Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 things you're not doing that could lower your debt

3 things you're not doing that could lower your debt

By Renee Sylvestre-Williams
You're paying down your debt and feeling pretty pleased with yourself. That's excellent, because you're on your way to
becoming debt-free.
But are you doing enough? Even if you put aside money every month, pay off more than the minimum and adhere to your budget, these three small things could slow down your debt-repayment schedule -- if you don't deal with them.

1. You're not reading the fine printWe get it -- reading all the fine print on any financial document is an overwhelming proposition. But as irritating as it is, you really should read all documentation, especially anything that involves your credit card, mortgages and other loans. That's the place where you'll find out what happens if you miss a payment or if there'll be any increase in interest rates.
The same goes for your monthly statements. Interest rates can increase. By reading the small print, you might find out that your credit card that had a favourable 12 per cent interest rate has suddenly jumped to 14 per cent. That extra two per cent means a higher proportion of your payment is going to interest than before -- and your debt won't
disappear as quickly.

2. You're not negotiatingAsk and you more than likely will receive. Companies want to keep your business and they want their money -- so call them up and try to negotiate
lower interest rates on your debt, especially on your credit card.
There's no reason to feel awkward about calling your credit card company. Remember, they're used to this and often expect people to call to renegotiate interest rates. Just prepare your script beforehand, remain polite and be realistic with your expectations. You're probably not going to go from 19 per cent to 10 per cent, but a drop of a few percentage points can make a huge difference.

3. You're not changing institutionsSometimes you can't negotiate with your credit card company. If you aren't able to get a reduction in your interest rates, then it might be time to switch cards, or talk to your bank about a loan or line of credit to pay off your credit card balance.
Starting up a new credit card account is not something you should do on a regular basis. In fact, we suggest you do it only if you have to -- and, once you've switched to a lower-interest-rate card, pay off your credit card debt. All of it. Then put the card away and try not to use it.
These three tips seem minor, but what they do is help you increase your awareness about your money, where it goes and how much of it is actually paying off your debt versus how much of it is just covering the interest. Now, go find the paperwork on your credit card and give it a good read.

Monday, January 30, 2012




1.      Drink plenty of water.2.      Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner         like a beggar.3.      Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less         food that is manufactured in plants.4.      Live with the 3 E's -- Energy,  Enthusiasm, and Empathy.5.      Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.6.      Play more games.7.      Read more books than you did in 2011 .8.      Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.9.      Sleep for 7 hours.10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk,         smile.


11.    Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what         their journey is all about.12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.         Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.13.    Don't over do. Keep your limits.14.    Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.16.    Dream more while you are awake.17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past.           That will ruin your present happiness.19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.         Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away         like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. 23.    Smile and laugh more.24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25.    Call your family often.26.    Each day give something good to others.27.    Forgive everyone for everything.28.    Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.31.    Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your          friends will. Stay in touch.


32.    Do the right thing!33.    Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.34.    GOD heals everything.35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.37.    The best is yet to come.38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy 

By Joe

Sunday, January 29, 2012

10 ways to improve your Zzzzs

10 ways to improve your Zzzzs

By Yuki Hayashi

One in four Canadians experiences sleep deprivation. Are you one of them?
According to the better Sleep Council of Canada, 25 percent of Canadians could use more Zzzs. Adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. Your body and mind rejuvenate while you're asleep, and without sleep, you'll suffer "daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, memory problems," and other side effects, says Dr. Henry Olders, a Montreal-based psychiatrist and assistant professor at McGill University who studies sleep disorders.
Other effects include "impaired immune and endrocrine function," says Dr. Glendon E. Sullivan, deputy director of the Atlantic Health Sciences Sleep Centre, based in Saint John, New Brunswick. "Our white blood cell counts diminish and ability to fight infection may be affected, and our ability to keep our blood glucose levels in check is impaired," he adds. Studies have also shown ongoing lack of sleep can contribute to depression, irritability, stress, anxiety, and even obesity, according to the Better Sleep Council of Canada.
Are you having trouble hitting the hay? If you're having ongoing problems getting to or
staying asleep, see your family doctor.
But for once-in-a-while difficulties or a general lack of satisfaction with the quality of your sleep, try these expert-approved lifestyle tips.
1. Invest in a good bedBuying the best bed you can afford is an investment, not a splurge. "Having a good-quality bed that's big enough for individual movements and sprawling cannot be overemphasized," says Dr. Sullivan. Extra room minimizes disruption if you or your partner toss and turn, and also allows you to pile on, or peel off, extra blankets if the two of you don't see eye-to-eye on nighttime temperature. Additionally, look for the level of support and firmness you prefer, and buy it new: dust-mites, bedbugs and worn out coils aren't worth any savings.
2. Declutter for sleep "A quiet, dark room that is used primarily for sleep," is best, says Dr. Sullivan. It's amazing how few bedrooms actually fit the bill, though. Distracting TVs, radios, laptops, home-gym equipment, overflow from closets, and other clutter are commonplace in many bedrooms. Sound like yours?
Move the clutter from the bedroom.
3. Paint your walls A stimulating bedroom palette like cayenne may spice up your boudoir, but it also might be the reason you're having difficulty winding down. Consider repainting your walls a restful blue, grey, or neutral sand. (Stick to these shades for your bedding, too.)
4. Dim the lightsA bedtime read can help you transition from day to night, but if you're doing it under a glaring overhead light, you may find your self turning pages well into the night. "Light stimulates us and inhibits melatonin production, which in turn delays the signal to sleep," says Dr. Sullivan. Use a mellow reading lamp on your nightstand instead.
5. Try meditationMeditation can be helpful as a way of "divert[ing] ourselves from the business and thoughts of the day," says Dr. Sullivan. Gentle yoga or meditation sessions can be a way to transition from wakefulness to relaxation and sleep.
6. Get the pet out of the bedroomSure, Fluffy's cute, but she may be contributing to your allergy symptoms, nasal congestion, snoring and sleep apnea, says Dr. Sullivan. These affect your quality of sleep, and by extension, your bedmate's as well.
7. Don't 'self-medicate' if you can't sleepIf something's keeping you up on an ongoing basis, see your doctor. Never rely on a dram of brandy to help you sleep.
8. Work out earlier in the eveningAn early evening jog or bike ride is fine, but time it at least two hours before bedtime or you may find yourself feeling active and rarin' to go – not ready for Zzzs.
9. Soak your cares awayTake a hot bath, but pass on the "energizing," "revitalizing" or "refreshing" bath oils. Lavender is a proven scent for relaxation, however.
10. Avoid snacking before bedPre-bed snacks encourage heartburn, reflux and lowered sleep quality, says Dr. Sullivan. Nighttime snackers tend to crave "quick, high-calorie, fat-containing substances," he adds.
"Therefore you get the double whammy of eating the worst possible foods at the worst possible time," for both sleep quality and weight gain, says Dr. Sullivan.
Even if you indulge in this habit now, the good news is you can wean your body off of them, says our expert.
Start tonight and you may be counting fewer sheep, as well as fewer inches on your waistline!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 ways to slow the aging process

10 ways to slow the aging process
You can do a variety of simple things – from
eating protein at every meal to taking a regular whiff of lavender – to help slow the aging process and maintain health and vitality as long as possible, says Penny Kendall-Reed, a naturopath and director of natural therapies at the Urban Wellness Clinic in Toronto.
Kendall-Reed believes that being happy and as stress-free as possible are the keys to living a longer, healthier life. And feeling healthy, energetic and
stress-free translates into a more youthful appearance.
10 tips to start slowing the hands of time1. At every meal, eat foods high in protein, such as fish, turkey, egg whites or tofu. A gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight is a good rule of thumb. (That's 22 grams/0.8 ounce of protein per meal for a woman weighing 65 kilograms/145 pounds. That's equal to about 150 millilitres/two-thirds of a cup of cottage cheese, an average protein shake, three egg whites, a medium chicken or turkey breast or 125 grams/four ounces of low-fat tofu.)
Kendall-Reed says you should choose protein-rich foods that are low in fat. Protein slows insulin levels, which you want to keep in balance to avoid weight gain and risk of disease. Eating protein also promotes stable blood sugar levels, which reduces stress, which in turn helps keep that pesky stress hormone, cortisol, in check.
2. Ease stress with extracts from the magnolia flower,
green tea or milk peptide, all of which are available at your local health food store. Kendall-Reed says you should talk to a health-care professional before you try any of these. Massage is another way to calm stress.
3. Take 100 to 200 milligrams each of vitamins B6 and B12 daily to reduce cortisol and increase levels of serotonin, a chemical in the body that helps ease depression and anxiety.
4. Lavender, a natural relaxant, helps keep cortisol levels stable and smells terrific. Put this essential oil in the bath or rub it onto your face and body, or tuck a sachet of the dried flower under your pillow.
5. Exercise regularly. When you're physically active, you make more growth hormone, a key factor in
remaining youthful. "Growth hormone plays a role in everything, whether it's skin, libido,
weight gain, muscle mass or energy level – almost any sign and symptom you can think of related to aging," says Kendall-Reed.
6. Get nine hours of sleep each night, if possible; eight hours won't do it, says Kendall-Reed. When our bodies are in the repair mode of
deep, restful sleep, we produce growth hormone. People who have trouble sleeping often have lower levels of growth hormone. As well, lack of sleep is a stressor.
7. Take a selection of antioxidant vitamins to target all 13 types of free radicals. Kendall-Reed says taking vitamins A, C and E and selenium (often available in one pill) daily helps clean up free radicals. She stresses that you should talk to your health-care practitioner, who can help you choose a supplement and proper dose. Of special note, don't take any of these agents if you are on blood thinners, she says.
8. To deal with wear and tear on the body,
consider supplements that enhance the production of elastin and collagen. These include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, MSM and hyaluronic acid.
9. To increase the strength of the immune system,
take supplements such as plant sterinols, olive extract (a natural antiviral), zinc and denatured whey. Again, see a health-care professional first.
(To find out about the 10 best-bet supplements, click here.)10. Relax. Smile. "
Be happy and stress-free," says Kendall-Reed. "What comes out in your body when you're unhappy and stressed wreaks so much havoc. Don't sweat the small stuff."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Study finds tablet, e-book ownership soared


Tablets and e-readers were a popular gift over the holidays, so much so that the number of people who own them nearly doubled between mid-December and January, a new study finds.A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project set to be released