Month: May 2015

Money For Nothing

It has taken me fucking three hours to write this post, so difficult is it to explain without sending you to sleep. I finally worked out a simple way to get the information to you that I should have spotted at the start. Here goes:

Here is a little bit of practical advice which may help you, financially, in a small way. Read carefully, it is very cumbersome to explain but it might make you a couple of £100.

At some point at the start of the tax year (April) the tax office looks at your salary and gives you a tax code. You then pay tax on the assumption that you will earn that salary for the whole 12 months. So let’s say your salary is £20k a year. That will be your tax rate.

However, if you quit your job at some point and have a few months not working… then you may not earn your assumed £20k in total – so you could have paid tax and continue to pay tax on earnings you never got.

So with this in mind, maybe you should check if you’re owed anything? If you have had any time off work in the last 12 months (and not been paid) then you may well be owed some cash. It’s worth a look.

The simplest thing is to look at your P60 then go here and type your details in.

The important thing to know is. where it says ‘salary’, you don’t put in your annual salary from your current or last job, you put the figure on your P45 of what you actually earned – total pay to date or total pay in tax year, or however your payroll system words it.

Sorry for a boring post, but joking aside, people do read this blog so we may have just saved a few friends a couple of hundred quid. It’s worth it. Remember that any money the Government doesn’t have is better for society, it fights poverty and need on a global basis in a very significant way.

Just to be clear, I am NOT advising that you don’t pay taxes – that’s illegal and very stupid. I am saying pay what you owe, but not more than you owe.

Tax evasion – Illegally not paying taxes.

Tax avoidance – Not paying extra tax that you don’t have to pay.

If you do get some money back because of this advice, then consider some more advice that might be good – consider saving it, or investing it. Have you got an ISA yet? Consider buying some stocks or firstly and foremostly, paying off debts. Or buying some gold. Anything other than spending it on trainers.

£100 on Vodafone shares might sound like it isn’t worth it. But maybe the learning experience is. When you look 12 months later and realise your £100 is now £110 and the dividends were £9. You realise… if it were £1000… £10000…

No, no, this is not a compromise!

No, no, this is not a compromise!

I write as though speaking to the 20 year old me, trying to tell my 20 year old self what he needs to know to set himself up in life. Have you ever heard anyone say ‘if I knew then what I know now, I’d be set’?

They’re not talking about the winning lottery numbers or the horse races. It’s the little things. What they are really saying is ‘I wish I’d listened to older peoples’ advice when I was younger…  and taken it’.  The problem is of course, when you’re young, you’re bombarded with people advising you. Most of the advice is awful. So you go your own way, you hit 40 and then realise what you should have done.

Take saving, for example. I got lucky. I learnt about savings, the power of compound interest, how to work the stock market, at just the last minute. I saved myself with a year or two to spare. If I’d sussed it out at 20… man I’d be set now. I’d be SET.

Now my life path will be very different to yours, so a lot of what I do may not suit you. It’s your job to try and discern the gold from the crap.

Playing us out of this blog post will be, of course, Dire Straits.

Skirt Rating: 1 to 10

A warm summer’s night, a leafy suburban street in Zagreb, from somewhere overhead from an open window of one of the crumbling Soviet era apartments, if you listen carefully enough, you’ll hear the tuneful musing of the Stone Roses drifting down to the street below. Wait. Zagreb? The Stone Roses? What unstoppable force of nature brings those two together? That’s right. Jimmy is in town. And that tapping you hear to the music is not his gleeful drumming along of his fingers on the coffee table. It’s the tippity tap tap of him writing yet another blog post. That his worldwide readership of 23 will read. At some point. If they can be bothered.

‘Well you ‘aint too young and pretty and you sure as hell can’t sing’. Obvious parallels to me there, but ‘aint too young and pretty ‘aint something these Zagrebnik fuckers know much about. Zagreb is a town full of cheeky, friendly, beautiful women. Just like Manchester…

As most of us have probably experienced, men and women often rate each other in terms of their attractiveness on a scale of 1-10. There is no widely accepted measure to which we conform or adhere in order that our appraisals hold any kind of universal standard. This can result in widely divergent ratings.

I remember a friend of mine at work who used to surprise me with his standards. I had been into pickup a year or so and the Sarge School website was live and I was teaching most weekends. It didn’t take long for the guys at work to take a lot of interest in this and look to playfully ridicule me at ever opportunity. It was a great place to work, banter abounded, we played football. It was like working with friends. I miss those days.

This friend of mine would from time to time see some photo of some skirt I’d ‘dated’ and he’d rate her. I quickly noticed his standards were impressively high. What I considered an 8 he’d sneer at as a 5 maybe a 6. He’d type ‘Victorias Secret Model’ into Google images and quickly explain to me how he thought they were a range of 7s and 8s.

‘Wow!’, I thought. ‘This guy has seriously high standards. He must date only the cream of the crop if he’s dismissing these girls as 7s’.

Indeed, he always talked about the ‘7s and 8s’ he dated in the past, which lead me to believe he dated a succession of women who looked like Victoria’s Secret models. I always wondered where he found them, this endless supply of top drawer women. I was trawling the bars and streets of London with absolute dedication and not managing to find the golden well of beauty this guy was onto. The funny thing was, whenever I asked him what he did at the weekend, he tended to not go out much. He must have just had an amazing magnetism that drew women to him.

A year later I met his wife. I was duly shocked. The guy with the standards of a king, who sneered my girlfriends away as ‘6s’, was married to what appeared to be well in the minus numbers by his standards of physical beauty. I was very impressed with his focus on personality over beauty. To be able to deny himself the golden spring of beauty and choose a warthog demonstrated virtue on an Herculean scale in my eyes.

Nowadays, a quick and easy way for me to pull a figure out of the air is to think ‘If this girl was in a room of 100 randomly selected women, how many women would be hotter than her’. If 100% of the women would be hotter, then she’s a 0. If 0% of the women would be hotter, she’d be a 10.

So for my girl, I’d say she’d be easily in the top 5. That makes her a 9.5.

We had an objective system at RSG that was a bit more long winded, but we loved to pontificate over it and it provided opportunity for banter and because it was based on what other people might reasonably think, it escaped the subjective ‘well she’s a 10 to me’ bullshit. It went thus:

Got Game

10 – Nobody believes you’re actually dating her.

9 – Your reputation precedes you based on the girl you’re dating. ‘My mate Jimmy is coming out later. Do you know him? Man, you should see his girlfriend, she is phenomenal’.

8 – If she were you girlfriend, people would regularly comment on how well you’d done.

Not Game

7 – No fame, no shame. You could marry a 7 with personality.

6 – If she were your girlfriend, people would say you could do better, rather him than me. That type of thing.

5 – You sneak her out of the flat in the morning so your flatmates don’t see.

Lower than 5 and we started to have fun. Stupid things like, she is blackmailing you, you would require drugs to be able to fuck her, you’d happily volunteer to fuck a donkey instead, etc.

I always said that game starts at an 8. If you’re pulling 7s, it isn’t game. Sure you get the odd 7, I’ve dated quite a few really sweet girls who I’d consider a 7. But game begins, for me, at an 8.

So just for a little fun, I recently I found below composite from Hot or Not which seemingly collates many people’s opinions into a reference point of objective rating. It’s interesting to look at. I don’t think it’s 100% accurate, nothing is. I think the ‘average’ girl at the end is what I would rate as a 5… so possibly accurate. The 9 to 9.4 actually looks like my girlfriend.

(I promise I’ll have some infield footage at some point. I do have some, I’m just being picky. These little cams aren’t reliable. All the best sets seem to film badly, muffled sound, or not catching the girls enough. I’ve got a couple of decent clips to put out at some point though)

Not sure about the 10 but... it's getting there.

Not sure about the 10 but… it’s getting there.