There are lessons to be learned. No matter how much you try to school them, regardless the advance warning, despite all the “when I was your age” comments, young people have to learn for themselves.
And when the time comes during their teen years that they have to make decisions that can cost them money, they learn just how costly those decisions can be.
A family I know well enough to be related to (and am) is about to get a double dose of the money game. Two teenage daughters, with two months difference in their ages (they’re stepsisters) are entering into the world of higher learning.
It can be a great time, it can be a tough time. It all depends upon the decisions you have to make and how you do so.
Their dad has set them up to learn, with a little room to fail. They get an allowance, a decent one. OK, very decent. Each receives 40 times what I got at the best level I ever had. I won’t deny that times were much different and items much cheaper. It’s all relative.
Now comes the adjustment.
Until now, others have made many of their purchases for them. Food on the run, cosmetics, trinkets, or whatever usually has been more of a “gift” from others. They’ve been told that now that those expenses will be their responsibility. But the biggest change will be in transportation.
Now, they will both have a driver’s license. Their dad bought them a car to share, fixed it up with some nice added features and got them both a set of keys.
But he told them they would be responsible for handling the cost of fuel with their allowances. I suspect there will be a steady decline of some other purchases, beginning pretty soon.
So what comes next? A little exercise in budgeting, he says. They’re going to have to learn how to budget their money, because he added a stipulation when he set up their allowances: don’t ask anyone for money; you have your own, until it runs out.
I also suspect there will be some employment considerations, along with a push for an additional vehicle.
The lessons are just beginning.
Check the resources in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA to help you with your personal finances. There’s some pretty sound advice there, no matter your age.
Technology is on the rise; the holidays are coming and going. The scammers are out and pulling out some of what they think are their best tricks.
We are all very aware of the calls, texts, and e mails, promising vacations and free luxury items if you just call this number and give some “minor” information.
Some consumers are more aware of things like this than others so as good citizens, if you know someone that believes every good thing that they hear … WARN THEM.
Here is what is new or it can be old and just new to me and a few comrades that I have spoken with.
There are marketers calling and saying that you are late on certain utility bills and in order to prevent automatic termination of service you have to pay a certain amount, they are demanding credit/debit card information on the spot.
There are websites with some amazing deals on them, telling you don’t waste time in lines at the stores when you can just order your items on their site and receive them before the Christmas holiday.
The catch on that is, you pay for the items and then you find out days later that those items had to be back ordered and then were never available so they cancel the order as a whole … BUT they have your information and do as they please with it.
Of course text and e mail marketing is booming around this time so BE CAREFUL what you believe and what sites you give sensitive information to because believe it or not, it can happen to you, me, or a loved one.
Let’s look out for one another and SHOP SAFELY.
It’s all about money … how you get it, what you do with it. It’s your choice … mostly.
Who hasn’t watched a game show on TV, where contestants try to win money and prizes? Spin a wheel, answer a question, choose a door, select the right item, match objects and you might win the big one.
Maybe you play the lottery, where you spend money trying to make money. It’s a game of chance, similar to what some businesses “play” every day.
But listening to the radio while driving recently, I heard some hosts talking about how things are viewed today versus how they were thought of years ago. Such as, “If you had the choice of taking $100,000 when you were 20 or $10 million when you were 60, which would it be?”
For the younger set, those who haven’t reached the milestones in their lives yet, it’s all a dream or a wish. For those of us who have achieved at least one of those times, there’s some reality mixed in, especially when we’ve seen prices soar through the years on everything from necessities to accessories.
Later, when I wasn’t behind the wheel, I thought about what I would have done with a spare $100,000 when I hit 20. Like those on the radio show I had been listening to, a new car and a nice home were two items I most likely would have purchased. But I’m not sure how much investing I would have done, or how many trips I would have taken.
Now, getting $10 million at age 60 would bring a lot of interesting possibilities, such as retiring all debt for my family and me, helping others who are struggling …
Then, another question came to mind. “Would someone who suddenly found themselves with $10 million at age 60 continue to work for someone else, or would they either retire or work solely for them?”
I’d have to think about it some more, but I probably wouldn’t think long. I’m sure I could decide that one … shortly after I got my $10 million.
Learn more about handling personal finances at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA and its list of resources.
There was a day when you couldn’t get me to say the word “retire.” I had too much going to even give it a thought. From the time I shut off the alarm and got out of bed until the time I turned out the lights at night, my life was set on “go.”
Through the years, there have been a few changes. Actually, there have been many. Some days, it feels like my get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went, as they say. Other days, I”m still going strong. Or at least, I really want it to be that way.
I recently took a class on retirement, just to see how I stood and what I might out to do to prepare for that day when I would be able to leave the fulltime job and shift at least some of my efforts from things I HAVE TO do to things I WANT TO do. Well, at least that’s’ the intention.
It was during that class that I realized I’m certainly not at that point yet. In fact, I’m not certain when I will be there. But at least now I have an idea as to what it will take to get me there. I also know there are many things to consider before I can make it happen.
I have to look at such things as …
* Finance — Where will it come from and how much will we have? Will my retirement account and our investments sustain us?
* Health — Will we able to get around well enough to remain independent?
* Insurance — What can we afford and what will it cover? Health, home and vehicle insurance are only part of that picture.
* Home — Can we maintain our home? There are always areas that need attention, from cleaning to repairs.
* Transportation — What are our options? Will we still be able to drive ourselves, or will we need assistance?
* Activity — A key point for most any retiree. It’s not just keeping the body active. You need to keep the mind sharp as long as possible.
These were just some of the key concerns. There are many more. Each individual’s situation is different.
Take a look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RETIREMENT-OKLAHOMA to see areas a person looking ahead should be aware of before taking that plunge. Don’t forget also to look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA for more ideas on what you can do to prepare.
These and other topics in our “know it” library might be just what you need.
It’s a great time to get out, get some exercise and help support groups and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of those who need assistance.
Fall’s generally cooler temperatures and fresh air can be ideal to walk, jog, ride, run, or row. There are many opportunities to do so while helping raise money for local charities.
* Saturday, Oct. 6, you can join in the Oklahoma Walk Now for Autism Speaks, set for the East Wharf Children’s Park at Lake Hefner.
* Saturday, Oct. 6, the Heels for Hope 5k Race/1 Mile Walk/25-Yard High Heel and Feather Boa Dash for the Heels for Hope Foundation. This event raises money for ovarian cancer research, treatment and education.
* Sunday, Oct. 7, the BooBoo Dash 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run at Regatta Park to benefit programs of Children’s Hospital volunteers.
* The Team Hope Walk/5k for HD at Lake Hefner’s Stars & Stripes Park to help raise money for research of Huntington’s Disease. This event is Oct. 14.
* The Susan G. Komen Oklahoma City Race for the Cure at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, raising money for breast cancer research and assistance.
These are but a few of the many events related to health issues. But there are others relating to benefits such as pet adoptions.
Pick your favorites, as few or as many as you would like.
For a list of possibilities, check KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/CHARITY-OKLAHOMA, or go to WWW.WIMGO.COM and see what’s there.
You can help yourself and others at the same time.
A story I read recently on the news wire about a young man helping a family that had become stranded along a highway brought back memory of a similar incident from years ago.
It was late one Sunday night in October that my family and I were returning from a visit to another city. About 60 miles from our home, we experienced a major engine problem and we found ourselves stranded in the dark.
The preceding week had been an emotional one anyway. Now, we were facing another challenge, one without a quick solution. This was before cell phones were as popular as they are today, and shortly after I had given up having a CB radio in the vehicle. So, there we were … stuck.
This was one time my belief in the theory of STR (Stop … Think … React …) wasn’t producing much in the way of results. The only things in our favor were that we could use the flashers and we had blankets, water and a few treats.
But about a half-hour later, a modern-day good Samaritan and his wife happened to pass our disabled vehicle as they headed back to college from a visit to see their parents.
They found a turn-around and drove back to check on us after seeing my son and I outside with the hood up.
They drove us to the next exit where we were able to call for help, then took us back to the car to wait for assistance to arrive. When I tried to give them money for their inconvenience, they refused. The husband told us that something similar had happened to his wife not long before that and a motorist came to her rescue.
“Just remember this if you see someone stranded and get them help,” he said. “Maybe we can keep the string going and make things better and safer for everyone.”
I know that’s asking a lot, trying to turn around an attitude of distrust that has built through the years because of instances along our roadways where people have been hurt or even killed. But it did give us hope. And it was wonderful to know that there were people who are willing to help.
It was a few years later when I had a chance to repay that favor, one snowy December day. An elderly gentleman had become stuck and had no coat or gloves to combat the cold. I helped free his car, then, when he tried to pay me, told him about my experience on the road.
He said he would tell everyone how the act of kindness was repaid and encourage them to assist, through a phone call or whatever means possible.
The string of kindness continues.
Money isn’t always the most important need, though it certainly can help in many instances. Those wanting to help people who aren’t as well off, or who are facing challenges in their lives have numerous possibilities available.
A recent caller said she had survived a major situation and wanted to do something for someone less fortunate as a way of repaying her good fortune. We talked briefly, discussing options she might be interested in that could afford her an opportunity. We looked through the various topics in the “know it” library on NewsOK (HTTP:..KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/) and she was surprised by the number of areas she found quickly.
It wasn’t matter of trying to find something, it was more narrowing down the possibilities she could participate in immediately, from working with homeless people (HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/HOMELESS-OKLAHOMA) to doing charitable work (HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/CHARITY-OKLAHOMA).
But the search didn’t end there. She found several others as she scanned the various topics in the “know it” list.
By the time she had gone through such areas as HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RELIGION-FAITH-OKLAHOMA and HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MILITARY-OKLAHOMA, she said she had found at least 10 areas she thought she would be able to work in.
Of course, there are areas where money IS needed. She said she would donate money as she could, but certainly time and work regularly.
It will all be worthwhile, to her and to those she works with, as well as those she helps in other ways … a real “feel good” and positive situation.
You’ve most likely read or seen the plea, but unless you or anyone you know ever has needed blood, you may not understand the significance.
As someone who has been in that situation, I can tell you it’s extremely significant. It easily can be a matter of life or death.
“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. “This constant need is why we are asking … residents to donate blood.”
Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed. There always is a need.
Maybe it’s because I have experience firsthand the need. Maybe it’s because I’ve known many others who have been through it. Or maybe it’s because I have worked closely with the institute and its staff for many years to see and hear about those times when a quantity of donated blood allowed someone to continue to live.
Whatever the reason, I do know, and I encourage everyone who can to consider donating. You can find information in news releases in any of the five “know it” communities about how and where you can do so. There are many opportunities through the year. Just check KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/EDMOND, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MIDWEST-CITY, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/NORMAN, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/OKLAHOMA-CITY, or KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/YUKON for local drives.
You also can find information by contacting the institute or any of its donor centers.
Although all blood types are needed, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), those with O-negative blood type make up only 9 percent of the national population. However, O-negative blood can be used in any emergency situation when a patient’s blood type has not yet been identified.
Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provides every drop of blood needed by patients at all hospitals in the metro-OKC area. Some 140 other medical facilities across the state also rely solely on OBI to provide life-saving blood for their patients.
Anyone, 16 years or older, can typically donate blood. Blood can be given every 56 days. To find out more or make an appointment to donate, call 877-340-8777, or visit WWW.OBI.ORG.
All 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission. All 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, All 18-year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.
My mild-mannered friend and former classmate is gone, thanks apparently to gang violence in which he had no involvement.
An innocent man lost his life because he and his young daughter were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were looking for a birthday present for his wife in a Tulsa business when a stray bullet crashed through a store window and struck him in the chest.
His daughter lost her loving father, a loving husband to her mother. Outside the store, another man, this one with a past of criminal activity, also died. Police say that man was the target of the gunman. My friend’s death was totally unintended.
As of now, the shooter remains at large. His image appears on surveillance video at the time of the slayings. Authorities believe there are those who know him. Authorities, along with my friend’s family, have asked for assistance from the public in locating the killer.
Unfortunately, this incident, which resulted in the death of former Ponca City resident Wesley Brown, is one of many similar events that have made news recently, too many of them. Often, it is an innocent person, such as Wesley, who dies.
For those who knew Wesley, this incident is unfathomable. We remember him as a cheerful, intelligent individual, always smiling, always kind. His personality was warm and generous.
Unlike the individual responsible for his death, Wesley didn’t harm people. He helped them. I remember him as a good student, a friendly sort. He wasn’t big into athletics, but rather more into intellectual challenges.
After we graduated from high school, I didn’t hear much from him until we hooked up again on Facebook. But I hear and read that his interests were about the same as they were when we were in class together and young friends: family- and community-oriented.
I can only hope his family, in particular his young daughter who was with him at the time of the shooting, will recover from this tragedy. I hope the individual responsible for his death will be caught before someone else is harmed.
See the resources area of KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MENTAL-HEALTH-OKLAHOMA for information on the grieving process and how to cope with the loss of someone close to you.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.