Yesterday, I was waiting for a friend at Union Station and I stopped to get a bottle of water. As I was waiting in line, the guy in front of me was trying to pay for his sandwich with a credit card. His card kept getting declined and the cashier asked him if he had cash. He didn’t have enough. I asked him how short he was.
“Just under $2.”
I already had $2 in my hand to pay for my water, so I handed it to him so he could pay for his meal.
It was a very simple move, but it made me feel pretty good about myself. I’ve been really watching my spending, and sure, it was only $2, but I just gave it to a well dressed stranger.
(Of course, afterwards, he said “Thank you, ma’am.” He couldn’t have been that much younger than me. I’m not old enough to be ma’amed. But that’s another story.)
I’m not writing about this because I want people to be proud of my generosity. It wasn’t that generous. If I had decided to buy a sandwich for everyone in line, that would have been generous. I’m writing about it because for me, it was a reminder of how the little things do count. It’s nice to be able to help someone out, even if it is only with $2.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.