Sunday, June 24, 2018

Another Post on Health

It's been a pretty wild week around here, most of the drama having to do with health.  So my message today is to TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH.  Not only will this save a lot of money (especially for those in the US where one minor medical  problem can bankrupt you) but it will also save so much sadness and drama and suffering.

Here's the update: the relative who had open heart surgery was sent to a rehab facility where he very nearly died (sounds like from neglectful care) and is back in the ER as I type this.  This is the same relative who I chatted with right after hubby's heart attack and he told me he had similar issues (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) and got tired of his doctor ranting at him so he solved the problem by just not going back to the doctor.  Turns out he probably should have been listening to his doctor.  When my sister just went to visit him she said he was so broken down she barely recognized him(!).  Sad.  The other relative who died and then was resuscitated told his family he would be dead by the next day.  Incredibly enough he was.  ER staff will tell you that when a patient tells them they will die soon they are quite often right.  Sadly this relative had a litany of health problems and suffered from them FOR YEARS.

The thing to do: exercise every single day (I know an 85 year old guy who can run circles around people half his age--literally.  He exercises every single day for a couple hours and his health is still excellent).  Eat well (I am a big fan of the whole food plant based diet).  Manage stress (yoga? meditation? deep breathing?  Whatever works for you).  Track and manage your health markers (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, etc).

My wish for you is health and happiness and good health goes a long way towards long-term happiness!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

On Getting a 15 Year Mortgage

I came across this article on 15 year mortgages today.  I am a fan of 15 year mortgages as they can save you A LOT of money over a regular 30 year mortgage.  We had a 15 year mortgage on the first house we bought and, like clockwork, we owned our house free and clear after 15 years.  We then used that house as a rental for a few years until we sold it so nearly all money from our renters was pure profit.

For our most recent home purchase we went with a 30 year mortgage for many of the reasons listed in the article.  First, we didn't really know what our income would be and didn't want to lock ourselves into the higher payments required by a 15 year mortgage.  We also didn't know how the market would go (it was near the bottom of the housing market when we bought here in Vegas) and also didn't know how long we would be living here.

On the one hand, having a 15 year mortgage forces you to pay off your mortgage twice as fast as with a 30 year mortgage which is a good thing,  You build equity much fast, save on interest, and can cancel PMI insurance quicker.  On the other hand, if something happens with your income making higher than usual mortgage payments can be a scary situation to be in.

In the case of a 30 year mortgage, if you don't have a pre-payment penalty, you can easily make extra payments on the principal and still pay off your mortgage faster than usual (this take a bit of discipline though).

So it is a personal decision whether to get a 15 or 30 year mortgage, based on your own circumstances, but a 15 year mortgage is definitely something to look into!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Unique Lifestyles

I'm always amused/amazed/interested in people who do things differently than everyone else.  I know that many people have a "normal" concept of what their life should be like (get married, have kids, work for 40 years, enjoy a bit of retirement, die) but there are so many other (interesting) ways to live.  Here are some random (cool) people who have chosen to live their life differently than everyone else...

You will notice that most of these people do not have a lot of money, a trust fund, or unlimited sources of income but they have taken their passions and built lifestyles around things that mean a lot to them.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Baby It's Hot Here!

So we hit 113 degrees today and it will be hot the rest of the week...


...the news even compared us to Timbuktu in Africa (we were hotter than there)...


...I'm a little afraid to see our next electricity bill... 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5 Things You Need for a Crisis

It's been a busy week, both with work and with crises happening left and right.  Besides the cousin and her kid who is on his way to trial and probably prison which I wrote about before, another relative had a heart attack and open heart surgery a couple days ago, and this morning another cousin called to say her brother died (she then called back from the hospital and said he had been resuscitated but probably wouldn't last long).  When it rains it pours I guess.  Here are some really good things to have to help you handle whatever crisis may come your way:

  1. An emergency fund (the bigger the better; money can fix a lot of problems).
  2. Insurance (car insurance, health insurance, home insurance, life insurance, long term care insurance...like I said money can fix a lot of problems and really big problems need the really big funds provided by good insurance coverage).
  3. A Will, Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney, etc (often when a medical emergency happens you won't have time to get these documents together so have them on hand already).
  4. Someone to help you out.  Sometimes you can't do everything for yourself and need someone to help you--from advocating for your health care to giving you a ride home from the hospital to bringing you food when you don't have the energy to even get out of bed.
  5. An emergency overnight bag.  Depending on the emergency, you may need to evacuate your home because of a wildfire heading your way or race to the hospital and end up staying there for days on end so having an overnight bag already packed with a change of clothes, toiletries, some cash, some snacks, etc. can be a lifesaver.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Cheap Indulgences

Although I am busy with work, I am still enjoying some cheap yet enjoyable indulgences which include...

  1. Watching Queer Eye on Netflix.  I love that show--so happy and positive!
  2. Having a Baskin Robbins Cappuccino Blast.  I only have one a week on my first day off  because if I have one on my second day off I will stay up all night and not be able to wake up for work the next day.  So yummy!
  3. A weekly date with the hubby.  We start with a buffet lunch (free with hubby's comps), play bingo ($7 each), then go to a movie ($4 each with our senior discount).
  4. Reading on my Kindle app.  I love that I have been able to download thousands of free e books from our local library.  So simple and enjoyable and best of all free.
  5. Sitting outside in the sun.  The weather is perfect here and since I spend so much time inside when working (the AC there is set to frigid--it's so cold I wear two layers!), I enjoy just sitting outside in the sun on my days off.  Except for maybe tomorrow when the temps are expected to hit 110 degrees (!).

Monday, June 18, 2018

10 Fabulous Discount Passes For Your Summer Vacation

Thinking about things to do this summer to keep the family active and entertained?  Here are some fabulous discount passes you should check out:

  1. Annual State Park Pass (examples here and here).
  2. Annual National Park Pass
  3. Annual pass for your favorite museum (examples here and here).
  4. Annual pass for your favorite zoo or aquarium (examples here and here).
  5. Annual pass for your favorite tourist attraction (examples here and here).
  6. Entertainment Book for your city or your vacation destination city (note they are on sale now for $12)
  7. A City Pass for your city or vacation destination city (examples here and here).
  8. A Rail Pass if you will be traveling this summer (examples here and here).
  9. A season pass for your local aquatic center (example here).
  10. Movie Pass.