Archive for July, 2009

Using Excel’s built-in amortization table

Excel function tutorials, Housing

Thanks to our nascent house hunt, I’ve been trying to back into figures on mortgages and monthly payments. Luckily, Excel has a handy just perfectly suited for this purpose.

Here’s how you get to the template in Excel 2007 (which according to my recent poll is the version most readers use, if only by a hair).

In Excel 2007, go to the “menu” button (the goofy-looking windows symbol in a circle) in the upper left-hand corner. Click on “New”. This will bring up the following window:

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Handling unexpected change


Sorry for the delay in updating this site. My mother-in-law passed away last week from cancer, and our family is still recovering from the loss.

More pertinent posts will be forthcoming, but I happened across this recently at work and found parts of it somewhat comforting, so I thought I’d share, in case anyone else has recently experienced loss. Titled “How to Deal with Change”, it’s from wikiHow.


Being prepared for change involves flexibility, strength of self-purpose and belief in one’s own worth.

  1. Be prepared. Life is full of unexpected surprises; don’t let this be a lesson you refuse to learn. Death, loss and strange situations will be a part of your life, no matter how much you may try to cocoon yourself with reasoning, savings and assets. The major key to coping with change is to accept the reality of change and its inevitability.
  2. Realize there’s only one thing you can control – yourself. Once you cotton on to the reality that you cannot change others and that the only way they can change you is if you let them, then you suddenly find yourself empowered. Empowerment is a key element of change acceptance and change management. When you feel empowered, you will roll with changes as a whale rolls through the ocean waves, commanding and unbothered by events but conscious of a need to roll with the surrounding effects to lessen their impacts.
  3. Take time to recoup. If you are grieving after a death, be it a person or a pet, do not let anyone tell you how long to grieve for. That decision is yours. It does make sense to make a decision in your own mind about what grieving you need to do, as your life cannot meander in sorrow forever. However, it is most clear that those who avoid grieving end up worse off and can experience break-downs and inability to cope at unexpected times. With grief for death, there will always be a piece of your heart missing but if you accept this and you are willing to carry the memories as lively as can be for the rest of your life, this will help you reach some acceptance of what has happened. If it is a job loss or some other personal loss that is not death, you still need mourning time to assuage your sadness and grief over a loss of something that once filled a large part of your life. Perhaps a small ending ceremony of some sort will help to give you a sense of closure and allow you to move forward.
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