#5 Get Insurance

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#5

Get Insurance

When I first got married at the age of 22, a couple dudes in ties knocked on our front door and spent two hours or more trying to convince us that we needed life insurance. We were young and invincible, expecting our first child and really naive about the realities of the world. We were also broke so they left that day without a sale and we didn’t really think twice.

Hard Lesson

Fast forward two years as I found myself a 24 year old widow with an 18 mo. old baby and no life insurance except for the little bit of money that was automatically a benefit for a Navy Reservist. It was a hard lesson and yet it was a great testimony for the years that I ironically, sat at kitchen tables explaining why people needed to think about life insurance and financial planning.

When to Buy?

You’re never too young for life insurance – in fact, that’s the very best time to buy it because the odds that you’ll die are low – so insurance is cheap. You don’t need much if you don’t have many responsibilities – just enough to cover your debt and burial expense (which, can easily run into the 5 digit range). However, the more responsibility you have, the more insurance you need.

Purpose

Insurance is explicitly for the purpose of covering your behind when life throws curveballs. Whether it’s health insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, rental insurance, theft insurance, or life insurance… we never know when we’ll need coverage.

Risk

Technically, you only need to cover those things that you are willing to risk. Certainly, I never considered it a ‘real’ risk that my 23 year old husband would die; nor did he. But it happened. Accidents happen. We’ve all heard horror stories of people who were involved in an accident and many of us think it “can’t happen to me”. How much are you willing to risk?

Consider the risk you’re willing to take and then speak to a trusted advisor about insurance. Everybody needs at least some. Think about your car, your home, your belongings, your income, your health, and your life. You’re likely to sleep better and enjoy a higher quality of life knowing that you’re protected after you…

Get insurance.

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#29 Stash Some Cash

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#29

Stash Some Cash

Remember the last time you went digging through each coat pocket in hopes you’d find a forgotten ten dollar bill? It’s important to have a cash stash for those moments when an ATM isn’t readily available or as a way of tucking away a little savings (‘little’ being the operative word here as it isn’t good financial advice to deny yourself any earning capacity your savings may have).

Loose Change

Many of us have ‘change jars’ or some kind of container that becomes a collection place for the random change that we accumulate. It’s amazing how quickly a few cents here and there can add up over time. You may be surprised at how much can accrue by holding on to the coins we come home with at the end of the day. This is the principle behind apps like Digit who sweep very small – unnoticeable – amounts of cash from the account you give it access to.

This suggestion is more about having the cash in hand, on on the premises though. Once you fill your container with change, turning it into bills is easy with the sorting machines you find at grocery stores and banks. Although, those machines do keep a small percentage of your savings as payment for doing all the work. In my opinion, it’s worth it unless you enjoy sitting for hours to sort, count, and roll all those pennies, dimes, and nickels.

Out of Sight

After you bring home the bills – or if you are starting there – you need a safe place to tuck it away. I’m recommending it’s out of sight or else, unless you have wonderful reserve, you may be likely spend it before it accumulates. The big question is where to hide it so that you’ll remember where it is but it won’t be easy to spot in general. There’s no need to tempt people with shaky principles.

Hiding Spots

After winning a large lottery once, I brought home the cash and tucked several $100 bills on page 100 in several different books on my bookshelf. I believed – at the time – that it was a brilliant way to keep it at distance enough that I wouldn’t spend it all at once. The first problem was that I didn’t record which books I put it in – that was a HUGE error of judgment. The second problem was that I had a LOT of books. I never did find all of them. There’s either still a book in my home with a hundred dollar bill in it or someone else got a big treat as I often donate books that sit around for too long.

Try to pick a spot that’s not obvious but one that is safe as well. Here are a list of ideas that I’ve heard about through the years:

  • An empty food box or canister in your kitchen pantry
  • An empty container in your refrigerator
  • An empty container in your freezer
  • In an envelope taped behind a piece of furniture or wall decor
  • Folded into socks or undies
  • Tucked into shoes or boots
  • Under seat cushions of furniture

There are obvious problems with all of those ideas as none of them except possibly the refrigerator or freezer, will keep your cash safe in the even of natural disaster or fire. In those cases, the best hiding place is a fireproof safe hidden from plain sight. And… I’m certainly not recommending that you stash too much – a number that is very individual but probably doesn’t need to exceed a few hundred dollars. Banks are the best best for larger amounts.

In any event, it’s often good to know that in a dire situation you won’t have to worry about a tank of gas or a loaf of bread because you’ve made the effort to…

Stash some cash.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#195 Hug People

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#195

Hug people

Why do hugs feel so good? Have you ever wondered? Of course, as in many other things… hugging causes the body to emit oxytocin – the feel good chemical. In addition to producing feelings of calm and relaxation… it lowers blood pressure and and stress on your heart. Hugging is good for your stress level and your physical health.

Take a look at this video of a girl who handed out hugs to people in line for communion. Not only is she adorable but you can almost see the oxytocin production in the faces of people who approach her.

Security

Hugs help us feel safe. In addition to oxytocin, levels of serotonin and dopamine also increase when we are firmly hugged. Both of these body chemicals promote a sense of well-being; of belonging. When we experience a sense of safety and belonging, our entire world feels better. Our perspectives are balanced.

Balance

Hugs educate us about giving and receiving. They promote equilibrium in our day to day life. When we hug people there is an energy exchange. Some people believe that the interaction seeks to equalize the vibrations in the union… taking from one and giving to another. After a firm hug we may automatically feel more harmonious and peaceful.

Share

When you have a little extra energy, why not share a little? The hug you give someone may be just what they need to push through the rest of their day. If you notice a person with low energy and you feel comfortable – offer a hug. You’ll likely make a difference in that individuals day and all because you made a decision to …

Hug people.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below