Category: Columns

Personal Finance: How to Purposefully and Successfully Transition to a Single Income

by Nathaniel Sillin   Many parents face the same difficult question when raising a child. Should one of you stay at home while the other works? It’s not a question to take lightly. The decision can have emotional and financial consequences and may have a long-term impact on the stay-at-home parent’s career opportunities. It’s also a question that doesn’t have a single correct answer. Your upbringing, personality, career and the family’s financial situation can all play into your decision. Your opinion could also differ from your partner’s and may change over time. Perhaps you both worked after having your first child and now that there will be two or more children it makes more sense for one of you to stay at home. Whatever your impetus, if you decide to switch from two incomes to one, it will undoubtedly be challenging. Purposefully approaching and planning for the change could help you succeed. Get a general sense of the numbers. Understandably, you’re likely juggling a lot of priorities at the moment. However, now more than ever, having a clear picture of your family’s finances can be important. Thinking about both short-term and long-term scenarios will help you understand the effect of moving to one income and give you numbers to back up your assumptions. For this task, you don’t need to track every single penny or dollar you make and...

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How to Save Money While Traveling Abroad

June Consumer Tips from the Independent Bankers Assoc. of Texas   For many of us, traveling abroad is something we long to do but don’t know if we can ever afford. Even if you save enough money for plane tickets to Europe—or whatever your country of choice may be—the cost of accommodations, food, transportation, sightseeing, etc. while there may break the bank. But it doesn’t have to. As with everything else in life, it’s important to put together a travel budget and stick to it. Start with flights and accommodations, and then divide the rest into categories such as food and activities. The tips below can help you stretch your dollar as far as possible while making memories that will last a lifetime. –Getting There   Choose your airfare wisely. The cost of airfare varies both by the time of year and day of the week. You can reduce the cost by selecting flights that depart on Thursday and return on Monday. There are also times in the travel industry called ‘shoulder periods,’ which are basically off peak. These periods include September when kids go back to school, early January after most people get back from holiday travel and early April just after spring break. Airlines often offer large discounts during these times. Lastly, there are now several low-cost carriers that travel to Europe and other countries. While there...

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Home Country

by Slim Randles The closed-season school board meeting was called to order half an hour late by its chairman, J. Buckdancer Alcott, because the board members saw Windy Wilson sitting in the audience. Windy had no children, and he sure as sugar wasn’t a teacher, but he could talk. And he was patiently biding his time. Despite the board’s foot dragging through the agenda, Windy didn’t give up and go home. Finally, Alcott said it was time for public feedback and asked if anyone wanted to speak. Windy raised his hand. Alcott looked desperately around, but Windy’s hand was the only one raised. He nodded in Windy’s direction. “My name is Alphonse Wilson,” he said, standing, “and I live here.” “We know who you are, Windy,” said Alcott. “Thanks, Buck. I feel it’s my duty to bring to the board’s attention a strategic dearth of learning with these young people today. A paucity of eddyflication. In short, their vocabulary is seriously obfusticated. We have to ask ourselves, what are these young people going to do in polite society when a hostess passes around the horse doovers? Are they going to palaver proper, or just sit there on their sacrolibriums and nod? Are they going to be admitted to the barn association, write them writs of habeas porpoise, or just sue each other out of court? Are we really doing...

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Hope to Health – It’s A Process

by Tiffany Anderson If you read the story in John 9, you will read about the blind man whom Jesus healed. This story speaks volumes because although Jesus had the power to heal right away, he did not. He made the healing a process and he gave the man responsibility to make sure that it took place. When people see sick people they automatically assume that the person or someone attached to him sinned. In this text Jesus said that it was no one who sinned but that God wanted to show his power and miraculous nature. Jesus did not say that he was healing the blind man but that God would heal him through Jesus. In this text we learn that things do not just happen. That there is a process to healing. There is also a proper timing. Jesus said that it was daytime. Nothing could be done at night. Then he broke down the process. First, Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with his saliva. Secondly, Jesus anointed his eyes with the clay. Last but not least, he sent the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. The blind man went, washed, and came back seeing. In our health, we are commanded to do the same. We have a process to follow. Health is not something just given, but something worked for. We have to first know what is for...

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An Homage to Hometown Happenings

by Kate B. Jerome No matter where my travels take me, I always seek out the local newspaper. I know. My smartphone easily provides more detail about a town than I will ever need. But the local paper does so much more. That’s because it fits the many pieces of the community puzzle together. Where else can you get a glimpse of what a citizenry most values and fears—all within a few recyclable pages? In the tiny town where I grew up, the local paper was a powerful tool—no doubt for many reasons beyond my young comprehension. However, I looked forward to the daily delivery for two simple reasons. First, I loved to read the personal stories—from tragedy to triumph—about the people in my own community. It was the first inkling I had that I might be part of something larger than the family who lived at 12 Parkview. Second, I couldn’t wait to hear the interesting dinner conversations that some tidbit in the paper was bound to spark. Of course, my favorites were the most heated discussions. And when my parents resorted to spelling out words? Well, let’s just say the training led to considerable success in my grade school spelling bees! Decades of educational publishing experience later, I know my hometown paper was just one arrow in the successful child-raising quiver my parents used. But it was...

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