Online banking has all but made the checkbook register obsolete. You can check your balance on your smartphone, view it online or even print it, but the lost science of registering debits and credits hasn’t gone away, and it shouldn’t.
The importance of logging your debits and credits hasn’t changed. They still teach it in middle school family and consumer science courses, but fewer people stick with it. My sister still keeps her checkbook register up-to-date despite writing two checks per month for rent and utilities. Everything she buys with her debit card gets logged in the checkbook register, and it’s no surprise she’s better with money than her brother who doesn’t -- until now.
I don’t write checks. I pay my rent in cash and my bills online. I setup automatic payments for all my bills, so I never spend time with my money. This is a big mistake. It’s the number one easiest way to save money according to CNBC guest contributor Brittney Castro. Just sitting down with your money once per week to monitor debits and credits and budget for the week can put you in a better place financially.
If you’re like me and don’t have a checkbook but want to log your debits and credits on paper, you can print blank registers here. I’d rather use my phone to manage my money. I am logging my debits and credits on my iPhone using the Spending app. It’s also available for free on Android devices. It allows you to log debits under the following categories: eating out, clothes, entertainment, fuel, general, gifts, holidays, kids, shopping, sports and travel. You can also add a category of expenses and income. I added my Airbnb income for example.
You can view your debits and credits over the week, month or year. The best part is, turning your phone sideways reveals a pie chart of your expenses. This way you can see what’s costing you the most money and where you can start saving. Hit the cash flow tab and a graph reveals your income, so you can see those weeks you took some time off from work, or in my case, hosted more or fewer Airbnb guests. This is much more helpful than a checkbook register because it allows you to more easily see where you’re wasting your money. I’m a sucker for eating out, but since I’m new to my city, I think it’s only natural to be trying restaurants to see what you like and what’s worth the money you’re paying. Still, if I want to save money, I’ll have to cut out some of that spending.
Using the Spending app to budget for your week or month isn’t the only way to better manage your money. It takes a lot more than monitoring your debits and credits to reach your financial goals. After I get my check today, I’m heading to my bank to withdraw some money to put in an online savings account. Remember those days your money in your savings and checking accounts actually made you money? Well, those days aren’t all gone. You just have to do more research and move your money around more often. Luckily, Jeff Rose has already found the top online saving account interest rates for you. Some online savings accounts require a large deposit to open the account, but many can be started for as little as $25, and while 27 cents doesn’t sound like much, it’s still 27 cents you didn’t have before, and will be a few bucks by the end of the year.
Cutting your transportation costs is the easiest way to save money if you commute 12 miles or so to work everyday like me. I intend to start riding my bike to the bus stop to save even more money this summer, and, eventually, I’ll do the entire 25-mile commute on my bike to get in great shape. But the gas rewards card is a thing of beauty. I keep two of them on me at all times, so regardless of what gas station is nearest I have a way of earning points and saving money. That moment after you swipe your card and the screen on the pump reads “We’re lowering your prices,” or “Use $2.96 in rewards?” I get all warm and fuzzy inside. It feels like you’re cheating the system, and speaking of…
Sign up for every free, rewards program you can find. My favorite is Ebates, which I’ve been using for almost 10 years. During that time I’ve been paid $113.72 just for shopping at my favorite stores online. You can even install an extension for your browser, so anytime you happen upon a store that’s an Ebates partner it will ask you if you want to enable Ebates cash back. Just click the button and you’re on your way to free money for every purchase you make.
Another extension I’ve attached to my browser is Honey, which scours the internet for coupon and promo codes that apply to the store you’re visiting. It’ll tell you how many coupon and promo codes are available for that store, for what they can be used, and allow you to save money on your order right there and then. There’s no need to open a new tab and search those ad-happy coupon and promo code search engines anymore. Just install Honey.
If you travel a lot, open an Expedia account and start earning rewards points worth airline miles and discounts on hotel rooms and car rentals. You can even find discounted tickets for activities on your trip. The other day I was offered a free flight if I booked a hotel along with my flight through Expedia. I don’t book through anywhere but Expedia now, because Ebates gives me 10 percent cash back on top of any discounts I get with my rewards points.
If you travel for business, a travel rewards credit card will probably be a good thing to have in your wallet. Nerd Wallet has put together a fine list of the best available travel rewards credit cards, but if you intend to apply, be sure to note whether the credit card has an annual fee. If you travel enough to accumulate enough miles to use during the fee-free, introductory year, you can jump ship after just one year and move to another travel rewards card. If not, just pick one that doesn’t have an annual fee.
Finally, the most rewarding and money-saving rewards program and credit card are with the same company: Amazon. I buy a lot of books, technology and vinyl records. Most of my birthday and Christmas gifts are purchased on Amazon. In fact, I just sent my mom her Mother’s Day gift using Amazon (they do gift wrapping for $4 if you’re wondering and include a short, personalized message on a card). I also sent my sister her birthday present using Amazon, and neither of those gifts cost me a dime. Here’s why:
I got hooked on Amazon at a young age. I was really into Ebay when I was in high school, but when some of the items I purchased came with defects and weren’t returnable, I started using Amazon pretty regularly. I’m pretty sure the first credit card for which I ever applied was my Amazon Rewards Visa Credit Card through Chase.
My new, shiny Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Credit Card came in the mail just a few weeks ago. Since I’m an Amazon Prime member, I get five percent cash back on every Amazon purchase to be used on future Amazon purchases. I also get two percent back on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and drugs stores, and one percent back on all other purchases. While the interest rate is high, it doesn’t matter because I pay it off each month. So that’s how I ended up taking care of my sister’s birthday and Mother’s Day without spending a dime of my own money.
I cannot stress how rewarding Amazon Prime has been for me. I became a member when I was a sophomore in college because I was tired of paying way too much for textbooks at the bookstore. Instead, I managed to save a ton of money buying them on Amazon and had them shipped in two days for free thanks to my Prime membership, so I rarely fell behind in classes because I didn’t have a textbook. I even made a bunch more than most of my classmates selling my textbooks because I used Textbook Wheel, now First Class Books, instead of selling them back to the bookstore. Never buy textbooks from or sell textbooks to your university bookstore. We live in a global economy. Your campus is not the best place to get the books you need for classes or the money you need to celebrate passing your classes.
I’m just now taking advantage of Prime Pantry -- Amazon’s online store for mostly non-perishables. Here’s a breakdown of what I got:
The best part is all of it will be delivered for free to my apartment within four days. The real value is I got to compare prices from the comfort of my computer desk and didn’t have to stand in line at the grocery store checkout. Oh, and did I mention that my Amazon Prime membership includes video streaming of movies and shows and free, two-day shipping on any Amazon warehouse-fulfilled item?
So keeping a checkbook register is all well and good, but the internet and smartphones allow for so many more ways to save money, whether it’s by logging your debits and credits, transferring money to an online savings account that actually pays interest, saving money through online rewards programs or buying the things online you already buy at the store. Welcome to the online banking and shopping era and enjoy the savings.
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"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right." ― George Orwell, 1984
America, they are re-writing your American history incrementally, little by little until it all fades away.
Today, in New Orleans a statue of Jefferson Davis is removed to appease those in government that do not want you to learn from people like Jefferson Davis, who set the example of pushing back against a tyrannical federal government. On the other hand, the same government, antithetical to American government, approved a statue of Vladimir Lenin, a Russian communist revolutionist from the early twentieth century.
It does not get any plainer than that, does it? It’s not hard to believe when 80 members of government in the USA are self-proclaimed communists (Psalm 94:20).
That should come as no surprise when we see that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also a communist organization, which has been given a free hand at attacking American Law and our Christian heritage, as well as anyone and everyone it wills because of the ignorance of those who should know better.
The founder of the ACLU, Roger Baldwin, stated, "I am for socialism, disarmament, for abolishing the state itself…I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
How could it be otherwise when we know that the “Science and history books are being changed every 3-7 years”?
“The philosophy taught in the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.” -Credited to Abraham Lincoln
Does any of this sound familiar as to what you are seeing today in America?
The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx (1848)
1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
The courts have interpreted the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868) to give the government far more "eminent domain" power than was originally intended, Under the rubric of "eminent domain" and various zoning regulations, land use regulations by the Bureau of Land Management property taxes, and "environmental" excuses, private property rights have become very diluted and private property in land, vehicles, and other forms are seized almost every day in this country under the "forfeiture" provisions of the RICO statutes and the so-called War on Drugs..
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913 (which some scholars maintain was never properly ratified), and various State income taxes, established this major Marxist coup in the United States many decades ago. These taxes continue to drain the lifeblood out of the American economy and greatly reduce the accumulation of desperately needed capital for future growth, business starts, job creation, and salary increases.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Another Marxian attack on private property rights is in the form of Federal & State estate taxes and other inheritance taxes, which have abolished or at least greatly diluted the right of private property owners to determine the disposition and distribution of their estates upon their death. Instead, government bureaucrats get their greedy hands involved.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
We call it government seizures, tax liens, "forfeiture," Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
The Federal Reserve System, created by the Federal Reserve Act of Congress in 1913, is indeed such a "national bank" and it politically manipulates interest rates and holds a monopoly on legal counterfeiting in the United States. This is exactly what Marx had in mind and completely fulfills this plank, another major socialist objective. Yet, most Americans naively believe the U.S. of A. is far from a Marxist or socialist nation.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.
In the U.S., communication and transportation are controlled and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established by the Communications Act of 1934 and the Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (established by Congress in 1887), and the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Executive orders 11490, 10999 -- not to mention various state bureaucracies and regulations. There is also the federal postal monopoly, AMTRAK and CONRAIL -- outright socialist (government-owned) enterprises. Instead of free-market private enterprise in these important industries, these fields in America are semi-cartelized through the government's regulatory-industrial complex.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
While the U.S. does not have vast "collective farms," which failed so miserably in the Soviet Union, we nevertheless do have a significant degree of government involvement in agriculture in the form of price support subsidies and acreage allotments and land-use controls. The Desert Entry Act and the Department of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
We call it the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family, women in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000. And I almost forgot, The Equal Rights Amendment, which meant that women should do all the work that men do, including military service, and ultimately, it would make women subject to the draft.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
We call it the Planning Reorganization Act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136.
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
People are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education."
This is all happening today on America’s watch, not from outside of us, but from within (Deuteronomy 28:52)
And why? Americans have wickedly departed from God (Psalm 119:102).
And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's. -Exodus 20:1-17
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In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers from Hebrew University and the University of Bonn discovered that daily marijuana use could help prevent the “slowdown” that occurs in our brains as we age.
THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was found to boost memory and learning, cognitive function, in older mice.
In the study, researchers gave THC daily to groups of mice who were 2 months old, one year old and 18 months old. Then the mice solved a water maze. The older mice who were not given the THC had difficulty recognizing familiar objects and navigating the maze. But those who were given THC scored similarly to younger vibrant mice, and did so for a month after the dosing stopped.
Now the younger mice given the THC appeared to score poorly compared to younger mice not given the THC. The study authors believe the THC is stimulating the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is a biochemical pathway that slows down with aging.
It’s a system within the brain and spinal cord and peripheral nervous system with receptors that help regulate a variety of actions including memory, mood, appetite, and pain. The body makes its own “cannabinoids” which work at the synapse where neurotransmitters are released. Our own cannabinoids (endogenous cannabinoids, hence endocannabinoids) help regulate what is being neurotransmitted. Exogenous (outside) THC that is inhaled/ingested competes with a body’s own cannabinoids for these receptors causing changes in what signals get released.
This isn’t the first time marijuana has been found to improve brain health.
Previous studies found cannabis to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protecting brain cells and stimulating new cell growth. In 2008 a study in mice found THC to improve memory in older rats as well as decrease brain inflammation.
However in 2016 a study published in Nature found cannabinoids to activate CB1 receptors within the mitochondria of hippocampal neurons, which resulted in memory loss. Their study suggested that chronic use of marijuana permanently affected the brain cell’s mitochondria, thereby causing long term memory loss.
So is marijuana good for the brain or not? Studies in mice conflict however, researchers are slowly narrowing down why it helps and why it hurts. Give it more time before placing any bets….
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00am-2:00pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00pm (Central) at GCN.