Just so you know, I'm not a Certified Financial Planner, but I play one on the internet which counts for something (no- it does not, you should run now). Despite the fact that I am not a financial planner, I have lost much more money in "investments" than almost anyone I know, so I figure I have a few gems of wisdom to share with the internet.
My goal in sharing this post is to inspire you to learn about investing because you probably shouldn't have to lose $60K to learn the lessons that I did.
Are you the type of person who watches Food Network? I am. I love Food Network, and I love cooking and I LOVE eating.
One of my favorite conversations is to ask people about their last meal. Mine changes all the time, but right now it would be a Thai Feast with bowls and bowl of Pho, little slices of lime, Thai Basil, cilantro, Sriracha. We would have shrimp spring rolls, and beef and chicken too, and Bahn Mi, and for desert decadent chocolate cake, and ice cream or maybe just bars and coffee (those would be German not Thai). I would fly in all the people that I love to gather around the table, and we would laugh and tell stories and thank God for our life together.
Its morbid to think about your last meal, but I still love to do it. I would eat a lot of food on my last meal on Earth. An uncomfortable amount I think. A lot of desert too, because I love desert. The meal would last hours and hours, and would be served banquet style in my house. I would want it catered by Quang's (Minneapolis based restaurant that is about $7 per plate).
The thing is, any meal on this Earth might be my last, but I don't stuff myself with Thai food during every single meal. I sometimes manage to show a little restraint, and I eat quite healthfully. And sometimes I manage to keep myself from baking a desert (although once its in the house, restraint isn't my forte).
Why do I eat this way? Because even though I only live once, I still have tomorrow to think about. My vanity, my hope for longevity, and my desire to sleep soundly keep me from excessively overeating most days. I don't want to be the type of person who regularly overeats.
Its the same reason my husband limits his drinking, and my mom does Sudoku every day, and my older sister wears a FitBit. We make decisions today, with tomorrow in mind. We care about the choices we have tomorrow, and about the type of people we become. #Adulting.
In college, I went all out for Halloween. Okay, well not all out, but one time I went as a juice box which was insane. A different year I went as Juno which was freaking hilarious. Pictures? Okay, if you insist.
I loved Halloween in college because you could replace cool costumes with clever costumes, and everybody understood. You could also replace cool costumes with sexy costumes, but when it comes to choosing between sex and humor, humor wins every time. (Can all the guys with 'Dad Bods' give me an Amen?).
Clever costumes are also fair game for parties with the post college set until you have kids. Then you need to start dressing your kids up, and somehow everyone thinks kids need to wear Superhero and Princess costumes. Not so, kids can wear clever costumes too!
Still if you're anything like me, you're having trouble reconciling Halloween past with Halloween present. I like to think the dissonance is due to my cleverness, but really the problem is that I am both cheap and lazy. I want to take my son trick or treating, but I do not want to purchase a Spiderman costume or much of anything, so I've come up with this Halloween Guide for cheap and lazy parents. I'm sure this will help all of you.
My husband and I merged cars before we merged finances. A few months out from our wedding, I asked Rob where I would park when I moved in. I had a guest pass, but the previous two winters of Minneapolis street parking hadn't done my car any favors, and I was hoping to snag the indoor spot.
"Well, uh, I love you, but you never drive your car. I mean, when was the last time you filled up? Three or four months ago? Maybe, you can park in the outdoor lot."
"But my hands get so cold," I replied accompanied by pleading eyes that I've never perfected, and even a smitten fiance can resist.
"We'll talk about it later," Rob responded.
Thankfully, my husband's car was totaled a few weeks later, and we never had to discuss the parking situation. In fact, we merged cars that day and never looked back.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.