Strategy 6 – Wealth

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According to a 2015 Federal Reserve Survey, 76 million adults are either struggling to get by or are just getting by and 22% of employed adult work more than one job to meet expenses. Additionally, 31% of non-retired participants reported they have no retirement savings or pension at all. Improving your wealth doesn’t mean “cut out” or “can’t.” Positive financial change is about balance and tradeoff. Significant savings can often be found with the family food bill. According to the USDA, a middle income family spends $235.75 a WEEK for food eaten at home. If you just reduce that by 10% it’s a savings of $23.57 weekly or over $1,200 annually. Try applying the same “10% cut back rule” to other areas of your spending and over time the results can be awesome!

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Links on this page:

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/2015-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201605.pdf

 

www.americasaves.org

 

https://www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyFCS/

 

https://harris.agrilife.org/program-areas/family-and-consumer-sciences/

Strategy 6 Health

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21.4% of Americans that make a New Year’s resolution make it about losing weight and only 8% of those that make a resolution will succeed. One of the reasons could be because of the negative feelings associated with words like diet. Positive behavior changes aren’t about making big sacrifices. They are about balance and trade-off. There is no magic ticket to weight loss despite all the hype. The key is “eat less and exercise more.” Changing one habit can have an enormous impact. Replacing a daily workplace donut with an English muffin can save 350 calories a day, resulting in a weight loss of up to 23 pounds in a year. Calories count and making small adjustments in daily routine will lead to a healthier, happy You.

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25 of our Harris County 4-H’ers participate in the Largest 4-H Round-Up In the State!

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Article written by Jana Barrett,  jcbarrett@ag.tamu.edu

Bryan-College Station is host the largest gathering of 4-H members and supporters in the country — Texas 4-H Roundup, which is the culminating event for all Texas 4-H contests. More than 4,000 participants will compete in some 50 diverse competitions throughout the week. The majority of the events require each individual or team to qualify at the county and district level. Additionally, the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation distributes more than $2.4 million in scholarships to outgoing 4-H members.

Texas 4-H Roundup also contributes to the economic engine for the Bryan/College Station community due to the number of out-of-town visitors it attracts. This event has been cited as bringing more hotel occupancy taxes to the community than a Texas A&M football weekend.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivating confident kids who tackle the current issues that matter most in their communities, organizers said. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service oversees the programs and activities of Texas 4-H.  

More than 65,000 Texas youth are enrolled members of 4-H community clubs in Texas. Another 850,000 Texas youth get involved in 4-H through special educational opportunities at school, in after school programs or at neighborhood and youth centers. Those youth live in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities. The youth who attend 4-H Roundup are able to display the leadership skills, citizenship development, team-building and competition skills learned throughout the year.

Use the hashtag #Texas4H or #4HDream to follow the activities happening during Texas 4-H Roundup or to comment about Roundup.

For  information on Texas 4-H Roundup and a schedule of events, visithttp://texas4-h.tamu.edu/roundup.

Family Night — Family Time Matters

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Bring your whole family for a night full of fun on June 23 or July 7 from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Extension location!  Dinner will be provided and the evening will consist of cooking, eating, games, and a scavenger hunt!  Family work, recreation, and mealtime will be discussed.  Come and have a blast!  Sign up by June 15th or June 29th accordingly by calling Rebecca Scono at 713-274-0970

Click here for a printable version of this flyer!

Strategy 5 – Wealth

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Does your financial life need tough love? About 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and have no money left over after paying basic monthly expenses. Additionally the average U.S. household with credit card debt carries a balance of about $15,000. There are many ways to improve finances and defy the odds. Challenge someone or yourself to reach a financial goal, like reducing credit card debt by 15%. Imagine how good it will feel to prove you can do it. When we decide to make a change it take a lot of time and practice before it becomes routine so don’t become discouraged. Know your strengths and weaknesses and set “doable” goals. And, most importantly, give YOURSELF a pat on the back as you take small steps toward your goal.

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Strategy 5 – Health

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Remember when you were a small child and your parents told you not to do something but you turned around and did it anyway? Acts of defiance are how preschoolers begin to assert themselves. Defiance can also be used in a positive way to improve your health. As an example, defy someone who says you’ll never be able to do something (e.g., quit smoking) and take the necessary action to prove them wrong. Even better, make a bet with someone (e.g., sibling, friend) for a desired reward and a time deadline. Even if you don’t have anyone to defy, you can still employ this change strategy by defying to odds and not allowing yourself to become a statistic with regard to issues like diabetes and obesity.

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Strategy 4 – Wealth

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As people prepare to change their behaviors, they often seek information by outside sources such as self-help books or the internet. Although uncommon, others can “will” a behavior change and when asked how they did the reply “I just decided to do it.” Commitment to financial change takes effort and sacrifice. It will come with denying yourself conveniences you’ve become used to such as stopping for that specialty coffee in the morning. Some strategies for change may include: 1. Reminding yourself of ways you’ve succeeded and failed over the past year and what can be done differently to succeed. 2. Setting a budget that you can follow. Start small! 3. Allocate funds on paper before you get paid to help prioritize. 4. Try downsizing your living expenses by going Dutch instead of paying for your friend’s night out. 5. Pay yourself first. As soon as you get your paycheck put some of it in savings.

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Become a Master Wellness Volunteer!

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Master Wellness Volunteers extend Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's outreach and education related to health, nutrition, food safety and family wellbeing in the communities where they live and work. Do you want to live healthier and help others do the same? Become a Master Wellness Volunteer and obtain information and skills to do so. Fort Bend, Harris and Galveston Counties Master Wellness Volunteer Training will be held June, 15, 26, 29 and July 6 and 14. Three of the training classes are live and two are self-study. Engaging interactive workshops will include: Nutrition, Food Safety, Diabetes, Gardening, Heart Disease, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Dietary Guidelines, Blood Pressure, Public Speaking, Stress Management, Physical Activity and more… For more information and to get an application, contact Rebecca Scono at 713-274-0970.

Click here for a printable version of this flyer.

4/20/17 Strategy 4 – Health

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According to the Transtheoretical Model, there are stages of change. Five of these stages are: 1. Pre-contemplation 2. Contemplation 3. Preparation 4. Action 5. Maintenance Commitment takes place during the preparation stage of change. Here is where people acknowledge that “if it is to be, it is up to me to make the modification.” This is also the stage when an action plan is developed. As you commit to “take the plunge,” determine what behavior(s) you are changing, the pros and cons of each change, how you intend to modify your behavior, and how you intend to address obstacles along the way. Then, write a statement of commitment using words such as “I will…” and hold yourself accountable.

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3/31/17 Strategy 3 – Wealth

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Paying off debt can be quite the undertaking, especially if you are carrying a great deal of debt. If you plan to reduce debt, imagine yourself receiving a credit card statement that shows a zero balance. Experts also advise visualizing how you will deal with obstacles to your goals (e.g., paying for unforeseen incidentals without using a credit card). Emotions are another important component of the behavior-change process. Visualize, and then verbalize to others, how you think increased wealth will make you feel. Positive and long-term feelings can be powerful motivators. Share your success! Post updates on social media, join a blog and tell your family and friends. It helps to know others are supporting and keeping you motivated. It also holds you accountable.

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