Friday, April 17, 2009

Nino Brown, C.P.A

During these brief months, I have had the distinct pleasure of experiencing this here recession from all angles. Whether it be personal, or from friends and families' point of view, I think I can safely say that A) it sucks & B) it won’t last forever. But the most unique perspective I have heard thus far is that of your local street pharmacist. And by street pharmacist, I mean your friendly neighborhood hustler. And by hustler, I mean the reason Mexico is in turmoil currently. And by Mexico I mean, ah screw it, drug dealer. I got the inside scoop on how the down turn in the economy has effected their business and how the North American, Chrome Rimmed Hustler has averted extinction and adapted to his / her rapidly changing habitat. Lets watch.

It was interesting to find that one of the major consumers of the drug dealer's thriving enterprise were upper middle class and affluent neighborhoods. Legend and stereotype has it that drug usage runs rampant in poor and underprivileged neighborhoods. Legend also has it that neighborhoods that are affluent / being gentrified have an overabundance of the primary resource necessary to stay afloat in this illicit business; MONEY!! The major difference between these affluent neighborhoods and their poverty stricken counterparts however is that they also possess the primary resource necessary to control the lawlessness that consumes poorer barrios; MONEY!! Think of it as a controlled chaos / organized confusion of sorts. The crack heads are most certainly still there but they are lined up, single file and they are not shooting up in the crack house but merely experimenting with recreational amphetamines at the Gerald & Tammy Foundation & Open House (G.T.F.O.H, and yes it means something else.)

It was hilarious to find out how Lehman Brothers shares had faired at market close from my subjects (they were concerned for my future financial stability since I was employed there, and theirs as well for consistent clientele manifested primarily in the “Good” part of town.) What was not hilarious however was how serious both my test subjects were about managing their finances. In order to fly under the radar when engaging in illegal activity, your accounting savvy must be second to none. If the Federal Reserve and its counterparts were half as adept as Bernie Madoff’s accountant, the streets would be literally littered with Lire as we speak. Both these guys actually gave some very sound advice, which I will now share with you:

1. I Don’t See Nothing Wrong With a Little Credit Balance on Your Bills.
Yes, a credit balance. There are certain months that you have extra cash and nothing to spend it on. Why not spend it on your light bill? Sounds crazy right? But look at it this way. Do you run out of gas before you refill the tank? Why not pay your bills ahead of schedule and have reserves for the months your commission check looks nervous or when holidays and emergencies arise (and they will?) A huge but undervalued tool in wealth building rests in expense management.

2. Buy in Bulk
. One of these guys had a love affair with Costco that only a ninety seven year old, coupon clipping, Titanic surviving, great grandmother could appreciate (salute that woman). I can only imagine this love affair with three hundred spools of Brawny paper towels was not just to save money, but also harbored an opportunity cost component (as in the time not spent in the mislabeled “Dried Foods” aisle could be better served on tasks of dire relevance.)

3. Save it When You Have It.
Of my two test subjects, one has since sold his extremely luxury vehicle and moved into more modest accommodations. The old school Republican of the two (and I mean that in a fiscally conservatively good way) has since cashed in one of his CD’s (certificates of deposit) at point of almost maturity (the fees were of no consequence), purchased, gutted and remodeled his new abode, complete with an island in the kitchen and now resides in a neighborhood with his clientele that I will one day be able to afford if I work really hard. I can’t believe my parents had the nerve to raise me right!

With that said, I have comprised a small but effective list of some ideas to help you in your time of need (if you’re smart then you realize that your time of need occurs way before your time of need occurs.)

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble –
If good music is your sort of thing, you can find tons of places in the city for free entertainment. Start on 42 & 7th where this group of young musicians from Chicago perform free for passer bys. If you can’t afford to pick up a cd (the best 10 bucks you'll spend in a while), then just circle the block until you have heard every single song, then go about your business. It’s feel good music. And don’t worry, when the Variety Summer Guide of free events come out, I will forward that along also. -
If you are currently unemployed or just looking to transition, this website basically does a majority of the work for you. They place your resume in front of industry specific search engines (who knew there was more than 5) in addition to the majors (Monster, Yahoo, Hot Jobs, etc . . .) Now I know what your thinking; “Why should I spend money when I don’t have any? Simple. Buy in Bulk (see # 2 above). You are paid for your time invested so if you factor, then pro rate the amount of time spent rifling through jobs in front of individual search engines daily, the service pays for itself in one to 2 of your man hours. It's a similar concept to sponsoring children, only you don’t have to give up the 39 cent cup of coffee Sally Struthers requested (39 cents for coffee? How old was that commercial anyway?)

IPodrip - For all those who have an ipod and are looking for a way to retrieve files from your ipod and copy it back to your desktop, here’s a link to Ipodrip. This is a demo version but you can buy the full version. This doesn’t really save you money but it’s cool and Apple products are friggin' expensive so here’s a freebie (don’t tell Steve Jobs I sent ‘cha.) And if you already knew about it then why didn’t you share?

There you have it. Everything you need to get through this recession (music and opportunity). And for all you young whippersnappers aspiring towards a life of crime, unless you enjoy paying your bills ahead of schedule, saving money, and purchasing tons of toilet paper, stay your ass in school!

What recession proof tips / hints do you have for your community (drug dealer inspired or not?)


E.M.B.R.Y.O said...

I love the way you kick it. keep 'em commin. check out my new post. Tell what you think.

be thou my vision said...

Very helpful information! Thanks for the tips!

Cialis said...

They gave you amazing advice!

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