ShiurTimes Magazine

Page 17

Finance

A Greener World for Your Wallet & Environment Practical tips on budgeting to get more for your income. pushing the limits. At all levels, there is a human predilection to spend, even if the wallet is empty. From governments, to businesses, to the person on the street— everyone always wants more.

by Douglas Goldstein, cfp

It’s hard to cut expenses,” a father of four who earns $10,000 per month, told me last week. That same afternoon, a couple with four kids, whose total monthly income runs at about $3,500, said, “It’s hard to cut expenses.” They both used the same language to describe their sense of not having enough money to make it through the month. After people cover the bare requirements of survival, it seems that their spending expands like gas in a balloon. It keeps

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One tool that can help prevent overspending is creating a budget. A properly created budget can monitor the balance of income vs. outflow—if it’s followed. Budgets are like pills: even the most powerful medication won’t help if it’s not taken at the proper times and in the proper dosages. One way to make budgeting more palatable is to link it to something that’s important to you, outside of profit-andloss spreadsheets. For example, if you object to the carbon footprint left by industrial society, do your part and buy local. Why should strawberries picked in South America have to fly around the world just so you can eat fresh strawberry shortcake? Do you really need to eat

Hershey’s chocolate when you can buy Elite produced here in Israel? The added cost of imports should also help you make the decision to buy local—try eating in-season fruits and vegetables. Remember when you were young and you asked your mother for watermelon, and she said, “It’s out of season, dear,” and you survived! Then when it was in season, it was so cheap that you ate it three times a day! Even though we live in an “I want it now” society, it’s OK to adopt a “retro” attitude. By purchasing the lower-priced local items, you help local businesses, reduce your expenses, teach a valuable lesson to your family about the rotation of the seasons, enjoy the health benefits of fresher food, and save the environment. Explore how personal budgeting can impact many aspects of your life; not just your bottom line. You’ll find that adjusting it does not simply have to be an act of belt-tightening, but it can also help to improve the world around you. °

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