Bivins: It’s never too late to make changes for a productive year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 New Year Resolutions

It’s January 2018, and that means many Americans are already several days into their New Year’s resolutions. However, it’s never too late to make changes toward a more productive year.

Make Money Matter

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Save for the Holiday’s

Why Now?   As of January 1 there are 357 shopping days left until Christmas 2018

Teach kids about money

Why now? Children as young as 9 or 10 can list the back-to-school items they want to buy and ther prices. Compare the total to what you are willing to spend. Establish a budget for the season and tell kids they can spend it all on one piece of coloring or they can spread it out.


Shop sales

Why now? Now is the time for big end-of- year discounts. If you’re thinking electronics for gifts, now is the time to buy.


Set up tax folders

Why now? Make labeled files for receipts, papers, and check stubs you’ll need for taxes.


Renew Yourself

Make resolutions

Why now? Out with the old, in with the new. Take on some self-improvement projects. Set up lunch dates with friends, get a massage, enroll in a class or finally join a gym.

Clean out your closet

Why now? A new season means giving your wardrobe new life. Take a look at your closet. Give away items that no longer fit, polish winter shoes, and update your wardrobe with a few new pieces in winter colors.

Avoid overscheduling

Why now? Do only what you want and decide to do it well. One project can be more satisfying than several small ones that constantly need your attention. Source:


Here is an easy, budget friendly, comfort food for you to enjoy eating on these cold days.

Beef Stroganoff (Adapted from

1-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta

12 ounces top sirloin or ground beef

Non-stick vegetable spray


1/3 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons olive or canola oil

2 tablespoons flour

¾ cup low sodium beef broth

1- tablespoon sliced green onion

¼-cup light sour cream


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
  2. Spray large non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. Heat over medium heat until hot. Add half the beef and stir fry 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink. Season with pepper if desired. Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining beef.
  3. In same skillet, cook mushrooms and onion in oil for about 2 minutes or until tender.
  4. Stir in flour. Gradually add broth, stirring until well blended. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.
  5. Return beef to skillet and heat.
  6. Serve beef mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with green onion and top with a dollop of light sour cream.

4 servings

Calories: 266 Carbohydrate: 23 grams   Fat: 8 grams   Protein: 25 grams, Sodium: 73 milligrams   Fiber: 2 grams   Cholesterol: 40 milligrams

Exchange: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meats

Here is a great budget


Carolyn Bivins can be reached