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Budgeting and Personal Finance

A Guide to Budgeting

Updated April 24, 2018

Budgeting is the primary way that you can take control of your finances. Simply put, a budget is a written plan for how you will spend your money. You can create a monthly or an annual budget. The budget allows you to make financial decisions ahead of time, which makes it easier to cover all your expenses throughout the year. Budgeting consistently can help you turn your finances around and begin to build wealth.

Why Is Budgeting Important?

A budget a powerful tool because it allows you to determine how and where you want to spend your money. When you master budgeting, you make sure that every dollar is being used how you want it. If you have a budget, you can track your spending and determine if it is matching your priorities. Often when people start budgeting they are surprised to see how much money is going to things that are not important to them, like eating at fast food restaurants or paying for conveniences. Budgeting allows you to monitor your progress on goals and make sure you are sticking to your financial plan.                                                                  Read more at:

 Understanding My Credit Report & Score

Think of your credit report like a report card that shows how you've managed your finances. Your credit report is kept on file by credit bureaus and includes your overall credit score, which can range from 300 to 850. The higher your credit score, the less risk you pose for potential lenders and therefore the better interest rates you'll receive which translates to more money in your pocket for other things.

Here's how it works¦

There are three national consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) and they collect information from credit-granting companies like banks, finance companies, department stores, tax authorities, landlords, etc. From that information they each compile credit reports. The report is a file of information from all the companies you have done business with. It will show:

  • Your open accounts with balances, including credit limits
  • Whether you pay on time and in full
  • Whether you make late payments or miss payments
  • Whether any of your accounts have been turned over to a collection agency
  • Any suits, judgments or tax issues, etc.

Learn more about each section of a credit report

Ask your doctor questions

If you made an appointment to see the doctor for a check-up or a health care concern, we congratulate you. When you're at the office remember to speak up if you have a question. Don't be shy.

Not sure what to ask? Start with these three simple questions from the Ask Me 3 patient education program.

  • What's my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why's it important for me to do this?

Keep asking questions until you understand the answers. People who understand their doctor's instructions make fewer mistakes when they take their medicine or get ready for a medical procedure. They may also get well sooner or be able to better manage their health condition.


Deprivation Nation: How Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Diabetes

The Connection Between Sleep and Diabetes

Here's what we know: Diabetes arises when the body can't properly break down blood sugar, aka glucose, leaving your cells starved for energy. One thing that greatly increases your chances of a blood-sugar malfunction is being overweight. Excess fat makes it harder for cells to properly use insulin, a hormone that helps keep glucose levels normal.

So what does sleep have to do with any of this? "When you don't get enough, your body appears to require more insulin to maintain normal glucose levels," says James Herdegen, MD, medical director of the Sleep Science Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago. "Sleep deprivation seems to alter the sympathetic nervous system — the body's stress-control center — and hormonal balances, all of which affects glucose regulation." Eventually, sleeplessness causes insulin-producing cells to stop working properly, elevating glucose levels and leaving you wide open to diabetes.  Read more at: