Today was a very up/down day. What is an up/down day you ask (since I just made up that phrase)? 😉
It is a day where some really good things happen and then some really bad things happen.
First the bad part. This morning, my supervisor informed me that my leave (vacation) for this coming June was going to have to be cancelled due to low manning. We’ve lost a lot of people recently and they couldn’t afford me to take the few weeks off in June that I had put in for. Sucks, but it had to be expected with the number of cuts recently. Normally I wouldn’t be that upset since I will still be able to take leave later in the summer around August/September but I specifically planned for June since that is when my younger brother graduates high school, which I really didn’t want to miss. I’ve been planning this trip home for the last year and once it was approved back in December of last year, have been telling all my friends/family that I will be home in June. Now I’ll have to let them all know that I won’t be able to make it. 🙁
Now for the good part. Today I won “Airman of the Year” for my squadron, the military equivalent to winning an Employee of the Year award. Awesome right? All the hard work and dedication I put in to my job paid off and I got recognized. There was an award ceremony where the annual winners at all the different levels of the organization (AIrman-lower tier, non-commissioned officers (sergeants), middle tier, and officers-upper tier) were all recognized.
So how does this all relate to personal finance you ask? Well in the field of investing, whether that be dividend growth stocks, index funds, mutual funds, or even bonds you are going to have good parts and bad. A good part would be getting a nice dividend raise from a company you own stock in, like the annual raise Coca-Cola gave its shareholders last month. A bad part could be getting a dividend cut from one of your stocks (like General Electric during the 2009 recession) reducing your income, or for you index investors, having the S&P 500 drop by a significant percent, leaving you with less of a retirement nest egg to live off of.
The important take away is to never get too carried away with the ups or downs of both finance and life. Don’t go celebrating and blowing a bunch of money just because your investments went up because you know there will be harder days in the future to prepare for. Same with me and my award, I can’t let that go to my head and give me an excuse to slack off at work, I need to continue working hard each and everyday. When you experience that huge investment loss, don’t abandon your strategy. Stay the course with your budgeting and investing, and push through it so you can continue to reach your goals. Maybe it will be a little harder, but what is life without a challenge? In my life, I’ve got to remember that although I’ll be missing my brother’s graduation now, at least I’ll still be getting a chance to visit my family this year, even if it is a little later in the year than expected.
Just remember in life and your finances, there will be ups and downs, sometimes even in the same day. You just can’t let them affect you too much and keep remembering, it will all balance out in the end.