Harnessing the Power of Not Yet

Power of Not YetLetter grades are one of the hallmarks of the American education system. Whether it’s an A or an F or something in between, letter grades define our academic abilities as students for nearly two decades of life. And then what? People still talk about succeeding and fret at the notion of failing. What would happen if we altered the verbiage and recategorized failure? 

That is, in fact, one of my favorite parts of summer school. Since these are non-credit classes given my students’ ages, I assess individual skill strands. I don’t have to worry about assigning letter grades that have to translate into GPA points and transcript data. My favorite category? Not yet. There is no F. There is no no. Instead, a student is either mastering a skill, developing a skill, or hasn’t done it quite yet. More chances will be offered, and there is more work to be done. She hasn’t failed. He hasn’t flunked. They’re just not ready yet.

As someone who obsessed obsesses over failure regularly, removing the notion of failing from my mindset has been liberating. I haven’t flunked personal finance. I haven’t failed a goal. I’m just not there yet. I’ll get there. I might be on mile two while everyone else is eyeing the finish line, but I’ll keep trudging on. In the spirit of summer school, here are my not yets–financial and otherwise. Continue reading “Harnessing the Power of Not Yet”

Harnessing the Power of Not Yet

Our Current Giving Practices and Goals

Current (2)Earlier in the week, I penned a call to giving. Of course, volunteering time and talent makes a difference. I’d like to think that Mr. P and I both know that well from firsthand experience. But charitable giving matters just as much–maybe, in some ways, even more. As a result, Mr. P and I work to prioritize charitable giving as we pursue financial independence. To keep the act of giving at the forefront of our minds, we include it in our monthly budget, but we also make sure to include weekly giving when we grocery shop.  Continue reading “Our Current Giving Practices and Goals”

Our Current Giving Practices and Goals

You Don’t Have to Give, But You Absolutely Should

A Call to (1)The oxygen mask on an airplane analogy is a cornerstone in life lessons. It essentially boils down to the notion that we need to help ourselves before we can effectively help anyone else. I get it. What I don’t understand, though, is the fact that so many people feel that they not only have to have their masks positioned just so, but they must also upgrade to an elite model and make sure that they can use their own masks in perpetuity before even deigning to glance at struggling passengers. Some of whom are seated in the very same row.

My fear is that far too often we allow the notion of personal finance to become insular. Yes, personal finance is about arranging your own finances in such a way that your money is ultimately able to work for you. Not the other way around. But to what end?  Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Give, But You Absolutely Should”

You Don’t Have to Give, But You Absolutely Should