10 money saving tips that will change your life

Sometimes, it can be difficult for anyone to handle their money in a responsible manner. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to frugality.

 

 

        1. Due to modern marketing, new and exciting products are constantly battling for our attention. Whenever you feel the urge to purchase a non-necessity, give yourself a couple of days before you buy it. Often times, the impulse will have passed and you’ll be glad to still have the money.
        2. Whenever you’re about to buy something, think about how many hours wages it cost. If the amount of work you put in outweighs the value of the item you’re purchasing, forget it
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        3. Be aware of where your money is going. These days everyone is signed up to dozens of subscriptions that charge you monthly. Make sure you are will to be paying for these. Look at your bank statement every once in a while and actually find out where your money goes.
        4. Every payday, take half of what you have left over after paying bills and put it into a savings account. It won’t seem like much at first, but over some time it will grow into a substantial amount.
        5. Only eat out at a restaurant once or twice a week(depending on how much you make). The cost of those meals add up quickly so by cooking your own food more often, you can save this money for other necessities. When you do eat out, get water with your meal and instantly save $2-4.\
        6. This one doesn’t go for everyone. I am not a coffee drinker so I don’t need to worry about this at all. But the majority of my family (and everyone else in America) drinks coffee on the daily. The problem is coffee at star bucks or your other favorite place costs a fortune after you’ve been there a few times. Try buying the coffee beans and making your coffee at home. Not only will you save a ton of time, but your bank account will feel some relief as well.
        7. Use a credit card for everything! It might sound weird but hear me out. Making every purchase with a credit card will help you build credit. As long as you pay it off every month, it won’t really be different from a debit card, except you will earn $100’s in reward cash throughout the year.
        8.  Make a spreadsheet to track everything you spend. Rent, groceries, utilities, misc. At the end of the day or after a night out, enter your expenses real fast before you crash. This way, you will never be surprised when your bank account balance is at 40 cents. (hopefully, you have a plan to get out of that one). There are even some apps that do essentially the same thing and save you time that you’re not logging onto the computer.
        9. Buy things at the end of the month. How many times have you approached the end of the month with an intense worry that you won’t be able to pay the bills? You think “Man, I shouldn’t have spent $500 on that memory foam mattress”. To avoid this, wait until the end of the month before you buy anything extra that you want. This will teach you to be more responsible with the money you make. Plus, getting the necessities paid for first makes you feel more deserving of whatever you want to spend your extra money on.
        10. Final tip: Do not constantly chase everything you want. Look at your parents and/or grandparents. They didn’t start out with a house full of appliances, electronics, and adornment. Learn to accumulate things over time and take your spending step by step. Build your financial future like you would build a house. One day at a time.

 

Which one of these tips will you use to improve your financial life? What are some other tips you have tried that work well?

21 best pieces of advice for a successful life

Through life, we occasionally come in contact with people whose wise words resonate greatly with us. They impact us to live better or different lives and make us into who we will eventually become. Here are 21 pieces of the best advice for a successful life:

      1. Know who your true friends are, look for the ones who say good things behind your back and constructive criticism to your face.
      2. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
      3. Don’t worry about controlling your emotions. Control your actions. The experience of emotions is outside our control, but our response to them is not.
      4. Be the person you needed in life.
      5. You don’t get paid based on how hard you work. You get paid based on how hard you are to replace.
      6. The only measure of a man that matters is from the eyes up.
      7. Have more than you show, speak less than you know (this one I live by).
      8. No one who is great at something was always great at it.
      9. Anything that annoys you when you’re dating, you’re going to get from both barrels when you’re married.
      10. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today.
      11. In order to get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
      12. The person in control of any relationship… is the person who cares about it the least.
      13. You can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow – Warren Buffet.
      14. If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else.
      15. The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.
      16. If you willingly associate with people of poor character, you deserve what happens next.
      17. Don’t make promises when you’re happy and don’t make decisions when angry.
      18. Stop blaming other people for your problems and take responsibility for yourself.
      19. If someone is trying to bring you down, it only means you are above them.
      20. Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.
      21. Sometimes the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else.

A number of these have helped me out in my personal life.

Leave a comment and let me know which one was your favorite and why!

5 tips to fall asleep on a plane

Falling asleep on a plane

Traveling out of the country is one of the most exciting things that 66 million Americans do every year. Unfortunately, traveling abroad often times requires long and excruciating plane rides.  They are hours of boredom during a time that you planned on living it up with beach days and lattes. The best way to pass the time though is just to sleep through it.

And thus we have our problem.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a plane before, you know the struggle. The turbulence makes you feel like someone is shaking you endlessly, and altitude changes can feel like a punch to the stomach.

But there are ways to overcome these difficulties. Here are 5 of my favorites!

Get a window seat

Window seats are always nice because you can enjoy the great view while flying. But they also have some somnolent advantages.

Place your pillow between you and the side of the plane and rest up against the window. This way you won’t need to sit upright the entire time, which we all know is a difficult position to sleep in.

Sleeping during a daytime flight can be especially difficult because all the open windows will bring a ton of light into the cabin. Having a window seat allows you to control the light intensity in your immediate proximity. If everyone around you has their windows open, a simple sleep mask will solve that problem.

A bonus to the window seat is that it will help with motion sickness!

Don’t look at your phone

As if there aren’t enough distractions while flying, we like to look at our phones in the middle of trying to sleep. If you want good quality sleep, stow away any electronic devices. The blue light emitted from phones and tablets, similar to sunlight, reduce melatonin levels — making it much more difficult to sleep.

On many international flights, there are TV’s on the back of every seat for in-flight entertainment. They are actually very tempting because they’ve got many of the newest movies and some really fun games on there. But the same goes for these. Don’t mess with them unless you’re not trying to sleep.

 

Stretch before boarding

I tried this one out for myself on a recent trip to Europe. Before I left for the airport, I stretched profusely until I felt really loose. After getting off the 9-hour flight, I felt just about good enough to do it again!

I also took measures during the flight to reduce any pain afterward. Sitting without twisting my body too much, keeping my legs straight with a slight bend at the knee,  relaxing my arms by my side, and leaning my seat back all helped to decrease any uncomfortability.

On the way back, I didn’t stretch at all — and I certainly felt the difference. Aches in my back and legs were bothering me during and a few hours after the flight.

Sleep on the pullout tray

This is another alternative to sleeping while sitting straight up. While it might be tough for some to bend down enough to rest on the pullout tray, if you’re short then it will work. You can bring a pillow to put on it, or simply flip around your neck pillow and use it that way. It’s very similar to laying your head on a desk when you sleep in class.

By the way, I’m not advocating sleeping in class, nor am I saying that I’ve ever done it.

But it’s a lot like that.

I also tried this one on my recent trip and it seems that simply getting horizontal after sitting vertically for so long will help you doze off easier.

 

Listen to soothing music

once you get up in the air, you’ll quickly notice that the sound of the engine stays very loud and annoying. It’s tough to sleep with that constant noise unless for some reason it soothes you. This was the case for my friend who enjoyed the white noise type buzzing sound of the engine. Myself and many others I’ve spoken to do not find it soothing and would rather pop in headphones to drown it out. If you’re trying to sleep, listen to something with a soft slow beat. This will mix with the engine sound in the background to create a soothing white noise.

Don’t forget, these aren’t the only things you can do. Many people have personal preferences when it comes to getting comfortable on a plane. For example, I like to wear a hoodie and tie the hood closed around my head.

I may look weird but I don’t care because I’m asleep.

Don’t ignore the troubles that come along with an extensive plane ride. Take these tips into account and make your travel as comfortable as possible.

Also, let me know how these work for you and if there is a good one I left out!

5 tips to remember your dreams tonight

Dreams are such a mystery. They come and go, night after night, with little to no recollection of their contents or significance. Everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers what their dreams were about. What would happen if we started to remember the things we dream about? What experiences would we have? Would we learn more about ourselves, or would we simply open up another door to an exceedingly vast sphere of mystery? I guess you never know unless you try.

Here are 5 tips to remember your dreams more clearly tonight:

1. Sleep More

This may sound obvious, but there is research that backs it. On average, we dream 4-6 times each night. The y can be long or short, detailed or dull. The goal of dream recall is to remember more of the details to even the dull dreams.

 

After 8 hours of sleep, we often experience up to 45 minutes of dreaming. That’s why we often have long and detailed dreams right before we wake up. Our minds are most likely to have dreams when we enter REM(rapid eye movement sleep). In the last minutes before we wake up, our body has entered a very deep REM cycle that prompts some awesome dreams.

Most people don’t get 8 hours of sleep every night. I don’t either. But if you want to have more REM cycles, you need to sleep more. It’s that simple.

 

2. Wake up in the middle of the night

Set an alarm for 5 hours after you go to sleep. You’re first REM cycle typically starts 4.5 hours after you actually fall asleep — so you should have gotten a solid 30 minutes of quality dreaming in. When you wake up, immediately start recalling what you remember. Take note of images, colors, sounds — and especially dialogue. The more you intentionally recall your dream details, the better you train your brain to do it naturally. Researchers suggest it’s easier to remember a dream when we wake up directly from it. This means that more often than not, you’ll be waking up in the middle of the night.

I know what you’re thinking — that sounds achingly unattractive. Who wants to disrupt a good night sleep halfway through? I understand.

But if you are serious about digging into your subconscious and remembering your dreams, you’re going to have to get a little uncomfortable.

3. Write it down

I’m sure you’ve heard of a dream journal. Many people do it simply because they love journaling, and their dreams give them something to journal about. But the main purpose of writing down your dreams is so that you can refer back to it later. Referring back to past dreams could help produce some reoccurring ones. Dreams that replay over and over again — or have a recurring aspect — are easily identified by the dreamer, making them a key piece in recalling dreams.

Keep pen and paper next to your bed. When you wake up from a dream — either in the middle of the night or in the morning — write down everything you remember about that dream. And I mean EVERYTHING. Where were you? What were you doing? Who was there? Try to recall specifics and rebuild the dream again in your head and on paper.  You can even take it a step further and write down specific things from your dreams on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or on the ceiling above your bed.

If you want, you can work on your memory recalling skills by remembering things you did in the waking day. Write down what you ate for breakfast or what color your best friends lunchbox was. Recreate real-life situations on paper, and you will learn to do the same thing with your dreams.

 

4. Instruct your brain to remember your dreams

When you lie in bed at night, your brain is playing a slideshow of the day’s activities. It makes a note of everything you’ve gotten done during the day and puts more things on the to-do list. What you want to do is put ‘remember my dreams’ on the night’s to-do list.

It turns out that our subconscious minds are highly suggestive. While you are drifting off, repeat something like “I remember all my dreams” over and over again. Use the present tense — instead of saying something like “I recalled my dream yesterday” — because you’re trying to convince your mind to think a certain way.

What this does is send a command to your brain instructing it to remember the dreams you have. And while you won’t be consciously remembering, your subconscious will hear the command too and act accordingly. It sounds quite elementary, I know, but it works!

 

5. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine before sleep

As you can guess, these depressants — or stimulants — restrain your body from entering REM sleep, the type of sleep where dreams occur most frequently. Alcohol can also suppress your memory which will obviously affect your dream recall. If you can avoid coffee or alcohol for the entire day, that would be ideal. But if you can’t go without and still want to remember some dreams, just make sure it’s been 8 or so hours since the last sip. For more on how coffee affects your dreams, check out my other post: How does caffeine affect dreams?

Remembering your dreams isn’t an easy task. That’s probably why you looked up how.

Try using all of these tips collectively and watch the dreams start flooding in like the Mill River:)

Also, make sure to comment and tell me how they worked for you!

 

Use this sleep position for a better nights rest

I bet those of you who have trouble sleeping have scowered and tested every possible sleep position, in order to fall asleep easier at night.  It’s so tough to find that perfectly comfortable position to sleep because, as we lay there unable to sleep, it becomes uncomfortable again. Today, I want to through the best position to fall asleep easier. I aim for this exact position every time I go to bed because it has worked so well for me.

 

Don’t lie on your back

Especially if you suffer from neck pain or trouble breathing when you sleep, don’t fall asleep on your back. Unless you own a pillow that perfectly forms to your neck, this can be a bad idea as you will put a strain on your neck and wake up in the middle of the night. Additionally, lying on your back causes your soft palete to collapse into the back wall of your throat — causing snoring.

The Side

The best way to sleep seems to be on your side — with a few modifications. Side sleeping is known to be good for overall health. It is a good position if you suffer from neck and back pain or sleep apnea. It is much easier to breathe if you are laying on your side because there is no pressure on your lungs. You might not notice this unless you’re experiencing some sort of breathing problem due to a sickness or existing condition. When I am sick with the flu or a cold, I’ll experience an increase in trouble breathing due to the phlegm build up in my chest. This is exaggerated when I lay on my back, especially for longer amounts of time.

Sleeping on your side keeps your body in a regular position — similar to if you were standing up — and keeps your spine stretched out. This position avoids any unnecessary strains in your body and will help you fall asleep quicker and stay that way through the night.

Some will say sleeping on you back with a slight incline is the best for acid reflux, but in my experience, sleeping on the side has practically the same effectiveness.

Neck Curve

In our battle to get comfortable for the night, many times we compromise our posture in order to fall asleep. We will straighten up too much or maybe curve our neck too severely. It is important to maintain a healthy curve in the neck. Doing so won’t only help you sleep at night, but also improve your posture for during the day. For sleeping on your side, try to find a short pillow — without a lot of bulge — that will form slightly to the shape of your neck. By doing so, you avoid the tightening of your neck muscles throughout the night; if your neck is tight for the entire time you’re in bed, you will likely have a stiff neck or feel sore when you wake up.

Quite obviously, this pain can easily disrupt sleep. If you suffer from back pain when you lay on your side, you might want to put some support under that side to alleviate it. Whatever slight modifications you can make that will help minimize your individual pain will help you sleep better. Many people, including myself, roll around everywhere while sleeping. If you’re one of these people, but you suffer from neck pain, consider a neck pillow to keep your neck supported no matter the position you are in. A healthy C shaped curve in the neck will help curb that neck pain.

Back curve

It’s natural for a good side position to easily turn into a fetal position without much thought. But a fetal position is basically only good if you have intestinal problems. You want to keep your back relatively straight while you sleep. Doing so will keep your spine elongated, your back straight, and your neck and head in a better position.

The more you sleep like you’re a fetus, the more you’re going to be hunching as you walk around during the day. A good posture when you sleep is crucial for a good day time posture. Particularly if you suffer from scoliosis, keep your spine straight and your head aligned with your body to decrease pain and allow for good air flow. I often want to move my legs around to get more comfortable, however, it’s best to keep the pelvis in a straight line to prevent abnormal twisting. Research has discovered a number of sleep benefits for hammocks, so act as though you are laying in a hammock when you go to sleep. That is, get into a position on your side where your body is curved equally around.

Other benefits of side sleeping

Sleeping on one’s side has also been found to improve waste clearance from the brain. It’s possible that our bodies have adapted to a lateral position as the best one in clearing out metabolic products that build up as we go about our day. Better clearing of this waste as we sleep can also help reduce the likelihood of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Research has shown how sleeping on your left side can help reduce acid reflux while sleeping on your right aggravates symptoms. Whether you struggle with heartburn or not, choose your side accordingly. Also, sleeping on your side — particularly the left side — can increase blood flow to and from your heart and aid digestion.

If you are trying to get the best sleep possible, the best place to start is your sleeping position. Don’t accept a bad sleeping position just to get to sleep faster because musculoskeletal pain may begin to develop. Once you start experiencing pain, sleeping will become exponentially more difficult. Lack of sleep then is linked to hundreds of different detrimental health issues.

It never hurt to get more sleep. I hope these tips gave you a good idea of what to do and what to look for as you doze off tonight. 🙂