All posts by Better Living Better World

Think You (or Your Students) Need Willpower?  Think Again!

“How do I change my behavior?” That’s the question one of my students asked after a GCC Money Talks session. It was the Fall of 2019 and Money Talks had just launched and this student was one of the first to participate. It was a great question, unfortunately, I didn’t have a great answer. I did find a blog post with 5 Ways of Changing Your Financial Behavior but I knew that I needed a better answer.  Fortunately, I found that I already had a great resource on my bookshelf. The book, Change Anything is exactly that – a great answer and set of strategies

A BIG Mistake that Parents Make About Paying for College

As a College Financial Educator, I’ve become familiar with several mistakes that students, and their families, make when paying for college. And one that concerns me is when parents prioritize college over building their own retirement fund.  I get it, parents love their kids. But here’s the thing, there are loans for college, no one’s going to give you a loan for your retirement. I also get that your kids are headed to college before you’re retiring, but your money needs time to grow. For every 10 years that you hold off investing, you’ll need to double the amount of money that you invest to

A Closer Look at the Value of Appreciation

To appreciate something is to pay attention to its value (and in so doing, to increase its value in our own eyes). When we don’t do this, we fail to see the value in the people, situations and things around us – they depreciate (lose value) in our eyes.  So, why do we do this? After all, why would we want any part of our lives to lose value? Well we don’t want to but often people get focused on other things and many things get overlooked or taken for granted. This Thanksgiving weekend, I want to remind you of the value of appreciation.  Gratitude

Don’t Make Small Talk – Make Big Talk

Believe it or not I suck at small talk. I’ve tried and I would say that my social skills have improved over time. Still there are times when I struggle in this area. But perhaps small talk is overrated. After all, wouldn’t you rather have a more meaningful conversation? That’s what Kalina Silverman thinks too. After a conversation with a friend had her wondering about the value of small talk, she embarked on an experiment called Big Talk. Later, she developed a set of cards that can help people to have more meaningful connections with others or to reconnect with themselves by using the questions

The Personal Development Candy Apple That Will Help You Breakthrough

I’m a fan of personal development – and analogies. One of my favorite analogies is that learning is like making a candy apple. You see, to make a candy apple, you don’t just dip the apple into the red, candy syrup once – you dip it in and then let it set and then dip it in again and let it set and repeat this process to build up that candy coating (well, at least that’s the metaphor – the recipe I just saw is nowhere near that labor intense). And this serves as a metaphor for learning. We don’t learn things by spending a

From Money Mess to Money Message

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at our District’s Student Success Conference on the topic of ‘Turn Your Money Mess into Your Money Message’. It might surprise some, but for a long time I saw myself as not good with money and not the money type. So, sometimes it even surprises me that I’m now a Financial Educator. But then again, the journey that I took is part of the reason that I’m passionate about Financial Education.  It’s because I know what it’s like to struggle with money, not only the money issues but the emotions and the stress. I remember times when I

Want to build generational wealth? Do this first!

Generational wealth is a topic that many have become interested in and that’s a good thing. But the focus is largely on passing along wealth in the form of assets and savings. But money without money management skills only leads to bigger money issues. Don’t believe me? A CNBC article reported that lottery winners are more likely than average individuals to declare bankruptcy. And just google: ‘celebrities who went broke’ to see more examples of how money without financial education (and self control) led to bigger money problems than the individual previously faced. I’m on a mission to break generational legacies of being broke and

What It Means To Manage Your Money

Google how to manage your money, and most of the results will be about budgeting.  I know, because when I started my current job I went through exactly that exercise. Budgeting, okay, I get it. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a budgeter (Gasp! Horror! Travesty!) Here’s the thing – a budget is a tool to help you manage your money. And I think a budget can be helpful for many people, but I’m not of the mindset that everybody must budget. But I do believe that everyone needs to manage their money. You may remember that this was one of the Key Takeaways from

Need to drink more water? Track it!

You’re probably very familiar with the many health benefits of drinking water; water aids digestion, flushes out toxins and boosts your immune system and metabolism. But do you struggle to get enough water each day? One strategy that can help is to start tracking your water intake – you can do this on paper or with an app.  I started doing this over a year ago. Originally my tracking consisted of tallies. It worked well but there were times when I lost track and wondered if I’d tallied that last glass of water or not. So my new system is that each day I write

Want to Get Out of Debt? You Need a Strategy

If you’re in debt, you’re not alone! After a decline last year, credit card debt is up again and nearly 1 in 5 Americans have credit card debt of $20,000 or more. As we covered last week, compound interest can work for us or against us – when we have debt, especially credit card debt, then compound interest is definitely working against us. While it may take time to get out of debt, it helps to have a strategy. In this post, I’ll share 3 strategies – each is not better or worse than the others, just different. Focus on deciding which one makes the