Steaks & Stocks
Tonight I had dinner with a lady friend of mine whom I have loads of respect for at a bar where I used to work (she secured me that job when I really needed it too, that's the kind of friend she is!). That job and that friendship saw me through a very tough time. She is a mentor of sorts to me. Tonight we spent hours chatting and made up for some lost time. She just had a baby recently and we hadn't seen one another in months.
I find I'm in this wonderful period in my life where I am generating a spin (for the good) in multiple areas. However, like most (driven) people who get a taste of success--I want more. I want more peace and wellness, more wealth, more... Well, I spent some of tonight learning about the stock market, cash IRAs vs. roth IRAs, 5-29s, financial schtuff. (No details, to protect the privacy of the conversation.) Importante! This stuff was sprinkled in between the girly chit-chat, the family info, the political theorizing, but it was there and my ears were burning to hear more.
Currently, I'm saving and even if it's just $5.00 here and $25.00 there...I'm putting it away. Right now I have a ceramic jar housing a little chunk of change that will be taken to the bank when it exceeds a certain amount and I will trade in that chunk of change for a secured credit card (to build my credit) and open up a cash IRA and start saving for a rainy day...or better yet...a very sunny retirement.Here's some knowledge I wish to impart on those of you who don't know this stuff (or don't care yet) so you don't have to learn the hard way like I did. Mostly this is directed towards women, but men can use the reminder too. And I will be the first to admit I'm a total newbie to this whole realm. So feel free to comment and impart greater wisdom.
Ladies: Never count on a man to "take care of you". I don't care if he's a flippin' millionaire. Have your own dough. That's not to be said that a pregnant wife/mother shouldn't have the option of taking time to devote to that period of her life. She should. If I ever have another child I want to be comfortable enough to have the option not to work until that child is preschool age. If you're smart (and I wasn't once, but am now) don't liquidate all your assets. Also, make sure that if there's property it's in BOTH your names. I don't care how lovey-dovey you are right now with Mr. Right. Have your name on the title alongside his (of any property you buy with joint money) and keep a separate account at all times with enough money to live on for 6 months (at least) at all times. Just in case. Of death, of divorce, of something...and then if you're 90 and still married--you could always use it for a cruise, right? Or, give your children a lovely inheritance they hadn't expected. Be like a Boyscout and always be prepared. After all, you wouldn't go hiking in bear country without the knowledge that there was a small chance you could be ripped into pieces and devoured by a grizzly. Marriage can be like that. One day, you're walking along...trusting blindly that all the bears are vegetarian, smelling the roses...the next second...your innards are being dissected in front of you. That's what Divorce feels like, even if you choose it. It's less gruesome if you know you have enough money to (at least) rent an apartment.
Men: Many women still expect to be taken care of in this day and age. Watch out for ladies looking for sugar daddies. However, on the other hand, please don't expect us to mother you in the financial department either. We lose respect for you when you're not willing to work as hard as we do and take some initiative. And vice versa. Also know, many people are brought up to believe a spouse is an answer to all "those problems". It's an old mindset that as a society we haven't moved completely away from. Co-dependency crosses the gender divide. However, and (in my personal experience) men expect women to clean up after them, keep a tidy house AND tend the children AND work outside the home AND be gorgeous all the time (no wrinkles & perky tits). This is ON TOP of pushing a human being out of our own human bodies, sometimes more than once. Give us a break! I don't expect a man to do it all, just to do his SHARE. Be the kind of person you want to date.
Take care of your credit. That means you have to nurture it, grow it. Use the credit cards and pay them off MONTHLY. Don't just pay them all off and get rid off them all. (I did that--and it's bad.) That actually makes your credit score DROP! I know, huh? What. The. Frack? Yeah, if you pay all your credit cards off and close them down--your score will drop. You have to feed the machine monthly and pay it off monthly. Consider it like having a pet. If you don't feed (spend) and water it (pay the bill) and take it for walks (monitor) it dies. If your score is dead or dying, it will bite you in the ass.
So...if you already knew these things...well, good for you. If you didn't or needed the reminder: DO IT NOW.
I don't consider myself a gal with a phenomenal business-head...however...I can learn. I am learning and I WANT IT. So...just like the website...I'm doing it myself. (While picking the brains' of others.)
Don't be a starving artist. Choose to Thrive.
Ironic that I had a steak tonight? God it was good. Licked my plate clean.