As a youngster, my parents did a great job of teaching me to “save, save, save.” Piggy banks and hiding money under my mattress (from older brothers) were all typical in the Hale household.
I've never loved exercise. In high school, I was the kid who dreaded the day of the mile-run in P.E. and would do all I could to avoid it. As I approach 40, however, I find myself thinking more about my health. There are obvious physical and mental benefits to a healthy lifestyle, but there are financial benefits as well.
When I graduated from college, I felt like I was on my way to knowing everything about investing. I had taken several courses teaching deep investment analysis; crunching data in large, complex spreadsheets.
As I’ve continued to learn, I have realized (and extensive, academic research has confirmed) smart investing isn’t nearly as complex as it’s made out to be. Anyone can do it themselves, if they learn a few guiding principles.
Shortly after returning from my missionary service in 2001, I was approached by a man who said he was experiencing some car troubles and needed a ride. I truly learned to love people on my mission, so I happily offered to help.
While I was driving, the man revealed his true “story.” What he really wanted was money. He needed a certain part to fix his car and he knew how much it was, he just didn’t have the money to get it done. I was reluctant but he was insistent, showing me his ID and giving me his address; begging and pleading. So I stopped at an ATM, took out some cash, and gave it to him along with my number to call once he could pay me back. I think it was around $180. No small sum for a broke, college-bound returned missionary.
In the spring of 2015, Kellie and I took a dream trip to Europe. The bulk of our time was spent in Budapest, Hungary, where she had served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After Budapest, we spent a few days in Vienna, Prague, and Dresden, Germany. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, and we’ve looked back on it fondly many times since.