Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Avoiding Addiction

Addiction can happen to anyone regardless of social status - rich, poor, man, woman, teen, or adult are very susceptible to it. It is also one of parents' greatest nightmares that might happen to their kids or in their family. 

In a study that compared the brains of cocaine addicts with the brains of their non-addicted siblings, researchers at Cambridge University found that both had abnormalities in a region of the brain that controls behavior, suggesting that some people are “hard-wired” for addiction.

Factors for Addiction

So does your biology mean you’re destined to become an addict? Not necessarily. In the Cambridge study, siblings who shared the same brain abnormalities turned out dramatically different. This is because biology is just one component of addiction. Like other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, there is also a behavioral component to addiction. Thus, a genetic predisposition to addiction does not spell destiny. Your upbringing, personality, life experiences and other factors all contribute to your likelihood of becoming addicted.

Although science is a long way off from performing brain scans of every individual to determine their vulnerability to addiction, you can make a general assessment of your risk. Do you have a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has struggled with addiction? Did you grow up with a parent who was addicted, abusive or uninvolved? Do you have depression, anxiety or other mental health issues?

Steps to Prevent Addiction

Here are a few precautions you can take to avoid a lifelong struggle with addiction:

1. Just Say No – Prevention is better than cure, so just say no. It may sound simple, but there are a lot of factors that a person may choose the other path. Such factors may 

2. Delay Alcohol Consumption – According to research, alcoholism is more prevalent among those who begin drinking at an early age. Delaying alcohol use until age 21 or later may reduce the risk of alcohol-related problems in adulthood.

3. Surround Yourself With Positive Influence – adolescents and adults are heavily influenced by their peers and their desire to fit in. Associating with people who abuse drugs or alcohol or who have accepting attitudes toward substance abuse increases the likelihood of drug abuse.

To know more steps on how to stop or prevent addiction, here are some helpful resources :

Sunday, January 6, 2019

No More Credit Cards For Me

I've been living for more than 5 years without using credit cards. I used to say to myself that I must have at least one credit card in case of emergencies. But what happened was the opposite; I used the card for "emergencies" like clothes and shoes that are on sale, items that are on "buy 1 take 1" deals, groceries, and things similar to that. I used to say to myself, "Oh, I can just pay my card when my salary comes." 

But when my salary arrives, other "needs" started pouring in like my daughter needed to buy new shoes for school, the bill for the gas or water had arrived, someone got sick and I need to buy medicines, etc.  As a result, I was not able to pay the credit card in full. I was only able to pay the minimum amount required. So the plan of having a credit card without a balance has turned into having another credit card that would pay for my other bills. 

So the pattern goes on and on, until I finally decided to save enough money to pay one credit card in full which amounted to P21,000 ( around $411). Once I paid in full, I told the bank to close my account permanently. I did the same to the other card after paying it in full. 

Vacations Should Have a Set Budget

So now, my husband and I don't have credit cards with us. We try to set our lifestyles within our budget. For example, if we wanted to have a staycation, we plan and save enough money to pay the vacation in cash. It's actually more worry-free for us because after the vacation, we forget about all the expenses incurred; no bills to haunt us for the rest of the year. 

For simply staycations, for example, on hotels, if you have a $200 budget for it, then you should simply look for hotels that offer $200 or below for a 3-day-2-night stay. Aside from board and lodging, you also have to consider your food and how many people are dining with you (e.g. your kids, relatives, etc.). 

Change Your Credit Card to Debit Cards

A lot of banks nowadays around in the world offer debit credit cards; cards that you need to fund in cash before using. For example, if you only have $200 debit in your card, then you can only use your card until your $200 , nothing more. It's like using cash, but in card form. Hotel reservations online, malls, restaurants, and others already accepts debit cards with Visa/Master card logo for your convenience.  

Shopping Online is Cheaper

Okay, this may be subjective, but in my experience, shopping online is cheaper. When I shop in a mall, I had to walk around, look for a cheap item. But after a few hours, I get hungry as well as my kids so I had to pay extra for food and my kids' playground time. I also had to pay for our transportation expenses. 

That's all I could think of that will help you save for 2019. Do you have any suggestions? List them down on the comments below and let's talk about it. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Elevator Shoes : Better Than High-Heeled Shoes

Height is one the best physical assets a person can have. Most people who are taller become basketball players, models, contestants in beauty pageants, security guards, military, and so on.

But what if you’re not blessed with the height that you wanted? Is there still a chance? Most people, especially women, would wear high-heeled shoes, but let's be honest, they're not really comfortable. Thankfully, there is a less painful way to increase your height instantly thanks to elevator shoes!
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