A Wonderful Life

Here you will find posts on practical matters that help you live well.  This may include discussion of finances, handling stress, time management, and other ways to improve your quality of life.

 

Time’s Up!

Posted on Jun 29th, 2014 - By Patty Smith - 0 Comments

My mom picked me up at 3:30 AM that Friday. She asked me to drive her to the hospital in Sacramento where she was to have a heart procedure that needed an overnight hospital stay. Her check in was at 5:00 AM, which is why we left Grass Valley (about 55 miles away from Sacramento) at 3:30. I figured the drive would only take one hour, but I wanted to give us time for fog, truly a dangerous road condition in Northern California. I got on Highway 49 and eased her small Toyota SUV up to 55 mph. Highway 49 is a country road that is slowly being modernized. One hundred years ago it was a cow track. It has a lot of hills, curves and pavement of varying widths. Visibility at best is a mile. We were the only ones on the road, which I thought…

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Financial Fitness: Small Saving Secrets

Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 - By Penni L Smith - 0 Comments

Whether you just can’t implement anything significant at this time, or want a fun way to supplement your savings, there are small ways to save that develop the savings habit and can actually lead to big things. Last time, I talked about setting goals and having a plan for savings, and ways to make it more achievable. That was primarily addressing significant savings, either a set percentage of your income, or a consistent, likely substantial, dollar amount. Even starting small, that could be a lot to ask. So do some little saving exercises first. Already saving? Save for something special or just to have other funds available with small savings. Last year (I think), Reader’s Digest had a savings suggestion: save your $5 bills.…

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Financial Fitness: Starting to Save

Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 - By Penni L Smith - 0 Comments

Saving can be rewarding, but usually not quickly. That makes it hard to compete with the instant gratification of filling some desire now. Still, saving is the key to reducing financial anxiety and providing for the future. If you haven’t saved, or haven’t saved much, how do you start? Set Goals The first step to beginning to save is to identify what you want to save for. If I was just beginning, my list would look like this: Periodic expenses Minimum retirement (company match) Emergency fund of 3 months’ expenses Maximum retirement Emergency fund of 6 months’ expenses Special wants Education General savings I put periodic expenses first because they are inevitable, and failing to save to cover them just…

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Financial Fitness: Periodic Expenses

Posted on Jan 10th, 2013 - By Penni L Smith - 0 Comments

Saving. We all know we should do it, but many people don’t do enough. It can be difficult. If you follow my earlier counsel, some funds should be designated for giving. Then bills need to be paid. Food and household items purchased. Basic needs meant. And, when all that is done, if there is anything left, then there is the incessant clamor of desire for other things, whether a few dollars for a treat or hundreds for the latest electronic iTthingamajig. How does one find any money to save? And there’s so much to save for. Retirement. College. Medical expenses, if you have a health savings account. The emergency fund all the financial folk say you should have, a sum to cover the total of 3-6 months’ of all expenses. There are…

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