Values-based financial planning for my graduates

Here is a note to my two daughters who are preparing to graduate from college on financial planning and goal setting.

David Barfield, March 2007

We have been working with a financial planner (Walt) to help us determine how best to use the financial resource given to us in Mom’s Dad’s estate. Below is an abbreviated version of what the planning took us through that I recommend you work through as you consider your financial future. You have been blessed with a college education without any debt, a good career for the days ahead, and a decent car to start off life. This can be a great launching pad for your financial life or can be wasted depending on what you do now.

Walt brought us through something called value-based financial planning.

1) Draft your financial values (which you should revisit annually) – He asked us to write down values we had that money would help to accomplish. Think about this question long and hard. Again, what do you want to do that money will help you with? Write them first broadly as values. Then think about the specifics of how money can help you accomplish this list.

Here is our initial list of values (in no particular order):    Continue reading Values-based financial planning for my graduates

Book review: Achieving Optimal Memory

Achieving Optimal Memory by Aaron Nelson

Review by David Barfield, March 2007. Based on a brief review including the big ideas and a few specific that caught my attention (including e.g. the SQ3R method for study below).

Optimal Memory is a function of optimum health (exercise, good nutrition, be active, etc). See list below.

  • It is normal to worry if forgetfulness is a problem.
  • Current memory medications. No cure alls. Slight improvements. More promising things on the horizon.

Aging mostly effects working memory, processing speed, attention to detail, remember specific facts and special information Continue reading Book review: Achieving Optimal Memory

Dad’s job interview thoughts to Betsy and Amy

David Barfield job interview thoughts

March 2007. Advice to my girls as they prepare for teaching interviews.

Work hard on your resume. It is the first thing they will see and may be the only thing if not done well.

What are they looking for:

  • Credentials are important. So work hard in school. Work hard on your resume.
  • They want someone who will get along and work with others. Demonstrate it somehow (might be one of your key messages to map, see below)

Preparing for the interview    Continue reading Dad’s job interview thoughts to Betsy and Amy

Devotion – Not delaying in doing good

Last week I was reading a book called Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton of Crown Ministries. It is a good read..

Much of the material is familiar to me but I wanted to share one new concept that is challenged me. Below is the verse:

Pr 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”— when you now have it with you.

The verse is from a chapter of the book on debt. Their application is as follows: “Godly people should pay their debts and bills as promptly as they can. We have a policy of trying to pay each bill the same day we receive it to demonstrate to others that Continue reading Devotion – Not delaying in doing good

A bit about myself and this blog

Some words that describe me: male, 51 years old, a disciple of Christ, a husband of 27 years who is seeking to be faithful to his wife, a father of three young women (ages 23, 21, and 17, all seniors this year, two in college one in high school), a homeschoolers of 17 years, a civil engineer with specialty in water resources, a Kansan, a conservative who doesn’t see the parties as all that different (frequently disappointed in the Republicans but who trusts the Democrats even less).

Content of this blog: I will write about what I am convinced of, what I want to pass on to my girls, and what I want to share with others who are like-minded where I think I have something to say or contribute. The content of this blog include:

  • Family devotions – material form my devotional life I was to pass on to my girls. We all still live under the same roof but rarely get together. This is a way of doing family devotions virtually. Sad that it has to be this way but that is the reality of the situation.
  • Practical materials for the girls on finances, nutrition, computers, careers, and more.
  • Reviews: books, movies, consumer goods (where I have done research)
  • Resources I recommend on a variety of topics (e.g. favorite webs sites and the like).
  • Whatever else I think may be of value for people like me.

What this blog is not:

  • This blog is not an apologetics site. By that I mean that it is not about defending my beliefs. There are many sites that attempt to do that. I am busy and engaged in life and only have so much time for this. For now, my focus is on getting the content out. Maybe letter in life, my focus will be different.
  • The blog will not be an on-line diary although I will include what is going on with me at times.


  • One of the distinctives of the WordPress blog is that it allows the use of categories and it is searchable (as well as free and easy to use). I intend to use these tools to allow the user to find things of interest.
  • I will try to keep things short and easy to read. All of us are busy.

This blog was started in November 2006 and it will likely take some time to develop a critical mass. If you share my values, you might check back in a few months and see what I have here at that time.