Tag Archive for Lifestyle

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy Happiness

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy Happiness

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy HappinessA long-held and told notion throughout the years is the idea that money can?t buy happiness. In a consumerist society, it?s something we hear often to remind us of the truly important things in life like experiences, our health, and loved ones.

While in many cases that?s a true statement, as items tend to only make you happy for a short time until you want more, there are ways in which money can provide you with a happier more stress-free life. Here are four ways money can buy you happiness.

Through Investments

Investing your money wisely ensures that you?ll be better prepared in the future. Not only will you have the potential to grow your money into more, you?ll also have the ability to wisely build a fund for your retirement.

By doing so, you?ll pave the way for a day when you hopefully won?t have to worry about money, and when you do decide to retire, will actually be able to retire.

So, while this might not be immediate happiness, come retirement, your investments will help provide a life of contentment.

Paying Off Debt

Most financial advisors would tell you to make debt elimination your first financial focus. Debt, no matter how much you have, hangs over your head like a dark cloud until it?s gone.

Moreover, the longer you take to pay it off, the more you?ll have to pay. Debt inhibits you from doing other, more important things with your money, which is why paying it off not only frees you up financially, but paves the way for you to reach your financial goals as well.

Through Great Experiences

When you see something you want it can be hard to resist. As mentioned, things, however, only bring satisfaction for so long until they leave you wanting more or they wear out themselves. Experiences on the other hand, last forever.

Spend your money on that vacation you?ve been dying to go on, have a wonderful dinner, or take up a new hobby. You?ll create lasting memories you can always look back on.

Buying Time

In our busy world, time is the one thing most people feel like they could always use more of. That being said, one surefire way to buy happiness is to buy yourself some time. If you have the funds, use some of your money to hire out certain household duties.

Have someone mow your lawn, clean your house, order takeout every now and then, and take advantage of public transportation. Giving yourself a little extra time back will allow you to do a little more of what you love.

Money isn?t the most important thing in life. Nonetheless, you do need it to live and, if spent wisely, having a little extra can help make life easier. Having financial freedom to spend it towards your goals, experience the great aspects of life, and buy back some of your time, can mean your money will truly buy you some happiness.

 

What?s a great experience you could spend your money on? How does money buy you happiness?

 

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3 Things Gymtimidation Could Be Costing You

3 Things Gymtimidation Could Be Costing You

3 Things Gymtimidation Could Be Costing YouFor some, going to the gym is a regular part of their daily routine. For others, even with the best of intentions, a trip to workout can seem to cause more anxiety than it?s worth.

Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, the gym can be an intimidating place. You might picture perfectly toned females, dressed skimpily and logging hours on the treadmill, or muscular regulars dominating the weight room, people who walk confidently into the facility.

If you?re less familiar with the machines, self-conscious, and worried about looking silly or unfit for the gym, obtaining the motivation to go is nearly impossible.

That being said, if gymtimidation is hindering your exercise routine, it could be costing you more than just your dream physique. Here are three ways gymtimidation could be affecting your wallet.

1.?You?re Paying for Something You Don?t Use

Unfortunately, a gym membership tends to be anything but cheap. Often times, signing up for even the most basic of packages can run you anywhere from $30 to $100 per month for some of the specialized studios.

If you?re getting your use out of the facility and dedicated to going, then that?s money going to a good cause. However, if gymtimidation is causing you constantly postpone your workout, then you?re simply wasting money on something you don?t use.

2. You?ve Resorted to Other, Costly Options

There?s no doubt about it that going to the gym solo can be intimidating. For some, that intimidation can lead them to opt for other alternatives.

Whether you hire a personal trainer, purchase your own machine, or choose to focus on diet and sign up for Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, most gym alternatives come at a hefty price.

If gymtimidation has forced you to go with one of the options above instead, you could be spending a lot more money than you might on a monthly membership.

3.?You?re Impacting Your Overall Health

Great overall health isn?t just good for you in the long-run, but it?s good for your wallet as well. While proper diet and exercise doesn?t make you invincible, it does indeed help you foster a healthier body and lifestyle. And keeping your body healthy, likely means less doctor visits.

Unless you?ve found another way to stay active, the anxiety over going to the gym could cause you to skip it altogether. In the long-run this could equate to lesser overall health, more health issues, and more, expensive doctor visits and procedures.

When you step foot into the gym, it?s all too easy to look at those with, what you perceive, as the perfect bodies and feel intimidated. You might begin to think that they?ll judge you or that you?re simply not ready yet for the gym.

Whatever the cause for your gymtimidation, it?s important to remember that we?re all in different spots on our fitness journey. No matter where you are, the sheer fact that you want to go to the gym and take care of your body, in itself is something to be proud of. Don?t let gymtimidation cost you extra money or a healthy life.

 

What?s one way you can overcome gymtimidation? If you don?t feel that you?re ready for the gym, what are some inexpensive alternatives?

 

Photo courtesy of: skeeze

3 Ways to Handle Roommates Who Take Advantage of You

3 Ways to Handle Roommates Who Take Advantage of You

3 Ways to Handle Roommates Who Take Advantage of YouThere are a lot of great advantages of having a roommate. For instance, it can lower your rent or house payments, as well as other monthly bills. Assuming you get along well you may also have a shoulder or two to cry on when you need one.

When you are a student or new graduate, it is almost necessary to have a roommate to share the bills with. Rent in college towns can be higher than other areas making sharing a good way to save money.

On the other hand, everything isn?t always hunky-dory when you have roommates. You may find that the differences you have bug the crap out of each other. In addition you may find that they don?t treat you well.

Fortunately there are ways to handle roommates who take advantage of you.

1. Put Your Foot Down

One method to handle roommates who take advantage of you is to put your foot down. Though they agreed to split costs with you they may not realize their actions are inconsiderate.

Let?s say your roommate frequently comes in at all hours of the night or fails to make it home at all on occasion. When they don?t let you know, it may cause needless worrying about their safety.

But to your roommate it?s their right to do whatever they want now that they are on their own. It may not have occurred to them that someone would be worried about them.

No matter what it is driving a wedge between you, have a heart to heart conversation with them. Let them know you aren?t trying to be their parent but instead a concerned friend. Just make sure you talk when neither of you is tired or emotional.

2. Develop House Rules

Another way to handle roommates who take advantage of you is to develop some house rules together. Of course, if possible, it?s the most effective to do this before you even move in together. This way if you discover a difference that no one is willing to compromise on you can find another roommate.

Make a written agreement on how monthly bills like utilities, food, rent, curfews and shared spaces should be handled. Don?t forget to document how it will be handled if one person moves out. That may cut down considerably on any disagreements you could have.

However, if your living arrangements have already been chose you can still develop some rules to abide by. Just get together, make a plan and have everybody there sign off on it. Make sure to include consequences for failure to uphold the agreement.

3. Don?t Be Bullied

If you can?t get cooperation from get roommates who take advantage of you there are less options for what to do. Obviously one option is to move out, but moving isn?t cheap so don?t do it if you can avoid it.

When roommates financially abuse you it may be possible to get them kicked out. Talk to your landlord about the situation to see what your options are. Maybe they will let you replace the roommate with another to keep their own money rolling in.

Simply not holding up their share of split costs might prompt you to take less drastic action. Keep your food separate and lock it up. Do the same with personal items and valuables.

Whatever you do, don?t let yourself be bullied into action you don?t want to take.

Having roommates can ease the strain on finances whether you are a student or simply trying to make ends meet. But there are ways to handle roommates who take advantage of you.

 

Have you ever been taken advantage of by a roommate? What did you do?

 

Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

5 Simple Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big City

5 Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big City

5 Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big CityBig city living can be great. Depending on what career path you chose, there?s a city for that career. Think tech in Silicon Valley, movie stars in Los Angeles and business in New York City.

But, big city living also means higher living expenses. Granted salaries are usually increased to match the inflated costs of large metropolises so you can afford to live there. But, even so, it can be a stretch on your take home pay to live in these areas.

So, how do you make it in the big city? Here are some ways you can live cheaper in a big city.

Ditch the Car

Depending on the city, you most likely won?t need a car.

Places like Chicago or New York City have great public transit. By not having a car you are saving on things like oil changes, car insurance?and parking lot and garage premiums.

The rise of Uber has also made it easier to grab a cab and get around. Walking to and from everywhere saves you money while giving you a daily workout. Some cities are pretty walkable, or?if you do need to go further than you want to walk, a short metro ride can get you in the general direction.

Get a Roommate

To save on rent, get a roommate, or several depending on the situation.

When rent is more than half your salary, roommates are a great way to save money. Not only is rent cheaper, but you can save on groceries and utilities by sharing costs. Your roommates can also become your new friends and support system, especially if you don?t know anyone yet.

Drink at Home

With so many options for dining and drinks, it?s hard to say just one drink or only eat out only once a week. By starting the party at home, or eating a light meal before, you can save on meals and drinks by not needing to eat or drink as much while you are out.

If you enjoy going out, or are expected to be out often for your job, this can save you a lot of money over time.

Find a Rent Controlled Apartment

In order to help with living expenses, some neighborhoods and cities have rent controlled properties. This means their rent doesn?t rise and stays constant. You might need roommates, but it is a cheaper option should you come across it.

Go Farther Out

Location is important to the value of anything. This comes true to when looking for a place to work. Depending of your company?s location, it could be super busy and bustling and also expensive to live near your job. If you can still get to where you want, it?s worth your time to look at renting further out. The farther you are from the downtown, the cheaper (usually) everything is.

Living cheaper in the city isn?t easy, but you can do it.

If you do see that a large metropolis and your salary don?t mix but you still want the city life, look at a smaller large city like Kansas City or Des Moines. The further from the coasts you get the less expensive cost of living is.

 

What do you do to cut costs in the city? How else do you save money?

 

Photo courtesy of: Free-Photos

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This Fall

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This Fall

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This FallWith the end of summer can often come a feeling that the season for fun is done for the year. That doesn?t have to be the case, however.

Sure, the kids have gone back to school, but there are still weekends for you to sneak in some family fun. And, while the weather might be cooling off, there are things you can do which aren?t totally dependent on a bright and sunny day.

To keep you in the mood for family enjoyment as fall settles in, we have provided a list of five fall fun ideas below.

Go to the Zoo

Going to the zoo is a time-honored tradition for many families. Kids naturally love seeing animals, so this is a safe bet when you want to get out and enjoy a day together.

The nice thing about going to the zoo in the fall is you are likely to find it less crowded than it is during the summer months. As long as you pick a day where the weather is reasonable, and you dress appropriately, you should be able to have a great time exploring and viewing everything the zoo has to offer.

Try Your Hand at Bowling

If you need to take your activities inside for the day to escape some poor weather, consider paying a visit to your local bowling alley.

Bowling as a sport is not as popular as it once was, but kids can still get a thrill out of rolling the ball down the lane toward the pins. Ask the staff at the alley to put the ?bumpers? up if you have young kids who are having trouble keeping the ball out of the gutter.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

As Halloween approaches, pumpkin patches start to pop up in many locations. If you aren?t sure if there are any near you, a quick internet search should provide the answer.

Kids will love walking through the field to pick out their favorite pumpkin, and many of these locations have other attractions such as rides, games for kids, snacks, and more.

Take an Autumn Hike

Depending on where you live, it may be possible to find a great hike for the family to take on a nice day. If you have trees which change color and lose their leaves in the fall, this would be a great way to get outside and enjoy nature ? and it will probably be free, as well.

Of course, check the weather carefully before heading out and bring the right supplies for the day.

Stay in and Watch a Movie

You don?t have to go out of the house in order to have fun with the family. On a cold night, consider staying in, making a few snacks, and watching a movie together.

Before starting the movie, put away all phones, tablets, and other devices so you can just watch and enjoy. You might find that everyone enjoys this kind of evening so much that it winds up becoming a tradition.

 

What do you do for fun in the fall? Have you used any of these activities with your family?

 

Photo courtesy of: sharonang