Goal For The Green

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How To Make A Budget And Stick With It

Jan-8-2018 By Barbara Zak

These days, saving up is becoming the number one priority of many money-makers in the country. Not only do you want to have a good safety cushion in the case of an emergency, but you also want to be able to retire comfortably without having to worry about your funds drying up. Budgeting is one of the best ways to save money, but sticking with one can be a struggle. Keep reading to learn different tips and tricks to sticking with the budgets you create.

Wait To Make Purchases

Kneejerk purchases are a mistake everyone makes when it comes to sticking to a budget, and it’s only getting harder to control those impulses as online shopping makes buying things easier and easier. Many sites these days like Amazon have options now where you can save an item for later. If you see something you feel like you absolutely need to have, try sticking it in the “save for later” folder instead, or bookmark it and revisit it at a later point in time. After the initial urge to purchase something has faded, you’ll be more likely to pass on the chance to drop your money.

Keep Your Budget Flexible

Your financial situation won’t stay the same over time, so why should your budget? Instead of rigidly sticking to the same plan month after month, year after year, try to reevaluate your budget every so often to make sure it’s still working for you. If you’re really struggling to stick to yours, it might simply be a bad fit. Examine your expenses, determine how much money you’re taking in and letting go of, and design something new that works for you from there.

Note How Many Hours Of Work Something Costs

One great way to keep yourself from spending too much money is to reframe the way you think about the money you’re spending. That 20 dollar bill isn’t just 20 dollars. It represents hours of work that you’ve done. Is a movie really worth an hour of your working time? Do you really want to spend 3 hours at work to afford that new pair of shoes? If you start thinking about money in terms of how long it took you to earn it, you’ll likely find yourself naturally inclined to spend less.

Don’t Count Money You Don’t Have

This means after-tax income, bonuses you don’t have yet, or other potential sources of money that are just “maybes”. No one ever really knows if those bonuses will work out, or just how much you’ll be paying or getting back in taxes. Pretend like that money doesn’t exist at all until you actually have it in your hands or bank account, and adjust your budget accordingly. This will make it much easier to stick to, since you won’t have to readjust your estimates in a hurry.

Leave Room For Fun

Any budget should leave a little bit of wiggle room for fun spending. No one person is going to be perfect enough to stick to their budget to the tee every single month. Instead of letting yourself run wild, though, budget in your fun room! If you’re looking for more info on how much you should be tucking into savings and how much “free” money you should leave, there are plenty of online resources that delve into the subject. Generally speaking, the money you save for fun stuff should be what’s left over from your paycheck after you cover your necessary expenses and savings.

Budgets don’t have to be your enemy. In fact, they should be a good friend and an invaluable tool to you while you navigate through the tricky financial waters of adulthood. Try implementing some of these tactics and see what a difference they can make.

Review: Fear No Numbers

May-22-2014 By Barbara Zak

Fear No Numbers-How to Multiply or Divide and Always Get it Right, is a new confidence boosting math book by Jose Paul Moretto , available through Outskirts Press.

This is NOT just another Math book, but instead a solid base and groundwork for Math
success-NO kidding. To me, it is more of a “reboot button” of self confidence for doing simple math, like multiplication and division BEFORE turning to the use of a calculator. I like the fact that this is a fun way to use our brain without being plugged into a device for the answer.


Math (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you may know, FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Yet,it is NO secret many of us have struggled with math to the point of developing severe anxiety in an attempt to grasp the concepts.  Success in math is more about mindset than it is about numbers.

Jose Moretto, was fortunate enough to have a teacher in his life, who really opened his eyes to the world of math. Through his experiences, we can now see math in a new light, put away our FEAR, and open our minds to be successful.

In Fear No Numbers, he introduces us to two unique systems, that allow us to easily check our multiplication and division solutions easily with or without a calculator. The methods used are the Proof by 9 System and the MaXima System (both systems are trademarked).

The book is designed to help students and some adults, look at simple math basics with new confidence. Words and how the principles of math were presented to us, may have led to confusion for some of us, but in the end “numbers never lie.”

We can be thankful for the efforts and hard work of the geniuses before us, like Pathagoras, who was one of the founders of mathematics.  He believed that a”balanced world was based on the principles of math.” He was also and adept practitioner of logic, which led to his infinite wisdom.

Mathematics has been the cornerstone of most of all our technological, scientific and artistic advances throughout history. It is the root of most all of our major disciplines, such as science, music, architecture, medicine, aviation, electronic, engineering, economics, and the list goes on. Yet, we come to realize that all of the disciplines are rooted in logic, philosophy and math. Reasoning is the basis of logic, and logic leads to philosophy which fuels wisdom. So, as you can see all these principle relate to each other and show us that logic is the key to success in math.  The only limitations to our success in math are those that we place upon ourselves.

I was one of those people who struggled with math. However, I think my struggles had a lot to do with how math was taught to me. It is important for us to use our brains a little bit, without becoming dependent on calculators to do the work for us.  This method is easy, and should be the groundwork for how math is taught in schools.

I plan on sharing this method with my granddaughter, who will be learning multiplication and division in the fourth grade in school next year. The idea is to give her a much simpler way to grasp the fundamentals of math in a fun, rather than fearful way.  I believe NO other curriculum is necessary because Fear No Numbers, helps those of us who use it and learn it, to see and use numbers in a more user friendly way.


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The Hazards of Distracted Driving

May-13-2013 By Barbara Zak

Here is an informative info-graphic to take notice of for your SAFETY and those that may be with you when you drive!

I just heard on the news the other day, that many parents are now choosing to have their teenagers drive a manual stick shift vehicle.  The reason being, that they have to concentrate more on their driving without distractions.  It does seem to be making a difference when it comes to arriving alive and uninjured at their destination. Remember, your driving requires your FULL attention.  Other activities can wait until you get there, so always remember to make driving safely your top priority!

distracted driving infographic from ifa auto insurance
Presented By IFA Auto Insurance

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