The Sixteen Absolute Principles of Personal Finance

Dr. One BananaTwo

1. If you don’t want to mow a lawn, don’t buy a house. (There are other costs of home ownership.)
2. If you buy a house for investment purposes, consider all of the costs beyond the cost of mowing your yard. Property taxes, insurance, the new roof, the furnace and air conditioner, rotor-rooter man, plumber, interest on the mortgage, and closing costs when you bought the house. Oh yes, if it is an investment, you will need to reduce your return by the amount of the realtor’s commission and closing costs when you sell the house to realize the gain. Don’t forget the realtor’s list of things you have to do to make the house presentable, like paint, wallpaper and the cement needed for the broken sidewalk. And finally, the most overlooked cost in housing investment: the money you would have made, but didn’t, when you made the down payment in the beginning.
3. Don’t have your barber do your brain surgery, and don’t have your insurance agent invest your money for you. If the agent mentions the words “variable annuity,” visualize a large scalpel designed to carve out his retirement, not yours. (Buy term life when you need it.)
4. Never lease a car. (It’s just like a bad loan, only worse.)
5. Never borrow money to buy things that depreciate. That eliminates all items that can be purchased at Quik-Trip. It also excludes everything else that you buy, except for a house, maybe. (See number two above.)
6. If you think that everyone has a car payment, and you will always have a car payment, so what if you buy a new car every three or four years? Just do this calculation: what is $350 per month from the time you were 25 until you are 60? In the first case, you will have a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu and a car payment; in the second case you would have 1,200,000. Hope you enjoyed the new Chevys!
7. Don’t work for someone who didn’t take much time to hire you. (It’s their most important job. You really don’t want to work for someone who’s is incompetent, even though that quality got you the job.)
8. Always have health insurance. (Always have health insurance.)
9. Always buy an extended warranty on cars and appliances. (Our world has too many un-filled rat holes.)
10. Budgets are for rich people, too.
11. Write down what you own and what you owe. Subtract them. That’s what you’re worth. Try it, you may be surprised.
12. Write down what you make and what you spend. Subtract them. The result is what you make. It’s what makes number eleven above go up or down.
13. Don’t buy a used car that has McDonald’s wrappers in the back seat. “Dust on the hood, dirt in the engine.” – Thoreau
14. A killer stock tip is great whenever you want to buy a stock that has already soared through the roof.
15. Keep it simple. (Don’t buy a life insurance policy from a car dealer in order to insure that your loan gets paid off if you die.)
16. There are more than sixteen principles. Look for them.

Dane Zeller? Oh, yeah.

To all my readers. You may use the following script whenever you think it would help.

Your friend, the author.

Scene: (A Starbucks Coffee Shop, A very crowded Panera Bread restaurant, In the audience of a poetry reading, or sitting in a baseball stadium watching a baseball game drone by.)

Characters; You, played by “you”.

Characters: Him, played by “him”. (could be a complete stranger, better if he was someone of importance.)

Characters: Public address announcer, or narrator, or coffee bar clerk.

P.A.: Now batting for the Royals: …

(Stranger, or acquaintance, or a friend takes the seat next to you.)

Him: Hey, how you doing?

You: Better than ever.

(at this point the conversation continues about sports, cooking, politics, and finally about books)

Him: I just finished a great book I’d recommend to you.

You: Oh?

Him: Yeah, it’s Deadly Soup by Dane Zeller.

You: You don’t say.

Him: Great dialogue.

You: He is good with dialogue, I must say.

Him: You…you…you’ve read it?

You: (Gathering up all the nonchalance you can) Oh, he mentioned he got it published when we had coffee a month ago.

Him: You…you…know Dane Zeller?

You: (pause and add a little cream to your coffee.). Oh…yeah. (said in your most off-handed tone).


I’m honored to be able to provide you a brush with greatness moment. – Dane

Financial Expert Reveals His Top Pick

One BananaTwo, One Monkey Typing’s resident financial guru, reluctantly gives investment advice. Managing editor, Dane Zeller, interviews One.

Dr. One BananaTwo

Dane: Dr. BananaTwo, our readers are anxiously awaiting your advice for 2019.
One: uh…so?
Dane: So…what’s your best stock tip for 2019?
One: How should I know?
Dane: You’re the EXPERT!
One: And Donald Trump is the PRESIDENT!
Dane: Dr. BananaTwo, surely your powers for prediction are not blunted by whoever finds himself in the white house.
One: You’re kidding. You call Trump “whoever finds himself in the white house”?
Dane: It’s a manner of speaking.
One: It’s a stretch of your imagination.
Dane: One, we pay you to give predictions. Our readers are looking forward to your advice. (mhemhj;kjhjh)
One: What did you mumble?
Dane: I said MAKE IT UP!
One: Oh, okay. Oil.
Dane: Oil?
One: Yes. Oil.
Dane: Could you be a little more specific?
One: Not sure what you mean.
Dane: Saudi Crude? Oil futures? Oil derivatives? Gulf Premium?
One: No. Just oil.
Dane: Just oil.
One: You know, quarts.
Dane: Where do you invest in “quarts”?
One: Walmart’s a good place to start.
Dane: Walmart carries an investment vehicle?
One: Yes. It’s usually in the back of the store where they sell tires and shop towels.
Dane: We pay you to suggest we buy at Walmart?
One: You asked.
Dane: I’d need a pickup.
One: I suggest a bigger truck than that.
Dane: Maybe they’d deliver.
One: There you go! For a managing editor, you’ve got some financial savvy.
Dane: For a monkey, you’ve got some balls.
One: No. Oil, for the first quarter. Balls will be the second quarter tip.
Dane: This interview is over.
One: 10W-40
Dane: Over.

Dane’s 2019 Progress Report

It's a simple matter of copy and paste.

Photo Highlights from Dane’s Camera

Our first grandson. In this photo, Rita is teaching Denny how to smile and shop.

Years ago, I got a chance to go to see Jimi Hendrix, but I didn’t go. He died. So, when the Beach Boys came into town last month, I paid good money to take a picture of Brian Wilson. Great concert; bad photo.








This is Jack, a neighbor of ours. Rita is afraid of him, giving too much meaning to how he dresses. I think he’s just trying to protect his identity.











This didn’t even make it to my New Year’s Resolution list. It is, however, on my Low Expectations List.











My son taught me how to take a selfie. Not sure I have the hang of it.

New Rules for Punctuation

Click the link below:

From Mike Kelly

AT&T Technical Support: You break it, you pay for it.

My Directv receiver shut down last night. I got a diagnostic code, and the screen said to reboot the device. I did. Then it told me to call technical support. I did. She couldn’t reboot it. She said I would have to pay $20 to ship a new receiver, and then pay $8.95 per month to hook it up. I told her I thought it was their device. No. She said. It’s yours. I asked why I was paying a monthly amount for the receiver. She said you’re not paying for the receiver, you’re paying for the signal to the receiver.

So…I told her I’d have to solve it another way.

And that way would be….

Poet Laureate Apologizes to His Fans

You may have misunderstood me. The truth of the matter is that I’m retiring from my job as Poet Laureate of Olathe, Kansas. I will still be making my living writing other forms of literature, like short stories, epic novels, and recipes for chocolate fudge.

The Road Less Traveled

I’ve decided that the rules and mandates of poetry are too many and too restrictive. Also, I am distracted by my fans at my readings. I’ve identified at least four ways people nod and hum in appreciation of what they think is a great line in my poem. But they all are performed with a glaze over their eyes. The last seven people I’ve met after a reading have all said, “love your poetry.” All of them. Those exact same words.

Also, Jenny Steitliner, you are the one who finds the deepest levels of my poetry. Jenny, there are no deep levels. I studied under the great Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary.”Puff the Magic Dragon” is about a magic dragon.

There is no reason to buy my books, nor attend my readings. You are living a lie. Do you remember my last reading? Your eyes were locked on me, but your neighbors were discretely typing critical comments in text to their boyfriends who made it a point to be busy the day of my reading. No male loves, or even has sympathy for, my poetry.

I recently submitted the following poem to the International Poetry Awards committee in London:

Bill Puckett
A poem about a young man who could not easily
express his love for his family because his actions were most always unclear

There was a young man from Nantucket,
Whose toilet he could not flush it.
The content of the Kohler one-holer,
would always flow the bowl over.
So he gave it to his mother-in-law in Pawtucket.

I won first place.

I quit.


DaNang, 1965

A Letter to President Pzbiackiy

Dr. Paul Pzbiackiy
President and Chairman of the Board
Hawthorne University (the name of the university has been changed to protect the perpetrators.)

Dear Dr. Pzbiackiy,
Greetings from academia here at Hawthorne University. I trust you’ll interpret this letter as a hope for better education at our esteemed University, and not a basis for my termination, as my wife has described it.

Perhaps you can sandwich in my little story in between your chats with donors and other important people. It starts with a test I was giving my students, room 121, O’Leary Hall last Friday. Five minutes into my 100 point exam, there was a noise in the hallway akin to a dismantling of a building. My students were distracted from their educated guessing, and I believed I should investigate. There was no one in the hallway, so I concluded that workmen were rigging the basement with dynamite, called for by some faulty work order.

Indeed, I found two workman, on step ladders, armed with pneumatic devices, creating dust and uproar in the room below my classroom. They stopped when I approached, and shut off their tools. I told them I was giving a test in the classroom above, and could they pause for about 45 minutes until we were finished.
My fellow adjuncts accuse me of obsessing with details in the large scope of higher education. Therefore, they didn’t express concern, as I did, with the three long seconds of silence delivered by the workmen in response to my request.

Perhaps, I could have waited longer before stating that I was judging the effectiveness of my teaching here at Hawthorne, and I said “it’s what we do here.” They responded that they fix the furnaces here and said “it’s what we do here.” I sensed conflict.

I went to an office on the second floor and confronted what appeared to be a secretary, doing what she did here. I asked who could stop the noise of destruction in the basement. Her belly laugh implied no one could. Then she said that no one could.

“You’re the fifth one to complain,” she said.

Dr. P…., I wouldn’t bring this little complaint to you, even with my obsession for details, but I ask you, can three seconds of silence in response to a request to act in favor of students over machines, indicate that these two maintenance men had missed the seminar on our university’s Mission and Purpose?

I hope the answer is no more complex than that.

Dane Zeller
Adjunct Instructor
Hawthorne School of Business

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