Force Yourself To Slow Down For Better Results

Have you ever had to force yourself to slow down?  What about if you’re looking for better results?  This seems counterproductive, but sometimes it’s quite necessary.  For me, I’ve had to recently go through this when it comes to exercise.  Specifically, with my running.

My Wife The Motivator

I was never a runner at all until a few years ago.  In seventh grade, I joined the track team and dropped out a week later.  It was just never my thing.

But a few years ago, my wife got the idea to run a 5K.  That seemed like a huge deal, and I tracked her progress closely.  I was really excited when she ran her first race successfully.

The next year she jumped up to wanting to do a half marathon.  At this point, I started thinking that if she could get into running, maybe I could as well.

While I never rallied to run a half marathon (she did finish hers), I did start running pretty regularly.  So much that I’ve had to shut myself down.  Twice.

Two Times The Ouch

Both times I’ve had to stop running it was because I started developing problems in my feet.  The first time, I started getting symptomns of plantar fasciitis in both feet.  This was painful and could only be corrected by rest.  So I shut down for a few months.

After the soreness went away, I started running again.  I started using some inserts in my shoes to help give me support, as it turns out that my walking and running step is a bit uneven.

The supports helped.  I ran regularly for awhile, but eventually had to shut down again.

The second time wasn’t exclusively plantar fasciitis, but it again required a shutdown from my routine.

Both times it happened, I had been increasing my intensity.  As it turns out, I’d been overdoing it.

Now, I started running again.  This time, I’m purposefully slowing myself down in three key areas.  All of these are designed to help me prevent having to shut my routine down for a third time.

Frequency

Both times when I started feeling soreness, I was running 5-6 times per week.  This is too much.  I wasn’t letting my feet get the necessary rest between workouts.

Now, I’m forcing myself to run no more than four times per week.  My current routine is to run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

This way, I’m never running more than twice per week.  When I do, it’s only on one occasion.  And, except for that one back to back, I’m getting an important day of rest.

Distance

Last year, I got into running outdoors.  Prior to that, it was all treadmill for me.  I got into running outside so much that I really increased my distance.  I was going 5-6 miles per run at least 2-3 times per week.

Again, that was just too much.

Now, even though I’m indoors until the weather breaks, I’m still limiting myself to 4 mile runs.  Between cutting back the number of days, and the length of the runs, I’m probably cutting my total distance by about half.  The current routine definitely feels more comfortable.

Pace

When I work out, I always challenge myself to improve.  If I lift weights, I look to lift more weight or do more reps.  If I do cardio, I strive to increase my pace or distance.  I’ve always done this.  During both of my past running regimens, I was focusing on this as well.  Probably a little too much.   Last year, I started off running at about a 10:30 minutes per mile pace.  By the time I shut down, I had shaved about a minute off of that.

That all sounds great, and definitely felt good when I logged them, but my feet told me it wasn’t a great idea.

Now, I’m forcing myself to slow down.  I now look to finish with about a 10:45 minute per mile pace.  As it turns out, this is just fine.  I still come away very sweaty.  I still burn a lot of calories.  That feeling of accomplishment?  Still there.  And what’s the difference really?  For a four mile run, it’s about three minutes.  I’m willing to add three minutes of running time to my day if it means I can keep my routine going longer.  It seems like a perfect trade off to me.

Lessons Learned

In the end, I’ve realized that bettering myself isn’t always about getting better.  I have forced myself to get out of the mentality that I have to push my limits.  Not only is it bad for my feet, but I have to probably accept my age as well.  The time for targeting personal best after personal best was probably 10-20 years ago.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t running then.

But I am now, and I’m trying to be smart about it.

Readers, do you ever find you have to slow down when it seems opposite of what you should do?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

9 Money Goals Everyone Should Have

Rich or poor, working or retired, blue collar or white collar.  None of those things or any other will get around the simple fact that money is important.  As such, there are certain things that everybody should do with their money.  These don’t mean that everybody should approach money the same way.  It just means that in some fashion, each of the below items should be on everyone’s list of money goals.

Have A Rewarding Career

Don’t hate your job.  It’s just not worth it. You don’t have to love every minute of the day that you’re at work.  That’s just not reasonable.

But you should enjoy what you do.  You should feel that you’re making a difference.

Make Your Job About More Than Money

Money is great, but it’s not everything.  You want to have enough to pay the bills and enjoy life, but always look at the trade offs.  If you’re missing your kids grow up or losing your friends on account of your job, reconsider your priorities.

Money is a means to an end.  Treat your career accordingly.

Have A Fallback Plan For Your Income

Your job may seem like the most secure thing in the world.  It might not be tomorrow.  You might love your job more than anything.  That could change in an instant.

Always have an idea of what you could do next.

For some this could be another position or a contract job.  For others, maybe you have a side hustle that you could do full time.

Whatever the case, be prepared.

Save Money

Whether you’re just starting off and on an entry level salary or you’re rolling in it, save money.  It’s important.  Even if you’re paying off debt, save money.  It’s a cushion to fall back on that everybody needs.

Budget And Track Your Money

Do you know where your money goes? Do you know where you want it to go?  You should be able to say yes to both of these questions.

Now, you might not want to track down to the level of every dollar.  Or maybe you do.  Whatever your style is, you need to do both of these things for money success.

Understand Your Investments

If you invest on your own or through a 401(k), it’s important to know what you’re investments entail.  Even if you have an adviser, you need to know where they’re putting your money.

This won’t guarantee you will never lose money, but chances are, if you understand where your money is, you’ll end up with more of it than someone who doesn’t.

Be Well Insured

If you drive, you need auto insurance.  A homeowner? You need insurance on your property.  What if you rent?  You need insurance on your property.  If you have family that counts on your income, life insurance is key.

Understand the different types of insurance and know what you need.  Make sure it’s current.  Your needs today might be different than tomorrow.

Look over your policies and your needs at least once a year.  As part of that, bid out your insurance to see if you can find a better price.  This is one area that changes often.

Know Your Credit Like You Know Your Family

Your credit is the basis for almost anything you do with money.  You can’t get loans without good credit. You can’t pay your bills if you have too much credit.  Some employers won’t hire you if you have bad credit.

The bottom line is that you need to know your credit.  Know what you owe.   Know your score and what it means.  Keep track of such things regularly.

It’s one of the most important things you can do for your money.

Have Vision

What’s the use of money if you don’t have a plan for what to do with it?  Of course you have your needs today that must be accounted for.  But also know what it’s there for long term.  Plan.  Have a vision for what your money will be doing for you down the road.

These are some items I think are of utmost important for anybody that thinks money is important.  That’s you, right?

Readers, what do you think of this list?  What are some of your personal money goals that might not be on this list?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Tips for Buying Long Term Care Insurance

As we age, we start to think about our future and what it will look like. How much do we want to have saved for retirement? Where do we plan to live and will we have family around for support? On top of that is the financial stress of making sure you can afford everything once you retire.

The price for living seems to go up year by year, making it difficult for some to cover all the costs. Throw in a serious illness or disability in which you can no longer care for yourself, and the costs are even higher.

Luckily there is long term care insurance that can help cover some of those costs. This type of insurance provides coverage for someone who needs services like assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care.

How do you know if you will need this type of insurance? Well, as for other forms of protection, like health and life insurance, you never really know if you will use it. However, if the time comes you do need it, you will be glad you have coverage.

If you have a retirement plan in place, or just starting one, it is a good idea to include long term care insurance. So here are a few tips for buying long term care insurance.

Consider the Company

You will be buying insurance from an insurance company, so make sure you are going to a reliable and reputable one. There are many long term care insurance companies to choose from, so don’t feel like you need to buy from the first company you see.

Consider the company ratings as this will tell you lots about the company’s performance and stability. Usually the higher the rating, the better the company, but that doesn’t mean they have the right policy for you. Shop around until you find a reliable company that can offer a flexible insurance plan that suits your needs.

Consider the Purpose of the Coverage

As with many insurance policies, you want to consider ahead of time the purpose of buying coverage. With long term care insurance, will you need the coverage for medical bills due to pre-existing medical conditions? Look at any possible hereditary conditions in which you have a chance of developing.

You also want to consider where you will be living. Do you have family close by that you can remain at home? Or will a nursing home be more suitable to provide any care you need? These are all factors that should be considered when you purchase long term care insurance.

Don’t Wait

If you are serious about getting a long term care insurance policy, don’t wait until you need it. Instead, the earlier you buy it, the more likely you will be accepted. Many companies have medical exams that include blood work and family health history checks. This can make buying insurance harder when you are older and more likely to have health issues.

So consider adding long term care insurance into your retirement plan.  Having your long term life planned out now will save you any headaches down the road in case the unexpected occurs.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How To Build Credit History And Why It’s Important

I remember a story from when I was kid about a great aunt of mine.  She and my late uncle had paid cash for everything in their lives.  When they needed a new car, they wrote a check for the full amount.  When it was time for a house, it was paid for.  This was very responsible, but there came a time when my aunt wanted to build credit and she couldn’t.  She was over 70 years old at the time and had no credit history!  Yikes.  Ever since then, I have understood that it’s important to build credit.  So how do you build credit history?  And why?  Here are a few simple answers.

The Importance of Credit

There are a few good reasons to make sure you have a credit history.

  1. Future Need.  My aunt had no real need for credit.  I’m not even sure what the circumstances where that led her to find out she had no credit history.  In truth, she probably didn’t need it.  But, you never know when you might.  It’s good to have a credit history for the times you might need one.  Even if you don’t foresee such circumstances, they very well could be out there.  So, be prepared.
  2. Opportunity.  At the time that this happened with my aunt, rewards cards really weren’t a thing. But now they are.  Nowadays having credit history might set you up for opportunities to save money.  Having these opportunities available is key for you never know when they’ll pop up.
  3. Owning Your History.  Identify theft is a huge thing nowadays.  What if my aunt had her credit stolen?  Without a credit history, she might never have known!  Take control of your own credit history and then it’s yours to build and track.

How To Build Credit History

Building credit history doesn’t have to be complicated.  It can be done in a few easy steps.

  1. Open a credit card.  This is pretty basic.  Open a card in your name.
  2. Set a small credit limit.  When you are starting off, make sure to get a small limit.  If you haven’t used credit cards before, don’t get overwhelmed.
  3. Use the card occasionally.  Having a card will start credit history, but using the card is even more important. That’s where you’ll start getting judged on how well you use your available credit.
  4. Pay immediately.  Use the card in place of cash.  Don’t make extra purchases with your card.  Instead, just make purchases you would have anyways.  All you need to change is how you pay for your purchase.  When you choose this method, pay the card immediately.  Using the card and paying it off will quickly build you to a great score.
  5. Track your credit.  Once you start building credit history, you’ll be able to track your credit.  Use one of the free annual checks.  Make sure that you are seeing only what you expect to see.

In the end, a solid credit history can only come after you take that first step toward building it.  A small step or two can go a long way toward building lifelong stability.

Readers, how did you start building credit?  What was your reason at the time to get started?  Any other tips?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.