The Blog

The Money Mentor: Two Secrets

This is Part 6 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.

“I’m going to surprise you,” he started by saying, “and tell you a little secret. I’ve never maxed out a credit card, not one card. In fact, I hardly use credit cards. Why should I? I’ve got good credit—people are happy to accept my checks.”

I couldn’t speak at all, so of course, I didn’t answer.

“I always say that my signature on a check is as good as the Secretary of Treasury’s signature on our currency. In the old days, when gold backed our money, that phrase ‘In God We Trust’ had a lot more meaning than it does today, but that’s another story.” He chuckled, adding, “You won’t be here long enough today to hear all about that.”

Thank God, I thought, because even though my jaw felt numb, I could feel the drill whirring deep down toward the bottom of my molar. I also didn’t know what in the world he was talking about, and he sounded pompous.

“Now I’m going to make an exception to the rule about not using credit cards,” he said. “The way they’ve set things up, you’ve pretty much got to use them to make rental car reservations, buy tickets over the phone, order products off the Internet, and so on. But when I do that,” here he raised his voice for emphasis, “I immediately pay my bill in full as soon as it arrives. I never carry a balance on any credit card. If I had a choice, in fact, I would use debit cards—those are cards that you can only use if you have money in the bank—but some of the carrental companies insist on credit cards. Now, you’re probably wondering what all this means in the big picture.” He stepped back, drill in raised hand, and waited with satisfaction for my reply.

“Ah-uh,” I answered, wanting him to be quiet but feeling that the sooner he worked his way through his monologue, the sooner he would finish his dentistry and let me leave.

“Open.” He stepped forward, adding, “Wider. I’m going to tell you another secret.”

For some reason, I didn’t want to know this secret.

“It will change your life. Once you know this secret, you have only yourself to blame if you don’t find the path to prosperity. You listening?”

I couldn’t close my ears. It simply isn’t fair when one person gets to talk all the time, even if they’re giving you directions to the Fountain of Youth and El Dorado. I like to talk, too.

Taking my silence as encouragement, he continued, “The ancient world had seven wonders, but the famed banker, Baron de Rothschild, couldn’t name any of them when someone asked him to. Instead, he said that he would reveal the eighth wonder—compound interest.”

The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom

If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.

February 17, 2016 0 Comments

Outdoor Writers Association of America

Post 13 in my Professional Authors Associations Series. Click here to read post 1.

Outdoor Writers Association of America: owaa.org

Learn more about this organization at owaa.org

Learn more about this organization at owaa.org

OWAA represents a diverse group of professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. Its mission is to improve the professional skills of its members, set high ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and be mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor writers. Members include writers, editors, book authors, broadcasters, film and video producers, photographers, artists, and lecturers. OWAA promotes responsible outdoor reporting by providing workshops and seminars, setting professional standards, a monthly publication, annual membership directory and other publications, and an annual conference. It provides online lists of various outdoor publishers’ needs and current job listings. The national office provides information, liaison services, and assistance with business problems. OWAA sets professional standards and business guidelines and offers health insurance coverage at competitive rates.

This information has been adapted from the 4th edition of The Writer’s Legal Guide by Kay Murray and myself.

 

February 10, 2016 0 Comments

The Money Mentor: The Dentist’s Diagnosis

This is Part 5 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.

After studying the X rays on the light box on his wall, Dr. Testa told me the bad news about the gold inlay and the necessity of one more visit to his office. “And I also think that you should have your wisdom teeth out. You’re not using them, and they can cause you trouble in the future. It’s best to extract them when you’re young and healthy.”

I thought of the pain and the discomfort that would follow, living on soup and baby food for a week, and it just seemed like my miseries were multiplying much too fast. Anyway, who had asked him about my wisdom teeth? But the fear of future pain vanished when Dr. Testa began squirting a little liquid out of the long needle of the hypodermic that he intended to inject near the hinge in my jaw. I’ve always been afraid of needles, I don’t know why, and I even look away if a doctor has to draw blood for a test. I wanted to jump out of the chair and run, but I had a picture in my head of Dr. Testa pouncing quick as a cat to make sure I stayed put. His first few tries with the needle must have missed the right spot because he keep thrusting like a fencer until I was ready to beg him to stop.

“Open wide,” he said, and I complied.

Now he began his monologue. My childhood dentist, the one that my mom and dad used, had always liked to talk about politics. It didn’t matter what party you belonged to, whether you were a child or an adult, a man or a woman; as soon as you couldn’t reply, you got to hear his opinions from beginning to end. Dr. Testa seemed to be that way, only worse, because he was talking about me.

The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom

If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.

February 3, 2016 0 Comments