How To Live Smart on a Low Budget

Living the high life is a goal for many people. Generally, it entails having a substantial amount of cash on hand, along with savings and investments. Unfortunately, not many people can afford this lifestyle due to meager earnings, increasing debt, and financial emergencies.

The good news is that you can still live the high life on a tight budget. However, this requires a great deal of creativity and smart thinking. Thankfully, the below-listed secrets to living your life on a low budget will help you get started on your journey.

Pay off your credit card in full.

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Before contemplating living bigger, strive to become debt-free. Studies show that millions of people worldwide are burdened with high-interest unsecured debt. No one wants to live with the burden of personal credit card debt. Are you looking to improve your financial health? Think about taking a debt consolidation loan to pay off your debts. Alternatively, consider signing up for a debt relief program from the best debt relief providers.

A debt relief company can help you pull yourself out of debt and improve your financial situation. They mediate with commercial creditors to accept a lesser amount than the actual debt owed and work with you to create a personalized plan to alleviate the debt burden. All you have to do is make regular monthly deposits into a separate account. The agreed-upon amount is paid to your creditor from your account until the outstanding debt is settled.

Before you consider any debt relief or debt settlement program, endeavor to conduct extensive research to find the best debt relief option for you. The best thing about this is that you get to avoid debt collection calls. The downside is that every lender will consider you a credit risk. What’s more, credit card companies may close down your accounts. Another option is to file for personal bankruptcy. You may need to hire a bankruptcy attorney who is experienced in bankruptcy laws to help with the process.

Switch to a prepaid cellphone plan.

People use mobile phones for various purposes like keeping in touch with loved ones, conducting business, and being prepared in case of an emergency. Most people living in the United States think about T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon when it comes to cellphone providers. They offer recurring monthly plans which are relatively expensive. These plans often provide more data, newer phone technology, and faster speeds than you need.

Switching to a prepaid cellphone plan can help you significantly reduce your monthly phone bill. A prepaid cellphone plan can get cheaper if you do away with cellular data altogether. You can always use a cell phone booster like that offered by SureCall to address the problem of bad cell phone reception and boost your home’s cell signal.

Their signal booster kits can boost 5G/4G LTE signals for improved text and data speeds, and voice calls on all cell phone providers. Their boosters also have the best price-performance value compared to other boosters on the market. What’s more, aside from improving a weak cell signal, their mobile booster doesn’t require recurring fees. Even better is the fact that you don’t need to hire a professional installer or have special installation expertise to handle the installation process.

Find inexpensive ways to have fun.

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Being on a low budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you can have fun. Think about exploring public areas like nature trails and parks. No doubt, spending quality time in the fresh air can help brighten your mood. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a dime to go outside. Just carry refillable water bottles and a lunchbox.

Furthermore, consider going for free events and concerts. You can use social media or web search to find a new government program or event holding in your area. Keep your ear down for any free or inexpensive festivals or concerts happening near you.

The Link Between Tinnitus and Your Mental Health

No doubt many people have experienced a ringing in their ears for a short while. Usually, this happens after exposure to loud volumes at a rock concert or in a manufacturing plant. Typically, the ringing will subside, and normal hearing is restored after a brief period. However, for some people, buzzing, ringing, or high-pitched whistling is a constant and persistent problem. People who experience constant ringing in their ears suffer from what health professionals call tinnitus. Tinnitus is a medical condition that is not caused by an outside source. If left untreated, it can lead to a series of other issues.

The most common form of tinnitus is subjective tinnitus, where patients experience a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears. This type of tinnitus is usually also associated with hearing loss. Tinnitus and hearing loss can develop gradually over time or appear suddenly. Usually, factors that lead to auditory damage and eventually tinnitus include exposure to loud noises or deterioration due to normal aging processes. While there is no cure for tinnitus, several treatment options may be available to help treat tinnitus symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with this condition.

As most people with tinnitus also experience some hearing difficulty, many patients benefit from treatments for both their hearing loss and tinnitus. Solutions such as medications, hearing aids, acoustic therapy, and behavioral therapy have proven successful. Tinnitus is unique to every individual, and the treatment options and conditions will vary based on a combination of factors. Tinnitus can occur at any age. Unfortunately, when tinnitus is associated with younger adults, the side effects can also be mental health issues. Let’s take a look at the link between tinnitus and mental health.

Mental Health Disorders

Tinnitus has been linked to a series of widespread psychological issues. Once this occurs, the patient will require treatment for both tinnitus and mental health. Many people with tinnitus have reported insomnia and feelings of fear or anger. The constant ringing noises can lead people to experience self-esteem issues while interacting with others. In turn, this can lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of tinnitus can often lead to feelings of isolation and social withdrawal as tinnitus can cause people to avoid situations where it’s difficult to hear.

Many facilities can offer mental health treatment for those suffering from tinnitus. Charlie Health, as an example, offers virtual intensive outpatient programs for a host of mental health conditions. These programs focus on therapy for anxiety in social settings as well as loneliness and can help address some of the problems that arise from tinnitus symptoms. Of course, patients also need to seek treatment for tinnitus.

Treatments

Tinnitus affects about 20 million people in the United States with permanent ringing in the ears. As discussed, there is no cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments to help ease tinnitus symptoms. Without treatment and therapy, the constant noise in the ears can be debilitating. It can impact the quality of life and even interfere with brain function.

Many people with tinnitus have turned to dietary supplement options, a natural solution for coping with tinnitus. Tinnitus911, for example, combines hawthorn berry, hibiscus, olive extract, and niacin to help target the cause of tinnitus. Herbal supplements can help ease the symptoms of tinnitus and target the headaches, migraines, dizziness, and nausea associated with it.

To treat tinnitus, hearing specialists and other healthcare providers use a variety of methods and techniques. Hearing aids are often suggested as a way to improve hearing deficiencies. Additionally, doctors try to reduce or mask the ringing or buzzing. Low doses of anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants can also help.

Tinnitus can be a debilitating disorder with much more serious consequences such as anxiety, depression, and eventually dementia. Treatments plans for tinnitus should focus on the hearing issues as well as the associated mental aspects. Early prevention and hearing screening will also help to mitigate some of the long-term consequences.

The Importance of Proper Food Safety for Restaurants

Restaurants are a key part of our neighborhoods. They’re where we go to enjoy a meal together with our family and friends, celebrating special occasions or just enjoying each other’s company. However, restaurants also have a responsibility to the customers they serve to make sure that their food, no matter how delicious, is prepared and served safely for people to eat. It breaks down into four steps for restaurants to follow, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC.

1. Clean

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If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed, it’s the importance of cleanliness. Restaurant workers should regularly wash their hands for their own personal safety from food-related bacteria, especially when handling raw products in the kitchen. Anyone prepping food should wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food and before eating.

Germs in poultry, seafood, and meats that can cause food poisoning can survive in many places and can spread around a restaurant kitchen. It’s important to scrub surfaces after those raw foods have touched them. Even fruits and vegetables to make a salad require regular rinsing and scrubbing to be safe for use. Restaurants may want to look into biohazard cleaners to properly sanitize everything from refrigerators to sandwich prep tables to make sure contaminants no longer live on those surfaces. Regular cleaning by restaurant staff between shifts can also help kitchen staff keep a leg up against dangerous bacteria.

2. Separate

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The second of the CDC’s four tips for food safety is the separation of these foods to avoid cross-contamination. Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs to ready-to-eat foods unless they are properly separated. It’s important that cutting boards that are being used for those proteins are not being used for things like fruits and vegetables. You can’t cut raw chicken breast on the same board as iceberg lettuce, for example, even if they are both being used on the same sandwich. Keeping those raw proteins away from other foods prevents any juices or leaks from dripping onto other products and spreading bacteria, protecting the crowds from ingesting anything dangerous.

3. Cook

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In order to avoid having these pathogens and viruses impacting cuisine, it’s important that food is cooked properly. This can start with having the proper equipment to keep food safe. The Restaurant Warehouse offers up affordable options when it comes to ovens, grills, and fryers that help to bring foods up to the proper temperature to make sure they are healthy to serve. This includes having cookware that is clean and safe to use when cooking.

A food thermometer can help kitchen staffers determine if foods are ready to hit the dining room. Whole cuts of beef and pork should be cooked to around 145°F, while all poultry should kick to around 165°F. Of course, be wary of any odors or concerns over poultry, dairy, and vegetables that smell or look dangerous to serve.

4. Chill

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Bacteria can multiply rapidly if food, particularly meat, seafood, and poultry, are left in what’s called the temperature danger zone between 40°F and 140°F. Eliminating this potential contamination starts with proper cooking but ends with proper storage. Commercial refrigerators should be kept at 40°F or below and should also be part of regular clean-up to make sure no rotting foods linger on the shelves of a fridge.

It’s important to refrigerate perishable food within two hours and to thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, cold water, or the microwave. Do not do this on countertops, where bacteria can multiply at room temperature. Taking all of these steps can promote a clean environment and a healthy and enjoyable restaurant experience for your customers.

How to Afford Alzheimer’s Patient Care

It can hurt to watch a loved one battle Alzheimer’s disease. From early memory slips to later cognitive difficulties and mood swings, it’s painful to see someone you know disappear. Getting them the care they need becomes of the utmost importance, but making it work financially may not be all that easy for some. However, there are ways to ensure you find the proper care for Alzheimer’s patients for as long as they may need it.

Viatical Settlements

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The impacts of memory loss on Alzheimer’s can be alarming for any patient and their family upon initial diagnosis. Some families opt to have documents in place to handle health care or a person’s estate upon their passing, in the time that they still are of sound mind. Some Alzheimer’s patients have opted for the use of life insurance money now rather than later. You can do this with the help of viatical settlement providers.

A viatical settlement broker will negotiate a settlement contract between a life insurance policy owner and a viatical settlement provider. A life insurance policyholder will be offered a one-time lump-sum payment that will be lesser than the death benefit on that life insurance coverage but greater than the cash surrender value. Viatical settlements are considered a viable option for patients suffering from a terminal illness to allow chronically ill patients access to funds that may cover their medical expenses or explore new treatments for their condition. Some viators have also used the funds to assure that their family members are not left with debts and other burdens upon their passing.

Government Programs

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Using your personal funds to help care for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease is an option, but the fear is in that well running dry. In the United States, you can look into government-assisted programs to provide some savings for patients and their families. For example, Medicare coverage may cover certain regular care, even short stays in a nursing home to care for a hospital-related medical condition.

Some Alzheimer’s patients may qualify for Medicaid, a combined federal and state insurance program for low-income people and their family members. This covers the cost of medical care and some forms of long-term care. Some states also offer PACE or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is a Medicare program that provides care and services to people who otherwise need care in a nursing home. This program permits most Alzheimer’s patients or those at risk of Alzheimer’s to continue at-home care instead of the need for a long-term care facility. That may, however, come at a monthly charge.

Memory Care Programs

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One of the early warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. An Alzheimers brain sees cognitive function declines, brought on by a build-up of amyloid plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles. This causes the death of brain cells and the breakdown of connections between them. Those plaques are dense deposits of proteins outside and around the brain’s nerve cells. Those tangles are twisted fibers built up inside the nerve cells. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, nerve cells, or neurons, begin to shrink and die. This causes the brain itself to sharing and the wrinkles along its surface to become smoother. The result is a further decline of the patient.

Some doctors recommend memory care programs to assure the safety of an Alzheimer’s patient at all times. Staff in these memory care programs differ from assisted living in their knowledge of dementia techniques, as well as specific memory-enhancing activities and therapies. Memory care programs also have 24-hour surveillance for round-the-clock response and safety, assuring that your loved ones are being handled with tender care for their Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Common Misconceptions About Eating Disorders

According to recent studies, nearly 30 million Americans will have an eating disorder at some point in their life. Because of this high number of affected individuals, it’s important to fully understand the complexity of eating disorders and the anxiety disorders that commonly pair with them. If you or a loved one falls into this category and struggles with an eating disorder, it’s time to get the relief that you deserve. Here are a few things that everyone should know about eating disorders and some guidance on how to seek treatment.

Understand the various treatment plans.

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There are plenty of interventions to take that help someone if they’re struggling with an eating disorder. One of the best options to pursue as an eating disorder treatment is therapy. When in doubt, turn to therapy to receive one-on-one assistance from a knowledgeable and understanding mental health professional. This incredible team of treatment specialists works with patients who have anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive dieting and exercise behaviors, and body dysmorphia.

What’s great is that they offer online therapy so that you get the help you need from the comfort of your own home. When seeking eating disorder treatment, you’ll work with a therapist and psychiatrists who have the skills to provide you with the first step towards a life that is more balanced and healthy. This way, no matter the type of therapy that you choose, you’ll have the best support system to create a successful road to recovery.

Eating isn’t the only behavior involved.

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One of the most common misconceptions is that all eating disorders involve the action of eating. Though these eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder all involve food in some way, many disorders don’t. Many are rooted in an obsessive-compulsive manner, which is linked to OCD, a common anxiety disorder. When someone has OCD, they obsess over a particular sensation, unwanted thoughts, or ideas. This process is actually quite similar for those who struggle with eating disorders that revolve around your body image or body weight. To be specific, one of these disorders is body dysmorphia. Those who are diagnosed with body dysmorphia can’t stop thinking about a particular part of their body image. These overwhelming thoughts make it difficult for you to continue throughout your day without reassurance or constant obsession with the perceived flaw.

The goal is for you to feel comfortable in your skin and free from this overwhelming mental health issue. Once you’re into your treatment, buy clothing that you feel confident in. Add one of these full coverage bras, comfortable clothes that you love, and a new outfit that reminds you of how incredible you are, even as you navigate this process.

Eating disorders only affect females.

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It’s an ignorant stereotype to think that females are the only demographic that struggle with eating disorders. It’s actually reported that males make up 10 million of the recorded population that suffers from an eating disorder. With this fact in mind, it’s critical to recognize that everyone deserves effective treatment and professional help, regardless of gender. This area is particularly challenging to navigate for younger males because there are many stigmas when a male cares about body image.

However, this should never deter you from pursuing the levels of care that you or your loved one deserves. If you’re looking out for your child or sibling, remember these disorder symptoms so that you can make proper intervention when necessary. For adolescents, remember to reach out for mental health assistance and even possibly nutritional counseling. This way, you’re able to form a treatment plan that works for you.

How Human and Canine Ear Structures Differ

As all dog lovers know, your canine companions have an incredible sense of hearing. Although all canines have these amazing sense abilities, it is actually the structure of a pup’s ears themselves that harness such sensitivity to sound. We, as humans, would require a powerful hearing aid to even come close to a dog’s audible abilities, whether it’s a small dog or big dog, yet we can learn much about their behavior by understanding their sensitivity to sound.

A dog’s ears are the window to their soul.

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Often, the shape of the canine’s ear will convey their emotional well-being. Structurally, it contains four main components: the ear flap, the external ear canal, the middle ear, and the internal, or inner, ear. Amazingly, a pup’s ears work independently of each other, and their emotions are visible by watching the ears’ movements. Every emotion is dictated by their hearing abilities, even in the youngest, small size puppy.

No matter the breed, a dog’s heightened auditory abilities comes from over a dozen muscles that control the ears’ movements, and the many blood vessels and nerves in the auditory area. While humans with hearing loss may require a pair of hearing aids for even a fraction of a dog’s ability of the highest hearing performance, a canine’s biological makeup provides all the hearing needs for a remarkable amount of situational awareness.

The Structure of Dog Ears vs. Humans’ Ears

As humans our ear structure is relatively basic: the outer ear functions to “collect” sound waves and lead them to tympanic membrane, while the middle ear is merely a narrow cavity in the temporal bone. In dogs, the pinna of their external ear is a funnel-like plate of cartilage that collects the vibrations of the air itself, sending that minuscule connection to the ear canal and eardrum. The dog’s ear canal is significantly longer than that of a human’s, and that length makes it possible for a canine to hear more sounds with a better sound quality. Within the middle ear, three small bones transmit the air vibrations from the eardrum, like that of a human, but in a much more nuanced and heightened way. In a noisy environment, a pooch’s hearing can pick up even the smallest natural sound.

A pooch’s supreme hearing is due to a higher frequency level. For example, the higher the frequency, the more sound waves per second, thus the higher-pitched the sound. The human ear peaks at its best ability around the 2,000 Hertz range, even with the assistance of something as advanced as a durable Signia hearing aid or the simplicity of the iPhone Signia app. Dogs, however, hear best at 8,000 Hz, which is why they can hear higher pitches than we can.

Dogs and the World Around Them

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Dog owners can merely take their pet in a dog harness and go for a walk somewhere with a high level of ambient noise to witness their great abilities. Strap a comfy “no-pull harness” around the dog’s chest for a snug fit, ensuring there’s no discomfort, and grab a leash. Then let them lead the way! Be sure you carefully pick the best harness with with the best fit and adjustable straps for better control. Then watch the dog’s head work like nature’s own directional microphone and watch their natural hearing experience prove that nothing can beat a pup’s ears.

According to any dog trainer, daily walks are also a great idea for all dog breeds, not just for exercise, but to develop your dog’s comfort level outdoors. Be sure to buckle and adjust the vest or harness properly to the dog’s body and be sure the leash attaches to the dog’s back (although a front-clip harness or no pull dog harness would be ideal), then keep a careful eye on the ear movements as the pooch comes to full attention. Anything as a simple as a phone call dozens of feet away, TV audio from a nearby home, or chatter from a busy restaurant may captivate a dog’s audible sensitivity. If you suffer from hearing loss, each small motion from your dog’s superior sound quality, behavior, and clearer level of hearing can provide better safety and awareness, especially on a crowded street.

Humans may need the exceptional sound quality of good hearing aids with manual adjustments, bluetooth, directional microphones, and various accessories to mirror a canine’s natural ability. But with a frequency range that broad, a dog’s high level of hearing and superior sound is based on the pure simplicity of their natural listening experience.