30 August 2013

Thinking and Planning, Praying and Hoping

I've been meaning to post for a while now. I've started a few posts, but deleted them or couldn't find the words to convey the thoughts. You mel-phlegs might know the feeling, but to be honest it is one I'm neither used to nor comfortable with. (Side note: why is it grammatically incorrect to end a sentence in a preposition? That sentence makes perfectly good sense. Who cares; my blog, my life.)

I've been working on a project that I'm almost finished with, and I've taken pictures along the way and I can't wait to show you all. Lately I've been really good at starting projects and really mediocre at finishing them.

I feel like I had so much more will power when I was attending Mass more frequently. The world gets it wrong when they accuse Christians of blindly following Christ, not having opinions of their own, and ultimately not knowing who they are. Only someone who knows Jesus really can know themselves. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. The discipline it takes to be a Christian teaches so much about the dignity of the human person and the way we ought to live. Even the word 'ought' is a controversy now, it seems.

I've proudly taken a seat on the Downton Abbey bandwagon, and let me tell you, I love it. I watched the first and second seasons in the last week and now I'm jonesing for the third. It is just such good, true, and beautiful entertainment.

My life right now is quiet and simple. I don't like quiet and simple, though. I like loud and fun, busy and productive.

I'm working a lot, but it's not futile, and it is a means to an end, rather than the end itself. (I'm not saying that to convince you or to convince myself, I'm saying that because it is true. I think women have an easier time of this, where as men are more tempted to work for work's sake... do you agree?) I've already made great strides to get my financial life in order and pay down my student loans, and it's just going to keep rolling from here. My vocation, whatever that may be, will surely benefit from my hard work now, but sometimes I still wonder if I'm doing it for the wrong reasons. (Love of money, etc.). All of my friends from work put in the bare minimum, call it good, and go live their lives. I work much harder and longer, but I have a good reason for doing so, I think.

Thanks for coming along with me on this thought-vomit post, haha.

Pray for me, I pray for you!!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

02 August 2013

Breaking the Chains

So this month I've been working very hard. My job is salaried at 40 hours per week, but we're non-exempt, which means that anything over 40 hours we're able to get paid overtime for. This is highly beneficial for someone like me who has no social life and a lot of debt. I've been putting in around 40-50 hours of overtime per month, and riding that wave all the way to the bank.

Today I did something that I've been working towards for a while. I paid off my credit card. I'm not accustomed to relying on a credit card and I really try not to use it at all. When I was between jobs and moving across the southeastern United States, I used it for gas and food, student loans, and new work clothes. At the time it wasn't a big deal because I had a steady paycheck just weeks away, and my credit card was interest free until May. One thing led to another, throw in a plane ticket and a new watch, and it was almost maxed out in May (which is originally when I wanted to have it paid off by.) Thankfully, I was able to work a lot of overtime and I paid the whole thing off in just three months, all while accruing just $25 in interest. (Not bad... trust me.)

Now, I've got a good handle on my debt snowball, and I'm ready to watch that thing go. Have you heard of the debt snowball? It's from Dave Ramsay... he's super legit. I read his books last summer and was really inspired to get my financial life in order. (Obviously that took a while.. I wasn't fundraising as much as I should have been..) His motto is this: Live like no one else now, so that later, you can live like no one else. He means to be frugal now and live below your means so that in the future, you really can live like no one else. I think it's a revolutionary idea for this day and age. In a world of instant gratification and charge cards, he "preaches" a life of moderation, hard work, and humility. If you can't afford something with the cash in your pocket, don't buy it. Easy as pie!

Now that I've got my foot half way in the door of my financial career, I can see where some of Dave's principals don't make sense for me. For example: paying off a house with a 3% interest rate on your loan doesn't make sense because there are many investment products that earn a much higher return. (Why pay someone 100 dollars now when I can wait 20 years and pay them 130, if I know that all along I can earn 10 dollars per year on my hundred bucks?)

I digress.

I like the idea of living like no one else. Isn't that what Christians are called to do? How many people do you know who have died for the Gospel of Jesus, or even been persecuted for His sake? If we're going to be His we have to be prepared for persecution and the Cross. We have to be ready to live like no one else.

St. Matthew, pray for us!