Getting What You Want From Your Money

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Greetings from the Caribbean Sea! As you read this, we are cruising back toward Charleston from the Bahamas. It has been a great week away. I hope you’ll have a chance to get out and enjoy this fall weather. 

Quote of the Week: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” –Winston Churchill

Song of the Week: The Pet Shop Boys was a band popular in the 1980s. These musicians released several songs that usually make it on ’80s playlists. The one I want to highlight this week was released in 1985 and is called “Opportunities” (Let’s Make Lots of Money). That pretty much sums up the attitude of everyone who has a job. Some other great songs about earning a living are “Working for a Living” by Huey Lewis, “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer, and “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles.

As an extra bonus, I forgot to list a song for the schedule/time blog last week. “Too Much Time on My Hands,” recorded by Styx in 1985, is a tongue-in-cheek song that keeps everyone tapping their thumbs on the steering wheel as they drive. I hope you’ll enjoy these songs as much as I do.

Nugget of Wisdom of the Week: For a follow-up to last week’s topic of time and having a schedule, I want to discuss another word, the b-word, that all of us dread thinking about. No, it’s not a cuss word or anything like that, although it can cause some tension. I’m talking about a budget. I used to hate it when my husband said, “We need to talk about the budget.” Later on, I realized that it was important for both of us to know how much money we had to spend—and that we were saving money for emergencies.

The great thing about budgets is that you get to tell your money what to do, instead of the other way around. Two of our boys have a hard time staying within their budget, often overspending on food and video games. Their mentality is that if they have money in the bank, they’re free to spend it on whatever they want. Our oldest son thought that just because we had checks in the checkbook, we had money.

The best way to learn about finances is with a zero-based budget, one in which every single dollar is designated to a category. Dave Ramsey offers great resources on managing money. It was his book that mentioned telling your money what to do each month. It is vital to not only designate money to pay bills, but also to give ourselves a little “mad money.” That way, we don’t become resentful of our budget. Saving for emergencies is crucial to keep you from ending up in consumer debt. Planning for future purchases also keeps you from falling into the “emergency” category.

If you are blessed to end the month with money left over, consider putting it in savings or toward your emergency fund. Aim to set aside $1,000 for that fund. Then, save the equivalent of three to six months’ worth of your monthly income, in case you suddenly lose your job or you must move to a new place. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot where I put my debit card, so I always have at least $50 on me for emergency situations. I realize that not everyone can do this, but if you can, designate a safe place for it in your car, backpack, or purse so that if you are without your wallet, you can still purchase items you need.

Joke of the Week: When does it rain money? When there is change in the weather.

Recipe of the Week: Sugar Cookie Surprise—well, it’s not really a surprise, so perhaps Fruit Pizza is a better name for it!

What you’ll need:

1 roll of sugar cookie dough

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

8 oz. blueberries

8 oz. raspberries

Roll out cookie dough into a circle and place on a pizza pan. Bake cookie according to directions. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until thoroughly blended, then spread on cookie like pizza sauce. Take the kiwi, blueberries, and raspberries and arrange equally on the cookie. Enjoy!

Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to shout out to everyone who assists people in living on a budget. Parents and financial advisors, thank you for trying to instill principles of good money management in your families and/or to share that wisdom with your customers.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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