Easy Ways To Learn How To Save

It has been said thousands of times that it is important to save. Your savings serve as your backup plan in case things gets messed up for you financially. However, at one point or another, you face different challenges on keeping your savings intact or even starting saving in the first place.

For those who are persistent enough to start saving early, when they hit a bump on the road, they forget about continuing on with their financially responsible habit. On the other hand, those who just can’t seem to start saving may see it as a hindrance to their goal rather than a tool.

To finally learn how to save consistently, remember these two tips, and soon, you can enjoy living a more financially secure life.

Be Organized

People become overwhelmed with saving because, oddly enough, they see the money they set aside for this cause as a form of “expense” that they have to pay every time money comes in. Unfortunately, this mindset can never work if you really want to start saving soon.

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To avoid this financially unhealthy thinking, you need to start seeing money as a tool that can help you pave the way towards your goals. As it is a tool, remember that money is a resource that you need to appropriately allocate to certain aspects in your life. With that said, you need to be more organized than usual in order to take that first step to financial freedom.

Find ways to organize your cash flow. You can use a logbook to jot down money that comes in and out your pocket. You can also use spreadsheet programs to be more efficient. There are also a lot of applications you can download to ensure organization with your funds. Whatever option you go for, you need to find a way to see the bigger picture with what is going on with your money.

For instance, jotting down your expenses on food can give you a different perspective on what, where, and how often you eat. When everything is written down, you can see exactly what you are spending and decide whether it’s the appropriate amount. You can also determine if there is enough wiggle room for you to reallocate some of your budget to other aspects in your life like in transportation, life insurance, or occasional leisure trips.

Take it Slow

Some people feel the need to start big in terms of their savings. Primarily, this is due to the pressure they feel when they learn that other people have “big savings.” They immediately act on their ego without thinking about it much or planning enough to actually get things done.

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In reality, the best way to start saving effectively is to start small. Yes, you can use that piggy bank you have stored away, collecting dust instead of coins. Those who earn well (but can’t save well) can start putting in loose change or spare cash to start off their financial journey.

What this does is teach you how to create the habit of saving. If you have just started working and have just received your first paycheck, put an amount that you feel comfortable with. In the same way, if you are a tenured manager but simply can’t start saving for whatever reason, start building up your home savings with your piggy bank.

When you have created the habit of setting aside money regularly, you begin to realize that you need to put a little bit more. After a while, you add a little bit more until such time that you want to save in a bank, then go for time deposits and ultimately, invest. It may sound too far out, but huge things do start with something small.

Six Important Things To Do In Your 20s

Twenties. It’s that period in one’s life when you can either be too adventurous or too conservative. If you want to set yourself up for success in your 30s (or much later in life), it’s best if you make the most out of your 20s by building a career, experiencing new things through travel, connecting with your family and friends, and saving up.

Search or build a career that enables you to work from home

Remote employment has become increasingly popular these days, and you should take advantage of it. One of the best ways to have more control in your life is by working from home, because once you’re home, things can start to shift in your favor as you call the shots in how you do your work.

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Of course, there are various challenges with this set-up. There are relatively few types of jobs that translate to a career from home. That’s why you should first survey the different careers that are typical of at-home workers before you set yourself up for one of them.

Almost every professional who is now working from home has either worked very hard in their twenties to build their own business or has worked hard enough in the past to specialize on a certain skill that has made them highly valuable in the company to replace. The bottom line is that there’s just much freedom and flexibility about this kind of job that it could lead to bigger career changes in the next decade of your professional life.

Travel

Heading out to faraway places and discovering new parts of the world – especially on your own – is definitely a spiritually rewarding experience. It can also tell you that are mature enough to go on your own and learn from other cultures.

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During this time, you won’t have any other pressing obligations and could be carefree for a few moments. Use this opportunity to meet different people, live with them, and understand their thoughts and culture. Plus, you can learn how to survive independently outside the comforts of your usual environment.

In itself, traveling is a great provider of knowledge. There are tons of things that you can learn if you invest in a form of travel during your 20s. Try not to go from one hotel to another, but also try going from city to city, or country to country, staying with, when possible, with local families. People learn through struggling, and if you can push yourself to struggle with language, customs, foods, and arts, you can definitely learn a lot.

Build muscle.

There are many rewards of trying to live a healthy life. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that “aesthetically pleasing” people tend to be those who are more privileged in life. According to Daniel Hamermesh’s research, “Attractive people are likely to earn an average of 3 to 4 percent more than a person with below-average looks. That adds up to $230,000 more over a lifetime for the typical good-looking person, Dr. Hamermesh estimates. Even an average-looking worker is likely to make $140,000 more over a lifetime than an ugly worker.”

When you do decide to start to working on your dream body, you should do it as early as possible. What you probably didn’t know is that you can buy yourself some time if you’ve been lifting weights regularly during your twenties. When muscles have been built earlier in your life, they tend to stay strong long enough that you can do relatively simpler workouts in your thirties. This plan allows you a lot more flexibility with your workout regimen later on.

Of course, fit and more buff people are generally healthier than the average man. This means that not only do you get more attractive, but you also live longer and not worry too much about avoidable ailments in your old life. There are many other benefits to being fit, and you should start aiming to be one in your 20s. Because living healthy is a lifestyle as much as it is a habit, you need to build up that pattern as early as possible so that your own body would be groomed for a healthier life.

Connect with your siblings

Staying in touch with your siblings in your twenties may not be as fun as it was when you were a toddler. This is the period when people are beginning to make their marks in their communities. They begin to establish their own identities. Some even go as far as becoming their parents or become romantically engaged with someone like their parents.

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At this point, you might be in denial of this new turn in life. You might even stay in that denial stage as long as possible.  This can lead to avoiding anything related to your parents. This includes avoiding your siblings because siblings can always tell when you’re acting like your parents.

According to a study from Harvard, one of the indicators of people who are happy is their relationships with their siblings as an adult. Those who remain close with their siblings are generally happier and more directed in life.

If believe the path to happiness lies in being able to get into exclusive clubs or have the fanciest things money can buy, you should probably choose a new path. These things don’t last. Your siblings are the ones who stay the longest. Give them regular visits and see a different light in your life.

Save as much as you can, even when it means being stingy sometimes.

Money shouldn’t be your primary motivator, but nearly everyone could easily say that you should still focus on sensible financial planning, especially setting away a rainy-day fund to cushion you when you hit inevitable bumps on the road. Start saving and look for guides on the internet on how you can live a generous life without having to spend a lot.

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You can set aside six to 12 months of living expenses. You don’t want to panic or change your lifestyle if something bad happens like injury, sickness, or job loss.

When it comes to treating others, always remember that you really don’t have to impress your friends. For example, you can just look for cheap but memorable – or practical – gifts to your best friend’s wedding like a water heater from your local store or something creative like a survival kit that you can buy online. Indeed, it’s not your task to impress your friends by spoiling them with an expensive night out. Rather, save now and be prepared when the time of need comes.

Realize that 20s is not practice

Your 20s shouldn’t be a rehearsal for your old age. It is real life and the poor choices that you can make can haunt you when you’re older. Don’t worry about something like relocation – it’s true that you can live anywhere, but it’s not true that you’re going to want to live just anywhere. Go on and live with your parents if money is a big issue, but make sure that you are looking ahead after a certain amount of time.

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People in their twenties spend too much time making dead-end decisions that they pretend don’t count. Instead, focus on using a systematic way to try new jobs and new relationships to figure where you fit. Don’t worry that things don’t feel right in your twenties because everything happens so fast. Time does speed up as you get older, and you’re not going to believe how fast your twenties are over.

3 Financial Benefits of Being Healthy and Where to Start

Keeping yourself fit and its effects on your overall health is something that you’ve already read about many times. What you may not know is that working out and eating right actually has tremendous financial benefits, too. A lot of research suggests that overweight people spend more on health care. Then again, it’s not just the lean who stand to save. The fact is that regardless of your weight, if you’re a couch potato, you’re most likely missing out on earning and saving opportunities.

Here are some of the benefits of being healthy overall, and how to keep a simple exercise regimen for starters:

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Benefit 1: Total Payoff in every bit of your paycheck

Health care costs aren’t the only way physical activity is a benefit. People who work out regularly – e.g. at least three times in a week – are more productive at work than those who don’t, according to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Generally, those who get sufficient exercise also miss fewer workdays, according to the same study.

Again, those absences can translate to lost income and lost opportunities for advancement.

Devoting work time to physical activity can lead to higher productivity, a research from Stockholm University also suggested. The study shows that it is possible to use work time for exercise or other health-promoting measures and still attain the same or higher production levels.

The same production levels with fewer work hours means greater productivity, while individuals benefit from better health as a result of the physical activity. This increased productivity comes from people getting more done during the hours they are at work and from less absenteeism owing to sickness.

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Another study published in the Journal of Labor Research found that men who work out regularly can expect to make 6% more than their sedentary counterparts on average. For women, the pay boost is higher: Fitness-savvy females make 10% more on average.

Benefit 2: Lose Weight, Lower Healthcare Costs

This is a no-brainer, but in case you take it for granted, lowering healthcare cost is probably the best reason to start exercising and losing weight. The World Health Organization has stated that people who exercise regularly save an estimated $500 in annual healthcare costs.

Elective procedures are always going to be expensive. Unexpected trips to the emergency room because of unforeseen accidents and illnesses, like fractures and infections are always pricey. Additionally, paying for the medical treatments you can’t predict is hard enough – it is always better to stop shelling out hundreds per year on preventable healthcare costs.

Having an inactive lifestyle is one of the many causes of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and depression. Just by doing regular exercise, like walking or swimming a few times a week, you can greatly reduce your risk of serious health conditions and diseases. You breathe better, sleep better, have more energy, and, if you make it a serious lifestyle change, you would most likely be able to dodge pricey health treatments and prescriptions altogether.

Benefit 3: Breaking the Habit

One of the best, if not the best, reasons why you should go out and exercise more often is that it changes your mindset. There’s a cycle that most people follow that keeps them in debt, and makes saving any money at all seem impossible.

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People oftentimes work too much, are constantly stressed out, and never have enough time to eat quality meals or take care of their bodies. This is where the health challenge comes in.

Break the cycle by introducing one of the best stress-busters out there into your routine.

Get excited about trying new healthy recipes, and scour the web for meal plans, snacks, and coupons to keep costs down. Fill up your free time by trying a new class at the gym, or exploring a new hiking trail with your family. Carry your new mindset over into healthcare, treating common aches and illnesses with gentle exercises like yoga, and nutritious foods.

Baby Steps to Getting Fit: Where to start?

If you want to start your road to being healthy, it’s always best if you start small. Commitment to exercise and other workout programs could be daunting to anyone, and what usually happens is that people would stop working out after Day 1 simply because it was just too tiring.

If you have a gym membership, it’s always best to look for an instructor, because they can teach you the proper workout plan, the proper diet, even the proper supplementation. More importantly, they can help you decide on how to properly start your training regimen, like suggesting the best time to workout depending on your working schedule, recommending the top 5 pre workouts for energy before working out (so you can maximize your results), and determining a better meal plan for yourself.

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If you don’t have a gym membership, you can always go to the internet for different programs to follow, especially the ones where you can perform them at home. You can try these simple workouts for beginners:

Note: Perform this workout as a circuit, completing the prescribed number of repetitions of each exercise without resting. Once you’ve done one set of each exercise, rest for two minutes, then repeat the entire circuit one to two more times.

 Bodyweight Squat:

Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, so that your arms are parallel to the floor.

Keep your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back slightly arched. Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.

Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one repetition. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.

Incline Push-up:

Assume a push-up position, but place your hands placed on a raised surface—such as a box, bench, ottoman or one of the steps of your stairs—instead of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head.

Keeping your body rigid, lower your body until your upper arms dip below your elbows. Pause, and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible.

Do 12 to 15 repetitions.

Hip Raise:

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle, your palms facing up. Now try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that way—this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally.

Keeping your core tight, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause for five seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly the entire time—then lower body back to the starting position.

Do 10 repetitions.

Side Plank:

Lie on your right side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body on your right elbow and forearm, which should be directly below your right shoulder. Place your left hand on your left hip.

Similar to the hip raise, try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that in while breathing normally. Then raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. With your core tight, hold this position for 30 seconds. Roll onto your other side and repeat.

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You can also always start off trying out running and/or jogging for at least 30 minutes per day. Cardio exercises go a long way in terms of keeping yourself healthy and active with just a little bit of time commitment every day.

The Financial Benefits of Online Learning

Students around the world are continuously seeking alternatives for traditional education, especially now that high tuition fees, shortage in terms of course availability and institutionalized budget cuts, among many other challenges, have been on the rise. The most famous and effective alternative for the past four years, however, has been online learning. As world-wide technology improves, the viability of full-time online learning has become more established month after month.

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With more than three million students currently enrolled in fully online degree programs, and six million others who are taking at least one online course as part of their degree program, online education has clearly become one of the most popular higher education alternatives. The continually improving reputation of online learning has also helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism has faltered in the face of overwhelming evidence that shows how online learning can be just as effective as face-to-face education.

The benefits of enrolling in online courses and programs span not only from the elimination of traveling; it also involves the availability of more programs and courses, higher levels of academic productivity, and significantly lower financial requirements imposed on students. Below are eight benefits of enrolling in online courses that can make anyone consider taking up this alternative learning method:

Variety of programs and courses

Before, online courses have been limited to arts and creative writing, such as Multimedia Studies, Multimedia Arts, Literature and other arts disciplines. Nowadays, the plethora of available programs and courses has grown exponentially. Furthermore, because of the viability of online courses, the availability of these programs has increased – now, anyone can be enlisted in their choice of university/college with their preferred course without the fear of classes being “full”.

From traditional four-year-university programs to completely online vocational workshops, higher education today offers a variety of options for students. This means that no matter what students wish to study, from Nursing and Neuroscience to Education and Environmental Science, they can find the courses or degree programs they need online. They can also earn every academic degree virtually – all the way from a career certificate to a doctorate.

Reducing the Total Cost of Studying

Online programs can be a more affordable option than traditional colleges, because of the amount of money that can be saved simply by not physically being in a school. Though not all online degrees have less expensive net tuition prices than traditional colleges, associated costs are almost always less expensive.

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For one, there are no commuting costs. A student can save $40 to $60 (sometimes even more) every month just because they don’t need to take the bus, a cab or even their cars when going to school. Renting out a dormitory is out of the question, and that’s a lot of savings for a student. Furthermore, there are much less required course materials such as textbooks or handouts because their digital alternative is often available for free online.

Eliminating Commuting

Aside from the amount of money that students can save by eliminating the requirement of commuting, there are also safety issues that can be solved through online learning. Students can be safe from natural disasters, road accidents, or even rogue attacks from pick-pockets (though that’s not exactly likely) through in-house schooling.

During snowstorms and thunderstorms, colleges may cancel classes; if they don’t, you run the risk of getting hurt in dangerous driving conditions. Rather than miss important class sessions, students in online courses can always “attend” by participating on discussion boards or in chat sessions, turn in their work on time, and watch lectures or read materials. Not having to commute from home to the college poses a lot of benefits for all types of students.

More comfortable learning environment:

Studies have shown that students with the most comfortable learning environment learn the most – that is, depending on how the students perceive comfort. Some students prefer studying in their pajamas. There are students who prefer studying in cooler environments, while some prefer room temperature. Sometimes, campus seats aren’t the most comfortable ones, too! The truth of the matter is that enrolling in online courses allow students to choose (or make) their own comfortable learning environment.

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At the end of the day, there is one underlying benefit of being enrolled in online courses: there are no physical class sessions. Lectures and other materials are electronically sent to the students who can then complete assignments in the comfort of their own den. Students do not have to endure the stresses of going through heavy traffic, finding parking spaces, leaving work early to get to class on time, or missing out on other important engagements as opportunity costs.

Plus, online course students can also take a power nap whenever they want to without having to deal with the banter of professors. Their learning environment is of their own making, and they can customize it to the fullest to achieve the best learning environment.

Aside from comfort, students can also make their learning more effective by having access to tools or supplements that aren’t generally allowed during class. For example, students can enjoy munching on brain food such as nuts while listening to a lecture or taking an examination.

Convenience and flexibility:

Online courses give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, whether that’s early morning or late at night. If a student is an innate night owl, they can easily adjust their schedule to effectively attend to their class requirements.

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Also, course materials are always accessible online, so there’s no need to schedule special trips to the library. The best part is that should a student miss a lecture (because of an emergency or a medical issue), he or she can view the materials any other time of the day. Furthermore, students have the chance to use the resources from available applications like that from Team Treehouse or Khan Academy as the need arises. All of these makes online learning a good option for students who need to balance their work, family time or any other commitments.

More Ways for Students to Concentrate:

Online courses offer students facing challenges in terms of socializing (such as innately shy ones and socially anxious ones) the opportunity to participate in class discussions or chats with more ease than face-to-face class sessions.

Online courses help introverts or students with social anxiety cope better in terms of learning. They won’t need to talk more, to be forced in recitations, to put themselves in embarrassing situations, or be hindered from learning just because they simply can’t socialize as well as others.

Career advancement:

With the technology right now, students can take online courses and even complete entire degrees while working, while in-between jobs, or while taking time to raise a family.

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This academic work can explain any discontinuity or gaps in a resume as well. Also, earning a degree can show prospective employers that the student is an ambitious and driven individual, and would want to remain informed and prepared for any new challenges.

Improve other skills like technical skills:

Even the most basic online course requires the development of new computer skills. As students learn to navigate different learning management systems and programs online, they acquire basic skills pertinent to their future profession.

The skills students learn while participating in their online courses translate to actual profession job skill set, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into assignments, completing online training sessions, among other functions. These are tasks that students, however they completed their education, need to know while working in the workplace anyway.