A Thankful and scary moment

Since this is a money blog, let’s talk money.  Let me tell you how I did NOT accrue medical bills last week. Last Thursday I was running around the house playing with my dog.  He is a cattle dog and loves the chase.  I have a laser pointer and he will chase and bark at that thing as long as you are willing to play.  We both have fun and I have yet to wear him out before I am.

My house has an open floor plan so we easily run through the living room and kitchen and around the dining room.  We had been playing for about 5 minutes when I went to run around the back of the recliners, something we always do.  I was expecting him to turn right and run along the back as usual.  Well, that didn’t happen.  He turned left, in front of me as I was running and took my legs out from under me.  While my legs stopped, my arms instinctively went down to push him out of the way so I didn’t hurt him.  With my arms, down and unable to cushion my fall, I hit the edge of my kitchen island with full force across my chest. Thank goodness for some padding there 😊.   The sudden stop of my chest made my spine bend backwards, giving me a sharp pain in my back.

I fell to the ground and was instantly crying.  It took a minute to get my composure together.  Then I did the usual, don’t move until you assess the damage thing.  My back,chest and sternum hurt but didn’t feel like anything was broken.

Feeling Thankful

After a few minutes of lying there on the kitchen floor I was finally able to stop crying.  I knew I was going to hurt for awhile after this mishap and confident nothing was broken. Then I had a very startling thought.  If I had tripped just one step earlier, it would have been my face and head hitting that counter.  Full force hit in the face! Thinking about it even now as I write this has me a bit uneasy.

I may be sore and bruised with impressive colors but I feel lucky.  This could have been SO much worse.  For many years I worked in the Radiology field and I have seen how quickly a life can change or end.  Never once did I have a patient on my x-ray table saying they wished they had worked more or had more money.  No, those patients talked about regrets of missed time with friends and loved ones.

This incident has been another reminder for me to stay present in my life.  Remember, in your quest to work and side hustle your way to an early retirement, don’t let it be at the expense of all your hours today.  Nobody knows when their last hour may be.

And this is how I did not accrue any medical bills last week.

Thanks for reading and enjoy today

Lynda

Why we only pay for half of our son’s college tuition

College tuition

In my Net worth post, I promised to write about why we chose to pay only half of our First son’s (FS) college tuition.  At the time we were preparing for FS to start college, our focus was how to pay for it all.  It was a very stressful time.  It seemed we had 2 options, you paid for it or the student acquired loans.  One day my hubby comes to me with this article he just read. The author wrote that he could afford it but chose to pay only half his child’s college tuition. Some of his reasons were different than ours but the article really resonated with us.

Hubby and I both have college degrees and education is very important to us. Out of high school, I went into a 2-year healthcare program.  Then about 12 years later I went back to school and completed a Bachelor’s degree.  Hubby has 2 Bachelor degrees and then about 10 years later completed a Master’s degree.  We paid for almost all our own education and it took us several years to pay it off.

Our reasons

The 2 reasons we decided to pay only half of our son’s college tuition are:

  1. Retirement
  2. Motivation for son

At the time FS started college, 5 years ago, we were trying to increase the percentages we contributed to our retirement accounts. Early in our careers we could only contribute the minimum to get the employer matches.  We needed to pay ourselves first as they say. After all, you can get loans for college but not for retirement.

For motivation, what better way to make him take classes more seriously than having some skin in the game.  Retaking a class has much bigger meaning to him.  FS is finishing his BS and has started graduate school.  He understands our decision and looking back, has acknowledged he probably would not have taken school as seriously or even finished if we had paid for it all.  Knowing he has the student loans drives him to complete his degree, to get something out of it.

The bad part of this decision is that FS could only get unsubsidized loans.  By the time he filled out his first FAFSA we were making to much money for him to qualify for the subsidized loans.  As with any college kid with loans, he complains about them often.  I tell him he is building character 😊.  Kidding aside, the loans do not cover his full amount each semester so he has to come up with the remainder.  He always does and even pays on his loans, to cover the interest that is accruing.

Proud mom

I am very proudof FS.  He has lived on his own since he started college and works a part time job plus his graduate research job.  Still has a heavy class load this semester as he finishes up his Bachelors.

FS is also very thrifty and finds it a fun challenge.  He knows where all the activities that have free food are on campus and at the beginning of each year makes the rounds at the vendors for free t-shirts.  Now If they would only give out jeans he would be set.

I hope this post gives parents another option to consider.  Paying half of his tuition is what works best for our family.

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day,

 

Lynda

Why am I so nervous about selling my dividend stock?!

First time selling

When I started my dividend account back in 2013, it was with the idea to hold my stocks long term.  Being inexperienced, I thought I will never need to sell. Well, for the first time, I will be selling one of my dividend stocks. Earlier this year, EEP – Enbridge Energy Partners, cut their payout from $.58 to .35 and I see this as a warning sign.    My belief is that a company cuts dividends when its hurting for money and/or growth has slowed significantly.

With my mind made up to sell, I am still wrestling with when to sell.  The ex- dividend date was Nov. 6th so I know I can sell and receive this quarter’s dividend payout. I think stock prices are usually highest right before the ex- dividend date so should I wait?  Anyone else as nervous the first time they sold stocks?

I do my best to find good quality dividend stocks with consistent payouts.  My  “strategy” is a work in progress and I welcome feedback as I try to soak up more knowledge.

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day,

Lynda

 

Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert, these are only my opinions.