After enjoying and featuring "..Kraft Dinner.." by the colourful blogger, Potato, over at Blessed By The Potato, we thought we'd sign him to a temporary guest column series contract with the moneygardener for an undisclosed sum... This post series promises to be unlike any other consumer reporting/ offbeat commentary you've ever read. John Stossel eat your heart out.... This series will be a change of pace, and we're calling it potato wedges. Enjoy...
Hello everyone, I'm Potato, and I'll be taking over a spot here on MG's blog to mix things up on a semi-regular basis. I have my own blog over at www.holypotato.com, but I can't have a cool guest column pun on my own blog, so here I am. Oh, that and I usually write about whatever shiny thing happens to catch my eye at whatever point I feel like writing, which makes it a difficult blog to follow from the reader's point of view. Here, I'll try to avoid politics and travelogues, which admittedly only narrows things down a little.
Even though MG is kind enough to host this guest column, he didn't write it, he (hopefully) didn't edit it, and so he certainly isn't responsible for whatever crazy things I might happen to say, just to clear him when I eventually put my foot in my mouth.
So, I'm a graduate student, which is of course setting off all kinds of alarms now given that this is a personal finance themed blog, and being a grad student is right up there among the dumb life/finance decisions one can make. I'm in science, so it's not as bad as it could be, and having a PhD in biophysics really does give one a leg up in the supervillan application process, so there is some hope post-graduation. My mind reader gizmo* tells me that the question on your minds is: why is a graduate student blogging about personal finance issues? True, for a long time I took a very hands-off and brains-off approach to my money, but even then I had at least some awareness of the importance of budgeting, saving, and investing thanks to the influence of my dad, a CA and financial consultant. However, I've been getting interested, educating myself, and reading more lately, because I've been faced with a challenge. I was a year late finishing my MSc degree, and that taught me something: my scholarships stopped paying my tuition when I took more than the recommended 2 years. Now that I'm on my PhD I want to be ready in case it takes me more than 4 years to finish, since no one I know in my department has finished in 4 years. So I'm saving, but more than that: I don't want to save just to end up broke if my thesis takes a ridiculous amount of time, to graduate in my 30's with nothing to my name but grey hair and a degree, I want to set up some investments that will grow or produce income to cover my tuition without having to eat away at the principle. And that process of reading and educating myself in money matters is what brought me here. Plus, science is kind of hard to write about, and auto magically puts a large part of my audience to sleep (yes, even more so than finance).
* - actually, my mind reader gizmo is a 1.5T magnet that takes up 3 rooms at the hospital. You'd know if I was using it.