Friday, October 18, 2019

Budgeting For Christmas - Start Now!

There are just over two months left until Christmas. While that might seem like a long way away, that usually means there are just two paydays left. Many people leave thinking about their Christmas budget until the last minute, but consider this your warning to get your finances into shape. 

Want to get ahead of Christmas this year? Here’s how you can start budgeting for Christmas and save some extra money too!

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Work out what you need

It’s easy to go crazy over the holidays, losing track of what you’ve bought and how much you’ve spent. But if you’ve got a plan in place, you should be able to stick to it. Think of all the things you need for Christmas, from gifts and decorations to food and drink. Once you’ve got it all written out in front of you, you can see how much money you need to save and maybe make some tough decisions about your priorities.

This is also a good time to work out if you’re going to need some help in the lead up to Christmas. A loan found via HittaSMSLan could help tide you offer if finances have been tight. You could also look at a second job or a side hustle to help you get what you need.

Make some immediate cuts to your budget

So what’s the next step towards saving for Christmas? Starting a budget! A budget can help you account for every penny, making sure that all of your bills are covered, while also allowing you to set aside money for savings. There are some fantastic tools available to help you create a successful budget that you can stick to.

With all of your outgoings in front of you, it’s easier to identify where you can make some cuts. Try switching providers for your utilities or phone provider, and stop paying anything you don’t need over the next couple of months. Freezing Netflix or your gym membership until the New Year could be an excellent way to free up some money. If you manage to make a success of it over the next couple of months, you could make it a New Year’s resolution to get even more out of your household budget

Cut down on your weekly spending

Next up, it’s time to cut down on your weekly spending. If you could save $10 on your grocery spend each week, that will add up to almost $100 by Christmas. Those little savings, like stopping takeout coffees and walking more could all make a difference.

Now is also the time to save on any other regular spending you might make. Swap your nights out for cozy nights in, and cut down on eating out. Put everything you’re saving into a separate pot to help you boost your savings even more.

Take advantage of discount codes

With your shopping list to hand, you can set about looking at ways to save money. Finding discount codes can be a very easy way to save money on items like clothing, toys and other gifts. Sign up to newsletters and keep an eye out for key dates for deals like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Being able to save money on your list will make it easier for you to cover items which have turned out to be more expensive. If you have money left over, you could even use it to put money into your savings, or to pay off some debts. 

Propose a more affordable Christmas

If Christmas is proving expensive, then why not propose a cheaper Christmas this year? From setting limits on individual gifts to a secret Santa where everyone only buys one gift, there are some excellent ways you can save money on Christmas. Most people enjoy saving money, so you never know who else might be up for this! You could also save money by splitting the food between the family, so that everyone is responsible for a dish on the day.

The most important part of the holidays is spending time with the ones you love, so if you can focus more on the time spent with loved ones over how much money you spend, you’ll enjoy the festivities much more.

Budgeting for Christmas can be difficult for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be if you start planning now. From planning a budget for your savings to cutting back on how much you plan to spend, there are ways you can make this Christmas easier to manage. Get your finances in order and put a plan in place to make this one of your best, most stress-free Christmases yet!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Ultimate List of Human Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat

If you’re a dog owner, you will definitely want to show your dogs how much you love them and make them feel like a part of your family. 

We all know the old saying: “The way to your dog’s heart is through her stomach.” 

Some pet lovers like purchasing high-quality dog foods on the market to save their time and giving their furry friends the right balance of nutrients. Otherwise, some people like making their own dog food. And supplementing your dog with some human foods it a great idea.

Quality dog food can be very expensive. Adding healthy human food to your dog’s routine can save money and add some healthy nutrients into their lives. There are a lot of human foods that are perfectly safe and even healthy that our canine can eat as an occasional treat.

However, though all of us love making our furry friends happy by showering them with treats, you should always keep in mind that feeding your pooch anything not marketed with a dog on the box can be very tricky. The fact is, dogs and humans metabolize foods differently. Some foods are healthy for humans but can be toxic and potentially deadly for dogs. 

Even when you ask Google “what human foods dog can’t eat” you’re likely to get back some confusing and conflicting answers. Don't be panic! 

Just remember that, when it comes to treating your dog with human foods, it’s best to do so in moderation. Even with food is deemed “safe” for dogs to eat, a rule of thumb is to feed it to your dog in moderation. All foods should be introduced into your dog’s diet gradually, so you can monitor him for adverse effects like allergic reactions. 

Furthermore, there is a fact that all dogs are different. One dog may tolerate a food just fine, while another experiences adverse effects. Most healthy dogs are perfectly able to digest raw meat without issue. But if your dog has a sensitive stomach, even commonly fed people food might not be an option for them.

Before sharing your snacks with your furry friend, read on the following infographic from CyberPet to learn which human foods are safe and which can send your dog straight to the vet.

The Prospect Of Divorce May Not Be As Terrible As You Think

When we think about divorce, we often think about terrible consequences. Families being torn apart, hostilities between two who may have really loved each other at one point, as well as an aggressive and toxic blowback that always seems to affect the children worst of all. You may have read the title of this post and considered it rather incendiary, especially if you have a family member or friend who is going through this rough situation now.

But is there a written rule that states divorce has to be a horrible procedure which brings out the worst in people? Or do many allow that to happen by using the emotional situation as a means to release a torrent of toxic behavior, aggression, and hurt, all in the name of defending themselves from pain? Sure, none of us are immune to this, and this post will not try to float above you and try and label why every divorcee is in the wrong.

We simply wish to state that the process of divorce can even be a positive experience. Here’s why:

It’s Awakening, Thoroughly

When you think of divorce, you know it is the last stop between a married couple. This can help two people forget the lies they might have been telling each other, forget the aggression, forget the small passive comments they make, and actually begin to see the other person. Like a splash of cold water over the face, the prospect of divorce can be intimately worrying and sometimes signify a great life change. This means that as a foundational last resort, a couple may research how to save a marriage with trust issues, or how to work on their arguments, or how to better work towards keeping the family unit together. Like someone in a self-destructive set of behaviors realizing the need to exercise after being given their medical report, the prospect of divorce can be the careful push to help you salvage positivity.

Moving On

Moving on can be a positive thing, if scary. Sometimes, people simply are not the person they were when they married, and this can be normal. People change over decades, and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Sometimes, people can grow apart. It could be that a clean break, affable, professional, spurned by healthy conversation instead of a feiry reveal of infidelity can be important. It’s this somewhat ‘professional’ approach to things that can help you spare most of the aggression, and that can lead to a good thing.

Remaining Friends

Under-reported to the degree that it should be is the fact that many divorcees have managed to construct their lives anew while keeping in touch with their old marriage partner. There’s no reason or rule that states you cannot be civil, grow as people and stay friends. After the marriage, you begin to find you again, and sometimes that can help you live more positively, and learn to forgive. It will not be possible in all cases - but in the cases that apply, this can be a great thing.

With the following advice, you’re certain to understand that divorce can be a positive experience, through many different perspectives.

Drive by Fear or Driven by "Love"?

Please enjoy this guest post today :-)

Only when we are willing to truly explore this question as a person, are we able to explore ourselves as beings.

It was during an episode of depression that I became aware of some major choices I had made in my life that were driven by fear.

I was infusing life into what I believe is lifeless: fear.

It makes sense to me that any thought or action that is driven by judgment and hate, for ourselves and for “others,” creates separation, and this separation isolates us from our true selves, which in turn keeps us from understanding what is real and what is not.

Perhaps, a life of “true” health and joy is paved by becoming aware of which thoughts and actions are driven by fear and which are driven by “Love.” And every inch of that pavement is infused with self-inquiry.

This practice might entail discernment combined with intuition, patience, and kindness. What a rich adventure life is within us! Self-discovery and self-exploration are so exciting to me, even if there is nowhere to go, and what is discovered can never be explained or fully understood.

However, what I ponder these days is whether it is true that we act and behave according to our fears or according to “Love”—at conscious or unconscious levels.

Is fear the opposite of “Love”?

If yes, then the place to stand is in between them.

As far as I can see, by trying to run from fear or trying to become “Love,” we can never “stand” anywhere. Our human experience is destined to be unstable—out of balance at all levels, mentally and physically—as long as we choose sides to “stand” on/by.

The magical antidote to unnecessary suffering might be the realization that it is not running from or becoming something that gets us “there,” but rather being “there” now, between the opposites.

I think this is called the non-dual state of mind. I am not sure how long, and how much of, our lives can be experienced in this state. Not through experience perhaps, as everything we experience has a dual nature attached to it, but through awareness—the subtle knowing, which cannot be known by consciousness.

It might be that subtle knowledge, at this very moment, simply is—and it’s all we have.

The past and the future are just memories. They can teach and motivate, but they are not real life. They are, perhaps, “necessary” illusions that serve as a guide depending on each person’s level of awareness.

It is in “being” here and now before becoming what our past or our future makes us to be that we meet life itself.

And so, it is by meeting life itself that we know “Love.”

I remember the beginning of my “raw” understanding of fear and “Love,” when I became open to new experiences that would expose my fears and help me to overcome them.

I began saying “yes” to thoughts that suggested and welcomed the new, the unknown to me.

And so, I said yes to everything that seemed to invite me to explore my hidden fears.

Boy, did this lead me to dangerous situations, one of which was when I quickly made the decision to spend a few months at a meditation retreat center in the “middle-of-nowhere” in France, where I was drugged.

From this experience, I became aware of which fears were not worth overcoming: The fear of living with strangers in a foreign country whose mission was to teach “others” to become “fearless.”

It is by replacing fear with “Love” awareness as a practice first, that we become fearless.

Those who are fearless are free to “Love” because “Love” is who we are: FREE. Free from the negative meaning given to our human experience.

The human experience includes everything that is possible to experience. The personal meaning we give to these experiences can be altered. The non-personal meaning for the human experience arises from awareness itself.

By Valeria Teles


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Getting Through Life's Stresses And Strains

Life can be stressful. That is pretty much one thing that every person on this planet can agree on. Nobody has it easy, and circumstances always seem to conspire against us to drag us down and make us feel bad. This could be relationship issues, falling ill, having an accident, or financial problems brought on by so many external factors. 

And when problems hit you, then everything else can fall down like dominos around you. Problems in work end up causing stresses at home. Soon you don’t know where to turn. Your life can feel as though it is inescapably stressful all of the time. The fact that you cannot find respite from the relentless problems that you are facing can make everything even worse. Sometimes, these problems have spiralled so much that you just struggle even to catch your breath.

Does all of that sound familiar? It gets to us all from time-to-time. However, some people seem to weather situations better than others. It may appear as though life’s significant hurdles are water off a duck’s back for some people. But it can be for you too. By developing strong coping strategies and noticing the signs of stress in your life early, and tackling them head-on, you can overcome them. 

Look After Yourself

The first thing that you need to do when stress starts to take over in your life is to stop and look after yourself. It can be very easy to neglect yourself when you are having trouble in life. You may not feel as though you deserve to feel better than you do right now. You need to make sure that you don’t punish yourself for the problems that you are facing. 

Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. You will need your energy to get over this stress in your life. You should ensure you have the correct mix of vitamins and minerals. These will stop you from getting run down and will help you to stay as healthy as possible. 

Get lots of sleep. You will need a full eight hours each night. If you are cutting it short all the time, you will start to feel more anxious as a result. Tiredness is a friend to nobody. 

Getting some fresh air and exercise will help you feel better about yourself too. And, if you are struggling with your general health, diet, and exercise, then you may need to look at wellness programs.

Talk About It

They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. And you can really unburden yourself and share the load by talking to somebody. Talking through your problems can make you feel much lighter, but it can also help you to find solutions to your problems. 

Pick a friend who is a good listener. They may be able to give you advice and help you to see a new perspective on your situation. Opening up about your issues may help you to come up with a plan on how you will fix things in your life. 


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