Tag Archives: Groceries

Clean One Refrigerator Shelf at A Time

English: Self taken pic.

Maybe you can see the connection now. There are a couple of ways to look at the personal finance “refrigerator”, if you will.

Is your fridge full of beer, mustard and party leftovers [from last month]? (Lots of party, no emergency fund)

Is it full of impulse buys like pizza (short-term pleasure) , four types of sauce for chicken (too concentrated), or very few vegetables (not enough diversification), or just not enough real food to make a meal?

Refrigerator

Refrigerator (Photo credit: nickfarr)

Or are you the fussy parent who makes sure that the fridge only has healthy, organic, locavore stuff in it?

Enough with the food analogies-let’s get to work.

Empty Personal Finance Plan? 5 things to do immediately

Check your credit at www.annualcreditreport.com

Get Social Security questions answered here:  http://bit.ly/tTkcoK

Check the status of your emergency fund-how many months of income/expenses are in there?

Add up your debts (yes, all of them) Need a worksheet-check here .

What’s in your retirement plan? How much do you need?

Is your Personal Finance Plan too cluttered, too complex?

Find your old, left behind, retirement plans-assemble statements and account numbers to prepare for transfers

Rebalance portfolio asset classes and match up to your remaining years of work (aggressive, moderate, or conservative funds?)

Time to break up with some financial institutions? http://sm.wsj.com/QD4MwE    or   http://bit.ly/nbNn1W

(Be a financial locavore)

Check your beneficiaries, account titles and make sure that someone else knows where your records are http://bit.ly/tTkcoK

As it said in the blog post that inspired this one:

“Clean off one refrigerator shelf each week so you don’t have to do it all at once.”

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Filed under Everyday Financial Tasks, Learning About Finance

Are You Having Budgeting Fantasies?

A friend of mine recently confessed to me that she grew up with, wait for it …budgeting fantasies. Before you get in a kerfuffle over this, here’s  the story.

One of her parents would send her to the nearest store to pick up a box of cereal, bag of apples or extra milk. She would march 2 blocks up the hill  to the local grocery and shop for what was on the list. However, before she chose those items and walked back home, she created her own mental shopping list for playing house. When I have my own house, she mused, I will buy this and this, and this! Plus, she added the prices in her head to keep track of her spending. Eventually, she did go back home with only her family’s requested items in the bag! (She assures me that this was one of her very favorite things to do.)

You may not have experienced this in your family, but I am sure that you can see some advantages to allowing a child this independence, instead of dragging a bored, screaming child down yet another grocery aisle.

Video for 04.20.2009

Would you allow your child to assume responsibility for choosing one group of food for the family each week? Maybe milk or cereal? If you’re bolder, how about fruits or vegetables? Here are some benefits to consider:

  • it may increase their cooperation at meal-time
  • they might enjoy it
  • it will give them a practical application for arithmetic
  • it gives them a window into what their parents do with their income each month

Pick a popular food group, assign a dollar amount to it that you can live with – for better or worse, and try it out with your children.

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France.

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would your child eat more radishes if they chose them at the store?

Try it out and let me know what happens!

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Filed under Learning About Finance