Bullet Journal and Financial Tips

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Thought I’d take a chance and be vulnerable. Share.

Above, my journal entry for yesterday and today.

Below, my financial tips that have helped my husband and me reach our goal of $1,000,000.

I know it’s totally taboo in America to talk about salary and net worth. But I really want to help people who struggle with money. 

I’m a teacher, for Pete’s sakes.

I don’t make a lot, but I also don’t spend a lot. I started my career in radio and I made $17,000 a year. I ate pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I developed a food allergy. Of course, I was unable to save for retirement during that time. I don’t have regrets: I met Gloria Steinem (she’s a goddess!), the lead singer of Simply Red (he was a jerk) and Lou Diamond Phillips (swoon)!  I befriended Steve, our Program Director, who encouraged me to be a writer. So, I don’t regret that year, but it was an entire year that I did not save or invest money.

My next job: administrative assistant in a money managing firm. Wow, did I learn a lot. I learned about stocks and investing and I started my 401K.

There are two things I recommend you do ASAP:

  1. Start a financial spreadsheet with every asset you own…how much you own. Also, keep track of your debt (credit cards, mortgage, etc.) and make a plan to pay them off immediately.
  2. Another Must Do: start an IRA. Contribute to your company’s 401K.

If you can, find an excellent financial advisor. We did this and I attribute much of our success and wealth to him. You’ll need to do research and be financially savvy. NEVER simply hand over your finances to someone. ALWAYS know what is going on with your money! And don’t be shy about telling him/her what you want to sell and what you want to purchase.

Owe Vs. Own

Guess which one you want to grow?

Maybe you have a lot of debt. Maybe you have no debt but very little savings. Whatever you dream for yourself, you can do it! Just make a plan and begin.

What if…

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the riches we all strove for were the inner lights we could possess? What if we all wanted to be rich this way and helped each other attain this wealth?

 

The great news is that we have the option – the freedom – to choose what wealth is for ourselves. Possessing ambition is fine, but without inner peace, it means nothing.

 

Rich – adj., abounding in natural resources (Dictionary.com)

The idea for this blog was inspired by Light Watkin’s post on true wealth.

True Wealth

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My sister gifted this book to me for my birthday, along with a magnifying mirror:

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Thus, I’m becoming knowledgeable about microcredit and I have a freshly tweezed face.

I’m only on page 28, but this is what I’ve learned thus far:

Mr. Yunus has been involved with working for the benefit of poor people in India for most of his life. He is now 77. Through his work, he has enabled the poorest of the poor to gain credit, become entrepreneurs and thus, productive members of society.

The American economic system works in the favor of the rich. This is plainly obvious. Our banks do not believe in our poor. We believe that given credit, the poor will never pay the debt back. However, Yunus says his experience is the opposite: his Grameen Bank “lends over $2.5billion in U.S. currency a year to 9 million poor women on the basis of trust only.” The repayment rate? 98.96%!

Grameen Bank has 19 branches in the U.S. with “86,000 borrowers, all women*, who receive business startup loans averaging around $1,000. As of 2017, the loans disbursed…total over $600 million, and the repayment rate is over 99%.”

Yunus believes our emphasis on GDP is inaccurate and incomplete. We are not taking account the “Whole Person” in our economy. Our focus is on the selfish and our system is based on rewarding the selfish. So what do we get? Corruption, inflation and more and more people in poverty.

This man’s work is proof that it only takes one person to make an enormous difference globally. The secret? See a need, work to fulfill that need to help others and do not focus on fame or wealth. (Never mind that Yunus has a net worth of $10million and he won the Nobel Peace Prize!)

 

*You might wonder why Yunus is loaning money to women: He wanted to help the poorest of the poor.

 

Want to be a Millionaire?

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W is for Wealth and Wisdom*

What I know through years of experience:

 

 

*Part of my alphabiography project

 

 

Wishes

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When I was very young (maybe five years old),  my mother made rings out of dandelions. She’d pluck the weed and create a knot with the stem and, smiling, put the ring on my finger. I felt special and lucky. Within hours, the dandelion wilted, the yellow flowers tinged with brown. It was my first lesson of impermanence.

We were poor and a part of me knew it, but mostly, I was blissfully ignorant. I reveled in the smell of burning wood in the Iowa autumn. I loved the dandelion rings my mother made and I loved watching “The Muppets” on TV. All of this was (relatively) free. I thought everyone had a father who came home exhausted and discouraged. I thought everyone shared one bathroom in their family. I thought everyone fought over money.

I’m a lot older now and I have learned this: wishing for “stuff” always leads to disappointment. Nothing you can buy will deliver anywhere near the satisfaction of smelling burning wood on a Midwest autumn evening, or watching the “Muppets” on a chilly Halloween night or wearing a dandelion ring your mother makes just for you.

Nothing.