Sports Betting Champ

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Extra Credit

When I was in school I only learned TWO things about credit! First, I learned that if I turned some work in to my teacher that was beyond what was required, I received 'extra credit' which improved my grades. Second, I learned in a high school accounting class (an elective class) that deposits to my checking account were called credits. That was it!

Throughout the post-high-school-graduation portion of my life I have actually had no further interaction with either of these two concepts. My employers have never offered any extra credit tasks, although I have volunteered and performed tasks regularly that were beyond what was required. Unfortunately, and quite contrary to what I learned in school, my extra efforts at work were not immediately rewarded with a pay hike for each extra effort. Welcome to the real world! Regarding the whole deposits are called credits thing, well my checkbook register includes BOTH terms anyway - "Deposits/Credits" - so nothing important there.

What the real world (not the television show) has required me to know about credit was not something I learned about during my public school education at all. The real world taught me that if I wanted to buy something expensive (my second car, for example - 'cause my first car was a $200 POS) I would need to apply for a loan. OK, no problem. Then I learned that the requirement to get a loan approved was that I have CREDIT, with a good credit score. Hmmm, I had NO credit and had NO score...therefore, loan denied. Why didn't somebody tell me this was coming???

Eventually, I was exposed to the vicious cycle of:
> you can't get a loan without having credit and
> you can't get credit without having some kind of loan...duh!

With a little help, I learned how to "break-in" to this circuitous torture track. After many years of revolving around this track, I am not so sure it was the right decision, though! I am still learning on a regular basis how financial decisions I made when I was fresh out of high school have negatively affected my life and the lives of my family. Yes, I have had nice cars, a home and a business - all because of credit and loans. On the other hand, I have also had them all taken away -  all because of credit and loans (and a super bad economy).

My point for all of this talk about credit is that I believe the public educational system epically failed to provide me with the right knowledge I needed to make competent financial decisions. Therefore, based on my own financial experience, I make my next suggestion that we push our public schools to implement a mandatory class on financing and credit. Let's teach our children instead of forcing them to "wing it."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are You Happy?

Another concept that I did not learn through my public education is that HAPPINESS is a choice. Perhaps more of us would be happy if we learned this early on in our lives. Happiness is a perspective much like having a positive attitude. It's all about learning how to hold on to that perspective. The two, happiness and  positive attitude, go together. Perceiving the glass as half full, rather than half empty, and being thankful and happy about it shows the close relationship between the two concepts.

Think about how many people blame other people for their UNhappiness. Think more about it, especially if this concept is new to you. According to experts, happiness comes from your internal judgement about your situation. If you judge your situation to be good, you are happy. If you judge your situation to be bad, you are unhappy. Put a little positive attitude into those judgements and you'll find that you will be able to judge more of your situations as good and you will therefore find yourself happier! Consider this quote:

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

- Abraham Lincoln
If we were all knowledgeable about the nature of happiness, I think more people would be happy. I also believe there would be a lot less prescriptions written for mind/mood altering drugs. Simply, the world would be a happier place in which to live! Let's push the system to get this item into The Right Knowledge that we teach our children. What do you think?