Vacations are the hard-working American’s relief from the stress of deadlines, gridlocked commutes and the unrelenting pressure of meeting the boss’s expectations. It’s the one time when stress should be a non-factor as you unwind from the daily grind. Unfortunately, a surprising number of people experience stress when they’re on vacation, notes Quartz, or preparing for one. If you happen to be short on time and budget it can be difficult to plan and enjoy a trip that’ll help you take the edge off. These days, there are lots of resources that can help you tailor a vacation to your means and desires.
Any vacation starts with a few “big-picture” decisions, choices that determine where you’ll go, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll do when you get there. The first step in putting together a stress-free vacation is to pick a locale and transportation that make sense for you and your family. Travel agents can help you get good deals on travel and accommodations, but remember that with a little time and patience you can put together a trip that’s both memorable and cost-effective. Real Life with Heather has a few ideas on how to do just that.
Roads Less Traveled
If you want to go overseas, consider emphasizing off-the-beaten-path destinations rather than high-priced hot spots that are sure to stress your budget and, probably, elevate your blood pressure. Paris is a glamorous travel mecca but you can stretch your travel dollar much further by spending a week traversing Normandy, Brittany, or the Languedoc region. If you want a European experience but just can’t afford Europe, consider Quebec, where the French language and Gaelic culture abound. The same principle applies if you’re vacationing domestically.
America is full of great travel options that won’t break the bank. Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, colonial Williamsburg, and Branson, Missouri, are just a few of the many affordable vacation destinations that are sure to leave you happy and nostalgic for a return trip.
All About Timing
Florida in July may sound great but you’re sure to run into big crowds at the beach and longer-than-usual lines at Disney. September, October and early November are generally more affordable and less hectic than the traditional vacation season. Scheduling a trip off-season has its own hazards (hurricane season seems to arrive earlier and stay longer each year), so keep an eye on the weather and do your research about the best times to visit when the tourist population thins out.
Don’t forget that a stress-free vacation is one that allows you to make the most of vacation activities. That can be hard to do if you’re spending too much of your budget on travel expenses. Consider enrolling in rewards programs that allow you to get in on deals, flight upgrades and other benefits. U.S. News & World Report points out that one popular option is to sign up for a credit card with an airline so you can rack up privileges and rewards as quickly as possible. Focus on low-cost carriers and steer clear of the frills and options that’ll dig into your vacation funds unnecessarily. Book your flight early, pack light and carry on as much gear as you can: that’s a good approach for any traveler.
You’ll want to keep your money and valuables safe during your travels, especially when you’re going out of the country. If you’re taking in the natural wonders and local attractions in places like Cancun, Kathmandu or Paris, your excursions can quickly become chaotic if you come across any problems like a theft or an accident that requires medical attention. To travel with added peace of mind, consider setting up an account with an inexpensive money transfer service before you leave home. Using a service like Remitly, for example, allows you to receive funds from the U.S. to Nepal for as little as $3.99 for transfers in just minutes.
Also, don’t dismiss the wonders of traveling by car, van or recreational vehicle. Vacation time is a great opportunity to load up the car and take in the scenery with your family. Your AAA membership can put you in touch with lots of travel resources, such as construction upgrades and free towing if you break down. If you like being one with nature, camping is a fun and budget-friendly option. America is chock full of beautiful campsites.
Home Security: Give Yourself Peace of Mind
Don’t underestimate the importance of securing your house and protecting your valuables while you’re gone. There are a number of options available these days, everything from smartphone apps that allow you to monitor your home in real time to home security systems that alert the police the moment someone breaks in. If putting a new bulb in the front porch light isn’t enough security for you, look into a robust and dependable source of home protection.
The number of people struggling with mental health issues has been on the rise ever since the pandemic started. Lack of social interaction has caused us to develop different types of depression - the most common of psychological disorders, but unfortunately, not the only one. Issues of mental nature are rarely discussed due to a fear of being misunderstood, rejected even. Sadly, the lack of awareness towards the subject has caused the public to develop a certain stigma around it. There are a variety of mental health myths circulating out there, mental health myths you should not believe - six of which we are just about to be busted!
The Most Common Mental Health Myths You Should Not Believe
Mental disorders are no joke. The consequences caused by them can, quite literally, be disastrous, fatal even. The thing is, recognizing problems of psychological nature can be tough, not only for the person experiencing them but also for their loved ones. In order to be able to identify the issue, one must become aware of what constitutes a mental disorder. And the first step towards raising awareness is busting the myths that have, for so long, been confusing the public.
#1 Mental Illnesses Cannot Be Cured
The exact cause of mental conditions can't always be pinpointed. Scientists do agree on the fact, though, that susceptibility to certain illnesses can be passed down from one generation to the next. In most cases, however, people develop such disorders in life rather than being born with them.
Despite us not knowing the cause of such illnesses, recovery is something that isn't all that far-fetched. Milder psychological disorders, for instance, can be fully resolved. As far as more serious conditions are concerned, we cannot talk about the complete "cure". We can say, though, that their symptoms are, in most cases, manageable. That means that a return to a normal lifestyle is possible for a majority of people with mental health conditions. With time, their condition will improve as long as they follow through with proper treatment.
Believe it or not, exercise plays a significant role in mental health recuperation. Research has shown that regular exercise actually helps people feel good mentally and thus, promotes faster recovery. The importance of physical activity has been recognized by psychiatrists as well, many of which often turn to prescribing it to their patients.
#2 Only Adults Deal With Psychological Issues
Another one of the mental health myths you should not believe is that children cannot develop disorders. The truth is, anyone can suffer from a mental condition. The age of an individual has absolutely nothing to do with the state of their mind. Actually, reports have shown that it is more common for disorders to present themselves early on in life. Most frequently, during the pubescent period.
Puberty, in and of itself, is a tough period for every child due to hormonal changes that occur in the body. The hormones can sometimes negatively impact the mind and lead to a variety of mental problems. Unfortunately, these do tend to go unnoticed for quite some time.
#3 Mental Disorders Aren’t a Typical Occurrence
An outright lie! They are much more common than one might think! Before the pandemic, it has been estimated that 1 in 4 people suffered from a mental disorder of some kind. COVID-19 has managed to further exacerbate the problem.
#4 Mental Illness Is a Sign of Weakness
Actually, the complete opposite is true. Somebody who has a mental illness is not weak but incredibly strong. Strong because they are trying their best to cope, despite the burden of their condition. People that have never experienced what it means to battle a psychological issue, like depression, cannot begin to fathom how hard it is to go about your day while having something that's constantly bothering you. They cannot possibly understand how hard it is to wake up each morning feeling down, trying to hide your inner thoughts from the rest of the world. It takes an extreme amount of willpower to do all of that - something that a weak person would definitely not be able to gather.
#5 Only Women Are Susceptible to Developing Eating Disorders
The media has made it appear as if it's only women that are at risk of developing eating disorders. This is, however, nothing but another one of the mental health myths you should not believe! Sure, women might be more prone to suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and similar, due to the media's obsession with body image. But men are not spared, either! Studies show that 15% of anorexia patients are precisely males. If we are talking about overeating, the percentiles are even higher, with 25% of all cases of this disorder being associated with men.
#6 Loved Ones Are of No Help to Mental Patients
The power of love shouldn't be neglected! Earlier, we mentioned that exercise can aid mental health recovery. It's similar with love, or actually, with loved ones willing to help. But how can they be of assistance? Well, by being able to recognize the symptoms of psychological issues. Be wary of the following symptoms:
Image via Pexels
The pandemic changed life for people around the world in many ways. Women, in particular, have been disproportionately affected. Both stay-at-home moms and women in the workplace experienced a significant shift across all areas of their lives. Real Life with Heather presents some ideas to help women make money by pursuing some online jobs.
Women typically take on more household responsibilities than men, including housework and caregiving. They carried more responsibility to help children with remote learning during shutdowns while still addressing their work and household tasks. The pandemic created a more significant need for flexible work arrangements for families with children.
Due to women's overrepresentation in in-person jobs, pandemic shutdowns forced them out of the workplace in large numbers. According to a survey, 56% of women have considered a professional change during the pandemic. After months of navigating a new life, women want to return to work but have new conditions. They are looking for jobs that have better growth prospects and greater flexibility. Fortunately, today's digital world offers opportunities to generate income online for women who are out of work or who want a career change.
If you are like many other women impacted by the pandemic, you want a job that allows you to make your schedule so you can work around your family's needs and obligations. Consider some of the possibilities for flexible ways to make money from home:
Virtual Assistant: Work remotely arranging travel, scheduling meetings and appointments, preparing reports, entering data, and organizing projects. This position requires organizational skills and a strong work ethic.
Build an online shop to sell items you make, set up a consulting firm, create an interior design company, or start a home bakery operation to be your own boss. Focus on your areas of expertise to choose something you can develop into a successful business.
Once you have your idea, select the proper legal business structure for you. Forming a limited liability company offers many advantages, such as tax benefits, flexible operating agreements, limited liability protections and minimal paperwork requirements. Each state has unique regulations regarding LLC formation, so make sure you learn the requirements before you begin the process.
After defining your business purpose, setting up your company, and taking care of the legal details, you can focus on marketing your new endeavor. Effective marketing has significant results on your bottom line. Spend time designing your brand and utilize consistent marketing and messaging so people can easily recognize your company.
Logo design is an essential aspect of building brand awareness with potential clients. It helps you make a solid first impression and separates your operation from the competition. Hire someone to design your logo or save money by using a free logo design maker. Online systems make it easy to create the perfect design for your business. You choose from various digitally-created logos after inputting your text and specifying an icon and desired style. You can further adjust the design by selecting your preferred colors and fonts.
Lifestyle changes stemming from the pandemic have changed how women approach their work lives and career choices. You can embark on new job opportunities that help you create balance in your life by embracing online possibilities for jobs or new startups.
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Business owners and professionals can feel additional pressure at the end of the year. Some may even be struggling to enjoy the holidays. From striving to meet year-end goals to scrambling to get documents together for the end of the quarter (and beyond for the upcoming tax season), they cannot completely break away from work to enjoy the holidays.
If you are looking for a way to be productive during holidays, Real Life with Heather hopes these tips will help.
Make Your Commute More Productive
Even though you may be facing a long commute home for the holidays, you can use the downtime to your advantage and make it a point to be productive while you’re on the road. Of course, make sure you’re not the one driving. Consider using apps so that you can make alerts, gather your to-do list, or make notes. Your travel time is also a great time to clear your inbox, re-evaluate your goals, and analyze your marketing and sales progress. All it takes is a smartphone and a few productivity apps, and you’ll soon be getting your work done as you travel. When you get to your destination, you’ll be able to enjoy more time with the family.
Once you arrive, set your phone to the side as much as possible so you can be fully present when you’re with others.
Be Efficient With Your Time
If you won’t be at home during the holidays, consider doing some things differently to free up more of your time. There’s no need to overextend yourself when decorating your home if you won’t be spending a lot of time there. If you typically take the time to put up a real tree, go for a small artificial one this year to avoid the hassle. Hang a wreath on your door and turn on your porch light instead of taking the time to string lights on your shrubs and trees.
Travelers should learn to buy gifts online rather than taking the time to visit shops. When you do make online purchases, ship them to your loved one’s home so you don’t have to travel with the gifts and worry about the extra luggage fees. Once you get to your destination, you can wrap the gifts or put them in gift bags. It’s worth noting that airport security may open wrapped gifts, so don’t wrap any gifts that will be traveling with you on the plane.
It’s also a good idea to carefully choose which holiday events you need to attend. Prioritize parties that can provide networking opportunities, because they may help you meet some of your year-end goals.
Ask For Help
Often, it’s difficult for business owners and busy professionals to ask for help with their work. The truth is, you will be able to accomplish more if you know your limitations and recognize when it is time to ask for some assistance. You should keep the work that requires your expertise and delegate that which does not. For example, your assistant or secretary could order the cards or gifts for your clients to ease some of the holiday burdens on you.
Work At Home
Working from home is common practice nowadays. And if your business hasn’t moved in this direction yet, ask if the option of working from home is available. The time your daily commute takes away from getting something done is a viable reason to request time to work from home. This way, you can spend more time on what’s important, and less time on what’s not. Plus, there are fewer distractions at home, allowing you to focus on your work in a more efficient manner. If you do make the switch to working from home, it’s important to set up your space to ensure it’s a happy and healthy area where you can be productive. To enhance your workspace, add some plants and artwork, open the shades for more natural light and make a point to avoid clutter.
Finally, take some time to look ahead to the new year, and think about new goals you want to meet. For example, if you mean to return to school for a career or business boost, take steps toward enrollment before the end of the year. Put it on your to-do list to explore degree programs that are flexible and offer competitive tuition. Or perhaps you’re starting to realize how overly reliant you are on your phone. If you have trouble putting down your smartphone, the new year presents the perfect time to look at adjusting your digital habits. This type of detox can help people amplify their productivity as well as reduce screen time and that feeling of being tied to a phone.
With these tips in place, you’re bound to be more productive. Just don’t forget that it’s the holidays, and your newfound boost in productivity means that you will have more time on your hands. Enjoy it with your loved ones.
Image from: www.pexels.com
Many people around the world struggle with seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder. If you are one of them, the winter months are probably tough for you. However, there are some ways you can ease and manage your seasonal depression. By changing your habits and putting the extra work in, you may not completely cure your SAD, but you can definitely learn to minimize it and live with it! In the rest of this article, we will share some of our favorite tips for managing seasonal depression.
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as seasonal depression or SAD, is a form of depression triggered by changes in daylight and weather that mainly occur in winter.
What causes SAD? Some experts believe that seasonal variations interrupt the body's inner clock that controls how we function throughout the day, causing us to feel invigorated and alert at times and tired at others. Another hypothesis is that the changing seasons affect chemicals that regulate sleep, mood, and emotions of well-being, such as serotonin and melatonin. Whatever the cause, there are some ways you can consider managing seasonal depression.
Become Physically Active
As it does for other types of depression, exercise can help alleviate SAD because it helps boost your mental health. Moreover, exercise can also help with weight gain, which is a common side effect of seasonal depression. Outdoor activity is one of the most effective treatments for SAD symptoms. However, if it's too cold or snowy to exercise outside, try using a treadmill, stationary cycle, or elliptical machine near a window at home or the gym. If you don't have home exercise equipment, yoga is a great alternative too. You can find tons of great yoga videos and instructions online that can help guide you through your exercises.
Prioritize Social Activities
You may not think social activities play such an important role in managing your seasonal depression, but they do. Studies have discovered a link between social isolation and depression. And, as we know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have been isolated than ever before. That's why it's critical to come up with new strategies to keep connected with others during these times. Begin by spending time with family and friends in a nearby park, participating in outdoor sports, or taking walks when the weather permits.
If the wintertime darkness, weather, and COVID-19 have you staying indoors more than you'd like, there are alternative methods to socialize besides the in-person contact. FaceTime or set up Zoom calls with friends and extended family members when the winter weather makes it too chilly to be outside or too dangerous to drive. Staying in touch with the people you care about will help ease your seasonal depression.
If you have recently moved in with a roommate you get along with, consider spending more quality time with them. However, living with a friend is not always easy; it certainly has its challenges. You may bicker a lot about house chores, but don't let these silly arguments lead to isolation. Do your best to compromise and work through your problems together. Falling out with a person you care about can only hurt your feelings and worsen your seasonal depression.
Stick To A Schedule
People who suffer from seasonal depression frequently have difficulty sleeping at night and waking up in the morning. Having a regular sleeping schedule and sticking to it can improve your sleep, which might help with seasonal depression symptoms. This means you should also avoid napping during the day, which can only worsen your symptoms. Maintaining a regular routine allows you to be exposed to light at consistent and predictable intervals. Furthermore, eating at regular intervals can help you avoid overeating, which is also a common symptom.
Bright Light Therapy
Another way you can manage your seasonal depression is by using a "lightbox" for light therapy. This method is also known as phototherapy, and it's most useful on days when you don't get enough sunlight. These lightbox devices give off light that mimics sunshine, which helps a lot to those living with SAD. Typically, after getting a lightbox, you'll have to sit in front of it for about a half an hour a day. It's best you do this within the first hour after waking up in the morning. This should result in a chemical change in your brain that will improve your mood and mitigate the symptoms of seasonal depression.
Similarly, many people with SAD tend to purchase dawn simulators. These gadgets are alarm clocks, but instead of blaring or playing loud music to wake you up, they emit light that gradually grows in intensity, much like the sun.
Keep A Journal
According to experts, keeping a daily journal or a daily planner is excellent for those struggling with seasonal depression because it helps them prioritize life's challenges and identify their depression triggers. When you journal, you release all your thoughts, feelings, and concerns on the page. So, set aside at least half an hour every day to write your journal. Write or draw whatever feels right; don't feel like it needs to look good - it's for your eyes only. It's best to do this at night so you can think clearly about everything that has transpired in the previous 24 hours. Moreover, after you have written everything down and got it out of your system - you should feel relieved and ready to sleep.
Consult Your Doctor
While changing your daily habits can certainly help maintain a healthy lifestyle and good mental health, sometimes that's not enough to combat seasonal depression. Sometimes, it's best to talk to an expert: your doctor.
Because it is a type of depression, seasonal affective disorder must be diagnosed by a mental health expert. Seeing a specialist if you have SAD can help you work through it. Moreover, they might prescribe you antidepressants if they think it would help you manage your seasonal depression. So, before going to your doctor, prepare for the fact that you might need to use the medication from autumn until spring.
Now more than ever, a home is more than just a home. For those starting a new business, home may be where your company is located. New business owners need a space that encapsulates all the necessary components: an office, storage, and ample living area. After work, entrepreneurs then need their home to be an ideal space to unwind and spend time with family and friends.
Business owners who are just starting can find a home that accommodates a space for living and working. One important consideration for new business owners is finding a place that will work in the long term as your business expands, as well as meeting the needs of your personal life. Real Life with Heather presents some tips you need to consider.
Determine Your Ideal-Home Criteria
When shopping for a home as a new business owner, create a checklist of your most important criteria. Staying focused on your needs is crucial as you shop for a house, and it can prevent you from getting swept away by the cosmetic details of a home that may not otherwise be practical. Jot down ideas you like, and even create a dream board of design elements to later incorporate into a home that suits your needs for living and working.
Consider the number of bedrooms you need, keeping in mind any plans for having children and providing ample room to play and work. It may also be wise to consider a guest room for family and friends who visit.
Business owners should also prioritize a home office. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need storage space for your supplies and a manufacturing area. If your business primarily takes place online, then you’ll need an internet connection that’s both speedy and reliable. In fact, internet speeds and availability may help determine where you’ll move.
Custom-Built Homes and Modulars
If you are having a difficult time finding a home that works for you, it may be time to think about having one custom-built. Weight the pros and cons of buying versus building a home. Some of the important considerations are timeframes, building costs, and land-prep fees. Home construction can be costly, but repairs and renovation fees to an existing structure can be pricey as well. It may be wise to consult a contractor and obtain estimates prior to deciding.
Modular homes are also popular choices among new homeowners in today’s market, and they can be completed much faster than a stick-built house. Shop around with varying modular dealers to identify setup fees and other costs. Whether you opt to build or go with a modular, there are many quality builders available. Once you have found your ideal home, the moving process begins. Many people dread moving, but there are ways to reduce the stress and create a plan that gets you into your new home without issue.
Create a Moving Strategy
One of the best steps you can take as you plan to move is to reach out to moving companies and hire professionals to assist you. Movers can be easily found online in your area in just a few keystrokes. Be sure to check out the ratings and rates of several movers prior to making any commitments.
As you pack your belongings, stick to an organizational strategy that will make your unpacking process simple. Declutter your home and get rid of unnecessary items prior to packing. Consider packing an hour each day, rather than swamping yourself with the task all at once.
If you take your time and stay organized, your moving process will be much smoother in the long run. Soon you will be settled into your new home-based business and living the life you have always envisioned. You can find your ideal home that meets the needs of your new business and personal life.
In today's edition of money making apps we're looking at ReceiptPal, yet another receipt submission app... as I've said before, I stack them in order to get the most reward back for each receipt so I have quite a few on my phone at the moment. In this app you upload receipts 4 to a card with each card being worth 100 points. If you fill all of the available cards in a given week you can enter extra receipts into the last card for sweepstakes entries or wait for the cards to refresh, so long as the receipts do not age past two weeks they can be entered on any cards available.
Recently the app has added Amazon, Kroger and a few other retailers to be able to connect and auto-upload receipts from online purchases in addition to the email connection option for e-receipts. This means that your online purchases get you points here whereas in some apps they still do not.
The website for ReceiptPal describes the app as follows:
ReceiptPal lets you earn gift cards and cash prizes, for submitting receipts.
Use ReceiptPal to snap your paper receipts, or connect your email or Amazon account, and you’ll earn points for every receipt.
You can redeem your points for gift cards from retailers. Plus, you’ll be automatically entered into weekly sweepstakes for cash prizes.
Redeeming points earns you Amazon gift cards in $5, $10, $25, $50 or $100 increments with a discount for larger gift cards. If you prefer entering a sweepstakes with your points you are also able to choose this option. Once you choose your reward an emailed gift card code is send to you to redeem on Amazon.
There isn't a referral link for this one but it was super easy for me to find on the app store and get started.
Until next time,
Keeping my costs down when it comes to groceries is important to me. But so is my time, and I certainly don't have a ton of that to spare these days- like most of you I imagine.
1. Keep an Inventory
Keeping a pantry and freezer inventory (link to video of how I do this) is an essential step so that you don't purchase items that you already own. I mean, who hasn't wondered if they have mustard at home and bought another one just in case only to return home and realize you have two already... just me? Ok then. It also helps with meal planning! For example, say that you take a look at your pantry inventory and realize that you have 6 ingredients that need to be used up in the next couple weeks before they expire. You can make sure to build your meal plan using those ingredients, as well as other ingredients that you already have, which means that you avoid food waste as well as lower your overall grocery bill because you may only need to purchase a handful of items for the week rather than a whole basket full. I personally use this system and even brought my mom around to using it last year. We love it so much that I recently created new trackers for us in some of our favorite colors and fonts so that we could match our kitchens rather than continuing to use the ones we have been using for the past year or so. If you are interested in taking a look at those they are available in single item "Extras" for a couple dollars each at my Buy Me a Coffee page and in a bundle on Etsy. The set that I ended up printing for myself was the green in script font.
2. Shop the Sales
Another great way to save money on groceries is to shop the sales. I'm sure everyone has heard this before but it is worth repeating, if you buy the same items again and again look for a good deal to come around and stock up. Using your inventory will help here because you'll know what your preferred amount to have on hand is compared to what you have at home. If an amazing sale on taco seasoning comes around you better believe I'm buying a bit extra but that will only save me a few dollars a month... the big savings comes with your meats. If you have a freezer put it to good use and fill it with sale finds (working it into the budget, of course) when they come around. And then build your meal plan around what you have rather than the other way around like most of us do.
One quick last note on this one: many people use methods to help stock up their pantries using this method. Buy 1 for now and 3 for later for instance... or 'when its on sale 20% less than normal I will buy double'. Find what works for your needs and goals.
3. Use Cash Back Apps
I've said this a million and one times I'm sure but I love a good cash back app. If I'm already spending money and I can get a small percentage back for 10 minutes of time a week while I'm watching TV you better believe I'm there. I have an entire set of folders on my phone dedicated to trying out apps for you guys to see if they are worth it or now. A couple months ago I made over $60 back in a single month! Not every month is that profitable of course but over the course of a year I can easily pay for a couple of my trips to the grocery store with the cash back and gift cards I receive from simple uploading receipts and clicking a few buttons.
4. Meal Plan
I've mentioned meal planning a few times so I'm sure that you saw it coming, but... meal plan y'all. Meal planning, and following your plan, saves you money both on the front end like I mentioned before- less purchasing- but also during the implementation time, during the week when things get crazy.
Have your schedule with you when you sit down to decide what you are making this week. If you aren't going to have time to cook on Tuesday then perhaps it would be a good day to use leftovers or a pre-prepared meal that you have in your freezer. If you know that Thursdays are the day you typically cave to eating out then plan to have one of your favorites on Thursday so that you are more likely to get home and have that meal rather than eat out.
Having a couple of pre-prepared favorites in the freezer for days that just don't go as planned is a great idea. Some people like to have frozen pizzas, homemade taco filling (my fav personally) or burgers. Fast, simple and delicious- having favs already made makes it easier to skip not so great for you- or your budget- fast food delivery.
5. Plan for Leftovers
Last but least, for today, is leftovers. The often dreaded and maligned food that didn't get eaten the day before. Not all of us love leftovers but most of us have them from time to time sitting in the fridge. I'm going to suggest having them on purpose though and even repurposing them into other meals. For example, if you are having fajitas on Monday then make extra to have quesadillas on Tuesday or Wednesday. If you make grilled chicken salads on Thursday then use that extra from your double batch to turn into buffalo chicken stuffed peppers on Friday night. And I haven't even talked about lunches- so many things that we have for dinner can be eaten the next day as lunch with minimal extra effort but with a totally different taste profile. That chicken from before could also have been Greek kabobs on the grill at night and then turned into a chicken Caesar wrap for lunch the next day. Save the food waste- and save a ton of time as well- by planning for leftovers.
I hope that I was able to give you a few ideas that you may not have thought of before. If you have more ideas, let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear them!
Until next time,
In today's edition of money making apps we're looking at Receipt Pal, another receipt submission app. This app makes it easy to submit receipts, simply click the camera icon, snap a photo of the receipt and you're good to go. You will need to show who the purchase was for- one person, a group, or etc. and give the interaction between 1 and 5 stars. Occasionally this will be substituted with a survey question. You earn sweepstakes tickets for each week you upload at least once as well as for certain types of receipts. You also earn an entry for each receipt that you upload and can earn slots pulls for additional tickets as well.
Outside of sweepstakes entries you also earn coins for each receipt. The number of coins is dependent upon the amount of your purchase from the receipt.
Under $10: 5 coins
Between $10 and $50: 10 coins
Between $50 and $100: 15 coins
Over $100: 20 coins
You can redeem for Amazon gift cards as well as cash out with PayPal or a Visa gift card. In April I chose to get an Amazon gift card to go towards a larger purchase I was making. The process was simple to redeem.
If you use a referral link then you receive bonus points upon sign up, helping you get to your first gift card all that much faster. If you are interested in using my code it is: SMUR5412
Untl next time,
Photo Credit: Rawpixel
Think estate planning is only for seniors? Well, estate planning can be just as smart for you as it is for your parents and grandparents. That’s because the point of creating an estate plan is to protect your loved ones from the undue stress of having to make decisions and foot financial obligations when they are also dealing with their feelings of grief over losing you. Wondering where to start? Real Life with Heather shares some crucial estate planning steps every adult needs to take.
Buying Burial Insurance
If you want to save your parents or other loved ones from having to cover your end-of-life costs, you should consider buying burial insurance. Burial insurance tends to be fairly budget-friendly and provides benefits that can offset funeral expenses and help out with debts, including personal loans and hospital bills. You should determine what all your final arrangements will entail and how much you need to protect your family.
Purchasing Life Insurance
Burial insurance provides basic financial protection and can benefit just about anyone. If you have larger debts or a family who depends on you for income or care, CNBC suggests you really should be researching life insurance as well. The larger payouts that come with standard life insurance can help with mortgages and other major expenses, plus your policy will likely be cheaper.
Planning Their Own Funerals
If you want to ensure that your life insurance or burial insurance funds will cover funeral costs for your loved ones, then you also need to plan your own funeral, notes The Motley Fool. This may seem like a stressful task but using an online guide can help keep you focused and objective. Once your plans are laid out, you should share them with a trusted friend or loved one, to ensure they are honored.
Appointing Legal Guardians
Parents need to think even more seriously about estate planning. One of the most crucial steps parents can take to protect their children is to appoint legal guardians/conservators. This will ensure that kids do not end up with family members they do not know or even in the foster system. Have furry kids in your family? You should appoint caregivers for your pets as well so that you will know they are taken care of even if the unthinkable should happen to you.
Planning for Long-Term Care
Having a plan for long-term care can be crucial for your well-being, whether you’re in assisted living or a nursing facility. Many younger people choose to purchase long-term care insurance to help offset the costs. It’s never too early to research facilities and their costs to get an idea about potential expenses. Senior Care offers pricing information on several Dallas-based skilled nursing facilities.
Drafting a Last Will and Testament
When you need to appoint guardians or caretakers for your pets and children, AARP points out that you typically include those details in your last will and testament. This is a legal document that ensures your last wishes are carried out after your death, and your will should also include other provisions regarding your estate. For example, if you have any personal property or assets, you can use your will to divide them among your friends, family members, or even charities.
Completing Advance Directives
Because your friends and family members can also be faced with making decisions about your medical care during an emergency, you should also include advanced medical directives in your estate and end-of-life planning. Decisions to be made include whether you would like to be resuscitated, donate organs or stay connected to life support systems. These directives require a physician before they can be honored, but you will also need to assign a power of attorney. And as with many of these steps, it’s important to discuss these matters with a lawyer.
Organizing Financial Papers
Last but not least, if you have any documents regarding bank accounts, personal info, life insurance policies or passwords for essential accounts, you should make sure these papers are kept organized and in a safe location. Also, make sure that a close family member or friend will have access to these documents in the event of your passing so that they can take care of any crucial business. Taking this important planning step can save your loved ones a lot of stress.
Estate planning may seem like a waste of time when you feel like you have your whole life ahead of you. The truth is that you can never predict when the unthinkable will impact you and your family. So, protect them by checking estate planning off of your to-do list.
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