Tag Archives: budget

Firing Pig Out Diet, Employing Wellness

Happy December! After our recent Thanksgiving gorge, we’re facing yet more holiday season. And some of us still face unemployment. Can you have wellness on a budget?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My pigout days are over. How do you stay healthy while you’re unemployed? Doesn’t good food like organic everything cost more? When I’m stressed out I want to eat, not cook! What are my alternatives? Oh I’m a diabetic too.  — Starving for Wellness

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Dear Starving for Wellness,

Let’s clear up a basic definition faux pas. “Diet” does not mean what you eat when you’re trying to lose weight, it is what and how you eat habitually. Therefore, we can all — regardless of employment and health status — have healthier diets and more wellness any time we choose to. Firstly, if you have special needs such as diabetes or food allergies, find out from your doctor what you need to have and avoid in your diet to maintain health. These can easily be inserted into your overall better food choices.

Here I go again: I am a proponent of the middle way, all things in moderation. I believe you can and should have whatever life has to offer you in balanced measure. Another key to moderation is to know yourself, including your addictions or unhealthy (mental or physical) inclinations, in which case you will most likely have to avoid those items in total to achieve and maintain your balance.

Basics to a healthy diet: there is a good rule of 80% veggies and 20% other. I don’t do this, but I do enjoy quick tips and short cuts. Mine is about portions; eat portions that are your fist size and make sure at least one of those is a veg per meal, 5 veggie servings a day is recommended. Avoid white foods: bread, processed sugar, chips or crackers — they can make you hyperglycemic (including diabetic or weight gain). Eating six (6) smaller meals during the day helps control weight by helping the body know it is not being starved (of nutrients). I shoot for four (4) a day and try to rotate in smoothies and fruits and veggies in where I otherwise might not at a larger meal. Pre-pack (protein) cheese, nuts and/or a hardboiled egg; carrots, broccoli florettes, and self-packaged fruits like apples, bananas and grapes work best for lazy-booties like me.

Know yourself and find what works for you, then work it.

Bon appetite and health all year,

BadWitch

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Dear Starving for Wellness,

Eating well doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But FYI, spending a little more at checkout could save you thousands in medical bills. As a diabetic you know the array of medical issues that can stem from not eating right—from neuropathy to death.

First, know that the vogue value of organics has risen greatly over the years and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables can be found from Target to Safeway. My favored shopping spot is Trader Joe’s. You can find frozen and fresh meals and snacks that are made from whole grains and packed with vitamins. There are even “healthy” versions of Cheetos and other favorite snacks that actually taste good. Although, there are some great snacks that are good for you and taste great—like Teriyaki Turkey Jerky.

Don’t think that you have to pay absurd Whole Foods prices for good organic foods. At Trader Joe’s, a dozen Omega 3 enriched eggs are $2.39, at Whole Foods the same eggs basically $4. Safeway Organics brand offers some good values on packaged foods at about half the price of Whole Food’s O brand.

The truth is if you care about your health and your loved ones, you’ll make the investment in yourself. This starts on a most fundamental level with how you feed yourself. McDonald’s isn’t going to make you healthy. It will make you fat with bad skin, high blood pressure and aggravated diabetes. Cheetos, Doritos and potato chips will do the same.

Believe it or not it’s easy to make a healthy meal. A tortilla, some beans, grilled meat and salsa and you’ve got a yummy low carb, high protein snack. Stevia used instead of sugar and no calorie sweeteners can actually help your blood sugar numbers. Roast a sweet potato in the oven for a delicious side dish packed with vitamins. Make a few important choices in the foods you pick to improve health and your mood—without sending your budget over the deep end.

Happy Eating,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Have Fun, Build Credit on a Budget?

How do you get started or maintain good credit these days? Can you live it up and still live by your means?   — BadWitch

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – stockmarket closed.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — How can I stay safe and sane on the money front? I’ve got a good paying, crappy full-time job (but will have to give it up for a slightly lower paying entry level one in my field, if I can get one!), am graduating college this spring, and other than my student loan, believe it or not I have very little credit card debt (around $3500) that I pay more than the minimums on. I want to stay conservative but not totally have no life. Thanks.  — Green Grad

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Dear Green Grad,

Wow, feeling a little down about where you are now and where you want to be going, huh. This is no way to start off a whole, new section of your life.  I get being realistic about your possibilities in this market, but your tone, frankly, sounds pessimistic about where you are now and future possibilities.

Want to get to the finish line feeling good about who you are and what you’ve achieved in life? Stop rushing to the I’m-suppose-to-achieve-by-the-time-I’m-30 finish line. Appreciate where you are now and enjoy it, then it easier to plot your way forward.

Reality check. In this economy, no job that feeds your belly and keeps you with a roof over your head is a “crappy” job? I know a Ph.D. currently working in a bookstore and glad for the paycheck. Our culture has been blinded since Archie Bunker’s plaid working-class and JJ’s “dy-no-mite” housing projects lifestyles were replaced by Dynasty’s big shoulder, designer labels. Life is not what you do for a living or what you spend your money on. Focus on finding the positives wherever you can find them. There’s no finish line. Life is a series of connected moments. Make the most of each one.

Now, with this new half-full outlook, realizing how lucky you are: no kids, supporting only yourself and with a viable income and young and cheap enough for employers in your field to want to hire you. Nice. So, how about your wallet?

1. Pay Yourself First. Every check, put 10%-15% into savings immediately. That way you build up more (pick one: freedom, stability, money, choices) for yourself with every check you collect from this current job and have more of a cushion to open up choices for the next step in your career.

2. Buy According to What You Need, Not What Will Impress Someone Else. Listen, if the only way you can get someone to be interested in you is to have the right phone, the right car, the right shoes—GET RID OF THEM. Make buying choices based on making yourself happy—not in the moment—but in the long run. If you love the expensive shoes and will wear them happily and comfortably for the next 2 years, that’s a good investment. If the Jimmy Choo shoes are uncomfortable, but cute and will wind up under the bed, but so-and-so will choke on there sushi when they see…bad investment. Those shoes will limit your spending choices moving forward. (Substitute any possible consumer good for Jimmy Choo example.)

Still need more money management ideas? Check out these earlier GWBW posts. They say downsizing, which means how you balance having money, having stuff and having a life.

Happy Trails,

GoodWitch

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Dear Green Grad,

Props on being aware and diligent about your own credit worthiness and financial health! Everything in it is a metaphor for the state of our life; our finances mirror our general emotional and practical wellbeing. All things are connected, so if you become more and more responsible and alert through action — which isn’t synonymous with a gloom and doom existence! — it becomes very hard to not reflect that ease and grace more so in most parts of your life.

We’re not financial specialists so consult the appropriate professionals if your situation now or comes to require it. Otherwise, I recommend the classic rules of personal money management: pay yourself first (designate a percentage of each paycheck to your savings before all other commitments), pay off your debts (assuming finance rates charged you are higher than the rates of return on your investments. This will help raise your credit score, and (free) check your three credit scores the beginning of every year for general info as well as correcting any possible inaccuracies over the year), and despite what my hero Oscar Wilde said (shows no imagination..ha ha!) by all means live within your means. The latter is the bane of many people’s financial life.

Don’t assume but definitely account for that lower starting salary in your field you’re anticipating. First do the research to find out specifically what that means in dollars and cents, and adjust your monthly nut accordingly by that percentage drop now. But…you can live well by living smart; create small term goals for your finances like for vacation, school books, monthly entertainment budget — and stick to them coming (saving) and going (spending). A friend was successful with my suggestion to teach her kids about the value of taxes by having them put a small set percentage of their allowance into the House Tax, which ends up funding family pizza and movie night, or similar. Adapt this plan for your own lifestyle expenditures and make sure you stick to it for maximum enjoyment!

We get more out of life when we know (self-examine) more about our life. This includes understanding well our personal priorities (Bill Gates was known to regularly refuse the Presidential suites automatically held for him, but gathered a partner to buyout the Four Seasons Hotels, Inc.) — I advised another recent college grad not to get used to a lifestyle she’d have to make career decisions to support, but make choices to support building her career (her priority then) with ease and flexibility. Now she’s a happy careerist homeowner.

Budgeting and spending don’t have to be painful experiences, or negative words when we see the Big Picture. And this is how our lives begin to look better, we feel more in control and go from stressed survival to thriving and fully living.

Save & live for yourself,

BadWitch

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Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Scrooged! Ghost of Christmas Budget Got You Dispirited?

It’s baaack! Christmas gift giving season this year is especially challenging for many people. Turns out “budget” may be the new “charge!” Giving with chutzpah from the heart.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My hours at work were cut. I can’t afford the same presents for the holidays as I could before. I know this is stupid of me but I can’t help myself. I’m kind of ashamed. Do you have suggestions for gifts or how I can just relax about this? I know I’m being stupid.    — Less Mistletoe

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Dear Less Mistletoe,

No matter what you celebrate — Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Yule — there is going to be less greenery for many people this year. With, unemployment estimates at more than 15 million people and the number of cutbacks those lucky enough to keep their jobs, Santa will be delivering more tradition and less goodies. There is no reason to fee ashamed. You are trying your best to provide the best Christmas experience possible for your family.

This does not mean that you can’t enjoy a beautiful and bright holiday. On the contrary there are some great, less expensive ways to make the holiday bright. First off, know your budget. If you are spending money on a live Christmas tree — STOP! Invest in a nice artificial tree that you can reuse year after year. The savings will continue to feed your budget for years to come.

Mix homemade and store bought presents under the tree this year. Granddad and Grandmom will be quite happy with a scrapbook of pictures and art work from the kids. Trust me, big hit. Handmade handbags, pillowcases or sleeping bags for the Barbies are easy to sew and keepsakes you and the kids will treasure. Beaded jewelry, mosaic tiles for the garden, any number of easy to do crafts will delight your present openers.

For store bought gifts under the tree, I suggest online shopping CyberMondays for extra savings and check all brands for rebates before making your purchase. This can save you extra cash on big purchases. Also, check out coupons available online . Do your research. You may find what you want on EBay for less. Check second hand stores like CrossRoads Trading Company for high-end fashion items ready for a second life. Listen, no one will say no to a Kenneth Cole leather jacket in great condition because you found it used for under $40. A good buy is a good buy. Remember the old, “need to know basis” rule. For the most part, your giftees need not know.

Remember, Christmas isn’t about how much stuff you have to give or what you get. In truth, the best present you can give your family is your love and attention. It’s the gift Santa can’t bring that they will remember for years to come.

Happy Holidays,

GoodWitch

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Dear Mistletoe less is more,

In the immortal words of my late night (TV, that is) boyfriend Craig Ferguson, “If you want to avoid the stress of Christmas, become Jewish.” In the best of times, the commercial holiday gift giving season can suck big shiny ornaments! “They” frame Black Friday as consumers supporting retail businesses supporting America. Really?, for once in your patriotic, generous life why not avoid the usual 11th Circle of Shopping Hell  and just give…of yourself?

I’ve been bestowed with some pretty darn nice gifts over my lifetime, but the ones that immediately pop to mind are the yummy tangerines in a cute (and no doubt inexpensive by the gross) wire basket I still use daily in my schmancy kitchen, and the hand-computer produced calendar another friend made for me. Beautiful!, and although it was gorgeous looking, I’m referring to the personal nature of the gift itself. Hate fruit? Untalented boob? Remember, some of the things we blow off because they come easily for us in life are the high quality gems of genius in other’s eyes. So just think about what comes naturally for you to create, do, enjoy eating, and those probably most accurately represent the authentic you that your friends and family know and love. DIY this Christmas. Write and gild a poem, or bind a short story. Pull together a themed photo CD of pictures taken on your phone camera. Create coupons for services you’re good at, auto repair, tech support, cooking or running time-saving errands. No time like the present. Get it?

Lastly, check your own gift receiving judgment before projecting it on others you’re giving to. Christmas with a budget doesn’t have to be feared.

It’s recess(ion) time,

BW

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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