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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Put Your $ to Work

~ my neighbor's sheep ~
We're in the midst of a huge snow storm, expecting ten inches (or more) and are well on the way. Generally, they'll be drifts of three to five feet in the morning and chores are going to be difficult and tricky. There's no wind, thank God, but the temps are dropping quickly and I've done what I can do to prepare the animals, the farm, the house and myself. May God have mercy. 

For some, this money information will come as welcome as rain after a drought; for others, you'll say, “Well, I already knew all this” and my response to you is, “then why haven't you blogged about it and helped out the rest of us?” grin
~ Sam and Sadie ~
I'm not a financial expert, nor a stock broker and don't work for human resources or any of the companies I'm going to talk about. I'm simply someone who was told about all this and have taken advantage. I want to pass along the favor but, as always, you should talk over your money management plans with your spouse or someone else who has your best interest at heart. Let them help you make wise money decisions.

Lately, I've been working on “the book” and thought I'd blog about money. Money is part of “the book”, in fact, a major part of “the book” because you work hard for your money and there are two things that are very true about your money...(1) you want to keep as much of it as you can and (2) you want it to work for you. Money that's not working is money that doesn't have much value other than face value. It's possible for your money to go to work...every single day and, at the end of a few years or decades, you'll have a tidy packet to aid in retirement, help with college expenses, start the grands on a nice nest egg, etc.

First, if you have a 401 at your place of work, run, don't walk to the HR office and announce your intent to participate. Then, participate at the full maximum allowed by your company. Seriously, you cannot afford not to participate; companies vary as to how much they'll match but whatever they match, it's money in your pocket. Give up whatever you need to give up...mani-pedi's (it's not that difficult to paint your own nails), eating lunch out, buying coffee (make it at home and you'll save big!) and a load of other "small" expenses that chew through your wallet. 

One of a parent's primary jobs is teaching your children about money. If you weren't taught about money, the learning curve is going to be difficult but not impossible so better get started.

Putting your money to work means making it earn compound interest. Compound interest means not only does your initial principal work for you, so does the interest. In essence, you've got a double whammy going on which means more money in your account.

Using this investor compound interest tool will give you an idea of how your money can work for you. If you set aside $250 as your buy-in principal, add $25 each month and let it grow for 10 years at 7% interest and compound that interest twice a year, you're going to have close to $5,000 at the end of ten years. 

$250 current principal - initial buy-in
25 monthly addition = $300 per year
10 years to grow
7%interest rate
compound interest 2 times a year
will be $4,739.40

If you add start with more principal and/or add more than $25 each month your figure will grow accordingly. Research the company you're interested in and then plug in the numbers to see how much money you'll save and earn.

So, how do you buy stock? A lot of people think you need a stock broker or an on-line account. Neither is true. If you have a utility service in your name, you can call them and ask, “Do you have a stock buy-in program?” If they say, “Yes” then you ask, “What does it cost to buy-in? Do I buy-in monthly or yearly?” Then, almost the most important question, “Do you have a Dividend Reinvestment Program?”

A Dividend Reinvestment Program, commonly referred to as a DRIP, means all interest made on your money, will be used to make more money...for them and for you. You never opt to receive a dividend check; you always let dividends roll over and purchase either more partial or full shares of stock.

There are many companies that have a stock buy-in and DRIP program. In Virginia, it's Dominion Resources, an electric company, and in Florida it's Southern Electric. Other stock-buy in companies include EXXON, and there are more companies listed at List of DRIP Companies, Direct Investing and Online DRIP Database. A visit to any of these sites will give you companies that allow you to directly purchase stock and enroll in their DRIP program.

Or you could call your utility company and ask about their programs. BTW, utility companies are commonly referred to as "widows and orphans" stock...they aren't very sexy, like tech stock, but they, generally, aren't as volatile with wild swings up and down. Just nice and steady, aren't going anywhere and probably will be around for a long while. 

As with all financial decisions, you should do your own research and make your own decisions based on intelligent decisions. I'm not telling you to invest in any of the companies I've named, but I will tell you, some decades ago I invested in Dominion Resources and it was one of the best financial decisions I ever made.

Blessings ~ buy-in stock programs ~ DRIP ~ compound interest ~ your money at work ~


  1. Lots of good info... boy, I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now....Most of our life has been in the ministry...very little money made and very little or no retirement or medical benefits during those years.. God has always been faithful to take care of regrets in the areas we have served.. many souls were invested in.. It can be frustrating when we compare our lives to the majority of the world.. I guess we will never experience our full retirement benefits until heaven.... still, great info for those younger with money choices to make.. I have been keeping a watch on the storm.. You are up for a good one.. I pray all goes well with the farm and the animals.. Be careful and stay warm.. Blessings!

  2. Good advice. In a way it's a shame we don't appreciate this type of stuff when we are young. But the time you truly appreciate the value of saving and investing, we've lost so much time

  3. I honestly can't believe you are supporting this. Keep control of your own money...don't let others control it.

  4. hope all goes well for you through the storm, right now we have about 5", and more coming down. I have never understood the stock market, I'm more like the first lady who commented, but i would like to save more. that is a goal of mine for this year.

  5. Hope your fingers are not frozen to the keyboard. I found your advice of interest. I think it is very important to invest in good solid programs and keep ones funds diverse. Or "don't put all your eggs in one basket". My parents didn't teach me anything about saving money. I had the obligatory savings account through elementary school as so many of us in the 1950's did. I have made mistakes and was fortunate enough to marry someone who has good dollar sense and have learned from him. My big revelation was putting myself on the "envelope" program. I was amazed at how much better control I had over my money if it was staring me in the face inside of "poof be gone" magic of a debit card. So now the dollars allotted for bills go into the bank and I use bill pay for them. No bank charges for that service. The remainder house , animal , farm money all have their envelope and are paid in cash. I am excited to see this working for me. Stay warm and kiss the critters for me.

  6. Patty, you and me both but it's not too late to start now.

    Kim, you're so right, wish I'd been a lot smarter when I was a lot younger but it's not too late...I'm still breathing -grin-.

    ain't, if you don't like the advice, don't take it...there's no gun to your head. Christians are called upon to be good stewards of what God has entrusted us and He'll reward us for being good stewards. But the man who buried his money in the ground not only got nothing, what he had was taken away.
    Like I said, utility stocks are, generally, good stocks Because people need and use electricity, propane, etc. Every time you flick on a switch, you're paying yourself but if you don't own electric stock, every time you flick on a switch, you're paying me. thanks!

    Annie, the stock market is difficult to understand and that's why I talked about, relatively, safe stocks like utilities. See my comment to ain't.

    Goatlidi, you give good advice. I was taught to save but put it in the bank which is paying about 1/2 of 1 thank you. It sounds like your system works great for you and that's the point. Have a system that works great for you and then USE IT. LOL.

  7. Good advice it is the same here in Canada with slightly different names. Retirement with money would be nice and it is all in the planning when you are young and do not even want to think about it. Hug B

  8. Good info, Sandra. I would also personally recommend Dave Ramsey's plan to get out of debt and staying debt free. People do NOT need to drink the Credit Score Koolaid!

    As one who had credit card use problems in the past, I can attest to the fact the Debt Snowball concept works. The average consumer's brain needs the little victories that paying off debt from smallest balance to largest affords, rather than highest interest to lowest.

  9. I hope you and the animals get through this coldness unscathed, this was interesting post.

  10. ...we're in the midst of the big storm too...

    Stay warm...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  11. Listen up people . . . GOOD ADVICE!

  12. As a self-taught Accountant, I will add that is very good advice Sandra. I would also advise reading financial magazines or newspapers. One doesn't have to read the whole thing, just articles of interest. I read Forbes and highly recommend it. Knowledge is power. ~:)

  13. You are a smart woman! This is good advice. I love your snowy pictures. We got a ton of ice here in SC. We lost power yesterday and it may be a few days before it's restored. We have means if staying warm though and hope you do the same. God Bless!

  14. Wise advice and much appreciated. It's never too late to learn how to increase your money.

    Stay warm we have about 10 in of snow in Burke's Garden.

  15. We are retired and living comfortably because we paid ourselves first all the years we were working. As a teacher I had 2 different tax shelters available to participate in and I did both. Many people I worked with did neither.

    My husband put in the maximum amount as did I. We lived "small" - 1 car for many years, a small cottage instead of a cookie cutter McMansion, paying cash for everything including our cars.

    Steve is collecting Social Security and I have a pension. We have our money invested, but because we live small, we have not touched any of it and it continues to grow.

    Too many people want it ALL - NOW and aren't willing to wait so they charge things and never get out from under.

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  17. Oh, Sandra,
    So wish I had smarter parents that valued the dollar, perhaps then we kids would have grown with value, I pass on to my two kids that money is only money its not an asset if it's in your wallet and your sitting on it. Yet if its invested for your future its an asset. I know it's never too late for me having to go through some of it as a bail out when the economy crashed a few years back. Your advice well received and I am going to do something about it, if not for meself something for my daughter who is still at home in college.

    I am so sorry to hear this storm my hit you big again. I wish I could take some of the burden of its fearce force and have some of it cover us. We get little or any snow on the desert of CA. Yet at times we get those rare storms and we will get a few inches of snow and hail that cover us for a couple of days then a bit of pounding rain and we are back to what we know of what the desert offers, wind, sun, dry, heat, and spring chills.

    I hope the burden of this storm does not hold you hostage to with functioning and getting business taken care of maintaining the beauty around your farmhouse.

    Thank you Sandra, for making a purchase of the Artful Blogging magazine, and taking notice of my life in short and the beauty of what one can do to mend ways. It's truly been a joy to to meet heartfelt bloggers who take interest in one another, good and pure.
    Your beauty in your advice is well received and keep on passing on what you know to have been worthy of blogging.
    Keep inspiring the beauty in what God has given you to care for; that amazing view.

    Thank you for gracing your beauty over at my place and leaving words that joy my days.
    A wealth of beauty to you my sweet friend.


  18. Oh, the weather, the weather, the weather! I went to college in Virginia so I well know the long, cold, snowy winters. Please take care of yourself, and then the animals. The advice given today is excellent. No one ever told me I would have to worry, as I do now, when I was younger. Nothing was ever discussed about retirement, or the lack of earning. And, everyone needs to know you shouldn't GIVE your money to your kids until you are sure you have enough for yourself, as more than likely they will not be able to take care of you when you need it. It's so much easier to spend than to earn. Save, plan, investigate, and always be skeptical. Great advice, Sandra.

  19. The photos look adventurous cold! Lovely animals!

  20. Buttons, it's almost never to late to start planning for retirement.

    Vic, good advice. I took his course and enjoyed it, found it useful too. I found Quicken to be better suited to my needs and not Ramsey's version of accounting.

    Lynn, so far, so good.

    Teresa, hope you're doing well in your latest storm.

    Pam, good advice that I need to take. I read investment newsletters but need to start reading magazines as well.

    LaLa, be SAFE, so glad your Mom wasn't hurt!

    Mary, bet the children are driving you crazy!

    A&S, you are So right and now, the gubmint wants to take from US and give to those too lazy to work!

    Dore, you are SO kind! Your essay and photos are beautiful and I'm so glad we're blog friends! The storm was okay, so far everyone is safe and I'm able to do chores. God is good!

    Marsha, love the play on Betty MacDonald...I want to say, "The wind. The wind. Dear God, the wind." -lol- I wasn't taught how to plan for retirement but was taught how to save. Dave taught me how to save for retirement and make our money work. He always worked smart...using his head.

    Dori, thank you and the animals say thank you too.

  21. Hi Sandra, GREAT ADVICE!! God is truly using you to speak to us all. Thank you for sharing!!
    Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day and great weekend.

    Thank you for stopping by and your sweet comment about the black and white stitching. I've done red and white too for a toile bedroom.

  22. Yikes! That storm looked pretty aggressive. I hope you got through it just fine. Anyway, putting your money to work requires a lot of time and patience. And most of the time, people get impatient and give up, because they’re not seeing the growth that they have expected. There are a lot of ways to improve your income, as long as you have right mindset and have gathered info about your target investments beforehand. Thanks for sharing this with us. All the best!

    Jerald Weaver @ Blue Harbour Property Management


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