Still Shaken Up…

Still Shaken Up…

It was just like any other night.

I was driving home from The Fiance’s house after the Warrior’s game last Thursday. It was pretty late, around 10:30 pm. We don’t live too far from each other, the drive is only about 10 minutes. I’ve driven this way probably 3-4 times a week at least. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

As I was driving through an intersection, I saw a car coming towards me from my left side incredibly fast. I stomped on the brakes as hard as I could and as the car passed me, I could feel the air from their momentum rock my own car. You can say it was a pretty close call.

I sat there in the middle of the intersection completely frozen. I looked up to make sure and yes – I did have a green light. It was my right of way.

I was shaken up to say the least

Thankfully, I wasn’t hit. But it was pretty damn close.

As I continued my drive home, a million thoughts ran through my head.

still shaken up

I did everything right…

As I was frozen shortly after, I made sure to look up and ensure that I really did have a green light. I did! I proceeded to double check everything else. It was pretty dark outside. Were my lights on? Yes. Did I signal? No, I wasn’t even turning, no need to signal. Was I speeding, too? No, I clearly remember checking my speed right before crossing that intersection.

But I guess that doesn’t matter…

This was the scariest thought for me, to be honest. You can do everything right and things can still turn out the way you don’t want them to. You can be a great driver – following the speed limit, going ahead when the light is green, signalling when needed. But when someone on the road is not being a great driver, it doesn’t really matter.

Then I started thinking that this can apply to other things as well. You can do all the right things when it comes to your career, your finances, your health. But someone else, or even just life in general, decides to ruin things.

Didn’t that driver see that s/he had a red light?

At first, my thoughts about the other driver were not kind to say the least. The words “idiot” and “moron” were used heavily in the minutes following the scare. I mean, a bright red light is pretty damn difficult to miss!

I’ve come to the conclusion that the other driver was either distracted or was incredibly bored. The thought came up that maybe there was a pregnant lady in the car that was giving birth right that second – but still! I understand the urgency but I do think that the driver should still be careful when there are others in the car.

Either way, I’m speculating. It doesn’t matter. No one’s perfect and I need to stop focusing on that other person. It’s not productive.

What if I really got hit?

Ultimately, I don’t know. I don’t know how bad it would have been, physically and monetarily. I immediately thought to what I have set up. I have an emergency fund that could help cover some costs. I also have some great health insurance offered by my employer.

Then I thought about everyone else. I don’t have kids yet and I’m not married yet, either. But I am in charge of all the house bills, making sure they get paid on time and all that. What would my mom, auntie, and brother do if something happened to me? I would imagine it would be incredibly stressful to deal with me being in the hospital on top of trying to figure out the house bills.

With that being said, I’m thinking of writing up a list of all of my/our bills along with due dates and amounts. I recently read this post about creating an emergency list for your family from Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents, before the incident. After the incident, the post came to mind all over again. I really need to set this up for my family.

Thank God I wasn’t hit

Most importantly, I’m grateful. I’m thankful that this didn’t turn out wrongly. I truly believe God allows certain things to happen to you to wake us up and reflect on our current life. Are we doing everything right? Are we on the right path? Have we lived the way we wanted to?

I’m still shaken up. But now I’m more motivated to actually do something. I’ve been complacent lately and I’ve chosen perfect inaction over imperfect action. I’m going to work on getting my sh*t together and after that, I’ll be working a lot more on my happiness and life in general.

Sorry this was kind of scattered. Just felt like sharing.

AMDG,
Lisa

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Humility

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Humility

This is another addition to the “What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About…” series that accidentally came to be these past few weeks. Read the last one here. As always, if you’re not a fan of basketball, don’t worry! This series proves just how relatable this team is to you and your life.

Tonight is Game 4 in the NBA Finals and our beloved Warriors are trailing the series 2-1. Lebron and his Cavaliers have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in this series.

The Warriors are resilient, though. Although it seems a little bleak right now, we have our eyes on our goal. We made it this far for a reason!

Golden State Warriors and Humility

The Golden State Warriors Are True Examples of Humility

As I was reflecting on why the Warriors are so successful this season, I can’t help but think about their humility. Our fan base sees the players’ humility in every single game and even in every single off-season decision.

Humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness

 Sign of Humility #1 – Accepting Roster Changes

Towards the beginning of the season, the decision was made to have David Lee and Andre Iguodala come off the bench – meaning they were no longer part of the starting 5 players on the court. This might not mean much to people, but these two were NBA All Stars and to have their starting position taken away must have taken a blow to their pride.

But these two have proven that they’ve taken this decision with grace and acceptance, allowing themselves to grow more in their roles on the bench as well as on the court. They have accepted their new roles and have absolutely no complaints. Iguodala has said in numerous interviews that he was willing to take this new role. Lee even posted the following on Instagram:

Minutes, points, and recognition are pointless when compared to team accomplishment.

What This Means for You – Know When to Step Back

The decision to move Iguodala to the bench didn’t only affect him – it also meant that Harrison Barnes would get to start. Sometimes, you’ve got to know and accept when it’s time for you to step back. Letting others do their thing instead of thinking you can do it all is a sign of humility and it really helps with the overall chemistry of whatever group you’re in.

Sign of Humility #2 – Steph Curry’s MVP Speech

This year, Steph Curry, our star point guard, was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player this year. Every year’s MVP gets to do a whole thank you speech. During Curry’s MVP speech, he didn’t talk about himself too much. Instead, he took the time to thank everyone on the team individually, his family, heck – even the equipment manager and head of security! He made sure everyone got their moment and recognition even though this moment was supposed to be about him and his accomplishments.

Although Curry does recognize his own hard work, he can’t help but recognize that there are many people that helped him along the way.

What This Means for You – Acknowledge All Those Who Have Helped You

In times of immense success, it’s easy to soak in all the compliments and praise. But I challenge you to actually take this time to acknowledge and thank those who have helped you get to where you are. As much as we’d like to think we are Superman/woman, rarely does one person get to where they need to be all by themselves. Don’t forget to thank those who have helped you grow.

Sign of Humility #3 – Warriors’ Owners and Executives

It’s not just the team. Two weeks ago, when we won the Western Conference Championship, our coach Steve Kerr, Warriors owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, and Warriors GM Bob Meyers literally stepped out of the spotlight during the trophy ceremony so that it could be all about the team. As the players lifted their trophy up high, the executives beamed with pride from the side, allowing the players to relish in their moment.

Meanwhile… In Cleveland…

Golden State Warriors and Humility

What This Means for You – Know Where Credit is Due

Have you ever been praised for something, maybe at work, when you really didn’t do anything? It can be easy to just accept it and move on, but for those who actually did the work, that can be devastating. Instead, know where credit is due. Let your teammates shine when they’ve earned it and make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

In my opinion, humility is the reason why the Warriors have been so successful this season. Not only do they play selflessly on the court, their actions off the court have proven that they really, truly are humble people.

When we can let go of our own personal, individual success and start to focus on our team’s overall success – whether it be our families, our work teams, our circle of friends – we all win.

How do you work on humility? Do you think humility is important?

AMDG,
Lisa

I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

You can probably tell from the title what this post is going to be about.

Yes – last week, I made the decision to stop saving for retirement.

Stop Saving for Retirement

For me, this means I’ve stopped contributing 3% of my salary to my 401k, which in turn means I’m also forfeiting that free money that my company matches. On top of that, I’ve completely stopped my maximum contributions to my Roth IRA.

I didn’t just do this on a whim. I’ve been thinking about this decision to stop saving for retirement for a while. The main reason being that I have a wedding to save up for.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve also stopped saving for my wedding. (Am I just allergic to saving??? Maybe. But that’s a post for another day.) Instead, I’m attacking my credit card debt with full force because I do not want to bring my credit card debt into my marriage.

The Decision to Stop Saving for Retirement

Like I said, the decision to stop saving for retirement wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and actually only brought it up to The Fiance about two weeks ago.

He actually told me that he already made the decision to stop saving for retirement a few months ago for this wedding and our debt! Man, I wish I had told him sooner. Just another lesson on why we should always be honest and transparent with money.

Knowing that The Fiance has also made the decision to stop saving for retirement assured me that i wasn’t alone, but I still had a lot to think about.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Cliche – I know – but weighing the pros and cons of any financial decision is never a bad idea.

Cons – Why I Should Not Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I’m giving up free money. My employer matches 100% of my 401k contributions up to 3% of my salary. Who would say no to free money???

2) I’m missing out on the benefits of compound interest. Compound interest is something I haven’t really gone in depth on the blog, so I’ll save that for another day. But basically, by not contributing money now, I’m giving up the time factor, which is the most important factor, of compounding.

Pros – Why I Should Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I throw a lot of money into my retirement – 3% of my salary to my 401k plus about another 8% of my salary to my Roth IRA. This is no small chunk of change. With that being said, this amount of money can do a lot of damage to my credit card debt!

2) My wedding is coming up. The Fiance and I always get compliments, saying that we’re ahead of the wedding planning game. But my own personal goal before the wedding is to step into this marriage with no credit card debt. The money I would normally stash into my retirement accounts can really help me reach this goal a lot sooner, meaning I can start saving for my wedding sooner!

3) I’m currently satisfied with my retirement account balances. Right now, I have a little over $32,000 in retirement. I think that balance looks great for a 26 year old! Of course, there can be more (I don’t max my 401k), but I think I’m doing great for my age.

4) This is only temporary. I’m not done saving for retirement. I’m just pausing it for the next several months. Right after my credit card debt is gone, which hopefully will be in 3 months or so, I will probably start contributing to my 401k again.

The Game Plan

Stop Saving for Retirement

Obviously, this is step number 1. I’ve stopped my automatic withdrawals into my Roth IRA and I’ve inquired to my company’s HR department about pausing my 401k contributions, as well.

Throw Money at Credit Card Debt

Again, this is the goal as of right now. I refuse to bring my credit card debt to my marriage and the wedding date is only getting closer.

Restart 401k Contributions

After the credit card debt is gone, I’ll be starting up my 401k contributions again. The main reason being I already miss the free money from my employer!

Throw Money at Wedding Savings

Once my credit card debt is gone and my 401k contributions are back in place, my extra money will be thrown toward this wedding. Just as I personally refuse to bring my credit card debt into my marriage, The Fiance and I absolutely refuse to go into debt for our wedding. This is the Big Goal of the rest of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

Don’t worry y’all. I have a plan! It’s going to suck for now, but it’s temporary, I promise!

What do you think? Am I making a mistake? Did you stop saving for retirement so you can throw it at your debt or your wedding?

AMDG,
Lisa

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Personal Growth

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Personal Growth

Yes, another basketball related post. But hang in there! I swear I’ll make it relatable 🙂

Today is the start of the 2015 NBA Finals and my beloved Golden State Warriors  are finally playing in it! It’s been a long 40 years since the last time we’ve been to the Finals, and us Bay Area fans are absolutely stoked!

Golden State Warriors and Personal Growth

It’s obvious that I’m a Warriors fan because I’m from the Bay Area. But even if I was from somewhere else, I can’t help but look at the Warriors and really want to root for them. They’re the underdogs in the series, going up against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs.

Not only are they the underdogs, the Warriors players and even the entire organization really demonstrate a lot of qualities that are role-model worthy. One quality in particular is how the Warriors organization handled growth these past few years.

For all you Warriors fans out there, it all started with the Ellis-Bogut Trade.

The Trade

Way back in 2012, the Warriors traded Monta Ellis, at the time our star guard, to the Milwuakee Bucks for Andrew Bogut, an injured center. (There were other players involved, but this was the meat of the trade.)

Even if you don’t know much about basketball, this trade just doesn’t sound right. Why trade one of our top performing players for another player who can’t even be on the court right now because of his injuries?

The night after the trade, Joe Lacob, the owner of the Warriors, went on court to present Chris Mullin with an award and he was met with overwhelming boos from the crowd. From Warriors fans themselves!

But Lacob knew what he was doing. Turns out Monta Ellis, although a great player, just wasn’t going to take us to the playoffs with his inconsistency. And even though Andrew Bogut was injured, he would end up playing a crucial part in our team today.

Fast forward three years later. Lacob, along with the rest of the Warriors organization, has built a powerful, cohesive team around our no-longer-injured center in Andrew Bogut that has reached the furthest we’ve been in forty years.

The boos from the fans have been eliminated, the doubts are being silenced, and we are well on our way to a championship! *knocks on wood*

So, what does this have to do with you and your personal growth?

Stop Caring What Other People Think of You

People tend to think that their opinion really matters, so they’ll always have something to say about you. Whether you’re doing great or whether you’re struggling, there will be people talking smack no matter what.

Just like how the Warriors’ fans booed Lacob for the decision that he made, your critics may even be close to you. Family, friends, even acquaintances will have something to say. Be careful with what you actually listen to, though.

If people are throwing empty criticisms at you, if they are essentially “booing” you, stop listening and keep working. Doubts alone are similar to “boos” in that they are both completely empty of any constructive change or advice. It’s easy to “boo”, but it’s much harder to actually express where doubt is coming from and how to get passed it.

Silence the haters, y’all. Their voices have nothing to do with your personal growth.

Build Slowly, but Surely

For the Warriors, the trade was instant, but we didn’t see real, productive change right away. We worked through it season after season, with carefully thought out changes and adjustments.

Are you working on your finances? Make it a habit to check your bank accounts each and every day. This helps you become more mindful of where you stand with your money and will guide your purchasing decisions.

Are you working on your health? Make sure you are drinking tons of water and getting a little bit of exercise in everyday. You may not see change immediately, but when you make health a habit, that’s when the change really begins.

Whatever you are working on, whether it’s your finances or your health, you need to realize that one sudden move won’t change it all overnight. It won’t be perfect – personal growth rarely ever is. But when you make consistent actions every day toward your goal, you will get there. It will seem slow, but I assure you that day to day actions, no matter how small they are by themselves, will surely build toward your goal and it will get you there.

The Trade was a perfect example of how the Warriors gracefully dealt with difficult, yet necessary growth. The boos are long gone and the work that is being put in has been rewarded. Even if we don’t win the championship this year *knocks on wood again*, the Warriors team and organization are still great role models for how we should handle our own personal growth.

Which one do you struggle with the most – silencing empty doubts or taking consistent actions daily?

AMDG,
Lisa

May 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post contains referral links.

May 2015 Net Worth Update

May 2015 Net Worth Update

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,860 this month 🙂

Assets

Cash: $2,694 [down $2,030]

A huge decrease in cash can look like a bad thing at first. But knowing that this had a lot to do with some debt pay down makes it much better.

Short Term Savings: $1,152 [up $22]

I have a ton of little savings buckets, but this amount mainly consists of:

Emergency fund: $1,002
Personal escrow: $140

Every month, I gain a tiny bit of interest in all of my Capital One 360 savings accounts. Also, I transfer $20 into my Personal Escrow account each month.

Retirement Savings: $32,867 [up $466]

This consists of:

401k: $3,816 [up $532]
Traditional IRA: $9,309 [down $18]
Roth IRA: $19,742 [down $48]

This month, I made the decision to temporarily pause my retirement savings. *gasp* I’ll explain more later, but despite stopping my contributions, I still gained a good amount in my 401k. Thanks, market 🙂

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $4,105 [down $2,452]

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99%: $1,343 [down $2,262]
Wells Fargo @ 0.00%: $2,762 [down $58]

Woohoo! I made a huge dent this month! All of a sudden, the $2k decrease in cash isn’t so depressing. I’ve really been making a conscious effort to stop swiping, and it shows! I do keep my Discover in my wallet “just in case”, but I’m hoping to tighten up my budget even more so I don’t have the need to do so.

Student Loans: $14,395 [down $126]

This consists of:

Direct Subsidized @ 6.8%: $2,845 [down $14]
Direct Subsidized @ 6.0%: $3,617 [down $19]
Direct Subsidized @ 5.6%: $4,399 [down $25]
Direct Subsidized @ 4.5%: $2,167 [down $14]
Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8%: $1,366 [down $55]

Again, solid progress on this front. I can’t complain! Right now, I’m targeting that Direct Unsubsidized – can’t wait until it’s finally gone!

Car Loan $15,201 [down $333]

The minimum payment will have to do for now, at least until my credit card debt and student loans are taken care of.

Mortgage: $270,562 [down $492]

Same as the car loan – the minimum payment will have to do for  now. This debt will be the last to go!

Overall, May was a wonderful month despite that cash decrease. But I’m not even worried about it since I know that that money went all to my debt pay down!

How was your May financials? Did you reach your budget goals?

AMDG,
Lisa