I put another 200 dollars towards debt re-payment (I received some cash as a gift Sunday!). Less than 7 percent to go!
Have you ever stopped to evaluate your life? Not just your job or your home or your possessions, but your LIFE? What is precious to you? Your automobile, your furniture, your paycheck, your retirement account? What really, really matters to you? Well, if you started listing what was important to you, you’d probably soon find that the real question is not “what” buy “who”. Who is precious to you? Your spouse, your children, your grand-children? Perhaps a friend, or another relative? Maybe a person in your church or synagogue? Well, no matter “who” it is, you need to tell them how much you care about them. You need to find them, and put your arms around them, and remind them of just how special they are. You need to do this today.
Why all this kind of talk? Well, my mom is going to turn 50 at the end of December and my sister and I are going to throw her a surprise birthday party. And guess what…If it were not for my mom’s party, I would already be debt free. See, I have been saving for this party since I started this journey, and I refused to dip into those funds, even when I missed my first deadline. I have never mentioned this side account, because it is so special. It is so important. See, my mom and I had a very difficult relationship for the first 19 years of my life. We fought, fought, and fought some more. In fact, there were times in my life where I am sure that we both wished that the other would just go away, and never return. We said things to each other that I am ashamed even to think about today. But guess what? When I was 19, I became a Christian, and God radically changed me and my relationship with my mom. Now, I know that some of you may not understand this… But I have waited almost 12 years to do something to show my mom how much I love her. See, as much as I would love to be debt free, I love my mom even more. God restored our relationship, and we talk on the phone 2 or 3 times a day. She is not just my mom, she is my champion and my friend. My dad and I have always been close, and they have always been close to each other, but there was this “thing” between my mom and I, were we never “clicked”. God changed all of that. There are those who doubt his ability, and say that he doesn’t do miracles anymore. Well, I am about to throw my mom a birthday party, and I am going to do it up big-time, and I am more excited about this party than anything I have done in a long, long time. So, remember. Finances are important…But people are more important. Go tell the people in your life that you love them. Make peace with your enemies. Know Christ, love Him, and accept His grace. You will find joy and hope. Merry Christmas…
Okay, here are some things that I THINK are important, but I am just not sure WHY…
P/E Ratios… Hmmm… I hear this all the time, but I really have no clue as to what this is, or why it is important.
Mutual Fund Load… I know this is the price you pay in up front fees for a mutual fund, but you also pay fees with a no-load fund, just not up front.
Discount Rate… I have no idea what this is, who gets it, or if it has anything to do with getting a bargain.
Bonds… I have no clue as to how a bonds value moves. I know that it is inverse to the interest rate, or something like that, but I don’t know what that means. I think my life span grows inversely to the amount of knowledge I have about bonds.
Calls, puts, shorts, margin… I can kinda figure these things out, but then I just get them all mixed up in my head.
Cash Flow… Okay, I am pretty sure that this has something to do with liquidity, but I don’t know why they don’t just say…”hey, I’ve got 100 dollars to spend on what I want or need..”
APR vs. APY… I am guessing that one is the stated annual percentage rate, and that the other is the actual annual percentage yield… but why these numbers are different is kinda hard for me to see… I THINK that APY treats the info as if your interest were compounded annually… but I could be completely wrong.
200 Day Moving Average.. Hmmm…I think that this is the average price of a stock over the last 200 days, with some goofy formula that gives more “weight” to the most recent price, or something like that. But I don’t know why you use 200 days, as opposed to 100 days, or 1000 days. Maybe you do.
Guidance… There was this weird guy at my high school, and if you had problems at home, you could go to him for guidance counseling… but I don’t think he had anything to do with THIS guidance… I have no idea what this term means…
LIPOR… No clue. I think that this is a cousin to the LIGER, a magestic and magical beast.
Well, you get the idea. There are tons and tons of financial terms that I don’t know anything about. These are just a few. But, you know what? I DO know enough to do the following.
Get out of debt. Save cash for emergencies and future big purchases. Put 15 percent of my income in good growth stock mutual funds. Budget my money. Find smart people and take good advice.
I got some great news today. I received a 10 percent raise for 2006! Yay! I am still going to use this year’s budget, because all of my bills and other payments are covered, and use the extra money for retirement savings. It is strange, because I was not expecting anywhere near this amount. I thought I might get a 2 percent cost of living, but I got 10 percent instead. Cool beans…
First order of business? Satellite radio gets turned back on…