Sage Financial Advice For These Worrying Times

I don’t know about you, but right now, every time I turn on the TV or listen to the news on the radio, it’s pretty clear that there is a lot of worrying things going on in the world right now. No matter what side of the political divide you lie in, it’s clear to everyone that we are on a rocky road, the likes of which we haven’t seen before.

It got me thinking – what is our future, and that of our kids, actually going to look like? And what on earth can we do to ensure we are safe, happy and content?

Some things are out of our hands, of course. None of us can stop global problems and world leaders doing what they like on an individual basis. But what we can do is to give ourselves an opportunity to forge a secure future, no matter what happens. Here are some suggestions that might help you get through this particularly rough patch and come out the other side intact.

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Have yourself some fun

While you’re young, it’s important to get out there and enjoy yourself. Sensible financiers might tell you to pump all your money into a retirement fund and investments, and while this is excellent advice that you should consider following, it’s not the be-all and end-all. It’s all about striking the right balance, between spending good times with those you love and preparing for a sound financial future at the same time. You don’t need to live like it’s the last day of your life, but you do need to enjoy yourself – so make sure leisure and social activities are on your agenda, as much as financial planning. Ultimately, the friends you make now could be the support you need in the future – and money can’t buy you that kind of loyalty and friendship.

Invest in yourself

If you want to enjoy a happy lifestyle in your later years, you need to invest in yourself. Ultimately, the rewards you get from life will be down to your knowledge, skills, and experience you pick up, and the sooner you invest in your education and learning, the better off you will be. Start seeing yourself as an asset, and one that if you invest in will pay off for many years into the future. Work hard, learn everything you can, and make the right career choices, and you will not have to worry about financial dependence in later life.

Plan properly

It’s easy to say you want to be a millionaire by the time you retire. But if this is your only goal, it will be almost impossible to achieve. You have to break that aim into small chunks and focus on setting yourself a string of short-term goals, which will eventually lead to achieving the long-term objective. A lot can change in the next 25-30 years, so take thing slowly and make your decisions based on the current climate. For example, perhaps you could start matching your company’s retirement contributions so that you maximize your returns. Or maybe you could focus on paying off all your debts within a couple of years. Take baby steps, and you’ll find that your overall dream starts becoming more likely.

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Take care of yourself.

Your genetics will have a significant role to play in your later years, but there’s even more you can do right now to ensure you are happy, healthy, and content. It’s critical to start living a healthy and active lifestyle, and the earlier you start, the better. No one knows what the future holds, of course, but if you invest in your health and fitness right now, your life expectancy will increase.

Plan for ill health

However, as everyone knows, the older you get, the more likely it will be that you suffer from ill health. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, and the best time to start preparing for potential problems is right now. You might need money to fund your memory care, meet your physical needs, or even expensive medical costs that aren’t available via social security or your insurance plan. All of this can add up to an eye-watering sum, and unless you have a solid financial foundation, you will either go without or have to rely on your children’s money. So, start saving, making safe investments, and ensure you are ready for anything.

Educate yourself financially

Anyone can make money – it’s what you do with it that counts for the future. And given that financial literacy isn’t taught in schools, the best thing you can do for yourself is to learn about how to manage and invest your finances in the right places. Research proves that those who know their numbers will almost always be better off in old age – and their kids will enjoy a wealthier lifestyle, too.

Check your lifestyle

Most people earn more money than they actually need to spend. The trouble is that this excess income is often wasted, and pumped into fleshing out a more luxurious lifestyle. But at the end of the day, a $4,000 TV is going to last just as long as a $500 alternative that you find in a sale. And once you start spending on your lifestyle, it’s a lot harder to return to a more frugal way of living. So, no matter how much or how little you earn, always make sure the cost of your life is less than your income growth – and put what is left away in savings.

Borrow to invest

Finally, don’t be afraid to borrow money. As long as you are doing it the right way, debt can be a useful investment tool. However, never put lifestyle choices on credit, and only ever use debt as a platform to make money. Mortgages, business loans, stocks and bonds – and even your education – are all areas where borrowing should pay off.

No one can be certain of what will happen in the future, particularly in these troubling times. All you can do is focus on your future and that of your family. Make the right choices now, and you should be able to avoid any of the potential clouds that could show up in the years to come.

After Diet And Exercise, The Finishing Touches On A Healthy Life

Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Have a varied workout routine with a mix of cardio and strength training. If you’re on a journey to better health, you already know how important those two cores of a strong body are. But there’s a lot more you can do. Here, we’re going to look at four habits you need to make your principles from now on.

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Tidying up

We’re not talking about the fact that cleaning is exercise and can burn some extra calories. We’re looking, instead, at the very real risk of contaminants in our environment. Dust particles in the home and even the cleaning products we use have been proven to increase the risk of diseases as serious as asthma and cancer. Take the air quality in the home very seriously and consider making the move to natural home cleaning products as suggested by wellnessmama.com.

Topping up

A balanced diet is a good start, but the truth is that if you’re controlling your calories that it can be very hard to get all the nutrition you need, not to mention the extra health benefits of certain materials. Just as natural whole foods are better than processed foods, then getting your extras from natural sources, as recommended by essentialoilhaven.com, can be much better for you in the long-term. Essential oils have genuine proven benefits, including improving the immune system, alleviating pain, easing the body and relaxing sore muscles, and more.

Tucking in

You likely already know that being tired isn’t fun. However, there are more reasons to tackle poor sleep quality than just not wanting to feel tired. Too little sleep makes you much more prone to heart disease and diabetes, as well as inducing stress. Creating a proper nighttime ritual, including using no artificial screens such as smartphones and TVs for half an hour before bed can immediately improve the quality of your sleep. The aforementioned essential oils, when used in aromatherapy, can also help you at night. So, too, can the next step

Tuning out

Stress is more than just a state of mind. It’s a physical reaction through the body most often related to the hormone cortisol. Beyond putting you in a bad mood, this can physically tense up your muscles which can lead to things like joint and back pain, as well as causing migraines. Tackling stress through methods such as journaling, meditation, and exercise will do more than put you in a good mood. It will improve your concentration, your decision-making abilities, your emotional resilience and, as mentioned, help you get a better night’s sleep.

There is always something more you can be doing to improve your health, of course. If you successfully incorporate the tips above, then you should very well keep looking for the next improvement to make. Not just because it’s going to help you live a longer and happier life, but because goal-setting is a great way to keep up your motivation and stick to a health kick.

Tech Is Taking Away Our Chores And That’s Good…Right?

It seems like everywhere you look these days, there’s a new piece of tech that is taking over a chore that we used to have to complete or a part of our life. Now, this started fairly basically way back with the invention of the washing machine in 1851. But since then it seems like every job that we complete is being replaced by a clever piece of tech. Taking vacuuming as an example. In the past, you would have to take out the vacuum and clean the floor yourself. Now, you might have a rather friendly circular device that can travel along the floor, cleaning it for you. Cool, but it is taking away a job that used to get us off the sofa. And it’s certainly not the only tech that’s stopping us getting off our backsides. Do you want a cup of joe? Don’t get up, log in to an app and connect with your coffee maker to get it started for you. It’s quite scary really because with every piece of tech that takes a job away from us it’s another thing that we don’t have to think about.

You might not think that’s a bad thing, but research strongly suggests that an idle mind could easily lead to dementia. In fact, many experts suggest that we should be keeping our minds as active as possible early on in life all the way into retirement. And to be honest, there is evidence that we won’t need to think all that much anymore, particularly when it’s been predicted AI will be smart than man by 2029. And even if you don’t think that’s a realistic possibility there are other issues with letting tech take over our roles. Let’s look at an example of driving.

Robot Take The Wheel

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Of course, it’s not literally a robot driving your autonomous car but a clever piece of software. Now, if a driver crashes into your car tomorrow and it’s their fault, you know what you have to do. You need to speak to someone like Gary Greenberg accident lawyer and get things moving to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. It might be a difficult fight, but with a strong legal mind by your side, you know that the law will work in your favor.

What about if tomorrow a car crashes into you and it’s not being driven by a human at all. What if it was being driven by a piece of software. Now, you might think, wait, an autonomous car wouldn’t crash, but don’t be so sure. There have been numerous cases of this happening so it is interesting to ask what would happen in that situation. The person in the car isn’t at fault, he wasn’t driving. Arguably it’s the company behind the tech that should pay up, but major corporations never want to part with large sums of money. Suddenly you’re facing a far larger uphill battle.

What About The Workforce?

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By 2030 Elon Musk believes that we will have no need for the majority of people in the world to work. Teachers? Don’t need them, the software can run a lesson. Writers? No need, the software can produce articles. We certainly won’t need drivers because vehicles will drive themselves and the list goes on. Now this means we’re going to need a universal income and many people just won’t need to work at all.

It’s certainly going to be a brave new world, and perhaps we shouldn’t be so keen for it to arrive.

It’s Time To Talk About Mental Health

With World Mental Health Day being just this past week, it can be a good idea to talk about it and how we can all take care of our own mental health. You don’t have to be taking medication for something like depression or bipolar disorder to need to think about your mental health. From anxiety to stress, there are everyday issues that can overwhelm us and really get us down. Making us feel down and affecting our overall health. So if you’re due for a bit of a mental health checkup, then here are some things that you can do for your mental health so that you can find the right balance in life.

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Love Yourself

This can be easier said than done. However, being kinder to yourself is one of the first ways to have better mental health. You can avoid criticizing yourself and look for positive things about yourself. Give yourself some time to do things that you enjoy, as well as taking care of yourself through living a healthy lifestyle. Start with you and do something each day that makes you happy.

Have Timeouts

From busy family life to work and career stress, it can be really beneficial to take a timeout from time to time. Having a day where you don’t have to stress about anything can be just what you need to improve your mental health and stop it from escalating. If you have a job that is pretty full on, like in the medical profession or as a carer, then make sure you use things like respite care to give you some time that you need. You’re not going to be a help to anyone if you can’t take care of yourself first.

Take Care of Yourself

When we eat the right foods and don’t exercise, then it can get us in a negative cycle. We can will feel lethargic, overweight, and unhealthy. It can get us down and depressed. But when you eat wholesome foods that are filling and have nutritional value, then it can make you feel full of energy and much more positive. Exercise is a good way to make yourself feel happier too. Your body gets pumped full of happy hormones, as well as exercise acting as a stress reliever. So it really is a win-win to eat well and exercise regularly.

Be With Good People

They say that we become like the five or six people that we spend most of our time with. So think about who you are around the most. Are they toxic people that leave you feeling down and unhappy? If so, then it could mean that it is time to make some changes. Surround yourself with positivity, and you’ll feel much happier.

Get Help When You Need It

At the end of the day, if you keep feeling low no matter what you do, then get the help that you need. It could be to speak to a counselor or to seek medical advice. Just remember that it is okay to not be okay. Don’t suffer in silence.

Food Glorious Food: Jobs In The Food Industry

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Let’s face it, most of us like to eat. Food is an important part of life, and so from a financial perspective it’s a good option for both businesses and careers since it’s something that people are always going to want and need. If you’re a lover of food and are either looking to change your career or start a new business venture, here are just a few ideas for the direction you could take.

Set Up a Catering Business

If you have a passion for cooking, why not cash in on this and set up a business? People always need caterers for events like weddings, christenings, funerals, even business events. If you’re new to the game, start small. Cater for lunches and events with say twenty people and ensure everything is running well before taking on larger functions. As with any business, finding your niche is important. Decide who you will be catering for and what you will be serving. For example, vegan food has become very popular in recent years – you could serve luxury vegan dishes and carve out your niche this way. Alternatively you could choose a specific cuisine- Thai barbeque food for example and turn this into a selection of finger foods. Whatever it is, if you can find a gap in the market for something that people want your business will do well. Do your market research and find out what people want which isn’t readily available. You will need to make sure you obtain the required licenses. As well as a general business license, as you will be serving food the county or state health department will inspect your kitchen for safety to make sure it’s up to scratch. You may need to hire premises since there are lots of restrictions when it comes to preparing food to sell from a residential kitchen. For example pets aren’t allowed to even pass through the space, and you need a fridge solely for business use.

Go To Culinary School and Become a Chef, Baker or Pastry Artist

For many people who dream of working in food, the end goal is to become a chef, baking master or a pastry artist and reach the top of our game. But reaching the top of course means a lot of hard work, in the early years you tend to ‘pay your dues’ by working as a kitchen skivvy. Pot washing, sweeping up, peeling potatoes- all of the worst jobs get left to those in the lowest ranks. But it is possible to work your way up, you can learn on the job and gain the knowledge and skills needed in the kitchen. If you plan on going down this route, apply to some restaurants and go from there, you can find applebee’s application online and lots of other chains and eateries, Otherwise you could go to culinary school and have formal teaching. As a chef you could work in a restaurant, or eventually work towards opening your own establishment.

Become a Mystery Shopper

Working as a mystery shopper gives you the chance to enjoy free food while earning cash, what could be better? It’s not likely to earn you enough to be a full time job, but it’s something you could certainly do on the side. However most of the big retailers on the high street are signed up to some kind of mystery shopping scheme, so there’s plenty of work out there. You go about becoming a mystery shopper by signing up to an agency or independent company which then pays you to visit businesses anonymously around the country. They do this to make sure that specific standards are being met, but for you it can mean free food at a restaurant and being paid for your time. You don’t need any formal qualifications to do this, although there of course some skills you should possess, Good observational skills and a good memory will serve you well.

Take a Hospitality Route

Want to work in food in a broader context? Why not go down the hospitality route? Here you will oversee entire facilities which include accommodation as well as food services such as hotels and resorts. Hospitality managers work in all kinds of areas from financial to human HR to operations management and more. There’s a lot that goes into it, so attending a hospitality management school would b a good option if you wanted to go down this career path. You could find a program that prepares you to work for all types and sizes of accommodations. Other ways you could get involved would be to run your own hotel bed and breakfast. Here you have a broader role of running and maintaining the facility as well as serving food to guests.

Write a Food Blog

If you love food and you love writing, how about combining your passions to write a food blog? Blogging can be very lucrative, once you’re established you will begin to be contacted by sponsors who will pay you to incorporate a link into your posts or display an ad. You could share recipes, information on different types of cuisine, different ingredients and so much more. You don’t have to be a professional or have any training, although of course you should have a good working knowledge of what you’re sharing with others.

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A business or career in food can be dynamic and exciting, so if this is where your passion lies there are plenty of options and routes you can go down. There’s plenty of money to be made and skills to be learned in this industry.

Would you ever consider changing your career to something in food? If so, what direction would you go in?

3 Unexpected Things That Can Help You Lose Weight

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Weight loss should be simple. In fact, many people think they have cracked weight loss entirely. “It’s very easy,” they enthuse, often in the comment sections of unpleasant newspaper websites, “you just eat less and move more! What’s so hard?”

Well, this viewpoint is more than a little ignorant. It ignores the fact that weight fluctuates, and when you have gained weight, it’s very difficult to lose it. Your body effectively wants to hang on to that excess fat, seeing it as essential for survival. So “eating less and moving more” might sound like a simple idea, but it’s up against thousands of years of human evolution. It’s very difficult to lose weight, and that’s a scientific fact.

Given this reality, a lot of scientific investigation, food experimentation, nutritional study, and so much more has been conducted in an effort to help people lose weight. Below are some of the conclusions of all that work. There are choices other than just heading to the gym relentlessly and monitoring every calorie that passes your lips. if you want to lose weight, the science suggests that you need to incorporate these three surprising changes into your lifestyle.

Reduce Your Stress To Reduce Your Waistline

The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to be overweight. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which encourages our body to hang on to its fat stores. Reduce your stress, and you will find losing weight becomes far, far easier.

Calcium Could Hold The Key To A Slimmer You

A 2009 study concluded that calcium could be an effective tool for weight loss. This is a big discovery, and one which suggests that you may want to supplement calcium into your diet.

Rather than buying the cheapest bottle of calcium pills you can, take the time to consider all your options. Ideally, you want plant-based calcium, which is better absorbed. As you can see from these AlgaeCal reviews, those who have elected to opt for plant-based calcium seem to be happy with their choice.

Of course, you should always talk to your doctor prior to taking any supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Zero Noodles, Zero Calories — But Lots Of Weight Loss

If you’ve tried restricting your calories and have found that you’re starving hungry all the time, then “zero” noodles might be just what you need. Shiritaki noodles are a Japanese invention that have no calories, but will ensure you always feel like you’ve had enough to eat.

Alongside being calorie-free, there’s another reason to introduce these unique noodles into your life. A compound found in the noodles, glucomannan, has been shown to aid weight loss in and of itself. If you always find yourself hungry when trying to reduce your calories, shiritaki noodles could be the solution that you’ve been waiting for.

So while watching what you eat and exercising wherever possible is never going to be bad advice, the above ideas may provide the boost you need to get to your weight loss goal as soon as possible.

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