Design by Sawyer Pennington


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Luckily, you can still "see a smile" even behind a mask! So when I run errands I can still do what I've always done. But what I miss is giving a hug to people at Red & Black business meetings. Sending a "pretend" hug during a Zoom meeting just isn't the same.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, it should come as no surprise that I am not a hugger. So, I greet people by admitting, in a joking manner, that I have never been a hugger but now have an excuse.


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I admit I‘d never heard of The Make-A-Wish Foundation before I was almost 40 (I lived abroad until then), and it was Black’s involvement with this life-changing organization that led me to learn about it. Growing up, charity wasn’t a big part of our life, although I learned decades later that my grandmother was involved in Fight For Sight.

Once I was living in the same city as Black, I could see how important Make-A-Wish was to her (there was Wish kids’ artwork in her house and logos on her racecar). I also saw how it makes such a difference in the lives of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. And how the power of a wish impacts not only the Wish kid but their families and even strangers, as so many of the wishes bring together neighbors and communities. But the best part may have been as I watched as my daughters learned about charity and became involved by having lemonade sales with all proceeds going to our local Make-A-Wish chapter (find your local chapter).


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I have been involved with Make-A-Wish for decades and have seen firsthand how it has touched so many lives, starting with Tommy Austin, who granted the first wish in 1980. However, it has done more for me than I can ever do for it. As once you see the hope, joy, and optimism of a Wish child waging a courageous battle, you want to help in whatever way you can (donate, volunteer, fundraise). It reminds me that my problems or frustrations are minuscule in the scheme of things. It is my “reality check” on life.

And, although once a year we celebrate World Wish Day (April 29 to mark the anniversary of the first wish), every day is the perfect day to celebrate the power of a wish and the ripple effect it creates.

So, what better day than today to make a difference by making a donation?!


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I have to laugh because I’ve had to overcome my mental roadblocks (and natural tendency to freak out) when it comes to personal finance and technology, so I can’t imagine combining the two concepts. However, I know it’s the terminology (and my resistance to change) that creates a lot of my problems.

When it comes to financial apps, I don’t know much about them because I don’t use them. I’m old-fashioned and still use Microsoft Money (which I don’t even think is made anymore) to print my checks and a calculator, paper, and pens (Black’s probably rolling her eyes that I don’t at least use pencils and erasers) to do everything else. My daughters (ages 19 and 23) use Excel spreadsheets for their budgets, which I find interesting as although they’ve grown up with smartphones, neither one uses financial apps.


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Similar to list-making, where I explained to Red that it does not matter whether you use pencils or a computer (or, in this case, an app), it is the thought process, not the method, that is critical. The fact you are interested in managing your finances is an important first step, and if you WANT an app because you think it will provide better motivation and give you more insight, great, but you do not NEED it. Remember, only you can decide whether to make an expenditure, and the difference between a “need” and a “want” (although an app may prompt that question) as they are different for everyone. (FYI, I do not use an app as I refuse to give anyone online access to my financial accounts.)

Different apps have different features and functionality (such as tracking where your money is going, budgeting, paying bills, paying off debt, investments, etc.). And, they come with different price tags (apps from banks are typically free, but if you change banks, your financial history probably will not transfer), which are usually quoted on a monthly basis with the intent of making it look cheaper, but you need to consider the annual cost. If you are not sure exactly what you want, maybe start with a free version to “test drive” it and then decide if you want to upgrade (or do it without an app.)


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


When I think of April Fools’ Day, I think of two different kinds of pranks. The first is those harmless, juvenile pranks that anyone can do, and that work well when a mom does it to her kids. (Just saying …) And then there are the more elaborate hoaxes that require significant staging, with my favorite being the one where the BBC (yes, the BBC!) pranked people with its spaghetti story.

I’ve never been brave enough to try and prank Black, and can’t remember her ever pulling a prank, but now I’m beginning to get nervous wondering what Black might be up to. Maybe it’s an elaborate hoax starting with her lulling me into a false sense of security!


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Red has nothing to worry about as I do not “do” April Fool’s Day pranks. Even as a child, I would just roll my eyes at the simple ones. (A “kick me” sign on someone’s back? Really?) And, although I love complex hoaxes, they take too much work and planning to pull off successfully. And, sometimes, they still can end up backfiring (pun intended) like last year’s Volkswagen one.

But, did you know that April Fools' Day started back in the days of the Roman Empire? The Julian Calendar (named after Julius Caesar) had the New Year beginning around April 1, and centuries later, it was changed to January 1. However, many people did not “get the news”, so they continued to celebrate on the original date. People who considered themselves “in the know” made fun of those people (some things never change) and referred to them as April Fools. Then again, is this true, or am I just pranking you?