26 October 2014

$$ Money $$

This is an old post I started writing a long time ago.  I found it and thought I'd publish it . . .

I've been thinking a lot about money lately.  I've had several conversations at work and with family members about finances.  It's tax season.  James just got accepted into a Masters of Nursing program at the U and I'm not sure how the finances of that will pan out.  James and I are far from perfect and we (I) tend to splurge too much at the dollar bins at Target and on french fries, but I think we do pretty well for ourselves and are able to live comfortably.

Here are Haley's "Top 10 Financial Pieces of Wisdom:"

10.  Spend less than you earn.

9.  Don't be afraid to take on extra work for extra pay.

8.  Debt is bad.  Use it for houses and maybe for cars.  Otherwise, try to save up and pay cash.

7.  Buy things you need.

6.  Buy things you WANT, but only if you have planned well for it and made sure that it is not detrimental to your needs.

5.  By used books, movies, etc.  Use groupons and coupons.  Buy generic brands.  Buy some of your kid's clothes on sale and off season.  (We buy movies and books from Amazon used and we've bought a stack of children's books from the D.I. on more than one occasion.  I have a stack of clothes for each of my kids to grow into.  They are mostly from the sale racks at Target and Kohls or from super sales online at the Children's Place.)

4.  Do your homework.  If it is an expensive item or a vacation, spend hours, days, or even months scoping it out before you buy it.

3.  Get a good enough education/training to find a job that will support you and your family.  Don't take out a loan for your education either.  Work to make it work.

2. Put money into your savings as if you are paying a bill.  I have money from my check automatically deposited into savings each month.  You won't miss it if it becomes automatic and your savings will grow.

1.  Always pay your tithing first and things will work out in the end.

That's it!
$$$$$$$$$$  $$$$$$$$$$$  $$$$$$$$$$

Book review

School is back in session.  My summer pastimes have ended.  One of them was reading while my kids played outside.  I haven't read much since then, but these are the books I read (or at least started) and never reported on.

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo

I saw the movie made about this book before I read it.  James picked it up a Redbox, I think, one day.  I liked the book.  I think Heaven is for real so to read about it from a non-LDS perspective was good reinforcement showing that Heaven is not only for real, but can be for real for all people, especially children

The book is a true story about how a small-town pastor, Todd Burpo, has a son who due to an untreated appendicitis has a near death experience in the hospital.  Over time, the little boy lets known bits and pieces of information about his experiences.  He visits Heaven, sees Christ, views his family from above, is welcomed by grandparents, and other good stuff.

I'd like to think it's all true!  It was a good read.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Since I liked "The Fault In Our Stars" so much and since it was the first fiction book I had tried to read and actually finished unless it was required, I thought I'd try some more of John Green's books.  The next one I picked up was this one.  

Honestly, I didn't like is as much as "Fault" and it kind of stressed me out a little.  I did like it, though, and I did finish it.

This story is about more high school students at a boarding school of sorts in Alabama.  Though no one has cancer in this book, each character is sort of dealing with their own issues - Miles with being bullied and unknown; the Colonel with being poor and always having to prove his toughness; and Alaska, the idol of all the characters in her book, who has quiet demons that no one ever really figures out completely.  The story takes you on the adventures of their year at the boarding school and shows how each of the characters grows and develops through their own story and with each other. 

I think I didn't like this as much as "Fault" for a couple of reasons.  I didn't relate to the characters much.  Not that I've ever had cancer, but I have definitely never been to a boarding school in the South, or smoked, or drank, or done crazy things.  They were all more crude.  I did keep reading the book, however, because as a teacher, I saw glimpses of many of my students who are dealing with so many different things.  Everyone has challenges, but it is how you deal with them that is important.

An Abundance of Katherines also by John Green   

After "Alaska," I thought I would just continue on in the John Green collection.  My sister said I would like this one.  It even has mathematical discussions in it.  I just couldn't get into it.

It's about another high school kid, Colin, who has recently broken up with a girlfriend who's name is Katherine.  He only dates girls named Katherine.  He takes his middle eastern friend on a road trip to Tennessee and they interact with a girl their who has a boyfriend named Colin.  He tries to write a mathematical equation to explain why and how his relationships with Katherines work out.  

I just couldn't do it.  I don't really know what the point was and I didn't get very far.  Maybe I'll pick it up again sometime.  

I really like John Green's style of writing.  It's quick and witty.  It's smart.  The characters are very genuine and always remind you of someone you know.