Sure, moving back home is a great way to save money after college. But at some point you need to suck it up and move out. Read More...

One of the best ways to save money is to live with your parents. Food and shelter are provided, and you probably have internet access as well. As someone who has been going over to my mom’s to print stuff out for the last three weeks, I know the seduction of access to free services.

At some point in the next week or so, though, I need to suck it up and buy a printer cartridge. And at some point in the near future, you need to move out of your parents’ house.

While your parents might be willing to let you stick around for a little longer, it’s really not the best option for long-term success as an adult. At some point, it’s time to move out. Even if your parents are charging you rent (it’s probably below market rate) and expect help with chores, eventually you need to leave the nest.

If you aren’t sure it’s really time for you to get a place of your own, here are seven clues the (mostly) free ride is over:

1. You can afford your own place.

It might require a little sacrifice on your part, but if you can afford your own place, it’s time to move out. Even if you need a roommate to help you afford your first place, it’s time to move out when you have the money to take care of your own needs.

Research the local housing market. What are the rents? Look at estimated utilities. How much are groceries? If you are worried that you can’t afford all those costs, take your new budget for a test drive. Set aside what you’d pay for rent, utilities, and groceries in a savings account. If you can manage your budget with comfort for at least four months, you should definitely leave your parents’ house.

2. Conversations devolve into arguments.

Does it feel like every conversation you have with your parents devolves into an argument? As long as you live in someone else’s home, they feel they have the right to tell you how to do things. And they aren’t too far off. If you feel that you’re always arguing with your parents, it’s time to move out. Get that distance, and you might be surprised at how much your relationship with your parents improves.

This sign is less about your ability to manage your money outside your parents’ home and more about the emotional situation. It’s all about preserving the most important relationships in your life.

3. You have too much stuff.

Tired of trying to cram everything into a single bedroom? Even though I lived in a campus dorm three years out of four, I still ended up with more stuff than could reasonably fit in a bedroom at my parents’ house. When you have your own TV, computer, furniture (spare as it might be), and other trappings that make it hard to fit everything into your old bedroom, it’s probably time to move out.

And let’s engage in a little real talk. It’s not your parents’ job to store your shit in their basement or garage. My parents were ecstatic the day I took the last of my boxes down from the attic and carted it off to my own storage space. Don’t take over your parent’s home with your junk. Either pare down your belongings or move out. At the very least, get your own storage unit.

4. You’re ready for the next chapter.

One of the biggest clues it’s time to move out is that you’re ready for the next chapter. It’s practically impossible to feel like you’re moving on with your life — and becoming your own person — when you’re living with your parents and still (sometimes) being treated like a kid instead of an adult.

When you find yourself stagnating in your life, it’s time to move forward. Just moving out can help you get out of your life rut. It can energize and help you feel more grown up. After all, you’re taking care of business.

Besides, moving out and starting the next chapter doesn’t mean that you’re going ignore your parents. My son and I go to my parents’ for Sunday dinner every week, even though I’m pretty self-sufficient. You don’t have to leave your family behind just because you’re moving on with your life.

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5. Lack of privacy.

Can’t bring bae home to chill because it’s awkward? Do you have to walk outside in the freezing cold when you take a call? Does it feel like your parents are staring at you every time you leave your room? Are you expected to come out of your room and socialize regularly? You need your own space.

As you get older, you have a chance to be you. Living in a place where you can’t just let loose cramps your style, and it doesn’t help you develop into a fully functioning adult. We all need those private moments.

6. The rules are getting to you.

You want to be treated like an adult, but you feel like all the rules make you feel like a kid? It’s time to move out. You’re living in someone else’s house, and that means they make the rules.

After college, it’s hard to come back and worry about how late you stay out and what you’re doing with “me” time. Tired of living by their rules? Figure out what it takes to move and get your own place. Then you make the rules.

7. Your parents are dropping hints.

It’s not always about you and your needs and wants.

At some point, your parents are likely to want you to move out. My mom considered it a mark of success when we could get out of the house and mostly “make it” on our own. If your parents are dropping heavy hints, like sending you Craig’s List ads for rentals, it’s time to move out. The biggest clue, though, is when your parents start charging you rent. If you’re paying rent to live in your childhood bedroom, you’re not adulting.

Take the next step.

While it can be scary to move out and make it on your own, it’s something you can handle. Start by making a reasonable budget and seeing what you can afford. Save up a little so that you are ready to make the move. Let your parents know your plans and see if they can offer some support.

And, once you’re out, keep up the relationship with your parents. They have helped you for a couple decades. Maintain those family ties, and be ready to help them when they need it.

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Ready for a break? January might be the best time for you to book your next flight. Read More...

Already tired of the cold? Feeling like the holidays didn’t give you a real vacation?

Well, there’s a remedy for that. Plan your next vacation. Even better, actually travel during the month of January. According to research from different sources, January 2018 is supposed to offer the cheapest flights of 2018.

Cheapest flights in January.

According to travel search engine Skyscanner, January is expected to be your best bet if you want to book the cheapest flights for 2018. According to the website, you can find domestic flights for 16% cheaper than the yearly average. International flights can cost up to 36% less. (Planning to travel overseas? Check out our guide to Global Entry.)

By the time we get to March, though, there’s a good chance that the savings will evaporate. So, even if you aren’t planning to go anywhere in the next few weeks, now is still probably a good time to book your travel for later in the year. I already know that I’ll be flying a little later, and I’ve found some pretty good deals already.

So, if you hope to land a good deal, what can you do?

National Shop For Travel Day.

The Travel Tech Association is pushing for a National Shop for Travel Day, which will fall on January 9, 2018. Going forward, the Association hopes to hold this day on the second Tuesday of January.

The idea is that many outlets will be offering killer deals on travel. So, you might be able to find amazing trip deals on your next vacation. I assume the powers that be picked a Tuesday because, according to research, that day of the week (and Wednesday) is one of the least expensive when it comes to finding the cheapest flights.

Buy 54 days before the scheduled flight.

Now, it is possible to find last-minute deals on flights — if you aren’t too picky about the times involved. According to a study by CheapAir.com last year, you can save money by purchasing your flight 54 days ahead of its scheduled departure. Of course, this is just an average, and the situation tends to fluctuate based on time of year.

However, if you are looking to travel in early March, it might be just the thing to book your travel in January to find the cheapest flights. I’m getting ready to do a little spring break travel with my son, and I’m deciding between driving and flying. If I can find a great deal in the next couple of weeks, it might be worth it to fly and then rent a car.

CheapAir.com did provide a handy guide to figuring out your best chance for cheap flights, depending on the time of year:

If you buy anytime between 21 and 105 days in advance, you have a pretty decent chance of finding good prices. I found it interesting that booking more than six months out means higher prices. “First dibs” apparently doesn’t provide you with the best deals.

Of course, there is no magic formula that will get you the best deal every time. When you book, the days you travel, and whether you go off-peak all matter. So you need to employ strategies that allow you the best chance of finding the cheapest flights.

Set airfare alerts.

You don’t have to keep going back to search for airfare day after day. It’s possible to set airfare alerts. Many travel aggregators allow you to set airfare alerts when prices drop. You can figure out a route (or if you’re flexible, a few) and then receive notifications right to your email inbox.

Another way to use alerts is to follow the #airfare hashtag on Twitter. A lot of the time you see sales and super cheap rates that exist for a few hours before disappearing.

You can also bookmark a few of your favorite websites and check regularly to find deals.

It’s important to be flexible since many of the best deals are between specific locations. I almost never get access to amazing deals from my hometown of Idaho Falls. However, if I’m willing to drive to Salt Lake City, I can usually find some pretty decent savings on my airfare.

Fly when nobody wants to.

This was touched on a little bit earlier, but it’s worth repeating. If you want the cheapest flights, you need to fly when no one else wants to. I was able to get one-way tickets to Philadelphia during the holidays at a discount of $200 apiece by taking an overnight flight. It wasn’t super fun, but it did save me $400.

On the return trip (from Albany, NY), my son and I left on a 6:10 a.m. flight. On New Year’s Eve. Also not a lot of fun. However, flights for New Year’s Day at a more reasonable time cost $300 more per ticket. That’s a big swing in price. Overall, by flying at shitty times no one else wanted, I managed to save $1,000 on air travel for my son and me.

Use your rewards and loyalty programs.

Join a frequent flyer program connected to a major credit card rewards program and watch the miles add up. I was able to get some decent discounts on my holiday travel, so I didn’t use my rewards points.

Earlier in the year, though, when my son and I traveled during the summer, I used airline miles to get free flights. It was the perfect way to save money on airfare without the need to alter my regularly budgeted spending.

I like to boost my total rewards by shopping for airfare online using Swagbucks in concert with other programs.

For example, I am part of the Delta SkyMiles program, and I have a branded credit card for that program from American Express. I also get Orbitz rewards and Swagbucks gives me extra back when I shop through Orbitz, thanks to the browser plugin I have. By booking a Delta flight on Orbitz using my AmEx credit card, I get extra points for my flight cost, plus I get rewards with Swagbucks and Orbitz. It’s like quadrupling up.

Later, I can use the rewards to book free flights. (I use a similar strategy when I book a hotel.)

Saving once you get to your destination.

Of course, the cheapest flights can save you money so you can spend more when you get to your destination. But if you want to save, you can look for ways to spend less.

Websites like Airbnb (interestingly, Airbnb is a Delta partner, so that helps me when I’m stacking rewards) and VBRO allow you to get great prices on lodging — especially if you are looking for a more long-term stay.

If you stay long-term, it can be a good idea to do some grocery shopping. When my son and I were traveling across Canada a couple summers ago, we often went to a local grocery store to buy items to do our own cooking. It was healthier and it saved us money since we weren’t always eating out.

You can also find good deals on rental cars with companies like Enterprise and Hertz.

I also find it helpful to look up Groupons for the destination city so that I can get discounts on activities. Often, I find two-for-one deals that are perfect for my son and me. CityPass is another great way to see the sites for one low price.

As you figure out little tips to save money on the cheapest flights and on things to do when you get to your destination, you might discover that you can travel much cheaper than you thought — whether you plan your trip in January or wait until another month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl1vnegKI_Y

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It’s not enough for YOU to be inviting. Your home has to be inviting, too. Read More...

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Do you wish your friends and family would see you more? Maybe the issue is your living space. Is it comfortable? Is it clean?

If it’s not, that could be the issue. When your place is cluttered and/or dirty, it’s uncomfortable and it’s difficult for people to feel at home, they won’t want to come over. So, what can you do?

We’re going to talk about how you can make your living space into a place others want to be.

Concepts

  • Why it’s important to clear clutter and clean up.
  • Overcoming the difficulties of organizing and cleaning when it’s been a long time.
  • The benefits of a clean and organized living space.
  • Main issues: disorganization and cleanliness.
  • Tips for organizing your living space.
  • Ideas for cleaning your space — and keeping it clean.
  • Why you should consider reducing what you have.
  • Tricks for organization when you live in a small space.
  • How to maintain your organized and clean space once you have it.

For this week’s DO NOWs, we start by looking at the living space and figuring out where to start. Choose one area and tackle that. Then move forward.

Do you wish friends and family would just accept your messiness? They might like YOU, but they might not be comfortable in your home. We talk about reconciling that reality in response to this week’s listener question.

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Don’t get hung up on changing the world immediately. Start local and watch your efforts bear fruit sooner. Read More...

Do you want to live with passion and purpose? Do you want to change the world? Do you feel like I’ve shared froofy sentiments that don’t actually matter?

The reality is that you don’t need to try to change the world all by yourself if you don’t feel like you have the time, energy, or ability to make it happen.

What you can do is find a cause you believe in and start making a tiny corner of the world a little bit better.

Do you really need to change the world?

To often we get bogged down in the idea that we need to change the world in an earth-shattering way. We like the idea of making a big impact. But most of us aren’t going to change the world in that big way.

That doesn’t mean that you are inconsequential. Since moving back to Idaho, I’ve realized that I can help effect meaningful change right here, on a local basis. So far, I haven’t made a huge impact, but I’ve seen that some of my efforts do matter.

It’s easy to step back and say, “I can’t make a big change, so I won’t try.” But you can make small change, and you can help men, women, children, animals, and the environment right where you live.

When you find a cause you believe in, you not only make an impact, but you also live with greater purpose. You are more likely to feel good about your life, and enjoy the mental and physical health benefits that come with volunteering your time and energy.

Don’t get hung up on the idea of changing the world; think about what you can do locally to make a difference. Later, if it snowballs, or if you get an opportunity to change the world, go for it. But don’t sit around feeling impotent when you might be capable of effecting a change that matters to the people around you.

What matters to you?

The first step, when you want to find a cause you believe in, is to decide what matters to you. Figure out what makes your life worthwhile. Decide what you wish was different in your area. Look around. There’s always something that could be better.

What are you passionate about? Do you care about education? Do you want to fight for LGTBQIA+ homeless youth? Do you wish people were kinder to animals? Is there an environmental risk in your area? What kind of local policies are causing harm to under-represented populations? Do you believe arts education is vital to the preservation of our culture?

You can go crazy trying to fix every problem out there. And it’s impossible to do everything all at once — especially since you probably also want to put a roof over your head. Narrow down to the issue that matters most to you and focus on that first. You’ll probably find that there are interconnected issues that you can branch out with, but start small and simple. That one issue can provide you with a manageable way to start making a change.

Join with like-minded people.

Once you know what matters to you, look for like-minded people. Whether you work for change at the neighborhood, city, state, country, or world level, you can’t do it alone. World-sweeping ideas come around very rarely. TBH, most change is incremental and arrives only after years of work and effort in conjunction with others.

Look for people who share your passion and values. Chances are that there are others interested in changing the world the same way you are. When I first moved to Idaho Falls, I joined the Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities and to figure out which business leaders and professionals shared my values. I sought out a local political organization that better fit my leanings as well.

These larger organizations allow me to meet like-minded people who are part of a smaller subset. Together we can lobby for change, and our volunteer efforts can make a difference locally. It’s been heartening to see some of what I’ve done matter — even if it’s to a small portion of the population. That sort of change has the potential to spread.

Contribute your resources.

What if you feel like you don’t have the time to volunteer? You can still find a cause you believe in and contribute your resources. I’m involved in certain activities that, when considered with my other responsibilities, mean that I don’t have time to volunteer with the food pantry or soup kitchen, even though hunger is a major issue for me.

I have to say no to some things, and I realize that I can have an impact by donating money to local relief efforts. I make regular contributions to local food banks. I love local donations because I can meet the people responsible for the way the funds are used, and I can see the impact my donations have.

I choose which causes get my time, and which get my money. You can do something similar. Look for an organization that could use your financial support, even if you don’t feel like you have the time to volunteer. My son saves 10% of his allowance and income for charity. Until now, he’s mostly just put it in for an offering when we occasionally attend a church, or he gives something to panhandlers. Lately, after much thought, he announced that he wants to find a way to help homeless LGBTQIA+ teens — a problem in our area.

My son saves 10% of his allowance and income for charity. Until now, he’s mostly just put it in for an offering when we occasionally attend a church, or he gives something to panhandlers. Lately, after much thought, he announced that he wants to find a way to help homeless LGBTQIA+ teens — a problem in our area. He’s researching local organizations to see where his money might do some good. He’s 13, and he’s thinking about what he can do to make positive change where we live.

It won’t be a lot, but it will be something — and it just might make a difference in at least one person’s life.

What issues are you passionate about? Have you found a cause to believe in? How do you support it?

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Vacations can make or break a friendship. If you’re going to plan a good one – do it right. Read More...

Recently, the number one movie in America was Girls Trip-a hilariously wild movie all about taking an epic trip with a few of your best friends. I’ve had the good luck to take a number of girls trips with my BFFs (I have more than one) and there are a couple of tips that I would like to share so that you can successfully plan an incredible vacation with your BFF.

Decisions, decisions!

First, you will need to decide on the destination. This decision sets the foundation for all of your additional trip-related decisions. In the process of deciding where to go, you will discover the type of traveler your BFF really is.

You can opt for a traditional location such as a large city with good food and interesting tourist exhibits. Cities such as NYC, Chicago, LA, and New Orleans are typically safe bets.

Then, you begin asking one another the following questions:

  • How safe of a city does it have to be for you to feel safe visiting it?
  • What do you find interesting to do for fun?
  • Do you want to drive around town all day?

Once you’ve worked through these questions, begin discussing the logistics of your trip. Talk about how you like to experience and explore a new city. Are you a wanderer? Do you prefer to follow an itinerary? These are all disqualifying (or qualifying) questions that will help you decide: is this really a person that I would like to travel with?

Do I want to travel with you?

Be honest if the answer is NO! If this is your BFF, don’t put yourself in the position of a friendship breakup because you took a trip that one of you potentially wouldn’t enjoy because the activities and city were ill-suited to their personality.

Friends sometimes want to get super adventurous way too fast when traveling together. I would strongly advise you to avoid doing this and to build up to an epic travel experience by taking smaller trips together…just to make sure.

Time to talk money.

Once you’ve decided on the location, you’ll then need to work on some of the nitty-gritty. What do your budgets look like and how does your budget affect what you can do?

Be candid about your budget-but at the same time be self-aware. Whether both of you are flush with cash or not, come up with a nice balance of activities that provide a wide-range of opportunities to have fun at varying levels of expense. This empowers both friends to choose activities that suit their financial situation.

Have a real conversation about what you can, cannot, or won’t pay for during your travels.

Become self-aware. How flexible are you? Would you lose your mind if there were problems with your accommodations? Would you freak out if you had to share a room or a bed? Are you an indifferent eater, an obsessive museum fan, or (ahem) clingy? Do you need someone with you as you explore town? Or, are you the type of traveler who needs occasional “me” time when you’re on trips with friends? Be honest!

It’s now time for shenanigans!

Some of my favorite trips were taken with my BFFs. Traveling to Las Vegas on a Greyhound bus and freaking out when the blind couple with the fake seeing-eye-dog almost got hit by highway traffic during one of our rest breaks. Fun times!

Going to L.A. with another friend and meeting every single freaky person in California – who just knew that we weren’t from there. They just could smell the Colorado on us.

Going to Breckenridge with my European BFFs and everyone (but me) getting altitude sickness and needing to go to the local oxygen bar for some relief.

I love having these memories and I know that you, too, will enjoy creating new, life-long memories with your BFFs.

I strongly suggest traveling with your friends, just be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot tolerate when traveling. You can be realistic about your friend’s quirks without throwing them under the bus.

Share your favorite BFF travel story in the #Adulting Facebook community!

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Your life is like a fine wine or a good bourbon. Older is often better. Read More...

I have a theory.

I believe that pop culture and the media’s obsession with youth isn’t because we’re a youth-obsessed culture.

It’s because getting older is awesome — older people don’t need constant positive reinforcement.

You see patterns as you get older. Things that seemed so new to the young you now feel natural. You feel more confident in your own skin. You realize that every year that passes is another year of successful living.

So, when television, movies, and music don’t look or sound like you, you’re okay with it because you’re awesome.

You know it, and here’s how.

You stop repeating the same mistakes.

Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, right?

As you get older, eventually you learn not to repeat mistakes. With your critical thinking skills and history of experiences, red flags are more apparent — even if you haven’t seen the exact red flag now waving in your face.

Remember when you were in a dating rut, dating different people with similar bad qualities? Gone are the days of dating different versions of the same person who isn’t right for you. You know what works and who works, and if nothing’s working you’re okay with going solo.

You’re more cautious about what you share with mom and dad, your siblings, and the rest of your family. Once you needed their help and guidance with everything, but now you’ve learned to avoid unnecessary concern and judgment.

You’ve also learned that family will give you their opinion whether you want it or not. So, you don’t invite more of it than you need.

You start to realize that while it’s fun to throw a few back late at night, it’s not so much fun early the next morning. This is also about the time you stop feeling the need to accept every RSVP for fear of eventually being left out.

Your self-confidence is higher.

The same person who longed for approval in high school no longer needs anyone’s approval today. That’s one of the best reasons getting older is awesome.

With each decade comes more confidence than the last. The thought of going on vacation or out for dinner alone no longer strikes fear inside you. In fact, it sounds quite desirable.

This brings with it an air of certainty and poise that only comes with age. The person who’s confident enough to enter a party alone and work a room is often the person everyone wants to know.

You have less drama.

Your teen years likely held the most drama in your life.

As you get older and older, fewer and fewer things cause you so much concern — you’ve learned to not care. You’ve learned that getting worked up every time someone else is worked up or every time the news or the radio says so is of no value to you.

You can’t control other people’s actions and beliefs. You focus more on your circle of influence and make your circle of concern smaller. Self-induced drama and other people’s drama melt away.

You have more wisdom.

With experience, mistakes, and success comes wisdom. Age is associated with wisdom, which is why the sages in books and movies are older than their young students.

Wisdom is the result of having been there and having done that — without having to announce it to the world. It’s having a better understanding of human behavior. It’s retaining and applying your personal history to the rest of the history surrounding you.

Wisdom is also knowing what you don’t know. It’s knowing when to ask more questions, when to listen, and when to not get involved.

You get paid for your experiences.

The reason you reach your peak earning years in your 40s and 50s is that you have the experience and history worth paying you more. And that is one of the biggest reasons getting older is awesome.

By your 40s, you’ve made your share of mistakes. You’ve learned from those mistakes — and learned to stop making them. Plus, you have enough right decisions to pad out your resume.

While youth is fun, adventurous, and new, age brings stability, clarity, and sophistication.

You can laugh at your younger self through younger generations.

It’s fun to watch younger generations and reminisce about your younger self. You see yourself in them and appreciate what they’re going through. But you appreciate even more that you’ve already been through it.

You know how they feel. You know what questions they have and what their concerns are. You can identify with their hopes and dreams. You had the good and bad relationships. You made the right and wrong choices. The life decisions they face today, you’ve already made.

Your empathy and understanding make you a great teacher. If they’re wise, they’ll seek your wisdom.

Your confidence and wisdom allow you to look back and laugh. But don’t forget to look back and forgive yourself.

Your priorities become your priority.

The best part of getting older is assuming the ability to say, “No.”

When you’re young and longing for approval, you’re apt to follow the crowd and not rock the boat. When you’re older, your experience affords you the opportunity to do what you want, when you want, and how you want.

“No, thank you,” is a refreshing place to be in life. Life is as much about the things we say no to as much as it’s about the things to which we say yes.

“No, I don’t want that promotion despite the higher income because I don’t want the extra stress.”

“No, thank you. I’d like the extra features on the car, but I don’t want the extra expenses.”

“No, I’m not interested.”

“I’m quitting this job because I don’t want to work for you anymore.”

It’s with confidence, experience, and wisdom that you’ve learned what you want and don’t want and build the courage to advocate for both.

You reap the rewards of all your good decisions.

By your 40s and 50s, you’ve accumulated the rewards of all your life-decisions. And getting older is awesome because now you can enjoy those rewards.

All you need are a few good decisions, to see the benefits. Even if you didn’t originally make the right choices, you’ve had time to tack accordingly and fix your mistakes.

Ours is a youth-obsessed culture, but it’s not because we all want to be younger.

It’s because those of us who are older are smart enough to appreciate the wisdom of our years — and we’re happy to let the next generation have the limelight.

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It’s time to get in shape by striking a pose. Read More...

Just about everyone has thought “I should try yoga” at one point or another. Chances are you have a friend or family member who can’t stop talking about it, and for good reason – research shows that beyond its many health benefits, yoga may actually be good for your brain.

But actually getting into yoga can seem intimidating. The culture around it promotes an all-or-nothing mentality, and most practitioners advise joining a studio or hiring a teacher to get the full benefits. That’s great for some, but not everyone has the time, money or inclination to make that kind of commitment.

Thankfully, yoga is like most kinds of fitness – you can dive in headfirst or just dip your toes in the water. There are plenty of simple, effective poses you can learn at home that will also challenge and invigorate you.

Here are some of the best basic poses to promote strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Remember to start slowly, taking the time to learn each position correctly.

Bridge Pose

Lots of people suffer from back pain and poor posture issues because they lack the ability to fully utilize their glutes. That can be because they lack the necessary strength, or just because they struggle to activate their glutes properly. This pose tackles both issues.

How to do it: Lie supine on the floor with your arms at your side, knees bent and heels as close to your butt as feels comfortable. Push your feet and arms into the floor while squeezing your glutes, lifting your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees remain directly over your heels. Hold the position for up to a minute, then slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

I do this pose regularly to help develop the glute muscles that I don’t work in my normal exercise routine. This is probably one of my least favorite poses, but I know it really works.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Even if you’ve never had an interest in yoga, you’ve probably heard of this pose. It’s one of the most well-known yoga techniques because it offers great benefits while also being easy enough for just about anyone to attempt. It stretches everything from the shoulders to the ankles and provides a challenging core workout on top.

How to do it: Get on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders, pressing into the ground firmly. Exhale and tuck your toes as you lift your knees off the floor, pushing your pelvis towards the ceiling.

Then, draw your sit bones towards the wall behind you as you straighten your legs without locking your knees. Stay in this pose anywhere from one to three minutes, deepening the stretch as you go. End the pose by bending your knees to the floor while exhaling.

You can do even more by adding this pose as part of a general sun salutation which will get your heart rate up.

Garland Pose

You may have heard this pose referred to colloquially as the “third world squat” or “slav squat” by crossfitters and bodybuilders, but this deep stretch is beneficial for just about anyone – especially those who sit at a desk all day.

When you spend that much time sitting, your hips tend to get incredibly tight, which can lead to posture issues and lower back pain. This pose forces those hips to open up, as well as aiding in ankle mobility that affects the whole lower body.

How to do it: Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, feet angled out anywhere from 15 to 30 degrees. Keep your chest and head high as you push your hips back, sitting down into a squat position as deep as you can safely go.

Make sure to keep your hips back so your knees do not come in front of your toes, and use your elbows to push your knees out. You may have to adopt a wider stance with your feet angled further out at first, but you should eventually be able to bring your feet closer together with a straighter foot angle. Hold this position for at least a minute, then exhale as you straighten the knees to stand.

Find the Time

If you’re like me, finding the time to do anything extra seems impossible, so that’s why I try to incorporate stretching into my regular routine. For example, I try to do a Garland Pose while I’m brushing my teeth or while I’m waiting for my dinner to heat up in the microwave.

These yoga poses are easy to tackle, but only if you start out slow. Try doing one a day until you’ve built up a habit. Then, add another pose. No matter how crappy you’re feeling, aim to complete your exercises. You’ll feel better in the long run.

Are you a yoga practitioner? Any tips you want to give? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community

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Reclaim your time! Get all the things done – just not all by you. Read More...

Consider how much you’re paid per hour. Then, consider how many hours a week you spend on tasks that you’d rather not do or that distract you from higher-paying opportunities. Are you saving money or losing money by doing jobs for yourself that someone else might do more efficiently?

It’s somewhat counterintuitive to think that hiring someone to do things you can do for yourself may be better for your money and your family. However, if you’re paid $30/hour, does it make sense to perform a task that someone else can do for $15/hour? No. It makes more sense to continue working for $30/hour, pay someone else $15/hour. You still net $15.

Of course, most of us can’t contract our every routine task, but even freeing ourselves of one such task can produce great results. Here are nine tasks you may want to outsource to have more money.

Grocery shopping.

Once upon a time, having your groceries delivered to your house was only for the richest of the rich. Today, it’s way more popular for even us commoners to have groceries delivered to our houses or ready for pick-up at the grocery store.

When I go to our local grocery store lately, there are as many Amazon shoppers as there are actual patrons. I think this is a good thing.

Grocery shopping is mundane and can take up way more time than it’s worth. Companies such as Amazon, InstaCart, and Peapod save hundreds of thousands of people from this chore and letting them focus on higher returning activities.

Cooking.

My husband and I love cooking, but with building a business and him still working a W-2, we just don’t have the time. We don’t want to resort to fast food because we like to eat healthily. Therefore, we hired a personal chef. Before you start claiming that we’re the richest of the rich, just know that personal chefs can be reasonably priced.

We hired a personal chef who recently graduated from culinary school and she’s building her resume. We’re happy to have her experiment on us. It saves us money and time and is helping her start her career. Once a week, she comes to our house and cooks several lunches and dinners for us that require minimal preparation on our part. Our diet is healthy and diverse.

You don’t have to hire a personal chef, though. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron deliver meals direct to your door. Bigger cities are even getting their own meal delivery services. In Denver, we have The Spicy Radish. A simple Google search may help you find a local delivery service in your area.

These services provide a healthy, diverse menu that requires minimal involvement on your part. It’s one less thing to think about that day, which reserves your time for more important thinking, and the meals save a great deal of time preparing.

House cleaning.

How much time each week do you spending cleaning your home? Or, when was the last time your home was clean? What would you rather be doing, or how could you better spend your time?

I love my cleaning ladies! I love a clean house, but I don’t love cleaning. The toilet bowl needs to be clean, but I’d rather spend my time building my business and with my husband. The last thing I want to do with the few spare hours a week I have is clean my toilets.

This helps the economy and others, in addition to helping me. I spend my time making money doing what I do best and pay someone else to do what they do best. Plus, they do in two hours what would take my husband and me six hours.

Home repairs & maintenance.

This is exactly what I did recently. My husband and I decided it’s time to sell our condo. Before we put our place on the market, we decided we needed to do some touch-ups and repairs to our place.

None of it is major work, but it would take a major amount of our time if we did them ourselves. We’re capable of doing them, but we’re not proficient. Plus, we’re growing a business, and our time is better spent growing our business than painting, scraping, and sanding.

Therefore, we’ve contracted out most of the work. My husband and I each make more money per hour than what we’re paying any of these professionals per hour. Plus, they do a better job.

Everyday errands.

Do you have a bunch of errands you’d love to take off your plate? Need pictures hung on your wall? Need that new Ikea furniture to be put together? Urgently need something delivered across town but can’t get away from your desk?

Your time and money are better spent closing your next deal and hiring someone from Task Complete or TaskRabbit to complete your task. Thousands of people are freelancing to do simple to complex tasks for others as a side hustle.

Travel arrangements.

Have a big trip planned but haven’t planned it? Let someone better skilled, better educated on travel and better connected to plan it for you. Sure, you can book your flight from St. Paul to Austin, but what about the bigger trips to Playa del Carmen or Lisbon or Sydney?

For bigger travel, we always use our travel agent. We’ve had her for years. We don’t pay more than we would if we booked all the travel ourselves, but she uses her systems and connections to make better accommodations for us. She finds those hidden deals and gets us the special perks that we wouldn’t know about or think to ask.

This saves us money or gets us more for our money while we’re still working for our money.

Email and calendar management.

For some people, it makes sense to hire an assistant to manage personal emails and calendars, book reservations or plan an event. Get Friday offers personal assistants that can handle all matters from personal to professional.

Managing personal emails has nearly become a full-time job. Managing all that you do along with yours and your family’s personal calendars is like herding cats. Hire someone to help you become more efficient and organized, then you’ll waste less of your precious time on little tasks.

Lawn maintenance & gardening.

After putting in 40 to 60 hours a week, some people like being outside and working in their garden. Others, like me, hate it.

Free up your personal time by hiring someone from CraigsList or Angie’s List to take better care of your lawn and garden with better equipment and skill than you. They’ll do a better and faster job, and you’ll be freed to relax and rejuvenate alone or with your family or spend more time making more money.

Laundry.

Laundry is another task that many of us would do well to pay someone else to do. The cost to have someone pick up, launder, and then return your laundry can range between $1 to $3 a pound. For many people, this often equates to $20 to $25 per week. If you’re like me, you spend more than that on a bottle of wine on a Wednesday night.

Plus, with their equipment, they can clean your clothing better and more properly. Likewise, they can save you countless hours of folding, so you can spend more hours growing your business and bank account.

We may love the idea of saving a few dollars here and there by doing certain tasks ourselves, but when you look at both sides of your personal balance sheet, it may make more economic sense to pay someone to do some of these tasks for you. You might save $20 doing a job yourself, but you could earn $30 by hiring someone to do it for you, and that’s money.

Do you outsource personal tasks we haven’t listed here? What are the pros or cons you’ve found? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.

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Get out of town. Have a great time. And do it without breaking the bank. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

You know you want to travel. But you also need to be on a budget. Today, we talk to Whitney Hansen about how she does the travel while budgeting thing. We look at tips you can use to save money on travel. We even take a look at how you can do it with kids.

Just because you don’t have a ton of money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy seeing new things. Here’s how to get out of town no matter how much (or little) you have.

twitter.com/whitneyhansenco
Facebook.com/whitneyhansenco
instagram.com/whitney_hansen_co

WhitneyHansen.com
themoneynerds.com

Watch the video above or listen to the audio podcast below.

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Life out of control? Take command! Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Justin Taylor from Saving Sherpa joins Harlan and Miranda, sharing tips from military training that can be used to become a better adult. You don’t have to join the military to use these philosophies and become an expert at navigating your life.

Adulting is hard, but you don’t have to give up. Here’s what you need to know to take command of your life and make something you’re happy with.

Watch the video above or listen to the audio podcast below.

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!