Search Results for: Health insurance

How to Maintain a Happy and Healthy Family

healthy familyEnsuring the health and happiness of your family starts by example.

Are you making the effort to take care of yourself between getting the kids ready for school and running around doing errands? A few simple switches in your routine can make a world of a difference in maintaining a healthy family.

How do you know where to start?

We have the simple tricks you need to get everyone back on track to a better life.

Ready to learn more? Read on!

1. Prepare Healthier Meals

Do you find yourself popping more meals in the microwave than in the oven?

If so, your family’s health may be suffering. A little planning ahead can make a big impact on everyone’s eating habits.

Go grocery shopping with a plan in mind for the week and keep to it.

Will you have time to make dinner every night or should you plan to make extra for leftovers? Meal prepping makes the cooking process much easier throughout the week while ensuring everyone is eating better.

If all the members of your family are on-the-go, try adding some healthy snacks to the mix. Choose trail mix with bits of chocolate instead of candy bars. Or, grab baked or tortilla chips for the potato-chip-lovers in the house.

2. Set a Sleeping Schedule

If your kids are a little older, they probably might not have a regular bedtime anymore.

Between early mornings to work and taking care of things around the house, you and your partner may not get enough shut-eye either.

However, better sleep can improve everyone’s overall quality of life. The many benefits of sleep include an improved memory, sharper attention span, and even a longer life.

Maintaining a good sleeping schedule is almost like having the best life insurance policy. You’re investing in your health now to make sure your family stays in tip-top shape as you all grow.

Plus, sleep improves your mood. When everyone in the house is sleeping better, you may find yourselves all getting along more, too.

3. Play More

The more everyone’s mood improves, the more you can encourage play in the house, too.

You may think your kids get enough play time on the soccer field at school. However, when is the last time everyone got together for some fun?

Playing is essential to a healthy family no matter how old you all are. It creates a better family dynamic by relieving stress and creating special, happy memories.

If your family struggles to make playtime because of busy schedules, try to encourage coming together at least once a week.

Pick a day to have a game night (at a decent time) or plan a weekend trip in the nearby area. For even greater health benefits, try exercising together.

You’d be amazed what some quality time can do to increase the level of happiness and unity in your family.

A Healthy Family Means a Better Life

Creating healthy habits for you and your family may seem overwhelming, but it can be as easy as the steps listed above.

The more effort you make to play, sleep, and eat smarter, the better everyone’s health and mood will be.

While you’re at it, it never hurts to score great deals and learn frugal tips to keep a financially-healthy household as well!

Have you tried any of tips mentioned? Tell us your favorite tricks to maintain a healthy family in the comments below!

Traveling While Pregnant: Tips for Future Moms

flying when pregnant

If you’re an expecting mother, it’s understandable to be worried about flying when pregnant. While flying is generally not harmful during a low-risk pregnancy, there are potential side-effects and factors to consider before taking a trip.

Before you take off, you should always consult with your midwife or doctor about any health issues or pregnancy complication to confirm it’s safe for you to fly when pregnant.

If your midwife or doctor have said you’re okay to fly, chances are you have nothing major to worry about. But just because you can fly, doesn’t mean the idea of flying when pregnant isn’t still scary. But if you follow these tips and tricks, we guarantee you’ll have a safe (and enjoyable) flight.

Tips for Flying When Pregnant

When you’re pregnant, the safest time for you to travel is during your second trimester, which is between the 18 and 24th weeks of pregnancy. This is the safest time because your risk for miscarriage and preterm labor are at their lowest.

It’s generally not advised for you to travel during your third trimester, so if you’ve planned any traveling, you should try to stick to a domestic travel destination within 300 miles of your home in case there are any sudden changes.

Tip: Check in With Your Doctor Before You Fly

Before you fly, you should ask your doctor to write you a letter giving you permission to travel, noting your due date, and detailing any pregnancy complications that a doctor at your travel destination might need to know. You should also ask your doctor the following questions:

  • How should I prepare for any temperature or climate change?
  • Are there any factors I should consider about flying?
  • Are any special medications or vaccinations required for my trip?
  • Are there any special food restrictions I should keep in mind?
  • Are there any activities I should avoid?

By asking these questions you can learn the dos and don’ts of flying and traveling when pregnant.

Tip: Check in With Your Airline

Not all airlines have the same policies regarding women flying when pregnant. In fact, some airlines don’t allow more than 35 weeks pregnant to fly. So before you book your trip, you should ask the ticket agent or airline representative about what those restrictions may be.

Even if there are no restrictions, you should still contact the airline to guarantee any special service you may need to keep your comfortable on the flight. We recommend that you avoid smaller planes that fly low, and instead choose a larger plane with pressurized cabins.

You should also keep in mind you most likely won’t be able to waive any ticket change fees and penalties that are incurred.

Tip: Don’t Fly if You Have Any Pregnancy Complications

Women who are experiencing complications associated with their pregnancy are considered “high risk” and shouldn’t be flying when pregnant as they near their due date. These complications include diabetes, sickle cell disease, hypertension, and risk for premature labor.

You should also avoid air travel when you’ve had a placenta-related problem or if your doctor has advised against it based on your current state or medical history.

Tip: Pick the Right Seat

Picking the right seat for your flight can make all the difference when it comes to overall comfort. For the smoothest ride, you should request a seat in the middle of the plane over the wing. If you need more legroom, you should consider paying for an upgrade that will allow you stretch and flex your fee to minimize and prevent swelling.

Tip: Dress Comfortably

Comfort is important when you’re pregnant, especially when you’re pregnant on a plane for an extended period of time. To make your flight more comfortable, you should wear loose clothing and avoid crossing your legs. You should also wear your seat belt strap over your lower lap and keep it securely fastened just in case there is there is any turbulence during the flight.

You should also wear comfortable shoes and try to take regular walks around the plane every 30 minutes. This will aid your circulation and help lessen any risks of blood clots.

It’s also important to pack lightweight clothing you can easily layer to accommodate any changes in temperature and climate that occur when you reach your travel destination.

Tip: Pack Appropriately

Every mommy-to-be should pack a travel bag that will keep her safe, comfortable, and happy while traveling. While you should travel light and smart, you should also make sure you have the following things:

  • Compression socks to promote blood circulation
  • Small lumbar pillow for sleeping
  • Snacks like granola and trail mix
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Easy-to-wheel luggage

If you’re not sure what else to bring, check out a mommy blog for

In general, remember to pack light and avoid heavy lifting so you don’t get injured! If you’re less suited for long-distance traveling or at risk, Green Trousers has products that can make getting around easier.

Tip: Bring a Copy of Your Prenatal Records

You should always bring a copy of your prenatal records and medical notes on your flight. You should also research where the nearest hospital or medical facility is located at your travel destination. These records will help a local doctor understand the circumstances of your pregnancy if a situation arises.

You should also keep your health insurance on you at all times and remember that medical expenses abroad are generally higher. If you do require foreign medical care, make sure to keep copies of all health care receipts.

Final Thoughts on Traveling When Pregnant

Traveling can be fun, but if you’re pregnant it can be tiring and often overwhelming. If you’re traveling when pregnant, remember to take care of yourself and travel on your terms. Don’t feel guilty about bailing on activities that are exhausting, and if need be, take some time to pamper yourself on your trip.

Are you a mommy-to-be about to go on a trip? Are there any tips or tricks we missed? Let us know in the comments!

The Incredible Effects of Prenatal Massage

prenatal massageIf you’re not familiar with prenatal massage, it’s a type of massage that’s similar to regular massage. However, it’s customized to a pregnant woman’s needs.

A pregnant woman’s body is constantly changing. Prenatal massage helps ease sore areas, improves overall circulation and mobility and relaxes tense or sore muscles.

It also helps pregnant women “just feel good”.

A trained prenatal massage therapist adjusts their massage techniques to the needs of a pregnant woman, focusing on the neck, back, abdomen and shoulders.

They understand that a pregnant woman has very specific sore and swollen areas, and can help provide deep relief.

They’ll also know what areas to avoid.

Let’s take a further look into the benefits of prenatal massage, and find out if it’s right for you.

The Many Benefits of Prenatal Massage

There’s not a ton of high-scale research that’s been done on the overall therapeutic benefits of this type of massage. However, smaller studies tell us that prenatal massage can:

  • Lower stress and improve mood
  • Reduce swelling in legs
  • Help diminish anxiety and prenatal depression
  • Lower the risk of premature birth or low birth weight in babies of women suffering from prenatal depression

Prenatal massage also helps put pregnant women in a better overall mindset. It can help them cope with all the huge changes that are about to transpire in the coming months.

Remember to tell the massage therapist about any and all areas of the body that need attention. If anything is causing discomfort during the massage, don’t hesitate to let them know.

Find the Best Therapist Possible

Start out by getting recommendations. These can come from your hospital, healthcare provider, or friends and family

If you’ve used another massage therapist in the past and enjoy their work, find out if they have prenatal massage training or can direct you to a colleague who does.

Also consider visiting the American Massage Therapy Association. They have an online referral system that will show you recommended therapists throughout the US, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Virgin Islands.

If you’re in the Colorado Springs, CO area, Turning Point Medical Group is a great choice.

Some therapists will request clearance from your midwife or doctor prior to providing treatment. Make sure to ask about this as soon as you can.

Also, make sure to remind your therapist when you arrive that you’re pregnant.

How Much is it Going to Cost?

In general, a one-hour massage session will run anywhere between $60 – $150 (sometimes more depending on your location).

Keep in mind that some health insurance plans cover parts of the cost, even if you’re self-employed.

This is only true, however, if you get a prescription from a midwife or doctor that indicates massage therapy is needed for medical reasons (like severe back pain).

If you have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account, you can pay for the massage therapy out of either and save money on taxes. All you’ll need is paperwork from the provider that shows the massage as a medically necessary procedure.

Have You Tried It Yet?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this type of therapy and if it’s been beneficial for you and your baby.

Have you had a good experience with a prenatal massage? Let us know in the comments!

Baby on a Budget: How to Prepare for a Baby Financially

how to prepare for a baby financially

Your family’s growing, and you couldn’t be happier. But having a child is a huge financial commitment, just as it is an emotional one. Knowing how to prepare for a baby financially before you enter parenthood is key to enjoying your new blessing without so much stressing.

Research shows that the average family in the United States will spend about $12,000 on baby-related expenses during their infant’s first year.

Translation: As much as we love babies, they certainly aren’t cheap. We’ve compiled a guide on how to prepare for a baby financially and manage your new family budget.

Let’s get started!

How to Prepare for a Baby Financially: Understand Health Insurance

One of the most important moves you can make to prepare financially for baby is to ensure that you have a good grasp of your medical insurance coverage and anticipate your costs accordingly.

After all, giving birth to a child is costly even if you’ve got insurance.

The earlier you forecast your anticipated costs, the more prepared you’ll be for the medical bills that will ensue.

Also, start looking ahead of time for a pediatrician who is within your medical insurance network. Your new baby will need to see this doctor within the first week after he or she is born.

And don’t just trust the clinic to tell you that it is within your network. Call the insurance company yourself to double-check. You don’t want to get hit with unexpected charges for going outside of your network.

Budget, Baby!

Surrogate mothers enjoy the benefit of being paid to get pregnant for other couples. For instance, they can earn $43,000 or more — easily an annually salary — based on their individual circumstances.

But if you’re having a baby for yourself, you may experience the opposite effect: You may lose your yearly salary if you decide to stay home.

This is why it’s so critical that you create a post-baby budget before the baby comes. This will give you an idea of how his or her arrival will impact your finances.

If you decide to stay home, can your household truly absorb the loss of your income? If not, would a day care service in your area be affordable, or could a relative watch your bundle of joy at no cost?

Figure out these answers right away by doing the math. Then, act like these charges are in effect today so you’ll have an easier transition to life with a baby tomorrow.


You may have spent the past few years trying to pay off debt. That’s great, but with baby on the way now, it’s time to step on the brakes.

In other words, stay on top of your minimum debt payments, but quit putting extra money toward your debt. Instead, put it in your savings account for emergencies that might crop up during your pregnancy or after the baby is born.

Then, once you’ve confirmed that both mom and baby are healthy, you can keep moving forward with your debt-payoff plan.

How I Can Help

I offer a wide range of tips and advice about how you can save money. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

Contact me to learn more about how I can help you to enjoy a fuller bank account and thus a fuller life long term.

10 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Vacation

Last-Minute Vacation

Based on a recent study of when to get the cheapest flights, you should plan to buy your ticket exactly 54 days ahead of time. While this is ideal for the planners among us, it’s not exactly the most fun and spontaneous way to travel.

Whether it’s stress-driven or just the need for excitement, passing up a last-minute vacation can make you feel all sorts of regret.

Even if you get to travel for work, you’re still jetting around in the context of your obligations. To truly relax your mind and body, you need to be able to book a couple of days every few months where you can shake loose your responsibilities.

A little planning could make the experience all the better.

If you’re a serious schedule who is trying to break free of your habits, follow these 10 tips for planning your last-minute vacation.

1. You’ll Have to be Flexible

If you want to save a few hundred dollars, avoid flying on Friday and Sunday. If you have a flexible work schedule, work through a weekend and plan your trip for a Monday through Thursday for better prices.

Several ticketing websites will allow you to see a side-by-side comparison of different prices.

Change the length of your stay by a few days and you could save even more. Places with big tourism industries and daily flights in and out of their airports will have lots of last minute deals. You’ll see more last-minute vacation deals for someplace like Bermuda than for Omaha.

2. Choose Your Flight First

One of the biggest showstoppers for a last-minute vacation is prohibitively expensive airfare. If you happen to live someplace where you can be on a vacation in a couple of hours by tossing your bag into the car, then take advantage of that when you can.

Otherwise, you’ll be at the mercy of the price of a flight.

Lots of deals are found at 14 to 21 days before you plan to leave. Typically flights get more expansive as you get closer to the departure date.

If you’re looking to get to a beach, any beach at all, you could stumble upon a great deal if you keep hitting that refresh button during your lunch break at work.

3. Check Your Passport

Depending on where you’re headed, you might need to bring a passport. If you haven’t updated yours in a while, double check that it’s still valid. You might be surprised to find out that it expired since the last time you traveled with it.

While getting a new passport at the last minute is a serious headache, expedited passport renewal exists for people in that situation. Hopefully, you’re in luck and you don’t have to renew your passport before your last-minute vacation.

You should double check just to be on the safe side. Planning in advance is nice but it’s not always an option.

4. Update Your Medical Details

If you’ve started taking a new medication since the last time you traveled, make sure you’ve got plenty of back-ups before you leave. Even just a few days without your medication could be ruined without it.

Make sure any documentation you need for your meds is handy. Having things confiscated at the airport is no way to start your vacation. Prepare a little bag with just the health and wellness essentials so that you can just toss it into your bag as you’re packing.

If you have a prescription, take a photo of it on your phone so that in the worst case, you might be able to get a small dosage while you’re out of town.

5. Go For The Off Season

If you’re looking to get to a popular vacation spot like Orlando or Martha’s Vineyard over the holidays or on the Fourth of July, you’ll be paying top dollar. You’ll have to book months in advance, pay the highest price for hotels, and struggle to rent a car.

If you go in October instead, you could get a much better deal and end up having no trouble booking any amenities. You’ll also be avoiding all the loud and sweaty crowds of people.

Do something local on the popular end of the season and then enjoy the best vacation spots during the off-season.

6. Ask A Travel Expert

If you’ can’t decide where to go and money really isn’t an issue, contact an agent or a travel expert to help you out.

If you don’t know the difference between the islands of Hawaii or whether you should go to Albany, Georgia over Albany, New York, ask an expert. You’ll get tips on where to stay, places to eat, and things to see. They might even use their personal contacts to get you a good deal or some nice upgrades to your hotel.

7. Non-Refundable Means Non-Refundable

Have you ever tried to get a refund for something that was labeled “non-refundable?” You’re basically up against a brick wall.

While some hotels and flights will give you as much as a 24-hour window to decide last minute you don’t want to stay, others will charge you anyway. Make sure that if there’s a possibility you’ll get a cold before your last-minute vacation that you’ve purchased some kind of insurance or refundable policy.

8. If It’s Too Good to be True, Run

Any deal that seems too good to be true probably is just that. Avoid getting ripped off if you don’t think you’re going to get what you’re being promised. Look for online reviews if possible.

9. Waitlists Work

Getting on a waitlist could get you put on a flight for a super low price. If you can’t afford the going price of a ticket for the Bahamas, make a call to the airline and see if they can offer you a waitlist deal if your schedule is flexibl\e.

10. Pack Today

Don’t save your packing until the last minute. You’ll forget something important like your bathing suit for the beach or your binoculars for a birdwatching tour. Do it with plenty of time so you can think through your baggage carefully.

A Last-Minute Vacation Will Be Memorable

Doing something spontaneously is a great way to make a permanent memory. You’ll have fun doing things you never thought you’d be doing a week before with people you might never see again. Stay loose and let the world show you how to have fun.

If you’re ready to book your next vacation, contact us for more tips on how to save money.

How to Start a Salon Business from Home

salon business

Are you a haircare professional looking to start a salon business from your home? If so, we don’t blame you–there are a lot of benefits from opening your own business from home, from being your own boss to the convenience of being in your own space. But opening your own salon business requires money, industry knowledge, and a readiness to take care the paperwork, policies, and protocols required for a business.

In this article, we’ll cover the ins-and-outs of opening your own salon business so you can set yourself up for success!

How to Set Up Your Own Salon Business from Home

Running a business from home can be great, but it does require a lot of planning and preparation. Here are some key things you need to do before opening your own salon business from home.

Register Your Business

Before you can start providing haircare services, you need to register your business with the local government and choose your business’s legal structure. You then will have to register with your state and apply for a federal tax ID number. You should keep in mind that there may be limits on what you can name your business and that you’ll need to pick a legal structure like LLC to make sure your assets are protected in case your business ever faces bankruptcy or legal issues.

Obtain the Necessary Licenses & Permits

The licenses, permits, and insurance you’ll need will differ by location, so make sure to check your local government website to see what’s required for your salon business. You may also need to get a special cosmetology license or additional ones if you want to provide other beauty services like nails or hair removal. You should allow between 9 to 12 months to complete any cosmetology program.

When I doubt, check your local government’s website. That way you’ll know if you need other things like business owner’s insurance policy or a home occupation permit or other health and safety permits.

Make Sure Your Space Meets Local Codes

If you want to start a salon business from home, you have to make sure it meets your local codes for businesses. Your town or city may require that you have a permanent wall between the part of your home you live in and the main salon area. They may also require that your salon has a separate entrance and even a separate restroom specifically for customers.

If your salon space can’t offer these things, you may need to do renovations to meet these local codes. But don’t worry, you can always apply for a business loan or try to find a partner to help finance your renovations.

Purchase the Proper Equipment

First things first, you’re going to need a wet station so you shampoo and condition clients’ hair. This space will also be essential if you plan to offer coloring services. After that, you’ll need salon chairs, which cost between $100 to $300 on average.

You’ll also need salon pro equipment like hair dryers and color processors, as well as standard beauty supplies like razors, scissors, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, hair gel, and other haircare essentials.

Budgeting is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining inventory since you’ll be replacing it regularly. Make sure to look for hair care brands your clients will trust, and buy the necessary products for any additional services you offer like coloring and extensions.

Design Your Space

Once you have the proper equipment and inventory, you can get to the fun part: decorating the space! Your salon should reflect your personal style while still being inviting for clients. While the major design ideas are up to you, make sure have things like large mirrors, reception area chairs, and shelving for equipment and any retail items you’re selling.

Not sure how to design your home salon? Here are some design tips:

  • Visit other salons to get design ideas
  • Use neutral colors for walls, window treatments, and flooring
  • Add pops of color to the space through decor, wall art, and rugs
  • Consider additional amenities like a coffee machine, coat rack, and other waiting area accommodations

By following these tips, you can create a warm and inviting space that will attract clients and lend credibility to your business.

Set Up a Website

Now that you have your salon space, you need to spread awareness about it! You should have a salon website that provides address and contact information, highlights your space, and explains the services you can provide. Try to follow local SEO best practices to make your website appear higher in search results, so customers can easily find your website.

Establish a Social Media Presence

A website isn’t enough when it comes to spreading awareness. You also need to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to spread the word and promote your brand and services. Make sure to update these profiles regularly, connect with clients and potential clients, and encourage them to spread the word about your business.

Figure Out Pricing

Making a profit is the make or break point of any salon business. You should calculate your prices based on things like overhead costs, competitive rates, and operating expenses. Think about how much you spend on things like products, equipment, and utilities, and make sure you can cover these costs while maintaining a profit of at least 10 to 20%.

Decide on Services

When opening a salon, you should absolutely know what services your target audience is looking for and how they align with what you want to offer. You should always offer services like cuts, washes, and basic styling, but if you live in a wealthier area you may want to consider adding high end services.

If your skill set doesn’t match the demographics of the people in your area, consider additional training to make sure you can provide what customers are looking for. By offering services like coloring and extensions you can add variety to your offering, which will broaden your clientele and drive greater sales.

Final Thoughts on Starting Your Own Salon Business

Starting your own business isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding (and profitable) if done right. By following the tips in this article, you can set yourself up for success and make it big as a business owner.

Are you hoping to open your business at home? Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments!