Consistency is essential for anything, and the key to consistency is habit.
Habits are behaviors that we do so frequently that they feel second nature. So your friend who’s woken up at 5:00 AM to work out for so long that it seems normal to him? He’s unlocked the power of habit to wake up, get out of bed, and make it happen.
Healthy money habits are the same way; they open up a whole new world of financial fitness! Here are a few great habits you can start today.
Begin with a Budget Developing a budgeting habit is foundational. Consistently seeing where your money is going gives you the power to see what needs to change. Notice in your budget that fast food is hogging your paycheck? Budgeting allows you to see how it’s holding you back and figure out a solution to the problem. The knowledge a budget gives you is the key to help you make wise money decisions.
Pay Yourself First Once you’re budgeting regularly, you can start seeing who ends up with your money at the end of the day. Is it you? Or someone else? One of the best habits you can establish is making sure you pay yourself by saving. Instead of spending first and setting aside what’s left over, put part of your money into a savings account as soon as you get your paycheck. It’s a simple shift in mindset that can make a big difference!
Automate Everything And what easier way to pay yourself first than by automatically depositing cash in your savings account? Making as much of your saving automatic helps make saving something that you don’t even think about. It can be much easier to have healthy financial habits if everything happens seamlessly and with as little effort as possible on your part.
Healthy financial habits may not seem big. But sometimes those little victories can make a big difference over the span of several years. What financial habits do you have that are making a positive difference in your life?
We know that for adults, the benefits of being physically active are myriad.
Reducing the risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity are worthy goals we should strive for. But how often do we think of these health concerns when it comes to our kids? They’re just kids, right?
When was the last time your kids exercised for an hour every day during the week? According to the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, this is the recommended amount of physical activity for children and youth.*
However, statistics show that a large majority (more than two-thirds) of children and adolescents don’t meet this standard. And with so many of us still (hopefully) trying to limit our interactions with others to slow the spread, it’s likely your child or teen is spending a larger amount of time in front of a screen. So how do we change this statistic?
Although it’s typical that physical activity tends to decrease with age, developing an active lifestyle while young will likely influence activity levels into adulthood. For instance, if you used to run half-marathons as a teen, the idea of running a half-marathon now – as an adult – wouldn’t be as jarring as if you had never done that at all.
Studies show that there are several factors that can help increase physical activity in children. The first factor is the parents’ activity level. Simply put, active parent = active child. This is relevant for adults who don’t have their own kids, but have nephews, nieces, or kids they mentor. An adult’s level of activity can help foster the activity levels of the children they influence.
Another factor is getting children involved in a rec league or team sport. While you may not be able to do this in person, depending upon your location and current mandates, there are virtual options. By adding these into a child’s weekly schedule, each extra hour per week of practice, games, meets, etc., adds nearly 10 minutes to the average daily physical activity for the child. They’ll never have time for exercise if it’s never scheduled to begin with. (This tactic works for adults, too, by the way.)
This much is true: being physically active while younger will affect the health of a child as they grow into an adult. So whether you have children of your own or children you are connected to, your level of activity can help contribute to building a habit of physical activity which will carry on into adulthood. Here’s to building our health, and our children’s, for the future!
Source: “Physical Activity Facts.” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention*, 6.28.2017, http://bit.ly/2muNrvY.
Healthy money habits start with mature money mindsets.
Even though it’s not always obvious, we carry lots of assumptions and attitudes about money that might not be grounded in reality. How we perceive wealth and finances can impact how we make decisions, prioritize, and handle the money that we have. Here are a few common money mindsets that might be holding you back from reaching your full potential!
I need tons of money to start saving It’s simple, right? The rich are swimming in cash, so they’re able to save. They get to build businesses and live out their dreams. The rest of us have to live paycheck to paycheck, shelling out our hard earned money on rent, groceries, and other essentials.
That couldn’t be further from the truth! Sure, you might not be able to save half your income. But you might be surprised by how much you can actually stash away if you put your mind to it. And however much you can save right now, little as it might be, is much better than putting away nothing at all!
I need to save every penny possible On the other side of the coin is the notion that you have to save every last penny and dime that comes your way. There are definitely people in difficult financial situations who go to incredible lengths to make ends meet. Just ask someone who survived the Great Depression! But most of us don’t need to haggle down the price of an apple or forage around for firewood. And sometimes, the corners we cut to save a buck can come back to bite us. Set spending rules and boundaries for yourself, but make sure you’re not just eating ramen noodles and ketchup soup!
I don’t need to budget There are definitely times when you might not feel like you need to be proactive with your finances. You don’t feel like you’re spending too much, debt collectors aren’t pounding down your door, and everything seems comfortable. Budgeting is for folks with a spending problem, right?
The fact of the matter is that everyone should have a budget. It might not feel important now, but a budget is your most powerful tool for understanding where your money goes, areas where you can cut back, and how much you can put away for the future. It gives you the knowledge you need to take control of your finances!
Breaking mediocre money mindsets can be difficult. But it’s an important step on your journey towards financial independence. Once you understand money and how it works, you’re on the path to take control of your future and make your dreams a reality.
Written by Dr. Eric Perry “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” ~Seneca Perhaps like some of you, I have had a few sleepless nights pondering my mortality. I am in love with my life and wish to have as much of it as I possibly can. I believe […]
When you’re thinking about taking up a hobby, consider cooking. Cooking is often overlooked because you are probably doing so much of it, but the truth is that cooking can be a wonderful source of relaxation for the home chef, as well as a way to create and explore. Here are a few tips to help your cooking exploration.
Make sure that you have the place settings set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible.
When deep frying foods, hold the food below the oil with the tongs for a few seconds. Holding the food under the oil for around five seconds will create a useful seal around the food. This seal will work to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
To improve your level of convenience in the kitchen, one of the things that you can do is to freeze the excess sauces that you create, in ice cube trays. This will allow you to reheat them when you need sauce again and also to save money on the excess sauce that you kept.
As you cook your meal during the course of the night, make sure that you taste it at several different points. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly when it is done, so that you do not run the risk of overcooking it. Tasting your food is important to achieve the quality you desire. Looking for an indoor grill? Check out the electric Hamilton Beach Grill and see why this little indoor grill is big on features and flavor.
When it comes to cooking, a good habit to do after preparing garlic is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will remove the unwanted odor from your hands. Washing them less than 30 seconds will not take all the odor away.
When you are cooking for your family, try not to stick to one style. If you cook the same meal over and over, it can get boring and your family will become jaded with the dishes that you make. Change things up every night so that you can introduce new meals and cuisines to your family.
One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.
You may or may not have heard of schmaltz, but it is a very useful component when cooking. Schmaltz, otherwise known as chicken fat, is very rich. The flavor of schmaltz is deeper than duck fat and can be used for many things, such as cooking meats or poaching fish.
Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.
Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. You risk the final flavor of any dish if you make it with an unfamiliar wine or one with an off taste. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.
If you and your significant other loves cooking, then consider taking a cooking class for couples! Couples cooking classes can help you explore new cuisines, enjoy each other’s company and also learn more about working together in the kitchen. A well-kept secret is that the guys enjoy these classes as much as the ladies and it often leads to the fellows taking a greater role in cooking at home.
Take these tips and use them in your dishes to make them come alive. Serve them to guests, bask in the compliments and then do it all over again. The wonderful thing about cooking as a hobby is that you can always recreate or create anew; you’ll always need something to eat!