5 Simple Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine's Day
1. Make it a relaxation day. Take a bubble bath, light candles, and give yourself permission to do nothing (you already do too much!)
2. Invite friends over for dinner and a movie. Keep it simple. I did this on Friday with my friend. She cooked dinner (so good) and we watched Funny People.
3. Make a list with fourteen things you love about yourself. Post it in a place where you can see it. When you're having a tough day read it!
4. Be spontaneous. Forget the planning and perfection. Call a friend. Google events in your area. Go do that thing you've wanted to do.
5. Do something you love. It doesn't matter what it is. If it makes you happy and it's in the budget (sorry must stay focused) do whatever you find fun. Later today, I’m texting my sister, calling mom to tell her I love her, popping in Chappelle’s Show and having a tall cup of decaf. They all make me very happy. Enjoy love day.
For years, I've paid a lot of money for eyeglasses. Insurance covered the exam but the stylish frames that I adore, coupled with my blind-as-a-bat-prescription ran me upwards of $500. I cringe at the thought of spending that much. My current glasses are hi-index lenses with UV protection, anti-reflective and scratch coatings. This year I'm buying a new pair from an online retailer.
After getting my prescription updated from the optometrist, I was ready to begin. I googled cheap eyeglasses and found several sites. My favorites were Global Eyeglasses and Optical 4 Less. Each site offers a wide range of frames and styles. Prices at Global Eyeglasses start at $6.95. You can get an idea of how the frames will look on you by using the site's Virtual Mirror. All the sites that I visited offered some form of this technology, which allows users to upload a photo or use one provided by the site. Once you select your frames, there are simple prompts for lens thickness and protective coating. Pricing is transparent, with no big surprises at checkout.
Labels: cheap eyeglasses
While on vacation I received a call that my cat was ill. A good friend had agreed to take care of her for the month. It was only day three! I began to panic about the unexpected cost. Fortunately, my friend’s neighbor is a vet and didn’t charge me for treating Zora. I was relieved. What would I have done if it had been thousands of dollars? I decided to do some research on pet insurance.
Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for people. It provides coverage for numerous conditions but with varying levels of reimbursement. There are copays and deductibles. As with human insurance, the cost of pet insurance depends on the age and type of animal. Some policies cover prescriptions and routine procedures, while others only cover catastrophic care. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. This includes congenital disorders, developmental defects, and hereditary disorders.
Labels: pet insurance
Finding more money in your budget can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You have fixed expenses: rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and transportation. It’s easy to cut back on your wants (new spring wardrobe), but figuring out how to save on your needs can be challenging. If you make your money go further you’ll be ahead of the game. Every dollar counts whether you’re saving for a trip, car, or home. The less you spend, the quicker you can reach your goal.
1) Saving is sexy
2) Get a financial planner
3) Don’t buy guys expensive gifts
4) Invest in your 401k
5) Have an emergency fund
6) Do what you love
7) Be generous
8) Use moisturizer and sunscreen
9) You aren’t your job (repeat until you believe it)
10) Never loan money
I’m always looking for the best deal on airfare. My family lives on the East Coast and I’m in the Bay, which can make flights pricey. So when there was an unexpected family thing, I cringed at the thought of buying a last minute ticket. In order to get the best price I’m using online travel sites to search for flights in mid-April from San Francisco to Virginia.
Yapta.com tracks price drops for airfares so you know when to buy. I found a flight for $461 on my favorite airline with televisions and comfy seats. The site will send an email alerting me if the price drops. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Kayak.com searches the popular travel sites Expedia, Hotwire, Airfare.com, Priceline, and Travelocity to find the cheapest price. There’s a redeye for $255. It isn’t direct, and changing planes in the wee hours of the morning doesn’t appeal to me. Next up is cheaptickets.com where I find a flight for $216 including all fees. Some sites leave off taxes and fees making the price seem lower that it actually is.
Looking for creative ways to save money during the holidays? Try regifting. Not only is it smart, it cuts down on waste. When someone gives you something that you will never use, it causes clutter. You feel guilty about giving it away. It eventually ends up in the attic or a box in the back of the closet. Instead of keeping items until they become useless, give them away.
Here are the basics. Get all of your unwanted gifts organized. Categorize them by age and gender. Make sure they’re easy to access otherwise you will be less likely to use them. If it’s not new or falls into the horrible category, forget about it. The purpose of regifting is to give people something they would actually want, not your junk. Only use regifting when it makes sense. If your friend is having a housewarming party and has a food processor on her wish list, it’s okay to give her your extra one. Treat the regift like a new one. Since you’re not spending money on a gift, splurge on the presentation. Once you have your regifting shelf in order, you’ll find it helpful for last minute gifts and so much more.
Have you ever regifted? Love to hear your thoughts, tips, and stories.
Have you ever regifted? Love to hear your thoughts, tips, and stories.
The price of prescription drugs can break the bank. Whether you have medical insurance or not, it’s a good idea to shop around. The pharmacies at both Target and Walmart use a flat rate of $4 for more than 300 generic brands. A three-month supply is $10. Keep a list of these popular drugs handy, so you can check it before filling a prescription.
Most health care plans provide consumers with a price comparison option on their website. Once you register, it’s easy to look up the drug and dosage. Compare four different stores like Target, Costco, CVS, and your local pharmacy to get a range of prices.
Online sites like Rxaminer allow users to enter their zip code and click on “price compare” to find the pharmacy that has the best price in the area. If you don’t mind getting your prescription from Canada try eDrugSearch.
When you can’t find what you’re looking for on the web pick up the phone. My dermatologist recently prescribed a drug with a dosage not found at Target, Walmart or on many comparison sites. The sites that had what I needed required you to order a six-month supply for $120. It was more than the two refills prescribed. I called Costco and was quoted $19! By the way, you don’t have to be a member to use the pharmacy.
The other day my friend told me she was expecting. She is an amazing person and will be a great mom. My excitement for her didn’t stop with well wishes. I want her to know everything I’ve learned about short-term disability and the Family Medical Leave Act. Understanding these benefits helps you to be prepared and make smart financial decisions.
Pregnancy Disability Leave
PDL covers four months or sixteen weeks of leave during pregnancy. This runs at the same time as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), which ensures job protection (they can’t fire you). Pregnancy Disability Leave can be taken intermittently when you need time off for prenatal care, morning sickness, childbirth, and recovery from childbirth (this is great). You can take your PFL leave in hourly or daily increments as needed. During this time, you may use accrued vacation or sick time before taking unpaid leave. After you use up you accrued time, you may be eligible for disability.
Paid Family Leave
You can apply for PFL benefits, which cover six weeks of pay between 50 and 60 percent of your gross income. This benefit is not through your employer but they should have the paperwork. It’s through the EDD (Employment Development Department), the same place you apply for unemployment benefits.
Consider getting additional insurance before you’re pregnant. For a small monthly fee ($30 per month depending on your age), supplemental insurance, like a hospitalization policy will pay you cash for cost associated with delivering the baby. These benefits include $50 to $1,000 for a normal or cesarean delivery, $400 per day for the first five days of hospitalization, $100 per day for the period of hospital confinement in addition to the annual hospitalization benefit above.
You’ve networked, obsessively searched the web, gone to job fairs and emailed countless resumes when you land an interview for your dream job. The anxiety and panic kick in. No worries; we’ve got you covered. Preparing for a job interview can be a great opportunity. Get ready to bring your A-game with these simple steps.
1. Do Your Homework
Know the company, its products, and services. Visit their corporate website. Take time to read about the history and culture of the company. Read press releases, and watch any videos they have posted. Don’t stop at the web. Go to your local library to dig deeper.
2. Have a Plan
Think about what you’ve accomplished, and write it down in a notebook to take on the interview. Give specific examples of challenges you’ve met and achievements. Go over your interview strategy with your mentor or a friend that you trust. Get their input and practice (it sounds silly, but it can help you get over the jitters).
3. Ask Relevant Questions
Remember that you are interviewing the company to find out if it’s a good fit for you. Knowing what is expected of someone in the position, the company culture, and opportunities for advancement will help you to make the right decision.
Facebook is one of the few places where family, friends, coworkers and your ex all converge. Social media sites are gaining popularity. Unfortunately, they can cause problems with potential and current employers. You have to watch what you say and do even if you only have “real” friends in your network. My Facebook settings are conservative, partly due my employer’s strict social media policy. If you haven’t looked at your settings in a while, you may want to consider changing them.
Is your profile included in public search results like Google? Go to your privacy settings and click on the search link. Uncheck the allow box. This will keep your publicly available information and any information you set to everyone private. Keep unwanted visitors from showing up at your door by leaving off your street address. Don’t friend your boss or your boss’s boss. No explanation needed. If you have photos and videos you don’t want everyone to see, create custom groups. It gives you more privacy but remember what happens on Facebook doesn’t stay there. Don’t post or say anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to know.