Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where's Your Money?

Lots of stuff to do before I fly off for New York on Friday. Chapters to finish, e-newsletter to get out to mailing lists, conferences to register for, future travel plans to arrange, non-writing business to take care of, not only for myself, but also other business for my mom, and on and on. When you're a writer, all those trips for book business may be fun, but they also cost money. So, as a working writer who supports herself from the writing proceeds, I have to spend a LOT of time figuring out how to pay for everything. Travel, especially. Fortunately, I was a CPA once upon a time, so budgeting and keeping track of expenses is part of my DNA, I guess.

Actually, learning how to budget is good advice for everyone, no matter what ---take my advice and create a strict budget. Try to stick to it. That's a life skill that everyone benefits from learning. The first step in taking control of your money is LEARNING WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES. Sorry. Sometimes the "teacher" in me jumps out. Which reminds me---

I was out last weekend with three other friends (one was a career teacher who retired last year) and we finished off the evening at our favorite wine bar here in Fort Collins, but having pumpkin spiced lattes instead of wine. As always, our conversations were all over the place and usually accompanied by lots of laughter. Whenever we're out, someone will often stop by our table and comment that we're having way too much fun. Our reply? There's no such thing.

Anyway, my friend is now signed on to teach adults in career-school situations. She has to teach a math course, and we were pelting her with suggestions as to relevant real-life math skills everyone should have, such as: how to figure percentages, understanding credit card charges, how do mortgage payments work, and everyday things like that. Real life skills for the real world. And--we wondered why these things weren't taught in some form in high schools.

What sort of basic life skill info do you wish you'd learned in high school before going out into the "real world?"