Personal Improvement Column


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 Personal Improvement 
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Manage your life like a CFO

If you want to save money, you’ve got to manage your life much like the chief financial officer runs the company where you work.

J.D. Roth of the personal finance blog “Get Rich Slowly” just launched a course that can help you do just that.

The course aims to help you eliminate debt, master your money and achieve financial independence.

It includes a 52-week email series with the best lessons from the Get Rich Slowly blog and a 120-page guide called “Be Your Own CFO” with supplementary downloads.

You’ll also find interviews with well-known individuals in the personal finance sector including Jim Wang (the creator of Bargaineering), Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn, Jean Chatzky, Gretchen Rubin, Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant and Adam Baker, to name a few.

After taking a year off, Roth realized that there was an aspect of personal finance he hadn’t yet tackled.

“I think it’s imperative that people understand that they are responsible for building their own financial future,” he says.

It’s easy to sit back and take advice from your real-estate agent, broker, banker, family and friends, but Roth notes that the advice isn’t always geared toward your best interests.
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 Personal Improvement 
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Downsize Your Life for the New Year

A new year often represents a new beginning. One of the best ways to start off the new year right is to think about how you can downsize life a little bit.

This isn’t just about moving to a smaller home. It’s about looking at your lifestyle, and figuring out how you can make it a little bit simpler. As you consider what you want your life to look like going forward, it might be time to downsize a little bit.

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 Family, Personal Improvement 
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How to Treat Poison Ivy – And Kill It If You Know Where It Is

Poison IvyOne of the staple of summer, it seems, is poison ivy. Whether you stumble upon it while camping, or whether you’ve got a problem with it on your property, poison ivy can cause a great deal of discomfort. Your reaction to poison ivy depends largely on your body chemistry, and how it responds to urushiol, an oily resin common to poison ivy, as well as to poison sumac and poison oak.

Reactions to poison ivy vary. My husband is quite sensitive to poison ivy. He breaks out in severe rashes when he comes in contact with it. I, on the other hand, am not as sensitive. While contact will produce some discomfort, it is not usually the full-blown rash my husband experiences. In most cases, poison ivy isn’t a serious problem. However, you will want to treat it as best you can to alleviate the discomfort until the symptoms subside.

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 Personal Improvement 
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Setting Realistic Goals for the New Year

goalWhether you are preparing to set personal finance goals for the new year, or whether you have other goals in mind, the hardest part seems to be achieving success. Indeed, many of us set forth grand aspirations for the coming year — only to have those hopes dashed relatively early on. The problem is that, in many cases, we fail to set realistic goals.

While there is nothing wrong with dreaming big, someone with $30,000 in debt, and a low-paying job isn’t going to achieve financial freedom in eight months just because it’s a goal. You’re not going to lose 20 pounds in six weeks, and, even if you do manage to lose the weight, keeping it off is going to present its own challenges.

The key is choose realistic and sustainable goals for the new year. Here are some tips that can help you set realistic goals for the brand new year:

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 Personal Improvement 
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How to Write a Thank You Note

Thank You NoteIn today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to forget to say “thank you.” And, it often seems as though writing a thank-you note is something that is even more overlooked. My son recently had a birthday. He received plenty of gifts. And, because he’s used to it, he remembered to sit down and write notes thanking all of the givers for his presents.

Writing a thank-you note can be a good way to show gratitude, but also a way to help combat materialism. When you are grateful for something, you turn your focus to the giver, and their thoughtfulness. It’s a good idea to carefully consider the gift, and express your gratitude with a note.

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 Personal Improvement 
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Are You Investing In Yourself?

Learning the pianoOne of the longest-lasting investments you can make, with the best returns over time, is in yourself. Investing in yourself can help you improve your earning power, as well as provide you with a sense of satisfaction.

Even as you work to earn money and improve your finances, don’t neglect yourself. It’s important that you take the time to invest in yourself, improving your skills and knowledge, and even acquiring new talents. Here are some of the ways you can invest in yourself, and live a richer, fuller life:

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 Personal Improvement 
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How I Busted My Email Addiction

A year ago I left my full-time job to become a full-time personal finance blogger. I loved the first few days. I didn’t have to wake up at a certain time, I didn’t have to get dressed up, I didn’t have to drive twenty five minutes into work, I could just saunter into my office, plop down at my computer and work at my own pace. Then after a while, the freedom allowed my bad habits to fester and I didn’t really recognize my problems until many months later when I started a time budget log. I was checking email around forty times a day!

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