If you’re in the U.S., Happy Memorial Day! And to military members and retirees around the world, thank you for your service.
In the United States, Memorial Day is considered the start of summer – a day for picnics and camping and barbecues and celebrating the lovely weather. But I think it’s important to remember what the day was designed to honor. Today is a day to honor those lost in service to our country. That’s pretty heavy stuff.
So during your relaxing and celebrating today, take a minute to say a silent thanks to all those who gave their lives in service.
And maybe take a minute to think about how you can give back. I’m not saying you should up and join the military, of course. But what do you have to give back to your community? Many of us already include charity in our annual budgets, but giving back doesn’t always mean money. Many times, what local organizations need is your time. And people of all skill levels are needed.
Not into group activities? How about helping a neighbor? Raking leaves and shoveling snow are great ways to help out, though perhaps not at this time of year. Maybe you could mow a neighbor’s lawn. Have an elderly neighbor who you don’t see out much? Stop by and say hi. Bring over some cookies that you “accidentally” made too many of. Keep an eye open for opportunities to help out. Big or small, you can always make a difference.
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.