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As Pesach approaches, the themes of freedom and liberation from slavery are prominent in a Jew’s mind. Indeed, the message of Pesach is one of the most powerful Jewish experiences, and many otherwise non-religious Jews find their way to a Pesach Seder.

Slavery in Egypt may seem like a distant memory to many Jewish Press readers, but take a moment to consider whether you are truly free. After all, doesn’t modern slavery come in the form of debt, overdraft, and heavy bills?

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How free can you be facing bills, debts, long work hours and/or demanding employers? Can you consider yourself free if you spend nights worrying about how you will make it through the end of the month?

Maybe you and your spouse are both working full time. But those bills just keep coming in. You’re not even wasting your money on fancy vacations or designer clothes. Yet there seems to be a permanent hole in your bank account. Bills and expenses seem to pursue you wherever you go. You can feel like a slave.

Although everyone has his own story, one common thread to many families’ financial woes is that they aren’t managing their money properly. Unfortunately, money management and budgeting skills don’t occupy the same place on the school curriculum as math or history. As a result, many people never learn how to properly take care of their money, and they stumble and struggle to meet their daily expenses. Budgeting and financial planning need to be learned, no matter how old you are or at what stage of life you find yourself.

Successful finances require keeping track of spending and income. Start by keeping your receipts and noting down your daily expenses.

Learning to budget and plan efficiently can help liberate you from the slavery of overspending, fiscal disorganization, and debt.

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Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning and investment services firm specializing in working with Americans living in Israel who have investment accounts in America. Doug’s newest book, co-authored with Susan Polgar, about using chess strategies to improve your finances, Rich As A King can be purchased at www.richasaking.com. He is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Contact at doug@profile-financial.com

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