The author Aldous Huxley said, "There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that's improving your own self." Lots of things that impact your Family Piggy Bank are out of your control: the economy, the price of gas, how much college tuition rises over a decade. But one thing you can do that can help your budget and bottom line: be the best YOU you can be. And that means constantly improving yourself. For this Thursday Thrifty Throwdown, look at where you can make some improvements.
-- Improve your health. Watch what you eat, get yearly physicals, make sure everyone in the family goes to the dentist. All of these things are great for you and your finances as good preventative care and body maintenance help you avoid many costly medical procedures later on. There are no excuses here. Even when you are watching TV with the kids, you can do some squats or arm exercises.
-- Improve your mind. Read a book. Do brain games like crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Even just driving a different way to work can challenge that gray matter up top. Improving your knowledge base not only helps your lifespan, it can pay off in your job. Being up on the latest technology, keeping up-to-date with your skill sets is essential so if something out of your control comes along, like a round of layoffs at work, you are ready.
-- Improve your relationships. Ask yourself how you are doing. Are you content? Are you tired? What can you work on that can help not only yourself but how you connect with others? If you and your spouse have issues talking about money, fix it. Find a way to discuss financial matters in a healthier, more productive way. Do you bribe your kids with gifts to get them to behave (who doesn't)? Maybe explore how you and your kids can get through those everyday battles we all have without buying a new toy. All of these things not only will make you and your family stronger, it can make your Family Piggy Bank stronger too.