Tag Archive | Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families

What Traveling for Medical Treatment Tells Us

For many, a trip to the doctor may seem like nothing more than a second thought. All you have to do is go for a regular check-up according to your work’s health insurance plan. Luckily, you’re healthy enough that that is all you need to do. For others, however, regular doctor visits are necessary simply to keep them alive. Whether it be for cancer, diabetes, or some other terrible condition, there are families who have to see the doctor sometimes more than once a month. In these cases, it is not uncommon to see that families choose to travel further distances in order to receive their medical care. Here are a few reasons why they may be traveling for medical treatment and the implications.

1. Best Treatment

In regards to cancer, there are certain institutions that have a better-trained staff to deal with particular ailments. Families who want the best treatment possible for their loved ones are obviously more inclined to attend these facilities even if they are hundreds of miles away. Health and life are important, and money is of little consequence if it means that seeing this specific doctor or surgeon can save their loved one’s life.

Similar to treatment for a malignancy, addiction treatment is something which someone might travel long distances to receive. An LA detox facility is likely to treat patients from all over the United States due to the high quality of care it provides.

This travel, however, may not be the most convenient, especially if there is an emergency. It says the problem is too challenging for local doctors and specialists, who are either too inexperienced or too overwhelmed to properly treat the issue. Whether it’s fighting cancer or achieving long-term sober living, the need for a solution is so great that journeying across the country is considered a worthwhile inconvenience.

This could mean that the government in question does not allocate enough of its resources to the funding of medicine and healthcare. Families should not have to travel long distances just to receive care for an individual because they are the only ones that have some knowledge of the best treatment possible. Instead, such education and resources should be widespread, so that families everywhere can easily take their loved one for the required treatment.

In short, a lack of funding and medical research could be a result of families feeling the need to travel long distances for the best care.

2. Cost

For many families, the cost of hospitals and doctors is too high. This is especially true for families who do not have health insurance covered by their employer or make too much to qualify for healthcare from the federal or state government, but not enough to actually afford the healthcare programs available. As such, they are forced to find a doctor that can give them the cheapest treatment possible. In some cases, this means that they might have to travel further than they would originally like.

This can be compared to those who have a great deal of wealth. Regardless of their location, because they have ample money to spend on hospital visits, they can easily travel to their desired hospital and receive treatment. Transportation means little to them because they can easily afford that and the doctor visit.

Clearly, there is a dichotomy at play here.

Trends and Patterns

As health care costs increase, those who lack money are the ones that are hurt. By examining the patterns of travel, the disparity is glaringly obvious

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2NTRV10

Advertisements

The Power of the Compounding: Invest Early, Invest Wisely

The average stock market return is said to be 7% but you’ll need to take that with a grain of salt. Likewise, one must account for inflation, medical emergencies, career shifts, relationship changes, and the like. You can create a spreadsheet projecting your ideal path to retirement but there are simply too many factors!

Know what works well — something you can (somewhat) rely on? Time.

Time is on your side when planning for retirement thanks in part to the magic of compounding. The earlier you invest, the more you’ll have in those golden years.

Are We Financially Mature to Invest?

We’re what many call the “culture of Now“.

We want instant access to information. We want items as we see them. We aren’t one to sacrifice to get what we want later — delayed gratification.

The unfortunate side effect of this “now” mindset is our inability to save toward long-term goals. It’s hard imagining what you’ll do in 5-years let alone the goals 30-years out.

You can see this by the fact most people don’t have savings, or they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. Many instances are out of one’s control, but you could bet a good chunk are financially inept.

Building Wealth for the Long-Term with Gratification Today

Let’s consider long-term investments one can make today to appeal to this instant gratification mindset and lifestyle we’ve adopted.

Round-Up Savings

Apps like Acorns and Digit take and deposit loose change, from every purchase to the nearest whole dollar, into an investment account. Or, into a high-yield savings account. This passive opportunity removes most burdens one may have with investing.

Round-up/loose change investing is out-of-sight and out-of-mind. It doesn’t seem like much but someone swiping their card several times a day can create a substantial step forward in long-term investment goals.

Currency Arbitrage

Currency trading offers both short and long-term investments. The premise details holding weak or strong currencies, waiting for an opportunistic difference in the trade values.

Ever held a few notes when traveling abroad to later discover they’re worth more? That’s the idea!

One can play short strategies in forex or currency arbitrage. Or, bet on emerging markets as they improve GDP, stability, and politics.

Cryptocurrency is a sub-set of currency trades you could explore, too!

Stocks, Funds, and Micro-Investing

Apps like Robinhood, Betterment, M1 Finance, and WeBull have disrupted the financial and investment sector. These investment platforms and robo-advisors have all but eliminated the high trading fees and management.

Removing the fees and presenting an easy-to-use interface, in the palm of your hand, has attracted millions of users to these platforms.

Through these apps you can invest in:

  • Individual Stocks
  • 401k’s
  • Mutual Funds
  • IRA’s
  • 529’s
  • ETFs

… and more.

You can also find platforms, like M1, letting you invest fractional shares. This is perfect for those wanting instant action versus saving to buy whole stocks/investments (which they may never get to because of distractions).

Our Education

Cheesy as it sounds — building better opportunities through higher education or skills/trades is a worthy short & long-termination investment.

What soft skills can you learn now that will greatly benefit in the future?

  • Sales and marketing (as we increasingly need to pitch ourselves)
  • Communication and management (to avoid waste and mishaps)
  • Entrepreneurship and finance (giving us a challenge and grounding)

Help your children understand finances early as this gives them better, compounding opportunities. Use this time to educate yourself, too, discovering what investment strategies best apply to your age group.

Invest Now, Think of the Long-Term

We may live in a “now” culture fueled by instant gratification. And, have trouble investing when there are demanding things today.

But:

It’s important to remind oneself of the benefits — how even a small investment amount can create real wealth decades from now.

What short-term investing strategies do you use? What are your long-term financial goals? Share your thoughts with a comment below.

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2QFF3tL

Lawns Aren’t Made of Just One Type of Grass

When we think of lawns, we tend to think of simple and lush grass. But lawns are made up of so much more than add beauty and serve a purpose to the ecosystem around us. Here is a look at a few things that make up our gorgeous lawns.

The Best Grass

There are a variety of grasses that are perfect for your soil and for your region. The best place to start is with grass seed. Learning how to prepare soil for grass seed is honestly the “hardest” part, the rest is so easy that you will have grass in no time. Some types of grass are best grown at certain times of the year. If you plant a fescue grass in the middle of summer, it won’t do so well.  Why bother with grass at all? Because it is a natural protector from soil erosion! It also creates oxygen for you and your family while detoxing the air already present.

The Wildflowers

Along with the grass, you can plant other things that will minimize how much time you have to spend taking care of your lawn. Not everyone is a big fan of mowing and watering plants. If you are one of those people, wildflowers are your best friend. Planting wildflowers give your lawn a beautiful appearance and take care of the ecosystem around your home. The birds and bees will visit more often and they play a key role in pollination and creation of honey.

Home to Hummingbirds

Some of what we plant in our lawns is designed to attract a very specific type of bird or animal. Hummingbirds are a beloved favorite due to the ease in attracting them and their loyalty to returning. Hummingbird feeders can start it all but planting specific flowers that grow for hummingbirds is ideal.  Flowers that are tubular in shape are the most popular among hummingbirds. Think daylilies, cardinal flowers, penstemon, peonies, hibiscus, and oriental poppies.

A Flock of Butterflies

Hummingbirds aren’t the only things people want to attract, butterflies are in close second for the favorite animal to attract. In a lawn devoted to the butterfly, there are two types of flowers that are planted. One type provides nectar for the butterfly to feed on, such as aster, and the other is to host caterpillars, like daisies. In these gardens, only native plants to the area will do. Anything foreign will repel butterflies away. One of the great things about butterfly and hummingbird gardens on the lawn is that you only water during a drought. Allowing rainfall to naturally care for the plants is the best way for the plants and species to flourish.

Peaceful Water Gardens

Perhaps what you truly desire is a lovely water garden that brings together a pleasant pond and lush green plants? Water lilies, floating plants, and shallow water plants that we can observe in a meditative moment with our space. A nice bench along the side and maybe some large goldfish in the pond that we can care for.

There is plenty we can do with the lawn aside from growing grass and mowing it. Creating sanctuaries for birds or insects, rock gardens, rock labyrinths, and water gardens. If you close your eyes and imagine what your lawn would look like, what would it include? Now, ask yourself why you haven’t gotten around to it. You can create the lawn of your dreams and invest in its care within your available time.

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2xmlMWb

How To Sell A House In A Time Crunch

It isn’t ideal, but sometimes life comes at you fast and you find yourself needing to move on a deadline. This puts you at odds against a mercurial and unforgiving market, and sets you up for a lot of stress if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can mitigate this stress. Here are a few useful tips for selling a house quickly while you’re racing against the clock.

Pay Attention to the Market

What are the property values in your area? Is it a desirable neighborhood? What are the key charm points? What makes your property worth what it’s worth, and are there any outstanding features that could boost its price point? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself before you ever list your home. Know where, realistically speaking, your house falls on the sliding scale of pricing. Starting off with a strong understanding of the market you’re going into and where you fall in it will save you a lot of time and headaches.

Sell Off the Market

Contrasting the above point, you don’t need to pay heed to the market at all. After all, the housing market isn’t the only place you can sell your home, though many people aren’t aware of that. Companies like Quick Move Now offer home purchasing services in which they come in to buy your house instead. As the name suggests, this is a great option if you’re pressed for time and just need to get your house sold. You won’t have to deal with haggling, deal-making, or potential buyers who back out at the last second. You just get a reliable and straightforward transaction.

Give Your House Some TLC

Appearance is everything when it comes to selling your home. Not only do you need to focus on the curb appeal, but the interior should be dressed to impress as well. Make sure you have new or clean appliances on display in your home. Bring in any experts you need to evaluate the home and make sure there are no structural issues, hidden problems, or unseen damages that need to be addressed. By ensuring everything is clean and in working order, you present a much better picture to your potential buyers.

Know How to Stage Rooms

Staging rooms is of crucial importance to showing off the interior of your home. You should remove all traces of anything personal, such as family photographs, pet toys, and so on. This allows your potential buyers to really immerse themselves and imagine what the house would look like when they live there. Likewise, try to keep decorations and furnishings neutral and pleasant. Floor plans should be shown off and their good traits should be maximized. Try to keep things light, bright, and spacious, as these are almost universally good traits of homes that sell quickly. Finally, use every room for its intended purpose, even if that’s not how you personally used it.

Learn About Sales Pitches

A lot of these steps take the grunt work out of selling a house, but there’s still plenty of legwork that needs to be done. Know how to pitch your house to potential buyers. Understand what people are looking for. Capitalize on the key charm points. Be honest and upfront with information. Know how to use social media to your advantage, especially since more people are turning to it than to ads in the local paper these days.

Of course, there is ample room within these tips to add your own flair. But by using these tools to your advantage, you are increasing your chances of being able to sell your house quickly and with as little stress as possible.

Image: Pixabay

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2Mcz2RV

4 Key Things to Think About When Promoting Your Business

When it comes to running a small business, promotion can be one of an entrepreneur’s biggest challenges. While 95 percent of small business owners do some of their own marketing, only 46 percent consider themselves marketing savvy, with 64 percent describing themselves as self-taught, a Constant Contact survey revealed. When asked to name their biggest business challenge, 64 percent of small business owners identified promotional resources as their main obstacle, an Incfile study found, underscoring the challenges marketing poses for entrepreneurs.

In order to overcome marketing challenges, it’s essential to have an effective promotional strategy. Here are four key things to consider when promoting your business.

Target Marketing

Target marketing based on good market research is the foundation of an effective promotional campaign. Market research helps you identify what type of consumers or businesses are buying your product or service, so that you can focus on the right audience and you don’t waste your money advertising to people who aren’t buying what you’re selling. Market research also helps you identify what features and benefits most appeal to your prospective buyers. It further helps you identify where your target audience congregates online and offline so that you can reach them with your promotional campaigns.

The easiest way to do market research is to tap into existing resources. These include government databases such as U.S. Census Bureau data, commercial polls such as Gallup and Nielsen data, resources compiled by online platforms such as Google Marketer’s Almanac, and market research reports produced by companies such as Forrester. HubSpot provides a list of popular market research tools to help get you started. In addition, you can do market research by using analytics data from your website and social media accounts and by taking surveys of your website visitors and email list. This will give you more customized information specific to your customer base than public market research resources.

Branding

Branding is another key component of effective promotion. Your brand defines your company’s identity, determining how customers perceive you and feel about you. It also positions you in contrast to your competitors, so that potential buyers know why they should buy from you instead of a rival brand.

To begin building a brand identity, marketing director Chelsea Trautman recommends that you start by committing to authenticity, meaning that your actions in your business, on your website, and on your social media channels should be consistent with the brand identity you seek to define. Next, draw from your market research to identify what qualities your target audience is seeking in a brand and what might appeal to them.

After this, create a mission statement that expresses succinctly how your company aims to give your target audience what they want. Next, define the company values that support your mission statement, such as prioritizing customer service, for example. Finally, create a style guide that lays out how you will start communicating your brand identity through your interactions with your customers. For example, your style guide might specify how your logo is to be used on your online properties to communicate your brand.

Promotional Channels

Another important key to promotional success is selecting the right channels for your intended audience. The Edward Lowe Foundation provides a breakdown of the pros and cons of today’s major categories of promotional channels, including paid advertising, in-store and online sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing tactics such as direct mail and personal face-to-face selling. Channels that may reach one market may not necessarily reach another. For instance, a consumer audience might be easier to connect with on Facebook, while a business audience might be easier to connect with on LinkedIn. Selecting the right promotional channel mix ensures that your advertising budget isn’t going to channels where you aren’t going to reach your marketing base.

Most successful promotional campaigns use multiple channels. Amway has established a 60-year track record for successful face-to-face selling. However, the company has more recently expanded into digital channels, using an official blog, YouTube channel and a variety of social media profiles to reach new prospects.

Sales Scripts

After you’ve made contact with prospects through your promotional campaigns, the last step toward making a sale is delivering an effective sales presentation. Most new entrepreneurs feel intimidated by sales because they don’t know what to say. A key to overcoming this barrier is to have a prepared sales script. A sales script is based on mapping out the sales process, which begins by building trust and rapport, progresses through probing buyer needs and presenting product benefits, and proceeds through making a closing offer and answering buyer objections in order to make a sale. You can have sales scripts for each phase of this process, and for different possible situations that come up during each phase.

For purposes of making sales, your closing scripts and objection-handling scripts are most crucial for selling products. A closing script typically transitions from your presentation into the close, makes a closing offer, and asks for the sale. Objection-handling scripts deal with common objections to making a purchase, such as the price being too high, needing more time to think about making a decision, or needing to consult someone else before making a purchase. Sales author Mike Brooks provides sample closing and objection-handling scripts you can modify for customized use.

Conclusion

Target marketing helps ensure that your promotional efforts are aimed at the right audience, increasing your efficiency and avoiding wasted advertising dollars. Branding makes sure that your marketing theme appeals to your intended audience. Choosing the right promotional channels increases your odds of reaching qualified leads. Once you’ve reached a hot lead, your sales pitch closes the deal and turns a prospect into a customer. Basing your promotional strategy on these four pillars will set your marketing on a firm foundation, helping you reach more prospects, convert more leads, and make more sales.

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2QgPaoz

When Stress Goes Too Far

Stress is a natural part of life and certainly something you cannot live without. At times, stress can become too much and can create issues for ourselves. Today we are looking at ways that stress can negatively impact our lives and ways to alleviate stress.

Excessive Sweating

Sweating is not inherently bad. Think of it like the body’s natural air conditioning system that is also a bit of cleansing. You release toxins and your body cools off. Knowing that, can sweating be bad for you? Yes, it can become a serious problem or be the sign of one. If you are under intense stress that is not being alleviated, you could find yourself sweating at odd times or at very inconvenient moments. Excessive sweating can lead to embarrassing stains to clothing and odors. This makes using appropriate products designed for sweating and stress relief a priority.

Future Heart Problems

One thing is for sure, long periods of stress can be bad for your heart. There are changes happening within the body that can leave long-term effects. A rise in adrenaline, increased heart rate,  and shortness of breath are common side effects of an anxiety attack or a response to intense stress. In small doses and very rare, that is okay. When it becomes more frequent, it can cause damage to our heart and internal organs.

Breathe and Go to a Happy Place

Whenever stress pops up into our lives, it is important that we handle it in a healthy manner. First and foremost, remove yourself from the situation and find a quiet place. A few slow breaths can help control your heart rate and the adrenaline rushing through your body. You can try foursquare breathing (breathe in for a four count, hold for a four count, release for a four count, and hold for a four count) or look for a breathing video on Youtube to help you focus and calm down. A happy place is also helpful to ground yourself. It may be envisioning yourself on a beach, strolling among the flowers in a garden, or sitting in a dark cave that helps you regain your usual demeanor and then go tackle the problem at hand.

Ask for Help

Whenever you are dealing with a stressful situation, ask people closest to you for help. They can sit and just listen to you. They can hold your hand while you deal with your situation. They could even take some of the workload off you during your stressful moment. Our loved ones love to be of help to us so this is the time to let them in and support you.

If you do not have a supportive family or friends around you, this is an excellent time to seek out professional help. Professionals know how to handle these situations and can even help you seek out resources that can help which you may not have been aware of before.

Take an Anger Management Class

It is often assumed that anger management classes are for people who scream, hit, and throw things. Actually, anger management classes are an excellent resource for everyone! You learn about boundaries and identifying your own emotional responses to stress. By being aware and learning techniques to how you respond to stress, you can alleviate a lot of stress in your life and manage it better in the future.

Self-care is often considered to be hot bubble baths and massages but it is so much more. All of the above tips will help you take care of your body, health, and will let you feel better about dealing with future stresses.

Image: Pixabay

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2M1VRHZ

How To Create A Family Budget

When you are trying to look after a family, it can be difficult to keep on top of payments. Depending on your situation, you might be splitting your earnings with a partner or you may be paying for your children by yourself. Both of these have their own struggles and so it is important to be able to set a family budget in order to use your money wisely. Here, we’ll explain how to create a family budget so make sure to keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

Setting Goals

The first thing that you need to do is set some goals. You need to think about the things that you would like to afford, and you need to be realistic about it. If you are setting a family budget in order to save some money in the long term, then this should be your goal. Once you have figured out your goals, you should write it down and agree it with whoever else is involved. This will give you something to work towards in the future.

Figure Out Your Funds

The next step involves making sure that you know exactly how much money you have to spend each month. This way, you can make a clear budget, as guessing how much you have won’t get you very far. Sit down and take some time to look at your bank accounts, work out how much comes into your account and how much comes out. Your income is very important in setting the budget, so you need to be very specific when setting it.

Discuss Your Wants

When you are taking time to look through your bank accounts, you need to make sure that you are able to make the distinction between things that you need to spend and things that you want to spend. This is a very important thing that you need to do if you are going to set an accurate budget. You might need to compromise some of your wants each month if you want to make the most of your budget. This is how you will save money in the end.

Go Ahead

The final step is to test out your budget, you will need to be willing to put it into action. This means that you must only use the money that you have allocated for the things that you want rather than need. Once you have been using your budget for a month or two, you will be able to look back on your goals and figure out if you are managing to achieve them or not. This might take a while, but you should be able to reach your goals if you set a realistic budget for your family.

Creating a budget for your family is not too difficult as long as you work together to ensure that you are sticking to the budget and that everything is on the table during the planning process.

 

Image: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families https://ift.tt/2Ndg1mR