Health and Beauty http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4803/all en-US How to Simplify Your Life to Avoid Decision Fatigue http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_with_crossed_hands.jpg" alt="Smiling woman with crossed hands" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm having some remodeling done at my house, and you'd think the hardest part of that would be the volume of the hammering and drilling. But in fact, the worst part is the volume of the decisions I'm called upon to make &mdash; from the contractor stopping by to ask where I want the plumbing for the future sink, to the designer emailing me about tile choices. It feels like, if I'm interrupted enough times with these small decisions, I have no energy left for work or budgeting or for my family.</p> <p>I'm not alone. Decision fatigue is a very real phenomenon. The theory is that the brain only has so much decision-making juice each day, and once we've used it up, we're less able to make good choices.</p> <p>For me and my project, one way to avoid decision fatigue has been to outsource as many of the choices as possible to a designer. Whenever she presents me with a few choices, if one doesn't stand out immediately, I ask her, &quot;What do you think?&quot; Being a designer with an eye for that kind of thing, she usually has an answer and I feel confident that the new bathroom will look great.</p> <p>There are other ways to simplify your life to fight decision fatigue. Let's look at some tactics.</p> <h2>1. Wear a uniform</h2> <p>Steve Jobs did it with his famous closet full of black mock turtlenecks. To an extent, so did President Barack Obama; he told <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2012/10/michael-lewis-profile-barack-obama" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a> that he only wore blue or gray suits, saying, &quot;I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.&quot;</p> <p>Sure, a uniform works for an iconic leader, but will it work in an ordinary office, where the same people see you day in and day out? Many workers are saying yes; wearing the same thing &mdash; or a variation on the same outfit &mdash; every day is becoming a trend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everyday Habits of Wealthy People</a>)</p> <h2>2. Preplan your menu</h2> <p>How many times have you dropped by a co-worker's desk to ask if they wanted to go to lunch, and ended up wasting 20 minutes discussing <em>where </em>to go? Or stood in front of the refrigerator 30 minutes before dinner trying to figure out what to make?</p> <p>Whether you're a takeout person or a home cook who packs every lunch, planning meals in advance can make the day easier. During a difficult stretch when my three kids were small and my husband had to move to California ahead of the rest of the family, I instituted a rotating schedule that called for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Whole Wheat Wednesday, Thoughtless Thursday, and Frozen Pizza Friday. Having a rough idea of what I'd be cooking each evening saved my mental energy for the decision-heavy online househunting I did each night after the kids were in bed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>3. Set investments on autopilot</h2> <p>How to invest retirement savings is one of the most irksome decisions many of us face. There are a few ways to avoid having to make constant decisions on this, such as putting your account in the hands of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=internal" target="_blank">professional adviser</a>, using one of the newer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers?ref=internal" target="_blank">robo investing services</a>, or putting your money into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-easiest-way-to-save-for-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">target date mutual funds</a>. I met with an hourly financial adviser who recommended the last solution, and it suits me fine, since rebalancing and choosing investments with the appropriate level of risk for my timeline are done for me.</p> <h2>4. Put staples on automatic delivery</h2> <p>I used to be a coupon lady, spending hours each week hunting for the absolute cheapest price for laundry detergent or cereal. Although I still enjoy a deal &mdash; as funds have become less tight but time has gotten scarcer for me &mdash; I have shifted a lot of my regular purchases to Amazon Subscribe and Save. This is an especially powerful brain saver for products that we might regret forgetting, such as flea drops for the pets, and toilet paper.</p> <h2>5. Delegate decisions</h2> <p>Whether at work or at home, it's tempting to reign supreme over your domain. Let it go. Not only will you be more effective and less drained if you bestow some decision making power on assistants, children, and husbands, but you'll be helping them develop their own skills and abilities.</p> <p>The most important thing when delegating, in my experience, is to accept the outcome, even if it isn't what you would have chosen. For instance, if you let your spouse plan the vacation because you're too busy, you don't get to complain that you're visiting too many art museums once you get there.</p> <h2>6. Do less</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive in the scope of productivity, but some of the little tasks and decisions that sap our brainpower aren't all that important. Skip joining that task force at work, don't schedule a getaway for every single three-day weekend, and reduce shopping trips. Having fewer tasks and activities naturally leads to having fewer decisions to make.</p> <h2>7. Have a go-to gift</h2> <p>Your kid has two birthday parties coming up this weekend, and you're in the toy store discussing with your child whether they'd rather give their friends a Lego set or a board game. Or, you need a hostess present for a dinner party you're going to, but you have no time to even think about what to bring. While it's lovely to give gifts that show how well you know the recipient, a high quality gift that works for almost everyone, such as a little-known-but-fun game for all your kid's friends, or a gourmet food item from your region for adults, can be a godsend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-kids-gifts-that-wont-rot-their-brains?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Affordable Kids' Gifts That Won't Rot Their Brains</a>)</p> <h2>8. Make a schedule</h2> <p>I work from home, and this means I sometimes find myself wandering from task to task, from laundry to bookkeeping to writing to making a grocery list, without finishing anything. I haven't mastered this myself, but organized people who sit down and sketch out their workday and/or personal time say it helps them feel calmer, get more done, and avoid shirking things they're tempted to skip, such as exercising or cleaning out their inbox. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take public transit</h2> <p>Have you ever thought of how many little decisions you have to make while driving, especially if traffic is heavy? If you change lanes, will you be able to get around the slow truck a few cars up? Should you take the toll road or the country road? Can you make it to your destination without gassing up? Where will you park?</p> <p>Riding the bus or train might be less comfortable than sitting in your own car, but it can offer a wonderful lack of responsibility as you get on, sit down, and put on your headphones, knowing that the trip is now out of your hands.</p> <h2>10. Cut yourself some slack</h2> <p>Let yourself read a good novel on your lunch break, put off answering those last few emails, or even cave in and get the jelly doughnut you're trying not to think about. Decision fatigue can also be seen as self control fatigue, as we only have so many mental resources to constantly make those good choices. And if you let yourself make a &quot;less good&quot; choice once in awhile when it comes to having fun or indulging yourself, maybe you'll still have enough brainpower left after work to stick to your grocery budget or pay the bills on time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue">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/5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money">5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money</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/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</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/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</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/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth">5 Reasons Stealth Wealth Is the Best Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle daily habits daily routines decision fatigue eliminate choices personal wardrobe saving money Spending Money Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2105465 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/approved_medicare_application_form.jpg" alt="Approved Medicare application form" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're nearing retirement age, you probably know the gist of what Medicare does. The federal social program provides health insurance coverage to those age 65 or older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities. But do you know the specifics of each part of Medicare?</p> <p>According to the 2017 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, only 8 percent of retirees are very confident about the future of Medicare benefits. This may be due to a lack of information about the various parts of the program and what each one of them offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</a>)</p> <p>Let's break down each of the Medicare parts.</p> <h2>Medicare Part A (hospital insurance)</h2> <p>Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), hospice care, and some home health care. It covers hospital services, including semiprivate rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment, and other hospital services and supplies.</p> <p>Once you reach age 65, you usually don't pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage as long as you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. This is known as &quot;premium-free Part A.&quot; Those under age 65 may also qualify for premium-free Part A if they have a disability or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).</p> <p>For workers who paid fewer than 30 quarters of Medicare taxes, the standard Part A premium for 2018 is $422 per month. For those who paid 30 to 39 quarters of Medicare taxes, the standard Part A premium is $232 per month.</p> <p>It's important to understand that Part A coverage is the bare minimum in terms of health coverage and that you should plan to supplement this coverage with the additional parts of Medicare. Generally, you're only responsible for one deductible (about $1,340) for each benefit period and no coinsurance for hospital stays under 60 days per benefit period.</p> <h2>Medicare Part B (medical insurance)</h2> <p>This is medical insurance that covers doctors' appointments and many other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A. In most cases, you'll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. You'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday (or your 25th month of getting disability benefits).</p> <p>Part B helps pay for necessary services and supplies to treat your medical condition, as well as preventive services to detect or prevent illness at an early stage. Most preventive services have no cost as long as you get them from a health care provider accepting the amount that Medicare approves for payment. Part B includes payments for clinical research, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and a second opinion before surgery.</p> <p>For 2018, the standard premium for Part B is $134 (and may be higher depending on your income). If you collect Social Security benefits, your premium may be slightly reduced.</p> <p>Since Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium even if you don't use it, you should consider delaying Part B if you're still receiving coverage through an employer group health insurance plan. Talk with your health plan administrator to learn more about how to delay Part B (and even Part A) without paying a penalty when enrolling later.</p> <p>Medicare coverage depends on federal and state laws. Use this <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/your-medicare-coverage.html" target="_blank">Medicare Coverage tool</a> to find if Medicare Part A and Part B will cover your test, item, or service. Note that there are certain things that Part A and Part B (also known together as &quot;Original Medicare&quot;) will not cover. For example, Original Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids and exams, eye exams, and most dental care. Part C and Part D can help you cover those gaps.</p> <h2>Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans)</h2> <p>Americans enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B are also eligible to sign up for health coverage plans, known as Medicare Advantage plans, with private health carriers approved by Medicare. The primary benefit of Part C is that you get a wider choice of medical providers and a more comprehensive prescription drug coverage. When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue paying your Part B premium.</p> <p>There are different types of Medicare Advantage plans:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans: You generally must get your care and services from providers within the plan's network. Some HMO plans may allow you to get a referral from your primary care doctor for an out-of-network provider.</p> </li> <li> <p>Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans: You pay less as long as you use the doctors, hospitals, and health care providers within the plan's network and pay more when using those outside the network. Unlike an HMO, you're not required to choose a primary care doctor and you don't need a referral to see a specialist.</p> </li> <li> <p>Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans: The main difference between a PFFS and other plans is that the insurance company, not Medicare, determines how much the provider receives and the beneficiary pays for a covered health service. PFFS plans offer flexibility but often at a higher cost.</p> </li> <li> <p>Special Needs Plans (SNPs) plans: An SNP is only available to individuals with specific diseases or characteristics, including cancer, dementia, diabetes mellitus, or end-stage liver diseases. Benefits are tailored to the specific needs of that condition.</p> </li> <li> <p>HMO Point of Service (HMOPOS) plans: An HMOPOS plan allows you to get some services out-of-network for a higher cost.</p> </li> <li> <p>Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans: Plans that combine a high deductible health plan with a bank account into which Medicare makes deposits to pay for health care services throughout the year.</p> </li> </ul> <p>To enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx" target="_blank">Medicare Plan Finder</a> to search for plans in your ZIP code (for personalized search, use your Medicare number).</p> </li> <li> <p>Enroll in your selected plan by mailing an enrollment form, calling the plan administrator, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).</p> </li> </ul> <p>When joining a Part C plan, you'll need your Medicare number and start date of Part A and/or Part B coverage.</p> <h2>Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)</h2> <p>To help Americans with the rising cost of prescription drugs, the Social Security Administration established Medicare Part D in 2003. Like Medicare Part C, Part D is provided by private health insurance companies approved by Medicare. To enroll in Part D, you must have signed up for Part A and/or Part B. Deductibles and covered medications vary per plan. You are first eligible to sign up for Part D coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which typically takes place during the same seven-month window as your IEP for Original Medicare (Parts A and B).</p> <p>Medicare Part D is also available to those with Part C, though some Medicare Advantage plans may already provide prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage are sometimes referred to as &quot;MA-PDs.&quot; HMO and PPO plans often include some prescription drug coverage, while PFFS and MSA plans often require additional drug coverage through Medicare Part D.</p> <p>Make sure to check your eligibility for your drug coverage from other organizations, such as Department of Veterans Affairs, workplace union, or TRICARE before signing up for a Part C or Part D plan. You use the same process to enroll in a Part D plan as you would for Part C.</p> <h2>The bottom line: Keep informed</h2> <p>You have unique medical needs. That is why Medicare offers a wide range of options for medical coverage. As you get closer to retirement age, keep on top of the latest developments of Medicare and its different parts so you can minimize your medical expenses. To learn more, use this <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/contacts/#findsomeone" target="_blank">directory to find Medicare contacts</a> using your state and organization or topic of interest.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare">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/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</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/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</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/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</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/health-insurance-two-other-numbers-to-look-at">Health insurance: Two other numbers to look at</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/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay">How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty Insurance coverage drugs health insurance medicare medicare part a medicare part b medicare part c medicare part d plans prescription retirement Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Damian Davila 2104316 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Everyday Routines of Wealthy People http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_doing_yoga_in_office.jpg" alt="Businesswoman doing yoga in office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you end each day binge-watching TV until the wee hours, or you drink a kale smoothie before hitting the hay promptly at 10 p.m., your daily routine will certainly affect your ability to achieve your goals.</p> <p>In fact, many famous and wealthy individuals claim that their daily routines are the driving force behind their success. That's why it's a great idea to learn how trailblazers and top-earners structure their days so you can figure out which of their routines will help set you up for success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-beyonc?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Beyoncé</a>)</p> <h2>1. Wake up early</h2> <p>While hitting the snooze button until 20 minutes before you absolutely have to leave for work may feel a little more comfortable than jumping out of bed at 5:30 a.m., this habitual procrastination may be costing you. Not only are you more likely to forget something important in your rush out the door, but you start your day already feeling like you're behind and out of control. It's difficult to start tackling work when you're still rubbing sleep out of your eyes, am I right?</p> <p>This is why nearly 50 percent of wealthy individuals get up at least three hours before their workday starts, according to Tom Corley, author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2HcItzA" target="_blank">Change Your Habits, Change Your Life</a>. Having that extra time in the morning gives you the opportunity to plan your day, exercise, or work on a side project &mdash; all of which will help you get in the right frame of mind to get to work once you get to the office.</p> <h2>2. Exercise</h2> <p>We all know that we should be exercising, but just because we know that breaking a sweat is necessary for good health doesn't mean we do it. However, Corley found that 76 percent of wealthy people make sure they spend 30 minutes or more every day on aerobic exercise.</p> <p>These successful individuals recognize that their physical health is the cornerstone of all of their success. You cannot work toward your goals if you're sick. In addition, according to <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110" target="_blank">Harvard Medical School</a>, aerobic exercise such as walking, running, biking, or swimming improves both thinking and memory. This means that making sure daily exercise is part of your routine can help you to work smarter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sneak-more-exercise-into-your-busy-schedule?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Sneak More Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule</a>)</p> <h2>3. Eliminate choices</h2> <p>How many times have you stood in front of your bulging closet wondering what to wear to work that day? While it may seem like a luxury to have lots of choices, it can often lead to decision fatigue, which is when you use up your brain's limited bandwidth on several smaller daily decisions, making it that much harder for you to figure out the right choice on bigger decisions.</p> <p>This is why many wealthy individuals have voluntarily chosen to eliminate decisions in their day. For instance, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits to owning 20 identical gray T-shirts so that he doesn't have to think about what to wear each morning. Similarly, Apple's Steve Jobs was famous for his uniform of black turtleneck and jeans. Adhering to these personal uniforms allowed these extremely influential men to focus their attention where it belongs &mdash; on the growth of their products.</p> <p>Similarly, many successful people choose to eat the same foods each day so they aren't tempted to stray from a healthy or inexpensive diet. This lack of choice means there is no chance of agonizing over whether or not to have pizza for lunch, since the decision has already been made. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a>)</p> <h2>4. Meditate</h2> <p>Zoning out while playing Candy Crush may feel like a sort of Zen state while you're in the midst of a game, but it's hardly going to offer you the kind of stress-reducing relaxation that meditation can.</p> <p>For one thing, you'll never fall prey to an in-app purchase in a moment of weakness while meditating. For another, meditation offers everything from improved cognitive functioning, creative thinking, and productivity, to better physical health &mdash; none of which you'll get from a rousing round of smartphone gaming.</p> <p>This is why hugely successful individuals like Oprah Winfrey and Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio make sure to include meditation in their daily routines. The daily mindfulness practice helps these wealthy individuals to keep their minds clear and focused. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a>)</p> <h2>5. Read</h2> <p>Reading has a number of excellent brain benefits, and incorporating a routine of reading a book at bedtime is far better for your sleep health than scrolling through Facebook or Instagram on your phone.</p> <p>But before you pick up the latest crime thriller or romance novel, consider what kind of reading is going to do the most to help improve your life. According to Corley, 85 percent of wealthy individuals read at least 30 minutes each day for self-improvement. That means they pick up books that will help them to achieve more or help them overcome bad habits, rather than reading solely for entertainment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Books to Read for a Better Money Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>Create a wealthy life</h2> <p>Having a beneficial daily routine is not a shortcut to riches. Instead, it helps foster the proper circumstances you need in your life to reach your goals and live the life you want.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people">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/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</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-ways-to-age-well-for-0">10 Ways to Age Well for $0</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/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</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/6-inspiring-quotes-about-money-from-successful-women">6 Inspiring Quotes About Money From Successful Women</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/10-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Health and Beauty Lifestyle celebrities everyday routines Facebook healthy habits lifestyles of the rich and famous morning routines success wealthy Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2104312 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_running_shoes_613347974.jpg" alt="Woman investing in health with running shoes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you invest in your health and live a healthy lifestyle, you could not only prevent diseases, but also save a ton of money along the way. However, investing in your health can feel daunting. Gym memberships can be expensive, healthy food feels like it costs an arm and a leg, and it's hard to know which investments will pay off and which ones will just suck your money down the drain. Here are some ways you can invest in your health without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Comfortable running shoes</h2> <p>Get yourself fitted at a running store and buy the pair of shoes that fits best. If you really want to save, note the brand and the size you're looking for and check to see if it's cheaper online. Paying the store price is a good way to return the favor of the work they do sizing you, so check to see if they'll match the price you found online if it's cheaper.</p> <p>Then set yourself a running goal and establish a regular routine. It costs nothing to run through your neighborhood or on the local high school track. Make it more fun by running with a buddy or joining a running meetup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-women-s-running-shoes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Women&rsquo;s Running Shoes</a>)</p> <p>If running isn&rsquo;t your thing, try walking. Again, get yourself fitted for a proper pair of shoes and establish a regular routine several times a week. As your fitness improves, you can increase your distance. And walking is another activity that doesn&rsquo;t have to cost a dime.</p> <h2>2. Incorporate exercise naturally</h2> <p>If don't have much time for workouts each day, find ways to incorporate little bits of exercise into things you already do. Take the stairs, park in the back of the lot, clean your house regularly &mdash; these adjustments add up and keep your body moving. It won't cost you a dime to park farther away or to take the stairs whenever possible, but it will cost you some time. It's still an investment that's absolutely worthwhile. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a>)</p> <h2>3. Walk or bike to work</h2> <p>If it's feasible for you, consider walking or biking to work (at least when it's warm enough to do so). This saves you money on gas and vehicle maintenance, and it also helps you get exercise in.</p> <p>A bonus reason to walk or bike to work is so you can incorporate a time during the day when you can de-stress. Focus on what's in front of you, on the road and on your body, and the stress and strain of daily life will pass right by. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-you-swap-your-car-for-a-bike?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You Swap Your Car for a Bike</a>)</p> <h2>4. Buy seasonal produce</h2> <p>Produce can be expensive, especially if you occasionally let it sit too long in your fridge and it goes bad. Instead of buying whatever is in the store, though, try to buy veggies that are in-season in your area. Seasonal veggies are usually cheaper than imported ones, since there's less packing and transit involved in getting them to you. This also gives you a chance to try foods you don't always eat, which makes eating healthy interesting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Offseason Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Shop the frozen aisle for fruit and veggies</h2> <p>If you don't like what's available seasonally, or you live in a place where winters are long and there's not much growing around you, shop the frozen fruit and vegetable aisle. New flash freezing procedures allow this produce to keep most of its nutrients when frozen, so you won't have to skimp on taste or quality. You can even get convenient single-serving or single-meal packs that microwave quickly, so there's never an excuse to go without your veggies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-veggie-noodle-dishes-that-will-make-you-forget-about-pasta?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Veggie Noodle Dishes That Will Make You Forget About Pasta</a>)</p> <h2>6. Purchase meat from local ranchers</h2> <p>Buying meat straight from the farmer is a practice that has grown in popularity over the last few years, to the point that it's available at weekend farmers markets in most major metropolitan areas. When you buy from a farmer, you can often choose the cuts of meat you want and how you want it packaged. If you're looking for organic and/or grass-fed meat, you can usually find that, too. Since you pay a single amount per pound, this is often cheaper than buying meat in the store, especially if you like steaks and roasts.</p> <h2>7. Get regular checkups</h2> <p>Going to the doctor is a pain. I get it. You can't always see the doctor right when you need to, and god knows those waiting rooms deliver on their name. But not going at all can mean missing some major health problems when they can still be easily treated or cured. Many health insurance plans cover preventive care completely, or at a higher rate than other treatments. It's important to see your doctor and dentist once a year, in order to make sure your health is solid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">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/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer">11 Easy Ways to Fix Your Whole Life This Summer</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/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</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/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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/4-vacation-destinations-where-eating-healthy-is-surprisingly-cheap">4 Vacation Destinations Where Eating Healthy Is Surprisingly Cheap</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/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty exercise health tips healthy eating healthy lifestyle healthy living investment self-care Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2103341 at http://www.wisebread.com Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Work in Your Downtime http://www.wisebread.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_woman_in_the_office.jpg" alt="Tired woman in the office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans are known workaholics. We rarely bat an eye at working more than 40 hours per week, or skipping a few vacation days for the year, or answering emails from home on a Saturday.</p> <p>Working when we should be unwinding helps us get stuff done, right? Not really. In fact, while you might feel like you&rsquo;re &ldquo;getting ahead,&rdquo; you may actually be harming yourself, your company, and the U.S. economy. And when you think of it that way, it&rsquo;s pretty much your patriotic duty to close your laptop and turn on Stranger Things, stat.</p> <p>Here are the main reasons working during your off hours is bad for you.</p> <h2>1. It can ruin your career in the long run</h2> <p>Working more than 40 hours a week can lead to burnout, pushing you to leave your job sooner than you planned. A 2017 survey by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace showed that human resources professionals cited burnout &mdash; with after-hours work as one of the leading causes &mdash; as the top reason for employee turnover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Signs You're Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a>)</p> <h2>2. It makes you less productive</h2> <p>Many studies have shown that overtime hours are less productive than regular hours. It&rsquo;s not a new idea; Henry Ford is reported to have cut his employees&rsquo; workweek down to 40 hours in order to maximize productivity. An analysis published by the International Game Developers Association posited that &ldquo;at approximately eight 60-hour weeks, the total work done is the same as what would have been done in eight 40-hour weeks.&rdquo; They would know; the video game industry is famous for subjecting workers to endless periods of crunchtime.</p> <p>But most of those studies analyze workers clocking time at the office or in a factory. Does productivity also benefit from putting away your work email and refusing work phone calls over the weekend? Yes, according to research by a Harvard professor working with Boston Consulting Group, who forced hard-driving consultants to take &ldquo;predictable time off&rdquo; even during busy times. At the end of multiple months-long experiments, the consultants reported that they had been able to deliver a better product to their clients with regularly enforced nights off from phone calls and emails.</p> <h2>3. It can break your heart &mdash; literally</h2> <p>A recent study published in European Heart Journal found that &ldquo;compared to people who worked a normal week of between 35 to 40 hours, those who worked 55 hours or more were approximately 40 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation during the following 10 years.&rdquo; Researchers adjusted for factors such as age, obesity, and smoking. Atrial fibrillation contributes to both stroke and heart failure.</p> <p>A Centers for Disease Control report linked working too many hours to other physical problems, such as unhealthy weight gain, increased alcohol use, increased smoking, and overall increased mortality. That&rsquo;s right: You can literally work yourself to death, with a relatively modest amount of extra hours.</p> <h2>4. And it can break your soul</h2> <p>A 2015 study of Korean workers linked working more than 52 hours per week with an increase in suicidal thoughts.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s not just the number of hours worked that is burning people out: A 2016 study by Lehigh University revealed that employees who are expected to answer work emails after hours experience more &ldquo;emotional exhaustion&rdquo; &mdash; caused just as much by the anticipation that email could arrive at any time as by the actual time spent answering them.</p> <h2>5. It&rsquo;s lowering your IQ</h2> <p>Believe it or not, a 2016 Australian study found that, for people over 40, cognitive ability declines after just 25 hours of work a week. That means if you&rsquo;re putting in 40 hours in the office, and another two hours in the evening, your performance should start declining sometime around Wednesday.</p> <p>Even worse, putting in extra time may actually be shrinking your brain. If answering those late-night emails is stressing you out &mdash; and why wouldn&rsquo;t it? &mdash; that chronic stress can lead to a decrease in brain volume and cognitive impairment, Yale researchers have found.</p> <h2>6. It&rsquo;s ruining your family life</h2> <p>According to a 2015 work-life balance survey, more than half of 9-to-5 workers say that answering work emails and texts has ruined their familial meals. Nearly 40 percent say poor work-life balance is completely wrecking their time with family and friends. Another 40 percent of respondents claim they've missed life events such as weddings and birthdays due to work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <h2>7. It&rsquo;s also also terrible for your company&rsquo;s bottom line</h2> <p>Most workers say they work during off hours because of company expectations &mdash; but those companies may be shooting themselves in the foot. Not only are they losing out due to decreasing productivity rates and increasing turnover, they&rsquo;re also costing themselves money. Think about all of the health issues mentioned earlier that can be brought on by stress. Companies that don&rsquo;t respect their employees&rsquo; work-life balance will end up paying for it with higher health insurance premiums and more employee absences.</p> <h2>8. You need your sleep</h2> <p>Business leaders surveyed by consultancy McKinsey reported that the expectation that they&rsquo;d always be available to answer emails and phone calls prevented them from getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to almost every problem on this list, and what&rsquo;s more, it&rsquo;s dangerous at work: The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleepy workers are 70 percent more likely to be involved in an accident. A Swedish study even found that workers with sleep problems were twice as likely to die in workplace accidents.</p> <h2>9. It takes opportunity away from others</h2> <p>Helicopter parents deny their kids the chance to develop independence by being constantly available to help. Are you a helicopter boss or coworker? If you are completely unavailable while on vacation or a day off, the staff covering for you will have to make decisions without you, giving them the chance to grow. If you make yourself constantly available, you could be stunting that growth.</p> <h2>10. It makes you gain weight</h2> <p>Anyone who ever pulled an all-nighter in college knows that when we&rsquo;re sleep deprived, we make terrible food choices. There are scientific reasons for that, but for me, I just know that if I can&rsquo;t have my cozy bed, I deserve All. The. Chocolate.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also the decrease in physical activity. If you&rsquo;ve been sitting at your desk for eight hours, plus an hour or more in your car to get to work and back, you should be using a good chunk of your remaining waking hours to be active. If you end up sitting in front of your home computer catching up on your team&rsquo;s Slack channel, you&rsquo;re missing out on active time.</p> <p>Working during your off hours also cuts into time for preparing healthy meals. And if you find yourself actually eating your dinner in front of your computer, so much the worse. Research shows that when we are distracted by a screen while we eat, we&rsquo;re more likely to snack later.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime">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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</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-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</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-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate">5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate</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/6-ways-workaholism-is-costing-you-money">6 Ways Workaholism Is Costing You Money</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/stuck-at-the-airport-relax-with-these-14-easy-self-care-tricks">Stuck at the Airport? Relax With These 14 Easy Self-Care Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Health and Beauty burnout downtime health problems mental health overtime overworked productivity time off work life balance Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2102252 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stethoscope_with_financial_statement.jpg" alt="Stethoscope with financial statement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it: No one wants to get sick or be in pain in a strange place. For this reason, going to the hospital can be an unpleasant experience. To add insult to injury, you can be faced with a huge bill once the whole ordeal is over.</p> <p>Though going to the hospital may not be something you can avoid, you might be able to lessen the blow by cutting the cost of your stay. Here are some tips that could lower your final bill from the hospital. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>Consult with your doctors</h2> <p>Before going to the hospital, ask your physician to explain, in detail, the services that will be rendered during your stay. Maria Townsend, an insurance adviser, says you should take it a step further and get this information in writing. &quot;Get an itemized summary of treatment that will be provided during the hospital stay and send it to your insurance carrier for preapproval,&quot; she says.</p> <p>You can also inform yourself ahead of time by researching the costs involved in certain medical procedures and treatments. <a href="https://www.fairhealthconsumer.org" target="_blank">Fair Health Consumer</a> can help you get an estimate based on your location and whether or not you'll be going through insurance. By doing this research beforehand, when your bill comes, you can compare your initial estimate from your doctor and identify mistakes or charges that should not be on your bill.</p> <h2>Talk with your insurance</h2> <p>Once you are aware of the services your doctor is proposing and estimating, make sure every aspect of your care is covered and approved by your insurance. This alone can cut down on the prospect of a huge bill for your hospital stay.</p> <p>For example, you need to know whether the physician (or anyone else) rendering services is in your insurance network. Alicia McElhaney, founder of She Spends, a money management website says, &quot;Basically, what happens is that a hospital may be covered by your insurance, but a doctor working there may not be. As a result, you may receive bills for services from the doctor after receiving care.&quot;</p> <p>If you find out that some service providers or facilities aren't covered under your insurance, ask for a list of providers and facilities that are. It might be a hassle to change doctors, but it could be a worthwhile activity that can save you a lot of money.</p> <h2>Shop around</h2> <p>If you've contacted your insurance and received a list of in-network providers and facilities, you may still want to compare prices for two or more options in your network. This can help you reduce your total out-of-pocket expense.</p> <p>Another way to save money is by having lab work and X-rays done at clinics or imaging centers outside of the hospital. These services are almost always more expensive when performed in a hospital. If you are shopping these services around, clear this with your doctor first. You want to make sure that you are getting the exact diagnostic and imaging information they need to treat you effectively.</p> <h2>Be thrifty</h2> <p>There are a few money-saving methods that most people don't think about when staying in the hospital. You don't have to use every product or service that is provided to you.</p> <p>For example, you can ask if the hospital will allow you to bring your own prescription or even nonprescription drugs. In some cases, you may save on both the cost of some drugs and the fee charged to administer them.</p> <p>You might also be able to save on other things like meals or paper products you'll be given during your stay. The cost of even basic items like plastic baggies and tissues are inflated when passed on to patients.</p> <h2>Log your stay</h2> <p>While you are in the hospital, you should document every part of your stay. If you're not able to, ask a friend or relative to help you. Things you want to keep track of include how long you were in different places in the hospital and with whom: operating room, recovery, anesthesiologist, surgeon, etc.</p> <p>You'll also want to document procedures and medications that were given to you. This way, if there are any errors on your bill, you'll have a log to help clear up errors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-surprise-medical-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Avoid Surprise Medical Bills</a>)</p> <h2>Check your bill</h2> <p>Once the bill arrives, go through it with a fine-tooth comb, as medical bills sometimes contain errors. You'll want to check your bill against both your insurer's explanation of benefits and the log you kept for yourself during your hospital stay.</p> <p>If things don't add up or you don't understand a charge on a bill, don't be shy about calling your insurer and the hospital. You can request an explanation or even a further break down of vague line items or anything categorized as miscellaneous.</p> <p>For claims your insurance denies, follow up with the company to find out why. They should give you information on the next steps for getting your hospital stay covered. Depending on their response, you may have some recourse by following up with your doctor or appealing the decision with your insurer.</p> <h2>Negotiate with the hospital</h2> <p>It might be scary to get a hospital bill that seems larger than life, but it's not set in stone. Once the bill arrives, you can try to negotiate with the hospital a few different ways.</p> <p>To begin, you can offer to pay your entire bill with cash. The hospital may also extend a discount if you pay at the time you receive the service. The hospital likely prefers cash to drawing out payments over an extended period of time or sending your account to collections for nonpayment.</p> <p>The next thing you can do is ask for a payment plan. This may not technically reduce the amount of the bill, but it can reduce the blow to your pocketbook if you can't pay the entire bill at once. Plus, it doesn't hurt to ask for a discount anyway. Many times, the hospital is just happy to collect and is willing to make payment that much easier for you.</p> <p>Another alternative is asking for financial assistance or charity care that could reduce your bill. There may be an application process to be eligible, but it's worth a shot if it means you don't have to pay the entire amount billed to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-negotiate-medical-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Cut%2520the%2520Cost%2520of%2520a%2520Hospital%2520Stay.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Cut%20the%20Cost%20of%20a%20Hospital%20Stay"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Cut%20the%20Cost%20of%20a%20Hospital%20Stay.jpg" alt="How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay">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-2"> <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/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</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/why-i-heart-my-high-deductible-health-insurance-plan">Why I (Heart) My High Deductible Health Insurance Plan</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/7-ways-to-negotiate-medical-bills">7 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills</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/7-simple-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-medical-records-theft">7 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself From Medical Records Theft</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/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials">Health Insurance: How to Fight Back Against 4 Common Claim Denials</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty doctors health care health insurance hospitals medical bills negotiating patients Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2097694 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_woman_listening_music_at_home.jpg" alt="Beautiful woman listening music at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're getting deeper into winter and further into the new year. Was taking better care of yourself one of your New Year's resolutions? While the snow is falling outside and you're wrapped up in a blanket inside, why not get in some self-care for $0? Here are six healthy routines that'll get you through a long winter season. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a>)</p> <h2>1. Embrace the winter harvest</h2> <p>One of the best things about spring and summer is that the farmers markets come back to life with the fresh fruits and vegetables we love and crave. But don't let the winter blues hit your dinner plate. There is much to celebrate about the winter harvest, namely the incredible number of root vegetables that are satisfying, nutritious, and comforting. And they take almost no time to prep. One of my very favorite ways to put more color into my winter cooking is to chop up winter veggies that have been taking up space in my fridge or on the counter &mdash; carrots, beets, potatoes, etc. &mdash; coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then pop them into a 400-degree oven for 30-45 minutes. You can also roast and mash them, or puree them into a soup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize</h2> <p>Dry winter air saps the moisture from your body. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. And for your skin, feel free to use up those body lotions, body creams, and hydrating hair masks you have to treat yourself to as many at-home spa days as you want. Also, crank up the humidifer to counteract the drying effects of your heater in your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food</a>)</p> <h2>3. Meditate and reflect</h2> <p>With cold winter weather, take the time to meditate, relax, and reflect in the comfort of your home. Turn on some relaxing music, close your eyes, and take a few moments every day to focus on your breath, check in with your mind and body, and think about the goodness in your life and the goodness you want to manifest. Winter is an excellent time for planning brighter, sunnier days that will be here soon, so take advantage of this down time to nourish yourself without spending a dime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds</a>)</p> <h2>4. Surround yourself with inspiring reads and tunes</h2> <p>The winter is a perfect time to get inspired and share that inspiration with others. You finally have the time to read that book or magazine that's been on your bookshelf forever, and to tell others about them. Whether it's fiction or nonfiction, make sure your reading material during these darker days is uplifting to combat the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Do the same with the music or podcasts in your queue. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-podcasts-for-travel-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Podcasts for Travel Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>5. Seek refuge in art</h2> <p>If you're going to be inside, there are few places better to be than in a museum. Surrounding yourself with beautiful images may even inspire you to create some art of your own, and that act of creation is guaranteed to boost your energy and sense of accomplishment. Going to a museum also gives you a chance to be surrounded by other art enthusiasts, and breaks that sense of isolation that you may feel during these chilly months. Many museums offer free entry, as well as free or discounted events and workshops during the winter months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Visit Museums for Free</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snooze</h2> <p>Do you find that this winter weather makes you feel a little sleepier than you are at other times of the year? Don't fight it. Listen to your body. Give your body and mind the rest it's asking you to take. It's completely natural for us to want more sleep with the fewer hours of daylight. Nature settles in for a long winter's nap during these months, and we should feel free and empowered to follow that lead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Better Sleep With These 5 Great Sleep-Tracking Apps</a>)</p> <p>Winter can leave us wishing for warmer days. Rest assured, those days will be here soon enough. Winter is the perfect time for restoring ourselves phsyically, mentally, and emotionally so that when spring arrives, we will be ready to meet it with a fresh face and a fresh perspective.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Free%2520Self-Care%2520Rituals%2520to%2520Get%2520You%2520Through%2520a%2520Long%2520Winter.jpg&amp;description=6%20Free%20Self-Care%20Rituals%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20a%20Long%20Winter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Free%20Self-Care%20Rituals%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20a%20Long%20Winter.jpg" alt="6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">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-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</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/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</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/4-vacation-destinations-where-eating-healthy-is-surprisingly-cheap">4 Vacation Destinations Where Eating Healthy Is Surprisingly Cheap</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/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer">11 Easy Ways to Fix Your Whole Life This Summer</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-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds">6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty health tips healthy eating healthy lifestyle healthy routines meditation self-care winter winter activities yoga Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2097064 at http://www.wisebread.com How These 10 Winter Health Myths May Be Harming You http://www.wisebread.com/how-these-10-winter-health-myths-may-be-harming-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-these-10-winter-health-myths-may-be-harming-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grimacing_woman_having_discomfort_weather.jpg" alt="Grimacing woman having discomfort weather" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is here. Accompanying the cold, the rain, and the snow are a whole bunch of old wives tales that range from slightly inaccurate to downright dangerous. We generally believe these pieces of advice because they were passed down to us by parents, grandparents, and friends. But the truth is, most of these myths come from a misunderstanding of science, or a time when people just didn't know any better. Here are 10 of the biggest winter health myths &mdash; debunked.</p> <h2>1. You don't need to apply sunscreen</h2> <p>Wrong. Oh, so very wrong. When people feel the drop in temperature (which can be dramatic in some states), they think that the cold weather eliminates the need for UV protection. This is just untrue. &quot;The sun's harmful rays are just as strong and damaging despite what your thermometer says &mdash; particularly the UVA rays which are responsible for aging skin,&quot; said Bruce E. Katz, the director of JUVA Skin and Laser Center in New York.</p> <p>Now, with the winter months, you may be actively covering up a lot of your skin anyway with thick clothing, gloves, and scarves, but your face will still be exposed to harmful UV rays, and all it takes is one bad sunburn to increase your risk of getting skin cancer. And if you plan on going skiing, remember that the snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun's rays right back at you, so use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sunscreens?ref=internal" target="_blank">good sunscreen</a> and sunglasses.</p> <h2>2. Flu shots actually give you the flu</h2> <p>No, they don't. That's like saying a tetanus shot will give you tetanus, or a polio vaccine will give you polio. When you are injected with the flu vaccine, your body is introduced to an inactivated form of the flu virus. For all intents and purposes, it's dead (or at least in a deep coma). But your immune system learns to recognize the enemy virus, and produces antibodies to break it down and destroy it. When an active version of the flu virus enters your system, it recognizes it immediately and gets to work fighting it, destroying the antigens before they can do any harm. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</a>)</p> <h2>3. Cold weather makes you sick</h2> <p>For hundreds of years, parents and grandparents have told their little ones to bundle up and avoid going outside because it'll increase the chances of catching a cold, or becoming ill. This is pure fiction. The cold weather cannot make you sick in that way, unless you are trapped outside and develop hypothermia. In fact, when you venture out into the cold, the cells that fight infection in your body actually increase. And what's more, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cold viruses thrive at a temperature of 91 degrees.</p> <p>So, why do people think the cold weather brings colds and sickness? Well, there could be several reasons. One theory is that during the winter months, you spend way more time indoors, and heating systems make it easier for viruses to enter your dry nasal passages. What's more, you're spending way more time locked up inside with other people. If one of them gets sick, the chance of that disease spreading is greater than during the summer months. But the cold weather itself is not going to give you a cold or the flu.</p> <h2>4. You lose most of your body heat through your head</h2> <p>Military researchers in 1950s conducted studies that exposed subjects to frigid temperatures. Their heads were uncovered, and their bodies were bundled up nice and warm in cold-resistant clothing. These studies probably led to the U.S. Army Field Guide stating that 40-45 percent of heat being lost was through the head. Well yeah, because it's the only part of the body that was exposed during these experiments.</p> <p>A 2006 study repeated the test, but did it with test subjects in wet suits in cold water. Sometimes they would fully submerge their heads, other times the head was left out of the water. The result was that heat loss through the head is proportionate to the rest of the body. So, yes, you should cover your head to keep warm. But you are not going to lose half your body heat if you don't wear a hat.</p> <h2>5. Huge amounts of vitamin C will prevent or cure a cold</h2> <p>During the winter months, the aisles in the supermarket are stocked with vitamin C boosters and supplements; some offering over 1,600 percent of the daily amount you are supposed to take. Can this massive intake of vitamin C really prevent a cold from forming? Or, can it kill a cold in its tracks? The answer from researchers and scientists is &hellip; probably not.</p> <p>Vitamin C has been touted for decades as an essential supplement for health and vitality, and there is no doubt that vitamin C does the body good. It can have a kind of antihistamine effect, and a 2005 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that it can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/1602261" target="_blank">reduce the frequency of catching a cold</a>, but realistically, bingeing on vitamin C is not going to do much for you, other than having a placebo effect.</p> <h2>6. Winter weather makes you store fat and gain weight</h2> <p>Our bodies do not go into some kind of winter hibernation mode, stockpiling every ounce of fat to use for the lean times. It seems logical, like a throwback to our days living in caves foraging for food, but in reality, any weight gain comes from our winter habits. We tend to exercise less in winter. We eat more hearty meals and comfort foods, including more sugary snacks and desserts (especially around the holidays). We drink more coffee, hot chocolate, and tea, and some of those $6 beverages from Starbucks are loaded with high-calorie sweet syrups. Your body doesn't turn into some kind of fat-storing machine, though. We're not bears. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out?ref=seealso" target="_blank">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It's Cold Out</a>)</p> <h2>7. Alcohol will warm you up</h2> <p>My parents were guilty of believing this little myth. They would put a capful of whiskey in their tea or coffee, saying it would help them stay warm before going out in the cold. The effects of the alcohol may be tricking your body into feeling warmer, but it's not really happening. As the MythBusters proved, <a href="http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/alcohol-warms-up/" target="_blank">alcohol actually lowers your body's core temperature</a>. The heat you think you're feeling comes from the alcohol causing your blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the skin, and creating that flushed feeling.</p> <h2>8. Feed a cold, starve a fever</h2> <p>This is another myth that comes from a time when people didn't understand the science of body chemistry. The thought was that if you had a cold, food would warm you up. Conversely, if you had a high fever, not eating would cool you down. This is just patently bad medical advice. In both cases, good nutrition gives your body the fuel it needs to fight infections and recover from an illness. When you have a fever, your body is burning energy at a rapid rate, and that needs to be replenished. So, by all means feed your cold; but also feed your fever, or any other illness. Even if you have stomach issues, find a way to take in lost fluids and electrolytes.</p> <h2>9. Allergies disappear in winter</h2> <p>Tell that to all the people sneezing and itching at home right now. While summer allergies like hay fever may be gone, you are still going to suffer from allergies that thrive indoors. That includes mold and dust, fabric fibers, animal dander, mites, and even dead insect particles. And as you're spending more time indoors during the cold months, your body is bombarded with these allergens. One of the best ways to combat indoor allergies is by installing a furnace filter that traps them so they are not recirculated through your home. You may also want to invest in a UV light air purifier, and of course, stock up on antihistamines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-improve-the-air-quality-in-your-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Cheap Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>10. Going outside with wet hair makes you sick</h2> <p>This is just another myth that stems from cold weather increasing the chance of illness. Your head will certainly feel colder if you go out into the frigid air when it's wet, but you're not going to catch a cold, or the flu, by stepping outside after you just got out of the shower. Of course, you should probably dry it first because you are not going to feel comfortable with a head full of cold, wet hair. And if it's really cold, a hat is a good idea to stop any body heat from escaping. You will only catch a cold if there is a virus going around.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-these-10-winter-health-myths-may-be-harming-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520These%252010%2520Winter%2520Health%2520Myths%2520May%2520Be%2520Harming%2520You.jpg&amp;description=How%20These%2010%20Winter%20Health%20Myths%20May%20Be%20Harming%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20These%2010%20Winter%20Health%20Myths%20May%20Be%20Harming%20You.jpg" alt="How These 10 Winter Health Myths May Be Harming You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-these-10-winter-health-myths-may-be-harming-you">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-2"> <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/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</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/the-5-best-sunscreens">The 5 Best Sunscreens</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/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready">Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Recipes to Get Your Skin Sun-Ready</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/7-beauty-mistakes-that-may-be-ruining-your-skin">7 Beauty Mistakes That May Be Ruining Your Skin</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty flu flu shot health myths how to stay healthy sunscreen winter winter tips Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 2093193 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Survive the Cold and Flu Season on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-survive-the-cold-and-flu-season-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-survive-the-cold-and-flu-season-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sick_flu_597260184.jpg" alt="Woman sick with flu on a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on how to survive the cold and flu season on a budget, affordable ways to fly first class, and beauty treatments you can find in your kitchen.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://commoncentsmom.com/2018/01/survive-cold-flu-season-budget/">How to Survive Cold and Flu Season on a Budget</a> &mdash; Many foods can help fight flus and colds. This season, eat lots of mushrooms, green tea, sweet potato and chicken soup. [Common Cents Mom]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Fly-First-Class-44499576">Everyone Can Fly First Class in Their Lifetime: Here's How</a> &mdash; Save your miles! Many rewards programs offer excellent deals on first-class seats. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://naturemoms.com/blog/2018/01/13/beauty-treatments-from-food/">Five Beauty Treatments From Your Kitchen</a> &mdash; Some of the best beauty products can be found right in your kitchen! [Nature Moms Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2018/01/15/inexpensive-activities-for-more-family-fun/">Inexpensive Activities for More Family Fun</a> &mdash; Create an opportunity where your family can learn something new together. Enroll everyone in a class or tackle a family project. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/keeping-your-home-clean-with-pets/">Keeping Your Home Clean with Pets</a> &mdash; You don't need a bunch of fancy gadgets, but the right tools will make a world of difference when you're cleaning up after your pets. [A Mess Free Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.frugalbuzz.com/articles/travel/how-to-save-money-on-car-rentals/">How To Save Money On Car Rentals</a> &mdash; You can score significant savings by looking for prepay deals and paying the total cost of your rental when you book. [Frugal Buzz]</p> <p><a href="https://christianpf.com/life-lessons-from-famous-failures/">Life Lessons from 6 Famous Failures</a> &mdash; The pathway to success is peppered with failures. Use these famous failures to help you focus on your own journey. [SeedTime]</p> <p><a href="https://www.moneyspruce.com/frugal-avoid-just-cheap/">Be Frugal and Avoid Just Being Cheap</a> &mdash;There's a difference between being frugal and being cheap. Learn how to be frugal without crossing the line to cheap.&nbsp; [Money Spruce]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/how-to-get-an-internship/">Need Help Landing That First Internship? Check Out This 4-Step Guide</a> &mdash; Use this road map to help you land an internship when you're a little thin on experience. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2018/0109/US-breaks-record-for-disaster-cost-306-billion">US breaks record for disaster cost: $306 billion</a> &mdash; The increase in weather disasters is likely a result of climate change and urban development decisions. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-survive-the-cold-and-flu-season-on-a-budget">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/how-these-10-winter-health-myths-may-be-harming-you">How These 10 Winter Health Myths May Be Harming You</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/8-important-reasons-to-always-call-in-sick-when-youre-sick">8 Important Reasons to Always Call In Sick When You&#039;re Sick</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/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</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/7-cheap-and-natural-ways-to-fight-the-cold-and-flu">7 Cheap and Natural Ways to Fight the Cold and Flu</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/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds">7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty best money tips colds flu Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Amy Lu 2089487 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds http://www.wisebread.com/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_in_office_meditating.jpg" alt="Woman in office meditating" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a meditation teacher, a lot of people say to me, &quot;Oh I'd love to meditate. I just can't. My mind won't let me.&quot; The purpose of meditation is to get control of your mind, because what you think and the way you think have direct impacts on the quality of your life. You are your thoughts. Change your mind and you change everything.</p> <p>I completely understand my reluctant students, because I was one of them for most of my life. Then I did my first yoga teacher training, and I was required as part of my program to sit for 18 minutes a day. It was grueling. I never knew 18 minutes could last so long. I literally had to force myself to do it, and at first, I hated it. Over time, it changed me. That focused, disciplined practice is a staple of my life now, nearly a decade later.</p> <p>Over this decade, I've also come to realize that a sitting meditation isn't always the right method for all people all the time. Luckily, there are a number of other ways to bring that peace to our minds and bodies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a>)</p> <h2>1. Open monitoring</h2> <p>Let's turn meditation on its head right from the start, shall we? Sit or lie down, and just let your mind do its thing. Maybe it will be a whirling dervish. Maybe you'll run through your grocery list or to-do items. Maybe every fear and anxiety you've had for the past 10 years will rush right in to take up space. Let it all happen. Take five minutes to consciously deepen your breath, and then spend the next 25 minutes just giving your mind as much rope as it needs. Many people who use this method find that they feel more empowered because they confront whatever it is that's bothering them. They also often have bursts of creativity when the 30-minute session is finished.</p> <h2>2. Focused physical activity</h2> <p>Pick any physical activity &mdash; walking, running, swimming, biking, jumping rope &mdash; and focus on your actions. How's your breath? What does each part of your body feel like as you move, all the way from the tips of your toes to the very top of your head. Concentrate on each area of the body, one at a time, as you're remaining active. Once you finish, consciously sit for a few moments and just observe how you feel, physically, mentally, and emotionally. That heightened awareness of your body and mind, and how they work together, can help you find your way to peace. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-non-physical-benefits-of-exercise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising, Non-Physical Benefits of Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>3. Legs up the wall</h2> <p>Marita La Monica runs the online group The Mindful Rebels. She's bringing new ideas to yoga, meditation, and overall health through her writing, teaching, and activities. All of her posts are filled with inspiring ways to help us find our way to physical and mental health, no matter what starting point we're at. One of her recent posts reminded me of the great benefits of <a href="http://themindfulrebels.com/the-truth-about-shoulder-stand-why-its-not-the-queen-of-asana/" target="_blank">putting our legs up a wall</a>. Lie down on the floor, couch, or bed, and put your legs up the wall while your torso lies flat, effectively making an L-shape with your body with the help and support of the wall. Physically, this posture calms the nervous system, which over time helps to calm the mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a>)</p> <h2>4. Conscious eating</h2> <p>How many times have you made or bought a quick dinner and sat down in front of the television while eating it? I'm as guilty of this as anyone, and still do this on occasion. (No one's perfect.) What I try to do as often as I can, though, is sit down with my meal wherever I am and focus on the food with no distractions. How does it taste? What's the texture? How do I feel as I eat it? How do I feel when I'm done? And during the meal, I also actively practice gratitude for the food I'm eating. Like the focused physical activity, this practice helps me become aware of the connection between my mind and my body.</p> <h2>5. A point of focus</h2> <p>Closing the eyes during meditation can trigger many emotional responses. My take is that if you feel uncomfortable closing your eyes, then don't do it. Instead, choose something to visually focus your attention. Some people like gazing into the flame of a candle. Others prefer looking at a piece of art, or even just a block of color. Even gazing at the floor or ceiling works for some people. The idea is to keep the gaze soft. You don't want to squint or intensely focus the eye muscles. You just want to give them something to look at that helps the mind settle.</p> <h2>6. Go outside</h2> <p>Nature is a very powerful moderator for our minds. I'm immensely fortunate that I live near Central Park in New York City. I'm there every day exploring its nooks and crannies. Sometimes I'm alone. Often, I'm with my dog or friends. That connection to the natural world, be it in your local park, the mountains, the woods, or on a lake, has a euphoric effect. Whenever I need to bring a sense of calm to my mind and body, I get as deep into nature as I can, breathe, and remind myself that we are all in this world together to make it the best place it can be for all living beings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Meditation%2520Alternatives%2520for%2520People%2520With%2520Busy%2520Minds.jpg&amp;description=6%20Meditation%20Alternatives%20for%20People%20With%20Busy%20Minds"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Meditation%20Alternatives%20for%20People%20With%20Busy%20Minds.jpg" alt="6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds">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-2"> <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/10-ways-to-relieve-your-money-stress">10 Ways to Relieve Your Money Stress</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/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">Time to Get Down With Your Inner Zen</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/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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/5-exotic-yoga-retreats-anyone-can-afford">5 Exotic Yoga Retreats Anyone Can Afford</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/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty how to meditate meditation meditation tips mindfulness stress relief yoga Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2086608 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick http://www.wisebread.com/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/get_into_a_creative_state_of_mind.jpg" alt="Get into a creative state of mind" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Another year, another list of New Year's resolutions that most of us will be unable to keep. The problem with resolutions is that they require a tremendous amount of mental processing power to get from point A to point B. You not only have to begin with over-the-top motivation, but you also need to stay that way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-anyone-can-conquer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Resolutions Anyone Can Conquer</a>)</p> <p>When you overtax your brain by trying several new things or adopting new routines at the same time, you subject yourself to cognitive overload, which can result in reduced productivity, and lead to anxiety.</p> <p>Luckily there are brain hacks and workarounds that you can use to fine-tune your resolutions and ultimately achieve your goals.</p> <h2>1. Simplify your goal</h2> <p>If your New Year's resolution is so complex and grand that it requires a checklist, you are stacking the deck against yourself. Keep it simple. Don't choose an ambiguous goal like, &quot;Save Money.&quot; Instead resolve to turn one good financial behavior into a habit. For example, &quot;I will open my bills as soon as I get them and pay them promptly.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why You Need to Make Financial Habits, Not Goals</a>)</p> <h2>2. Avoid multitasking with your resolution</h2> <p>Most resolutions are not one goal, but sprawling, impossible-to-schedule projects with hundreds of moving parts. But successful resolvers are the people who make one actionable goal and put it into practice until it becomes a regular routine they don't even need to think about. For example, instead of making your goal to &ldquo;lose weight,&rdquo; resolve to always drink water instead of soda, and watch as your overall health improves with that one new habit.</p> <h2>3. Don't overschedule yourself</h2> <p>It's hard to stay motivated, to do anything, over a long period of time if you have to continually start and stop due to scheduling issues. One of my goals in 2017 was to reduce my number of personal belongings down to 1,000 items. I failed to meet this goal because the scope was too big. I didn't lose my desire to downsize, but my revised goal for 2018 is to spend one hour each day listing items for sale online. I may not widdle my belongings down to my target number in the next 12 months, but I will succeed in reducing the number of things I have to spend time dusting, and I'll even make some additional cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year's Resolutions</a>)</p> <h2>4. Reward yourself along the way</h2> <p>People that have successfully maintained their weight loss know that cheat days are a key part of their success. If you never reward yourself for good behavior, then the healthy habits start to feel like punishment.</p> <p>However, unlike weight loss &mdash; which has visible results that can be validated by peers &mdash; no one is going to tell you how cute you look in your new 401(k). While financial responsibility should be its own reward, saving money generally involves a certain level of deprivation. So if your resolution involves saving money, give yourself the ability to splurge in a structured way. For example, give yourself $50 to spend selfishly for every $1,000 you put into savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <h2>5. Practice, practice, practice</h2> <p>It only takes 13 days to make a new habit. Or 21 days. Or 28 days. Or close to 70. Really, it depends on who you ask. Don't despair, though, because it really is possible to create a new habit; it's just easier if you follow three steps.</p> <h3>Choose a small action</h3> <p>&quot;Lose weight&quot; is not small. Instead choose a tiny component to losing weight, like, &quot;I will take a 30-minute walk five days a week.&quot;</p> <h3>Attach it to an existing habit</h3> <p>The easiest way to make a new habit stick is to attach it to an existing habit. For example, if you drink coffee each morning, walk to a nearby coffee shop to get your 30 minutes of walking in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a>)</p> <h3>Create multiple reminders</h3> <p>You have to make your new habit super easy to remember, especially during the first week. Make your new routine as mindless as possible by setting up multiple reminders to get it done. Swap out your regular coffee mug with a travel thermos that will remind you to get your coffee down the street. Ask your coworkers if they want to join your &quot;Walk to Coffee Club&quot; so they can keep you accountable. Wear a fitness tracker, or set your phone to prompt you to walk for 30 minutes each day. Write, &quot;Why aren't you walking?&quot; on the lid of your to-go coffee cup at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find a buddy</h2> <p>Why is it so much harder to break a promise to someone else than it is to break a promise to yourself? It will be much easier, and way more fun to keep your resolution if you have an accountability buddy to commiserate and compete with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>7. Focus on timing</h2> <p>New Year's is a totally arbitrary start date for practicing new habits, so why not start a resolution when your schedule best matches your end goal? For example, why not start working toward your savings goal the day after Tax Day? If you've done your taxes for the previous year, you're already caught up on your accounting and have a fresh view of all your finances.</p> <p>Or, if your goal is to lose weight, why not start your new healthy habits at the beginning of spring, when you have your choice of fun, outside physical activities to enjoy, rather than in the dead of winter when you'll be stuck inside using the machines that you hate at the gym? If you give yourself a running start, you are more likely to maintain your new practice for one calendar year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Clever%2520Tricks%2520to%2520Make%2520Your%2520New%2520Year%2527s%2520Resolution%2520Stick.jpg&amp;description=7%20Clever%20Tricks%20to%20Make%20Your%20New%20Year's%20Resolution%20Stick"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Clever%20Tricks%20to%20Make%20Your%20New%20Year%27s%20Resolution%20Stick.jpg" alt="7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick">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-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions">7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</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/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</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/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</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/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">15 Easy to Keep New Year&#039;s Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty career goals goals health goals motivation New Year's new year's resolutions nye Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:00:07 +0000 Max Wong 2086412 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Affordable Ways to Relieve Back Pain http://www.wisebread.com/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_with_pain_in_back.jpg" alt="Girl with pain in back" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spinal fusion surgery for lower back pain can cost more than $100,000, according to Healthcare Bluebook. Many people might consider that a worthwhile price to pay for a pain-free life. But according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, only 5 percent of back pain patients are good candidates for surgery. And even among those who are, surgery doesn't always work.</p> <p>Another approach to easing a chronically aching back is opioid painkillers. But they come with their own risks, namely, the chance that the patient becomes dependent on, and later addicted to them. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental deaths for adults in America, with more than 20,000 people dying in 2015 alone from overdoses of prescription painkillers.</p> <p>In her book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2lYntTo" target="_blank">Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery</a>, investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin chronicles her six-year investigation seeking answers for her persistent back pain. She started out believing she needed surgery, then ended up trying a controversial, heavily-advertised laser treatment, which didn't provide lasting relief.</p> <p>Through her research, she learned that the patients who achieve the most relief are usually those who take an active part in their own recovery, easing pain through various exercise protocols or through rehab programs that combine psychological treatment with intensive exercise.</p> <p>One surprising thing that Ramin learned is that it's often necessary to push through pain, ideally under the watchful eye of a qualified trainer or therapist. In fact, one cause of disability for many patients is not the pain itself, but the fear that too much movement will cause more pain, she learned. One renowned rehab expert, Ramin wrote, made his patients do &quot;exercises that were performed under supervision, at a prescribed dose, without dwelling on associated discomfort.&quot;</p> <p>Ramin isn't alone. Many medical authorities, alarmed by the opioid crisis and disheartened by the limits of invasive surgery, are recommending conservative treatments for lower back pain. Fortunately, many of these treatments are quite affordable, especially when compared to a $100,000 surgery.</p> <h2>1. A heating pad</h2> <p>This may seem old fashioned, but &quot;superficial heat&quot; is the first item on the American College of Physicians' (ACP) 2017 list of recommendations for treating low back pain. It's not that applying heat is expected to cure what's wrong with your back. It's that, as the guidelines state, &quot;most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment.&quot;</p> <p>Using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2lYqenI" target="_blank">heating pad</a> is mostly about feeling more comfortable while your body heals itself. For a one-time investment of just $10 to $50, it's worth a try.</p> <h2>2. Massage</h2> <p>Often back pain is caused by a muscle strain or muscle spasm, which may be eased by a visit to a massage therapist. At a cost of $50 to $150 a session, it's worth trying even if it doesn't work, because it usually feels good and helps you relax.</p> <h2>3. Acupuncture</h2> <p>Although the ACP calls the currently available evidence &quot;low to moderate quality,&quot; according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease chronic low-back pain. Routine visits cost $50 to $100, and Consumer Reports found that the average back pain patient spends $200 for a full course of treatment.</p> <h2>4. Chiropractic care</h2> <p>The most familiar chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation. Although the ACP says the evidence that it works is &quot;low quality,&quot; spinal manipulation is nevertheless among the top recommendations for back pain by the physicians' group.</p> <p>However, one spine surgeon told me he recommends that instead of getting a spinal manipulation, you ask the chiropractor for soft tissue therapy such as active release &mdash; which is similar to a deep tissue massage.</p> <p>Consumer Reports pegs the cost of seeing a chiropractor as similar to acupuncture &mdash; about $200 for a course of treatment. However, unlike acupuncture, many health plans cover a portion of the cost for chiropractic care.</p> <h2>5. Ibuprofen</h2> <p>The ACP recommends &quot;nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs&quot; such as Advil. Doctors say it's important not to just pop an <a href="http://amzn.to/2AwsF64" target="_blank">ibuprofen</a> now and then, when the pain flares up, but to follow a regular regimen for the prescribed time, in order to quell the inflammation that may be causing the pain. At about $10 per bottle of 200 mg pills, this is a very affordable treatment.</p> <h2>6. Muscle relaxants</h2> <p>Some doctors prescribe a muscle relaxant for a short period, if your back pain is caused by muscle spasms. If so, the cost is generally limited to your insurance copay. If you have to pay full price, most prescriptions run from $10 to $200.</p> <h2>7. Rehabilitation programs</h2> <p>In <em>Crooked</em>, Ramin tried several programs that lasted for several weeks, with five sessions each week packed with supervised strengthening exercises, group therapy, and more. Working with highly trained professionals for weeks on end is not exactly cheap, though. The cost of a chronic pain rehab program can run you tens of thousands of dollars. But it costs significantly less than most back surgeries.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it may be more difficult to get insurance companies to cover the full cost of the pain program than it would be to get them to cover surgery. And taking weeks off work to go through the program would be a financial strain for many people as well.</p> <h2>8. Tai chi</h2> <p>One study found that 75 percent of back pain patients showed improvement after a 10-week tai chi program. Considering that many tai chi groups are free to join, and that organized classes are available for as little as $10 a session, this is a very affordable treatment option.</p> <h2>9. Yoga</h2> <p>Not just any yoga class is recommended for back pain patients. In fact, some of the experts interviewed in Ramin's book warned that certain yoga positions can make back problems worse and should be avoided. She learned that <em>Iyengar</em>, a style that requires lengthy teacher training, has been shown to help people with back problems. Such yoga classes are advertised for as little as $14 a session, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2Cud2xN" target="_blank">yoga DVDs</a> and online videos are also available. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-stress-relief-items-you-need-in-your-life-that-are-under-20?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Stress Relief Items You Need in Your Life That Are Under $20</a>)</p> <h2>10. Osteopathy</h2> <p>Some patients report relief after visiting an osteopath, who performs manual adjustments similar to &mdash; but not identical to &mdash; what chiropractors do. One doctor of osteopathy explained to me that her discipline often blames an out-of-place or frozen sacrum (bottom vertebra) for back pain. She said she has been able to eliminate pain for most patients by gently repositioning this bone. Visits with an osteopath may be covered by insurance.</p> <h2>11. Exercise with a trainer</h2> <p>Of all the treatments she tried, the one Ramin found the most relief from was regular workouts with coaches recommended by back pain experts. A large portion of back pain is caused by weak muscles in the core area, such as abdominals and back muscles, and these trainers can help pinpoint which muscles need strengthening, and teach the exercises needed to get the job done.</p> <p>Working with an expert trainer can help a patient maintain good form, because, Ramin learned, it's all too easy to let muscle groups that are already strong do the movement and let the weaker muscles continue to loaf. You might pay $100 or more an hour for an expert trainer, making it not exactly inexpensive &mdash; but many find the relief worth the cost.</p> <h2>12. Independent exercise</h2> <p>If you can't afford to work with an expert trainer, or you can only afford to work with one for a short period, you can find videos online to help you maintain those back-supporting muscles long-term. Ramin found a series of exercises known as the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA1Ve7FWqTY" target="_blank">McGill Big Three</a> so helpful that she links to them on her site and has taught them to strangers in airports. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain</a>)</p> <h2>13. Maintain a healthy weight</h2> <p>Ask any pregnant woman, and you'll learn that carrying extra weight in the midsection puts a strain on the lower back. It may not be easy, but doctors say that getting rid of belly fat is a reliable and affordable way to ease lower back pain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Your Back</a>)</p> <h2>14. Change positions often</h2> <p>Many of us realize that we are causing our own back pain by poor posture at work. An expensive approach to this problem is to buy specialized office equipment, such as standing desks and ergonomic chairs.</p> <p>A cheaper approach is to avoid sitting at your desk for eight hours straight every day. Instead of texting or emailing a colleague, walk across the office to talk to them in person. Have walking meetings as if you're a character in an Aaron Sorkin drama. Stand up and stretch during boring conference calls. If you work from home (like I do), move to different furniture and positions throughout the day. And for goodness sake, just say no to extra hours as an everyday thing. Scoring points at work is not worth ruining your health.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%2520Affordable%2520Ways%2520to%2520Relieve%2520Back%2520Pain.jpg&amp;description=14%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Relieve%20Back%20Pain"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Relieve%20Back%20Pain.jpg" alt="14 Affordable Ways to Relieve Back Pain" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain">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/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</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/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</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/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds">6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds</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/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty back ache back pain body aches chronic pain muscle pain self-care yoga Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2084541 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_health_insurance_654573746.jpg" alt="Applying for health insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This year, the Open Enrollment period to sign up for a policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace was much shorter than in the past. The deadline for enrollment on the Federal exchange was December 15. (Many state run exchanges were open longer.) Previously, you had well into January to choose a plan. It's likely that many people were unaware of the change and missed their chance to enroll in an insurance policy.</p> <p>Instead of taking the risk of going without insurance, there are a few alternatives to get some form of coverage after the Open Enrollment deadline.</p> <h2>1. Find out if you qualify for Special Enrollment</h2> <p>If you've experienced a major life event, you may be able to enroll in a plan outside of the Open Enrollment period. You can qualify for Special Enrollment in these situations:</p> <ul> <li>You got married.</li> <li>You had a baby or adopted a child.</li> <li>You divorced or separated from your spouse and lost your insurance coverage.</li> <li>You moved to a new home with a different ZIP code than your old residence.</li> <li>You lost your job, either by resigning or being let go, and lost your insurance policy.</li> </ul> <p>These life events must occur within the past 60 days for you to be eligible for Special Enrollment. If you do qualify, you can complete a questionnaire and choose a plan through a designated <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/" target="_blank">Special Enrollment section</a> of healthcare.gov.</p> <h2>2. See if your parents' insurance will cover you</h2> <p>If you are under the age of 26, your parents may be able to add you to their own insurance policies. If their insurance is through an employer, they can add you during the plan's enrollment period. To do so, they just have to contact their insurance company. However, keep in mind that adding you to their plan will cause your parents' insurance premiums to increase, sometimes by hundreds of dollars a month. Make sure you and your parents are comfortable with the cost and discuss who is responsible for the additional fees.</p> <h2>3. Take on a part-time job</h2> <p>Another way to get health insurance &mdash; and boost your income &mdash; is to take on a part-time job. Some companies, including big names like Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Lowe's, offer comprehensive insurance benefits to part-time employees.</p> <p>Some of them require you to work for a certain amount of time before you're eligible for benefits, but others allow you to enroll in an insurance policy on your first day. As an added bonus, your earnings from your part-time job can cover your share of health care costs and help bulk up your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-big-companies-that-offer-benefits-for-part-time-workers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Big Companies That Offer Benefits for Part-Time Workers</a>)</p> <h2>4. Research state or federal programs</h2> <p>All states offer Medicaid programs that provide coverage for millions, but the rules can vary from state to state. In general, Medicaid is designed for individuals who have a low-income, or are disabled, elderly, or pregnant. Children can also qualify for Medicaid coverage.</p> <p>If you have children and they are not eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get them insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Getting them coverage through CHIP, even if you go without insurance, can help you save money on their medical costs.</p> <h2>5. Get a short-term insurance plan</h2> <p>If you don't qualify for other forms of health insurance, one thing to consider is enrolling in a short-term plan. Short-term plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide coverage in emergency situations or catastrophic events. While not as ideal as having a regular health insurance policy, a short-term plan can be an important safeguard in a pinch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-time-short-term-health-insurance-makes-sense?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Time Short-Term Health Insurance Makes Sense</a>)</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, you can find short-term and catastrophic insurance plans by contacting an insurance broker. You can find brokers near you through the <a href="https://nahu.org/looking-for-an-agent/find-an-agent" target="_blank">National Association of Health Underwriters</a> database.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Get%2520Health%2520Insurance%2520If%2520You%2520Missed%2520the%2520Open%2520Enrollment%2520Deadline.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20Health%20Insurance%20If%20You%20Missed%20the%20Open%20Enrollment%20Deadline"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20Health%20Insurance%20If%20You%20Missed%20the%20Open%20Enrollment%20Deadline.jpg" alt="How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">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/how-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018">How to Sign Up for Health Care in 2018</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/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</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/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</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/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you">Still Without Health Insurance? Here’s How Much the Penalties Will Cost You</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/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance affordable care act health care health insurance medicaid missed deadline obamacare open enrollment penalties premiums Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:30:14 +0000 Kat Tretina 2082184 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Afford Your Kid's Braces or Expensive Dental Care http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brushing_our_teeth_is_fun.jpg" alt="Brushing our teeth is fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At their six-month dental checkup earlier this year, both of my sons received the dreaded diagnosis: Each one had a cavity in a baby tooth that would need to be filled.</p> <p>In addition to feeling like a terrible parent, I was also not looking forward to having to pay for their fillings. Our family dentist wasn't set up to handle fillings for two squirmy young patients, and the pediatric dentist she referred us to did not accept our dental insurance.</p> <p>Thankfully, my husband and I have an emergency fund for such an occasion, but not every parent is as fortunate. Taking care of your kids' teeth doesn't have to bankrupt you, even if they do need costly dental care or treatment.</p> <p>I talked to Marissa Miller, DDS, of Shelby, Ohio, to find out what parents need to know about affording expensive dental care for their kids.</p> <h2>1. Preventive care is always cheaper than treating problems</h2> <p>According to Dr. Miller, &quot;To mitigate the costs of dental procedures, my first piece of advice is have kids see the dentist early and regularly.&quot; There are two reasons for this. First, kids who get used to seeing the dentist early in their lives are less likely to develop phobias that will keep them from seeing the dentist later on.</p> <p>This leads to the second reason why it's important to get your kids used to seeing the dentist early and often: It's much less expensive to have biannual tooth cleanings than it is to deal with an entrenched problem.</p> <p>Even if your child does have a dental problem that will need treatment, finding it sooner rather than later will generally be easier on your wallet. &quot;Having your kids come to the dentist at regular intervals also gives us a chance to catch any problems &mdash; such as tooth decay, narrow palate, etc. &mdash; early on,&quot; Dr. Miller says. &quot;And catching problems in an early stage almost always leads to less costly treatment.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Some common pediatric dental procedures can be surprisingly expensive</h2> <p>Most parents are well aware of the fact that orthodontics (i.e., braces, retainers, and other tooth-straightening tools) are expensive. According to the 2013 Survey of Dental Fees, comprehensive orthodontic treatment for adolescents ranged in price from $4,685 to $6,500.</p> <p>However, parents may not be aware of the fact that other common dental procedures can also cost a pretty penny. Specifically, when there is a great deal of tooth decay in baby teeth, the treatment can be expensive. According to Dr. Miller, &quot;When deep cavities occur in children between roughly three and nine years of age, the costs of restoring those teeth can add up quickly. Fillings, stainless steel crowns, and pulpotomies (similar to root canal therapy but usually just for primary or 'baby' teeth) can all be called for in order to keep those teeth in working order.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>3. Don't let cost keep you from getting treatment</h2> <p>Parents might assume that dental care for their kids is more cosmetic than necessary. After all, baby teeth will eventually be replaced with adult chompers, and orthodonture is an expensive procedure that just provides a straight-toothed smile. The high cost for something that feels unnecessary might tempt some parents to put off the treatment while they get their financial ducks in a row.</p> <p>Dr. Miller warns against that: &quot;The whole point of trying to keep these primary [baby] teeth until they're ready to exfoliate naturally is that they are the placeholders of the adult teeth. If primary teeth are taken out early, it is common for the adult teeth to erupt in severe misalignment, resulting in a more urgent and comprehensive need for orthodontic care.&quot;</p> <p>Similarly, while straightening adult teeth for cosmetic reasons is part of the rationale for orthodontic care, it's hardly the whole reason. Properly aligned teeth promote good oral health overall &mdash; which is necessary for whole body health.</p> <h2>4. Your dentist wants to help you find a payment plan</h2> <p>Despite what you may remember from Steve Martin's portrayal of Dr. Scrivello in<em> Little Shop of Horrors</em>, you can rest assured that real dentists get into their practices because they truly want to help people. That means they want to see their patients get necessary treatment &mdash; and they will try to find a way to work with you on a payment plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-negotiate-medical-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills</a>)</p> <p>According to Dr. Miller, a lot of dental offices offer a variety of payment options. In particular, she recommends asking about the following:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cash discounts. If you're prepared to pay the full case fee up front, ask about this option, especially if the cost of the procedure is over $1,000.</p> </li> <li> <p>Third-party financing. With third-party financing, you can use something that works basically like a dental care credit card to pay for your procedure. Many of these financing companies offer you interest-free payment periods of up to 12 months. Dr. Miller describes third-party financing as &quot;nearly universal,&quot; so feel free to ask your dentist about which company they use.</p> </li> <li> <p>Payment plans. Some dentists will allow you to split payments over several months interest-free, although you will generally be expected to have a credit card on file and a history with the practice for your dentist to agree to this. Orthodontists offer payment plans more often than general dentists due to the nature of their treatment plans and fees.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Financial assistance is available</h2> <p>Families who simply do not have the financial ability to pay for their children's dental or orthodontic care can apply for financial assistance. The National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF, but also known as America's ToothFairy) offers access to dental care to underserved children. If you are unable to afford a specific dental treatment for your child, you can apply for funds from NCOHF through their <a href="http://www.ncohf.org/our-programs/access-care-programs/in-the-gap-program/" target="_blank">In the Gap</a> program.</p> <p>In addition, <a href="https://www.aaoinfo.org/donated-orthodontic-services" target="_blank">Donated Orthodontic Services</a>, sponsored by the American Association of Orthodontists, offers pro-bono and low-cost orthodontic services to children of families who cannot afford the regular cost of orthodonture. The nonprofit program <a href="https://www.smileschangelives.org/" target="_blank">Smiles Change Lives</a> also offers low-cost or free orthodontic services to kids in need.</p> <h2>Neglect is more expensive than dentistry</h2> <p>Watching your children undergo dental work is no one's idea of fun &mdash; and having to pay big bucks for it can feel like adding insult to injury. But making sure your kids' pearly whites stay healthy and straight will put them on the road to good oral health for years to come.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care">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-2"> <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/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</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-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</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/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay">How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay</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/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids</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/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty braces cavities children dentists health care kids medical bills orthodontics payment plans preventative care tooth care Tue, 02 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2077706 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year's Resolutions http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_walking_with_beagle_dog.jpg" alt="Happy woman walking with beagle dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You'll probably set several New Year's resolutions this year, but &quot;Make More Moneeeeeeey!&quot; should be at the top of that list. How can you do that? By hitting the ground running on January 1 with these cash-earning opportunities that sometimes kill two birds with one stone. Here's to a happier, healthier, flusher-with-cash you in 2018.</p> <h2>1. Get in shape by walking dogs</h2> <p>Combine your love of adorable dogs with your desire to get healthier by joining <a href="http://www.rover.com" target="_blank">Rover</a> or <a href="http://www.wagwalking.com" target="_blank">Wag!</a>, two sites that will help you set up a dog-walking side gig. Rover is the nation's largest network of dog sitters and walkers, and it'll help connect you with those looking for occasional care of their pets. I'm a member of Rover myself, and I've made several thousand dollars this year pet-sitting and playing with local pups. It's the perfect side-hustle for people who want to get more exercise, get outside more, and save some extra money after the expensive holiday season. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a>)</p> <h2>2. Help name startup businesses</h2> <p>There are several online services (like Upwork and Truelancer) that can help you advance your creative freelance career, but <a href="http://www.squadhelp.com" target="_blank">Squadhelp.com</a> gamifies the brainstorming experience with a decent payoff.</p> <p>&quot;If your NYE resolution is about finding a more productive use of your time, you might want to consider Squadhelp.com,&quot; says the site's founder Darpan Munjal. &quot;You can spend couple of hours every day helping startups find great names for their businesses. You not only channel your creativity in helping real companies find great names, you also win cash prizes (ranging from $100 to $500) every time your name is selected.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Declutter by selling your unwanted stuff</h2> <p>If your goal in the New Year is to cut the clutter and free up more usable space in your house, there are several options to do just that while pocketing some dough. I've had a lot of success listing my in-good-condition junk on the <a href="https://us.letgo.com/en" target="_blank">Letgo</a> app, but I also have friends who swear by Facebook Marketplace, both of which help you promote your secondhand wares to local buyers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-money-from-holiday-gifts-you-dont-want?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Make Money From Holiday Gifts You Don't Want</a>)</p> <p>To maximize your selling efforts, heed this advice from Letgo's head of communications, Jonathan Lowe:</p> <h3>Take clear, quality photos</h3> <p>Taking a few seconds to dust your coffee table or iron a pair of pants will make them much more attractive to buyers. Choose an angle and spot with good lighting and an uncluttered background. Put smaller items like headphones or jewelry on a solid color surface and take a photo from 45 to 90 degree angles. Make sure the item's in focus, and post a few shots from different angles.</p> <h3>Be transparent</h3> <p>Tell buyers upfront and include photos of any wear and tear on your item. Most buyers won't be concerned with a small scratch or frayed hem, especially if the price is right, but no one wants to feel like they've been misled.</p> <h3>Do your homework</h3> <p>Check out what other sellers are asking for similar items and price your items competitively.</p> <h3>Reply quickly</h3> <p>Turn on push notifications so you can reply as soon as buyers message you. Be courteous and answer any questions they might have.</p> <h3>Offer a package deal</h3> <p>Things like video games, vinyl records, art supplies, toys, and even jewelry often attract more interest as a set. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a>)</p> <h2>4. Self-publish your book</h2> <p>I'm currently writing a book about how to be a successful Airbnb host, and I haven't considered reaching out to a major publisher because self-publishing seems more attractive to me. Here's why: Self-publishing gets your book in the hands of readers quickly. In fact, you may want to pursue this avenue as a way to extend your audience for a book you've already published. Self-publishing can award you with about 70 percent royalty (depending on the price you charge readers for your book), which could provide you with passive income for years to come. Something to investigate at least. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-real-costs-of-self-publishing-a-kids-book?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Real Costs of Self-Publishing a Kids' Book</a>)</p> <h2>5. Use technology to fine-tune your personal finance</h2> <p>I've sung the praises of my well-used cash-back apps like <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta</a> and <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/" target="_blank">Checkout 51</a> over the past few years (I've made several hundred dollars using them), but there are other ways keep your personal finance in check while earning money or rewards, like <a href="https://birchfinance.com/" target="_blank">The Birch Finance app</a>, which makes it easy to analyze your past transactions and actively monitor spending to recommend the best cards to use for max rewards.</p> <p>I'm also into <a href="https://paribus.co/" target="_blank">Paribus</a> right now, which links to your accounts at retailers like Target and Amazon and helps you find money based on price drops on your recent purchases. It'll send you an email when there's money waiting for you so you can claim it. Easy-breezy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>6. Achieve goals with monetary encouragement</h2> <p>I feel a little weird about <a href="http://www.goalgoodies.com" target="_blank">Goal Goodies</a> &mdash; which is like a GoFundMe campaign for your health goals &mdash; but it could be a helpful way to keep your resolutions on track while making money. Essentially, you create your page and set your health goal (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.) and then invite family and friends to pledge money to help keep you motivated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Apps That Pay You to Work Out</a>)</p> <h2>7. Clean out your garage and rent out the space</h2> <p>You know all about Airbnb by now, but if you're not comfortable renting out your home to strangers, maybe you'll consider renting out your garage to strangers' vehicles. After you clean it out and make it all pretty, <a href="https://www.stowit.com/home" target="_blank">STOW IT</a> will help connect you with users who need a place to store their vehicles for a monthly fee. Imagine getting paid to let a car sit in a space that was designed for cars and not all those piled-up cardboard boxes! I think it's an awesome idea, and I'm little miffed that I don't have a garage to offer myself. I'll just live vicariously through yours.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Money%2520Off%2520of%2520Your%2520New%2520Year%2527s%2520Resolutions.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Money%20Off%20of%20Your%20New%20Year's%20Resolutions"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Money%20Off%20of%20Your%20New%20Year%27s%20Resolutions.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year's Resolutions" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions">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/3-online-affiliate-programs-that-can-make-you-extra-cash">3 Online Affiliate Programs That Can Make You Extra Cash</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/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick">7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year&#039;s Resolution Stick</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/6-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-a-healthy-lifestyle">5 Ways to Earn Extra Money With a Healthy Lifestyle</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/7-surprising-ways-to-earn-money-online">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</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/how-to-make-money-by-creating-youtube-videos">How to Make Money by Creating YouTube Videos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Health and Beauty 2018 extra cash making money new year new you New Year's new year's resolutions nye side hustle Fri, 29 Dec 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 2077705 at http://www.wisebread.com