Category: Frugal Living Tips

How You Can Earn a Living From Home as a Freelance Medical Writer

freelance medical writerAre you looking to become a freelance medical writer?

Breaking into the medical niche is a bit challenging, but not impossible. It requires some level of experience and expertise, but also hard work and discipline.

The medical field is a broad one, so you’ll need to decide on a niche first. For example, you can write about new medical discoveries, studies, health care or cover medical news. Another option is to specialize as a dental writer and write for a specific set of clients.

Besides the experience, you should also have excellent grammar and language skills.

Keep reading to discover how you can become a medical writer and find your first client.

Get Some Experience

To become a freelance medical writer, you need to gain some experience in the field.

For example, if you’ve worked in the medical field or went to medical school, you’re already familiar with the industry terminology.

Next, find successful medical writers. Study their articles to see how they write and where they’re published.

Do not copy another writer’s style. To be in demand, you have to develop your own style and be unique.

Write Guest Posts

As a beginner freelance medical writer, you need a portfolio to display your writing to potential clients.

You can do this by writing a few samples and publishing them on your own website. Another way is to write guest posts for medical journals, publications or blogs.

This is a great way to gain exposure and have your article read by a lot of people.

Pitch Clients

After you’ve published a few guest posts, it’s time to find your first paid client.

You can do this by signing up for freelancing platforms or contacting the clients directly.

For example, if you’re a dental writer, go online and search for dental offices in your area or state.

Let’s say you land on the website verdepointedentalassociates.com. Find their contact form and send them a message. State your expertise and offer them your writing services. If you don’t get a reply within a few days, feel free to follow up.

Start a Blog

Any writer needs to improve their writing on a daily basis. The best way to do so is to start your own blog.

You can write medical articles, opinions, news, reviews or client-directed pieces. The content you publish must be of great quality if you want to gain a big audience and land good clients.

Remember to optimize your content for the search engines and use quality images.

Learn Every Day

No matter what medical niche you chose, you should strive to learn new things every day.

Find ways to improve your writing. Read as much as you can, and if necessary, take a few writing courses.

The industry is changing every day and if you want to have a steady flow of clients, you need to stay on top of the trends.

Now You Know How to Become a Freelance Medical Writer

You can earn a decent living as a professional medical writer if you follow our tips.

Need more inspiration for starting a new career? Visit our blog for more business tips and useful articles.

Why it is Important to Have a Budget Set When Planning a Move

budget setDo you have a budget set for moving to your new home?

Most people only allocate money for mortgage payments.

But, when you buy a home the list price isn’t your only expense.

This article breaks down extra costs you must include in your budget.

Have a Budget Set to Cover Closing Costs

Closing costs are the catchall term used to describe fees charged by the lender.

These costs will vary based on your:

  • Lender
  • Loan Type
  • Location
  • Professional Services

Lender Fees

Regulations require lenders be clear about all fees. Examine your documents. You should understand any extra costs related to your mortgage.

Many lenders have the new homeowner pay property and mortgage taxes upfront. You may pay several months or a year’s worth of taxes at closing.

Mortgage companies, banks, and brokers charge an origination fee for processing the loan application. Origination fees are also added to refinanced mortgages. The fee is usually 1% of the loan value.

The lender fees aren’t the only added expenses.

Loan Types

A conventional loan with less than a 20% down needs private mortgage insurance to protect the lender. That costs more.

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan with a low down payment needs an upfront insurance premium. This premium is often 1.75% of the loan value.

If you get a Veteran Affairs (VA) mortgage loans you may not need mortgage insurance or a down payment, but you will need to pay a funding fee. It’s usually 1.25 to 3.30% of the loan value.

Location

Every year Bankrate does a survey of closing costs in the United States. The analysis includes 10 lenders in every state.

The 2017 results show the average closing costs for a $200,000 home with a 20% down payment ranged from $1,700 to over $2,500.

You can see the state-by-state closing costs results here.

Other location-related expenses are taxes and association fees. If the home seller pre-paid taxes or association fees, you’ll have to reimburse them.

Professional Services

Home Inspection
Don’t skip a house inspection. There’s thrifty, and then there’s foolish.

A home inspection costs a few hundred dollars. It can reveal an expensive problem such as termite or flood damage, or faulty wiring.

Many lenders require an inspection. Some don’t. Regardless, have a thorough home inspection done so you know the true condition of the house.

If the home inspection finds a major problem, you can negotiate the cost of repairing it or walk away from the sale.

Land Survey
Some states ask for a survey to verify the lot size. This is an added expense.

Attorney Fees
If a lawyer prepares or reviews the sale documents, that’s an extra cost.

Professional Movers
The price of transporting belongings depends on how far you’re moving, and how much stuff you have. Moving out of state or across the country will cost more than across town.

If you hire professional movers, estimate your cost based on hourly rates. For example, a two-bedroom apartment moved across town will take 3 people about 6 hours.

Read this article on more service expenses so you have your budget set for closing.

Plan Ahead for Closing Costs

All the closing fees are due at the time of sale. Plan ahead with an online closing costs calculator to figure out how much money you need.

Want more ideas for ways to save money when you move? We’ve got what you need to make your move a success.

How to Find Affordable Lighting for Your Home

affordable lightingLight is the source of life. The sun helps plants grow, keeps us warm, and illuminates the world around us.

But when you step inside your home, it’s up to you to make sure things don’t go dark.

Keeping a house well-lit can be expensive. There’s the stylish fixtures, the light bulbs, and of course the electric bill.

But you don’t need a fancy chandelier to help you read those way-too-high bills. Affordable lighting is achievable with a few simple steps.

Read on to learn how to light up your house without lighting your wallet on fire.

Keep Things Functional

Getting down to basics, the purpose of lighting your house is so that you can see.

To save money on lighting, you can adopt a functionality-over-everything mentality. You don’t need to buy expensive light fixtures to illuminate your home.

You may not get to have the fancy decor you might want. But for those on a tight budget, being practical with your lighting should take priority.

Lighting Where You Need It

Not every corner in every nook of your home needs to be fully lit up.

If you want affordable lighting, sticking to key spots is a great way to save money on both equipment and electricity.

Where do you usually work? You’ll want good light on places like your kitchen countertop and office desk.

If you have a comfy chair that you like to read in, a bright lamp that helps you see the pages would be a good idea.

Other areas simply don’t need as much light. If that reading chair is in a den, you don’t need to light up the whole den. Only the area that you read in needs great coverage.

Your bedroom is meant to be a place to sleep. You sleep with the lights off, after all. Why install light fixtures that cover 100% of the room when you might only need a small bedside lamp?

Even some high-traffic areas like a hallway don’t need to be entirely lit up. You should be able to see where you’re going. But odds are you aren’t going to be reading a book while standing in the middle of that hallway.

By being strategic with your light placement, you can optimize functionality and save money thanks to your more affordable lighting.

Mobility and Flexibility

Sometimes areas of your house need more light at certain times, but not permanently.

Having a collection of portable, affordable lighting options gives you the versatility to temporarily light your house according to your needs.

Tap Lights

These are the battery powered portable lights that turn on when you press down on the top.

These are small, easy to carry, and are often sold in bundles of 3 or 4 for less than $20. You can lay them down around the house, or you can mount them on walls or even ceilings with peel-and-stick adhesive.

Clamp Lights

These lights often come with adjustable necks and stay in place by clamping down on the edge of a table or other surface.

The clamp makes them very secure, so they can almost act as a mounted permanent fixture. But moving or repurposing them is as easy as unclamping.

LED Rope Lighting

A LED rope light comes as a spool of rope would. Unroll and use as needed.

Rope lights are thin and unobtrusive. They’re very flexible and you can cut them to size. Use them as trim along your ceiling or floor, wrap them around an object, or utilize them in any number of other applications.

Be Energy Efficient

Affordable lighting for your home isn’t just about the light fixtures. You can save a lot of money on home lighting by being energy efficient.

Turn out the Lights

The obvious first step is to turn off lights that aren’t needed.

During the day, turn off all the lights in your home and open the windows. Your home will be plenty bright enough for most tasks. Plus you’ll get the benefits of natural sunlight, such as improved productivity and mood.

At night, only keep on what you need. If a room isn’t being used, turn off the light.

Do a walk-through before you leave the house or before you sleep. Make sure you leave nothing on.

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

The types of light bulbs you have play a huge role in how much energy you use.

Incandescent bulbs have long been the most commonly used light bulb, and often they’re the least expensive. But they’re very energy inefficient.

In fact, incandescent bulbs are being phased out, thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Outside of some specialty bulbs, incandescent lights will no longer be produced and will be unavailable when the last supplies sell out.

Although the up-front cost of incandescent bulbs is cheaper, people end up paying more in the long run. They need more watts, and they only last around one year. The cost comes across on your electric bill and in frequent replacements.

Although you will soon not have much choice, making the switch now to more efficient light bulbs can help make your lighting more affordable.

One option is compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs can offer an annual energy savings of 75%, and they last up to 9 years. These bulbs contain a small amount of harmful mercury, so they need to be handled with care and recycled after they stop working.

An even more efficient option are light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs can offer up to 86% in annual energy savings and can last more than 20 years. They’re also safer, as they contain no mercury.

CFLs are cheaper than LEDs. That said, the once very expensive LED lights have dramatically dropped in price in recent years, making them even more practical.

For more affordable lighting, it’s time to switch to better bulbs.

Smart Lighting

New technology has brought about the age of “smart lighting,” another means to boost energy efficiency.

Smart lighting uses automation and wireless control to optimize the use of lights in your home.

One example of smart lighting is using natural light sensors to automatically adjust the dim for your indoor lighting. If it’s bright outside, the lights turn off. If it’s cloudy or the sun is setting, the lights brighten to compensate.

Motion sensor lighting is another part of smart lighting. If someone enters a room, the light turns on. When they leave, it turns off.

Smart lighting also integrates your home lighting with other devices. You can sync your lights with voice-activated technology like the Amazon Echo to adjust your lights with verbal commands.

Mobile apps can also let you use your phone as a remote control. You can adjust the lights from your couch, or turn them off if you leave the house and forget to flick the switch before you walked out the door.

Fancy equipment like this may not sound like affordable lighting. But there are several budget-friendly options to choose from, and more will come as the technology improves and becomes more common. Plus, you’ll save on your electric bill.

Ikea offers the TRADFRI Gateway kit for under $80. Cree also sells individual smart LED bulbs for less than $15.

If you’re forgetful or just a bit lazy, investing in smart lighting can be a good long-term affordable lighting option.

Get Your DIY On

You’ve got your functional lights with energy-efficient technology. But your affordable lighting isn’t stylish, and the HGTV star in you is itching to improve your home decor.

It never hurts to get your DIY on. There’s near unlimited possibilities to what you can do to customize your light fixtures.

You can buy a cheap brass fixture from a thrift store and spray paint it to any color you like. You can paint it black or silver to give it a more neutral, modern feel. Or you can make it colorful to match your personality.

You can turn a $10 hanging pendant light into a homemade chandelier with little more than some pieces of cardboard or plastic spoons.

Your own creativity doesn’t cost a penny. Sometimes the path to affordable lighting in your home goes right through your own head.

Watch for Sales

As always, sometimes the cheapest way to get something is to wait for some hot deals to pop up.

If there’s a particular type of light fixture you want for your home, and a DIY project just wouldn’t do it justice, be patient. See if it goes on sale.

The holidays are always a great time for sales, and the new year sometimes brings in new styles and fixtures. The thing you’ve got an eye on may get marked down to make room.

Check the local news, too. If a home furnishing store is going out of business, you could snag a great deal in an “everything must go” sale.

Affordable Lighting Is Just the Start

Saving money and living well isn’t easy. Trying to keep cash in your wallet is almost like its own full-time job.

Luckily, Thrifty Momma is here to help. Keep an eye on our Frugal Living blog for more tips on how to make your family happy and your house look amazing on a budget.

Be A Super Mom! 4 Ways To Be A Money Saver When Booking A Hotel Room

Anyone can make a hotel reservation. Not everyone can save big while doing it.

If you travel a lot, you might have noticed that getting a cheaper room today is not as easy as it used to be a few years ago.

According to the latest statistics, the daily average rate of the U.S hotel industry has increased exponentially for the last seven years to reach $123.97 in 2016.

Even so, that doesn’t imply you can’t get great deals to save you money on your next vacation. Many room booking tricks exist that can help you tame even the wildest hotel rates.

Here are the fours ways to be a money saver while touring the world like a genius.

1. Be Flexible

If your schedule is flexible, consider booking a hotel during the off-season. For instance, booking a hotel in August might cost you almost 50% less than it would cost you in December.

Moreover, traveling during the off-season will make your stay more enjoyable as you won’t have to contend with the crowds.

Being flexible encompasses many facets that allow you to cut costs. Even staying in a hotel during weekdays rather than on weekends can save you money.

You might also get exclusive savings if you book via Hotwire or Priceline. However, with Priceline bidding system, you won’t know the hotel name until you make the payment.

2. Shop Around

Shopping around is probably the most important tip for getting the best deals when booking a hotel.

You can use sites such as Viajacompara.com to find and compare the best hotel deals.

When shopping around, be sure to check the price you pay when booking directly through the hotel vs. booking through an online travel agency.

Most online travel agencies usually have negotiated rates with individual hotels or a chain of hotels. By booking through such agencies, you could end up saving a lot of money.

It’s therefore, important to check all the major websites to ensure you’re not missing out any money saving deals.

3. Look for Deals that are All Inclusive

Nothing can be more annoying than booking a hotel with a seemingly reasonable rate, only for the price to be jacked up with daily internet fees or parking fees.

Some hotels even charge hidden resort fees that can add to as much as $30 to your nightly bill.

When comparing hotel rates, give precedence to those deals that offer free internet and parking. If you shop around well, you might even find hotels that offer free breakfast.

4. Become a Money Saver by Buying Other People’s Reservations

Buying other people’s hotel reservations is a trick that can easily make you a great money saver.

In the past, you’d lose the money you paid for non-refundable hotels room. Today, the hotel industry has evolved so much that there’s even a secondary market that deals in the resale of non-refundable hotel rooms.

Sites such as RoomTravel exist to connect you with people who are stuck with reservations they can’t cancel but are willing to sell at a discount.

By using such services, you can get a hotel reservation at a discount of up to 70%.

Wrapping Up

Before you settle on on any hotel deal, be sure to read hotel reviews. You don’t want to reach your destination only to find your room in a deplorable condition. It’s advisable to read reviews from real people who have been there before.

Also, check out for deals and coupons. Some sites offer exclusive hotel deals and coupons that can save you money.

How do you save money when making hotel reservations? Share with us in the comments section below.

Where to Find Quality Loans for Bad Credit

There are all kinds of reasons why you might want to take out a loan.

Maybe you want to go back to school now that your kids are a little bit older. Perhaps you want to build an addition onto your house to make room for a new arrival. Maybe you need a new car to get your kids to and from soccer practice.

However, if you have bad credit, getting that loan can sometimes be pretty tough.

But despite what you might think, there are options out there. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to find the best loans for bad credit.

The financial future you want is possible. You just have to know where to look to find it.

Try Online Installment Loans

The first option on our list of loans for bad credit?

Online installment loans.

First of all, online installment loans often let you borrow more money than other options allow. You’re paid this money in installments (in most cases, once a month.) This helps you to increase your credit score while also preventing you from spending the money carelessly.

So, if you struggle to control your desire to splurge, installment loans are a wonderful option.

This means that you’ll also have a longer period over which to repay the loan — but that’s an advantage if your current cash flow is less than you’d like it to be.

Most online installment loans bad credit also offer a more flexible repayment schedule. As long as you have an American bank account and have proven a reasonable ability to repay the loans, you’ll be approved.

Best of all?

In the majority of installment loan applications, no credit check is required. Additionally, you won’t be asked to divulge detailed information about your finances. The application is incredible simple, and only takes about ten minutes to fill out.

In most cases, you’ll see your first installment payment within 24 hours of your approval.

A Loan from a Credit Union

If your credit is less than stellar, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to get approved for a loan by a bank.

Luckily, there are other options.

Another one of the most popular loans for bad credit? Credit union loans.

While you’ll still need to provide a certain amount of financial information, and demonstrate a reasonable repayment ability, credit union loans are a great possibility for those with bad credit.

To get the loan, you’ll need to become a member of a credit union. This too, isn’t nearly as complicated as it might sound. All you really need to do is demonstrate that you live near the credit union, or that you work in a certain field approved by the union.

This means that pretty much anyone will be accepted for membership, as long as you find a credit union where you meet the membership criteria.

So, how are these credit unions able to grant you loans even if you have truly awful credit?

It’s because they operate as non-profit entities, so they can undercut the costs and interest rates of banks.

Plus, because they’re used to working with individuals on a more personal basis, you’ll likely receive much better customer service than you would at a large bank branch. You’ll also have to pay less fees and penalties, which can make the process much more of a financial possibility.

Keep in mind though, that loans from a credit union will often have shorter repayment periods than installment loans. Additionally, the amount of money you’re able to borrow will likely be less than you can get from an installment loan.

Apply for a Home Equity Line of Credit

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll have a nice leg up when it comes to getting loans for bad credit.

This is because you’ll be able to use what’s called a home equity line of credit (also known as a “HELOC.”)

Of course, this means that your home will serve as collateral. So, that means it’s incredibly important to really think about this choice, and to be honest with yourself about your ability to make repayments.

If you have a minimum of a 20% stake of equity in your home, you’re eligible for a HELOC. You’ll also need to prove to your lender that you have a strong record of employment.

If approved, you’ll be able to take out a line of credit on your home that’s tax-deductible. The interest rate will be much more manageable than other options, and you’ll be able to use the money for anything you like.

Look for “Bad Credit Loans”

In your search for loans for bad credit, you might come across something simply titled “bad credit loans.”

However, this option is last on our list for a reason. Only go for this choice if you’ve been denied the other loan types we’ve listed.

Why?

Because this is the type of loan where it’s easy to get trapped in a debt cycle. This is because these loans come with seriously high interest rates that make it challenging to get out of debt.

However, the majority of people who apply for these loans are accepted, even if you have bad credit.

Want More Advice About Loans for Bad Credit?

As you can see from this post, you have far more options than you might think when it comes to securing loans for bad credit.

However, it’s always important to make sure that you’re borrowing money because of a real need, not because of a want. Speak with your partner and talk about how you plan to stick to your repayment schedule.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re always on top of your bills? By looking for other ways to save money.

That’s where we come in.

Spend some time on our website to connect with the best deals and discounts for everyday items. Also, be sure to check out our money-saving tips.

Now is the time to secure your financial future, for both you and your children. We’re happy to have helped you take the first step.

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

A few minutes in a below-freezing tank may sound like torture, but it’s actually quite healthy. So what’s the deal and why are so many people paying for the experience?

Read on to learn about 5 fantastic cryotherapy benefits!

1. Treatments Only Take A Few Minutes At A Time

For those on the go, cryotherapy is like a quick day at the spa combined with an extreme workout.

Since cryotherapy patients subject themselves to sub-zero temperatures, treatments can only last for a short time.

But during those few minutes, the body burns hundreds of calories, perfect for the mom on the go.

And while the treatments may only take a few minutes out of the day, the effects last hours.

Expect a boost in metabolism, a reinvigorated sense of energy, and an even better night’s sleep.

2. Cryotherapy Is Safe And Doctor Approved

How can submerging one’s self into a freezing tank be safe?

At first, there were a lot of questions about the safety of cryotherapy. However, over time, doctors have witnessed cryotherapy’s benefits in their patients.

Some have even used it for certain cancer treatments!

So yes, cryotherapy is entirely safe. It’s not abnormal to feel skeptical, but the results don’t lie.

3. Athletes Will Recover Faster

Those who’ve heard about cryotherapy likely found out about it from athletes touting its effectiveness. Those who live an active lifestyle benefit from cryotherapy the most, as Cerulean points out.

A hard training regimen wears the body down. And while it’s great to wait a few days to let it rest, progress may be lost, rendering the workout pointless.

But with cryotherapy, athletes can train harder for longer without needing so much downtime.

Runners and sprinters especially see huge gains using this frozen recovery method.

4. Cryotherapy Can Alleviate Joint And Muscle Aches

Of course, you don’t need to be an athlete to get cryotherapy benefits. These treatments work great for the average person too, especially the elderly.

As we age, our joints wear down and our muscles ache. And while some of this is unavoidable, cryotherapy can turn back the clock and keep us at our healthiest and youngest, no matter how old we get.

Ultimately, cryotherapy targets inflammation in the joints and muscles, alleviating pain. Those with arthritis can benefit every bit as much as an athlete.

5. Cryotherapy Releases Endorphins

By now, we’ve learned that cryotherapy boosts recovery and even helps aching joints. But cryotherapy benefits don’t end once you leave the tank.

Cryotherapy releases endorphins, making patients happier and more relaxed, something they can take with them when they leave.

Final Thoughts On Cryotherapy Benefits

All in all, everyone could stand to benefit from a little cold soak. Be it athletes or busy moms, there’s no end to the fantastic health benefits cryotherapy can offer.

Are you one of the thousands that have tried cryotherapy? Let us know what you think in the comments.

And don’t forget to check out our health blog for more great health tips!

The Top Texas Destinations to Fulfill Your Taste Buds

No one makes ’em bigger–or better–than Texas! And that goes double for the Lone Star state’s delicious cuisine. When traveling through or camping in the large state, there are a number of Texas destinations you’ll want to stop by to sample everything it has to offer.

Such notable Texas destinations for great food range from the urban cities to the rural southeast part of the state.

Central Texas

Central Texas is the home of the “Texas Trinity”: ribs, sausage, and brisket. Ribs come in either full-size spare ribs (which come from pork) or big beef ribs. Texas sausage is usually made of beef, but sometimes you’ll find it made of pork.

The Texas Trinity formed way back in the 19th century when Czech and German immigrants made their way to the center of the state. Both Czech and German cultures are noted for their love of meat, so it’s only natural that their mingling would lead to new meat creations.

Specifically, the Texas Trinity is the result of the two cultures finding new ways to preserve and recycle leftover meat. Some immigrants smoked it inside enclosed brick smokers while others ground it up to produce new sausage.

East Texas

Hot links, an east Texas delicacy, came to be in 1897 in Pittsburg, TX. That year, butcher Charlie Hasselbach sought a way to efficiently recycle scrap pieces of meat such as cheeks and tongue. He ended up grinding them into a paste which he then molded into raw hot links.

The original hot links took a hit of water and binder as well as some spice to mask any “outdated” flavor. Today, Texas hot links are made with fresh meat and sold at a myriad of different restaurants, stands, and food trucks.

In addition to hot links, you’ll find a great deal of Cajun food in east Texas (specifically southeast Texas). That area of the state’s close proximity to Louisiana has caused it to adopt some of the Pelican state’s cuisine.

The most noteworthy Louisiana-Texas crossover food is crawfish. Crawfish is a staple at mud festivals and other popular Texas events.

The Gulf Area

Without a doubt, the most popular food found along the Gulf coast in Texas is oysters.

While not as popular as east or west coast oysters, a true Texan appreciates oysters from the Gulf. They’re best eaten in-season when they’re plumper and sweeter.

South Texas

Much like southeast Texas has adopted some of its neighbor Louisiana’s delicacies, Mexico has influenced its neighbor south Texas’s cuisine.

Mexican staples such as tacos, fajitas, and the like first became popular in the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. Their popularity has since spread north to Austin and beyond, though, so you don’t need to learn how to make migas or any other ingredient to enjoy them!

Other Texas Destinations For Delicious Food

Texas is a huge state, and the number of amazing delicacies that it offers is endless. If you know of any other great Texas destinations for excellent cuisine, feel free to comment below or shoot me a line!