Thursday, May 17, 2007

My upbringing

Today at work there was a seminar offered on IBM's financial program which I did not go. Partially because I forgot that it was today and thus did not get an interpreter but no biggie. A coworker of mine, went and gave me a copy of their handout. She talked about bonds and stocks and how she did not know their difference until now. That stopped me in my tracks - how did I know about the difference between a bond and a stock? I knew that since I was a kid. It hit me. It was my parents who taught me.

It all started coming back to me slowly - I now remembered how my mom told me what a bond would do, and what was a CD (Certificate of Deposit), and I remembered my parents going to bank and discussing over which CD they wanted to buy (how many years, how much). I remembered asking my mom about opening a saving or checking account, and she let me decide which bank I wanted. She took me to the bank of my choice and helped me to open my very first saving account. I felt very thrilled that day.

I remembered my mom telling me all about the credit cards - interest rate, and paying back in full monthly, and giving me my first credit card at age of fourteen, for emergency use when I was away at MSSD (Model Secondary School for the Deaf) in Washington, DC, 2000 miles away from Saint Paul. I remembered I was very careful in using the credit card, and only using it when I needed. I never abused any of my credit cards, thanks to my parents.

My dad has been giving me a lot of good advices, on retirement plans, buying my first home, and investment ideas. He is a certified financial consultant, so he has a lot of advices under his belt. I notice that my mom has influenced me strongly when I was a dependent (from birth throughout college), and then my dad is my strong influence after I have moved to Kansas in August 2003.

For this I am truly grateful to have my parents for educating me to be financially "savvy". Thanks dad and mom.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Sweet Mother's Day gift is a ripoff in my opinion, really, unless they screw up the order :)

Last year for Mother's Day I decided to order a basket of flowers and have it shipped to my mom's home in Saint Paul. The price was quite hefty, even with IBM's 15% discount code. The shipping/handling hurts. I think that is how the company makes money - from shipping and handling costs.

So my mom got the flowers on Saturday, a day before Mother's day. She emailed me and said they were sweet and thoughtful but the flowers were dry and almost dead. She went ahead and called company and complained about the flowers. The company apologized and mailed another set of flowers (which was still almost dead and ugly, though) to my mom and mailed me a gift certificate that was equal to the cost of the flowers ($35). Hmm. Ok. My mom told me she did not want me to mail any flowers to her.

The gift certificate/"rebate" expires this June, so I decided to order something else thru for Mother's Day this Sunday. No flowers, so now I was looking at chocolate boxes. There was a nice set of Godiva dark chocolate which I ordered. My mom is very crazy over dark chocolate. The price - whoa, pricey. I put down IBM code for 15% discount, then used my gift certificate from last year's screw-up.

The total? $4. :)