Monday, October 21, 2013

Money Monday: Calculating Net Worth

What is net worth? It is the value that a person is worth financially, and is the difference between their assets and liabilities. A bank calculates it for potential borrowers to determine how sound they would be to pay off the debt if their main income fell through. The goal is to have a positive net worth as opposed to it being negative. The formula is, "Total Assets -Total Liabilities"

Assets are the current value of everything you own such as cash, retirement account balances, cash value of life insurance (not confused with face value), homes, vehicles, etc.

Liabilities are the total balances of all debt as of the date you are calculating it such as student loans, mortgages, credit cards, car loans etc.

If you own a business the assets and debt for it can be added for your total net worth, but then a bank will will also take them out to calculate Outside Net Worth (OSNW). This is to find out how financially sound a person would be if all of their businesses closed.

Tips to increase your net worth are to pay down debt, reduce acquiring new loans in the future, making sure the value of the asset equals equal to or or more than the loan amount,and increasing savings and/or retirement contributions. A recommendation is to calculate your net worth every year at about the same time in order to see where you are at and plan for for the upcoming year.

"Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself." ~Michel de Montaigne

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Heather Von St James | A Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor Story

A little while ago I was contacted by a lady named Heather Von St James.  She had recently overcame a battle with Mesothelioma, and wanted me to help share her story.  She is a strong lady, and I hope we all can appreciate and learn from her victory!

How-To Make Pumpkin Puree - Clean & Delicious®

Here is a great video that shows an easy way to turn entire pumpkins into pumpkin puree. The puree can be freezed to later make into smoothies, muffins and breads, pie, pudding, and even makes a great face mask!

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self Reliance

Pumpkin Patchin'

Incredibly nice October days with ample vitamin D leads to working in the yard to clear out the garden, finding worms for the compost bucket and going to the pumpkin patch. This year we went to Oltmann Farms in Ridgefield, WA. The kids loved the toys, wagon, pumpkins and corn maze. My daughter has been asking for homemade pumpkin pie the last few weeks. It is starting to be a tradition and I love that.
Our family.
Me with my sis and her baby. I love being an aunt

I get my pumpkin pie recipe from

Healthcare Taxes Effective January 1, 2014

Fyi. Here is the breakdown on the taxes charged if you don't have insurance starting in January

2014; $95/person($285/family) or 1% of income whichever is greater

2015; $325/person ($975 family) or 2% of your income whichever is greater

2016; $695/adult ($2085 family) or 2.5%

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This is Not a Dress Rehearsal

While searching online for a source of inspiration about the self reliance lifestyle I stumbled upon a video about Ralph Waldo Emerson. He had written essays on the topic of self reliance in oneself. Trusting in your internal opinion. I decided to give it a listen even though I had originally been intending for more of an external and environmental topic. I was quickly inspired and touched by his logic, and began to write notes in the dark with my curious husband looking on asking me what I was doing.

I lead a largely conformist life. It was how I was raised - learning to stroll through antique shops as a child with not so much as a shatter of porcelain. This has allowed me to climb the steps of success throughout life - completing grades 1-12 in school, getting my diploma, and then after finishing all that was instructed asking myself, "now what?" "Where is my next direction coming from?"

My parents said that at 19 I needed a job with benefits, so there became my focus. What are the duties? The environment? I don't care - does it have benefits? Sign me up!

Now 13 years later and with three kids I am still in the industry with benefits. I am good at practicing the professional norms - being quiet when appropriate - smiling when necessary and grumbling behind closed doors. How can you despise the job that pays your bills from day to day, when at the same time keeps you in the cycle? Without creativity there is no real change. The change to not need that dollar each day.

The battle is not always won by the slow, steady and predictable, but with change, courage, chance and risk. Did I really need benefits at a healthy 19 year old age? Probably not. Has it paid my bills? Kept a roof over my head? Hell yes! But has it also kept that same roof over my head, never changing...conforming to the rigor of routine...drowning out my own creativity with the intimidation of other's accomplishments? My answer is yes.

One vision at a time from now on. Too many is too much right now. Do the best at enjoying today, be genuine, surround myself with genuine, and study Chinese.

I have a plan to escape, to shake things up, to get out from under that roof, to show my kids the value of their own lives. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September Brought School and California Adventures!

September seemed like it flew by. The kids and my husband started school, and we took a late summer vacation to California. We went on a well needed road trip down to Disneyland, with stops to San Francisco for the first time to see a friend and a visit to Hollywood. The vacation was a good way to connect as a family. During the long car rides my husband and I shared stories, laughed, debated, and got annoyed. I got to learn more about my kids while going on the rides at Disneyland. My daughter is the daredevil who is up for most anything, was and ride buddies with Vince. The boys rode with me. Logan was my little partner in crime. I found myself getting nervous on the high up rides for fear that my babies were going to fall out. On the Goofy mini-roller coaster and most every ride I found myself holding onto Logan's arm even though it only provided a false sense of security. Ian's favorite character and ride was Winnie the Pooh. We went on it one last time our last ride of the trip and I almost started to cry when I realized that the next time we come Ian will not be little anymore. I wanted to bottle up that moment forever. /> In times of anger - listen

In times of tears - hug