Sorry I missed posting this blog yesterday. Its been a busy and stressful week for me, but I am back at it now.
The saying “pay now and play later” really starts to make sense:
Growing up as a young child my dad used to put a weekly quote prominently on the large mirror by the hallway. My dad loves quotes. He enjoys reading motivational quotes and sharing them with others. Every week I would wake up to a new quote for the 10 years we lived in that home. Some of them moved me, some of them I did not understand at my age, but there is one that always stuck with me.
“Pay now and play later”. This is what I have come to realize in my 30 years of life. Everyone has a choice in life, they can either ‘pay now and play later’ OR ‘play now and pay later’, but at some point, we all “pay”. The word “pay” does not necessarily mean to pay with money (although it can be), but rather that you may have to pay in other ways like lost time, opportunity, advantage etc.
Even though I obtained two degrees (an undergrad and an MBA) with my $64,000 student loan debt, some of that money I definitely used to ‘play now’ as I was also working part time while receiving these loans. After graduation, I had to pay and pay in a big way. Both my husband and I sacrificed a lot to get rid of our $120k debt as quickly as we did (2.5 years). This experience alone has made me truly understand the meaning of that quote. If I was more responsible with my money back then, I would not have had to sacrifice as much once I graduated.
Spend as much time with the people you love:
It’s important not to take your family and friends for granted and spend as much time with them as possible. I am hoping to visit my parents back in Africa for 5 weeks in the month of December this year to see them and catch up on lost times. It will be 3 years since I saw them last.
Since this is a personal finance blog I wanted to add that being out of debt has afforded me the ability to consider taking 3 weeks off out of the 5 weeks as unpaid time off. This is the only way I would be able to stay that long and make it worth the cost to travel there (approximately $2,000/person round trip and maybe an additional $1,000 for spending money between me and my husband while we are there).
Do what you love and people will notice:
Warren Buffet, a billionaire investor says that he hops to work everyday. That is how much he loves what he does. You can tell by how he talks about investing, how he raises his children in terms of earning money and entrepreneurship. He eats, lives and breaths investing in companies.
That is how I want to live. I want to hop to work everyday. I can’t say I am quite there wait, but I enjoy the work I do and this blog also provides me with the creative outlet and the ability to help others. If you don’t enjoy what it is you do, start working towards finding ways to make money by doing what you love. Life is too short not to.
Its okay not to have it all figured out:
Whether you take the straight path or the scenic route, the important thing is that you get to your final destination. I don’t mean death…lol. I mean, finding what it is you love and living to your full potential. Most of us don’t know what it is we want to be when we grow up, and quite frankly I am still trying to figure that out at 30. But I can tell you that I am closer to knowing what that is at 30, than I did at 20 or even 25 years old…and that’s what matters to me.
So if you feel like you don’t know what you want to do with your life, and where you want work, I recommend taking an inventory of what you feel you are good at. If you are not sure what that is, ask your family and closest friends or think back to the compliments you have gotten from them for doing something well. Are you a good writer? Are you a patient person? Do you have an analytical mind and are good with numbers? Are you good at building relationships, negotiating, schmoozing with people? etc. All these can lead to fulfilling careers if you allow them too. If it sounds like I have it all figured out…I don’t, but I make it my life’s mission to get closer to that answer each day I am on this earth.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst:
I am naturally a skeptical person and also value security so this comes naturally to me. I think its very important to plan for the worst, but be optimistic about the future at the same time. It’s a fine balance I am learning and its difficult to plan for all the possible negative outcomes. Sometimes you just have to live life and see where it takes you. I am learning more from my husband (which is more of the free spirit) on how to throw some caution to the wind while still planning for the worst. It’s a work in progress for me for sure but having someone which is the opposite of me (we are both planners but he just likes to take more risk than I do) helps.