Improving your financial management skills involves understanding all your spending habits and taking action to make necessary changes. For most people, investigating their expenditures can be intimidating but you need to understand all aspects of your finances if you are going to take total control.
When starting out, I was quite reluctant to dive into the scary task of reviewing my monthly expenses. Later, I realized that it is among the most rewarding decisions I’ve made about money. Serious budgeting started when I talked with my wife and we decided that it was time to break out of debt. With the new resolve, we had to consider each angle of our finances and change most spending habits.
Compile all the necessary items
Before you sit down to create a budget, you’ll need to gather the following items.
Calculate your income
Here, you are going to start by studying your pay stubs and compile the total income. If your payment is weekly, you’ll need to add the earnings to arrive at your monthly income. But if your salary is commission based, you should take at least four months income and divide to come up with the average income. The same applies for hourly payments.
Determine your fixed expenses
There are some payments that must be made each month like utility bills and insurance premiums. If the payments vary from month to month, you’ll need to look at your last four months bills and determine the average. Here it’s wise to base your calculations on the months that show the highest expenditure.
Categorize the items on your budget
After you’ve compiled the figures, it’s time to record them on the appropriate categories in your budget. You can have different categories including income, fixed expenses, and discretionary expenses. To know if you are living beyond your means, simply subtract your expenses from the income. If the answer is a negative number, you are expenses are higher than earnings.
Make the necessary adjustments to your budget
Take a look at your expenses and find where you can make changes. For instance, you may want to consider the amount you are paying for cable TV. If it’s too high, you can downgrade to a cheaper subscription. Today, there are myriad options to help you save on cable and you can also decide to use the streaming services if it can fulfill your requirements.
Under the discretionary expenses category, check if you are overspending on certain items. It’s likely you’ll discover that your budget is burdened by your habit of dining out too often.
Now that you already have a budget, it’s important to stick to the laid boundaries. Although it’s not easy, your efforts will pay off in a short while and you’ll be able to achieve important financial goals. Because times change, you need to constantly review your budget to ensure that it is a reflection of your current financial situation. In addition, make an effort to involve your partner throughout the journey.
In the US, spina bifida is among the leading birth defects that lead to permanent disability. I have been studying this condition for a while trying to understand some basic facts.
The process of the nervous system developing from the neural plate takes place at the early stages of conception. The neural tubes develop happens to be the center of attention since the lower part develops to become the spinal cord while the upper part becomes the brain. During this process, there can be some certain pairs that fail to connect leading to some defects.
Apparently, the neural tube defects are what cause Spina bifida. One of the most conspicuous characteristics of this condition is the incomplete spinal cord and brain development.
Types of Spina Bifida
Spina bifida occulta is considered to be the least severe form and it affects at least 10% to 20% of people in the US. This condition is caused by the malformation during spine development covering it with a skin layer. However, a high percentage of people with this condition are not aware they have it.
Meningocele is a form of spina bifida where the spinal fluid, as well as the spinal cord meninges is protruding from the vertebrae. This one doesn’t have neural implications and victims don’t experience symptoms and they can live a normal life and handle most homemaker appliances.
Myelomeningocele is considered as the most severe form and it occurs when an opening on the spine exposes the neural and other spinal cord elements.
The real cause of this condition is not clearly understood but it is linked to environmental, genetic, and nutritional factors.
Couples who have a child with this defect are more likely to have another one with the same neural defect. In addition, a female with this condition or who has a close relative with spina bifida has a higher chance of having a kid with the condition. Hyperthermia during early pregnancy days has been reported to raise the likelihood of developing a neural disorder. This is one of the reasons why expectant women are told to avoid hot tubs and saunas. But it is worth noting that most victims are born into families without neural disorder records.
Folate deficiency during pregnancy is reported to raise the risk of this condition. Pre-pregnancy obesity has also been linked to neural disorders and some anti-seizure medicines can cause spina bifida.
Spina bifida occulta
Since this form doesn’t involve nerves, it is mild and most children may not even realize they have the disorder. However, the visible characteristics are:
Collection of fat
Abnormal hair on the spine
A small dimple
Spina bifida meningocele
Although this is a rare form, it is manifested as a protrusion through the spinal cord. Since the spinal cord continues to undergo normal development, it’s possible to remove the protrusion with a surgical procedure.
Spina bifida myelomeningocele
It is also referred to as open spina bifida and it is characterized by an open spinal canal in a number of vertebrae. It is manifested by:
Bladder and bowel problems
Regular infections that are life-threatening