As we get older, we grow in wisdom and experience. I have learned and made so many financial mistakes in my life, but I have learned from all of them. While I can't change the past for some of mistakes, I definitely can try to steer others on the right financial path. With an uncertain stock market in the near future, making financial decisions now while you are young is smart. I want Sunny to know a few things one day when she is raised.
First, I am a huge believer in having whole life insurance. Term insurance is great too, but whole life insurance is better because the primary advantages of whole life insurance are: Protection for life – It will not expire or go down in value. Level Premiums – The rate you pay for your policy will not ever increase. Cash Value – A portion of your premium builds cash value which can be borrowed against. So essentially, you are earning a lot of money for yourself which the longer you wait to cash it out, the better advantages (assuming you get a insurance plan at 18, highly recommended). The biggest downfall is it is pricey.
Rodney and I both decided to get it almost 7 years ago. And getting it locked into a price is dependant on your age. My goal is to have it for Sunny when she turns 18. Her monthly payment will be much cheaper because of her age and the rate will be locked in. I realize the last thing an 18 year old wants to do is pay for something like this, so Rodney and I feel the importance of offering this to her on her 18th birthday and paying for it until she can afford to on her own. She will be earning money for her future one day, and is something I wish I could of taken opportunity of.
Another word of advice for Sunny is to buy a home when she or her husband are ready and have a stable income. Purchasing a first home should not be taken lightly. Rodney and I bought are first home after we were married and we rushed it because we were under pressure. Huge mistake. I was never happy with the choice and regretted it later. Buying a home when the market is good and interest is low is the best time, and possibly being able to flip or flop a house for equity is always smart. I love older homes personally because they seem better built and have custom features that modern homes often lack. Buying a home and being able to build equity is crucial for home investing and making money.
Another smart investment choice is choosing between a money market or CD. But each are different with how they earn interest. A money market account usually earns a variable interest rate and a CD comes with an interest rate that often does not vary over a term. So if earning a great annual percentage is your only concern, a CD might make more sense because in a money market vs. CD comparison, an individual will find long-term CDs give you the best APY. However, the drawback is there is a penalty for taking money from a CD if it hasn't reached it's life span, and there is no penalty for investing in a money market. And of course investing in a 401K which is offered with most jobs. When I was a teacher, I was able to have money put away for my retirement one day, however, since I have stopped teaching and don't know when I will return, I am not earning any points toward future retirement at this time. Last, having a rental property or more. Renting has it's benefits and disadvantages. But it's a great way to invest. Depending on how long you want to rent your home out for depends a lot on how much you are willing to invest in wear and tear on the property that comes from occupants.
There are many books out there on how to invest in your future. Suzzie Orman (Financial Planner) and Donald Trump have some great tips in their books and offer suggestions as to where to start. The main purpose of this post is to one day guide Sunny to one day make proper financial decisions and learn how to budget her money wisely. There are so many other financial investment paths out there, and I don't plan to talk about anymore. My hope is to just emphasize how important it is to invest our money wisely and teach our children about the value of money. I plan to do a second post on how we budget in the next week or so.
*Fsy.ny.gov, money.CNN.com were sites that I got legitimate info from.
These are two books I highly recommend for words of encouragement and inspiration. I think most people need a bit of enforcement each day to ponder on such words and meditate their meanings. These books are amazing. They teach me what I need to know and enforce in me things I already knew. I pulled out my favorite words of wisdom and here they are.
Taking pictures of Sunny is challenging, but I managed to get a few. Sunny LOVES her grandma (nama) and talks about her all day. Grandma drives a black car, and far to often, grandma accidentally sets off her car alarm. So now when I ask Sunny what does grandma say, she says, "Beep, Beep, Beep." Grandma drives a black car, so when Sunny sees a black car driving down the road, she automatically thinks it's her grandma. Luckily, our house is on the way to her house, so Sunny can see her grandma more often then not. Today, Sunny got spoiled. Grandma knocked on the door with this: Grandma surprised Sunny with a new dress and shoes today. Sunny has little friend who have the same dress, so it will be adorable seeing them wear it together, lol. Sunny loves both, but especially shoes. And I have to show a photo of Tigger. I love seeing a cat sleeping on a bed. So cozy.
I remember I got my first journal when I was 10 years old. I wrote in it practically everyday, all the way until middle school, when I got another. I recorded my deepest thoughts, my troubles, my goals, my future desires. When I go back and read it, I am so thankful I wrote diligently. I find that the more I write, the more motivated I am to continue. If I stop writing for even a few days, it gets harder to jump back on the writing bandwagon. There have been times in my life that I have had a long pause in journal writing. It wasn't until I found out I was pregnant with Sunny that I decided to pick up writing again. I never wanted to forget what pregnancy was like, or what each week presented. I filled up on spiral notebook documenting just that, then when Sunny was born, I was very consumed with taking care of her and began writing just once a month updates. Now that I am doing an online journal, I find it more enjoyable to type then write, and so I am able to write more posts. Although there are issues with the layout, such as no paragraphs, I am hoping I can improve things as time goes on. Today, was my favorite day of all days, Sunday. I felt the spirit so strong today. I love to serve nursery, but sometimes I feel the need to really be in Sunday School and RS and get some spiritual feed like I did today. I have tried to let go of my thoughts and bothers while I am in RS. I start thinking of Sunny, is she sharing, is there a conflict, is she going to escape nursery and get lost like she has in the past at church. Oh the constant worries. I just need to tune this out, pray, and focus on what I need to, the lessons the Lord wants me to hear. Sunny just recently turned 28 months and I want to document some things she has mastered. I have always felt she was right on with milestones. She reached all developmental milestones, some earlier then others, and up until 23 months, I felt very content as to where she was. At about 24 months, I noticed she wasn't speaking in sentences like some of her peers were and her diction was a litle harder to understand. I mentioned that to the doctor and he told me to not compare kids. Each child develops at their own pace and to wait it out. At about 27 months, I noticed she was talking all the time, in sentences (still not always as clear) but she has come a long way. An example of how she words her sentences would be, "Me me, paint" "Me me, pink shoes" "that' a cloud (insert word), "daddy, floor, "I'm fine, bye" "Thank you" We are working on her adding more conjunctions in between sentences as well as pronouns, but again, I think she is getting there. Everyday is something new. She has an amazing memory, much like her brilliant dad's. She knows half the alphabet, she can count to 10 and is working on going to 20 right now, she can identity numbers 1-10 and name them, she can name all animals and their sounds, she can identify 9-10 objects we point out to her, she can sing almost the entire song of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" she can point to someone and tell me their name or if they are a boy or girl. She has recently learned what a grandma looks like. When we are in a store, or driving in the car, she will point to a elderly woman and say, "That's a nama" That is too adorable. She is really good about going to places and me leaving her. She loves when someone babysits her, she loves daycare, she loves nursery and she is not afraid to be without either of us around. I love that she is secure enough to do that. Her weight is 25 pounds, she is still rather picky, but she loves cheese, toast, cereal, crackers, berries, and any kind of fruit snack. She will not eat meat, except for chicken nuggets. She eats carrots, cucumber, and brocolli florets for her veggie, and loves tomatoes. Sunny still cries when she does not get what she wants, but as she matures, I hope she can communicate better with us and let us know what bothers her and ways to fix it. She is still not potty trained, but she has a potty chair she loves to sit on throughout the day, and pull-ups she we wear occassionally. She gets along with kids pretty well. Younger kids who are smaller and younger then her, she often seems to overpower more. She is pretty brave. She will jump off a large step or go down a huge slide on her own, sometimes with more reservation, depending on her mood. Lately, she loves to jump. She loves any kind of trampoline. She will jump on cracks on the sidewalk or on figures on a rug. I was told she should be developing other fine motor skills and stringing large beads was recommended, so that is something we will work on next, as well as maybe sorting colorful beads by color or shape. Her personality is strong and dominating. She is not one who is easy going, but will let you know what she doesn't like. She dislikes confinement, so high chairs, shopping carts, car seats for long periods of time, or swings that she is strapped in, she will easily get upset. She hates feeling controlled. She wants to do what she pleases all the time. I try to allow her options, but reasoning with her as to "why" she can't do something is a huge challenge at her age. This is pretty much the brunt of what I can think of at the moment. We love you Sunny!