room, cramped pop-up camper, or simply a tent and a musty sleeping bag?  At least consider other means of family fun that don’t involve so much time and expense before you do take the RWV plunge.

If you can really afford an RV and enjoy using it, great!  We’re not against that.  But if you buy an RWV and can’t afford it, then you’re just hauling your financial problems around the country or have a very expensive lawn ornament covered by an ugly tarp like our pathetic neighbors do.  Don’t do it.

Excerpts from Money Prick by Taylor Young

Gotta love this video about RVs, though (warning: if crass language offends you, please don’t watch).

Your Mind is Completely Trainable


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bIMG_0232“Mind control is the result of self-discipline and habit. You either control your mind or it controls you. There is no half-way compromise. The most practical of all methods for controlling the mind is the habit of keeping it busy with a definite purpose, backed by a definite plan. Study the record of any man who achieves noteworthy success, and you will observe that he has control over his own mind, moreover, that he exercises that control and directs it toward the attainment of definite objectives. Without this control, success is not possible.”  –
– Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Babylon’s Secret


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Beyond repairHave you ever read about the great ancient city of Babylon and its wealth?  It seems that the city’s great wealth was in part the result of the successful accumulation of wealth by many ordinary individuals, not just the ruling powers.  How did the average person go about creating wealth?  What was Babylon’s secret?  Perhaps that centuries-old wisdom can still apply today.

Although how they actually did it may remain much of a mystery, curious suggestions thrive to this day.  As George S. Clason wrote about in The Richest Man In Babylon, it would be plausible that it included some timeless yet very simple personal finance principles.  Perhaps it was common sense then, yet so uncommon today.  What’s at the core of this wisdom?  Let’s review some pivotal bits from The Richest Man In Babylon.

Keep ten percent of all you earn.  That means pay yourself right off the top, before you pay anyone else.  And this is not to be spending money, but saving and investing money.  So make yourself survive on ninety percent to pay for everything else.  Control and reduce your expenses if necessary.  You won’t miss the ten percent.

Before investing the savings from your ten percent accumulations, get advice from experts.  Don’t fall for advice from family or friends unless they are rich (and not just looking rich).  Don’t fall for get-rich-quick schemes – that only works for the schemer selling you out.  And don’t let other idiots lose your money (or then you join the crowd).

Invest to make your money work for you – make it your slave.  Your investments have to earn children and grandchildren.  The power of compounding interest is the key.  Keep in mind that “a small return and a safe one is far more desirable than risk” (quote from The Richest Man In Babylon).venus and mars

Own your home.  Plan to pay it off sooner rather than later.  Make your refuge a great investment as well.  Buy location, location, location.  Think it through before plunging into buying a home.  Get council from experts (not real estate agents, bankers, loan officers, or family and friends who aren’t rich).

Be quick to take opportunities to earn more.  But get council from experts (or you become the expert) in whatever the opportunity/investment field is before plugging in.  The more of wisdom we know, the more we earn.

Do not take on others’ burdens (for lack of them trying and working).  You won’t win by bailing out friends or family who don’t want to make it on their own.  If you want to give them money for an absolute necessity, as in charity, that’s no problem.  Just don’t loan them money, be partners in their grand schemes, or otherwise support their lack of motivation.  But loaning can be good to some, so be a wise gold lender.

Work hard.  If you’re not willing to sacrifice and work your ass off for it, then you don’t deserve it and you probably won’t achieve it anyway.  There is no such thing as lady luck or free handouts.  “Wealth grows whenever men exert energy” (quote from The Richest Man In Babylon).

All, so true.  Thanks master Clason.

Your Financial Success


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Limited Time Free Kindle Book Offer

For the next five days only (May 14 – May 18, 2014) you can download Daniel R. Murphy’s new book, Your Financial Success – The Seven Essential Steps for Free on Kindle.

Your Financial Success“Your Financial Success” is right on the mark and highly recommended for anyone wanting to get their financial act together. This to-the-point and easy to understand book is full of the time-tested guidelines to help anyone, at any age, start making wise steps towards their financial freedom. I loved it and know from personal experience that these principles really work.

And if this good advice wasn’t enough, Murphy will send you “financial coach” email reminders for an entire year to review the key concepts of this book and supply you with continual encouragement to help motivate you to put these ideas into practice. Seriously, what do you have to lose?

If you do not have a Kindle you can learn how to download a free Kindle reader for your PC or Mac and learn about the features of this great new book at

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get this book for free for a limited time.

Three Steps to Millionaire Status


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Dream HomeDo you want to be a success with money?  Understanding and applying these three concepts will help you get there, wherever that is.

1. Your privilege of free choice determines your potential more than your abilities.

2. Missing an opportunity is worse than failing.

3. You have to climb up the steep hill before you can glide.

There, now you know how to become a millionaire.  For more information on this topic, including a synopsis of how you can “Achieve Anything in Just One Year,” go to and read this intriguing article by Daniel Murphy (Newsletter 279, 3/7/2014):

Click to access 127-Achieve_Anything_in_Just_One_Year_-_Harvey-web.pdf

Global Business Model


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Article by Cory Richardson.

Imagine my pleasant surprise to meet savvy, smart, and eye-catching Tatiana Vila from El Salvador through a recent business venture in which I never even left my town of Walla Walla, Washington.  Thank you Internet and global economy!

It all started with my browsing a Smashwords newsletter.  Smashwords is a gem in the world of publishers for independent book authors.  In the resources list of the newsletter, an entry caught my eye:  “Mark’s List – Low cost cover designers and ebook formatters.”

Since I had recently read an excellent Smashwords article about ways to improve visibility of your books, I was already thinking that, without a doubt, my book covers needed a serious update, especially since I had done them myself.  Though I like to think of myself as an artist (writer and musician), I needed to shove down a little pride and admit that I can’t do everything like an expert…ah, for example, my own book covers.

Reviewing the book cover artists’ portfolios on Mark’s List, one stood out in particular: Vila Design.  Visually, their covers really seemed to “pop.”  That’s exactly what Scorpion2I was looking for.  Oh, how my own book covers looked even more sad!  This was definitely the needed slap in the face.  Their website looked fresh and simple too.  After an inquiry, I was immediately contacted by a Tatiana Vila.

Tatiana seemed enthusiastic about working with me on a cover, her prices were right, and I especially liked the statement on her website that there could be “Unlimited rounds of revisions until you’re 100% satisfied!”  We perfectionists appreciate that!  Besides, she had me at “Tatiana.”

Now, it is always a bright idea to do some research on anyone you are doing business with, whether online or anywhere else.  Tatiana’s presence online was easy to find, such as her blog, and her profile on Goodreads and Smashwords, where I discovered that she is an author too.  Okay, so she probably knows a thing or two about books!  And book covers, obviously.  She came across as a pro who knows what she’s doing so I thought, ‘let’s go for it!’  Besides, remember that Mark Coker from Smashwords recommended her?  I already had a basic trust in “Mark’s List” because I think that Smashwords is genius.  And how can you not be thoroughly impressed with Mark’s free guide for publishing ebooks, “Smashwords Style Guide,” which by the way is THE best instruction on using Microsoft Word that I’ve ever seen (okay, I haven’t seen any, but I’ve used Word plenty so there’s no doubt he knows what he’s talking about)?  But I’m diverging.

Silicon FacadesFast forward a month or two.  Currently we’re at book cover number five with Tatiana, and her talents continue to impress me and my wife.  She has a great eye for design and I must say, she’s pretty much nailed every cover on the very first try.  And I tend to be a detail freak.  A few times I’ve asked her to make some changes (which she did without hesitation) only to end up going back to her original version anyway.  Yep, she’s got a real talent for this.

But it’s more than just book covers.  In our conversations back and forth in the course of doing business, I learned a few things about Tatiana, like she:

Lives in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Studied in the south of France for four years.

Has a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from the Institut Vatel in France.

Adores spicy Mexican food, wine a close second.

Has traveled, besides France and other European destinations, to the United States (Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky).

And she loves spending time with family and friends, and going to the coast and the mountains.

Tatiana was gracious enough to send me some pictures of her favorite spots in her Zonte Beachbeautiful country, as well as some candid shots of her and her family.  She’s “good people,” I can tell.

So, see why I must do an interview?  She is so intriguing that I thought it would be golden to find out some more about her.

Tatiana Vila Interview:

Cory:  Your book cover design website, Vila Design, is so professional looking, a fitting showcase for your impressive portfolio of book covers.  Did you design your website?

Tatiana: Yes, I did! Good thing that you mention it because it took me a long time to design it. One more thing I can put in my skills, I suppose. 🙂

Lost at SeaCory:  Your portfolio of book covers caught my eye more than any other cover designer in the Smashwords listing.  When did you start designing book covers and what led you to do it?  How did you end up on “Mark’s List” from Smashwords?

Tatiana:  Like you said, I am a writer and started just like any other Indie writer looking for a good cover designer. To my surprise, though, the ones that offered professional work were too expensive and way out of my budget. That’s when I realized I had to give it a try and do it for myself. Fortunately, it ended up well!  I received a lot of compliments on my cover for THE YLEM, my first book, which drove several authors to seek my help. When I least realized it, I had a small portfolio of 10 book covers. I knew Smashwords was accepting submissions for their “ebook cover designers list” and since there seemed to be a lack of good, affordable cover designers, I decided to send my work to Mark. As you can see, I ended up being accepted, and work and satisfied customers have increased over the years. Life is good. 🙂

Cory:  Do your customers usually discover that you are from El Salvador?  Do they ask you many questions besides business?

Tatiana: Normally they don’t. Crazy, right? Some authors do ask me but most assume I’m from the US or Russia (because of my name).

Cory:  When designing book covers, are people generally super nit-picky (a pain in the The Yelmass) about what they want so that you spend a lot of time making changes?  Or are people mostly easy to please?  Or do you just hit a home run every time because of your talents?

Tatiana: I would love to say I hit a home run every time but perfection is hard to achieve, especially when tastes are so different. But I can’t complain. Most people are easy to please, really. I haven’t had a hard time doing rounds of changes. There are some customers who are nit-picky and take advantage of the rounds of changes, but hey, it’s completely understandable. Writing a book is hard work and the cover is your card of presentation. Getting the best cover possible is a golden rule. 🙂

Cory:  Where is most of your book cover business from?  Where are some of your other customers from?

Tatiana:  Most of my business comes directly from Smashwords, but a major part comes from word of mouth as well. The latter is my favorite, of course!

Cory:  When did you start writing books?  How many books have your authored?  What genre?  Are you working on a book now?

Tatiana: I started writing books just after I graduated from college in France. The written word has always been a passion of mine, so having the possibility to get Break Awaysomething published, even if self-published, was a dream come true. Until now, I’ve written two books and I’m finishing the third, Alluvion, which is part of The Ylem trilogy. Break Away, my second book, is part of another series. All of them are YA.

Cory:  I noticed quite a few books on Amazon that you have co-authored?  What was your role in co-authoring?

Tatiana: Honestly, I didn’t do much. I just gave my output regarding titling and plot. So nothing fancy.

Cory:  Have you designed the covers for your own books and your co-authored books?

Tatiana: Yes, all of them. 🙂

Cory:  Have you used other publishers besides Amazon and Smashwords?

Tatiana: I haven’t. I’m really satisfied with their service so changing publishers isn’t in my mind, really. I totally recommend them!

Cory:  What general advice would you have for book authors wanting to make it big?

Tatiana: Write a lot. It’s harder for indie authors to make a name so releasing 2-3 books a year is good marketing (something I haven’t been able to do, unfortunately).

Cory:  What is your dream job?

Tatiana: Actually, I’m already doing it. No kidding. But if I had to choose something else, then I would love to have one of those shows where they scare people! It’s just too funny and, of course, I LOVE to scare the hell out of people. Just ask my family. Lol

Cory:  Were you born in El Salvador?  You also mentioned Spain.  What is your connection to Spain?Coatepeque Lake

Tatiana: I was born in El Salvador but I have a Spanish passport. See, my dad is from Valladolid, Spain, so that entitles me to have the Spanish nationality, which is really cool because I get to vote for both countries. 🙂

Cory:  Have you lived anywhere else besides El Salvador and France?

Tatiana: I lived in Mexico for 6 months. Thank God I decided to come back to El Salvador because if I stayed one more day over there, you wouldn’t have noticed the difference between Shamu and myself! Mexican food is just SO good and yummy!

Cory:  What did you do on your visits to the U.S., Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky?

Tatiana: My sister Heidi lives in Indiana, so most of the time I go to visit her and we occasionally do road tips. For the rest, it’s just for the sake of good, old fun tourism. 🙂

Cory:  In all our emails back and forth, your English has been perfect.  I noticed that from your very first email.  It didn’t take me long to realize that you are one smart cookie.  So I figured you might speak other languages.  You told me Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese.   Wow, you don’t say!  When did you learn these other languages?

Tatiana: In High School! That is one of the perks of studying in a French school. You get to learn a lot of languages. Traveling helps a lot, too.

Theta Series Book 1Cory:  I read on your blog website that you love to sing and compose songs.  Pop rock.  Tell me about that.  Do you play guitar?  Have you recorded any songs?

Tatiana: Oh, I wish I could play the guitar. I tried once but, really, my fingers couldn’t keep up with me! Lol. I’ve just recorded myself singing a cappella, without music so it’s pretty much boring.

Cory:  You told me that you are getting married next year.  Congratulations, I wish you the best.  Your beautiful picture, “I said Yes,” is every guy’s dream.  Your husband-to-be is, no doubt, one lucky guy.  And your life will be enhanced too.  It’s all a big change.  Do you plan to continuing writing and designing book covers after you are married?

Tatiana: OF COURSE! I don’t see myself in life without this! I’m a creative person and I really feel the need to let my creative juices run wild. 

Cory:  Do you have any grand travel plans in the next year?

Tatiana: My honeymoon? Lol. Though I still don’t know where I’m going. I’m planning to go to Indiana again sometime next year, too. 🙂

Cory:  What do you see yourself doing in five years?

Tatiana: I’ll be boring here. Sorry! But I see myself doing more and more book covers and, ok, perhaps signing a film contract for my books! Lol. I just couldn’t help to say that.

Okay, people, what do you think?  Tatiana, you are gold.

The Minefield of Tax Write Offs


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A lot of people brag about their “great tax write-off.” We snicker. Don’t get us wrong, if you are buying something because you need it and get a tax deduction on the side, that’s great. But when your decision to buy something is swayed because you’ll get the tax advantage, well, that’s laughable…and sad. Why? You’re spending a dollar to save a quarter.Beachy Peachy

One of the most common and largest tax write-offs for the average person or family is associated with the home mortgage. The interest is usually tax deductable. No one seems to do the math, though. We know of too many people who won’t pay off their house early because of the tax deduction, or just as bad, buy too much house because of the tax deduction. And because of not crunching the numbers, they will pay the bank a dollar just to save a quarter on taxes. They will lose seventy-five cents of every dollar they pay in interest! So why would anyone justify keeping a mortgage any longer than necessary or buying more house than they need just because they can write off the interest? The answer is, we’ve been duped.

As if paying a dollar to save a quarter isn’t bad enough, if you have a mortgage you’ll have to pay quite a bit in interest (and/or other deductions) before you even exceed the “standard” tax deduction to make it worth the bother. Did you get this? You have a choice every year to either take the standard tax deduction or itemize your deductions (basically just adding up mortgage interest, property tax, giving to dead presidentscharities, etc.). You can take the standard deduction even if you have no mortgage or any other deductions but if you itemize you’ll have to exceed this amount before it does any good. Unless your mortgage interest and other deductions exceed the standard deduction, you get nothing for all the pain. Why would anyone want to pay that much in interest when you already get a free standard deduction? The answer is, we’ve been duped again. Don’t even get us started on houses and the fact that they’re rarely a good investment when you have a mortgage… (we’re not against houses, just against buying them foolishly).

Tax write-offs are just an incentive to buy (and quite often using credit). They were not created with you in mind, but were created with “others getting your money” in mind. We don’t just fall for this in buying houses either. We may buy all kinds of stuff for our businesses too (vehicles, furniture, electronics, appliances, tools, etc.), thinking that the tax savings make it a good bargain. On the surface it does look like a bargain. But buying a bargain you don’t really need isn’t saving you anything.

Don’t let your tax write-offs be the reason you buy anything. Get stuff you need, charityyes, and take the tax deduction if it’s there. But if you can, avoid even being eligible for tax write offs. If you simply don’t want to take this advice and “have to” have a tax deduction, here’s the best one – give to charity! You’ll get the same tax deduction. You’ll still spend a dollar to save a quarter. But this time the dollar goes for something of a worthy cause, not to increase the bank’s profit. And you get paid back a quarter in tax savings for being so nice. Now there is a good incentive.

Free eBooks Humor & SciFi

Here are a few eBooks that will be free on Amazon this weekend.  A little humor, and a science fiction tale will help you smile and escape from this all too serious world, if only for a few brief moments.

Money PrickMoney Prick, The Harsh Truth Your Friends Don’t Have The Balls Or Brains To Tell Youby Taylor Young

Free Oct 26 & 27

You’re in luck.  You just found the most enjoyable, hilarious book you’ll ever read on a typically not-so-fun topic; family/personal finances.  Even if you know all this stuff already, it’s worth reading just for the laughs!  WARNING:  If you are offended by some crass language, then maybe this book isn’t for you.

The short and sweet, face slapping innuendos of the Money Prick will drill home must-know personal finance tips in such a way that you won’t want to put the book down.  Author Taylor Young has ingeniously earned the title “big prick,” insulting you from the opening chapter right up to the very last lines.  You might as well be thoroughly entertained as you bone up on the money tips that will transform your life, help your family and possibly save your marriage (or future marriage).


How I Lost A Million Dollars Twice, And Other “Brilliant” Adventures, by Taylor YoungCover How I lost a Million Dollars Twice

Free Oct 26 & 27

What do blown Cadillac coups, cops, and credit cards share?  Where do inheritances gone AWOL, horrible houses, and greasy food get intertwined?  And how in the hell would payday loan sharks, rich people, and your neighbor’s yappy psycho dogs mix in any story with an other-than-disastrous ending?

Through a bizarre twist of circumstances, follow Taylor Young’s eclectic accounts of kissing goodbye a couple million dollars by a ripe ol’ young age.  Enjoy someone else’s misery while you learn what not to do with your time and money thanks to Young’s numb skull, painful lessons.

WARNING:  This book is intended for fun.  Don’t expect some boring stiff’s detailed guide to personal finances, though there’s more than one golden nugget of wisdom.  And if you are offended by some crass language, maybe this book isn’t for you.


Breaching the Guardian DimensionBreaching The Guardian Dimensionby Cory Richardson

Free Oct 26 through 30

a.k.a. Sustained Augmented Brain Energy Retransmitting (SABER) Ladder.

In the 2090’s, mind manipulating “4M” devices are used extensively for “rehabilitation” and have advanced to the point of a bold new usage – breaching the guardian dimension or, as some call it, supernatural exposures.

Coming of age in the 2090’s, friends Marcus, Randi, Vamir and Meagan soon find themselves working at a prestigious government-funded supernatural research facility.  Something goes wrong after Marcus’ very first “exposure.”  His friends watch in disbelief as other employees mysteriously die right after their 4M experiences.  It is not clear whether they’re victims of machine malfunctions, the guardians or something else.

During the mayhem, Randi and Meagan find the “something more” in their relationship that Randi has been longing for all along.  Like their favorite song, it’s para, para, paradise.  But something connected to the research program dooms the girls’ alliance.

The four friends’ relationships are tested as they attempt to work together to figure out why people in the program have been dying for eight years and what can be done to right some of the damages.  The answers lie in where the 4M machines can go.