Living Your Best Life with Your Partner: Tips for a Healthy Relationship

In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship can sometimes feel like a juggling act. However, with a bit of effort and some practical tips, living your best life with your partner is not only possible but can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re in the early stages of your relationship or have been together for years, these guidelines will help you and your partner grow closer, overcome challenges, and create lasting memories together.

Communicate Openly and Honestly

One of the cornerstones of a healthy relationship is open and honest communication. Make it a habit to talk about your feelings, aspirations, and concerns with your partner. This doesn’t mean you need to share every single thought, but keeping the lines of communication open can prevent misunderstandings and build trust. Remember, it’s not just about talking; active listening is equally important. Give your partner your full attention, acknowledge their feelings, and respond thoughtfully.

Respect Each Other’s Individuality

While being in a relationship means sharing your lives, it’s crucial to respect each other’s individuality. Encourage your partner to pursue their interests and hobbies, and make sure you do the same. Maintaining a sense of self not only enriches your personal growth but also brings new experiences and perspectives into the relationship. Celebrate each other’s achievements and support each other’s goals, creating a strong foundation of mutual respect and admiration.

Keep the Romance Alive

Romance is an essential ingredient in any relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of daily life and forget about the small gestures that keep the spark alive. Surprise your partner with little acts of love, like a handwritten note, a favorite treat, or an impromptu date night. These gestures don’t have to be grand or expensive; what matters is the thought and effort behind them. Regularly showing appreciation and affection will keep the romance thriving.

Handle Conflicts with Care

Every relationship experiences conflicts, but how you handle them can make a significant difference. Approach disagreements with a mindset of resolution rather than confrontation. Avoid blaming or criticizing and instead focus on expressing how you feel and finding a compromise. Taking a break if emotions run too high can also be beneficial. Remember, it’s you and your partner against the problem, not against each other.

Make Time for Each Other

Quality time is essential in any relationship. In our busy lives, it’s easy to let work and other responsibilities take precedence. However, carving out time for each other strengthens your bond and creates lasting memories. Whether it’s a regular date night, a weekend getaway, or simply spending an evening together at home, prioritize these moments. Disconnect from your devices and be present with each other.

Travel Together

Exploring new places with your partner is one of the best ways to deepen your connection and create unforgettable memories. Traveling can also test your teamwork and problem-solving skills, especially when dealing with unexpected situations like lost luggage or language barriers. Embrace these challenges as opportunities to grow and learn together. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a month-long adventure abroad, traveling can reignite your sense of wonder and excitement.

Foster Shared Interests

Having shared interests and activities is another way to strengthen your relationship. Find hobbies or projects that you both enjoy and can do together, whether it’s cooking, hiking, or taking dance classes. These shared experiences not only bring you closer but also give you something to look forward to and talk about. Don’t be afraid to try new things together, as discovering new passions can be a fun and bonding experience.

Support Each Other Through Thick and Thin

Life can throw unexpected challenges your way, and having a supportive partner can make all the difference. Be there for each other during tough times, whether it’s a job loss, health issues, or personal struggles. Offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and practical help when needed. Knowing you can rely on each other builds a strong sense of security and trust.

Keep the Fun Alive

Laughter and fun are vital components of a happy relationship. Don’t take yourselves too seriously and make room for playfulness and spontaneity. Watch a comedy, play a game, or embark on a silly adventure. These moments of joy and light-heartedness can relieve stress and remind you why you love being together.

Nurture Your Relationship

Just like a plant, your relationship needs nurturing to thrive. Regularly check in with each other about how things are going and what you can improve. Celebrate your milestones and reflect on your journey together. By continuously investing time and effort into your relationship, you ensure that it remains healthy and fulfilling.

Living your best life with your partner involves a balance of communication, respect, romance, and fun. By following these tips, you can create a loving, supportive, and adventurous relationship that stands the test of time. So go ahead, embrace these principles, and enjoy the journey of life together.

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Can you get approved for a loan with no employment?

In many cases, you cannot get a loan if you are not employed, since this is a vital thing that lenders look for in order to recover the money they lend out. 

However, there are different circumstances that lenders might consider, especially for those who are retired, freelancers or in between jobs.

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of December 2023, the unemployment rate is around 3.9%, but there are a number of people in between jobs or working in the gig economy who may still be eligible for a loan.

In this article, we explore the possibilities and challenges of obtaining a loan without a conventional job.

Understanding the Basics of Loan Approval

Traditional lenders such as those offering personal loans or credit cards typically evaluate an applicant’s credit score, income stability, debt-to-income ratio and employment history to determine their eligibility. 

Employment serves as a key indicator of an individual’s ability to repay a loan, providing lenders with assurance regarding financial stability.

Without employment or a stable income, people may have to resort to unpleasant forms of borrowing, such as those from loan sharks or predatory lenders, selling valuable items they own through pawnbrokers or other specific loans for bad credit, which often carry high interest rates.

Do Lenders Consider Alternative Income Sources?

Yes, while conventional employment may not be a prerequisite for loan approval, alternative income sources can bolster your chances of securing financing. 

Freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors often generate income through diverse channels, such as freelance projects, rental properties, investments or royalties. 

When applying for a loan, highlighting these sources of income can demonstrate your capacity to meet repayment obligations, thereby enhancing your eligibility.

Can I Use My Assets as Collateral?

In the absence of regular employment, offering collateral can mitigate the risk for lenders and increase the likelihood of loan approval. 

Collateral typically includes valuable assets such as real estate, car (see auto loans) or savings accounts, which serve as security against the borrowed amount. 

By pledging collateral, applicants provide lenders with recourse in the event of default, thereby offsetting the perceived risk associated with non-traditional employment situations.

How To Build a Stronger Credit Profile

A robust credit history can significantly influence loan approval decisions, irrespective of employment status. 

Timely payments, low credit utilization and a diversified credit mix reflect responsible financial behavior, instilling confidence in lenders regarding your repayment capacity. 

Prioritize maintaining a healthy credit score by managing existing debts judiciously, monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies, and avoiding excessive credit inquiries.

Can I Use Co-Signers or Guarantors?

In situations where securing a loan independently proves challenging, getting the support of a co-signer or guarantor can strengthen your application. 

A co-signer, typically a family member or trusted friend, agrees to assume responsibility for loan repayment if the primary borrower defaults. Similarly, a guarantor provides a financial guarantee to the lender, offering reassurance regarding the borrower’s creditworthiness. 

By involving a co-signer or guarantor with stable employment and a strong credit history, applicants can enhance their credibility in the eyes of lenders, potentially leading to more favorable loan terms.

What Are The Specialist Loan Options Available?

In recognition of evolving employment trends and changing borrower demographics, financial institutions have introduced specialized loan products tailored to accommodate non-traditional employment arrangements. 

These include self-employed mortgages, personal loans for freelancers, and small business loans for entrepreneurs. 

Such offerings often feature flexible eligibility criteria and customized repayment terms designed to cater to the unique needs of self-employed individuals and unconventional borrowers.

While securing a loan without traditional employment presents challenges, it is not a total barrier to borrowing. By exploring some of the avenues in this article, individuals can enhance their prospects of loan approval. 

However, it’s essential to exercise caution and conduct thorough research to select reputable lenders and negotiate favorable terms. Ultimately, with careful planning and diligent financial management, individuals can navigate the loan application process successfully, even in the absence of conventional employment.

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Tips for Mixing Your Bold Gold Jewelry With Other Metals 

Gone are the days when mixing metals would have landed you on the bad side of the Fashion Police. Today, mixing metals has become a playful trend, and the result is often a daring and stylish look that adds personality to any outfit. Some of the metals you can pair with your gold jewelry include silver, rose gold, white gold, platinum, brass, and steel.

Read through the simple tips below to create a unique look by mixing your bold gold jewelry with other metals. 

Consider Your Skin Tone

One of the first things to consider when choosing metals to mix with your gold jewelry is your skin tone. Some metals work better on some skin tones than others. Silver and white gold, for example, complement people with cool undertones, while rose gold looks better on those with warm undertones. Neutral undertones will pull off all metal types. 

Embrace Contrast

A good tip for mixing metals is embracing the contrast between warm and cool metals to create visual interest. For instance, you can pair your yellow chunky gold necklace with your white gold or silver necklace earrings. Or pair your gold hoops with a delicate rose gold chain.

Keep it Simple

The last thing you want is to make your metal mix look cluttered. Try to keep things simple by going for one or two metals to pair with your gold jewelry. Having more than two metals on you may work against the cohesive look you are trying to create. 

Consider Texture and Proportion 

Another tip to consider when mixing metals is the textures. It’s best to combine different textures of jewelry to create a balanced look that works well with your outfit. For instance, it’s best to pair a smooth, polished gold bracelet with a hammered silver ring or matte bracelet. 

Proportion also matters, so if you are wearing your chunky gold necklace, it will be fashion-forward to pair it with a simple silver bracelet or delicate rose gold earrings. 

Layer with Purpose

Layering multiple metal pieces allows you to create a personalized look that shows you have a great fashion sense. There are two essential things to consider when layering metals on your neck. First, choose a piece that will act as a centerpiece for your layered look. We recommend making your dominant metal a bold gold necklace and then pairing it with silver chains or a rose gold pendant. The second tip is to go for necklaces of varying lengths to make your neckline look perfectly curated. So, if you’re combining 3 necklaces, one could be a collar length, another a princess length, and the last a Matinee length. 



There are no strict rules dictating which metals can be worn together, so don’t be afraid to try different combinations until you find what works for you.  By embracing contrasting tones, experimenting with texture, and layering with purpose, you will be able to create a personalized look that shows a unique sense of style. So, why not dare to match your bold gold jewelry with other metals to create a stunning look? 

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How To Start Your Career as a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist

Medical technology is a rapidly evolving field, and there’s a high demand for skilled professionals. Today, we will highlight a unique profession in this field, the traveling Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist. Travel CT tech jobs are fast-growing and can provide satisfying and financially rewarding careers. With so many opportunities on the horizon, how can you embark on this exciting journey? Keep reading.

Who Is a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist?

A Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist, often referred to as a travel CT tech, is a CT technologist who primarily works through temporary job assignments in different locations. They utilize CT Scanners to create detailed images of patients’ bodies from different angles.

The role of a travel CT tech is best suited for individuals who have a passion for helping others and are seeking adventure, career flexibility, and personal & professional growth. Notably, this profession is becoming increasingly important as healthcare sectors strive to offer better patient care.

Apart from these alluring aspects, this healthcare profession also offers an enriching learning experience since it enables specialists to work in diverse healthcare settings, thereby broadening their skills and knowledge base.

Necessary Qualifications To Become a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist

To qualify as a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist, one requires a specialized educational background and a certain level of technical expertise. The most basic pre-requisite is a high school diploma or equivalent, followed by an appointment in a radiologic technology program.

After obtaining an associate degree in radiological technology, the candidates must pass a certification exam to become registered radiologic technologists. From there, dedicated training is required in computed tomography, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of CT examinations and operations.

Once you have completed the necessary education and certification, you need to gain experience in the field. Some employers will require a minimum of one or two years of experience working as a CT tech before considering you for a travel position.

Roles of a Traveling CT Technologist

The main role of a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist is to perform diagnostic tests using CT scanners. This includes preparing patients for procedures, ensuring equipment is correctly calibrated for each patient, and administering tests under the guidance of a doctor or other healthcare professional.

A crucial aspect of the job involves monitoring patients during the CT scan procedure. Since patients are often unwell or physically uncomfortable, it’s essential to observe their physical and emotional state continuously.

Besides, a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist is also responsible for strictly adhering to safety procedures and protocols. As they handle radiographic equipment and materials, they must ensure that they use them safely to protect both themselves and their patients.

Challenges and Rewards of Being a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist

Being a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist is not without its challenges. These can range from adjusting to different work cultures and environments to dealing with various patient types and their unique needs. The need to relocate frequently can also be demanding.

At the same time, the rewards that come with this profession are many. Traveling CT techs often enjoy higher financial compensation compared to their counterparts working in fixed locations.

Another significant reward is the chance to travel and explore different parts of the country or even the world. More than just a job, being part of this profession provides an opportunity for personal growth and life experiences that cannot be quantified.

Overall, a career as a Traveling Computed Tomography Technologist is not only rewarding but one that provides numerous growth opportunities. With the right mindset, one can carve a successful career in this promising field.

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What Goes Into Finding a Fulfilling Career?

Starting a career is a big step in anyone’s life, and getting off on the right foot is crucial for future success. If you’re just starting out or looking to shift gears in your career, there are a few factors to consider that can help you find a fulfilling job. Below, we explore these factors and give you pointers for finding a job that can offer long-term satisfaction and growth.

Understanding the Meaning of a Fulfilling Career

A fulfilling career varies from person to person, as fulfillment comes from different sources for everyone. Some people find fulfillment in helping others, while others enjoy solving complex problems. It’s a deeply personal matter that aligns with one’s interests, values, and personal life goals.

An individual’s sense of fulfillment often ties to the pleasure they derive from the work they do. It could be a profession that lets you interact and connect with people, deliver innovative solutions, or engage in thought-provoking matters.

A fulfilling career can also imply having a sense of accomplishment, pride, and satisfaction in your work. It provides a chance to constantly evolve, learn, and grow in your chosen field. Some people find fulfillment in achieving a fine balance between their work life and personal life.

For example, if you are strong in strategic thinking and enjoy the art of selling, you might find an online masters in marketing fulfilling, as it would cater to your interests and strengths.

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing a Career Path

It’s important to take the time to understand what you want from a career. One good approach is to think about the working conditions you enjoy, the people you like to work with, and the tasks you would find meaningful and engaging.

You should also consider your interests, aptitudes, and the level of education or skills required for a particular career. You might enjoy a career that involves cooking, for instance, if you are passionate about food and enjoy creative expression in culinary arts. You may want to turn this passion into a career. You can search for “culinary school New York City” to find the right school to pursue your passion.

The Role of Passion, Skills, and Values in Career Fulfillment

Passion for your work can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction. It can motivate you to persist in the face of difficulties or challenges in the workplace. Your passion sparks your desire to make a difference, and it’s something worth considering in the pursuit of a fulfilling career.

Apart from passion, having the needed skills and abilities for a job can contribute significantly to career fulfillment. Effective training and development opportunities can also enhance job satisfaction and career fulfillment.

Moreover, it’s important to consider your own values and ethics when choosing a career. Working in an organization that aligns with your personal values can enhance your sense of job satisfaction and lead to a more fulfilling career.

How Continuous Learning Can Contribute to Career Satisfaction

Continuous learning is key to sustaining success and satisfaction in your career. It not only helps you keep up with industry changes and trends, but it also fosters personal growth and development.

By investing in professional development and continual knowledge enhancement, you’ll increase your value in the job market. This growth can lead to exciting new opportunities, greater job security, and increased job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Building a fulfilling career is a constant journey, and those who are open to learning, enrichment, and personal growth are more likely to find job satisfaction than those who remain stagnant in their skills and knowledge.

A fulfilling career comes from a mix of passion, skills, values, understanding the job market trends, and a keen dedication to continuous learning. It’s not just about what a job can offer you but what you can bring to a job.

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5 Tips For Finding an Affordable Divorce Lawyer

There is so much to consider when getting divorced, from dividing marital assets, to spousal support, to child custody and support.

Divorce can also be an incredibly expensive process.This is especially true when it comes to hiring legal representation. In fact, divorce lawyers can take up the majority of the budget that you have set aside for divorce proceedings.

It is therefore not only important to find an attorney that is suitable and experienced for your particular case, but also to find legal representation that fits within your budget. This is why we have created a list of helpful tips for finding a cheap divorce lawyer.

Shop Around

It is important not to be impulsive when choosing a divorce lawyer, so don’t just go for the first attorney that you meet. Remember that you are not obligated to retain an attorney when you meet with them, or do you have to pay them anything unless you have agreed to do so. When meeting with an attorney, be sure to ask them about their fees and billing structure. A reputable attorney will be able to provide you with their fee schedule or hourly rate before you hire them. 

Some attorneys will offer flat-rate packages, particularly for “uncontested” divorces. With flat-rate packages, attorneys have an incentive to work more quickly and efficiently. However, this may not be the right move for everyone, particularly if your case could be dealt with at a lower cost on a per-hour basis.

With flat-rate packages, it is pretty straightforward to compare rates. Otherwise, it can be tricky to calculate the exact fee an attorney will charge (given that they are working on a per-hour basis). 

Therefore, it is important to check online reviews and consider word-of-mouth to ascertain the general cost of a particular attorney. After doing so, you should arrange initial consultations with the attorney to determine both their suitability for your case, as well as their hour rate and retainer fee (this is an upfront sum).

Explore Legal Aid and Family Law Clinics

For matters such as divorce and child custody, some cities and states offer legal aid services for lower-income residents. Others work with non-profit programs to offer low-cost, or free, family law clinics.

If you do not qualify for these programs, city and state websites often offer lists of reputable and cheap divorce lawyers. Make sure to look at your city’s website, or the website of the court where you will file, to find resources like these.

Explore Law Schools and Paralegal Programs

If you are unable to find any public legal clinics, the next step is to contact a law school or paralegal program. Many of these will offer clinics to help students gain experience working on everyday legal issues. 

These clinics are supervised by a licensed attorney who will review any legal documents that the students and paralegals prepare. Although these types of clinics will likely not be able to help you if your legal matters are highly complex, they can be a great alternative if you cannot find a divorce attorney that fits your budget.

Think About A DIY Divorce

Some people may be tempted to avoid looking for legal representation and handling the divorce themselves. However before thinking about this route, it’s worth considering the time that this will take, as well as how complicated your particular situation is.

If both parties agree on the most substantial issues involved in the case, then a DIY divorce from someone like 3Step, or Divorce Bob could be an affordable and relatively easy option. Some courts even offer simplified processes such as a “joint simplified” divorce. These can be quite quick and easy to accomplish, and will save both parties the cost of hiring an attorney. 

If you are unable to use a simplified divorce process, then another option is using an online divorce service

These services reduce the time spent figuring out which forms to file, how to file them, and in what order everything needs to be done. They guide you through the entire filing process and can save a lot of time. Many will also connect you with legal professionals who are able to answer your questions and review your forms for a reasonable per-hour or flat consultation fee. 

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How to Avoid Loan Sharks and Predatory Lenders


In recent years, loan sharks and predatory lenders have been reinventing themselves by moving off the streets and onto social media. They’re using online platforms to both lure potential victims and intimidate those who miss a payment.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, loan sharks are often looking to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable at this time and who feel that they have nowhere else to turn for help. They are often based in the local community and, if you are in a financial crisis, they may seem friendly and accommodating at the start. However, they can cause people immense misery in the long term.

If you are in a desperate situation, it may seem tempting to borrow money from a loan shark as a quick fix; however, you will always end up paying back much more than you originally borrowed.

Key Figures

  • A loan shark is someone who lends money without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • The UK’s Illegal Money Lending Team, which investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting victims, is warning people to watch out for loan sharks online where they’ve become increasingly active. 
  • Around 300,000 households across the UK have been the victim of a loan shark since the records began in 2014.
  • One in ten of those met their lender on social media platforms like Facebook or Snapchat and even dating websites.

What are some signs that you may be borrowing from a Loan Shark?

If you have any doubt about who you are borrowing money from, the first thing to do is to check the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s database in the US, or the FCA website in the UK.

“Even though there are many legitimate online lenders in the US and UK, there are always going to be people out there looking to take advantage of you,” commented Michael Needham, co-founder of US loans connection service, Doddler. “Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, online loan scams have become extremely common,” he added.

Some telling signs that you may be borrowing from an illegitimate lender are:

Lack of paperwork and documentation.

Paperwork, contracts and documents always make things seem more legitimate, which is something that loan sharks avoid at all costs.

Refusing to provide you with information about the loan.

Most loan sharks will avoid giving you clear details about your loan, such as the interest rate, details of previous repayments and the total amount you owe.

Taking possessions for security.

Although this is sometimes a form of secured loan, some loan sharks will illegally use your personal possessions, such as a passport or bank cards, to act as collateral.

If your repayment amount keeps on growing.

Loan sharks might increase the debt or add extra charges at any time, even if you’re making regular payments. It’s important you get help because the debt can spiral out of control very quickly.

Threats of violence.

Loan sharks can sometimes use intimidation and threats to frighten people into paying back their loan. Some even become violent towards their victims if they fail to make their repayments on-time.

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Top Ten Tips to Help Your Food Shop Last Longer

With the cost of living crisis worsening, and food prices rising at incredibly fast rates, it comes as no surprise that many households are cutting back on their food shops, trying to save money on their groceries or seeking ways to make sure their shop lasts longer.

Cutting down on food waste is a major aim for households – especially concerning fresh produce which can rot or go off quickly, even sometimes before its use-by date.

This article will outline ten tips that can help to make your regular food shop go further and prolong the shelf life of your fresh food.

1. Freeze Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds typically have a shelf life of three to six months. They should be stored as mentioned on their packets – in cool, dark spaces.

While dark cupboards are appropriate for storing nuts and seeds if they are to be consumed within their use-by period, storing them in the fridge can actually help them to stay fresher for longer.

If six months isn’t enough time to consume them, then they can be frozen. This can help to extend the shelf life of nuts and seeds to a year.

Most nuts and seeds have a shelf life of three to six months. In order to extend their lifespan they are best stored in cool, dark spaces; although the back of the cupboard is suitable, storing them in the fridge can help them to stay fresher for longer. If you find that six months is not enough time to nibble your way through your nuts, then you’ll be pleased to hear that they can be frozen – which extends their shelf life to one year. 

2. Freeze Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs usually contain more flavour than dried herbs, but it can be difficult to consume them by their use-by date. It is thus important to remember that you can in fact freeze fresh herbs.

This involves mixing them together in olive oil into ice cube trays and then freezing them. You can then use the ice cube sized portions as and when you require them. Water can be used alternatively instead of olive oil too for fresh garlic and ginger.

3. Ice Your Bread

Bread can get stale quickly, especially when it is not stored correctly in an airtight bag or container. If bread has become stale, you can use and ice cube and run it over the loaf of bed. You must then put the bread into the oven for around 10 minutes.

Doing so will bring moisture back into bread and it can then be consumed within that day.

4. Add Salt to Opened Milk

Cows milk can typically be consumed from anywhere between four to 10 days if stored correctly in the fridge. This time frame however can be stretched by adding a pinch of salt to the milk immediately after opening it.

This works as salt is a preservative and can deter bacteria from growing. Make sure to give the milk a shake straight after and place it back into the fridge.

5. Store Milk in the Coolest Part of the Fridge

Contrary to popular belief, and the ease of doing so, milk should not actually be stored in the fridge door. This is because the fridge door is the warmest part of the fridge as it is the furthest area away from the cooling system.

Instead, store milk towards the back of the fridge on the top or middle shelves for the maximum coolness to lengthen its shelf life.

6. Look After Fresh Herbs As You Would With Flowers

It is important to look after fresh herbs carefully so that their shelf life can be maximised. For instance, a good tip is to add water to a jar and place the fresh herbs inside with a plastic bag over the top. This process works as the water can help to keep the fresh herbs fresh with the bag acting as a barrier against any excess moisture.

Another way of doing so could be to store fresh herbs in an airtight glass container with a damp paper towel inside. Both methods can help to make your fresh herbs last up to three weeks.

7. Store Hard Cheese in Parchment Paper

Instead of using plastic packaging such as clingfilm, you should wrap hard cheese in parchment or baking paper. This is because these materials will allow for the cheese to avoid drying out, as well as prevent any additional moisture and mould.

8. Wash Fruit and Vegetables in Vinegar

A vinegar solution of a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water can be used to disinfect fruit and vegetables. They should be placed into the vinegar solution and sit there for 15 minutes. The fresh produce should then be rinsed and thoroughly dried before being stored away.

The vinegar solution is effective as it removes any bacteria from the fresh produce that may break down the food quicker and it can thus help the produce to last for up to two weeks.

9. Store Bananas Separately From Other Fruit

Bananas produce a high concentration of a gas known as ethylene when they are ready to ripen. Other fruits that produce a high concentration include melons, pears, apples and pears.

These fruits, especially bananas, should be stored away from other fruits so that the other fruits can ripen naturally and thus last longer.

10. Store Berries Away With a Paper Towel

Once dried, berries should be stored in an airtight glass container with a dry paper towel inside. This is because the dry paper towel absorbs excess moisture to prevent mould from growing.

The dry paper towel should be changed every other day to allow for maximum freshness and this can help to extend the shelf life of the berries further.

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Break These 5 Bad Money Habits in 2023

Avoiding bad money habits is as important as building good ones. Many people don’t realize some simple money mistakes and lose substantial money in the long run.

Here are 5 bad money habits that you should break in 2023.

1. Not Creating a Budget

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not creating a budget at all. Many people start a budget and then don’t stick to it.

The root cause of Inaccurate planning, overspending, late payments, debt accumulation, etc. is not to have a personal budget.

If you don’t create or follow budgets, you’re shooting in the dark.

How to Break the Habit

Start with a simple budget plan like a 50-30-20 budget or envelope budgeting. Aim to divide your total income into necessary costs, debt repayment, and savings.

Then, analyze each segment and adjust. Keep reviewing your monthly budgets until you find the right mix.

You don’t need to get it done on the first attempt. Start slow and keep building.

2. Having No Emergency Fund

If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it is to create an emergency fund.

Despite facing regular hardships, many people fail to set aside money for emergencies. It can be an unexpected medical bill, a house repair, an uncovered vehicle expense, or a loss of income.

Without an emergency fund, you’ll always revert to expensive borrowings. That’s one reason people turn to high-APR credit cards or payday loans.

How to Break the Habit

Calculate your monthly mandatory expenses first. Then, open a separate savings account to accumulate funds.

Start building the fund by contributing as much as possible. Aim to accumulate for three to six months of your non-discretionary expenses.

You can’t build an emergency fund overnight. The key is to remain consistent. Start with smaller contributions, say $50 per week, that would be $200 per month.

Once you build the habit, you can contribute more and build quickly.

3. Always Carrying Credit Card Debt

No emergency fund is a major reason for carrying credit card debt all the time. Several other factors to this dilemma too.

People swipe a credit card for convenience without paying with cash. Then, switch to paying only the minimum payable even when they could afford to repay the full outstanding amount.

This habit quickly piles up interest costs and your credit card bill shoots up quickly. Then, you’ll keep repaying interest costs with no sight to wipe out the credit card debt.

How to Break the Habit

Think of a credit card as an emergency tool only, not for convenience. Always keep an eye on your credit card APR, interest-free period, and existing balance.

Even when you pay by credit card, repay the full amount to save on interest costs. Plan before using the card and calculate the total interest charges if you need a large transaction.

Once you build the habit of calculating the total cost of using a credit card for each transaction, you’ll shift to other sources successfully.

4. No Plans for Savings

Another major mistake observed in personal finance is not having any plans for savings. People forget a simple rule that you need to save now for your retirement life later.

Saving money for your future includes several other financial goals like a downpayment for a mortgage, a major house repair project, relocation, educational expenses, sponsoring your travel tour, and so on.

If you don’t save enough, you’ll always remain in debt. Moreover, you’ll never be able to invest or save for your retirement.

How to Break the Habit

If your budget doesn’t allow it, look for extra income through a side hustle or passive income. Alternatively, find ways to cut discretionary expenses.

Start a retirement plan as soon as possible. If your employer offers a 401(k), make sure to maximize the contributions. Else, start your own IRA and stay consistent with your contributions.

5. Spending More Than Earnings

It’s a common pitfall and we all are guilty of it at some stage. In one way or another, people keep spending money without realizing they’re exhausting their limited resources.

Spending on nonessentials or discretionary expenses is the biggest driver to overspending for most people.

These nonessential expenses include dining out excessively, unplanned trips, impulsive shopping, overspending on decoratives, always buying new over used, and so on.

Overspending never lets you save money. It accumulates debt and never lets you accomplish financial goals even if you don’t realize it.

How to Break the Habit

If you want to break the habit of overspending, prefer cash over a credit card.

Always make a shopping list, cut discretionary items, and stick to your preferred list. Avoid impulsive shopping by ignoring discounts/promo offers for nonessentials.

Then, stick to your budget and always automate your savings. It will take time to control your overspending habit but you’ll eventually get there.

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How Refinancing Your Home Loan Can Help You Save Money

It’s everyone’s dream to own a home one day to avoid expensive monthly rent payments and troublesome property owners. However, since buying a home is a huge investment, many cannot afford a one-time full-cash payment for a property. As such, most people rely on mortgage loans to purchase their first homes. 

Mortgage loans offer borrowers flexibility and a long repayment term, which is normally between 10 years to 30 years. You need to meet certain criteria to get the loan as lenders try to avoid defaulters and minimize risk. You can read about how to maximize your chances of getting a mortgage to access your chances. 

As time goes by you may want to trade your old mortgage for a new one with better conditions. This is termed mortgage/home refinancing. What is mortgage refinancing and how can it help you save money? Read on for answers.

What is mortgage refinancing?

Mortgage refinancing is the process of replacing a current mortgage loan with a new one. This doesn’t necessarily have to be with your current lender as a new lender can refinance the home. You can rely on trusted local mortgage brokers with knowledge and experience in the field for a competitive rate. 

The refinancing process takes the same form as applying for a new mortgage. The lender will assess your finances, ability to repay, and risk, to determine your eligibility and favorable interest rate. 

That notwithstanding, the new loan may come with different terms. You will have new repayment years and a fixed rate instead of an adjustable rate. Most important, you may have a lower rate, which is one of the main reasons for refinancing.

Mortgage refinancing attracts a prepayment or closing cost. Your old lender will charge a prepayment fee for deciding to pay the loan early. As such, consider such fees and other terms before taking the decision. Also, consider how long you wish to live in your home, and your ability to adhere to new payment terms, before taking a refinancing loan.

When to refinance your home loan 

As a homeowner, you should only refinance your home loan when it is beneficial to you. Only take this decision if it can help you save money by replacing a high-interest loan with a lower one. Or, change the current loan terms for a more favorable one. Refinance your loan when

  • Mortgage interest drops significantly 
  • When you obtain a better credit score
  • Change the mortgage terms and conditions 
  • You want to Change from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate
  • You decide to shorten or increase your loan repayment period
  • To obtain a lower monthly payment rate

When refinancing can save you money

When it replaces an expensive loan

Replacing an expensive loan with a cheaper one is the main reason most homeowners opt for a home refinancing loan. When mortgage market value declines, loan rates fall; hence, new mortgages will have lower rates. For example, if the APR on your current 30-year mortgage is 6.7 percent, and rates begin to decline, you can trade the old loan for a better rate. So, you can refinance your old 6.7 percent rate mortgage with a new 5.7 percent rate, to save one percent.

Also, if your credit ratings improve significantly after securing your first loan, subsequent loans will attract lower interest rates. Meaning, you can have a better deal with your improved credit rate if you decide to refinance your loan.

Currently, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on a 30-year mortgage is 6.7 percent, while that of a 15-year mortgage is around 5.9 percent. With this rate, most homeowners wouldn’t find it ideal to refinance their homes. However, on any good day with better rates, it’s a smart move to replace your old loan. Note: a high old rate is not the only reason borrowers refinance their loans. Here is how mortgage refinancing can help you to save money. 

When it changes your loan terms

Depending on your current financial status or loan goals, mortgage refinancing can help to increase or reduce your repayment terms. So, if you are 5 years into your 20-year mortgage, you have 15 years left to offset the loan. You can instead take a new 20-year to refinance the old mortgage. This will reset the repayment terms back to 20 years instead of 15 years. 

Contrary, you can settle for a 10-year refinancing loan to pay off the 15 years left on the current one. This will help you repay the loan 5 years earlier. Instead of 15 years, you will have a ten years payment term, with higher monthly payments. 

Converts an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) or Fixed-Rate Mortgage 

Adjustable mortgage rates (ARM) initially offer lower ratings compared to fixed rates. With time, the periodic adjustments of the ARM will increase your rates to surpass that of fixed rates. With this, you may want to convert your adjustable rate to a fixed mortgage rate for a lower interest rate. It also reduces concerns about having future hikes.

On the other hand, you can also change from a fixed rate to an adjustable rate as a financial strategy. When mortgage rates begin to fall, homeowners with fixed mortgage rates may not benefit from it. Therefore, you can convert your fixed rate to an adjustable-rate mortgage through home refinancing. This helps you to benefit financially from falling rates and save money.

Home refinancing can be a great financial tool to help reduce your mortgage rate or improve the loan terms. It is a great way to build or increase your home equity if properly utilized. Several considerations should be made before opting to refinance your home. You can seek professional advice from any trusted local mortgage broker before making a decision.

The bottom line

Home refinancing can be a great financial tool if properly utilized and strategically used. It can help you restructure your loans, and help you to build your home equity. However, you need to be careful when making such a decision. Several considerations must be made to avoid future regrets. You can rely on your trusted local mortgage brokers for professional advice.

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