Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday everyone.

Hope y'all had a great week. Let's get our confessions on shall we?

1.My zipper was down all morning at work. No one told me. I would have appreciated someone saying "Barn door's open" or "XYZ." Nope, my bright red undies were showing themselves.

2. For some reason, everyone at work thinks I am an expert at March Madness. So, I have been dispensing bogus advice. I really don't know what I am talking about but everyone says "Allison, you are sporty, and you run, tell me about basketball." So I  have........

3. I am going to be late to work today. Rather than rushing to get out the door, I am blogging instead. Its already 7:20, and I have not done my hair or make up, and I am still in my pi's. I will get ready soon. Employee of the year right here.

Fess up friends!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Money Monday: On Trusting your Gut, and Doing What is Right for You

Traditionally, I have always heard there are 5 things you should not talk about in public.
                                                       2. Religion
                                                       3. Politics
                                                       4. Sex
                                                       5. Medical Problems

So.....let's talk M-O-N-E-Y.

I don't know if its my generation, but it seems as if we are more open and willing to discuss our personal finances that our parents were. Maybe its the media, maybe its the the prevalence of student loans in everyone's life, or maybe its just that we are becoming more open as a society.

Personally, I feel as if I have discussions about personal finance on a weekly basis with someone, somewhere. My husband and I are very open about where we are, where we've been, and where we hope to go.  I basically have Dave Ramsey's face tattooed on my forehead, but whatever.

Since getting married, P and I have fought long and hard to get to where we are now financially. We both entered marriage with debt (credit cards for him, graduate student loans for her), and neither of us had ever done a budget. Somehow, we were turned onto Dave Ramsey's program, went to his live event, got inspired, cut up the credit cards, learned to budget, learned to save, paid off all our debt, blah blah blah. You have heard the story before.

Now, we have 1 bill left to pay, our mortgage. We are attacking that thing as best we can (some months more than others), but our goal is to get it paid off as quickly as possible.

I had a point to this post. And I have not made it yet. So, lets give it a try now.

Because I talk finances so often, I often realize that not everyone has the same financial goals, or the same path to achieve those goals and P and I do.

I am ok with that. (Trying to be ok with that)

Last week, I was at lunch with a coworker/friend and we started talking money. He has a completly different approach to personal finance than I do. He could not understand why I would work so hard to pay off my mortgage given that I have such a low interest rate, when I could invest the money instead and earn a higher rate of return.

He put up a good argument. I had no mathematical response to give him. On paper, everything he proposed made perfect sense. My only argument that I could make in return to him was that he never calculated in the risk. I know there is a complex mathematical formula to calculate risk, but I don't know it. (Math is hard.) All I know is that financially, there is no such thing as a perfect senario that lasts. Markets crash, bubbles burst, wars happen, and humans steal. We agreed to disagree, and continued eating our taco's.

But, I realized something. Sometimes, you have to trust your gut. You may not have all the answers, but you have to do what is right for you. If you are not comfortable with a plan or strategy, no matter how good it looks on paper, you need to do what you think is right. Ultimately, its your money. The money you were paid for logging long hours at the office. For late nights at the second job. The beauty of personal finance is that you get to call the shots. You get to make the decisions. You get to determine your financial future. You. No one else.

Yes, P and I are out there in left field. We are on the extreme, and we are ok being there. We know that not everyone is so focused on being debt free. We know that not everyone cares about using coupons and having enough toilet paper stockpiled for the next 3 months, or having enough laundry detergent for the next 3 years. (True story) But, we want those things. We don't want to be vulnerable to anyone, and for us, debt= vulnerability.

In the end, you have to be at peace with your decisions. You can always change them. The choice is in your hands, not anyone else's.

Tell me....Are you at peace with your financial plan? Do money conversations come up often for you too?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday y'all. I hope you have had a great week.

Lets do this.

1.I have turned into P's pet, and I now do things for treats. Its Cadbury Carmel Egg time, and I am a sucker for those things. Not the cream ones, the carmel ones. They are the perfect food, and I eat them by the box. I have even been called predatory when it comes to those eggs. P went out and bought a ton, and has them hidden. This week, he has offered eggs in exchange for chores. For example, one night we were on the couch, and he wanted a drink. He said "If you get up and get me a cup of water, I will give you an egg." I jumped off the couch as fast as possible, and he pulled an egg from him pocket.

2.I quoted a very inappropriate scene from The Office in front of my in-laws.  I went to the store during lunch and bought some toilet paper. My in-laws were at my house when I got home. It was a different brand that usual. P looked at it oddly, and I said " Is two ply not good enough for your anus."  Then I looked at them and said "Don't get me started on how coddled the American anus is." Dwight muttered those words, and now apparently, so do I.

3. I have eaten more than 12 carmel eggs this week. I am ashamed. And so is my ass.

4. Sometimes, I let my dog kiss me on the lips. Its sick, and my mom tells me I can get rabies or worms b/c he eats doodoo sandwiches. I really don't care b/c I love him so much.

Fess up y'all!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Confessions: Raging Edition

Happy Friday everyone.

Buckle up guys, because its going to be a long one, I have been a naughty girl this week.

Let me preface this by saying that my allergies have been so bad that my dr. has put my on steroids to function. I noticed a few days ago that I was feeling a bit off, so I started researching the drugs. As it turns out,  the 'roids have a pretty bad side effect on some people--it makes them mad and prone to experience fits of rage. So yea. Ive been pissed off all week, at everyone, in every situation.

1.I have not called my mom but once this week. Normally, I talk to my mom on the phone everyday on the way home from work. After P sauce, she is my bff. But, given my bad mood I didn't want to spread my bad attitude to her. She is too great to deserve my rage.

2. I have mentally cursed out everyone in my office. Again, given the 'roids, my fuse has been short, and everyone that has come into my office has been given a mental lashing. They all annoy me.

3. P sauce and I got into a fight over candy. Specifically over easter candy. I bought some for him, it turned into a situation where I dropped words that sounded like "muck" or "suck" and "hit" "bit" and "mit." Concluded with me storming off, slamming the bedroom door and laying on the bed for a long time without speaking to him.

4. I asked my boss if I could fire one of my employees.  When she asked why, I told her because he annoys me. Apparently annoyance is not reasonable cause for termination.

5. I had a 6 mile run in mind this morning.  I ran 2 miles and came back home. Because 2 miles is the same thing as 6 miles. Yep, sure is.

6. A friend emailed me and told me she felt like we had grown apart. Rather than agree, and apologize for being a bad friend, I told her it was her fault because she does not email, call, or FaceTime me much anymore. She felt really bad. I think I made her cry. I made no attempt to make her feel better.

7.P has been doing a bunch of projects around the house that I requested.  He even took a day off work to finish one of the projects for me. There are just a few minor adjustments that need to be completed. Rather than say thank you, and show appreciation for his work, I have been nagging him about cleaning up the tools all around the house.

I am a big fat jerk.

Fess up friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Vilification of Wealth, the Prosperous, and those trying to attain it

Could that title be any longer?

The Occupy Wall street movement was hot for a while, but we don't hear much about those folks any more. Those protests changed something in our culture, and at least to me, it seems that we are trending towards the vilification of wealth and money. To add to that, I have seen a back lash against those who have attained, or are on their way to attaining wealth. They are painted with broad strokes as greedy, manipulative, and with questionable morals. 

Is there any truth in this? Probably. However, I can guarantee that you can find those same type of traits in a large group of broke folks too. 

The second mistruth that I hear so often is that the "American Dream" is dead. 

Is it?

These past few year have been tough on many of us. Companies laid off workers. Companies cut benefits. They expect more production by few people. I am an example of this. Prior to my promotion last year, there were 2 full time employees doing a the job that I now do by myself. It comes with the territory. 

Here is the beauty about America, if you don't like your situation, you have the power to change it. If the job stinks and you don't get paid enough, go work for someone else. Or, better yet, start your own thing. A perfect example would be Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents. She had a great full time job, but she knew she wanted more. So she started a blog, and with a lot of hard work, a lot of hours, and a lot of effort, that girl now has her own blogging business and is making on average about $10,000 a month or more. To top it off, she did it on her own. She did the research, she dug into the market place and is providing a skill and service that the market deems important, and she is being rewarded for it. No one gave her a step up. No one gave her an advantage over anyone else. To top it off, she is willing to share her story, and help those who want to follow in her footsteps. 

I think her story is proof that that American dream is still alive, it is just different that it used to be. Right now, the internet is the Wild West. It is the great equalizer. It is open to anyone with drive and a dream. 

As I look around the personal finance world, I am inspired. There are so many men and women who put in a hard days work, then put even more time into their side job, on or offline. 

I think, the American Dream is alive and well, it just takes hard work to attain it. It takes focus, desire, and sacrifice. You can't quit, and blame someone else for your problems. You have to own your decisions and your life. 

Money in and of itself is not evil. It is A-Moral. What money does, is reveal the inner character and heart of the person. If you are inherently greedy, it will reveal that. On the flip side, it can allow you to do some really great things. It can allow you to give in a really big and exciting way. 

As the late Margaret Thatcher once said " No one would remember the good Samaritan if he only had good intentions, he had money as well."