Personal Finance Tip – Pay Cash For All Non-Investment Expenditures

Most personal finance gurus continually stress the importance of budgeting for monitoring and modifying poor spending habits. However, I have noticed that most people who attempt to implement a family budget eventually give up on the activity, mainly because it takes the fun out of spending money. You know what, I agree! An impulse purchase here and there feels good! And as it turns out, an impulse purchase made on occasion won’t necessarily create a big problem for most us. The problems arise when we decide to make them on credit. Here’s an excellent personal finance tip for all you budget-haters out there – pay cash for all non-investment expenditures and eliminate your need to budget.

What is a Non-Investment Expenditure Anyway?

First off, let’s define investment expenditure. By my own definition, an investment expenditure is a transaction that involves the purchase of an asset that appreciates in value. On the flip side, a non-investment expenditure represents all other transactions. One quick check you can make before whipping out your credit card to buy something is to ask yourself, “Is there a high likelihood that I will be able to sell this item in the future for more than I am paying now?” If the answer is “no,” pay cash. If you don’t have the money, you can’t make the purchase. It’s that simple.

Examples of Non-Investment Expenditures

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our everyday spending is classified as non-investment expenditures. Groceries, fuel for the vehicles, dining out, your cell phone bill, a new pair of designer jeans – these are all non-investment expenditures. Some of these items may be extremely important, even life sustaining. But purchasing on credit, even for life sustaining expenditures, encourages excess. Let’s take food, for instance. To purchase enough food for the family to survive really does not cost much money. What costs us a pile of money are the rib-eye steaks, junk food, alcoholic beverages, and sodas we routinely buy. Moreover, these foods are bad for our health! Grocery shopping with cash forces us to reconsider the food choices we make, in terms of both health and money. And that’s a good thing.

What Else is There?

You may be asking yourself, “Would any of my spending be classified as investment expenditures?” For me, two things come to mind – your home and your education. A home is rather obvious because, over time, houses have always increased in value. A college education would also be considered an investment because it provides one the opportunity to earn more money than he would otherwise make. Because these two items are considered investments, taking out a loan to pay for them can be justified. In addition, home mortgages and college loans offer some of the lowest interest rates of any form of credit, making them even more attractive expenditures.

One Caveat to Consider

Although following the above advice can eliminate the need for a budget, one other choice must be made to assure financial success in the future. An automatic investment plan must be initiated to make certain your investment accounts are funded before all the money is spent. If you work for a company that offers a 401k plan, this is done automatically. If you have outside accounts, you will have to notify the firm to initiate automatic transfers from your checking account. With most firms, you can set up the automatic transfers yourself from your online account interface.

Summary

Although a budget is a fantastic tool for monitoring and modifying our spending habits, the cold hard truth is that many of us will never stick to one. Should these folks be doomed to financial hell for the rest of their lives for this so-called lack of discipline? Of course, not! Just follow our simple personal finance tip to pay cash for all non-investment expenditures and you, too, will reach financial success in the future.

Circumcision For All Baby Boys!

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision met to finalize the organization’s new policy on circumcision – which could recommend circumcision for all baby boys. Circumcision is a decision and it is not an easy one for parents to do thinking of the actual act, but pain itself cannot be remembered; even by adults, only the experiences associated with pain can be recalled in later life if other traumas were added to the specific child, such as physical and emotional abuse…

That is why babies don’t remember the pain, and with a good Mohel/Rabby they don’t even feel the immediate pain, or they get some numbing medication or wine or water mixed with sugar to numb the nerve as well as distracting the infants mind from the pain… Remember our brain produce enough of the good hormone during the circumcision, because the mother or close family are helping to increase the levels of the feel-good hormone, known as Serotonin… We also have the Oxytocin, which is another feel good hormone also known as the “Cuddle Hormone”.

Oxytocin is released when we feel love, trust and comfort. It can be even more powerful than serotonin.

However, circumcision has many great benefits. It can prevent urinary tract infections, phimosis, paraphimosis, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. For example, in a randomized control trial, circumcision reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 53%.

I have helped training mothers with natural child birth using hypnosis, and part of the conflict most of the natural child practitioners have is with this specific sensitive subject, some are against circumcision and therefore they are not so respectful and understanding, while they area trying to reinforce their personal opinion on parents during the natural child birth education, and this disturb me, since I believe they should never be allowed to take an advantage of this situation.

In my opinion, I think it is unethical for individual practitioners to allow themselves to educate moms for natural child birth while trying to use the same practice to make parents guilty with their personal decision, and I have herd story’s and not once that during their natural child birth practice, they are tolled not to allow circumstance due to the fact that it is not their baby’s choice. Unfortunately this kind of opinion can reinforce some negative impact on the expecting parents, especially mothers, it can leave them with a huge angr, fear and guilt, and as a result marital argument between the couple trying to convince the other partner to follow their natural child birth educator advice, also can trigger post traumatic stress disorder. Again, in my opinion, it’s not our business as child birth educator to reinforce our ideas or opinions; we need to remember to respect others with their life long decisions!

Even though circumcision has lots of benefits, parents are often still reluctant toward the procedure, where I was asked to care for the baby and to get him ready for the procedure, I have even asked to hold the baby during and after their circumcision, and from my experience, the job was done and the celebration was total blessing to all. On the other hand, many parents choose to circumcise their sons based on their religious, cultural, and ethnical beliefs and once again, in my opinion, this traditions needs to be respected.

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/

Teching to the Online College Student – Simplicity For All!

Times they are a-changing! Today more students than ever before are returning to get their degrees. This is largely due to greater access through technology. This is exciting! We are becoming a more educated America and in these tough economical times, what could be better? It sounds good on the surface but there are new problems that crop up for students with online education. It is a fantastic idea but the problem I am seeing is that these new students come with new challenges. Every student shows up with a different level of technical savvy. Some do quite well and others struggle to “find” their way around the virtual classroom. No surprise, right? 

As educators, we need to reach them all! Since we created this situation using technology – and technology is supposed to make things easier – then we should USE technology to help with this situation! Eureka!  I propose that delivering the classroom content should not be the only way we use technology to reach new students.

Many students are unprepared for the challenge of finding their way around the classroom. Depending on the student’s previous experience with technology, exploring the classroom may be as simple as breathing but for others it is an overwhelming experience that has them mumbling under their breath “where do I go first?”.  This is something educators should step back and consider. How do we put information in front of them without adding to the confusion?

I have a theory about this. It isn’t new really, but it is logical. I call this the push- pull theory.  While we are constantly requiring students to pull information to them, it is much more effective to push it to them instead. If we want students to succeed, then we’re going to have to find ways to do this. Why not take advantage of this technology that is the foundation for even having these students?

Educators should capitalize on the technology that is available out there. Instead of focusing just on the delivery of the course content we should be thinking about how we deliver help to the students too. In addition, we should make it easier on ourselves by ensuring that it is reusable and that we do not have to keep reinventing the wheel. As an educator, we should make a repository of technological tools that allow us to continue to push information in front of students.

But it doesn’t stop there! We also need to promote its use by the student.  That means that you have to somehow get the message to the students that this technology is available. The idea is to make it easy for the student and to use it in a way that unequivocally also helps to meet student needs. If it makes it harder for the student then it only serves to compound the problem. If it makes it easier for the student then apply it and promote it.

Simplicity for all is the key!