Activation key special Educational Needs Printables for Primary School
At URBrainy we have a superb range of beautifully presented resources for Reception and KS1 Maths (for children between the ages of 5 and 7). We also have writing prompts, poems, and graphic organizers. Showing top 8 worksheets in the category - Pach. Bring your maths lesson plans for KS1 and KS2 to life with our unrivalled range of resources, materials and ideas, including - Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division worksheets - Activities for working on decimals and fractions - Maths puzzles and games We also have resources for teaching for mastery in primary maths. Recognising and forming number sentences can be a tricky skill for Kindergarten children to master. Maths Worksheets for Year 1 try this. A great collection of free textbooks for mathematics, for all grades Year 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12. Practice makes a big difference!
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What is Partitioning Numbers? Free Maths Worksheets - free worksheets for KS1, KS2, KS3. Key Stage 1 Maths Worksheets - Printable Worksheets. Your child will love these 15 fabulous worksheets. Links are provided below: Select below for Year 1. Book 1 Worksheets Pages 1 to 24. Go. These pirate-themed maths worksheets are a great way to make practising those early addition skills fun. Once you've downloaded our Halloween Codebreaker worksheets, you'll have access to 5 different maths activities for your KS2 class.
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The games which are against the clock challenge and develop a child's mental maths skills. Fermat's Last Theorem written by Simon Singh tells the story of how the theorem frustrated mathematicians for centuries plus how it was eventually solved. Problem solving with EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children Logic problems and puzzles First published in 2020 Ref: 00433-2010PDF-EN-01. Year 2 Maths Booster pack. Find totals, give change, and work our which coins to. All items English Workbooks Maths Workbooks EYFS - 4 to 6 Years KS1 - 5 to 7 Years KS2 - 7 to 11 Years Worksheets for Kids Flashcards, Posters & Learning Resources Free Teaching Resources Showing all 9 results. Free KS3 Maths worksheets and resources Section 1: Please find below our growing number of KS3 worksheets for use freely within the maths classroom organised according to their approximate Maths Key stage 3 level.
Surviving a BPD breakup: One Dude's Journey
Disclaimer: BPD is a spectrum of traits. Not everyone who holds these traits has BPD. Moreover, everyone’s experience with a pwBPD is different. My ex most likely was what one would call a quiet pwBPD, and what has helped me may not be helpful for you. However, if you find my story is helpful, then awesome. Thank you for reading.
So if your experience is anything like mine, you may find yourself sitting in your car staring out into space dumbfounded after getting an abrupt call from who you thought was your girlfriend. You are shocked because after almost two years she has just broken up with you in the most robotic and unempathetic way possible. You may be feeling empty or devastated or numb. This is totally understandable. What’s hard to understand at this moment is how someone who showered you with so much love could be so cold and cruel to you.
For me, this is where my journey started - sitting in my car staring out into space. Everyone’s experience is different, but I wanted to share the process that I went through to start my recovery. I am by no means through the thicket of a BPD breakup, but I have started to see the light. From one person to another, I want to sincerely say that I’m sorry this is happening to you. You didn’t deserve this, and in time I think you will come to understand it largely had nothing to do with you, your looks, your financial means, your personality, or your job. I now look at this experience like a natural disaster - it just happens. The tornado didn’t hit your house because you were a few pounds overweight - it is so far out of your control it is more akin to an act of god.
Step One: Triage
If you are like me, you had become quite attached to this person. This is by design. What looked like falling in love to you was actually falling for a calculated, constructed persona that mirrored your own. My ex wrote down everything I said on our first date into a notebook. I realized later she used this to construct a persona that I would become hopelessly attached to. Needless to say, it worked. I fell head over heels for this person and thought that I had found my soulmate. I was wrong. I was being idealized and manipulated into attaching to someone who at best has an avoidant attachment style. They put together this persona and play this role, but this is not their true self. They have a cycle of attachment and breakups that will continue throughout their lives until they choose to seek help. Some are aware of their tendencies, and some are strangers to themselves. Either way, the act of creating this persona takes a lot of energy. They have only so much gas in their tank, and once it begins to run low the relationship will hit the rocks.
A person with BPD (pwBPD) sees romantic partners as either all good or all bad. When they decide that you have switched from all good to all bad, this is called splitting. In a moment of clarity, my ex referred to this as “my lens just changed”, like at the eye doctor. In a split second, you move from the soulmate category to the existential threat category in their brain. Even if you get back together with them and move back into an idealization cycle, the clock is ticking on your relationship. You will be devalued and discarded, it is only a matter of time. What will ensue between these moments will most likely be quite an emotional roller coaster.
So when a pwBPD finally discards you, they will treat you like you have zero worth to them (because that’s how they view you). My ex told me that “I believe that every next relationship will be better than this one.” She also said, “I hope one day you and I can both agree that this is the best thing for me.” Ouch. Keep in mind, this is only days after inviting me on a vacation to the beach next summer and sending me romantic good morning text messages. They split because they need you to be out of their lives immediately. They have decided that you are going to abandon them which would destroy them. You are going to knock down their house of cards and you need to disappear post haste. It’s also important to understand that by the time you are finally discarded they are most likely already setting up their next “favorite person”. Online dating is an incredibly fertile hunting ground for pwBPD, and they use it deftly.
So, back to triage. You have just experienced an emotional trauma that can be hard to deal with. I still remember the feeling of sitting in my car staring out the window feeling numb. This is what I call the great “rug pull”. You just found out that your trust, love, and loyalty meant very little to this person, and they will leave you with zero closure. It can feel like a car hitting a wall at 60 miles per hour. With most relationships, you know when things are going badly. To go back to the car analogy, you hear something in the engine that doesn’t sound right or the car breaks down from time to time. When a relationship with a pwBPD goes bad, it goes bad abruptly.
Over the next few weeks, your own brain will be at war with your reality. You will need to find your people and lean on your support system. Family, friends, therapists, and even pets will be crucial for supporting you through these first weeks. Call them up. Talk through your feelings and your confusion. Lean on those people that love you. I had multiple people on both coasts talking to me for the first week at all hours of the day. I can’t thank these people enough now. They were crucial to my recovery. Remember to eat, brush your teeth, and feed the fish. Just being quasi-functional for the first few weeks should be considered a win. Do what you need to do to make it through the first weeks, but there is only one hard and fast rule in this stage: No Contact! Do not initiate any contact whatsoever with your ex. They may reach out to you trying to “be friends” during this stage. Block them if they do. The person who is causing your pain cannot be the source of your comfort. Say that to yourself everyday all day.
Step Two: Acceptance
Your brain has gotten used to being in love or attached to this person. If you have tendencies toward codependency, the feelings you had may have even bordered on an addiction. This is a tough stage to manage. If you are like me, your brain will fight tooth and nail against accepting reality. This is totally understandable as the reality is quite harsh. You were merely an attachment placeholder for this person, and when you had no more use for them you were discarded and replaced immediately. Again, ouch.
The next waypoint on this journey is radical acceptance of the facts. Ironically, the pwBPD will be helping you with your radical acceptance stage with their cruelty, their silence, their heartlessness, or through flaunting their new life on social media. My ex was not overly cruel to me, but it was very important to her that I had all my stuff out of her place and I returned her key to her quickly. Again, you need to cease to exist as fast as possible.
Watch any videos online you need to about radical acceptance. Call up a friend and tell them how unfair all this is. Go out into the woods and yell up into the trees. Write letter after letter to them and burn them (under no circumstances send them). Do whatever you need to do, but you cannot move on to the next step until you can accept these two facts: 1) This person is gone forever, and 2) The person you fell in love with no longer exists. Super harsh, I know, but those are the facts. You will need to find a way to accept them.
Step Three: Agency
Once you begin to accept some of the harsher truths of a breakup with a pwBPD, you are ready to begin to process the trauma through agency. My first act of agency was to begin walking. I processed my feelings through walking around parks and neighborhoods in my town - sometimes up to 20,000 steps a day. Exercise is a great pastime for heartbreak. You get a slight reprieve from your pain, and you get to possibly lose a little weight or feel more in shape. Other really great activities during this stage are journaling, deleting photos, burning any love letters or cards, removing any reminders lying around your house, or blocking the person on social media. If you are having trouble with any of these cathartic “screw them” activities, chances are you are still stuck in step two. If this is you, take a step back, call up some friends, and process the finality of the situation.
Ideally, this agency step has the potential to be a great catalyst for change in your life. However, steer clear of any negative coping strategies like black out drinking, sleeping around, or drugs. It is important to realize that this self-destructive thinking is motivated by the part of you that identified with your ex. If you were in an enmeshed relationship, its very easy for her harsh judgement of you to become your own harsh judgement of yourself. You need to reject this concept. Her actions towards you were aggressive and primitive. You are under attack, and you were abused. Begin to fight back. Fight like hell. The way you do this is through positive agency. Get on a bike and ride. Volunteer at a women’s shelter. Bake a billion cookies and give them out for free. Knit scarves for every homeless vet in your town. I know the pain you feel, and I know how it can twist your thinking. Positive outlets are your way through this dark moment in your life. Cherish them.
Step Four: Education
This stage can be concurrent with any of the stages listed above, but it is no less important. In fact, learning about Borderline Personality Disorder and the many ways it can manifest is essential for your healing. The BPDlovedones subreddit and the Nicola Method website were indispensable for my education about the disorder. I had no idea what BPD even was until I googled “Why does it feel like my ex died”. The next few hours were consumed with a crash course in Cluster B Personality Disorders. I was shocked that each new website was able to describe my relationship and my breakup so accurately. It amazed me to learn that many pwBPD use similar language during splitting and breakups. They talk excessively and have mothers with psychosis. I was dumbfounded to realize that my experience was in no way unique, and that many other people have been fooled and manipulated by pwBPD.
Read it all, and read everything you can. However, there is one big caveat here: find your stopping point. I realized my stopping point was when the heaviness of the situation started affecting my sleep. I had trouble letting it all go in my mind. I felt a strong feeling of compassion for my ex and the harsh emotional world she endures day in and day out. She was abandoned and abused as a child. These feelings for someone who had treated me so harshly were confusing, and I started to feel myself slipping back into the triage phase. So, I just stopped. I closed all the tabs. I stopped reading about other people’s experiences. I had learned all I needed to know and I was ready to move on.
It is important to say that during this education phase you may feel the great White Knight rising up in you. You may feel the great tidal pull towards helping this person who suffers so greatly. Do not fall prey to this thinking. I don’t want to speak for all people with BPD, but I spoke with a psychologist about the tendencies of pwBPD. They rarely seek treatment on their own. They most likely know their interpersonal relationships are messed up. You are not the first person that she will do this to, and you won’t be the last. pwBPD like many people with major problems in their lives (addiction, gambling, etc) don’t seek help until they hit rock bottom. As long as there is a steady supply of people out there willing to enter into this dysfunctional dance with them, they will most likely not seek treatment. It takes the PROLONGED dedication and sacrifice of a parent, a spouse, or a child to get someone into treatment. Unless you are one of the aforementioned, the purpose of educating yourself is to free you from their blame and to walk away with your head held high. Read that last sentence again (or as many times as you need).
Step Five: Introspection
Once you have learned all you care to know about pwBPD, it is time to look inward for answers as well. If your relationship was intense and you had difficulty setting boundaries with or disentangling from the pwBPD, you may have codependent tendencies. This was another harsh reality that I had to accept about myself. I had my own unresolved childhood trauma that made me lose myself and become enmeshed in relationships. This can be problematic in any relationship, but with a pwBPD codependency can cause a tragic whirlpool of events that leaves the codependent heartbroken, confused, and rejected at the end.
Once this realization bubbled to the surface for me, I began to focus my agency on the task of healing some of these wounds and restoring self-love into my life. I created a self-love walking group, read some great posts on reddit, and watched some great videos about codependency. I will post some of what I found in the resources list below. Working with a therapist, I set up appointments to practice EMDR therapy to tackle early childhood trauma. I made therapy goals and a healing road map. I doubled my efforts and redoubled them again.
While all this agency seemed really great at the time, I had another realization that stopped me in my tracks yet again one day. My investigation of codependence was bordering on obsession. I was really motivated to change, but I felt I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I was still feeling the blame and judgement from my ex and accepting their shame as my own shame. I was not being compassionate to my pain; I was being judgmental and harsh towards myself. This realization led me to search for how to finally end the enmeshment and exit this trance of unworthiness.
Step Six: Individuation
One book recommended to me by a friend was the book Inner Engineering by Sadhguru. While I was a bit skeptical going into the book, some of the quotes early in the book kept me reading. I liked the idea that “The only way out is by going in.” I liked the focus on meditation and accessing the joy inherent in the present moment.
While the first chapters are more autobiographical, there is a section in the introduction where Sadhguru explains the essence of his philosophy. For me, this was the game changer. His philosophy all boils down to this one phrase: “I am responsible.” Just reading these words already had an affect on my outlook. He continues, “My responsibility is limitless. If I am willing I can respond to everything. I am 100% responsible for everything I am and everything I am not. For my capacities and my incapacities, for my joys and my miseries. I am the one who determines the nature of my experience in this life and beyond. I am the maker of my life.” Sadhguru is using the word responsible to mean response-able here. What he is saying is that if you are able to look inside yourself, you have limitless power to respond to anything. He is also using the other meaning of responsible here too. You and you alone are responsible for your life.
I began saying this phrase to myself over and over again. I thought it to myself as I lay down to go to sleep and when I woke up in the morning. I did some mindfulness meditation and processed this idea, “I am the one who determines the nature of my experience. I am the maker of my life.” Through this process I realized that the person who had both lifted me up and then dropped me so abruptly no longer had any power in my mind. I have the power to control my thoughts and respond to life events.
Another way that I heard it put is that, “Between stimulus and response is space. In this space is your power.” I began to take control of that space and to tend to my own mind like someone might tend to a garden - pruning and weeding as necessary. If I feel self-damaging thoughts rising, I remember that I am responsible for those thoughts, and I have a choice to think differently. In my journal I began to keep track of this positive thinking. I wrote down achievements and goals, and I began noticing with fresh eyes the wonderful aspects to my self.
The goal during this phase is to shift something called "internal locus of control." Your internal locus of control is your inner philosophy about your interactions with the world. This locus is largely formed in childhood and adverse experiences can cause a child to hold an external locus of control. This is the belief that your life is governed by external forces: luck, fate, circumstance, other people. This can cause many problems, but for me it caused an overdependence on other people for happiness and fulfillment. In relationships, this can cause a codependency and neediness that can be toxic.
What I have found is that shifting your perspective to an internal locus of control takes a dedication not only to controlling the present, but also to revisiting the past traumas that keep you stuck. In therapy, I have learned that these traumas are caused by a lack of agency when they happen. One of my experiences was that I was relentlessly bullied by much older boys when I was younger. In the moment, I responded not by fighting back, but freezing. My fight or flight response in that moment lacked agency and as a result, I developed a more external locus of control. I believed that my life (trauma, success, emotions, etc) happens to me, and that I had limited control over that.
By practicing some inner child meditation and visualizations, I was able to revisit these moments and regain that lost agency. For instance, I revisited one particularly terrifying moment and comforted and coached myself through saying no and setting boundaries with the bullies. This was really helpful in rebalancing my locus of control and taking ownership of my thoughts, my actions, and my goals. This was an intensely liberating realization overall, and I found my recovery from depression, anxiety, and heartbreak began to happen once I began the process of unlocking agency in my past.
Step Seven: Goal-Oriented Therapy
At this point in your recovery you may be feeling stronger and more confident. You may think about your ex only rarely and the No Contact has helped give you the space to heal. One activity that helped me to continue the process of moving forward was goal setting. For someone who had codependency and locus of control issues, goals can be fluid when they should be absolute. If my girlfriend needed to complete x on a given day while I had to complete y, more often than not I would abandon my goal and focus on hers. This is a clear symptom of a codependent relationship and ultimately very unhealthy.
The antidote to this is to begin the process of setting and achieving your own goals. Starting small is a good idea. Write down three goals for a Saturday in your journal and complete them. Set a weekly goal or a monthly goal. As you begin to be more reliable about meeting your goals, more seem to appear out of the woodwork. Maybe new hobbies or friendships appear. Maybe you start to set financial goals and meet them. Maybe your goals become longer term goals. No matter what the goal, the important thing for this stage is this: show up for yourself. You again are limitlessly responsible, and you alone are the maker of your life. Show Up For Yourself. You are worthy of love, and if you don't show up for yourself then no one else will.
Step Eight: Boundaries and Values
After working on being more goal oriented, I began to consider another relationship again. It was pretty evident to me, however, that I should probably only enter into a relationship when I was again stable and recovered from my breakup. I began to think about what I would need to feel that I was out of the woods (or at least well on my way).
My first need was to identify and name my personal values. I realized that these values are the unshakeable foundation of my personality, and they should not be subject to outside forces. When you are codependent and dating someone who has a constantly changing sense of self, you can sometimes unconsciously mirror their tendencies. I found I was unmoored from my own values in this relationship and really lost my sense of self. So, cementing those values was a really important step towards healing. You have to honor what makes you you.
Some of the areas where I defined one or more values were family, my children, friends, my character, work, health, food, alone time, wants, preferences, needs etc. This process is an important one and should take some time. Be very deliberate about each area of your life. I found that taking a day or two to think about each one yielded the best responses.
Secondly, I used these values to generate a list of unshakeable boundaries that I will have moving forwards. For each value, I identified the boundaries I would need to maintain this value while being in a relationship with another person. To give you an example, one value I have is that time with my friends from high school is sacred to me. I set a goal of seeing them at a minimum twice a month - no matter what my relationship status might be. After it was all said and done, I had around forty boundaries that will serve as my terms and conditions for any relationship moving forward. While defining these boundaries was a good first step, boundaries are useless without accountability. This led me to the final step of my process.
Step Nine: Accountability
Boundaries and goal setting are great ways to practice an internal locus of control, but these will only work if you honor them. I see my therapist around once a month. I decided to make the beginning of every session about accountability. Each month I plan to fill out a relationship health worksheet and share that with my therapist. I also will share the progress I've made on my goals in the past month. The aim here is not to have someone else babysit your progress, but to be accountable to yourself. Again, the best thing you can do is to Show Up for Yourself!
So, this is where you’ll find me present day. I am still rebuilding after what felt like a relationship hurricane, but the good news is that you have an opportunity to rebuild your house to be stronger and more resilient than before. You’ll also have a good eye for spotting Cluster B narcissists and pwBPD by their tendencies towards idealization and manipulation.
The Nicola Method Inner Engineering Hardwiring Happiness Waking up from the trance of unworthiness - Tara Brach The Body Keeps the Score Future Self Journaling
Edit: Added more resources
I Read It So You Don't Have To: Financially Fabulous! (by Vicki Gunvalson)
If you, too, would like to boost your budgetary brilliance, this eBook is available for download at the creditably descriptive URL, financiallyfabulousebook.com. And the best part? It's absolutely free! Or, as the website proclaims, "Vicki has created a power-packed eBook just for you and, she's giving it away for less than a pack of gum!" Though you do have to enter your name and email address in order to obtain a copy of this fiscal opus, I consider my fundamental privacy a small price to pay for access to the innermost ravings of the obscure Gunvalson mind.
But rest assured, for those of you less willing to trade personal liberty for financial enlightenment (or those of you who simply don't have the time to parse the missive's forty-three pages), I have taken it upon myself to provide a truthful and emotionally vulnerable account of my transformation from Budgeting Buffoon to Empress of Economy for your reading pleasure.
As I embark upon this quest, I am promptly greeted by the cover image featuring our pecuniary guru, a vision in white against a backdrop of ever-so-slightly-askew laminate paneling. A rigid half-grin is thrown into contrast against the courtly pallor of her ashen face -- only someone reaping the rewards of a lifetime of sound financial decisions could possibly afford to apply setting powder with such a liberal hand! Vicki's privileged position is further reflected in the luxurious staging of her surroundings. A single scraggle of greenery adorns the decorative copper table behind our heroine, evoking the lush -- and exclusive! -- junglescapes of Bali or Belize.
Above our author's effortless pose, a blindingly turquoise panel declares the volume's title in a pair of contrasting fonts designed to invoke Vicki's unique merging of no-nonsense business savvy and glamourous splendor. The cover also highlights the contributions of co-author Analisa Cleland, who I'm sure provided invaluable assistance with the penning of this literary tour de force.
At this juncture, it seems only appropriate to reveal to you -- my cherished audience -- that I have opted to consume this hallowed volume in a slightly adapted form. As a result of my
As I delicately flip open the binder before me, I espy a table of contents and am eager to start building up my anticipation for the wonders in store. By the time I emerge from the other side of this experience -- surely a changed woman -- I will have garnered expertise in the following content areas:
o IntroductionJust another example of Vicki's unceasing commitment to always going above and beyond -- not only will I learn how to be Financially Fabulous, but I should also expect to become Financailly Fabulous as well. Only the most generous of souls would share such valuable wisdom so freely and without reserve!
o Time to Take Control
o Four Steps to Becoming Financailly [sic] Fabulous
o Tracking Your Progress
o Just Say No To Credit Cards
o How To Handle Serious Debt
o Special Bonus: 29 Tips to Becoming Financially Fabulous!
Ready to begin my training in earnest, I turn the page and begin to read the Introduction. With nervous anticipation, I am reminded that "today is the day to begin your journey to financial wellness." And if I am truly committed to becoming "Financially Fabulous!!" (two exclamation points this time -- is this some kind of esoteric code?), Vicki is willing and able to lead the way. Or, as she avows:
I'm going to show you how to become financially fabulous and guide you on your path to financial wellness.Whether you've found yourself "wanting to start saving money for your retirement years" or have recently undergone "a major life charge such as a new baby, marriage, or divorce," Vicki's book contains the knowledge you need to regain your sense of fiscal security. And this is far from a trivial matter! As Vicki sagely explains,
Being financially sound can lead to stronger relationships, less stress and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.My loosely restrained inner pedant can't help but notice the inconsistent use of the Oxford comma throughout this mere paragraph (comparing the un-comma'ed excerpt above with the previously quoted, "new baby, marriage, or divorce"). But with a moment's reflection, I recognize this as the magnanimous gesture it surely must be -- an intellectual of Vicki's caliber would never throw around punctuation so carelessly! No, as I'm sure you've all been clever enough to discern, Vicki has made the deliberate choice to eschew the rigidities of grammatical purism and demonstrate her unquestioning acceptance of any and all who seek her counsel through the very syntax of her writing.
The introduction concludes with an alluring suggestion of the lessons that await me. As our resident scholar instructs:
The first and most important step is starting a budget.I'm still a bit hesitant, but Vicki reassures me -- "I promise, budgeting won't take all the fun out of life." Buoyed by this encouragement, I turn the page and am delighted to be met with a full-page spread highlighting an evergreen adage from our author herself:
"You need to budget. More money won't fix bad spending habits."I can't help but wonder if the decision to stylize the quote's originator as "Victoria Gunvalson" -- in contrast to the "Vicki Gunvalson" used elsewhere in the text -- is intended to suggest that these two speakers are not one and the same, but rather two eerily synchronous minds who happen to both share exceptionally practical financial advice. But before I can waste too much time on such existential musings, I must continue the voyage at hand. The next passage's title ("Time to Take Control") serves as a particularly pertinent reminder to restrain my more rambling impulses.
As Vicki stresses, "it takes self-discipline to become financially fabulous." She goes on to further expound upon this concept by explaining that "it's essential to realize and have control over your money." I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never before "realized my money" even once in my entire adult life -- perhaps this is what's always been standing in my way! Our monetary maven goes on to reveal that:
Not being the one earning money doesn't mean you shouldn't have a say in how the money works for the household. Everyone who benefits or uses the money needs to be involved in deciding how to spend and save. It's easy to blame a bad financial situation on a low-paying job, high expenses, or a failed relationship.This is valuable advice -- I've never before realized how unfair it is that my cats derive so much benefit from my paycheck without ever once having the decency to have a conversation with me about how our household budget should be itemized. The exploitation stops today!
As I read on, I am reassured to learn that this is exactly the right attitude to adopt. After all, "the past can't be changed, but there's plenty of work you can do to pave the way to achieving ultimate financial wellness in the future." As Vicki guarantees,
Doing so will bring confidence, less stress, and peace surrounding money, into your life.And, I presume, the ability to use superfluous commas whenever one is so inclined. As I flip to the book's next section, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that not one, but two entire authors were purportedly involved in the compilation of this volume. How else could the meager human mind channel such eternal truths as those before me, in a passage titled "4 Steps to Becoming Financially Fabulous"? With these four simple guidelines, even the most baffling budgetary bewilderment will be swept away, paving the way for "this fabulous new you." Eager to start your own transformation? All you need to do is:
While these instructions may seem overly simplistic at first blush, our bounteous benefactress has taken it upon herself to explain each of these phases in illuminating detail over the subsequent pages. For example, as we learn in the explanation of Step 1,
- Determine financial goals
- Understand your financial situation
- Identify any obstacles
- Design a budget and stick to it
Most people don't realize how choices related to making and spending money can influence financial well-being.Now, I don't typically consider myself to be someone with an overly optimistic view of the average person's intellectual capacity. But honestly -- have my years in the ivory tower of academia blinded me to the reality that "most people" are puzzled by the relationship between financial choices and financial prosperity? To be sure, there is a whole host of factors that make the transition out of poverty more complicated than simply nixing that daily latté run, but if you're trying to build up your savings account while somehow failing to grasp the connection between the amount of money you spend and the amount you have left, I don't think there's much I can do to help you.
Thankfully, Vicki is at hand to provide guidance for these even those most newly born of budgeters. For example, "some possible goals" might include
Have a fully-funded emergency fund
Get out of debt
Buy a home or take a vacationThis last one inspired my personal financial goal -- to buy a car or take an Uber ride. The ideal goal is broad and flexible! But most importantly, these goals should be considered deliberately and with grave care:
Once you've determined goals, ask yourself if you're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them.And if you're not -- for example -- willing to drown your own mother with your bare hands in the name of financial fabulosity, then you'd be well-served to close this book now! The burdens of budgetary aptitude are not for the faint of heart! As Vicki cautions,
If you don't think that you will dig deep to get it done, it could be that your goals sound good, but are not important enough to you.But there's more to consider when it comes to financial goal-setting than just your personal whims and fancies! As Vicki reminds us, it is imperative to discuss budgetary considerations "if you share financial responsibilities with anyone." What's more, you may be required to synthesize information about your fiscal obligations throughout the decision-making process. For precisely this reason, we are encouraged to
Talk about current expenses such as health insurance, house payments, and how much (if anything) goes into a savings account each month.This is a great opportunity for you to take ownership of your budgetary welfare and "write down what each person spends as well as earns." The passage continues with several profound questions for the reader's consideration.
Do all members of the family share the most important financial goals? If not, why?
Is one person not involved in significant financial decisions?Regardless of your answers to these critical inquires, controlling the chaos of shared finances requires serious commitment.
Managing finances as a household can involve more heads and wallets than one, which can lead to conflict and confusion. As hard as it may be, you MUST know what is going on.After once again emphasizing that "there is no excuse for not knowing how much is coming in and going out," Vicki assures us that "working together, having those difficult conversations about budgeting will save you from devastating financial consequences further down the line." And if you still find yourself struggling to parse the complicated nonsense of your partner's bank statements, you may find value in Vicki's assortment of concluding advice, ranging from "work towards finding common goals" to "know what your partner makes and how much they contribute to household expenses."
As you go through this difficult process, you may choose to take advantage of this convenient worksheet provided in the text, a clever way to spark inspiration when it comes to your financial aspirations. After another full-page quote from the esteemed Victoria Gunvalson, our journey continues with Step #2: "Understand Your Financial Situation." And be warned -- "this step takes some hard work."
Now that you've steeled yourselves for the arduous toil ahead, we can read on to learn that we "need to understand inflow and outflow." In other words,
How much is coming in and how much is going out?With this knowledge in hand, you'll be empowered to "see why there's a shortfall every month or how to save more." I am beginning to appreciate how helpful this book must be for the niche market of people who are struggling with making good financial decisions because they legitimately have no idea what money is or how it works. Kudos to Vicki for championing such a forgotten community!
For those in need of more explicit instruction, our author clarifies, "one way to do this is by tracking all expenses for a few weeks." We should also be careful not to neglect "annual bills (paid once yearly)" as these can "easily blindside a budget." As Vicki counsels,
Think ahead to what is on the horizon. Rather than list it once, cut it down into month expense [sic] and add it to the list.But just in case all of this economic rambling has left you uninspired, it's time to shake things up -- "let's talk about fun money!" "Yes, there is such a thing as fun money, even when you're on a budget!" Vicki remarks with feigned astonishment. As surprising as it may seem,
The more expenses that you remember and add to the list, the easier it will be to handle in the future if you have already worked it into the budget.
You can still whoop it up, but I want you to plan for this consciously!In order to put these principles into practice, "include an amount for FUN" when you create your next budget and "remember, plan for those expenses monthly." In addition to your monthly FUN allowance, you may also choose to save money for an upcoming vacation.
Planning for vacations can be a benefit as there is time to watch for deals on airfare and hotels.And with a final cryptic commandment -- "And don’t forget to add in next year's holidays" -- we move ahead to Step #3: "Identify Any and All Financial Obstacles." Another convenient worksheet is provided to assist you as you attempt to discern the roadblocks in your path, raising thought-provoking questions like
What are the possible obstacles preventing me from reaching my financial goals?and
How can I overcome these obstacles?While it "might be uncomfortable," the importance of cataloging potential predicaments cannot be overstated. For this exact reason, Vicki encourages us to "identify these and eliminate negative habits and behaviors. She then devolves into what I can only interpret as a targeted attack on my personal character, with a list of putative financial obstacles that includes the following pointed barbs:
You "add to cart" when sad or lonely
You use shopping as a reward
You have expensive eating habitsYet even though these indulgences may lead to momentary satisfaction, "habits only offer a temporary fix." As Vicki solemnly cautions: "When the high is over, you'll find that you're still on that downward slope." However, I am relieved at the reassurance that "unexpected things happen in life, and it's not uncommon to feel scared when you suddenly find yourself in an unexpected situation." Even in the most dire of situations:
Having a plan in place will lessen the stress so, follow the program, but don't be afraid to make changes as needed.The chapter concludes with the disconnected ramblings transcribed verbatim below:
I highly encourage you to have enough savings to cover three to six months of expenses.With a final command to "be stronger and bolder than your excuses," we are introduced to Step #4: "Design Your Budget and Stick To It." I am pleasantly surprised to discover that the passage opens with a few works of earnest congratulations:
It takes an incredible amount of discipline to save, especially when you'd rather spend everything on having fun. Your future self will thank you for being disciplined enough to plan for those expected unexpected events.
It's not a matter of IF an unexpected bill will come, it's a matter of when and, how much that will set you back.
The more prepared you are now, the less stressed you will be when it happens.
Good job on figuring out your current income and spending patterns!! Way to go with determining your financial goals, you are on the way to becoming financially fabulous.Once again, Vicki reiterates that "if household finances involve the income and expenses of other people, work on this with them." The lesson continues with advice on how to convince a "resistant partner" to join our financial metamorphosis -- "show them your worksheets and tell them how they relate to goals as a household." She goes on to highlight a final commandment: "be specific, very specific." In fact, "being specific is the key to a financially fabulous budget."
It's not enough to say you want to save $300 a month, but you need to figure out exactly how to get there.As a jumping-off point for future deliberation, Vicki advises the reader that "cutting out cable and streaming TV shows can put a large amount of cash back into the budget." But how will we know when our financial goals have been achieved? These answers -- and more -- await in the following section, "Track Your Progress." Immediately, we are commanded to "set a monthly reminder to evaluate the budget. Did you spend extra? Write it down." However, mistakes are inevitable, and Vicki cautions us not to let minor setbacks leave us discouraged.
Remember, you don't need to be perfect to make headway. Mistakes happen, so acknowledge them and keep moving forward. Seeing monthly progress should inspire you to keep going! If you've slipped, get right back on track.After further explaining the goal evaluation process, Vicki offers further encouragement: "Whatever you do, don't give up. You've got this, and you are on your way to becoming financially fabulous!!" She then raises the an unexpected challenge scenario:
Now that you know, you can make it happen!!
What if there is a sudden change in expenses or income?If your answer was "go back and revisit the worksheets," then you're well on your way to the hallowed halls of the budgetary elite! But even if you fumbled on this one, cheer up -- "You are on your way, and you WILL get there, I promise!!"
In a shocking revelation, Vicki informs us that "if there's a sudden change in expenses or income, the budget will be impacted whether your income increases or decreases." It's pearls of wisdom like this that make me hungry for more content than these few dozen pages can provide. But I can't lose sight of my current venture, so after another Victoria Gunvalson original -- "Budgeting isn't about depriving yourself, it's about making all the things you want possible." -- I move along to the next passage: "Just Say No to Credit Cards."
While you might be tempted by "exclusive credit cards," Vicki cautions the reader -- "don't fall for this lifestyle creep." "Think about this for a minute," she reflects. "No one aspires to spend an additional 24% on purchases." Most importantly? "Don't underestimate the legalities of using a credit card." As Vicki desperately warns,
Paying by credit card is convenient and easy, but the reality is by using a credit card, you are entering into a legal contract with your bank or credit card company. There are penalties for failing to pay back the money.Indeed, as we later learn, "contracts allow the credit card company to take legal action for non-payment according to the 'rules.'" My worldview shaken by the newfound realization that I may eventually have to pay back the balance I've been racking up without a care in the world on several dozen credit cards , my hopes are bolstered by an apropos FDR quote plastered across the following page:
"It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach."After a primer in "How to Handles Serious Debt" (which is inoffensive, if largely superficial), we arrive at the volume's final offering: a list of "Tips to Becoming Financially Fabulous." These tidbits of wisdom vary wildly in scope, ranging from
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
When it's hot, keep window shades down. In the cold, let in the sunshine for some natural heat.to
Move to a cheaper area or a smaller home. Find a roommate.We are also encouraged to "get rid of expensive memberships" and "let the most budget-conscious person carry the cash." Find yourself throwing money away on ironing (somehow, even those irons are very inexpensive and lack associated ongoing costs)? Maybe you should "buy clothes that don't need dry cleaning or ironing." As a final option, Vicki proffers this incredibly specific piece of guidance: "Sell things you don't need."
I flip the volume to its final page and am met with a few closing words of congratulations from my mentor and guide along this perilous journey.
By completing these budgeting tips, you're well on your way to becoming financially fabulous.I couldn't have said it better myself -- thanks for reading, and I can't wait to see all out your prosperous and fabulous new selves again later this week!
You've made some tough decisions and have done some serious soul searching to identify your financial goals.
You've also disciplined yourself by changing habits to balance your income and outflow, but it's been worth it.
Thanks for reading, and here's to a prosperous and fabulous new you!
Upcoming plans in comment below!