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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Which Financial Tool is Most Important for Success?

Let's discuss this calmly shall we?

Which financial Tool is THE most important for your financial success?

Is is tithing? ( giving 10% of your income to church or charity)

Is it saving? (taking a preset portion of your income and hiding it away where you won't use it for other purposes other than savings and/or investing for the purpose of securing a future income streams)

Is it investing?(And no, investing is not necessarily the same as saving....but the two are very much connected)

It is reducing your personal COST of LIVING? ( mastering how to lower your monthly bills such as housing, utilities, insurance and food costs )

Is it paying off and down all debt? ( for this illustration I am lumping together all kinds of debt....both mortgage debt as well as consumer debt)

Is it putting aside funds for your own, your spouse's and your children's education?

Is it about "Asset Allocation" .....( deciding precisely where and what investment product you put your money into)

Is is about having sufficient funds set aside separately just for emergencies?

Is it about saving cash to finance a prepaid vacation, so that you won't be tempted to use debt to pay for a vacation?

Is it about delaying the purchase of a home and renting for more years so that you may build up a greater nest egg?

Is it about refusing to finance a car by saving up and paying cash for a second hand modest vehicle?

It is about learning to live without credit cards?

Is it about learning to live without the trendy "stuff" that your friends and neighbors seem to say are "sooooo important for appearances"?

Is is about being aggressive in business opportunities/investment opportunities when we find them?

Do we work hard to make our money work hard?

How much risk is reasonable?

Have your given someone else control over your finances? How trustworthy is that person or organization? Can that person or organization be trusted to protect your best interests?

Are we investing in ways that limit and/or reduce our taxes?

Have we done a will to protect our assets for future generations after our passing?

Are we reading something daily/weekly/monthly which will add to our personal arsenal of accurate financial information?

Are we getting to know people who have succeeded financially and humbling ourselves to learn and listen from their example?

Are we reading books or listening to audio books regularly written/recorded by those who are well respected in the arena of personal finance and/or investing?

When we  come up with "unknowns" do we write down our questions and seek out the answers? Or are we content to live in ignorance because we have become comfortable with living passively?

Are we teachable......or do we live as if we have "arrived" and no longer need to learn more about personal finance?

Or is it all of the above? Who is going to lead us into wisdom in these arenas of life?

It is possible to get God's wisdom, as He gives wisdom to those who ask it of Him, according to the scriptures "who giveth to all men liberally".

May God's Spirit use these questions to stir up some good and important discussions in your home and family.

The more you talk and read about personal finance, the more questions you may have. But don't get overwhelmed.... Don't get discouraged. Becoming educated about personal finance is a journey......not a one stop destination.It is going to bear great rewards for you and for your future descendants who may, depending upon your choices, be able to learn simply by following your excellent example.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Atmospheric Natural Learning

It's as good as it sounds....maybe even better!

Yes, you can learn without "trying".

It's called what I like to say is "atmospheric learning" or  learning by "osmosis".

What is that you say?

It's about taking your "learning target" and applying it gently to your environment and putting it on a loop for as long as you wish, in order so that you will "absorb" the data casually as you are going about your daily activities.

So what does that look like? Well, let me give you a few specific examples.

Let's say you are trying to memorize the elements from the periodic table. You could, go to your favorite musical device, go to Youtube and find the best version of the "Periodic Table song"

 press "play" and then put it on a loop ( to repeat over and over and over until manually cancelled.) You wouldn't have the volume too high. The idea is to have the data flowing continuously into your personal environment until your unconscious mind is so saturated with the information that you have "learned" it and perhaps even "mastered" it ......without even trying. You continue your regular activities like doing laundry or the dishes or cooking or cleaning all the while you are keeping the chosen data flowing into your environment. You will be listening intently even without trying. It is literally "natural learning"......and as easy as listening to the birds singing.

You can do similar things with other things you may want to memorize, such as scripture verses or classical poetry, or the multiplication tables.

We have so many hours in the day during which we do mundane activities. Well, we can pump up their impact on our lives by filling the ambient atmospheric sounds to include data that will become an asset to our lives and/or careers. Yes, it is that easy.

So how often will I need to listen to something before I have "naturally" memorized it? That's a personal thing, that will be uniquely different for each human being.

You can experiment and see how long it takes for you to incorporate one piece of new information merely by pressing "play" and keeping it on a loop. Will it take one hour, one day? or seven weeks of 20 hours per week? You won't know if this is a feasible learning style for you unless you try it.

May God bless your learning and the fulfillment of those goals that please Him.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gazing through Heavenly Natural Phenom

What is summer without a day at the beach?

When I see Lichens growing naturally on a fallen log or tree, I think of Kaffe Fassett and his extravagant portrayals of lichens in knitting.
Can you see the chubby bumble bee playing in the rose?

Fungi are not only white or gray in color. I found these chocolate brown ones attached to birch bark.
Summer holidays are good times to be a slug.

This picture doesn't do this flower justice and I must admit i don't know what kind of flower it is ....but it reminded me of a wild orchid with it's deep plum coloring, as it grew so quietly in the forest.

Don't think I will ever get tired of snapping pics of baby geese and their fiercely protective parents.

I've seen the progress, from the little goslings that fall head over webbed feet following their mamas to the curious teen geese that still can't claim their parent's full blown colors, but are happy to imitate their parents' grazing tactics.

The ball of flowers reminded me of the July 1st fireworks....to celebrate my country's 150th birthday.

11 lbs and counting

Yes, yes I know....you don't necessarily read my blog for weight loss blogging....but hey, it's where I am right now and I might as well share my excellent adventure in this regard.

So yes, as of last tally I've lost just an ounce shy of 11 lbs. And for the record, yes I do have more weight to lose.

The things that work continue to be:

Drinking enough water and unsugared coffee or tea throughout the day. I am not sparse on adding milk or soy milk to my teas and coffees, but I have almost eliminated my white sugar intake.

In line with keepin' it real....I must divulge that as I have been drastically reducing my white sugar intake, that I do notice that I don't get that boost of energy that I used to get whenever I consumed my numerous coffees througout the day. White sugar does give me a sense of "hyperness" that I have counted on to continue to keep my "up" . Not having that boost is like missing a "key ingredient" of my lifestyle. And frankly....that sucks!

In watching TLC's reality shows on those who lose hundred of pounds of weight, I remember noting that so many of those who have radically changed the way they eat, that they do go through profound psychological changes when they reduce the amount of foods and type of food they eat. They feel a sense of profound loss, as if they have lost a dear friend, or a cherished hobby.

Oh dear, I am getting much too sentimental....but hey don't we all feel some pretty strong feelings about the foods we eat? Don't we have precious foody favorites .....those we really don't want to go without?
White sugar was really one of the strongholds that I've held close to my daily routine for years. And where would I hide the white sugar in? In my coffee and in my bowl of cereal.

So, in conclusion, if you are also trying to change your diet or style of eating, be prepared for some emotional and physiological changes. I heard some years ago, that some folks's addiction to        white sugar is similar to what drug addicts feel about cocaine.....a very strong and most compelling drug.

But there is hope, there is strength in numbers.....and in public forums. I feel better for having shared this with you today. And I hope that you too will dare to care and share your struggles with someone that cares about you and your health.

Peace, Carla.