When’s the Right Time to Break Into Your Savings?

Everyone knows that it’s important to save money. We all try to contribute at least some of our funds into a savings account and, over time, it will accumulate and we’ll have plenty to spend on emergencies. However, it can sometimes be difficult determining when we should break the piggy bank and start using it.

One of the biggest issues with using your savings is that it can lead to bad habits. When you start using your savings account for small things like furniture or personal entertainment, you’ll quickly deplete those funds. It’s a good idea to train yourself to never touch your savings, but you can reach a point where you’re saving too much. If you find that you never touch your savings, then this article will give you a few examples of when you should actually break into them and start using it responsibly.

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Paying off your debts

It might sound weird to have savings while you’re still in debt, but it’s actually not too uncommon. Many of us automatically pay money into our savings accounts so it’s not something we actively do, but we sometimes mix it up with essential expenses and thus, we end up with a large amount of savings while still being in debt. Depending on how much debt you’re in and with how many companies, services like debtconsolidation.co can sometimes give you a breather by consolidating all of your debts into a single contract. You can then start using your savings to pay off your debts, and this will help your credit score as well as your personal health. No one likes being in debt because it can be a heavy weight on our shoulders, which is why using your savings account is a perfectly acceptable reason to break into your emergency fund.

When you want to invest

Perhaps your friend has proposed a great business idea to you, or maybe you’ve realised that keeping money in a savings account is rather pointless. Many people chose to invest their money instead of keeping it in a savings account. This is a question that many people have asked themselves, and you can look at this article from moneyadviceservice.org for some advice on how to make that decision yourself. In short, keeping your money in a savings account isn’t going to make your wealth grow, but investing in a business or stocks can be more profitable and will continue giving you money.

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Is there an emergency?

A stash of savings can also be seen as an emergency fund, so if you’re currently experiencing a crisis it may be worth your time to break out the savings and use it for something important. A good example of this is if your laptop breaks and you can no longer operate your company. Replace it immediately so that it doesn’t stop your business in its tracks. Another good example is for your healthcare. If you’re suffering from an illness, then it makes sense to use your savings to pay for healthcare such as medication or a hospital visit.

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Could You Really Put A Price On Your Health?

Living a frugal life is one of the most popular topics online today. With the rising costs of – well, everything – it can be really easy to allow certain elements of life to slide. For some, healthcare is one of those elements that gets left behind. It’s not due to thinking that healthcare isn’t important, we all know how important it really is. However, finances often dictate to us what we can and cannot manage and sometimes health insurance isn’t on the top of the list.

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One thing that any person who lives a frugal life should ask themselves is this: can you put a price on your health? Living without health insurance is not a position most people want to be in. Murphy’s Law states that when you least expect it, the things that can go wrong often will, whether you like it or not. You can bet that you will stop paying for health insurance to save some cash, and it’ll be the day after that you get into an accident or break a tooth and need dental care. Thankfully, there are multiple financing options available for your emergency dental needs and when you get in an accident, you can get some financial grace to help catch up with hospital care payments. For most, though, the choice to ditch health insurance in favour of affording other bills isn’t a personal choice made ‘just because’; it’s a choice made because the alternative is not affording the rent or groceries for the month.

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Learning how you can manage your finances a little better so that you can manage to afford health insurance is going to be key and even living a frugal life, this can be done! Sure, many places offer free medical care for those on a tight budget, but the income thresholds are very strict and therefore if you simply have a higher cost of living for your basics and yet aren’t on a low enough income to qualify for free health, you need to know how to manage. Check out our tips below to help you overcome the financial hurdles of ditching healthcare.

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1. Options! Health insurance has so many more options than you may be aware of so look into plans that are high deductible. You can be covered for the larger, scarier events in life should they happen to you. It’s also important to remember that with a high deductible plan, while it may seem steep on paper, is easier to pay off $1,000 than it is to pay off $40,000! Your workplace should also offer you a health option and if you haven’t been told about it, enquire with your HR department. The rules for having healthcare do vary and if you get it as a perk through your job, it can make it far easier to afford!

2. Out Of Pocket Costs. This is the place most people have an issue; even with health insurance, the out of pocket medical expenses can be difficult to cover. It’s easy to say to have an emergency pot to cover these sorts of costs but when you’ve nothing spare at the end of each month, it gets a little tricky. Reducing the amount that you pay for out of pocket expenses before insurance kicks in includes shopping around for clinics and doctors that cost you less money. You can be smart when it comes to paying for your medical costs, you just have to be aware that you don’t have to stay with your primary caregiver.

3. Payment Plans. It sounds like an easy one, but it’s surprising the number of people who don’t know you can set up payment plans to catch up with your bills. Many clinics and hospitals will allow you to set up a plan to pay off your bill, and while costs can add up quickly, it can be a better option than waiting around to be in pain before you call the doctor and worry about the next bill.

4. Free Clinics. For those who really can’t make any room in their budget, there are free clinics available to give you the best care. There are sliding scale fees on offer that match your income and can make health care far more affordable. This is welcome news for those who fight to pay the basics each month and you can sometimes qualify automatically for your bills paid if you have chronic illness.

Don’t put a price on your health; you matter and being alive and healthy matters, too.

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4 Common Causes Of Excessive Itching

Apart from pain, itching is one of the worst sensations that one can experience. It’s persistent, annoying, and if you give into the urge to scratch then you can do serious damage to your skin.

When itching becomes a chronic problem it is called pruritus, though this is more a term for the symptom than the cause. To find the cause, you’ll need to examine your lifestyle and potentially seek medical investigation. This is often more difficult than it sounds, To determine the true cause can be a process of elimination, but here are four areas you should consider as potential suspects.

#1 – Allergies

When it comes to health issues, allergies are often the source of the problem. The allergy only needs to be mild to cause aggravation. When it comes to chronic itching, allergies are the number one suspect — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to figure out what you’re allergic to. The best option is to ask your doctor for an allergy screening test, which can identify the most common allergies. If this comes back negative, you may still have an allergy that not identified on standard screen. Ask your doctor for antihistamines on a trial basis and see if they make a difference; sometimes, a diagnosis by treatment is the best option you have when it comes to itching.

#2 – Dehydration

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It’s a little-known fact that dehydration can cause itching. There is some debate over how much water we should drink every day, but if itching is a problem for you, then it’s worth upping your water intake and seeing if this makes a difference. Water helps to flush toxins from your body; toxins that may have been building up and causing your itching issues. It’s worth giving it a try just to see if it makes a difference.

#3 – Roundworm

Roundworms live happily in your gut, helping you to digest food and helping keep your gut flora in check. However, they can occasionally become problematic and spread into the rest of your system; itching is the main symptom of this. Take the time to peruse useful information about roundworms and the issues that they can cause. While it’s not pleasant to think about your body playing host to a parasite, it’s even worse to just leave said parasites to feast on you because you don’t like the thought of them! If you suspect you have ringworm, take action, and banish the beasties once and for all.

#4 – Medication

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A number of medications can cause itching as a side effect. If you have recently started taking a new medication, then this should be your first suspect. For the most part, side effects will usually pass after a month or so. If you’re still itching at that point, then it’s worth speaking to your doctor in an attempt to get a differential diagnosis on the problem.

When you have found the cause of your itching, you should be able to treat it successfully — making you happier, more comfortable, and feeling good inside your own skin.

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Will A Career In Healthcare Keep You Healthy?

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You might be surprised by the answer to this question because research shows that people who work in healthcare are generally healthier. It sounds odd, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Let’s look at some of the reasons why a career in healthcare could lead you to a healthier life.

You’ll See When Things Go Wrong

Smoking, drugs, overeating and not exercising. We’ve all heard of what can happen if we neglect our bodies in these ways. We were warned by our parents, lectured in school and nagged by our partners. But often, it’s only when you get a real experience of the issues that you start to truly appreciate some of the dangers here. It’s difficult to ignore the dangers of drinking, for instance, when you’ve seen what it does to a once healthy liver. That’s why despite the fact that crutches like this make TV characters interesting, real doctors don’t tend to have these types of issues.

You’ll Build A Strong Immune System

Contrary to belief doctors and nurses don’t have a stronger immune system naturally. So, if you’re hoping that working in a hospital is going to make you a superhuman, think again. However, doctors and nurses do have to keep their immune systems healthier by taking more supplements and eating well. So by working in medicine, you’ll naturally improve your diet, and you will also boost up your immune system. You have to otherwise you would be sick every other day!

You’ll Recognise The Signs Of Danger

You might think that doctors and nurses are constantly paranoid, but that’s not true. They just know when it’s time to worry. If you look into nursing programs online, you’ll see that part of the course is about recognizing symptoms in patients and recognizing when the situation is nothing to worry about. You’ll learn both and this will, of course, benefit you in your personal life. How often do you head to the doctor thinking the worse, only to discover it’s nothing? And how many people miss out on treatment they need because they don’t recognize the signs. Well, once you study medicine, neither is going to happen to you. You’ll know when to ignore issues with your body and when to get treatment from a professional.

Less Stress?

It’s odd to think of a medical career as something that isn’t stressful, but it might not be. It depends on the position and where you are in your career. If you work in an emergency ward, you bet you’ll be under pressure. But working in a clinic or as a private doctor, things are going to be far gentler. You won’t be rushing around everywhere, and instead, you’ll be in the perfect position to enjoy your career and benefit from it.

It seems clear then that working in healthcare could actually keep you healthy, leading you to a better lifestyle. You’ll be eating well, building your immune system and let’s not forget, you’ll be completing rewarding, meaningful work. Something that will definitely impact your mental health.

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5 Common (But Commonly Overlooked) Causes Of Stress

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Stress is one of the most common health issues to affect the modern generations. Some people may dismiss it as being an insignificant condition. However, the negative impacts that it’ll have on your body, mind, and general life cannot be ignored. The first step to battling stress is to locate the source of those problems. They don’t always come from the most obvious place, though. Here are just five that commonly go undervalued.

#1. Irregular Sleep

Most people appreciate the need for a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not just about the daytime. Insomnia is a major cause of stress as it leaves the body and mind unable to function normally. Worse still, it’s a vicious cycle because stress additionally leads to disrupted sleep. Whether it’s changing your routines or investing in a new mattress, those improvements are crucial. After all, they’ll enhance mental and physical health in one fell swoop. Your looks will benefit from the changes too.

#2. Bad Relationships

As far as blind spots are concerned, negative relationships are the worst culprit for increased stress. Strained partnerships can often be saved by marriage counselors and extra efforts. Then again, there are circumstances in which you must learn to walk away. The short-term heartache is better than a lifetime of unhappiness. Meanwhile, friendships and family relationships can be equally damaging to your mental health. Either fix them or leave them. Remaining in a stressed situation helps nobody.

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#3. Poor Work-Life Balance

A rewarding career is something that everyone aspires to achieve. It’s not only the direct business matters that should be considered, though. You should work to live rather than live to work, and that balance is vital. Working from home can be a particularly productive option, although there are many questions to be answered first. Nonetheless, feeling unmotivated and unhappy in your career could be the most powerful cause of stress. If this has become an issue, finding a solution is key.

#4. Uncertainty

In many life situations, fear is far worse than the reality. Negativity can come from a host of sources, and it’s usually better to seek the quickest resolution. Whether it’s hiring a DUI lawyer to fight incorrect motoring accusations or seeing a doctor when health issues surface doesn’t matter. Knowing where you stand will instantly remove some of the stress while providing guidance for what to do next. Conversely, leaving yourself in a state of uncertainty will exacerbate those issues greatly.

#5. Bottling Things Up

They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. Still, many people choose to suffer in silence. Whether it’s coping with the loss of a loved one, handling increased overheads, or something else doesn’t matter. Talking to a relative or a specialist can help you find the right answer. Even if this isn’t the case, you should find that stress levels start to fall. Support is often available, but not until people know there is an issue. Essentially, it’s good to talk.

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Prevention is Better than Cure: Recognising the Early Symptoms of Progressive Health Problems

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It’s not unusual to feel under the weather every now and then. Especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. However, you need to be able to distinguish between common problems that will pass in the near future and the symptoms of a more chronic health problem. Identifying the warning signs early on can help you to stop the development of the illness in its tracks or at least slow its effects. After all, prevention is better than cure! Here are a few health problems to watch out for.

Foot and Ankle Problems

It’s likely that you’re on your feet almost every single day of your life, so it’s not too surprising that there may be problems with the health of your ankles and feet at some point. There are numerous problems that can strike, such as arthritis, hammertoes, sprains, calluses and corns, gout and toenail problems. If you have any concerns pertaining to these areas, get in touch with a professional Foot Doctor sooner rather than later. These specialists will have an eye for foot specific problems and are likely to be able to identify the cause of pain or discomfort more quickly than other general practitioners. They will also be able to offer you the most effective form of therapy or treatment to set things right and relieve you of unpleasant symptoms.

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Eye Conditions

You should visit an optometrist on average once a year, but don’t feel hesitant to visit more frequently if you feel that you are having problems with your vision or significant changes in your ability to see. An average eye test is quick, simple and painless, so there’s no reason to give it a miss. A professional practitioner will survey the health of your eye, from front to bad. The condition of the blood vessels inside your eye could indicate potential non-optical specific problems such as diabetes, so you should still check in even if your eyesight seems perfectly fine. Early signs of conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts can also be detected, and you may be referred on for further treatment. A series of tests will then determine whether you need prescription glasses or lenses to correct your vision.

Sensitive Skin

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and protects your internal organs and other structures from infection from external bacteria. So you need to take care of it! If you notice any form of sensitivity or the development of any skin condition, visit your doctor. Watch out for patches of dry, flaky, red or itchy skin. You should also avoid scratching or using perfumed or scented products while you figure out the cause of the problem. Once your condition has been identified, you can receive proper treatment. This is likely to consist of the application of specialist, soothing lotions and creams to the affected areas.

It’s key for your overall health and wellbeing that you are familiar with your body, as this will allow you to identify deviations or changes from its normal state. Conduct regular full body checks on yourself to check that everything appears healthy and don’t bury your head in the ground if you do begin experiencing any form of unpleasant symptoms. The sooner you reach out for help, the less chance the condition will have to establish itself and affect your life negatively.

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Waking Nights: The 4 Things That Will Impact Your Sleep Quality

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It appears that pretty much everyone nowadays has a problem with their sleep. Either we can’t get enough of it because we don’t have the time, or we are able to get to bed at a good time, but we are unable to fall asleep, and we end up tossing and turning throughout the whole night, waking up to see every hour on the clock. We feel compelled to burn the candle at both ends, in work and in life, because we think this will keep us ahead of the game. In fact, it’s very much the opposite, if you slept 6 hours a night for two weeks instead of the recommended 8, the sleep deprivation would be the same as going 48 hours without sleep! We see people being prescribed sleeping pills, waking pills, and everything in between! But is there a simpler key to feeling rested? Here are some of the big things that impact us having a quality sleep.

Our Smartphones

This is the best place to start, the amount of information that has shown the negative impact of smartphones and tablets on our quality of sleep pops up everywhere, yet we still choose to have a quick gander at our social media just before we turn in for the night. Here is the main point to take away, the blue light emitted from, not just your smartphone or your tablet, but also any electrical devices (like your television and computers), will interrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. While you may have slept the adequate amount of sleep your body needs, you won’t feel as rested because the melatonin hormone has been interrupted, resulting in a lack of deep sleep. The solution? Remove all forms of lights from your bedroom! It’s that simple. Install blackout blinds, wear an eye mask, anything to remove the light from your room. If you really need to look at your smartphone before you go to sleep, install a blue light filter to eliminate the harsh tones of the screen, and so it’s, therefore, easier on your eyes.

Our Bed

We all know how bad it can be if the bed we sleep in is lumpy and uncomfortable, we just can’t get relaxed enough to have a decent quality sleep. You know how bad you feel when you accidentally fall asleep on the couch and stay there all night? I’s a very similar thing. There are many factors to a great night’s sleep in our bed, the size of the bed, the comfiness, the pillow, and, of course, the temperature. If we have the wrong pillow, we will wake up with a stiff neck, so make sure that your pillow is the right size and supports the natural curve of your neck when you are sleeping on your back. The right mattress is integral to a great night’s sleep. A very popular type of mattress is one with memory foam, and these have numerous advantages, but there are also other types of mattresses like innerspring, natural latex, and even waterbeds. You can check out this site for mattress reviews to give you a better idea of what suits you. You should also think about sealing your mattress, especially if you are prone to allergies. If you have an old mattress, it can fill up with dust mite droppings and mold over time. It’s a given, if we don’t have a good quality bed, we won’t get a good quality sleep.

Stress And Anxiety

Have you found yourself not being able to sleep because you are worried about something? You are not alone, but there are things you can do to help ease your worries before going to sleep so you can have adequate rest to deal with the challenges in the morning. One of the most effective things to do is a “brain dump,” where you write down all of your anxieties and thoughts onto paper, fold the paper up, and simply put it to one side. This will stop you going over things in your mind so much. It’s a great way to declutter your mind before bedtime. Another way to reduce stress and anxiety is to start taking up a positive practice before bedtime, such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, anything to get you into a relaxed state. One common method that has been popular is the 4, 7, 8 method. This is a deep breathing exercise where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. You do this until you feel yourself drifting off. The important thing is to focus on the breath, and not your thoughts. The other effective way to deal with stress and anxiety is not just before bedtime, but by working at de-stressing yourself every day. So you can try these techniques at any time of day. Box breathing is another type of breathing technique that is actually used by Navy Seals, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and then rest without air in your lungs for another 4 seconds. And you can do this for as long as you want until you calm down.

Our Health

Put very simply, if you’re not healthy, you won’t be resting at the optimum level. So this means having, not just a healthy diet, with well-timed stimulants (in other words, no caffeine after midday), but also exercising on a regular basis. The importance of working out isn’t just great for our bodies, but it also will help us to fall asleep and improve our sleep quality. If you get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, you will see the benefits in your sleep. The best type of exercise is moderate to vigorous exercise, from the standard cardio, all the way through to exercises like yoga. One of the key factors in this may be the intake of oxygen, as you will naturally breathe heavier during a workout, which will trigger relaxation responses.

There are other factors, from the temperature of your room to your sleep cycles, but if you can tackle these four issues, you will see a drastic improvement in your overall quality of sleep, and therefore your quality of life.

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Forward Planning: Why You Should Start Putting Your Health First Now

Many of us are guilty of assuming that our youth will shield us from health problems. Sadly, although it’s true that many illnesses are more common in older people, this doesn’t mean that you can live like a rockstar without any implications. The truth is that health should be an issue that concerns all of us, no matter our age. Even if you’re a sprightly 20 or 30-year old, it’s important to start putting your health first now, as the choices you make will impact you later in life. Here are some simple ways you can make the future brighter.

Your diet
You may think that you’re healthy because you fit in the normal category of the BMI chart, but if you analyzed your diet, would it be given the thumbs up by a dietitian? You don’t have to eat nothing but pulses, seeds, fruit, and vegetables every day to be healthy, but it’s so important to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Try and include a range of foods, and focus on including all the major food groups. The bulk of your diet should comprise complex carbohydrates, and you’ll then need to add protein, fats and fruit and vegetables. Aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, opt for whole grains whenever possible and keep an eye on your intake of sugar and saturated fats. The best sources of fats are those that contain essential omega acids. Examples include oily fish and olive oil.

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Your alcohol intake
Most people enjoy an alcoholic drink from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation and you don’t need to have your intake monitored with an EtG test. However, it is a good idea to keep track of how much you drink in an average week. There may be days when you drink more than usual, for example, if you’re going to a wedding or celebrating a birthday, but if you exceed the recommended weekly intake of 14 units on a regular basis, it’s wise to try and cut down. Drinking too much can increase your risk of liver cirrhosis and some forms of cancer.

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Your activity levels
Did you know that 80 percent of American adults fail to hit weekly activity targets? If you don’t do enough exercise and you have a sedentary lifestyle, being more active will benefit you now and in the future. Regular exercise helps to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility and it can also improve your mental health. If you don’t want to lift weights or run for miles on a treadmill at the gym, don’t worry. There are countless other methods of getting fit you can try and even making simple changes to your daily routine can help. Go for a walk on your lunch break or cycle to work instead of catching a bus. You could join a local tennis, netball or hockey club, you could sign up for spinning, dancing or yoga classes or you could order some DVDs and work out at home. Government recommendations suggest 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

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Even if you’re young and you think you’re healthy, it’s never too early to make your health your priority.

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