Sunday, August 07, 2011

Start Them Young

A Little Kid Biking To Home After Surfing
While walking to our car after boogie boarding, I came across this kid who was beaming with happiness as he was riding his bike, with a backpack and a surfboard! I hurriedly took my cellphone to take a picture of this awesome moment, little kid enjoying the simple pleasures in life out of the doors. Why nature and outdoors are more therapeutic to me than shopping is because my memories of happy childhood were spent out of the doors, whether playing baseball with my cousins and other kids in the neighborhood, or swimming in the river or in the ocean, or playing hide and seek in the bushes, or running in the rain. I could not remember a time my mother showed me her indulgence to shop for herself and show off her new clothes, new bags and new shoes to her friends which is sadly the trend I see now in Facebook of younger parents, or a pity, even older and supposed to be already matured parents! The child looks up to us as their model, and early on, if they have no responsible models, I am afraid they will end up not knowing also the priorities in life but shopping irresponsibly and focus so much on looks and popularity rather than character. 
A Happy Dolphin for a Happy Child
When I was younger, eating out for us meant going to the river for a day of swimming and fishing, or going to the beach for a day of fun, or going to the mountains for a day of simply enjoying the mountain scenery. My father would always tell us that their priority is to send all of us to school so we can provide for ourselves when we are older. Dining out in restaurants was expensive for them and beyond their budget. When I was in elementary, I won in the regional spelling contest, and I got prize money! I was interviewed in the radio if what would I do with the money, and my response was, "I will ask my mother for advise how do I spend this." When I got home, I asked my mother what do I do with the money, and she told me we will go to the bank the next day. The next day, I opened my first savings account! My mother then explained to me that my money will grow slowly by earning interest. Then, she asked me, if I wanted to buy something from my prize money. Maybe, because early on, I was Math minded and enjoyed calculating, instead of thinking new things to buy, I was enjoying the thought of my money earning interest through the years. I shook my head. Funny, every month, I would ask my mother that we would go the bank so I can deposit some money left from my allowance and I wanted to see how much interest my money had earned, those were one of my real time Math problems. Those were my childhood joys, playing in the field, running outdoors, swimming, and seeing my savings account grow. In college when I got more allowance from the scholarship, though I admit I would buy new shoes that would match my new  blouses and skirts, but it was always after a careful partitioning of my allowance. I always saw to it that I save at least 20% of my allowance. Now that I am older, these childhood joys remained, my love for nature and outdoors, and for saving for the future! I do believe in enjoying life and making the most out of what we have now, but at the same time, I do believe in responsible spending and saving, of striking a balance between luxury and necessity. And for me, saving for our future and the rainy days is one of life's necessities. Like when I was a child, I find joy checking my bank. These days, I find joy in checking how much my bank and IRA Accounts  have grown. I do read a lot of updates on market growths, and update myself on Stock Trading, Mobile Trading and Stock Trading to keep myself current with today's financial trends. Though I consider myself more on the conservative side of trading, but there are some funds I feel safe trading because I know I will not be withdrawing them in 20+ years. This so far has helped me earn more than my more conservative funds! However, I do not want to put all eggs in one basket, that is why I love to diversify funds. I subscribe to financial magazines so I can learn more. What I like about online financial sites such as  Online Trading, are the tools that make it easier for me to study the market, making investment decisions a lot easier. 
If probably my mom trained me early to focus on shopping and delight on physical appearance with new clothes and new shoes, I probably would be one of those who would be saying, "life is short, you only live once, enjoy" yet at the very deep core of their heart live in fears because they are totally drowned in DEBT! Happily, that is not what I grew up with, my mom and dad would always tell us, "life is short, you only live once, ENJOY on priceless things that will last a lifetime!"   
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