Proverbs 28:6 Integrity

Proverbs 28:6 – Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.  I just came across this one today and it caught my eye.

The first thing I took from this was the word integrity.  The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong morals.  Other synonyms for integrity are honor, uprightness, noble, ethics, virtue, and decency.  It is said in the 10 commandments ‘Thou shalt not lie.’  Of course, since this is in the Commandments God will still think it is important for people to have integrity.

The next thing that got my attention was he was comparing being poor with being rich.    That you working hard to get a better and luxurious life for you and your family doesn’t mean a whole lot to God if you have lost your honesty.

The fact that being poor is just the money position you are in, but not who you are.  You can choose to be honest or a crook no matter how much money you have.  God is looking to see what kind of person you are inside and not how many possessions you own.

Another thing I started thinking was that many rich people give money to help others.  Some would do this to show their standing in the community, though I hope most from the goodness of their hearts.  So, God knowing this He still puts more praise on a poor person, who can’t give much money, who has lived his life with integrity.

In my personal life, I try so hard not to lie.  I do catch a white lie come out of my mouth off and on when I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Even these are few and far between.  I have told a couple of bigger lies in my past and I don’t like the way they make me feel.  When I did get caught lying, as a child, I did not like it.  And knowing that God doesn’t approve of lying helps me keep on the straight and narrow.

Some time in my childhood or teenhood I decided to not make a promise that I couldn’t guarantee that I could keep.  One promise I have made is when I told my daughter that I will always love her.  I can’t believe this ever being untrue.  I remember making my friends upset when I wouldn’t promise to do something or keep a secret.  I would give my word which had a lot of value, but not a promise.

How are you living your life with integrity?  What do you think about this scripture?

Philippines Trip: The Weather

I was very worried about the heat in the Philippines.  I am only a sun person if the sun is shining and it is about 65 degrees or lower.  Anything much hotter and you will find me in the house, shade or water.

My sister in law picked January to go because that is before it really starts to get hot.  The mildest weather is from December to February.  During March and April the heat increases.  Last year, in March and April most of the days were between 90 to 95 degrees.  It is not uncommon to have an occasional day that can reach 100 degrees during the hot months.  But it is the humidity that you have to watch out for.

We stayed in Lucina first and the temperature during that part of the stay was 84 to 89 degrees.  Humidity is the most comfortable for Americans between 30 to 50%.  When I was in the Philippines the humidity was about 65%.  I don’t think I really felt the difference mentally, though I think my body noticed.

One day, we left the hotel and walked about 4-5 blocks to a drug store to pick up some supplies.  It was hot outside, though we were walking partly in the shade.  Once we got in the store it was kind of cool.  I won’t say air conditioned, but it did feel better than outside.

Walking back to the hotel I was feeling OK.  Hot but OK.  Once back at the hotel we had to climb 3 flights of stairs to get to our hotel room on the 3rd floor.  As I climbed these stairs the temperature got hotter with each floor.  By the time I was at my room I was very over heated.

I walked into the room, locked the door and took off my shoes and socks.  That didn’t help so next my pants came off.  Yes, I was walking around the hot Philippines in pants.  I don’t own much summer wear and I hardly walk around in shorts at home.  I was feeling sick.  I tried to drink some water and then lay on the bed.  I did not move from the bed for about 20 minutes.  I was just letting my body relax and enjoy the air conditioning we had in the room.  That air conditioning saved me.

Going into this trip heat was a major concern for me.  I know that I am not good in the heat and if it wasn’t for visiting relatives, then we would not have gone.  Luckily, the days I visited my father in law’s place it was not too bad.  If I got hot in the house, which had no air conditioning, I would go out to his back yard which was shaded by trees.

1548053209390  Father in laws yard.  All dirt, though the trees were great.

One of the cooler days, while visiting my father in law, when it was about 84 degrees my father in law asked if we could shut the door because it was chilly.  He is really use to the heat now.  He moved back to the Philippines about 10 years ago?  I just looked at him and thought, too cold?

While we were in Lucina I mostly stayed out of the sun or inside where there was air conditioning.  I was very lucky to have a small balcony in my hotel room.  I saw a lot of people and vehicles from that balcony.  Plus, I could go out on the balcony till I started to get hot and then walk right back into my air conditioned room.  The direct sun did not touch my balcony so I was able to stay out longer.  It was the best hotel room for me.

The last part of our trip was going to El Nido and taking a boat to a resort on Miniloc Island.  The temperatures were still hot, though most of the time there was a tropical breeze that made it feel tolerable, even nice at times, if I stayed out of the sun.  It felt like 70-75 degrees to me in the shade during the day.  Though, as soon as I walked out into the sun it felt SO much hotter.  Again, I tried to stay out of the sun and I was pretty successful.

I only put on a little bit of sun screen, so I wouldn’t pollute the ocean.  I made sure it was on my face and then my back when I went snorkeling.  I only got a slight baseball sized burn on my right arm (weird) and I got burned on my nose and forehead a little.  I was very pleased.

Again, at the resort cottage we had air conditioning and a balcony.  I got to do a lot of people watching from the balcony.  This balcony had a little couch on it so it was so comfy.  I loved our little water cottage.  If you come you may not want to stay in #7 because the water doesn’t reach the water cottage.  So, we had no fish to look at.  We did get to watch little crabs digging homes.  They were so cute.

1548722513939  #7 is the one on the right with no water.

Now back to the weather.  One of the people I traveled with loves the heat.  She goes to Las Vegas often and will sit in the sun around the pool, so the sun doesn’t bother her.  I am not sure if the sun was stronger here or if the breeze just made it feel cooler.  She ended up with skin like a lobster.  She was very painful.

So just be careful when dealing with a different climate then you are used to.  I knew I needed to stay out of the heat and sun as much as possible.  This meant that I ducked out on some activities because I knew it would be too much for me.

I made it through the heat with almost no trouble except for the one incident of being overheated.  I made it through the sunny days with hardly any sunburns.  I stayed in the shade whenever possible..  And even though I did a little less I had so much fun and experienced so many new things.

I survived the weather on vacation.  What I think is funny is that 4 days after being back home it got cold and started to snow.  We don’t get snow here often and I have had snow in front of my house for 5 days and it is snowing again and is to last about 5 more days.  This is the biggest snow our place has had in years.  The  news says it is the most snow in February since 1923.  That is almost 100 years ago.  I had so much fun in the snow!

My body was wondering what the heck was happening.  The first couple of days after returning home I kept trying to leave the house without a coat.  As soon as I would open the door I would realize that I was not in the tropics any more.

What kind of weather do you prefer to be in?

Philippines Trip: Get Ready – Travel

(What is your favorite part of planning a vacation?)

To get ready for a trip especially a big trip you need to do a lot of planning and packing.  First you plan where you are going to go, how you are going to get there, where you will stay while you are there, and how you are going to get around.  Then you need to figure out what activities you are going to do once you get there.

For this trip I didn’t do any of this.  I was feeling a lot of stress as the trip was getting closer and then about a day before leaving I figured out that the majority of the stress was coming from me not knowing what was planned.    How did this happen you may be wondering?

The trip was planned by my sister-in-law.  She asked us some questions, though all the hotels, transportation, and everything were planned by her.  Some of the stress I was feeling was the fact that I was not in control.  When we go on vacation I am usually the one to make the travel and the activities plans.  It was strange to not have that role.

I was also experiencing stress due to the fact that I was going to another country that was very foreign to me.  I was worried about the long plane ride, about what kinds of food they had, about homeless children looking at me sadly and me wanting to bring them home, about not speaking the language, and about the heat that I was going to have to live through.  Have I mention that the heat and I are not the best of friends?  We are not!

The day has come and I am just now starting to pack, without a list.  I always have a list, so I took 5 mins and made a quick list.  Even the quick list came in handy and I am so glad I quickly made it.  I packed.  Luckily, I had till 7 pm to get all my stuff together.  I needed all day.

I was very lucky to travel with relatives that knew what was going on and had all the tickets and travel plans.  They came to pick my husband and I up at home and took us downtown so we all could catch the Light Rail to the airport.  It was the first time I have ridden the light rail and I was nervous about that even though I was still in my home town.
1547871833358  Light Rail in background
The whole day I was feeling nauseous off and on due to nerves and it continued as I was waiting for the light rail.  Once we got on the light rail my nauseous stomach started to calm down because it was being replaced by excitement.

When it was time to get on the airplane I felt scared and exhilarated.  I was felt hyper in the plane.  I didn’t want to belt myself in till the last minute.  I was on my knees in my seat looking at all my fellow passengers.  I am pretty sure that the person behind me was probably thinking I was weird.  It didn’t help that I could not stop smiling.

1547883428275      My Plane!             1547885746434

Once belted in I was mentally getting ready for a 13 hour plane ride.  I think the longest I have been in a plane is about 3 hours.  I had a game plan.  I had taken aspirin for 2 days before to thin my blood a little to help reduce getting a clot and I had decided that every time I went to the restroom I would do squats to help my blood flow.  I ended up visiting the facilities 3 times and did 15 squats each time.  I really think it help me not be so sore.

I brought a book to read since I had so much time to kill.  Though they had onboard movies, TV shows, screen games to play, and a map I could watch the plane’s progress across the ocean that kept me occupied.  I read about the first 2 pages of the book and that was it.

We had a layover in Taipei.  The next plane ride was only a couple of hours to get us to the Philippines.  That was an easy flight.

I decided that I would be smart and plan when I was going to sleep on the plane ride, so that I would land in the Philippines with me almost on their time.  It worked!  That night I was actually falling asleep while we were at dinner.  Luckily, the restaurant was in our hotel, so I excused myself early and went to bed.  The next morning I was on Philippine time.  (I didn’t do that on the way home.  I will talk about that in a different post.)

I survived the 16+ hour travel time that I was so worried about.  It was really easy.  It was a bit tiring and boring during the layover, but not bad at all.  My legs got a little sore sitting so long, though doing those squats on the plane really helped.  If I should do this kind of traveling again I will not be so worried about travel time.  I know what it is like and that I can survive it.

What is your favorite part of planning a vacation?

Happy New Year 2019

(What do you want to achieve this year?)

I keep fighting to make my life and self better, though those bad habits, procrastination, laziness, and being unfocused, keep creeping back into my life.  I tell myself as long as I don’t give up then I will continue to improve and learn even if it is slower than I want.

I have heard the saying, ‘Tomorrow is a new day.’  So, each morning when I wake up I have the choice to make the changes I need for a better future.  In society and with me ‘Mondays’ seem to be more powerful than just tomorrow.

On Monday I will start to change my life.  I seem to renew my goals for a Monday more often than any other day.  Though starting on New Year Day is the most powerful of all to me.

The week leading up to New Years I make sure I have evaluated how I did on my resolutions for the year ending and think hard about what I want for the new year.  I have always kept my resolutions on my wall in my bedroom so I can read them easily.  Even though they are within view I start to ignore them as the year passes.

This year they are on my wall right behind my computer so I will be staring at them almost daily.  For the first time this year I wrote words around the edge of my Resolutions.  So, even though I don’t stop to read the actual resolutions I see the words in bright pink.

The words are Create  Focus  Productivity.  At the bottom is a word that I believe that if I follow the action of these words I will achieve.  Freedom

A New Year is here and I am so stoked.  Though in the back of my mind a voice is trying to break through to say.  You will fail.  You know you’ll fall right back into your old habits.  As I was writing this I thought of the lyric from This is Me,  ‘I will take a flood and drown them out!’

I watched The Greatest Showman on Jan 2nd and it has given me a message right when I needed it.  The movie is about having dreams and fighting for them no matter how often you get knocked down.  It is about accepting yourself as you are.  It is about not giving up.  These were messages I needed to hear going into 2019.

I am excited about the direction I want to go with my online journey.  Again, as every year I will take my 2019 resolutions off the wall after Christmas and evaluate how much I have accomplished with each one. 

I am expecting 2019 to be a great year.  Hang around and see what happens.

Happy New Year Everyone!

What do you want to achieve this year?

Barnes & Noble: A Store I Love

Barnes and Noble

(Do you love Barnes & Noble or do you have your own favorite book store?)

I found out 5 days ago that my neighborhood Barnes and Noble is going to close in 1 month.  The day I found out I was crying off and on all day.  The unhappiness lasted through the weekend.  I can’t imagine the store not being here.  I haven’t been coming as often as when I was homeschooling, but it is one of my favorite places to go.   I will be missing many things in this store.

I decided to try to get here as often as I can before they close.  In fact, I decided to bring my computer today and write a blog post.  I was wondering what I was going to write about and I decided why not write about my beloved book store.  

Right now I am sitting in their Starbucks looking out onto the magazine section.  I have heard many years ago that magazines were dying out.  Looking at this section you would never know it.  This store has 3 isles of magazines.  Even though I am not much of a magazine person I love perusing the titles.  There are magazines written for almost every topic.

I will be missing the laid back feel I get when I come here.  I walk through the front doors and I feel a calm come over me.  In this hustle and bustle world this is my reprieve.  I don’t come here nearly enough for my liking because the world keeps calling me away.

Well, now my choice is being taken away.  I didn’t come here enough, though I knew it was here for me when I was able to break away and come to my favorite store.  Now what am I going to do?

 I love books and I love the library, though you have to be quiet in the library.  Sitting here I love to hear the chatter of conversations.  Children talking about a book they are looking at.  Also, if I happen to sneeze or squeak my chair I am not disturbing the whole place.

I love being around real books.  To see how many authors there are out there is amazing.  Then to realize how much work must have went into writing each of these books.  The authors share a part of themselves and their knowledge in each book.  I get awed looking around.  And someday I hope to be a book author and have people see my stories.  But for now I am happy to be around other authors.      

I like to walk up and down the aisles and see topics that one day I would like to learn more about or seeing books on topics that I can’t believe got published.  I learn thing just walking the aisles without even opening a book.  And when I find the book I want to read it feels like I found a treasure.  I am excited to get home and start reading.

My senses are at work when I walk the aisles also.  The smell of new books and the rainbow of colors on the shelves is part of the experience.  It feels magical to me to walk up and down the rows of books. 

I will really miss this place.  I don’t know where else I can go that is close to home that will give me the calm feeling and happiness I feel when I come here.  Why is this happening?  Why is Barnes & Noble closing?  Borders couldn’t survive.  And now is Barnes and Noble following suit?  As I look around I see that this store hasn’t changed much.  They have been here 13 years and during that time they got a Starbucks put in.  The overall layout and feel is about the same.

They have a real good size Music and DVD section.  I know people are still buying them though they are buying them less due to so many other choices.  I see no technology in this place.  The newer generation is growing with tech in their hand. 

As I sit here and look around about 80% of the people I see are 50 and above.  About 5% are children.  10 % are people about 30 years old.  Where are the young people?  (lol … two teens just walked in.  I wonder what section they are headed toward?)

I want B&N to start fighting.  I want them in get creative and innovative to get the younger crowd in without destroying what the older crowd loves.  I want everyone to realize what a great place a book store can be.

That is my hope.  That someone, hopefully, Barnes and Noble will come up with the perfect formula so I can still come and be surrounded by my beloved books.  I do own a nook, so lately more of my books are electronic, but that is because my house is full of books and I don’t have room for more.  Yet!  I hope to build a little library in my house, but that has been a dream for about 15 years now and it hasn’t happened yet. 

I hope to buy a new Nook before this store closes.  I love my nook!  It is one of the best things I have ever bought. (I actually think I got it for Christmas, but it was on my list.)  Though going through a list of books to decide what I am going to read next is not exciting.  I often take my Nook to B&N and look around the store and when I see something I like I will look it up on the Nook, read the comments, or start reading it.  The nook lets me read for a little while before I need to buy the book when I am in the store. 

 Well, good-bye store.  I will have many fond memories, though I will be sad every time I pass by this building.  What will take your place?  I know nothing that will give me the same feeling.  Barnes and Noble fight to keep your hold on all the stores you have left.  Fight to get creative and think out of the box to be competitive in this market place.

Get it together so you can come back to my neighborhood and reopen a store.  I will miss you greatly.  Good luck in your journey.

Do you love Barnes & Noble or do you have your own favorite book store?

Invest or Pay Off Debt First?

The short answer is do both.  Why you should do both would be the real question.  To financially get ahead and feel more secure most people should start investing now for their future.

(Have you starting investing yet or are you paying down debt first?  I would love to hear your story.)

I have been coming across this debate off and on for decades and understand the reasons for each side.   I use to believe in paying down debt first, but because of my experience with my own debt I have changed my thinking.  Let’s start by looking at each side of the argument.

Why pay off debt first?

Every month that you are paying a monthly payment on a loan you are paying extra money called interest.  This interest is your charge for getting and paying off the loan slowly.  The money you are paying in interest is not helping you pay down a loan.

Let’s say you are paying $80 on a debt.  If $40 is just in interest than each month only $40 goes toward paying down your actual debt.  This is why it is so important to find good interest rates when looking for loans or credit cards.  As you pay down your debt you will be paying less interest each month.

Having debt hang over your head and struggling from pay check to pay check is stressful.  The process of trying to get out of the ‘debt trap’ is hard.  It takes planning and tightening your belt when it comes to purchases and your lifestyle.

Paying off the debt first feels wonderful.  It reduces your stress and it gives you extra cash that you can start investing with.  This is a great reason for paying debt first.

Why invest first?

It is always a good idea to have money put aside.  You never know when you will need it.  This includes short term (savings) and long term (investing) money.  Knowing you have a safety net is very comforting and can reduce stress even if you are still paying off debt.

Advise:  You should be putting money into an emergency account that you can withdrawal easily.  This savings should be big enough to support you and pay your bills for 6 months.  Of course it will take a while to reach this amount, though putting a little away each month will help you to eventually reach this goal.

Investing long term is money you invest for the purpose of letting it grow.  That means once you invest it, you don’t touch it!  The reason long term investments in the market are a good thing is because the stock market averages a 10% growth each year.  Some years it will increase 5% and some years it will increase 15%.  Either way it has a better growth than an average savings account.

Disclaimer:  Know your risk level.  Younger investors can usually go for the higher risk stocks because if they lose money they have more time to recover it.  So, know your risk level and do not gamble with your money.

Why should you pick one option over the other?

When you decide to only focus on one option and then really work hard to achieve, it will help you get there faster and have better results.  You will be able to pay off your debt faster or you will be able to put more money into investing.  Either way working hard toward one option will make it easier.

Why tackle both together?

I do understand that trying to do both will mean you will be paying off your debt slower and not investing as much as you could if your debt was paid off.   Though it is too easy to not save money.  And that is why many will put it off and some will never do it.  When you don’t start you miss out on the gains you could have had. (I have this regret.)

In life unexpected bills always seem to come.  So, we keep turning to the credit card to get us out of trouble.  (At least that is what I have done, especially car repairs.)  If you are trying to pay it off and keep adding to it, then the debt will be around a lot longer.  Waiting to invest UNTIL your debt is gone may take too long. (Yep!)

Many of us always feel like we don’t have enough money.  By putting some money aside each month will help you not feel so strapped.  You will see that you do have money to fall back on and that you are also investing for your future.

If you invest into stocks with dividends and reinvest your dividends back into the stock, you will benefit from the compounding effect.  Make sure you pick a stable company. There are many out there.

If you wait to invest till everything is calm in your life and there is no debt, then many of you may never start.  Give yourself the gift of security and peace of mind by investing in a savings account and an investment account.  This will help you know you have a safety net if you need it.

To save money is easier than ever these days

There are several apps out there to help you with your savings and investing.

I have heard many people talking about the Acorn App.  It helps you to save in a savings account by putting little bits of money aside.  Soon it starts to grow and gives you a safety net.

Stash* is an app (I use this one) that helps you to invest with as little as $5.  If you invest $5 into a stock that is worth $20, then it will buy ¼ of the stock for you.  You will receive gains and losses based on the % of stock you own.

Remember for investing you are doing it long term so don’t pay too much attention to the market.  Unless you are playing out of your risk comfort, which you just shouldn’t do. Stash has a feature that will ask you what risk level you want and it will recommend stock bundles for you.  (Always investigate a company before you invest money.)

There are many more companies coming down the pike to help you save and invest. The ones I mentioned were the ones I was more familiar with.  Do your own research and pick what feels right for your personality and comfort zone.  Make sure to start putting money away as soon as you can

The sooner you make a habit of putting money aside and not spending it on things or having it disappear into your revolving debt the sooner you will start feeling better about your financial health.

Get a savings account with the best interest you can and let the interest compound to help the account grow faster.  Get an investment account and reinvest any dividends again to help your account grow faster.

Use time as an ally.  The sooner you start the more money you will have saved up. Whether you decide to put $5 in a month or $500, you will get a better feeling the earlier you start.

My recipe for success     (Make sure you research and do what is best for you)

1. Make sure to pay all debt payments on time.  You do not want to waste money because of late charges.

2.  Always make sure to pay over the minimum payment each month. Whether it is 50 cents or $50.

3.  Make sure to put some money aside into emergency savings.  Make sure this is not touched unless you are in real trouble.  (Goal: enough $ to last 6 months)

4. Put money into long term investments.

5. Do this EVERY month.   Make it a habit!
These 5 activities should be done at the same time.  Do a little squirreling away with your money.  As you pay down debt, then put more money into savings and investments.  Some people find that if they do this online instead of at a bank, which they can easily get to, they are less likely to dip into their savings.  Also, try to make it automatic.  Have the bank put money automatically into a savings, so you don’t have to think about it monthly.

This is for your future!  This is for your peace of mind!  This is to protect you from unseen financial problems and having a future with no money!

These things are very easy to do, though they are also very easy not to do.  Do yourself a favor and start making sure you have a safety net now and for the future.

*If you would like to try Stash.  If you sign up through this link they give you an extra $5 in stock.    https://get.stashinvest.com/dianeimv06

Have you starting investing yet or are you paying down debt first?  I would love to hear your story.

 

ROBINHOOD APP: 7 Months Into My Trading Journey

(Have you tried stock trading?  What trading company are you using?  How is your journey going?)

I will start from the beginning.  I watch a lot of YouTube videos and how to trade stocks is one of the topics I am interested in.  I found out about the Robinhood App and it is a game changer for me.  I did not have much money to devote to trading and with the Robinhood App I do not pay a fee for trading.  Most trading companies charge $4-10 per trade.  To trade I would be required to pay when I buy a stock and again when I sell.  So, even if I found one that only has me paying $4, then I would need to make over $8 to bring home any profit.

My bankroll would have been gone long time ago if I went the regular route.  When I started Robinhood I had $100 to invest.  This may not seem like much in the market place and it isn’t.  Though there are many stocks between $5 – 15, that I have been able to buy and sell.

Here is the update of how I have been doing with my trading stock adventure.  I know several people have been waiting for this update.  I am finally ready to share my journey.

I was so proud of myself because my first few trades were awesome.  My first trade I made a 32 cent profit.  The second trade I made a $2.25 profit.  And my third trade I made 30 cents.  Then it started going downhill.  I would get into a stock too late and then when it was going down I would hold on too long.  Though as soon as I jumped out it seemed like the stock was saying, ‘Yeah, Diane just jumped out… now I will go up in value. ’   Yes, I would make some money off and on, though my portfolio kept going down.

The markets going down didn’t help either.  But even with the market going down some of the stocks I was watching would go up.  Jumping into a stock at the right moment is challenging.  My timing wasn’t great.  I would keep catching the stock near the top of the run and then lose money as it came back down.

Here is my total.  I started with $100 in Robinhood.   As of 7 months into my stock trading adventure I am down $34 dollars.  This may not seem like much but I pretend that $1 is $100.  That way when I am trading every penny is worth my attention.  If this value was true I would be down $3,400.  That sounds a lot more painful.

20181115_134629 Look at the pretty bump at the beginning.  From then on… not so pretty.

Even though my first 7 months is not profitable I am really glad I have started trading.  I  wanted to start trading stocks about 20 years ago.  Because of what I have learned from YouTube videos and the Robinhood app being invented, this was the right time for me to dip my toe on and see if I would like trading as much as I thought I would.
Practicing with this $100 is giving me a thicker skin.  It is helping me to not just buy a stock because it is going up.  It is helping me slow down to look at the pattern of the stock.  I will look into news of the stock if I see it drop suddenly.  Even though I know this how to do this I am still not good at predicting the stock movement.

For a while I thought the company’s quarterly earnings were a sure fire way to know which way a stock price was going to head.  I was wrong and I don’t understand why, yet.  I have seen and invested in companies that exceeded their earnings forecast and had the stock fall.

There are reasons I am not doing as well as I thought I would do.  Here are some of the things I have done which haven’t helped me be successful.

•  I am not able (or I chose not to) to be awake or at home to watch the markets in the morning.  A lot of movements happen in the morning.  Or some patterns are set up in the morning that I could take advantage of later in the day.  My jobs hinder my watching the market opening because one job I can work till 1 in the morning.  Another job I need to be out of the house at 7:30am on some mornings.  And when they are back to back I am super tired and getting more sleep is more important than checking the stock market.  (That is not the right thinking, but my reality.)

•  On top of that I am not watching the market very close.  I really planned on it when I first started.  My vision for my future is me not having to go to a brick and mortar for work.  Instead I would wake up early with a cup of coffee and do my stock trading for 2-3 hours in the morning, then have the rest of the day to follow my dreams.  (I may be watching too many videos that promise easy results.)   I could be watching closer though my work schedule, being tired, and I having other projects that take my time away makes it harder.  Especially since the stock market closes at 1pm my time.   (I have started long term investing though.  I will share that story in another blog. )

•  I am staying in the stocks too long.  When I am unwilling to sell the stock then my money is locked into that stock.   I seem to do this a lot because I don’t want to sell at a loss and hope to wait till the value comes back up.  A few times I have wanted to buy another stock, but didn’t have enough cash in my account to do it.  All my money was in stocks that I am holding onto.  So when I see favorable movement I can’t jump on it.

•  When I don’t want to take a loss I would hang onto a stock to long.  But then still sell it later for a lower price when I couldn’t stand to be in it anymore.  All the books I read and people I listen to say to ‘Always have a stop-loss limit!.’  I still don’t like the idea of having a stop loss, though I guess this is a lesson I really need to learn the hard way.  I do understand the concept a lot better now that I keep losing money.

•  I started listening to other people’s opinion about stocks more often.  Instead of checking out the stock myself.  I would jump on what others are doing.  I heard somewhere that this is what is called ‘being a sheep’.  Just kind of following the herd around.

•  I have about 10 stocks that I trade.  They are not the best, but they were my first.  I think I have only stopped watching one because it was really bad.  My view is very narrow.  I need to learn how to find more variety and stronger stocks to trade.  Having so few… many days I just don’t do anything because the few stocks I have are not making moves that I want to jump into.

•  Making sure I don’t accidently day trade.  If you have less than $25,000 in your account you cannot be a ‘day trader’ .  You can do 3 day trades within a 5 day period though anymore and it is illegal.  There have been times that I couldn’t sell a stock because I would go over my day trade limit.  So, I was forced to sell later at less of a profit or even a loss.  I feel like I really like day trading.  Just hop In and out of a stock and not wait days or weeks to sell the stock.  Though without enough money I need to worry about going over my day trading limit.   Luckily, Robinhood tries to watch my back.  It has stopped me from putting in a sell request if they feel it may sell the same day and put me over my day trade limit.  I really like this feature, but don’t know if it is foolproof.  So, I really try to keep my eyes on how many day trades I have done.

•  I went into the trading stocks thinking trading was going to be easy.  I underestimated how challenging it could be. I read a few books and figured that I could easily do it.  I like the fact that I thought that way.  It is kind of like a child who doesn’t have fear since they don’t know all the facts and the consequences that could happen.  Because of this I jumped in and have learned a lot.

I still have hope that I will become a better trader, though at this point I have different things on the burner that I am trying to spend my time doing.  I will give you an update and of course I want to get my portfolio up again.  I am slowly working at it.

Just recently I was watching someone on YouTube and they said you are a newbie if you have less than 3 years in the market.  I believe it takes a while to find your rhythm and emotional stability.  I also think you need to learn what kind of trader you want to be.  Is the fast day trading your style or is investing long-term more your temperament?

Good luck to you on your journey and send good thoughts my way when you get the chance.  If you do want to try the Robinhood App I left my link down below.  There are now more free trading apps out there, though this is the only one I have tried so far.

https://share.robinhood.com/dianez7

By signing up through this link you get a free stock.  They mention big company stocks, though I heard someone got a $4 stock for free.  I believe I get a free stock also.   Good luck.

Have you tried stock trading?  What company are you using?  How is your journey going?

Opening an Affiliate Website – What I Have Learned

(Have you tried to open an affiliate site?)

I decided that opening an affiliate site sounded like something I could do.  I kept hearing that once it is open you will start receiving passive income  I found a channel on YouTube that had a video walked me through how to make a site, set it up with products and then sign up to be an affiliate with a company.  It was about a 1 1/2 hour video.  I am not great with computers and get frustrated easily.  Even though he opened his in one and a half hours it took me 3 months to get mine up.

Even though it  was a pretty good video, I would change a few things or add more information to help the newbie.  Here are some things I would do differently.

  • I would have listened to the video first then go back and follow the instructions.
  • I would have started from the beginning with the video.  What I did instead was buy a domain ahead of time.  So, when the video showed me how to do something with his web host it didn’t work quite the same way with mine.  This delayed me days if not a full week till I figured out how set it up with my host.
  • I would not buy everything (add-ons) because I bought one that I ended up not needing.  I Just wasted  money and time.  I understand it is hard to know what you will need when you are starting out.  Next time I will use my site first to see if I really need the add-ons that are recommended.
  • I definitely would not sign up for the affiliate company till my site is almost ready to launch.  I decided to go with Amazon Affiliates.  Amazon gives new affiliates a time limit to make their first 3 sales, then they come to look at the site to see if they want to accept you.  I signed up right when I opened my site.  I ended up wasting 3 months, just getting my website made and working, out of the 6 months they gave me.

Now my ecommerce store is designed and ready for the next stage.  At this moment I still would not sign up for an affiliate yet.  Why do I say this?  I say this because I got denied by Amazon.  I am now grateful, but at the time I was surprised.  Looking back I realize that my site was not ready.  Only after doing the following will I sign up with an affiliate company.

For the following, I can only tell you how I will proceed with the Amazon Affiliates program.  Though as I learn more I think I will find that the other companies procedures will vary, but they will probably check out your website before accepting it just like Amazon.

WHAT I WILL DO BEFORE SIGNING UP WITH AMAZON AFFILIATES.

  • Decide most of the products I want on my site and put ASIN numbers in a word document so I can just input them into my store once I sign up to be an affiliate.  Also, that way you can see if there is enough products in that niche.   (It would be good to check out products before picking the niche)
  • Have several blogs written.  I have heard different recommendations.  Anywhere from 5 – 30 written blogs.  These blog posts should be at least 1,000 words long.  Google puts more importance in longer blogs than shorter ones.  One YouTube group even says you should have one or two 3,000 word essays in your mix.
  • Figure how I will get the word out for my site.  How will I advertise my site?  Investigate what I think will work for the new type of site and for my personality.  This took me at least another month to figure out what and how to do ads.  Then it took time to actually do the ads.
  • I may not make my niche so broad.  Having a broad product site takes more work.  At least filling it with products takes more time.  Example:  If I decide to choose mugs as my niche.  Selling every type of mug will be harder to fill my store, than deciding on just selling mugs with an animal theme.  Or to narrow it more I could just sell mugs about cats.  How narrow can I get my niche?  Though, I don’t want to get it so narrow that I can’t branch out if I want to.

Doing the above will make me feel more ready to sign up to be an Amazon Affiliate.  Hopefully, next time I will not be denied.  I did come across a YouTuber that got turned down 5 times before they accepted him.  Finding this out has given me new hope and if I do get denied again after doing all of this, then I will do some more learning, make my site better and try again.  Amazon Affiliates wants us to try again.

Have you tried to open an affiliate site?  What hurdles did you have?

MY WORLD GOT SHAKEN YESTERDAY

(Did you know this?)

It started out as a normal day.  I went to work for a few hours, then came home and was going to go somewhere fun with my husband in a couple hours.  Since I had time I was just watching some YouTube videos.  I came across one from Mike Rowe who was on the show ‘Dirty Jobs’.  I really loved that show.  Anyways, in his talk he mentioned a dirty job he went on.  It was at a farm and it so happened the day he was filming it was when the farm needed to do its lamb castrations.  Mike Rowe usually didn’t study for the jobs he was going to do, but this one he looked up how lamb castrations are done.  The procedure he found, that was widely accepted, was tying a rubber band tightly around the scrotum and tail.  In a week it should fall off.  So far I was understand without any revelations.

Then Mike gets to the farm and the farmer is doing it a different way.  He cuts off the tail and pulls out the testicles with his teeth.  Yes, gross.  I was so into the story that the information still didn’t hit me.  He kept talking about it.  Then it hit me…..

SHEEP ARE BORN WITH TAILS !!!!!!!

WHAT?  I thought sheep were born with no tails, like the Corgi dog.  Which I also just found out that there is a breed of Corgi that is born with tails.

Back to sheep.  I have gone half a century believing that sheep are born without tails.  My world is different now.  I love sheep and would like to own a few.  Now, I want a sheep with a tail.

My world will never be the same.  How could I not know this.  It boggles my mind.  I go to the Puyallup Fair and I have never seen any information about sheep having tails.  I had to see if there were any pictures online.  Yep, a lot of sheep and lambs with tails.

I still can’t believe, SHEEP HAVE TAILS !!!

 

My World was Shaken- sheepjpg

Did you know that sheep are born with tails?  Why didn’t anyone tell me?  How could this be unknown to me?      SHEEP HAVE TAILS  !!!

A New Experience: New Food

Have you ever tried this or wanted to try?

This morning I didn’t want to eat my regular breakfast.  Almost every day I eat oatmeal for breakfast.  When I am not in the mood for oatmeal I will have cereal or a frozen breakfast sandwich.  Sundays my husband usually makes us a breakfast.  So, 6 days a week my breakfasts breakdown to about…  92% is oatmeal, 4% is cereal, 2% is breakfast sandwich and then 2% is whatever I can figure out making (I don’t like cooking).

This morning I was not in the mood for any of my regular breakfasts.  I was thinking about cooking eggs, but my stove was a bit cluttered and did I mention I don’t like cooking?  I had a banana that has been around for about 3 days now and I knew my breakfast was going to include a banana.  All of a sudden I got a craving.  I couldn’t believe that I was craving this meal.  I have thought about this for years, but never had the desire to try it. This morning the craving was strong.  I am following my interests more these days, so I started to look through the kitchen to see if I had everything I needed.  Luckily, it only needed 3 ingredients.

I remember growing up and hearing that Elvis loved eating this.  Well, now I want to experience what Elvis had.  I toasted 2 pieces of toast, cut my banana into slices and grabbed a jar from the pantry.

Do you know what I had for breakfast?

I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich. (I did an open faced one.)  And OH MY!  This is going to go into my rotation of breakfast choices.  This open faced sandwich was so easy to make.  Luckily, I don’t consider putting bread into a toaster cooking.  Though I do consider slicing as cooking, but I can do a banana without a cutting board, so very doable.

I enjoyed my breakfast immensely.  Only took me decades to get brave enough to try it. Where the strong craving came from is still a mystery, but I am really glad it did.

So, have you tried a peanut butter and banana sandwich or want to?