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How to have a sweet financial New Year

CM 02/09/2021

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Earlier this week we went back to quarantine, I mean back to school, which means that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is fast approaching. I am going to try a new strategy this year, and NOT mention how much I like honey cake, and how I am the only one in our family who likes it and as such will probably go without the sweet treat for another year.
While honey cake clearly is short-changed, the main symbol of Rosh Hashanah is the shofar. Rabbi Saadia Gaon gives 10 reasons for why we blow the shofar. One reason he gives is because on Rosh Hashanah we celebrate the coronation of God as King of the universe. Just like we sound a trumpet at a coronation, the shofar announces God’s continued kingship.
The reason he gives that I would like to focus on is that on Rosh Hashanahh, the first of the Ten Days of Repentance, we awake from our spiritual slumber. The shofar is like an alarm that calls on us to examine our deeds and correct our ways, as we return to God.

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The simple sounds of the shofar are a wake-up call for us to get back to basics. We need to make a break with our behavior of the last year and focus on what’s really important. Maybe we aren’t as great as we think we are. It’s time to be true to ourselves. Have we reached our potential? While it seems that Rosh Hashanah, and for that matter Yom Kippur as well, is all about soul-searching and spiritual improvement, money plays a pretty big role in both days as well.
“R. Judah son of R. Shalom preached as follows: In the same way as a man’s earnings are determined for him from New Year, so his losses are determined for him from New Year.” (Tractate Baba Batra 10a)
On Rosh Hashanah our income is determined. In the Yom Kippur service we read the prayers of the High Priest that are mostly about the financial well-being of the Jewish people for the upcoming year.

Easier than you think

As I have written many times, I have helped counsel many families to try and get out of debt and to start living within their means. If there is one phrase that sums up all of the financial mess these families are in, it’s “If you don’t have the money,; don’t buy it!”
Too often people complain and say that if they made more money they would be able to invest and save, but they can’t because they don’t make enough. Well I have news for them. There are plenty of people who earn very large salaries, but still land up in overdraft at the end of the month. The reason is that they have absolutely no idea how much money they are spending or exactly where it is going. They also lack the will to save. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
The first step in getting back to financial basics is to make a budget. When you know what you are actually earning and what your expenses are, you’ll probably be surprised to find that there could be something left at the end of the month. When creating a budget, make sure that it is realistic, matches your lifestyle and that it leaves plenty of room for extra expenses that seem to pop up regularly (like a broken fridge or dental work). Add a monthly savings goal to the budget. Although nobody said it’s easy saving on an Israeli salary, as with most things in life, it can be accomplished with hard work.


Whenever you are about to buy something stop and think if it’s something needed or something that you just want to have. If it’s just a want, say no and don’t buy it. Much of what we buy are “wants” and not “needs.” While there is nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money, it just needs to be done responsibly.

Now is the time

Start saving now. When it comes to doing teshuva (repentance), we are not expected to become perfect individuals overnight. We need to start small and work day by day to improve ourselves spiritually. When it comes to giving charity, we have an obligation to tithe. But there are those who maintain that instead of just giving a few large amounts of money, you should try to give even a small amount of charity every day. Why? Because by doing the act daily we start to change our character. The same idea applies to our finances. Be patient. You are not going to be a millionaire tomorrow. You need to start small and build up.
May we all merit a happy and healthy new year. Ketivah v’Chatimah Tovah.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. The writer is author of Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and a licensed financial professional in the US and Israel. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email aaron@lighthousecapital.co.il

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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