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Today’s Word: proficient

Today’s Word: proficient

November 27, 2018   =========

☆  proficient  熟練した

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If you are proficient at something, you can do it well. Some other words with a similar meaning are: skilled, able, adept, competent, and skillful. Being proficient at something can really help with time management, right? Yesterday I mentioned David Allen, do you know what he said it was important to become proficient at? List making?? Ha ha… yes, of course.

However, more important than list making, he says it is important to be proficient at typing. I totally agree with this. I do a lot of work on computers, and if I were only able to type using two fingers, it would take a veryRead more about Today’s Word: proficient[…]

Today’s Word: thorough

Today’s Word: thorough

November 26, 2018    =========

☆  thorough 綿密な

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A thorough action or activity is one that is done in a very careful and detailed way so that nothing is forgotten. This month’s Question is “How do you beat procrastination?” and one of the example answers is: “I make a thorough To Do list and work through it.” Does this sound like a good idea? Would it help you beat procrastination?

One of my favorite authors on time management is David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done. He says that one of the biggest reasons we are tired, and busy, and stressed is because we never really make a thorough list of ALL that weRead more about Today’s Word: thorough[…]

Today’s Word: consequence

Today’s Word: consequence

November 25, 2018    =========

☆  consequence  結果

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The consequences of something are the results or effects of it. The consequence of having good time management is that everything that is important to you gets done. The consequence of poor time management is that you have to work overtime and still don’t manage to finish everything you need to.

Negative consequences can be good motivation to avoid procrastination. My son is learning cello at school, and his teacher says he is good at it, and would be much better if he practiced more. Unfortunately, he never wants to practice. So, I told him that the consequence of not practicing would be that he wouldn’tRead more about Today’s Word: consequence[…]

Today’s Word: failure

Today’s Word: failure

November 24, 2018    =========

☆  failure  落伍者

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Today’s word, failure, refers to a person who has not succeeded at something, or who is unsuccessful at everything they do. Unfortunately, this kind of use of the word makes people feel terrible and lose self-esteem. They might say something like the phrase for this week, “I feel like a failure.”

Famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, actually said this, “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” I think this is one of the most important things to remember about failure. It’s just a learning experience, right? It’s not who you are. So many successful people had a lot of failures along the road toRead more about Today’s Word: failure[…]

Today’s Word: habit

Today’s Word: habit

November 23, 2018    =========

☆  habit  習慣

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Speaking of procrastination, do you think it is a bad habit, or is it actually part of our personality? I know a lot of people who don’t have a problem with procrastination. They just get on with whatever it is that they need to get on with. So, do they just have good habits or is it something in their DNA? Obviously, I hope that it’s a habit, and not my DNA!

Assuming it is a habit, research says that the best way to start overcoming it is to become aware of any internal excuses you have. More practical ideas are to break up difficult tasksRead more about Today’s Word: habit[…]

Today’s Word: procrastination

Today’s Word: procrastination

November 22, 2018   =========

☆  procrastination  先延ばし

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Ah, procrastination… the art of delaying things until later that you really should do now. I’m good at this… in fact, I’m so good at procrastination, I think it might be my super power! Ha ha…

For example, part way through typing this to you this morning, I needed to go the toilet. So, I just went – and instead of coming straight back to continue writing to you… I cleaned the toilet!! Yep! I am so good at procrastination, I will clean the toilet instead of doing work!! I guess at least the toilet is clean now, so I don’t have to do it later.Read more about Today’s Word: procrastination[…]

Today’s Word: constraint

Today’s Word: constraint

November 21, 2018   =========

☆  constraint  制約

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A constraint is something limits or controls what you can do. Sometimes having constraints can actually really help us reach our goals. Do you know Dr. Seuss? He is most famous for his Cat in the Hat books. His editor challenged him to write a book with the constraint of only using 50 words. If you read his book, Green Eggs and Ham, you’ll see that he only used 50 different words!

So, while we tend to think that constraints are limiting and negative, they can actually be extremely helpful! Putting constraints on your To Do list, or the individual tasks on your list can helpRead more about Today’s Word: constraint[…]

Today’s Word: discipline

Today’s Word: discipline

November 20, 2018    =========

☆  discipline  自制

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Discipline is quality of being able to work in a controlled way and obeying rules or standards. Another word for discipline is self-control. Getting things done at work or home requires discipline to ignore all the interruptions we talked about yesterday and continue on with the work that you need to do.

One thing that strangely requires me to have discipline is reading! I love reading, but I am easily distracted if I am using the Kindle app on my phone. I “quickly” check something, or type a note to remember something, and suddenly, I’m not reading anymore, I’m working or worse, looking at social networkRead more about Today’s Word: discipline[…]

Today’s Word: interruption

Today’s Word: interruption

November 19, 2018     =========

☆  interruption  中断

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An interruption is a disruption, a disturbance, an intrusion – anything that means you have to stop what you are doing. For example, something like a phone call while you are at work would be an interruption. If you have email notifications on your phone or desktop, then each time an email arrives and you hear the “ping” that is an interruption.

For me, my office is at home at the moment, so my day is full of interruptions! A baby crying, a dog that wants to go outside or come inside, or wants water or food. The doorbell, the phone, the delivery man… so manyRead more about Today’s Word: interruption[…]

Today’s Word: achieve

Today’s Word: achieve

November 18, 2018    =========

☆  achieve  達成する

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The other day, I mentioned eliminating projects from your To Do list. This is an idea from GTD, Getting Things Done, but David Allen. He says that we need to keep a Projects list. Then for each project on the list, we need to decide what we want to achieve and by when we want to achieve it.

If you can decide what you want to achieve, then it should be easier to decide what tasks you need to do, in order to achieve it right? And if you know by when you want to achieve it, then you can set a deadline for your tasks,Read more about Today’s Word: achieve[…]

Today’s Word: schedule a block of time

Today’s Word: schedule a block of time

November 17, 2018    =========

☆  schedule a block of time  一定の時間を予定する

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When you plan your day or your To Do list, do you schedule a block of time for each task or project? I think scheduling a block of time to work on something is a great idea, but I’m not very good at doing it consistently! Sometimes, when I think I have a busy week, I’ll schedule a block of time for the things I know must get done.

I also try to schedule a block of time a few times a week for exercising. Keeping healthy is so important right? Have you ever tried scheduling blocks of time for work orRead more about Today’s Word: schedule a block of time[…]

Today’s Word: assign

Today’s Word: assign

November 16, 2018    =========

☆  assign  任命する

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If you assign a piece of work to another person, you give them that work to do. This is probably the best time management “trick” of all, right? Imagine if you could assign all your boring tasks, or low value tasks to someone else? You’d be so productive! Ha ha, so long as you were the boss and the other people had to do the work you assigned them! If you’re a coworker or a subordinate, you probably don’t get to assign your tasks to someone else, right?

However, assigning tasks to someone else can be really useful. Each of us has certain skills, and certainRead more about Today’s Word: assign[…]

Today’s Word: eliminate

Today’s Word: eliminate

November 15, 2018    =========

☆  eliminate  取り除く

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It’s a fact of life, that we can rarely do everything on our To Do list. Once you prioritize your tasks, plan how long each will take, your day will probably be full, before you have allocated time for each task. So, what do you do? We eliminate! Yes, eliminate or cut the tasks from your list, and focus just on the remaining tasks.

One way to eliminate tasks from your list, is to remove anything that isn’t actually a task. An “idea” is not a task – eliminate it from your list. Instead, keep an “Ideas” list, where you can store your ideas until youRead more about Today’s Word: eliminate[…]

Today’s Word: drag on

Today’s Word: drag on

November 14, 2018    =========

☆  drag on  時間がかかる

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If something drags on, it takes longer than necessary. Things on your To Do list can drag on, causing you to get behind in the tasks that you need to finish. However, it’s not just work-related things that drag on – it can be personal things too.

A few months ago, my son had a school dance performance. It was Years 4 to Year 7, and it was starting at 9am. I had a Pilates class to go to, at 9:15am, and the location was just a couple of minutes away from the school. So naturally, I thought, his year would go first (year 4)Read more about Today’s Word: drag on[…]

Today’s Word: prioritize

Today’s Word: prioritize

November 13, 2018     =========

☆  prioritize  優先順位をつける

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So, the big question! How do you prioritize when everything is important?! I use a paper-based planner for work, and the Eigo Techo for personal. In my work diary, it has two sections for your To Do list. One section says, “Top Priority” and the other section says, “Priority” ha ha… it’s a bit silly really! When everything is prioritized as a “Top Priority” then in reality, nothing is a top priority!

I think the key to being able to prioritize your tasks is knowing the value they bring to your work or life. And, also being able to accurately estimate how much time you willRead more about Today’s Word: prioritize[…]

Today’s Word: plan

Today’s Word: plan

November 12, 2018    =========

☆  plan  計画する

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When planning your day, do you think about how long tasks will take you? As I said earlier this month, it’s not really possible for me to plan my day in detail, so instead, I list up the tasks I’m working on. I also try to plan how much time I think they will take. This is important, because it helps me be decisive and make a choice of what to do, when I have a little or a lot of time.

When I plan how much time I think I need to spend on a task in order to finish it, I also look atRead more about Today’s Word: plan[…]

Today’s Word: decisive

Today’s Word: decisive

November 11, 2018=========

☆  decisive  明白な

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If someone is decisive, it means that they have the ability to make quick decisions, in a difficult or complicated situation. Having too many options is usually one of the things that makes time management difficult. We need to be decisive and make the decision quickly, so that we can actually get on with taking action.

Most people are not decisive, and instead spend so long thing about what to decide, that they never actually make a decision! But, worse than that, is by not being decisive, they never get on with the work they need to do. For me, it’s really tough with a young baby,Read more about Today’s Word: decisive[…]

Today’s Word: boring

Today’s Word: boring

November 10, 2018   =========

☆  boring  退屈な

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When something is boring, it is uninteresting and dull or tedious. Boring tasks are usually the ones on our list that we don’t want to do, but must do. When my kids come to me and say they have nothing to do, “What can we do???” I make some suggestions: Why don’t you…

clean your room?
do you washing?
do your homework?
practice your music?
practice your Soroban?

Of course, I’m sure you can guess their answer to each suggestion…”That’s boring.” So, I reply, “Yep. I know those tasks are boring, but they still need to be done! So, if you’ve got nothing to do, that’s perfect timing!” Interestingly, they disappearRead more about Today’s Word: boring[…]

Today’s Word: important

Today’s Word: important

November 9, 2018  =========

☆  important  重要な

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Something that is important is very significant or necessary. When you make a list of the things you have to do, do you take time to decide which is most important? This is another good way to work out what to do right? If you have a list of many things to do, then how do you know which to do first? If you decide what is most important, and do that first, then at least you know you are getting the important tasks done each day.

The problem I have, is that everything that I write on my To Do list is important! If itRead more about Today’s Word: important[…]

Today’s Word: instantly

Today’s Word: instantly

November 8, 2018     =========

☆  instantly   すぐに

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One of my clients told me his way of being more productive a few years ago. Whenever he got a new book or a new program, or a new project, he would instantly spend 15 minutes on it. In other words, if a new book arrived from Amazon, he would open it instantly, and read or look over it for 15 minutes. He also did this with new study programs. In the past, you had to wait for the DVD to arrive, rather than download it instantly, so, when the DVD arrived, he would look at the contents for 15 minutes. If he decided toRead more about Today’s Word: instantly[…]

Today’s Word: unproductive

Today’s Word: unproductive

November 7, 2018    =========

☆  unproductive  非生産的な

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This week’s useful phrase is, “I am always unproductive after a big lunch!” This is true for me, I always feel so sleepy! Luckily, I usually feel more awake after a coffee though. How about you? When do you feel unproductive?

I’m feeling unproductive, so just a short mail today!!

This is another phrase that you can change around, and to talk about other topics. For example: I am always XX after YY.

I am always productive in the morning.
I am always happy after dinner with friends.
I am always late to work on Mondays.

Can you make a sentence in this way?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: paper-based

Today’s Word: paper-based

November 6, 2018    =========

☆  paper-based  紙の

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What kind of calendar and diary do you use? Well, I suppose that might be a silly question!! Hopefully if you are reading this email it’s because you use the Eigo Techo as your calendar and diary! Ha ha! I hope so.

However, many people have more than one calendar, so just wondering do you use a paper-based system only, or do you use an electronic one too? For me, I used to try to combine both paper-based and an electronic calendar, but in the end, it was too hard. So, now I am using a purely paper-based system. And, that is improving my efficiency andRead more about Today’s Word: paper-based[…]

Today’s Word: electronic

Today’s Word: electronic

November 5, 2018   =========

☆  electronic  電子の

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These days, there is a lot of choice in the way that we do things. We can use an electronic device to help with most things. In fact, these days, most electronic devices like smartphones and tablets are almost more powerful than laptops. My kids are learning to use electronic things at school, such as laptops, desktops, and iPads.

Sometimes I wonder if they will be able to write well or not! They are so used to just typing on a device. They use Google to research their school projects. When I was in school, we had computers, but we weren’t allowed to use electronic devicesRead more about Today’s Word: electronic[…]

Today’s Word: app

Today’s Word: app

November 4, 2018   =========

☆  app アプリ

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Happy birthday to me! I hope I have a good day! Ha ha!

Another useful phrase for the week, “This app is really useful for time management.” Do you have any apps that are good for time management? I have the Pomodoro app, that times my 25-5-minute work and break intervals, it’s very handy. I also have all my banking and PayPal apps on my iPhone, which helps not waste time on the computer.

By the way, you can use this useful phrase to talk about other things, but changing the last words. “This app is really useful for XX” for example:

This app is really useful forRead more about Today’s Word: app[…]

Today’s Word: productivity

Today’s Word: productivity

November 3, 2018      =========

☆  productivity  生産性

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Productivity used to be just about the time it took for companies to produce things. For example, the productivity rate of the Toyota factory when they produce cars. However, these days, if someone it talking about productivity, it’s usually about the rate at which they get their own work done.

Just like yesterday, everyone is always thinking about ways to increase their productivity (and efficiency). The useful phrase this week is, “Planning my day has increased my productivity.” Nowadays, with a young baby, planning my day is pretty much impossible! However, a little planning definitely helps with my productivity. So, each night, I email myself aRead more about Today’s Word: productivity[…]

Today’s Word: efficiency

Today’s Word: efficiency

November 2, 2018     =========

☆  efficiency  能率

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Efficiency is the quality of being able to do a task successfully, without wasting time or energy. One of the best ways to get more done is to improve our efficiency, right? But how do you improve your efficiency?? One of the best ways is to take regular breaks! It seems kind of ironic that the best way to improve your productivity and efficiency is to work less!

I like the Pomodoro technique for making sure I take regular breaks. Have you heard of it? It’s super simple. You work for 25 minutes on a task, and then take a 5-minute break. Then after 4 setsRead more about Today’s Word: efficiency[…]

Today’s Word: effectiveness

Today’s Word: effectiveness

November 1, 2018    =========

☆  effectiveness  有効性

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Hello! Welcome to November. This month, we’re talking about the subject of time management. Let’s not waste any time and get started on today’s word straight away!

The effectiveness of something is the degree to which that thing is successful in producing the result you want. So, for example, you might talk about the effectiveness of using a timer when you want to get work done. Or you might learn some new time management strategies after reading a book and want to test out their effectiveness at work.

So, this month, get ready to talk about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness!) of time management techniques. If you knowRead more about Today’s Word: effectiveness[…]

Today’s Word: discretionary

Today’s Word: discretionary

October 31, 2018 =========

☆  discretionary  自分で使える

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Happy Halloween! Is Halloween becoming more popular in Japan? It is becoming very popular in Australia – but it’s really just a marketing trick to get people to spend their discretionary income! Any money that you spend on things other than the necessary items of shelter, food, and clothing, is your discretionary spending. So, buying chocolate and decorations for Halloween? Definitely discretionary spending!

Hobbies, travel, luxuries, entertainment, these categories of spending are all discretionary, too. If you have a budget, then it’s important to have these discretionary categories, too, right? Otherwise, you’ll be saving a lot of money, but you’ll probably feel really restricted and unhappy. FindingRead more about Today’s Word: discretionary[…]

Today’s Word: mindless

Today’s Word: mindless

October 30, 2018 =========

☆  mindless  思慮のない

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The Q&A for this month is, “Do you have a budget?” and one answer is, “Yes, this way I avoid mindless spending.” Mindless spending is where you really don’t think about what you are buying and why you are buying it, you just want to buy it. Remember my son, that is an expert in whining? He’s also an expert in mindless spending! Oh dear!

He’s too young for a budget, of course, however, I think it is time to teach him about working for money. Maybe if he earns his own money by doing jobs like gardening and cleaning the car for me, then he mightRead more about Today’s Word: mindless[…]

Today’s Word: essential

Today’s Word: essential

October 29, 2018 =========

☆  essential  絶対必要な

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Something that is essential is extremely important and absolutely necessary. One of the things I find fascinating about money as a topic is what people think is essential. Most people of course think that the three essentials are shelter, food, and clothing. Somewhere to live, something to eat, and something to wear. I think this is a common view of essentials, right?

But what else would you consider essential? Having lived in Japan and Australia, where the health care systems are so good, I wouldn’t say that private health insurance is essential, however, if I lived in the USA I would definitely say it is. I haveRead more about Today’s Word: essential[…]

Today’s Word: cave in

Today’s Word: cave in

October 28, 2018 =========

☆  cave in  降参する

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Oh wow… this is the PERFECT word for me and my son! If you cave in, it means that you suddenly stop arguing or resisting, and just give in to what the other person wants. My son really knows how to get me to cave in. I wish I could resist him, but he is really, really good at whining!

So, now, instead of caving in and buying him what he wants, I give him pocket money, and he can save or buy what he wants. Except of course, he always forgets to bring his wallet when we go shopping! So then of course he whinesRead more about Today’s Word: cave in[…]

Today’s Word: donate

Today’s Word: donate

October 27, 2018 =========

☆  donate  寄付する

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Donating money and things to charity is really common in Australia. When people clear out their homes and find things they no longer need they donate it to the local charity. The local charity then puts it in their secondhand shop and sells it. The money they make goes to the charity, supporting homeless people, dogs, mental health, cancer and so on.

Unfortunately, just last week, there was a big news story about people donating things to charity that were basically trash. The clothes and other items were not good enough to be sold by the charity, so the charity had to pay money to dispose ofRead more about Today’s Word: donate[…]

Today’s Word: indulge

Today’s Word: indulge

October 26, 2018 =========

☆  indulge  気ままに~する

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If you indulge in something, you allow yourself to have or do something that you know you will enjoy. When it comes to the topic of saving money, then obviously indulging in expensive things too often or without thinking is not going to help you reach your goals. However, the idea of the “splurge fund” that I talked about the other day is so that you have a set amount of money each month that you can use to indulge in whatever you want, without needing an excuse.

Last winter I got sick of getting wet feet in the rain, so I indulged in a pair ofRead more about Today’s Word: indulge[…]

Today’s Word: conflict

Today’s Word: conflict

October 25, 2018 =========

☆  conflict  対立する

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If your ideas or beliefs conflict with someone else’s it means that they clash, and are different from the other person’s ideas and beliefs. I guess you can imagine that when ideas and beliefs conflict on the topic of money, it can be a pretty tough situation! It seems to be quite common though, financial stress in a relationship is the number one reason for divorce in Australia!

The interesting thing is that it doesn’t matter if the couple has a comfortable income, a high income, or a low income. The reason is that the couple are conflicting over beliefs about money and how it should beRead more about Today’s Word: conflict[…]

Today’s Word: go without

Today’s Word: go without

October 24, 2018 =========

☆  go without  なしで済ませる

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If you go without something that you want or need, you do not get it. So, if you are trying to save money, you might go without your regular morning Starbucks coffee. Many of the finance books I’ve read all talk about the reason most people don’t use a budget: most people don’t want to use a budget because it means they will have to go without the things they want.

Naturally, the authors all say that having a budget actually means you don’t have to go without. The reason they believe this is that a budget makes you think about what you really want toRead more about Today’s Word: go without[…]

Today’s Word: estimate

Today’s Word: estimate

October 23, 2018 =========

☆  estimate  見積もる

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If you estimate a quantity or value, then you make an approximate guess or calculation of it. Most budgets work by getting you to estimate your income and expense for the month ahead and then allocate your spending according to how much you estimated. I used to do this, but it wasn’t long before I realized that I always estimated incorrectly – I estimated my income too high and my expenses too low! Big disaster! Ha ha.

Now I use a budget where you don’t have to estimate your income. Instead, you don’t allocate your income until you actually get it. That way there is no needRead more about Today’s Word: estimate[…]

Today’s Word: allocate

Today’s Word: allocate

October 22, 2018 =========

☆  allocate  計上する

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If you allocate something for a particular purpose, you use it for that purpose. So, for this month’s topic, you can talk about your budget and how you allocate your money. Like I mentioned the other day, the Australian financial adviser I follow recommends that you allocate 60% of your income to daily expenses. Then allocate 20% to your emergency fund. Then allocate 10% to your short-term goals. And then allocate the final 10% to your “splurge fund,” which is money that you can splurge (Oct 6th word) on anything you want.  

I like the idea of allocating my money into goals and money for splurging.Read more about Today’s Word: allocate[…]

Today’s Word: personality

Today’s Word: personality

October 21, 2018 =========

☆  personality  性格

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You might be wondering what the word personality has to do with the topic of saving money. Or maybe you already know that we all have different money personalities. It turns out that there is a new industry in the USA, and it’s a hybrid of financial planning and psychology: it is “financial psychology”. Have you heard of it?

Financial psychology is all about finding out what your money personality is, and taking steps to make the best of your personality. There are four main types: Money Avoidant (these people don’t want to be greedy), Money Worshipper (these people think more money will make them happier), MoneyRead more about Today’s Word: personality[…]

Today’s Word: balance

Today’s Word: balance

October 20, 2018 =========

☆  balance  残高

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The balance in your bank account is the amount of money you have in it. Back in the “olden days”, you could go into a bank and say to the teller, “I’d like to check the balance in my account please.” However, these days, you would probably just use the ATM to check your balance. Or even your phone! In fact, I can’t really remember the last time I used an actual person or ATM to check my balance. All my banking is done online or on my phone.

When I do use the ATM to withdraw money, I always take the receipt or choose “no receipt”Read more about Today’s Word: balance[…]

Today’s Word: strategy

Today’s Word: strategy

October 19, 2018 =========

☆  strategy  戦略

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A few years ago, I read a book about a 9-Step strategy for financial peace of mind. I thought it would be great because it was written by an Australian guy, so it was suitable for my situation. When I read it though, I felt it didn’t match with the financial strategy I was currently using – which was from the USA. So, I decided not to follow his 9-step strategy and kept using my American system.

Fast forward to September 2018, and I had a big AHA moment about how the American software I currently use can fit within the strategies that the Australian financial advisorRead more about Today’s Word: strategy[…]

Today’s Word: emergency fund

Today’s Word: emergency fund

October 18, 2018 =========

☆  emergency fund  臨時予算

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An emergency fund is the money that you budget for… can you guess? Yes, emergencies! Too easy! The problem in Australia is that most people don’t have an emergency fund. This means they have no peace of mind, and that if they have an emergency – car breaks down, kids get sick, they lose their job etc. – then they have no money to help them cope with that situation.

Most finance experts recommend that your emergency fund should be at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of your expenses! That way, if you do lose your job or get sick, then you have enough moneyRead more about Today’s Word: emergency fund[…]

Today’s Word: peace of mind

Today’s Word: peace of mind

October 17, 2018 =========

☆  peace of mind  安心

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If something gives you peace of mind, it stops you from worrying about that problem or difficulty. All of the books I have read about finances suggest having enough money for peace of mind. All the authors suggest having some savings set aside just for emergencies. This will give you peace of mind because you know you won’t need a credit card or a loan if you have an emergency. And of course, they suggest that you save for your retirement.

Knowing that you will have enough money for retirement, can give you the biggest peace of mind possible. In Australia, most older people whoRead more about Today’s Word: peace of mind[…]

Today’s Word: expense

Today’s Word: expense

October 16, 2018 =========

☆  expense  出費

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Yesterday we talked about the money that comes in, your income. Today, we’re talking about the money that goes out: your expenses. An expense is something that costs you money. So, for most people, the obvious expenses are rent or mortgage payments, food and clothing. Most finance books say that those are the three expenses you cannot avoid. You have to have somewhere to live, something to eat, and something to wear.

However, any other expenses are things that you can cut out to save money. For example, instead of buying a coffee each morning from Starbucks, you can make coffee at home. Or you can “brownRead more about Today’s Word: expense[…]

Today’s Word: income

Today’s Word: income

October 15, 2018 =========

☆  income  収入

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Your income is the money that you earn or receive from your company for working. In Australia, owning your own home is the “Australian Dream” but the house prices are very high as we are in a property boom. There are often news articles about families on low incomes and whether they can afford to buy their home or not.

The book on investment that I am currently reading says that 60% of your income should be used for daily expenses – including rent or mortgage. The other 40% of your income should be used for savings and investments. However, like the newspaper articles, this is almostRead more about Today’s Word: income[…]

Today’s Word: affordable

Today’s Word: affordable

October 14, 2018 =========

☆  affordable  手頃な

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This week’s useful phrase is “I’m looking for an apartment in an affordable location.” In Australia, the prices of houses and apartments varies greatly depending on the location. Even just the suburb name or city name can change the price from affordable to ridiculously expensive! So, the new house, with more bedrooms and a garden in a bad location will be more affordable than a small, old house in the “rich” suburb.

Is this true in Japan too? What affects the price of an apartment or house? Is it the location? The size of the property? Are older houses more affordable than new ones? When you areRead more about Today’s Word: affordable[…]

Today’s Word: broke

Today’s Word: broke

October 13, 2018 =========

☆  broke  金欠の

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This is an informal word which means you have no money. You can use it in these kinds of sentences:

I hate being broke all the time!
When I was a student, I was so broke, I only ever ate Cup Ramen.
What do you mean you’re broke, you only got paid yesterday!
Don’t ask me to pay, I’m broke too!

Another funny sentence you might hear about this word is that someone is broke because their money finished before the month did. In other words, they have a few days left in the month, but no money.

Have you ever been broke? What did you do to get out of thatRead more about Today’s Word: broke[…]

Today’s Word: automatic

Today’s Word: automatic

October 12, 2018 =========

☆  automatic   自動的な

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One of the best things you can do for your financial future is set up an automatic savings plan. In Australia, you can often ask your employer to do this for you. So, for example, if your salary is $5,000, your employer takes out money for tax and for your retirement before paying you the money. This is automatic, so your salary would actually be $4,000 in the bank (for example).

However, you can also your employer to put part of your salary into another account before you even get it. That way, from your $4,000 payment, the company pays $3,000 into your bank account and $1,000Read more about Today’s Word: automatic[…]

Today’s Word: emotional

Today’s Word: emotional

October 11, 2018 =========

☆  emotional  感情的な

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I think that one of the biggest barriers to becoming financially independent is the emotional feelings that come up when we are talking about money and trying to make financial decisions. In fact, some research has shown that people who feel that they are emotional thinkers tend to put off making decisions about money and things like saving for retirement.

Interestingly though, the research also found that those emotional people felt able to make lifestyle decisions quite easily. So, the researchers suggested that they should think about “a decision about your life in retirement” (an emotional lifestyle decision) instead of thinking about “a decision about financial investmentsRead more about Today’s Word: emotional[…]

Today’s Word: logical

Today’s Word: logical

October 10, 2018    =========

☆  logical  合理的な

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Something that is logical seems reasonable or sensible in the circumstances. So, in a financial situation, many books talk about debt and the logical choice is to pay off debt before starting a savings plan. Does this seem logical to you?

The financial guru that I follow says this is actually not the logical thing to do. He suggests that if you have $100 spare cash, then $50 should go as a debt payment and $50 should go into savings. He says this is the most logical solution because emergencies always happen, and if you pay off debt but don’t also put away money, then whenRead more about Today’s Word: logical[…]

Today’s Word: realistic

Today’s Word: realistic

October 9, 2018   =========

☆  realistic  現実的な

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You can use realistic in two ways when talking about your financial situation. Firstly, you can be realistic about your situation, meaning that you accept and recognize your situation and try to be practical about it. For example, you might need to be realistic about how much rent you can afford to pay each month if you want to live in Tokyo. In other words, you need to have a realistic view of what you can afford.

The second way is to set a realistic goal for your finances, meaning a goal that you can reasonably expect to achieve. For example, you might want to sayRead more about Today’s Word: realistic[…]