A Little Bit About Myself

So I though before I really kick this off I should share about myself, mostly where I am now compared to where I was.

Currently I am employed as a Bio-Medical Technician for a small company. It pays a decent salary, but a bonus is I am considered a “Road Warrior.” Meaning I drive about 700 miles a week and get paid a little above the federal mileage rate. As long as I am smart it is a nice bonus to my salary. My wife works as a teacher and my children are both in elementary school. I have 3 college degrees: MA Theology, BA Philosophy and an AAS in Industrial Automation. I served 6 years in the United States Air Force as a F-16 Hydraulics Technician and been working since I was 12.

Growing up as a young boy I was introduced to many adult things way before I should have: drugs, alcohol, pornography and it didn’t help my parents were very permissive which allowed me to indulge in this bad habits. At the age of 14 I overdosed from prescription medication. It was sort of for fun, but also because I felt very worthless at the time. I was consistently drifting away from my parents and it was tearing me apart. After my short hospital stay I vowed to never partake of drugs again…that didn’t last that long. To accelerate the story, I barely made it out of high school and failed out of my first college, got kicked out of my second and after being homeless (I could have lived with my parents if I wanted to) I was at rock bottom. A friend at the time was in the Air Force Reserves and said it was a great way out. So in a matter of 2 weeks I joined and was leaving for boot camp a few months later. It was by far the 2nd best decision I’ve ever made (the first being born again through Jesus Christ).

In the Air Force my life really changed, I was found by God and completely turned my attitude and my heart towards him and have never looked back. I eventually was honorably discharged and short time later was married to my beautiful wife. As I said before we now have 2 children and a nice home, good jobs but most of all, the joy that comes with priorities in right order: faith, family and finances. I believe by getting these things in order, 1) starting each day with God and making him your first love, 2) approaching your family not as another job but a wonderful duty that allows you to make it whatever you want it to be, be creative and enjoy this great opportunity, and 3) to allow finances not to rule you, but to make it work for you…not to “love” it, but to be wise and “not be a slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22. Most of all the last part. I currently don’t know the numbers, but we are in unfathomable amount of debt and it honestly doesn’t worry people. People drive around these fancy cars and have these big houses, but there net worth is negative. There is so much joy in being debt free and I want you all to experience it.

Next time I write I will get into the meat of what I want to share. I hope this gave you a brief introduction of who I am.

Advertisements

In the Beginning…

Yes, this is copyrighted by the Bible, but where else could I start. Lately I’ve been soul searching and getting my thoughts and priorities in order and I finally feel like life is making sense. I try to categorize everything so I thought about 3 things that seem to be most important to most. Some might disregard Faith, but I find it integral to my daily walk in life…crutch, yes, but also much more. Family is huge in my life, without my wife and children I just wouldn’t be me. They make me want to go to work and want to come home. There are moments when I want time to myself, but my life feels empty without my kids going crazy and my wife hugging me. Finally, Finances! For the most part of my life, money was just money–you earned it you spent it (usually on Credit) and you saved a little hoping one day you will hit the lottery or just get by. Many years into my marriage as life got tougher you think because a bank says they can loan you money for x, y or z then you can afford it. I was definitely smart enough to not fall into the many traps lenders set for us common folk, but even the few that I hit, still hurt. But even beyond just being in debt, was the realization that with retirement we are basically gaining very little or even losing money. We give our contributions to fund managers who have expense fees (even if we lose money), inflation always gets us, and we just might have a bad fund. I knew there had to be more. That frustration got me thinking about this blog. A blog about what is most important to me, but also trying to “not be a slave to the lender” and earning a comfortable living with my investments.

So, with this blog I will divide it up into 3 main parts: Faith, Family, and Finances. If you don’t like a certain one just skip ahead. In regards to faith, I have been told the first person you should talk with each day is God. The second is yourself. Faith has not always been apart of my life, it was only in my early twenties that God found me and my eyes were opened to what joy really is. Basically, I will be writing little devotionals about what God is teaching me, about life, work, money, family, ethics, philosophy, etc…

So why did I pick family? I feel in our society the family is falling apart. I feel we are also allowing a permissive parenting style to ruin the (parental training) we are given each day through our kids and the conflicts we have with our spouses. I admit, it is the toughest job I’ve ever had, but I love every minute of it. I love to read, so I’ve read lots of books on parenting and marriage and I hope that maybe some of my words might inspire you to assess your situation and see if you can be better at yourself.

Finally, Finances. There is a reason the bible talks about money more than any other subject and I’m tired of it ruling my life because I allow it to. I have given my life over to God, so then why to I continue to give my hard earnings over to creditors, lenders, finance companies and other people who make money simply off my money. That is probably the greatest business model of all time. I want to basically track my progress of getting out of debt, starting an emergency fund, saving for my children’s education, saving for retirement, being frugal and investing beyond mutual funds. I believe the majority of this blog will be about investing and my education of the analytics of the stock market and trying to value wonderful companies. If you read this far thats awesome, that means I probably personally told you to read this. If you are not friends or family, welcome and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog. Ok, so that was the introduction. I think I will end for now and next time I write I will share a little about myself. Thanks and God Bless

JFeth