Understanding money and how to manage it is an invaluable life skill. In today’s complex economic landscape, financial literacy is more important than ever. It’s a cornerstone for personal empowerment, enabling us to make informed decisions that can improve our lives.
Good financial habits are crucial for achieving and maintaining long-term financial health. But why stop at shaping your own financial destiny? By passing these habits on to the next generation, we can equip our children and the next generation with the tools they need to thrive in the future.
The First Financial Habit: Saving
The cornerstone of good financial health is indeed learning the importance of saving. Saving acts like a financial shield, defending us against life’s unexpected hurdles. It can be a sudden health issue, an unanticipated home repair, or a global pandemic – emergency funds are a lifesaver in these crises.
Moreover, saving is not just about protecting ourselves from financial shocks, it’s also the bridge to our dreams and aspirations. Whether it’s buying a dream car, owning a house, or funding our child’s college tuition, disciplined saving makes these long-term goals attainable.
Teaching children about saving can begin with familiar tools – a piggy bank, for instance. Help them understand how to portion out pocket money, encouraging them to save a fraction every time they receive it. As they grow older, opening a savings account for them would be an effective way to introduce them to the banking system. One particularly exciting concept for kids is the magic of compound interest. Show them how their money doesn’t just sit idle but grows over time – turning the concept of saving from a chore into a thrilling financial journey!
The Second Financial Habit: Budgeting
Budgeting, our second habit, is like drafting a financial map for the journey called life. It’s a planned strategy on how to spend money wisely. This involves distinguishing between needs and wants, thus prioritizing necessities over luxuries. It’s also about developing a comprehensive understanding of income and expenses – how much is coming in, how much is going out, and where it’s going.
Teaching budgeting to the next generation can be surprisingly fun! Get creative with hands-on budgeting exercises and games. Perhaps they earn a certain ‘income’ from doing chores and must ‘budget’ it between different categories like spending, saving, and giving. This introduces them to real-world financial decision-making early on. Involving kids in some family budgeting activities is also beneficial. They can witness these principles in action and understand the challenges and trade-offs involved in budgeting.
The Third Financial Habit: Investing
The third critical financial habit is investing, a remarkable tool for accelerating financial growth and stability. The underlying principles of investing might seem complex, but fundamentally, it’s about ensuring your money doesn’t just sit idle but actively works for you.
Introducing investing to children can be an adventure. Begin with simple investing games and apps that mimic real-world markets. As they grasp the basics, start explaining different investment options in terms they comprehend. You could liken buying stocks to owning a tiny piece of a company, like their favorite toy manufacturer or video game company. This makes the concept of investing tangible and relatable to them. Remember, the goal isn’t to turn them into overnight financial experts but to familiarize them with the concept of investing and its potential benefits.
The Fourth Financial Habit: Avoiding Debt
Debt can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, well-managed debt, like mortgages or student loans, can be a catalyst for growth and development. They can help fund a home, education, or other significant investments that might be out of reach otherwise. On the other hand, excessive or irresponsible borrowing can be crippling, spiraling into a quagmire of financial stress and uncertainty.
The key is to understand the nuances and implications of borrowing, which is why we need to teach our children about responsible debt management. Start by explaining the basics of credit cards and loans. Use real-life scenarios to discuss what happens when one only pays the minimum amount due on credit cards, illustrating how high-interest rates can inflate the overall debt. Or explain the concept of credit scores and how poor debt management can impact them, affecting future borrowing opportunities.
In addition, share strategies for avoiding or managing debt. For example, convey the principle of living within one’s means and only borrowing what can be realistically repaid. Discuss the importance of prompt repayment and maintaining a good credit score. Remember, the goal isn’t to instill fear of debt but to foster a sense of respect and responsibility around borrowing.
The Fifth Financial Habit: Philanthropy
Philanthropy, the noble act of sharing wealth to improve the lives of others, is more than just about giving money. It fosters a sense of social responsibility, promotes empathy, and contributes to personal growth. It also provides perspective, helping children understand the value of money and the difference it can make.
Teaching children about philanthropy doesn’t require grand gestures. Encourage small, regular acts of giving that are within their capacity. They could donate some of their old toys or books to a local charity, contribute a part of their allowance to causes they care about, or even participate in local community service.
Involving the entire family in philanthropic activities reinforces these values and makes them part of your family’s identity. You might adopt a cause that your family feels strongly about and contribute to it in various ways.
Remember, philanthropy isn’t just about the act of giving but also understanding why we give. So, alongside these activities, have open conversations about the difference these actions are making. This way, they learn that the true value of wealth lies not just in what it can buy, but also in the positive impact it can create.
Navigating the complexities of the financial world can seem daunting, but the foundations of financial stability are built on five simple habits: saving, budgeting, investing, responsibly managing debt, and practicing philanthropy.
Think of each habit as a piece of the financial puzzle. Saving provides a safety net and a means to future dreams. Budgeting enables smart, calculated financial choices. Investing allows money to grow rather than remain idle. Understanding and managing debt safeguards against financial pitfalls, and philanthropy instills a sense of the true value of wealth.
It may take time, patience, and creativity to effectively follow each habit, but the seeds we sow today will bear rich fruit tomorrow as we watch the next generation grow into financially responsible and compassionate individuals.
Have a great weekend!
Source: Ballentine Capital Advisors
Golf Tip of the Week
This Is, Unquestionably, The Shortest Missed Putt In The History Of Golf
The last time we played around with a headline like this was when Jon Rahm whiffed on a one-footer at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational. We were quickly reminded by Golf Digest legend Guy Yocom that Hale Irwin’s whiff at the 1983 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale was actually the shortest miss in golf history. Of course, it’s impossible to find video of Irwin’s whiff, so we’ll just have to take Guy’s word for it.
In our humble opinion, neither Rahm nor Irwin have anything on Korn Ferry Tour pro Tom Whitney, who missed what has to be the shortest putt in the history of televised golf. That’s a moniker we’re comfortable putting on this one. The shortest miss in the history of televised golf. Apologies to the Irwin stans out there:
My goodness. That could not have been more than three or four inches. It definitely was not nine inches as our old friend Dan Rapaport surmised. But who knows? The Korn Ferry Tour does not have the proper shot tracker technology, so we’re left to guess. We’re saying maybe four inches. Brutal.
You know it’s really, really bad when you notice that Whitney was reaching down into the hole to grab his ball before he even realized it violently lipped out and nearly hit him in his own foot, which, under the new rules, could have been deemed accidental and would not be a penalty. We doubt that would have made Whitney feel any better had it happened, though.
Another angle shows just how nonchalantly Whitney hit the short par-saver after missing on the low side for Birdie:
A good reminder that those three-footers you scoop up on the weekend with your buddies are not “gimmes” in the real world. It’s rattle bottom at the pro level. Cruel, cruel sport. Despite the missed shorty, Whitney still shot a second-round 67 to reach 10 under through two rounds, which has him in a tie for 15th. He’s just three off the lead of Ryan McCormick at the NV5 Invitational.
Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi
Recipe of the Week
Classic Shrimp Scampi
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces linguine
- 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain.
- Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is just golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp to a plate. Add the wine and lemon juice to the skillet and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes.
- Return the shrimp and any juices from the plate to the skillet along with the linguine, butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Continue to cook, tossing, until the butter is melted and the shrimp is hot, about 2 minutes, adding more of the reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt; stir in the parsley. Serve with lemon wedges
Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork.comii
Health Tip of the Week
Sudden Health Problems After 50
One Minute You’re Fine …
When you’re past 50, some ailments can announce themselves suddenly and painfully. And aches and ouches you might not worry much about when you’re younger could be a sign of bigger problems in middle age.
This is the big one: 735,000 people have one every year. A 50-year-old man has a 1 in 2 chance of getting heart disease at some point. The most common signs are chest pain, shortness of breath, and back, shoulders, or neck pain. You might also feel sweaty, dizzy, or like you’re going to throw up. Your risk is lower if you’re at a healthy weight, don’t smoke, and get regular exercise.
This is when blood doesn’t get to parts of your brain like it should, and those brain cells start to die. Get help right away if you have sudden weakness or numbness in your face, arms, or legs, you lose your bearings or get confused, and have trouble speaking. You can lower your odds if you keep your blood pressure in check, eat a low-cholesterol diet, manage your stress, exercise, and quit smoking.
Many of the lifestyle changes you make to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke can make you less likely to have this as well. An aneurysm happens when the wall of an artery gets weak and bulges outward. If that wall gives way, it can lead to serious internal bleeding or a stroke. Symptoms can include pain, nausea, dizziness, clammy skin, and a rapid heartbeat.
These are hardened chunks of bile, a fluid that helps your body get rid of waste. They get stuck on the way out of your gallbladder, a small organ below your liver. They can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball and can cause severe pain in your upper belly or behind your belly button. You’re more likely to get them if you’re obese, have diabetes or Crohn’s disease, or don’t exercise.
Sometimes, gallstones can set this off. It’s inflammation of the pancreas, which makes enzymes and hormones like insulin that help with digestion. It causes severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and a fever, and can be life-threatening. Seek medical help immediately if you have these symptoms. It also can be caused by heavy drinking, high levels of calcium, or a kind of fat called triglycerides.
These can happen at any age, but your bones may become brittle as you get older and be more likely to break. A loss of bone is known as osteoporosis, and it’s especially common in older women. Calcium and vitamin D can help slow it or stop it from getting worse, and certain drugs can help you keep bone, or even help you rebuild it.
If you suddenly find yourself dizzy, you might have vertigo. It can happen if tiny crystals in your inner ear, which help you control your balance, get moved around. You’re more likely to get it as you get older, probably because the crystals aren’t held in place as well. Your doctor can treat it with a series of head movements that move those particles back into place.
Your retina is a light-sensitive layer in your eye that tells your brain what you see. If it pulls away from the outer wall of your eye, it won’t get oxygen and other things it needs. You might see floating specks or flashes of light. You can permanently lose your eyesight, so see a doctor right away. It’s more common in people who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery or other eye diseases.
These are hard clumps, usually made of calcium, that form in your kidneys. They often pass harmlessly out of your body, but larger ones can be extremely painful and cause bleeding or infections or block the flow of urine. They’re more common in men than women. You can help prevent them by drinking plenty of fluids every day. Water is best.
People over 50 are at higher risk of the kind of pneumonia caused by bacteria, not the one caused by a virus. Called pneumococcal pneumonia, it can be life-threatening. Older people are more likely to get it because your body’s immune system gets weaker as you age. But there are vaccine for it, and the CDC recommends them for everyone over 65.
This develops slowly, but it can make itself known suddenly. It happens when the channel in your backbone that holds your spinal cord and other nerves narrows, usually because of arthritis. The nerves can be pinched or squeezed, causing pain, numbness, or cramps in your lower back or neck. It can be treated with drugs or physical therapy, or, in some cases, surgery.
This condition shows up as a sudden pain and swelling in one of your joints, often a big toe. It’s a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in your body. If you take certain medications for high blood pressure, eat red meat and shellfish, or drink alcohol, you’re at higher risk. The soda sweetener known as fructose also raises your risk, and so does obesity.
This is when a blood clot gets stuck in a blood vessel in one of your lungs. Your chances of having one go up after age 50, and it can be serious, so get medical help fast if you have chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, and dizziness. You also can have a cough that may even bring up some blood, leg pains, and clammy or bluish skin. The blood clot often starts in your leg, so an early sign might be swelling or pain in one of your calves.
Your risk goes up if you’ve had heart disease or recent surgery, or you were in a cramped position (like in an airplane or car) for a long stretch of time.
Tip adapted from WebMD.comiii
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