shopping for insuranceI've been writing about personal finances for years — for this site and others as a freelance writer — and I almost always take my own advice and the advice of experts I'm writing about. But when it comes to shopping for insurance, I've gotten lazy.

Almost every other piece of personal finance advice I've written about I've implemented myself: have an emergency fund, set up a college account for my daughter early, buy value stocks, cooking dinner at home and buying a used car with cash, among other things.

Shopping for insurance is one of the easiest things to do, taking minutes online or a five-minute phone call to an insurance agent. Up until about a month ago, the last time I went shopping for insurance was about a dozen years ago when my wife and I bought a house and needed homeowner's insurance.

Insurers often offer bundled savings, so shopping for insurance for your home is often accompanied by a quote for auto insurance. You can save at least $100 per year by buying multiple policies from the same carrier for your cars and home.

An armored truck started it all

After more than 12 years of not shopping for insurance, what finally got me checking around for prices? Dissatisfaction with our insurance company. It all started when an armored truck made an illegal left turn and hit my wife's car, totaling her car and soon starting us down the path of shopping for insurance. ...continue reading

love-316640_1280If you think of starting relationships with a Ukrainian woman, you need to perform a little research to understand at least something about the nature of these beautiful Slavonic ladies. Dating a girl from a foreign country is a pretty challenging endeavor as Ukrainian girls have little in common with western girls.

If you are serious about finding your twin soul in Ukraine, these simple recommendations will help you meet and court the girl of your dream.

Be Open For New Experience and Emotions

Men who want to start dating Ukrainian women should be ready to change the usual course of events. It is quite clear that lots of things are completely different in Ukraine and you must be ready to accept this. Indeed, there will be lots of things that will seem strange and unusual. Behavior of a Ukrainian woman, as well as things she may say, might puzzle you in the early going. Do not show your confusion and be open-minded. Do not forget that you are in a foreign country, with its particular culture and traditions. Otherwise saying, take things as they come.

Bravely Go to Your Dream

If you have found a girl who seems to be your perfect match, put the most efforts to win her heart. Stop thinking that something will go wrong, or that your relationship are too good to be true. Be brave, cast away all fears and go to your dream. Most women love self-assured men, who know what they want. So, just be that man!

Keep your Expectations Realistic

Leave the fairy dreams for ladies and make realistic plans. Many men want to date younger girls. This is definitely possible, however if you are looking for a girl that will be 20 years younger, than you have scarce odds of finding a wife. Building relationship with a foreign girl, who is furthermore much younger than you is a challenging task. Otherwise saying, keep your plans and expectations realistic.

Be a Real Man!

Every Ukrainian girl wants to live her life with a “real man”. They want a man to take the lead in their relationships. Though most of Ukrainian girls are strong-willed and have their own point of view on any event, they want to give the decision making power to a man.

First Kisses

What is the best time for the first kiss? Giving an absolute answer to this question is impossible. It depends on the situation, on your lady and duration of your romantic relationship. In most cases, a Ukrainian woman will never kiss a man if she is not sure about her and his feelings. Thus, the task number one is to gain her confidence. If you manage to do that, you will definitely feel when the right time comes.


rich lifeLiving a full, happy, and rich life isn't all about money. In fact, sometimes it's not about money at all. As Coco Chanel once said, "There are people who have money and people who are rich."

Some of the things we cherish most in life like our family, our friends, and the experiences we've had or have yet to have, have little to do with money. Even so, most of us feel that we'd be able to be a little happier if we did have at least a little more money coming in every month.

With that in mind, here are 3 ways you can live a rich life by spending your money wisely to end up with more in your pocket in the end.

Give Creatively

Finding creative ways to open your wallet and give even small amounts of money is a great way to build some self-confidence and good karma. How? When you are worried about money, you are less likely to give it away to charity, those in need, or just to brighten someone's day. But by deciding to give a little money even when times are tight you are symbolizing self-reliance and the confidence that what goes around comes around.

Here are a couple of creative ways you can give small amounts of money to make someone's day special:

  • Tuck a $1 bill into several children's books at the library.
  • Give someone a tip who you normally wouldn't. For example, the carhop at the drive in who isn't really a waitress and doesn't usually get tips.

Giving creatively is a great way to get started on the track to live a rich life.

Pay it Forward

You've heard of the pay it forward movement haven't you?  The pay it forward movement is supposed to be an act of charity (although that has been debated) which in turn helps you earn some good karma.

There are ways to pay it forward besides just paying for someone else's latte at Starbucks, including passing on jobs to other people in your industry when you simply don't have time to take them on yourself. For instance, when I started as a freelance writer, I got a couple of jobs via recommendations from more established bloggers who weren't looking for any more jobs. They could've chosen to work more hours and take the job themselves, but instead they paid it forward.

Paying it forward is also about pursuing something besides just money, like happiness and a work-life balance.

Invest in Happiness

The final way you can live a rich life (and hopefully more monetary riches too) is to invest in your happiness. We all like to say that "money can't buy happiness", but is that totally true? I'd argue that sometimes money can indeed buy some happiness.

As I pointed out above, when someone is struggling and you decide to pay it forward, they probably feel happiness. When a child opens a library book and finds a $1 bill they will probably feel happy. So can money buy happiness?

Another example where money can buy happiness can be found in a research project from Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert Ph.D. Here is some of what his study says according to Business Insider:

"This sentiment is lovely, popular, and almost certainly wrong," says Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert in a paper he coauthored.

Money provides an "opportunity for happiness" the authors say, since moneyed people can live longer and healthier lives, enjoy financial security, have leisure time, and control what they do every day.

Gilbert and his colleagues suggest spending on the following in order to live a rich life:

  • Experiences, not things.
  • Helping others instead of yourself.
  • Many small pleasures instead of few large ones.
  • Buy less insurance.
  • Pay now and consume later.
  • Think about what's it's really like to own the things you want to buy.
  • Stop comparison shopping.
  • Ask your friends' advice.

Do you live a rich life? Do you practice any of these 3 things so you can live a rich life? What do you think about Dan Gilbert's study and suggestions for aligning your spending to create ultimate happiness?