Hope for your financial life and beyond

3 Reasons Kids Should Watch Every Moment of Olympic Coverage

Today my kids will drag themselves out of bed and head back to school. Unfortunately, our back to school season is clashing with another major world event happening right now – the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. So there will be no more 10-hour, lying on the couch veg-out sessions, flipping back and forth to the many channels of Olympic coverage.

I have to admit I love the summer Olympics. I can do without the opening and closing ceremonies, which I know many people love. But I’ll take anything and everything else that happens. The Olympics are a sports enthusiasts dream.

My love affair with the Olympics started in 1984 when they were hosted by Los Angeles. I was 11 years old and still remember being in awe of the athletic performances. If you are under the age of 25 and have never heard of Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Mary Lou Retton, Greg Louganis or the Zola Budd collision you need to spend some time on YouTube. Great athletes with great performances in a great atmosphere.

Now I’m raising four kids who are growing up in an age where there is a greater variety of Olympic events and they have greater access to them. There weren’t 7 stations broadcasting the competitions in those days. And we certainly didn’t have streaming options via computer or mobile phone app.

So far my kids are eating this up. There have only been a few days of Olympic coverage but they are fixed in the TV room, cheering the USA on at every turn. I’m usually one to limit TV and computer viewing because I don’t think it’s healthy for kids to be looking at a screen all day.

But here is why until the Olympics are over I’ll be stretching the viewing limits and bedtimes a little farther even with school being in session.

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How I Got Financially Real in 5 Minutes

(A special “Thank You” to Shannon at The Heavy Purse for organizing this blog carnival for Financial Literacy Awareness Month. Check out her post and see how other personal finance bloggers got financially real.)

Financially Real

Up until seven years ago I lived with the delusion that I had no money problems. Everything seemed fine to me. We were paying bills on time, building our credit score and saving/investing money along the way.

What more do you need than that, right?

The truth however didn’t match reality. I was an over-spender…a chronic over-spender. Every month we were spending more than we made. (Well, it probably wasn’t every month but it sure seemed that way.)

Like so many others who live on credit and spend, spend, spend, I was content to keep walking that path. That was until I had an encounter I’ll never forget.

The five-minute encounter changed my life.

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Finding Inspiration and Overcoming Mental Obstacles

You can find me today guest posting about my blogging journey and finding inspiration at ThePlutusAwards.com.

ideaEveryone has a different journey that led them to start blogging. I’ve found many personal finance blogs were born because the owner had come through or was still wading neck deep through a financial hardship. The blog became their outlet to share their story and/or maintain accountability as they worked through the financial struggles.

I think that’s admirable and greatly needed. We want to hear compelling stories about people who have paid off $100,000 in debt and are now killing it financially. It’s inspiring and offers hope to the millions of readers who haven’t quite reached that level of success but desire to do so.

But what if you don’t have a story like that? Where does one find the inspiration to not only start a blog but also…

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Moments Like This Make Blogging Worth It

What drives a blogger to write?

map of the PhilippinesIn my 2+ years of blogging myself and after reading countless other blogs during that time, I’ve concluded there are three reasons why someone would start a blog:

  1. To make money
  1. To make a difference
  1. To share details about their life

In broad terms that pretty much covers it. However, it’s not an either or proposition. A blogger could narrow their focus to one of these tasks or accomplish all three at once. It simply depends upon that person’s goals and objectives.

I’m going out on a limb to say in the field in which I write (personal finance), the overwhelming majority of bloggers would concede reason #2 has to be a part of what drives them. How can I say that? Because I’ve read their blogs and personally talked with them and this issue always comes up.

We are – somewhere deep down in our nature – desiring to see the things we talk about help other people with their finances.

So we do what we can to reach as many people as possible. And the other day I got a message from an unexpected source that made me realize – really for the first time – that what I’m doing is worth it.

You’re Writing From Where?

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That Moment When You Question Your Goals

Baltimore Marathon

2013 Baltimore Marathon finishers medal

Mile 18.

I’m deep in the heart of the most difficult portion of the Baltimore Marathon. My pre-race plan has worked to perfection, with two hours and thirty minutes of patient, steady running behind me. Just ahead though, I’m about to face multiple lengthy inclines, the kind that cut into your pace and can punish a runner late in the race. My legs feel good but I’m not looking forward to these climbs.

Every runner has to endure moments like this. It comes with the territory. There is no way I’m stopping with my goal of a sub-four hour marathon clearly in reach. I’ve been intensively training for the last four months and I’m not letting all that effort go to waste.

As a former psychology major, I’ve always been intrigued by our mind. What is it about the circumstances of the moment that trigger unusual, creative or bizarre thoughts? We think of things at the strangest of times. And as I began a slow and arduous climb in mile 19, I experienced this phenomenon, thinking of something I hadn’t dwelt on in a long time.

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This Little Light of Mine

CandleHidden Nuggets Series #1

Have you ever lost your way? I have on more than one occasion, including this past year while writing for Luke1428. Unintentionally, I strayed from the vision that sparked the purchase of this domain name in early 2012.

It started sometime this past January when I began to incorporate less and less of a spiritual perspective in my writing. My vision for Luke1428 had been to share what God had revealed to me about money and personal finance through my reading of the Bible. It’s littered all through the Bible’s pages, really valuable and practical applications that anyone, religious or not, could appreciate.

I started out gangbusters on that vision.

I ended blog year #1 fizzling out on it.

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