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Here’s the rub: We all don’t take care of ourselves quite as much as we should.

I really believe this. If you don’t, just think about how busy our lives are. We’re all caught up with things like taking care of our kids, work, school, or a myriad other things. And this causes us to neglect things like our health, our spirituality, or our financial well being.

The proof is everywhere. Obesity rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the last 2 decades. This is perhaps the most telltale sign that we aren’t taking care of ourselves physically. Many health experts believe that for the first time ever, our children won’t live as long as we do. There are many potential reasons why our obesity rate has gone up so high. And it’s not something that’s isolated to the U.S. All over the globe, we seem to be putting on more weight. Some blame modern food, while others point to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. But any way you slice it, the problem comes down to us not taking care of ourselves.

Of course, it goes beyond the scope of a blog post to help you turn your health around, but there are a few simple things you can do that can go a long way. Here’s my list of 3 simple things you should be doing to improve your physical well-being:

  1. Watch what you eat – This means buying organic foods when possible, cutting down on saturated fats, sodium, and sugar.  If you can’t watch your diet as much as you’d like, make sure you take supplements. There are many great ones you can buy online.
  2. Increase physical activity – This one is a no-brainer. As much as you can, you should become more physically active. This doesn’t mean you need to get a gym membership or engage in some high-intensity sport. A 30-minute walk a few times a week is enough to make a big difference.
  3. Improve your emotional well-being – If you aren’t happy, you are more prone to be lazy, eat more, and not take care of yourself. And studies have also shown there is a strong connection between emotional and physical well-being. Avoid negative, toxic people. Do something nice for yourself every day. And find good, supportive friends you can talk to.

Financial Well Being

Our discussion wouldn’t be complete without addressing finances. Many of us run up credit card bills, fall behind on rent, and run into all sorts of other financial problems. This can be a huge issue, since it makes us stressed out and also ruins things like our credit score, which can negatively affect your life.

So how do you get your financial house in order? Again, here are the 3 top things I would recommend.

  1. Eliminate debt – Yes, this is easier said than done. But online, there are tons of resources to help you become debt free. It may take years, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll achieve your goals. For more information about eliminating debt, watch the video below:
  2. Live below your means – I like to pretend I only earn about 70-80% of my actual income, and live off that amount. This creates a lot of peace of mind and allows you to save money that you can use if you face an emergency.
  3. Save – If you don’t have an IRA, open up as soon as possible. Then, set away at least 10% of your income and put it into your retirement account. You should begin doing this as soon as you can, even if you’re still in your 20s or 30s. To find out how much you’ll have at retirement, I suggest checking out this IRA Calculator.
  4. Minimize taxes – It’s well known that rich people tend to pay less taxes. You should too. Do your research on deductions (see my tax article for more) and other tax-related subjects to make sure you pay the lowest taxes possible.

One great way to ensure you have more money is by becoming a smart shopper. This means doing things like clipping coupons, buying items online, and taking advantage of any special offers that are available on the products you purchase.

The internet is a terrific resource for people who are interested in saving money. Start out by bookmaking sites like coupons.com, savings.com, and other sites that focus on helping you save money. Always make sure you compare prices online by using sites like pricegrabber.

It takes a while to cast aside your old habits and develop new ones. But with a little effort, you can make many positive changes in your life. The end result will be that you’ll be healthier, happier, and richer. That is the goal of this web site. This post was just an introduction into what you’re in for. In the coming weeks and months, I will be adding many posts, articles, and videos that are designed to improve the quality of your life.

Does that sound good to you? I hope so. Let’s get started and live healthier lives together!

My favorite e-cigarette brand: Halo

Halo Cigs Coupon CodesWhen I first got started vaping, I spend quite a while trying to find the best e-cigarette for my needs. Since I always favor simplicity, I quickly ruled out the more complicated batteries. I basically just wanted an e-cigarette that was as small as a regular cigarette and just as easy to use. Ultimately, this meant I had to get slim, automatic, “cigalike” batteries along with some pre-filled cartomizers.

Most batteries I tried at first were only mediocre. I tried generic Kanger batteries as well as a few brands like Vapor4Life. It wasn’t until I tried the Halo G6 that I discovered my favorite battery. I found the Halo automatic batteries don’t require as strong a pull to get some vapor.

Similarly, the Halo cartomizers were much better than other ones I tried. They did not have the same, chemical aftertaste I found with other brands. I haven’t tried Halo’s flavors yet, but I assume they will be equally impressive in quality.

The only disadvantage of buying from Halo for me has been that the prices are a bit higher then what you might pay for other e-cigs. This is why I wait until there is a sale before making a bulk purchase. I also look for Halo Cigs promo codes from sites like E-cigbargains.com. A Halo Cigs coupon should save you a minimum of 5%, even when there are no other promotions going on. Keep in mind, you can sometimes find some good deals on e-cigarette twitter pages as well, so it’s a good idea to check them once in a while as well.

Basic graphic design tips

If you are looking to get a good deal on graphic design, you may want to try doing it yourself. I don’t recommend doing your own design if you are dealing with an important marketing piece. But for basic flyers, menus, or postcards, you can save a good deal of money by doing the design work yourself.

There are two ways you can go about this. The first is to obtain software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, and design the piece from scratch. Even if you take this approach, it’s best to download templates from the printing company you intend to use. For example, if you use Printplace, which is my favorite company, you can download blank templates that you can use to get started. To read more about this, just go to http://hotprintingdeals.com/coupons/printplace.php.

The other option is to use design tools offered by the printing company. For simple items like postcards, Printplace has pre-designed postcards where all you need to do is customize by adding whatever title and text you want. This is honestly one of the easiest ways to design a professional looking piece, however, the postcard will not be 100% original since it utilizes a design that others will be using as well.

Make sure you select your printing company prior to starting the design process, so that you have the correct templates. If you don’t know which printing company to use, check out Printplace. And make sure you use these Printplace coupons if you use this printer. After all, there’s not need to pay full price unless you absolutely have to!

Should You Itemize Your Deductions?

turbotax free editionPeople every year struggle with whether or not to itemize your deductions. But if you know how deductions work, it’s actually quite easy to know whether to itemize or not. It all comes down to whether or not your deductions will exceed the so-called “standard deduction” which every taxpayer gets by default. As of this writing, the standard deduction is $6,300 for individuals, and $12,600 for married couples. So the bottom line is that if your itemized deductions exceed these amounts for whichever category you are in, then it is in your best interest to itemize your deductions. One easy way to know whether or not you should itemize is by simply using a good tax preparation program like Turbotax (more on that later).

Before proceeding, you should make sure you understand everything that can be itemized. Many people forgo itemized deductions because they are not aware of just how many things can be deducted. To give you a brief list, here are some of the most common items you can deduct:

  • Home Mortgage Interest
  • Local and State Income Taxes
  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Medical and Dental Expenses
  • Charitable Contributions

In general, higher income individuals tend to be better off itemizing deductions, as a high income usually means larger income taxes, which can be used as a major deduction. The other huge deciding factor is whether or not you own a home. If you own a home and pay a mortgage, then the interest portion of your payment is deductible, and depending on how expensive your home was, this can end up being quite a large deduction as well.

Many people will tell you to go talk to a CPA to determine whether you should itemize deductions or take the standard deductions. For most people, however, I don’t find this to be necessary. Doing taxes on your own can seem daunting, but it’s actually not that difficult if you take advantage of a user-friendly tax preparation program like Turbotax. But you don’t have to necessarily take my word. New changes to this software make it possible for you to try a Turbotax free edition (from http://freetrialspot.com/turbotax.php) on the Internet without any cost to you. By doing this, you’ll see how easy it is to prepare your taxes by yourself. The online program is free to use, but you need to buy the program if you actually decide to file your taxes using Turbotax.

Are daily disposable lenses worth the extra money?

For a long time, daily disposable contact lenses have had a reputation for being the most comfortable and best for your eyes. While this may be true, you can expect to pay two or three times what you pay for other kinds of contact lenses. This raises the question about whether or not it’s worth it to pay the extra money for these kinds of contact lenses.

The answer to this question depends on several factors. If you can afford daily disposable contact lenses, and money is not an issue for you, then they can definitely be an upgrade worth paying for. But on the other hand, if you are satisfied with your current lenses, there really is no compelling reason to switch and pay more money.

For example, I have been using Focus Night & Day brand contact lenses for many years now. To this day, I have not had a single issue. While I’ve tried daily disposables, there was really not noticeable difference when it came to how my eyes felt. Moreover, I get a terrific deal on Focus Night & Day by using an online contact lens company called AC Lens.com. This is because AC Lens gives me guaranteed low prices, and also has AC Lens coupons that I can use to get great deals on large orders. For more on this, check out these ac lens discount coupons from visualdiscount.com.

Then, there is the case of my cousin, who was getting dry eyes when using contact lenses. His optometrist suggested switching to daily wear contacts, and after he made the switch, the problems have largely dissipated. Therefore, for people who face certain minor issues with wearing contact lenses, using daily disposable lenses can be one great way to alleviate such problems.

My advice is therefore to start off with a high-quality extended wear contact lens brand. If this gives you some problems, then daily disposable lenses are definitely worth checking out.

Another category threatened by online shopping

It turns out that impulse buys, such as candy at the checkout counter, have been suffering in recent years thanks to online shopping. More and more individuals are using the Internet to buy things like groceries, and companies such as Hersheys have been affected.

The solution for these companies is to find a way to create an equivalent method of enticing online customers to purchase their products. I’m not quite sure how such a thing would be possible without things like popup windows or other methods that traditionally have been annoying to consumers. But it will be interesting to see how these companies adapt. For more, read the full article on business insider.


Inkjet Printer or Laser Printer?

If you are currently thinking about buying a new printer, then you have a lot to think about. Things such as brand name, ink cartridge prices, warranties, and price are all factors that can and should influence your decision. Consumers today have dozens of great choices in every price range.

The best way to narrow down your selection in my opinion is by reading reviews online. Two sites you can rely on to read tons of printer reviews are CNET and Amazon. CNET will have professional reviews, which can be quite informative. Sometimes, CNET also has video reviews you can watch. Amazon, on the other hand, has a plethora of customer reviews. Such reviews can often be just as helpful, if not more helpful than professional reviews. Keep in mind, however, consumer reviews can often be quite biased, so you should look for a consensus opinion rather than relying too much on a small number of reviews. I typically only trust star ratings if there are over 10 reviews submitted.

ink couponsIf you are at a loss on where to start your search for printers, some reputable brands you can start with include Brother, Canon, HP, and Lexmark. But picking a good printer involves much more than simply picking a good brand. Even the best brands make bad printers, and some brands that aren’t too well known often have a handful of good models as well.

One decision you’ll have to make early on is whether to buy a Inkjet or Laser printer. While there is no tried and true method to choose one or the other, the choice may not be as difficult as you think.

Inkjet printers on the whole excel at printing photos and color documents. Therefore, if the bulk of your printing falls into this category, you’ll want to get an inkjet printer. The downside of inkjet printers is that they print documents rather slowly. Even the fastest inkjet printer will print more slowly than a laser printer. This can be a problem if you print quite a bit and want your printed documents quickly.

Laser printers are not as great at color printing, but their advantage is speed. If you primarily print black and white documents, then laser printers are the way to go. Because of their speed, laser printers are favored by many businesses. If you need more than one printer for a business, however, it’s best to buy at least one inkjet printer and one laser printer, just so you have all your bases covered.

Whatever printer you purchase, you will soon discover that ink cartridge costs will be quite high. This makes it important for you to find a cheap source of printer ink. For me, that source has been Inkfarm, an online ink company. I typically buy from them in bulk and get discounts with Inkfarm coupons. to get extra discounts. For the most part, you’ll find that online ink stores have the best prices. So long as you are organized enough to order printer ink before you run out, buying your cartridges online is therefore the smart way to save money on ink.

Online tire buying guide

One of the major costs of owning a car is changing tires, which must be done more often than most people are aware. I for one don’t wait until a tire is worn out before changing them. Instead, I proactively monitor the wear on the tread, and replace my tires as soon as the tread thins to the point where the car’s safety may be compromised.

Discount Tire Store

Many tires these days have markers or wear bars that will make it clear when the tire needs to be replaced. If you don’t have such bars on your car, you can also use the penny test to determine if you have enough tread left.

Don’t rely on the tire manufacturer’s guarantee to decide when to change the tire. Tires wear differently depending on driving conditions and climate. So there is unfortunately no hard and fast rule on the frequency with which you should change your tires.

I would encourage consumers to buy tires online for convenience and price savings. To buy tires online, simply follow these steps.

  1. Go to a popular tire store like Discount Tire and search for tires by entering your car’s make and model.
  2. View the tires that come up in results. Read reviews and ratings, and select a tire.
  3. Get a discount tire coupon and apply it to your purchase for extra savings.
  4. Check out and pay for your tires.
  5. If you want, arrange an installation time for your tires. This way, you can simply go to your selected discount tire store at the scheduled time to have your tires changed in less than an hour.

For other tips on saving money, read my article about tax deductions.

Is It Possible to Use eHarmony for Free?

online dating pictureIt’s hard to pay for a service before you have a general idea of how it works. I myself have purchased many membership services online in the past, which I ended up not using. This is one of the reasons why I always try to use a service or software for free at first, even if I can only get a limited free trial.

Fortunately, most services do offer a free trial of some sort. This is particularly true of dating sites like eHarmony. Such sites allow you to join for free and set up an account. With eHarmony, you can even begin receiving matches. This is a wonderful way to get an idea of the quality of matches you can expect by being a member of the site.

eHarmony also allows you to go through several steps of communication with your matches before having to sign up and pay your membership dues. It’s important to understand that any communication you have prior to becoming a member will be limited, usually restricted to multiple choice questions and answers. Nevertheless, it’s nice that you can engage in some level of contact with your matches before paying anything. If this all sounds good to you, you can join eharmony here.

So here is my advice on how best to use eHarmony. Sign up for free, as this costs you nothing. Receive matches and communicate with them to get a feel for how well you mesh with them. Then, and only then, if you find someone you really want to communicate with more, go ahead and sign up for a membership. I recommend a 6 month membership or longer, as you get the lowest monthly rates by choosing such plans.

Check out these other reviews of online dating sites.