RSS Feed
  1. Running Tips for Beginners

    November 6, 2014 by admin

    Running is a fantastic way of improving cardiovascular fitness, building muscle strength and increasing your overall health. Regular running has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and a range of related ailments, but getting started on a regimen of regular exercise is usually the most difficult part of the entire process. By following a few simple tips, you should be able to build up your performance and fitness levels without too many problems.

    Set goals

    Staying motivated and committed to improving your health and fitness levels often requires a degree of discipline – and setting goals makes that process a great deal easier. You should be challenging yourself to run faster and cover greater distances at every opportunity. Enter a local charity run, and gradually build your strength and cardiovascular fitness with the completion of the race as your ultimate goal. An exercise tracker app will help you to record improvements, track performance and keep your goals at the forefront of your motivation.

    Choose your own style

    If you are completely new to running, you probably won’t have a clue what your optimum running style is. This can involve everything from the music you listen to whilst running to the type of running shoes you wear. Do you prefer running alone, or does running with a partner keep you focussed and occupied? Other factors to consider include the clothes you prefer running in, whether or not you like to stick to a steady pace and whether running on pavements or softer ground is more enjoyable. Of course, making these decisions from scratch requires an element of trial and error, so approach the initial stages of your new running regimen with an open mind.

    Know your physical limits

    You may feel fit and healthy now, but you may find that you have physical issues you didn’t know you had – after just one or two running sessions. Aches are a normal part of the recovery process for runners, but pain is not. If you find that you’re suffering from intense pain in your joints during or after a run, it’s probably best to ease off for a while and consult your doctor. Building up your physical strength and fitness takes time, so there is absolutely no logic in pushing yourself prematurely. Experiment with different shoes, speeds and distances during the early stages of your new running regimen – you can use an activity tracker app to monitor your achievements and slowly build your fitness levels.

    Choose the right shoes

    If you are going to make a significant investment on anything as a new runner, it should be on the right pair of running shoes. It’s important to remember that not all trainers are designed for running. The shoes you choose should have a thick sole and provide cushioning properties for the balls and heels of your feet. Some running experts recommend wearing shoes that are one size too large, as feet have a tendency to swell during long, intense runs.

    Get ready for blisters

    Dealing with blisters is inevitable for most beginners. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to negate the risk of painful blisters forming during long and intense runs. However, by applying petroleum jelly or a specialist running lubricant to known problem areas of your feet, you can reduce the effects of friction and stop some blisters from forming before they get the chance. If you are worried that a blister is forming, you should stop running, and apply lubricant or a plaster immediately. However, resist the urge to burst them, as this can lead to infection and further problems at a later stage.

    Running is a great way of socializing, improving your fitness levels and living a healthier, longer life. By gradually building your strength and cardiovascular fitness, you can achieve your personal goals and reap all the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.

    Image Flickr / Raquel Baranow

  2. How to Save on Makeup

    October 27, 2014 by admin

    makeup Do you spend too much money on makeup?

    This is a common problem that all Shopaholics face. The lure of vibrant nail polish, better brushes, a new compact … they add up over time. Pretty soon, you have a makeup collection that overtakes your home … and you’re left wondering why your bank account is empty, while your makeup and hair product boxes are full.

    Here are a few tips to help you save on makeup.

    #1: Save money by sticking with brands you know and trust.

    Some brands just don’t work on your face — either because they trigger breakouts or because they lack staying power. Stick with the brands that you know, love and trust, instead of switching brands often because you’re chasing sales or deals. The more you stick with what you know, the less likely you are to throw away old makeup.

    #2: Save money by sticking with classic colors.

    Sure, it’s fun to get glammed up with a vibrant eyeshadow — but you’re rarely going to wear bright blue glitter on your eyelids (unless that’s your normal style.

    If you stick with a standard palatte, you’ll be able to use the same products regularly — rather than spending money on a wide array of different tones and shades.

    #3: Save money by swapping makeup with friends.

    Let’s start with a hygiene caution: Don’t share eye makeup with friends, and it’s best to avoid swapping lip glosses and lipsticks, as well. But if you and your friends all have blush or liquid foundation that you’re not using, get together and swap a few items. You’ll get the buzz of “something new” without any of the price.


    Photo courtesy E Gonzales / Flickr

  3. 6 Things I’ll Do Once I’m Done Paying Visa and Mastercard

    September 1, 2014 by admin

    Here are 6 things that I plan to do once I’m finished handing all of my money to credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard.

    #1: Use my credit card as little as possible. Instead of looking at my newly paid-off card as free money that I can spend doing whatever I like, I am going to use it only for emergencies.

    I mean it. No more frivolous spending just because I feel like it.

    #2: I will keep up with payments. I’ve learned my lesson and I refuse to allow myself to miss any payments on my credit card. I know what missing payments can do to your credit. Having finally paid off my balance in full I want to move forward with a clean slate and keep it that way.

    #3: I will make one small purchase. I’m going to treat myself — just one time — as a reward. And I’ll pay in cash.

    #4: Watch my credit report like a hawk. I want to avoid the situation I found myself in and in order to do so I need to make sure that everything on my credit report is accurate. If it’s not, I will end up paying more in interest and in fees than necessary.

    #5: Use cash for purchases. The last thing that I want to do is accrue more debt. I do not plan on getting a new credit card for quite some time, if ever.

    #6: Purchase a used car. I promised myself that once I paid off my credit card debt in full, I would be able to buy a used car (rather than rely on the bus). This will enable me to travel more efficiently.

  4. Is Property Investing Right for You?

    July 28, 2014 by admin

    Is Property Investing Right for You
    We’ve all dreamed of living in a gorgeous home — one with large floor-to-ceiling windows, stainless steel appliances, and kitchen cabinets that stretch up to the ceiling.

    But while we’re used to thinking of a home as a personal purchase, houses have another function, as well — they can be great investments.

    In this article, we’ll talk about the pro’s and con’s of property investing — so that you can decide whether or not it’s right for you.

    Should You Invest in Houses?

    First of all, let’s define the term “property investing” — we’re not talking about buying a house for yourself and HOPING that it will someday maybe rise in value. That’s not real ‘investing.’

    Instead, we’re talking about buying a house for the sole purpose of using it as an investment. Most people either “flip” houses, meaning that they quickly sell the home for a profit, or they “rent” houses to tenants for the sake of collecting monthly payments over the long-term.

    If you decide to get into investing, you’ll first need to decide whether you want to flip or rent.

    Flipping Houses — You’ll buy a house in a desirable neighborhood. You’re looking for the “worst house on the best street.” You renovate the house, adding upgrades, and you keep a tight control on your costs when you’re doing the renovation. You then sell the house for a profit.

    If you’re flipping, be careful not just about the cost of the renovation itself, but also the amount of time that the upgrades require. You’ll pay “holding costs” while you’re doing the upgrades. Those holding costs include the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and more. In addition, your cash is tied-up in the house while you’re doing the upgrades, meaning that it’s not working for you in another house (there’s missed opportunity). As a result, you’ll want to be very careful about both the time and the money that you spend in doing the upgrades.

    You’ll also want to have a clear estimate of how much the house can sell for. This is called “after repair value,” or ARV. If you’re not sure, or if you mis-estimate, you might end up losing money on the project. After all, you’ll base your renovation budget according to the estimated ARV.

    Finally, you should have a clear idea of how much the closing costs and other transaction costs will be. Some examples include advertising, realtor fees, title insurance, attorney’s fees, and other transaction costs.

    Renting Houses — If you decide to hold a house and use it as a rental, make sure that you’ve accounted for all the costs of operating a house. This includes vacancies, repairs, maintenance, property management, tenant placement fees, and more. There’s much more to the cost of owning a house than just the mortgage. Also, make sure you or your property manager screen the tenants carefully. They’ll be living in — and protecting — your very expensive asset.

    How Can I Learn More?

    Most information about buying a home is tailored towards owner-occupants. But you should read advice that’s geared to investors. If you’re interested in learning more, check out books on Amazon that are geared specifically towards real estate investing. These are packed with information tailored specifically to property investors.

    Photo credit: Alison Christine / Flickr

  5. Wear Glasses? Try Shopping Online.

    July 7, 2014 by admin

    It can be hard to look stylish if you’re wearing the “wrong” pair of glasses.

    Glasses, after all, are an important accessory. They cover a huge portion of your face. They’re one of the first things that people see when they look at you.

    That’s why its critical to get the frames “right.”

    “Right” is different for everyone. Some faces look better with small frames; some with big. Some faces tend better to circular frames; some oval; some rectangular. Complexion and hair color also make a difference, as some people will be able to rock black or silver frames, while others look better in earth tones.

    But there’s a problem.

    Sometimes, the glasses frames that the local shops carry just aren’t the right style, color or design for your face. This might especially be an issue if you live in a small town, with limited selection.

    The solution? Order online. I just got a pair of glasses from Firmoo, an online store. I custom-selected a color, shape and style that was ideal for my face.

    Here, see for yourself:

    If you’re looking for a customized pair of classes, check out

    Disclaimer: I have received a free trial pair of glasses from the company mentioned in this article.

  6. Space-Saving Tip of the Day

    June 9, 2014 by admin

    Tip of the Day:

    Furniture takes up a lot of space, so make yours pull double-duty.

    Three favorites: 1) Pull-out sofa beds, 2) Bed frames with storage drawers underneath, and 3) Ottomans with interior storage.

    These pieces of furniture provide great ways to maximize your storage without using any extra space.

  7. Money-Saving Cooking Tip of the Day

    June 4, 2014 by admin

    Tip of the Day:

    Want to get really creative? If you have a recipe that calls for food to be cooked at low temperatures (poaching a salmon, simmering noodles, heating up asparagus), toss it in with your next load of dishes—seriously! Place the food in a heat-proof, tightly sealed container (like a canning jar) to protect it from the hot water and soap and cook your next meal while cleaning your dishes!

    Photo credit: Flickr / Chanlon Handmade

  8. The Frugal Girl’s Guide to a Stylish Wardrobe

    May 27, 2014 by admin

    In today’s fashion-conscious society, most women like to look their best.

    But given the constant shift in fashion, staying up to speed with what is ‘trending’, is a very expensive exercise.

    Don’t be a slave to fashion and risk racking up a massive credit card debt to be fashionable.

    So many young women have had to turn to debt solution experts such as Fox Symes in order to manage their whopping credit card bills.

    Here are some clever tricks to keep you looking chic even on a teeny-weeny budget.

    Sell your unwanted clothes online

    If you’re not wearing it, sell it. Make a rule for yourself that you can only buy new items once you’ve generated enough money by selling old clothes, shoes and accessories online. To really save, use this money on used clothing that others are selling rather than heading to the shops.

    Swap and borrow

    Swapping fashion items (and almost everything else) has become incredibly popular. You can swap informally through your own network of friends and family or through various websites. When it comes to dressing up for special occasions, why not ask a friend or relative to borrow various items of theirs? You might be able to borrow an entire outfit including accessories or just borrow bits and pieces to add to your items for a unique ensemble.

    Make accessories your new best-friend

    Accessories can totally transform an outfit and allow you to express your individual style. You can easily dress pieces up or down depending on the occasion and will give you far more mileage out of your clothes. Accessories can also give cheaper outfits and items a more expensive feel as well as breathe new trends into older pieces of clothing.

    Shop the sales

    When building and designing a wardrobe for clients stylists start with the fashion basics like jeans and jackets. When it comes to work wear, this expands to skirts, pants and blouses. For these items, it makes sense to buy quality pieces that will become wardrobe staples and be around for a number of years. For this, you don’t need cutting edge fashion, but pieces made well with quality fabrics. The best way to source these is to shop at factory outlets or end of year clearances.

    Buy budget versions

    If you’re on a tight budget, designer brands and high-end department stores are out of the question. But don’t despair. As soon as designers showcase their collections on the catwalks, cheap knockoffs are rolling through sewing machines in factories around the world. Of course the quality isn’t the same, but if you’re passionate about staying current, this is your only option.

    Staying ‘on trend’ doesn’t mean you have to buy clothes and accessories on credit or go without. Use a few simple styling tricks to breathe new looks into your wardrobe, swap or borrow clothes and shop smart in order to look great on a shoestring.

  9. 10 Reasons Why You Can Still Look Chic, Even If You Shop at Thrift Stores

    May 16, 2014 by admin

    #1: You know what to look for. While about 80% of what you find at thrift stores is not wearable there is a good 20% or more available for you to turn into one of a kind pieces. Instead of shopping for entire outfits, like you would at a department store, look for specific items to make your outfit standout.

    #2: Vintage is back. The people who donate to thrift stores are often elderly individuals who clean out their closets. They bring their treasures to thrift shops where people like you and I can find items at a fraction of the cost. Look for items like oversized sweaters and floral patterned blouses for a vintage look.

    #3: No one has to know where it came from. Just because you know where your clothing came from doesn’t mean everyone else has to know. Get it out of your head that if you don’t wear designer brands you don’t look good. Save your money and still look chic by shopping at thrift stores.

    #4: Because you shop for quality pieces. There is more than just stained and used clothing at thrift stores, you can also find cute accessories that look brand new to the unsuspecting eye. Half the battle with fashion is presenting it in a way that looks new even if it’s not. Keep your eyes peeled for clutches and jewelry to complete you look.

    #5: Saving money is chic. Saving money and making money is the way of the future, and if you can look stylish doing it more power to you. Don’t be afraid to step foot in a thrift store because it’s against every fashion code you’ve ever been taught. Break the barrier and discover all the treasures out there.

    #6: Sew your own pieces together. Take small items you purchase at a thrift store and turn them into masterpieces by creating your own outfit. Don’t get discouraged by items that don’t fit right. Cut them up and style them to your own taste.

    #7: Use YouTube For tips. Buy whatever item you want and then search YouTube for tips on how to make them great. Even if you aren’t a seamstress or fashion designer you can still turn slightly frumpy into totally chic with a few snips and tucks in certain spots.

    #8: Because there is no limit to variety. Thrift stores are full of different styles, sizes, and colors of clothing making it possible to come out looking like a fashionista. Rack after rack of clothing is bound to hold at least one style gem, and if you keep an open mind there is no limit on what you might find.

    #9: Thrift stores create unique style. Fashion is all about testing the limits on what is socially acceptable and shopping at thrift stores allows you to spend less money to look just as unique as high end shops.

    #10: No one else can have your look. The items you buy at thrift stores are unique to you and you only. Your look cannot be duplicated to an exact replica. So be proud of shopping at thrift stores and consider yourself one of the few 100% chic individuals with thrift store skills.

  10. 10 Reasons Why My Student Loans Are Stressing Me Out

    May 8, 2014 by admin

    #1: I can’t make the monthly payment. When I signed up for these loans I did not expect to be paying more than my car payment every month for them. It’s caught me off guard and now I can’t afford them!

    #2: The interest is building up. I really can’t afford to keep allowing the interest to build on my loans but there is virtually no way to stop it. At this rate I won’t have them paid off until I’m 90!

    #3: It’s either rent or student loan payments! I’ve gotten to the point that I have to choose between paying my student loans or having a roof over my head. I’m sorry, but I choose roof. To me it really isn’t an option.

    #4: It’s ruining my relationships. Every time I meet a new guy I have to keep my debt hidden away so I don’t scare him off. Unfortunately, if I want a serious relationship I’m going to have eventually let him know the skivvy on my debt situation.

    #5: I’m an emotional wreck. I’ve had countless sleepless nights worried about my student loans and how I will ever pay them back. I can’t even get a job in the career I want because I’m so down about my debt.

    #6: I can’t move to a new apartment. The simple fact that my loans are on my credit report has caused my credit score to drop. This makes it impossible to move out of the crummy apartment I stay at now. If I can’t move I can’t better myself and so continues the endless cycle of debt and stress.

    #7: I’m ruining my mom’s credit. Half of my loans were taken out in my mother’s name which only adds to the stress I deal with. Because she knows I’m not paying on my loans she is constantly upset with me and it has caused strain in our relationship.

    #8: Because I only have one more deferment left. Deferment has been the only way my loans haven’t gone into default yet. I can’t afford to pay them and so I’ve been deferring them to avoid payments. Now that isn’t an option since I can only do it one more time for the entire course of my loan.

    #9: I can’t enjoy anything! I can’t even go out for an night with my girls because there is a massive guilt trip in the back of my mind about my student loans. It makes it hard to enjoy anything.

    #10: I’m scared I won’t be able to land my dream job. Careers require background checks and credit checks, and at this rate I wouldn’t qualify for the job that I want. This stresses me out tremendously.