addictions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10039/all en-US The Joy of Disconnecting http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-disconnecting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-joy-of-disconnecting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6993599872_9e75b43870_z.jpg" alt="smartphone" title="smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;ve heard the horror stories in the news &mdash; &ldquo;Teen Racks Up Multi-Thousand Dollar Phone Bill&rdquo; or &ldquo;Video Game Enthusiast Dies in 24+ Hour Gaming Marathon.&rdquo; Of course these are extreme examples, but the fact remains that we are obsessed with our technological devices. From phones and tablets to computers and gaming consoles, those of us living in the Digital Age are practically addicted to our electronics.</p> <p>Indeed &mdash; <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-bootcamp/200907/techno-addicts">an&nbsp;article from Psychology Today</a> points out that when we browse our favorite websites or receive a text message, we get a boost of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical is responsible for the pleasurable feeling or &ldquo;rush&rdquo; we get, and it inadvertently feeds our addiction to our devices.</p> <p>Some experts argue that this dopamine rush can make an addiction to electronics as powerful as an addiction to alcohol or gambling. Combined with our collective mindset that technology isn&rsquo;t really a bad thing (and thus, not an addiction worth worrying about), this makes the push to disconnect from our devices all the more important.</p> <p>But if your life <em>isn&rsquo;t </em>negatively affected by the constant use of electronic tech, why should you bother using it less? Well, let&rsquo;s examine the joys of disconnecting (and how to do it!). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work">How to Stay Focused at Work</a>)</p> <h2>Productivity Boost</h2> <p>With the rise of smartphones in the past couple of years, we have acquired the ability to stay connected to both our phone contacts and social media accounts at any hour of the day, almost anywhere in the country. This instantaneousness has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps">made us more impatient</a>, less willing to wait more than a few seconds for something to load or another person to return your message.</p> <p>Not only that, but we&rsquo;ve become more distracted &mdash; One new email! New text! Twitter update! Friend&rsquo;s-name-here posted on your wall! &mdash; and lost a major life skill in the process, the ability to concentrate on a project for a long period of time. In turn, this leads to a significant loss in productivity, where an hour-long task now takes two hours because you paused to text your friend or colleague back and lost track of time once the conversation took off.</p> <p>Disconnecting &mdash; even if just for an hour or two per day to start &mdash; would allow you to get more done in a shorter amount of time, leaving you free to converse with your friends, catch up on news, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">watch TV</a> later.</p> <h2>Road Safety</h2> <p>Speaking of distractions, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymagid/2012/06/10/cdc-study-too-many-teens-text-while-driving/">an&nbsp;article in Forbes</a> points out the dangers of texting while driving (according to a recent CDC study):</p> <ul> <li>In 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Among those killed or injured in the crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injured included cell phone use as the major distraction.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nearly 33% of teenaged drivers nationwide have admitted to texting or emailing while behind the wheel.</li> </ul> <p>There are laws in many states against texting while driving, but just as speeding tickets don&rsquo;t stop people from going well above the speed limit, anti-texting laws aren&rsquo;t particularly effective in stopping people from texting while driving.</p> <p>Again, disconnecting can help prevent more of these tragic accidents (it&rsquo;s as easy as pulling over or waiting until you arrive at your destination to send or read a text).</p> <h2>Self-Reliance vs. Techno-Laziness</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s one thing to start using iPads in classrooms to cut back on textbook costs; it&rsquo;s a whole other thing to allow computers to diminish our critical thinking abilities, both in school and in the workplace. Calculators have been around for years (and now they&rsquo;re pre-installed apps on our smartphones), but that&rsquo;s no excuse to rely completely on technology to do our math for us.</p> <p>Taking a break from tech every once in a while would prevent our society from becoming like those dystopian Hollywood flicks, where robots do everything for us and any glitch in the system leaves humanity in the dark (OK, maybe not that extreme, but the &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what to do&rdquo; panic after a technological failure is undeniably commonplace today).</p> <h2>How to Disconnect</h2> <p>So maybe you&rsquo;re not sold on the idea of ditching your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">phone, laptop, and other electronics</a> (it&rsquo;s okay; neither am I). But making a conscious effort to occasionally turn off your phone (or at least put it on silent &mdash; especially in movie theaters, for the sake of the audience members around you) can do wonders for both your state of mind and daily productivity. While driving, perhaps leave it in the glove compartment so you won&rsquo;t know whether you received a text until you&rsquo;re off the road.</p> <p>For Facebook (or other social media sites) addicts, <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji">StayFocused</a> is an incredible app for temporarily blocking certain websites while you&rsquo;re trying to work on the computer. Using this app means you can&rsquo;t access your favorite websites until the time is up, forcing you to stay focused on the task.</p> <p><em>How do you stay disconnected? Can you think of any other benefits of turning off the tech for a while? Tell us in the comment section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-disconnecting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-signal-5-quick-ways-to-boost-your-cell-phone-reception-updated">No Signal? 6 Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Reception</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals">10 Productivity Tips for IT Professionals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-lower-your-cell-phone-bill">5 Painless Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-stop-computer-distractions-and-help-you-stay-on-task">6 Tools That Stop Computer Distractions and Help You Stay on Task</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology addictions cell phones distraction relaxing Fri, 10 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 948717 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Couples Fight Over Money and What to Do About It http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/why couples fight.jpg" alt="fight" title="fight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="228" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">There is no denying that financial matters lay at the root of many – if not most – couples’ problems. While some openly communicate about the issues at hand, more couples yet don’t even recognize exactly what the problems are and thus allow a bad problem to worsen, and in some cases, culminate in a break-up or <a href="/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house" target="_blank">divorce</a>. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are some of the issues that cause friction in our romances, and what to do about them before they blossom into a host of irrevocable thorny problems. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Financial Inequality</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">It is rare that both parties in a relationship meet at exactly the same financial period in their lives, earn exactly the same money, have exactly the same savings and debts, and can build their lives together on exactly the same page. So it stands to reason that financial inequality can be the root of resentment and even jealousy. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">One person can be left feeling that they have contributed everything to a one-sided relationship, and the other may feel unworthy of their better-off partner. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="MsoPlainText"><strong>What to do about it</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Creating a life together boils down to more than plain dollars and cents. If you are in this for the long run, then who brings what to the table is essentially irrelevant. Maybe one spouse earns more money, but the other likely adds value in non-monetary fashions. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If you wish to keep your <a href="/separate-bank-accounts-till-death-or-banking-do-we-part" target="_blank">finances separate</a>, then invoking prenuptial agreements may be a way for each spouse to feel more self-justified and protected from the other’s assets (or lack thereof). </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Management Madness</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">One member of your team may be more adept at managing the day-to-day finances better than the other. Thus that person could naturally find themselves saddled with paying the bills, the mortgage, and making sure all the piles of pennies add up at the end of the day. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">This can create a sense of unwilling burden on the person who manages the finances, while making the other partner feel uninformed and locked out of their financial life. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="MsoPlainText"><strong>What to do about it</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Capitalizing on strengths and weaknesses is an ideal way to manage a relationship overall. But in order for both people to feel comfortable with the finances, both need to be informed even if one person still does all the financial legwork. Try having a financial meeting once a month to review the finances, and to make any necessary decisions about expenditures. If desired, write a list of financial tasks and allocate them between the two of you accordingly. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Either way, make sure that you have all your accounts, passwords and pins, and other financial details written down somewhere. That way if something happens to one partner, the other is not left in the dark as to how to even begin maintaining the finances. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Addiction</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Vices can be the most destructive on a relationship – financially and otherwise. Addictions like alcohol, gambling, <a href="/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap" target="_blank">shopping</a>, or even compulsive cheapness can be devastating in the long run. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="MsoPlainText"><strong>What to do about it</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Depending on the level and type of addiction, more often than not this won’t be something you can deal with on your own. Addictions often require outside help, be it an intervention, counseling, or even just a trusted friend with perspective. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Financial Abuse</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">As an extreme version of the inequality issue, financial abuse occurs when one spouse uses money as a way to control or manipulate their partner. This is especially prevalent in situations where one spouse works full-time and the other works simply part-time or stays home with the children. The lower income-earning spouse may contribute more than sufficiently to the relationship in other ways, but may still be made to feel less worthy and degraded in asking for money to manage the household or live on. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="MsoPlainText"><strong>What to do about it</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">This is another sticky situation that may require outside help. Incidences of financial abuse usually stem from a previous history of abuse, whether financial or otherwise. The abuser likely doesn’t realize what they are doing, and the abused may compound the situation if they have a similar history which leaves them predisposed to that set of circumstances. Financial counseling is the way to get around these issues. Even if the abused person seeks help by themselves, they may be able to learn coping mechanisms that can keep the relationship alive. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Money makes not only the world go ‘round, but also a relationship. Joining two lives is no small matter, and when money is involved (as it inevitably is), so too is a set of heightened emotions, previously programmed actions and reactions, and two entirely different financial histories. Marrying the two (literally or figuratively) requires lots of communication, dedication, and willingness of both parties to learn, change, and adapt. If possible, try to make it enjoyable and positive – it will make the hard times (and yes, there will be hard times) much easier to deal with. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score">7 Reasons You Are More Than Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-personal-finance-info-should-you-share">How Much Personal Finance Info Should You Share?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder-5-ways-to-spend-less-and-love-more">Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Love More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle addictions fighting about money fighting over money financial abuse financial inequality financial manipulation relationships Thu, 13 Nov 2008 01:12:34 +0000 Nora Dunn 2580 at http://www.wisebread.com