Life

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vacation
Via Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/5203462147

Vacations can be expensive — there’s the cost of travel itself, as well as lodging expenses and all the money you drop once you get where you’re going. When it’s all said and done, you could potentially spend thousands of dollars on a getaway.

But aside from emptying our wallets, vacations can help us decompress and cut back on stress. But there’s a way to enjoy the same result without having to overspend on a vacation. Here’s how you can save money by achieving epic relaxation without ever leaving your hometown.

1. Disconnect From Technology

Modern technology keeps us continuously plugged in, something many people tie to causing high stress levels. Think about it: Your boss can now email you when you’re home, and social media can constantly bombard us with information.

It can be beneficial to step away from digital communications once in a while. To help you relax, consider turning off the TV, smartphones and computer at least a few evenings a week, if you can. At the very least, you can try to remove tech from your bedroom so that you can wind down before going to sleep, as research has shown that the light from screens throws off our sleep cycles and melatonin production. ...continue reading

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richer friendsI was at a conference for financial bloggers recently and one of the keynote speakers on the last day of the conference said something that caught the attention of a lot of people as good advice:

"Your income equals the average income of your five best friends."

I'm not buying it.

While those may not be his exact words, that's the gist of what he said. His point — and he made it often — was that being rich is great and if you want to be rich too, like he is, then go find some millionaires to spend more time with and surround yourself with richer friends.

I think some of his speech was tongue-in-cheek, but for the most part I think he was serious and was proud of his bank statements and income. I don't think being wealthy is anything to be ashamed of, and I applaud him for it.

Who doesn't want richer friends?

But what threw me, and what wasn't questioned at his talk to close the conference, was his advice to start finding and introducing yourself to richer people so that you can somehow glean the behaviors that help make them rich.

Really? Stop spending as much time with the top five people I know now and go look for five rich people to hang with? If dropping five friends for people with higher incomes is a path to financial success, count me out. And even if the speaker wasn't saying that those original five should be dropped, then spending a lot less time with them while pursuing richer friends sounds like a poor life choice. ...continue reading

fall foliage

Fall is making a bit of an early appearance this year! The weather is getting cooler with snow even happening in the northern mountain states already. The pumpkin spice is in the air and starting to stack shelves upon shelves upon shelves at the grocery store! Most importantly the leaves have just started to show hints of yellow and orange.

Fall is great time of year to go out and immerse yourself in nature as it puts on its fall coat. The best part is, you don’t really have to travel far to see gorgeous fall foliage. Here are some inexpensive trips you can take in your area to get the best out of what fall has to offer.

Travel to Your Own Backyard

There’s no better place to see nature firsthand, and inexpensively, than your own backyard or neighborhood. If you live in an older part of town or an older community, chances are the trees are gigantic and turn all sorts of colors. Put on your jacket and take a stroll. Fresh, crisp air can do wonders for your health. ...continue reading