My Story

My story...you never really think too much about how you came to be.  I never felt that my life was extraordinary.  I was born and raised in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio.  I am the middle child with a older and younger sister.  As a child I do remember I was fascinated with money.  I do recall when I was three telling my parents that I wanted to be an ATM machine when I grow up.  I was so excited when mother would punch numbers into a machine and money came out.  Both of my parents got a good laugh about that.

I went to public school when I was a kid growing up.  I walked to school during the week.  Our elementary school was about a half mile down the road.  The only busy road we had to cross was Whipp Road, and there was always an adult to stop traffic for us walkers.

I didn't mind school, it always seemed to be a bit boring.  Although at home there wasn't much in the form of entertainment either.  We had one station on the TV.  Channel U.  It was pretty much PBS.  I remember watching Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street.  We also had an Intellvision II where I could play Donkey Kong, Qbert, and Burger time.  We had a Commodore 64 computer as well, and at the time I had no idea what a big deal it was to have a computer.  My father was a computer programmer for NCR.  He brought home a old computer every other year it seemed like that the company no longer used.

I started playing sports when I was five and played tee-ball, soccer, and basketball.  I played goalie in soccer up until high school.  My father coached the team, and we won many championships growing up.  I still play some basketball, but as you get older life changes, and it is much harder to play.

Middle school was probably the toughest years of my life.  So much change occurs in middle school.  I became a bully...something I am not very proud about, but at the time I felt it was survival.  In the 7th grade I got all Ds and Fs.  You would think that I would have been held back...but I was assigned to the 8th grade.  My parents were pretty upset about the situation and had a conference with all the teachers.  All of the teachers with the exception of the reading teacher said I should move forward to the 8th grade.  They knew full well that had I been held back I would have been a bigger problem than I already was.  My mother told them that I would be held back and go to a private school.  After they found that out...they said it was a great idea.  Not their problem anymore.

During this process, my mom found out that I had a tracking problem with my eyes.  This was causing me to read slowly to the point of frustration.  It took six months working on eye exercises to correct the problem.  I went to Sylvan learning center and got my reading problem fixed in about a year.

At my private school the grading scales was much harder then public school.  100-94 was an A.  93-85 was a B.  84-70 was a C.

My second year in 7th grade I received all Cs.  Because the private school cost so much money, my mother made me work at the local YMCA.  I had to pay my mother $190 per month to pay for school.  I'll never forget after I first started working and receiving my first paycheck.  I started working the summer and worked about 40 hours a week.  I already knew how much I was going to get paid and was very excited.  I knew I was going to get $4.25 x 80 = $340.  That is a lot of money.  I eagerly opened up my letter and looked inside..."Mom, they stole from me!"

As my mother laughed...and said, "Welcome to the real world son."

Who were these people named FICA?  I was very upset.  I am not certain how much money I received, but I think it was $100 less than I was expecting.

Worst of all...as a child you do not get that money back.  Why?  Because your parents claim you as a deduction.  That experience is probably one of the reasons why I wanted to learn more about taxes, personal finance, economics, and accounting.  I took all of those classes when I was in High School.  None of them are required, which is a shame.

In my opinion, everyone should have an elementary understanding of many subjects.  If you want to be a Military Millionaire, having an elementary understanding of taxes, accounting, personal finance, and economics will go a long way.

These may not have very much interest to you...but sitting on that beach, or traveling the world, or starting that business you always wanted, or driving a Ferrari at 200 mph, or having a family, or sending your kids to college...or whatever does interest you, more than likely requires money.  I challenge you to put those dreams or those goals and make a collage.  Remind yourself why you are learning this stuff.  Vision first, than start to take action.  Dream it, learn it, do it.

I wish the best of luck to all of you.

Gary

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