Marathoning

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. Long-distance running has been one of my main hobbies now for about six or seven years.  It serves as a useful endeavor because it helps me to stay dedicated to exercising and also to reduce my stress.  I was reminded again of the parallels between distance running and long-term financial planning when I completed my third marathon. Long Build Up For those that have never run a marathon, it takes some time to prepare.  The training plan that I follow is 17 weeks long.  It is one of the reasons I like running marathons.  By signing up for the race, I set a goal for which I need a significant lead time to prepare.  It takes time to build up your running distance to the point where you can tackle 26 miles.  Do too much too fast and you risk injury. Similarly in personal finance, you need to set goals.  Goals help focus your efforts, … Read more…

Marketers

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. Marketers have become really good at their jobs.  They have convinced people that they can no longer live without certain things, that life is not complete unless they have certain material things.  The marketers have made ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ a way of life for some people.  I have come across a couple of instances recently that illustrate this point quite well.  You’ll have to excuse me if I come across as judgmental.  I don’t begrudge anyone’s choices.  People are free to do as they wish, but I don’t want to hear any complaints when circumstances change and people feel like they don’t have any money.  The first anecdote I’ll talk about is my wife’s college roommate (I’ll call her CR) and the second is a conversation I had with someone at work. I not sure how exactly how we came to be talking about CR, as my wife’s college reunion was a couple … Read more…

The American Dream

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. The headline, as designed, caught my attention. “The American Dream is out of reach.”  It being a CNN Money article, I was curious to see what is was about.  Apparently, CNN Money had conducted a poll and about 60% of the respondents said the American dream was out of reach.  I think there are a lot of pessimistic people in this country. The American Dream The simplest I way to describe the American dream is that children generally end up in a better position financially than their parents.  I am sure that is what my parents wanted for me and it is also what I want for my children.  Now, better is of course a relative term.  My dream is certainly not for them to become the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.  That would be nice though.  No, my dream is that they are more financially secure.  My hope is that I can teach … Read more…

Feeling Guilty about Getting What You Want

Photo by Pinhed via MorgueFile

It seems that we are so trained to go with the flow and to accept whatever comes our way, that we don’t know how to react when something goes our way. Why do we feel guilty when we get what we want?

In my last post, I wrote about how I was passed over for a big promotion at work. On paper, the job seemed like something I should want. Higher pay. More responsibility. Public recognition of my talents.

But I knew in my heart that it was not really what I wanted. So I did not do the necessary things a jobseeker would do: no follow up after interview, no inquiry after months of waiting to hear.

I simply listened to my instincts and used them as my guide.

Last week I had another “setback” at work. I was asked to take a leave of absence from my state job to serve as a direct mail political campaign consultant. This is something I do every other year. It is typically a 2-4 month period of long hours with no days off.

Normally I do not hesitate to say yes to the opportunity. While it is strictly voluntary and not required, it is strongly expected that if you are asked, that you will help.

This time I had a request.

Read more…

Passed Over for a Promotion…and Happy About It

As I said when I started this site, I want to be very open, honest and transparent with you about my life and financial situation. That’s because I want you to be comfortable here, and view this as a place you can share without fear of judgment or scorn. In that spirit, I want to talk about a recent “setback” that happened to me at my day job. I put “setback” in quotes because to me, I don’t really view it as a setback. Let me elaborate. Back in August I was asked by the chief of staff of the government agency in which I work to interview for a major promotion. Without getting into details, the job would have put me in a supervisory position and responsible for approximately 200 people. I would be responsible for a budget well into the millions. I would also technically have become a public figure, open to lawsuits and also responsible for the actions of my employees. It would have come with a 50% pay raise, and I would have been making a significant amount of money. I knew the job was available, but I purposefully did not apply. I’m not sure why, … Read more…