Kismet

Inspiring Insight

Posts tagged ‘money’

I’m a Teacher, Not a Martyr Featured

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Mr. Wright is leaving. He’s my daughters’ high school orchestra teacher. Everyone is deeply saddened because he’s an exceptional teacher and person. In fact, he just won the district’s exemplary teacher’s award. His students were crestfallen – he’s such an amazing teacher! This is his dream job. So why is he leaving?

Because he can’t afford to stay: His wife stays at home and he has children he must support and can’t with a teacher’s salary.

This is wrong.

One of my co-workers is a single mom and her two sons are not covered under health insurance because she can’t afford it. Every sniffle, ache and potential accident gives her great cause to worry.

This is wrong.

Arizona has been identified as the worst for teacher pay and teacher friendliness by at least two separate studies. More teachers are leaving than entering with each year. Even substitute teachers are in great shortage.

This is wrong.

It’s time to make things right in Arizona’s education system. You can ignore the symptoms of any illness, but that doesn’t mean it will go away.

Your Checking Account

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The poor, misunderstood ostrich!

The “head in the sand” saying originated as a reference to ostriches hiding their heads in the sand. It alludes to a belief that if you can’t see a predator, they can’t see you. Or, more figuratively, that you refuse to see a problem. However, ostriches do not do that. They lower their heads to eat, but they don’t hide in bushes or in sand.

Another misfortune for the ostrich: though they are birds, they cannot fly.

However, they have such strong legs, that they can kill a lion just by kicking him! (Kids National Geographic) In running, their stride can be as long as 16 feet and – they are the world’s fastest land animal.

Did you know that the ostrich’s eye is the largest of any land animal? (awf.org)

I listened to a podcast the other day. One sentence big takeaway: “If you want to know where your priorities are, take a look at your checking account.”

I realized I spend quite a bit on groceries and dining out. I love animals and I want to help, so I just made a donation to the African Wildlife Foundation. They are accredited by the BBB. I invite you to consider acting on your “priorities.”

Locals: There will be an Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ March 9 – 11!

 

 

 

Busy, Busy Bee

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Drawing practice #50

Feeling stressed and anxious about the holidays is a choice. Yes, it is.

Don’t succumb to the pressure to buy.

“This year, shoppers plan on spending $660 on average for the holiday season. 27% report they did not create a budget at all and 24% say they overspent last year.” (USA Today)

Create a budget. Stick to it. If anyone has a problem with it, it’s exactly that – their problem.

Focus, instead, on expressing love for friends and family. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. That is the true spirit of the holidays, no matter what your faith.

Here is an interesting graphic from USA Today:

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Time is Money

 

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Photo by Ales Krivec

 

My biggest inefficient use of time: preparing food for the family.

I grocery shop, of course, but I rarely think past the next meal or two. Consequently, I stress out a bit 5x/week, deciding what to cook for dinner and what to pack for lunch. We get  Blue Apron delivered 2x/week (skipping weeks where the recipes are not to our family’s liking), but then we’re either out and about and I buy the kids dinner (can’t be helped – they go to symphony practice straight from school and don’t get home until 8 or 9pm.) Or I am too tired and fussy and we eat something which I cook in a groggy state. Sometimes, it tastes halfway decent.

This Sunday, I am going to plan the entire week ahead of time, prepare it, and freeze it.

This will free up time during the weekdays (our busiest days!) and lessen stress.

I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time, but I’ve always countered it with I don’t want to cook all day Sunday.  However, I’m using those hours (Monday – Friday) when I’m at my most fatigued.

I am going to use recipes from this book:

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But I’m not sharing the title with my family. Knowing it’s healthy, they’ll decide they don’t like the meals before they even eat!

Want to be a Millionaire?

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W is for Wealth and Wisdom*

What I know through years of experience:

 

 

*Part of my alphabiography project

 

 

Podcasts & Productivity

A year ago,  I read the book “The $100 Startup.”

I hardly remembered what I read, but I recently listened to a podcast (Optimal Living Daily) where the podcaster reviewed this book. The big takeaway (among many) is that people spend an awful lot of time trying to blaze their own trails to success when they can simply follow someone who has already achieved what they want.

The reasoning, Justin (podcast host) believes, is because it feels good to try to create our own means and methods. But if you really want to achieve your goal(s), the most efficient way is to simply follow what someone already did.

This makes sense! Why reinvent the wheel?

We feel good and effective as we blaze our own trail, because we feel so busy.

But do not confuse “busy” with “productive.”

Check the podcast out, he covers many great writers and entrepreneurs. Justin’s voice is very even and mellow. It was easy to listen to as I walked my dog.

 

 

Wishes

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When I was very young (maybe five years old),  my mother made rings out of dandelions. She’d pluck the weed and create a knot with the stem and, smiling, put the ring on my finger. I felt special and lucky. Within hours, the dandelion wilted, the yellow flowers tinged with brown. It was my first lesson of impermanence.

We were poor and a part of me knew it, but mostly, I was blissfully ignorant. I reveled in the smell of burning wood in the Iowa autumn. I loved the dandelion rings my mother made and I loved watching “The Muppets” on TV. All of this was (relatively) free. I thought everyone had a father who came home exhausted and discouraged. I thought everyone shared one bathroom in their family. I thought everyone fought over money.

I’m a lot older now and I have learned this: wishing for “stuff” always leads to disappointment. Nothing you can buy will deliver anywhere near the satisfaction of smelling burning wood on a Midwest autumn evening, or watching the “Muppets” on a chilly Halloween night or wearing a dandelion ring your mother makes just for you.

Nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money Is Only a Tool (Ayn Rand)

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What are your beliefs about money? That you’ll never have enough? That only greedy people are rich?

Money is energy. You receive it in return for your work. If your work is valuable, you will receive currency. Focus on the giving and the rest will take care of itself.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. –Winston Churchill

Funds (like people) escape those who squeeze too tightly. Do good work, serve people generously, and wealth will come.

Of Pastries and Pity

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Ava’s doughnut, minus the tax.

Willey and I teach our girls life lessons. Here are a few examples:

  1. Beware of insecure people. They lack self-love and thus, have no love to  give to you.
  2. Cheap shoes are never worth the savings.
  3. Cheap razors, however, are a wise choice. They are disposable for a reason.

And a biggie:

Taxes are painful and  unavoidable. I illustrate this lesson kinesthetically using doughnuts. Here’s how it goes:

Ava gets her doughnut. She wordlessly hands it to me.

“Tax,” I proclaim, as I take a big bite.

I hand it back to her.

She eats the rest.

As in life, taxes are especially bitter when taken out of your bonus check.

To drive this home, Willey will take tax out of their steak dinners or fancy pasta dishes when we go out. If hangry, the girls are driven nearly to tears.

Hey, it’s for their own good.

“Tough love,” I think they call it.