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Principled Money Posts #51: how break out of Catch-22 situations

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Note: Some good blogger-friends of mine have nominated The Money Principle in two categories of this year’s Plutus awards: for Best International Blog and for Best Kept Secret Blog. The Money Principle needs your vote! Voting is easy: just look to the right and you’ll see a golden cup with a “P” on and ‘Vote here’ underneath; click on it; enter your e-mail, scroll to the bottom and click ‘nominate’. Done!

Yep, I am very pleased to report that I did finally break out of the Catch-22 situation involving me getting (or not as the case may be) a Bulgarian ID; remember that I needed a permanent address to get an ID and needed an ID to get a permanent address?

I am holding my brand new Bulgarian ID in my hand; and the document about my civil status (whether I am married because according to Bulgarian law this ‘husband’ could place a matrimonial charge on inheritance). How did I do it? Well, here is how (the reasons I am publishing this is because I believe that the reasoning is similar about any Catch-22).

  • First, I analysed the situation. To begin with I re-framed the problem – strictly speaking I didn’t need a Bulgarian ID but a way to sell the properties I inherited from my parents. Even without Bulgarian ID I would have managed to sell the apartment; but not the land. This took a bit of pressure off. Then I found a helpful employee of the Council with which I was last registered in Sofia; she explained that I need a document from the police that I have never lost my citizenship; it took a month to issue.
  • Second, I found the ‘weak’ link. There is a way out of most Catch-22 situations; the solution usually is outside the cycle. For example, my cycle was: no ID, no permanent address, no ID. It turned out that the certificate for citizenship was the ‘weak’ link.
  • Third, instead of feeling offended by how unfair the situation is and how tiresome it is to jump through all these hoops, I made it my mission to be nice with the Council employees.
  • And forth, I didn’t give up. This time, I just couldn’t give up: I needed closure and there is property – real estate and land – that has to be sold and the money added to our investment pot.


Maria vs. Bulgarian Bureaucracy : 1:0

Once we are back from the sea cost in a week’s time it is likely that I’ll be able to sell not only the apartment but also the land my sister and I inherited. Wish me luck!

Now let me tell you about the blog articles around the internet I enjoyed reading; and so may you.

John at the Frugal Rules asked what is the favourite thing money allows us to do. This is such a good question and accidentally I was just thinking about that. For me, it is worth to pay off the debt and get of a situation where we had no money to spare because of little things like buying flowers or even being able to buy a plant and a box of chocolates for the lady who helped me with a document. If I had to express it in a word it would be ‘happenings’.

Jordann at Making Sense of Cents told us which are the four expenses that are not worth it. There are such expenses, I agree, but we have to allow for individuality here. Personal finance bloggers and frugality adherents talk too much about saving on haircuts and cutting their own hair: my readers know that for me that is an absolute no starter. Another thing I’d question is Jordann saying that paying for massage is not worth the money: it is, it is just better if someone else is paying for it.

Relationships with close relative around money have always interested me; for one, I just had to remind my sister that the best financial help she could offer her daughter is not money today but to ensure she is well set up in the future. That’s why, Marie’s article on Prairie Eco-Thrifter discussing the reasons why adult offspring fear ‘the money talk’ with their parents really caught my interest. Worth reading!

Mr. Money Mustache published an article on the surprising power of regular effort. Apart from small matters of disagreement – like that his site has been sucking; I wish my site sucked like his does – I fully agree with the point he makes. In fact, I recently wrote that what gets you to complete any BIG goal is ‘rhythm’.

When there is talk about wealth, there are many voices. One voice I am prepared to listen to is that of Pauline from Reach Financial Independence. Last week she told how she builds wealth faster. Read the article and watch this space: in my opinion Pauline is a creative investor worth learning from.

Do you have a bit of a problem with making decisions? I do! This is what has been semi-immobilising me during the last six weeks or so – the perceived need to make a decision and the weight of it making it impossible. It seems to me that Leo Babauta is right again: last week he published an article suggesting that seeing decisions not as final verdicts but as experiments makes decision making so much more easy and less traumatic. I’m going to try this one!

How has The Money Principle been doing?

We had great time of growth and excitement. Over the last three weeks the following personal finance blogs included us in their carnivals:

Carnival of Retirement at Faithful With a Few
Yakezie Carnival at What Mommy Does
Carnival of MoneyPros at Financially Digital

Finance Carn. for Young Adults at FITnancials
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Hurricanes, Panties
Carnival of Tortoise Banker at Carnival of Tortoise Banker
Carnival of MoneyPros at Your PF Pro

Finance Carn. for Young Adults at Mom and Dad Money
Carnival of Tortoise Banker at Carnival of Tortoise Banker
Carnival of Financial Planning at FITnancials
Yakezie Carnival at Debt Roundup
Carnival of MoneyPros at Money Life and More

Apart from that, I did an interview for SurveyCompare and you can read it here. I was also touched by the good words Michael had for The Money Principle.

This is all for now, my friends. Speak soon.

And don’t forget to vote for me in the Plutus awards.

6 thoughts on “Principled Money Posts #51: how break out of Catch-22 situations”

  1. I like your 4-step formula for dealing with catch-22 situations. I tend to get exasperated and impatient in such situations, and let emotion override logic – not a good approach for money management or anything else. I hope that you and your sister are able to sell both the apartment and the land. Good luck!

    • @Prudence Debtfree: Hey, thanks for stopping by. These steps are worth trying; as to emotions, I do this one first. You should see the tandrums I throw sometimes. But inevitably, once emotion is out of the way, ratinality returns and then the battle is almost won.


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