4 Common Money Mistakes Most Couples Make

Now that you’ve build a life together and have finally exchanged your vows, you don’t just ride off into the sunset and expect to live happily ever after. Sooner than you think, the inevitable reality of money and expenses will come into picture. Money is a sensitive topic and one of the reasons of conflicts among couples. Since we all want to avoid such conflicts with your spouse, here are the most common money mistakes and how to find your way around them.

1. Forgetting to Set a Budget
If you don’t typically set a budget, now is the time to create one. This should be done with a positive attitude. Sit down, discuss with your spouse and try to establish a household budget based on your joint income. Determine your expenses, track your purchases and find out if your combined income is enough for your expenditure. Smart budgeting lets you save up for your future—may it be travel plans or educational plans for your kids. Start a joint back account, then invest in stock market or pension plans. With a bit of research and foresight, you can earn extra money.

2. Lack of Transparency
People normally feel uncomfortable about divulging their state of finances, most likely because they don’t want to be judged. Ideally, you should first be aware of each other’s spending habits, financial beliefs and history before you decide to build a life with them. While you’re not married yet, make the extra effort to feel comfortable talking about your financial practices to avoid money-related problems in the future. Talk about your financial histories and responsibilities, make realistic goals and make sure to be transparent of your future expenses.

3. Piling on Debt
Financial experts say that using credit cards for necessities can wreak havoc to your budget. Why? Because most people spend at least 30 percent more when using a card. Carry some cash with you all the time for miscellaneous buys. With the easy-swipe nature of credit cards, it’s easy to rack up your debts when dining out, shopping and doing home improvements without you noticing it. Although purchasing on credit lets you pay bigger buys over a period of time, it can leave your expenditure unchecked.

4. Living Beyond Your Means
Keeping an eye on your spending and living within your means fortifies your financial position. Limiting and keeping track of expenses allows you to save more. It just all boils down to spending less than how much you earn. Keep track of your income and expenses as a couple to get an idea of your financial standing every month. Pinpoint where money is spend and try to cut down on non-essentials, like dining out too often or going on gourmet coffee dates.

Also, you might want to seek professional advice from investment experts. These pros can educate you to avoid making money mistakes as a couple.

07 Feb 2019

5 Signs You’re in a Toxic Workplace

Your workplace, which serves as your second home, can make a huge impact on your physical and mental health. The reason why it is important to make sure that you are not only happy with your work, but also comfortable and happy with your everyday environment. Here are five signs that you are in a toxic workplace—and what you can do about it.

1. Unrealistic workload
If you’re having trouble completing your work on a daily or weekly basis, despite all your best efforts, perhaps you’re dealing with unrealistic workload. Being unable to finish all your tasks in time can lead to stress and anxiety. Some of the long-term effects of this include low morale and feeling burnt out. To handle work-related pressure, know how to handle everything effectively. Schedule your work, prioritize, have some time off and use your allotted vacation leaves.

2. You often work more than eight hours a day
Unless it is part of your job description to work more than eight hours a day, you should not be staying late and coming so early in the office. One way to ensure work-life balance is self-care—by taking enough rest from work. This allows for more opportunities for creativity and fresh thinking. Reward yourself every end of the day by going home at a healthy hour in the evening.

3. There is harassment and bullying
Harassment and bullying is not just for kids in school; it can happen at work, too. This can include, angry outbursts, name calling, oppressive behavior and cultural insensitivity. If you are in any of these situations, try to deal with the problem head-on and seek assistance from your human resources. If it’s possible, request to transfer to a different department or area away from the stressful situation.

4. Your friends and family notice a difference
If your family and friends have commented about your demeanor or mood since you have taken on your job (or since work has become toxic for you), try to ponder on them. The fact that they noticed a change in you says a lot. While It’s easy to get defensive, try to listen and use this to your advantage to deal with workplace stress.

5. It feels like you could get fired anytime
Some workplaces exude that feeling of uncertainty, constant change and high turnover, which can make employees fear anxious and fearful. This isn’t healthy. Persistent fear and worry on situations that are out of your control can cause long-term emotional and physical distress. The best way to handle this is to be resilient and focus your energy to things that you can control, like having enough time for yourself, spending time with your loved ones, improving a skill or hobby and taking care of your emotional well-being.

Don’t let work take over your life. Sometimes, that feeling of wanting to quit your job is just a side effect of feeling burnt out. Take a rest or go on a vacation to bring back that creative and lively spirit.

07 Feb 2019

4 Reasons for You to Try Judo

Establishments like The Dojo Singapore, SA Judo Academy, and many others around Singapore offer comprehensive Judo lessons both for kids and adults. Whether for competition, self-defense, or exercise, learning Judo can bring you many benefits. For most people, one thing that holds them back is the idea that Judo is a rough sport that involves a lot of pain. But, truly, there is more to it than that.

Great physical and mental exercise
One thing about practicing Judo is that you’re going to get thrown to the ground a lot of times. But even if it hurts, that’s just how it is, turning again to the old saying “no pain, no gain”. However, as you practice longer, you’ll notice that your body gets tougher and you have a better tolerance for the pain of being thrown. It also gives our mind a great workout. It teaches you mental toughness because you have to fight through discomfort and pain. Judo pushes you to face a problem and think of solutions in a high-pressure environment.

Promotes Respect
In Judo, respect for instructors and training partners is valued very seriously. First of all, you always begin with a bow, a sign of respect with each other. Sometimes, you even bow and shake hands multiple times. Judo is a sport founded in respect for yourself and for your opponent. We not only respect the capabilities and limits of our own bodies, but also that of our training partners’ and opponents’. In the competitive scene, all of that boils down to a respectful match, winning humbly and losing gracefully.

Teaches self-discipline
Like what was said earlier about respect for yourself and your opponents, Judo requires you to practice self-discipline and control. Even if it is a contact sport, you don’t want to go too far as to injuring your sparring partner and opponent. Recognize that you are learning and getting better together. Practicing Judo also takes self-discipline because in your first few months of practicing, you’ll have a hard time noticing any progress. It trains you to discipline yourself despite losing again and again.

Helps you face your fears
The idea of getting thrown on the ground can be a very scary thought for many. This is because the fear of physical pain is already hard-wired into our brain and biological make-up. But it is what it is, pain is a part of Judo. In fact, pain is a part of life in general. Because you’re constantly thrown around, you will be able to face the fears of being hurt by forcing yourself to take the pain. It helps you face your fears head on and not run from it. Of course, you have to understand your limits and know how much pain you can take.

11 Jan 2019

Ways to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness

Whether you go to Singapore Sports Hub, GymmBoxx, or The Pit in Tanjong Pagar, going to the gym for regular exercise is essential to living a healthy life. Lifting weights for strength, running on the treadmill for cardio, or doing martial arts, hitting the gym can give us a lot of benefits overall. But there always comes a time when our muscles hit a plateau. And you may have the urge to go to the gym again the next day, but your body just hurts.
Of course, it is important to know the difference between sore muscles and an actual injury. But, here are some ways you can eliminate muscle soreness!

1. Warm up
Never forget to warm up before workouts. Most people, especially beginners, will go immediately for the weights without even getting a warm-up in. This can leave you with sore muscles and a greater risk of getting injuries. Doing some dynamic and static stretching before workouts can do you wonders and help reduce muscles soreness after the workout.

2. Maintain proper form
Before anything else, it is important to work out with knowledge on proper form and posture. This can contribute to the efficiency of your workout as you are using the muscles the right way. Inherently, exercising with the right form while using lighter weights can give you better results compared to lifting heavy but doing it incorrectly.

3. Eat right
Your diet can also play a huge part in easing muscle soreness. Having a choice from lean meat, beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, and tilapia can be great sources of protein, aiding muscle recovery and rebuilding. Having a good amount of carbohydrates to come along with that can help give your body more fuel to carry on with workouts and daily activities in general.

4. Get a massage
Having a massage can help relax and stretch sore muscles and relieve tension. But, rather than having someone massage you, it can be better if you do it on your own since you can control the amount of pressure you’re putting on the muscle and you know enough when it hurts.

5. Do recovery exercises
Even when your muscles are sore, believe it or not, you should actually still do exercise. But of course, what is meant here is very light exercise. Obviously, you’re not going to do the exercise that got you sore in the first place. Having recovery exercises will help with the blood flow around the affected muscles. If the muscles are kept tight and inactive, you might limit your range of motion for future exercises.

6. Sleep
You may not think of it enough, but sleep plays a crucial role in muscle development, recovery, and relief against muscle soreness. This is because most muscle repair mainly happens when our body shuts down. Aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night can help our body better restore bone and muscle tissues and promote our growth hormone.

11 Jan 2019

4 Stylish Ways You Can Re-purpose Your Old Jeans

Denim jeans are perhaps one of the most important and iconic pieces of clothing of all time. They are durable, easy to wear, and can be worn repeatedly. Even better is that their fading patterns can be different depending on how you wear them.  

But while even your trusty pair of jeans won’t last forever, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the old and turn it into something new – here are four ways you can re-purpose them instead of simply throwing them away:  

1. Patchwork Throw Rug

Patchwork rugs are a great way to bring together scraps of fabric and cloth lying around in the house that you don’t exactly need or wear anymore (because of their poor condition), but don’t want to simply throw away either.

Denim is actually good for this purpose, as it’s sturdy enough to serve as the throw rug’s main body without wearing down too quickly.

Simply sew the cloth scraps together until they form amain body and proceed to fill in the edges with any kind or pattern of cloth orfabric that you find lying around. You can even alternate them to form acheckered pattern between denim and other types of colored fabric.

2. Coasters

This one is fairly simple: by cutting out the seams of your jeans into their own thin strips and rolling them, you can instantly make a cloth coaster that helps to keep hot drinks from being too hot on the table and cold drinks from wetting the table with their droplets.

3. DIY Denim Corsage Patterns

After cutting five squares of the following sizes (2- 3 1/2″, 1- 3″, 1- 2 3/4″, 1- 2 1/2″) from the denim jeans, cut out four-petal flower shapes from the squares and sew along the flower shapes’ edges to prevent them from fraying.

Stack them together from biggest to smallest. As youdo this, make sure the petals don’t intersect each other. Once done, sew alarge bead of your choosing in the middle and about seven to eight smallerbeads around it (preferably of a similar color or color palette). Securetightly before gluing a safety pin to the back.

4. Denim Wreaths

An alternative piece of home decor for Christmas day can be made simply by re-purposing an old pair of denim jeans that you don’t mind sacrificing for the cause. Cut your denim into various six- by two-inch strips and tie them to a wreath-wire form until the wire is completely covered.

From there, you can proceed to spray-paint it green to match with the holidays or leave it blue. You also have the option of choosing what decoration you can pin to your denim wreath to match.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

17 Dec 2018

5 Tips for a Great Skin Care Routine for Guys

Skincare for men is, and should be, straightforward and easy, with no need for any complicated five-step peels or one layer of facial cream after another. With the help of natural, high-quality products and a proper routine, your facial and body skin will thank you when you look in the mirror to see a better complexioned you.

1. Know your skin type.

There are at least four skin types: normal, dry, oily, and a combination of either of the three. Normal (eudermic) skin is characterized by being overall well-balanced, neither dry nor oily; dry skin lacks the necessary lipids to lock moisture in; and oily skin is a skin type that produces too much sebum.

While the skin type that you have is determined bygenetics (you can’t help if you have naturally dry or oily skin, or perhapseven both), knowing what skin type you have will help you make the right choiceon what facial products you should use.

2. Cleanse regularly.

A splash of cold water after waking up and before going to sleep does more than simply making you feel refreshed every day.

Regular cleansing washes away dead skin cells that make your face appear duller than what it can or should be, and some glycolic acid to go along with that regular facial wash can work wonders for your skin.

3. Use moisturizer.

Using moisturizer should be an automatic steppost-cleanse, as this helps seal in moisture (excellent for dry skin thatdesperately needs it). For those with skin that’s oily or prone to breakouts,using specific water-based moisturizers may be a better alternative to yourstandard oil-based ones.

4. Stay hydrated.

Skin care doesn’t just end on the outside – it also comes from the inside, which is what drinking six to eight glasses of water a day can do for your skin. Minimizing your alcohol and coffee intake can help you as well, as these substances tend to take out water from your skin and leave you more dehydrated.

5. Get proper sleep.

Skimping out on the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep can have some negative effects on your body both in the short and long term. However, these effects are also visible on your skin – not only will you have more wrinkles and more pronounced eye bags, but your skin will also be more prone to breakouts and fine lines.

This is the result of your body using up its internal energy storage in order to keep functioning during its waking moments, which can only be alleviated with a consistent sleep schedule instead of sleeping in for the whole weekend.  

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

17 Dec 2018

One More Thing You Need to Know: Dangers of Information Overload

Ever since the internet began, the amount of information that you can access has increased exponentially, and it continues to grow every day. And with more information accessible at your fingertips, the harder it is to process and consume it.

This result is what’s known as information overload: because there’s so much information, you end up feeling that you need to consume everything, which leaves you little time to act.

Understanding Information Overload
Our brains are sophisticated and powerful computers, processing millions of signals from your sensory organs every day. However, you can still be overwhelmed with the amount of content that you’re processing with the time you spend online.

This is particularly true when you’re researching certain topics and end up being distracted with content that isn’t related. Whether it’s at work or outside of it, you can be sidetracked with all kinds of information that have nothing do with your task, but you feel compelled to look for them “just because”.

You should also keep in mind that this is different from “sensory overload”.
Where the latter means being constantly bombarded by all kinds of images, sounds, and sensations, the former is something that’s more difficult to process since your brain hasn’t evolved to process huge amounts of this kind of information yet.

How to Handle Information Overload
You can protect yourself from feeling overwhelmed with data and information using the following steps:

• Skim – Skimming blog posts and website content means taking only the important notes, and this lets you process more content faster and more easily while getting everything you need to know.

• Filter information – You can sort emails by priority to make sure only the important ones get through. If you’re searching for information on a subject online, it helps to have a list of related terms or topics, and narrow your search.

• Don’t multitask – One of the easiest ways to burn yourself out through overload is taking on multiple tasks at once. You can avoid this by focusing on only one task at a time.

• Prioritize – Find out what you can act on right away and what you can’t. If you can’t do anything immediately with the information that you currently have, it’s best to shelve it and focus on the ones that you can do something with.

By taking the right steps, you can make sure that you stay on track and keep yourself from being overwhelmed by the amount of information you’re faced with every day. Whether it’s in your work or outside of it, knowing how to find out what you need and what you don’t can spell the difference in your productivity.

26 Oct 2018