Imagine coming home and finding your parent passed out in a pool of vomit. The place reeks of stale booze. Mom may still be in her nightclothes, filthy and stained. Half empty bottles and glasses everywhere. There is no dinner, no food, because Mom needed the booze more. The phones may be ripped out of walls, furniture may be broken. A new “uncle” is passed out in your Mom’s bed. You don’t dare empty anything out or clean, for fear of waking her up. Hungry, tired and scared you go to your room and cry.
Make a list of categories for your expenses. You can do this on paper, or on a computer spreadsheet. Be prepared for a long list and use the information you gathered when you tracked your spending. Typical categories include rent/mortgage, gas, electric, water, TV, internet, pool care, trash removal, groceries, eating out, entertainment, club dues, child care, gasoline, hair care, and medical, but the list is endless. You can find templates on the internet, but you should customize it for your situation.
Track your spending for a month. This means writing down everything that you spend your money on, cash, credit, or debit, including your regular bills, mortgage, groceries, coffee, newspapers, etc. Carry a notepad if you need to. Even ATM withdrawals should be included. This step is just a necessary, preliminary step and will make it easier to create a realistic budget. Organize the categories and calculate totals.
Successful students are the ones that are able to keep their schedule tidy at all times. Get an organizer or a diary and scribble down the important group meetings or projects that should be completed by the end of this week. Nothing can beat the ever-classical pen on paper technique. There are also digital diaries out for sale but then again, you would not want to put yourself in the situation of having your digital diary stolen or reformatted. So, it is still paper and pen, at their best. With a diary at hand, you will be able to juggle your college curriculum with your after school activities, and hence have better time management.
I recently received a notice about the death of one of my high school classmates. He had lost his battle with cancer. This prompted me to reflect on my life and thus wanting to share my feelings with others.
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed – like it’s all just too much – speak up. Your mom or dad can help you put some balance in your schedule. It may mean cutting out some activities so you have more free time.
Immunizations. Make sure your child has all of the shots required by your school district, and as an added precaution, consult your pediatrician about any other immunizations that might be recommended. With an almost certain reappearance of the H1N1 virus this fall flu season, your doctor is highly likely to recommend a flu shot.