TagHard Work

Control

Do I still wrestle with money? Absolutely!
Do I still have days where I wonder where it all went? For sure!
Do I still often think it would just be easier to buy the nice things I want and let the future sort itself out? Embarrassingly, yes.

Getting our financial house in order has taken a lot of work. And recently, when my car died and my wife’s car needed some costly repairs, it wiped out nearly every cent we had saved.

**Nine months of hard work, gone in an instant.**

It was devastating to see all of our hard saved money evaporate into a new car. Sure, it’s nice to have a new car that runs well and has air conditioning, but we weren’t planning on spending the thousands to make that a reality for a couple more years. It just goes to show, you never know what life is going to throw at you, or when. And it pays to be ready.

I have learned a lot since we paid off our credit cards, got student loans under control, made a plan to pay off medical bills and started savings a large part of our income while donating another sizable portion every month.

It’s been a long road and it’s nowhere near over.

Financial control is a journey, not a destination. There is never an end to the struggle and saving. There is never a point where the money starts replicating itself tenfold and all your worries are gone.

Keeping your finances under control is an ongoing endeavor and one I’m happy we’ve done.

There is an amount of peace and security that comes from saving for the future. I’m a calmer person knowing there is money going into savings every pay check.

I am happy to contribute to my 401k and pay Future Carl. He is going to appreciate the efforts of Present Carl one day.

I am happy to be able to pay down our debts and student loans. I am happy I know we have the money to live comfortably while making this happen.

I am happy we’re able to donate 10% of our monthly income to the church because I know it goes for good things. I don’t care where you stand on religion. I’ve been on both sides of the debate in my life.

But for now, I am happy where I am. I feel the religion I am living is mostly in line with my views. I am part of one fo the largest humanitarian aid organizations in the world since the church has a worldwide network of people and communication in place ready to act and serve when the need arises.

I didn’t think there was any way we could contribute to a 401k, put aside money in savings for ourselves and donate to the church every month.

But we do. We can. We are.

And I feel better because I know where my money is going and I know what it’s being used for. Can I afford to buy myself new gadgets, games and other toys at will? No.

But I know the difference I am making in my life as well as the life of others is well worse the sacrifice and hard work.

Occupied

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Communications.
My speciality is Creative Advertising.
I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University.
I’ve worked as…

  • Assistant Production Chief
  • Production Chief
  • Lab Monitor
  • IT Support Intern
  • Freelance Web Designer
  • Web Designer & Event Promoter
  • Electronic Printing Manager
  • Desktop Support Technician.
  • Help Desk Technician
  • Sr. Desktop Support Technician
  • Computer Analyst

My life plan didn’t really pan out the way I had expected when I enrolled in a college with a stellar Advertising and Design program.

I thought I would be a designer. I’ve worked in print and the web. I know the quick printing business from front to back. I’ve worked on the web and promoted car and bike shows.

I’ve worked at Help Desks and as Desktop Support Technicians in city, state and federal governments. I’ve worked for some of the largest corporations in the US. I’ve worked for a tiny print shop.

I’ve had a confusing and random path through my adult life. I’ve worked a lot of jobs in different industries.

Looking back, there is no cohesive plan I followed to get me to where I am. There is no master scheme at work. I didn’t sit down and decide my fate and my future when I was a teenager growing up in a two-stoplight town surrounded by cows and apple orchards.

I followed one guiding principle.

How will this help me better my situation?

This is what I don’t understand about the Occupy Wall Street protests. I’ve been in desperate places living in my parent’s house. Driving 90 miles round trip to work everyday. I’ve lived pay check to pay check. I’ve lived on unemployment when a round of budget cuts left me out in the cold.

Throughout all the hardships in my life I’ve always worked to better myself and my situation. I am a firm believer that no one is going to help you if you don’t first help yourself.

I’ve gotten some lucky breaks. But to be in the position to get those breaks I had to work hard. Nothing in my life has come easy and has been the result of hard work. Even when I worked as hard as I could, I still lost out. I’ve been the number three-man for two open positions. I’ve had a job taken away that I was a lock for because the hiring manager owed someone else a favor.

This is where my disconnect comes in the Occupy Wall Street protests. What is hoped to be gained there?

Is getting up in the morning and standing on a street corner with other angry, frustrated and uncertain men and woman the best thing to better your situation?

While they’re out protesting, why aren’t you applying to jobs? Why are you not teaching yourself a new skill?

Will protesting Wall Street put food on your table and commas in your bank account?

Will protesting the corporate CEOs finance your lunch?

I can understand the anger. I can understand the hurt and deception. I understand the injustice. I understand that it’s wrong.

But how are you going to better your situation?