How to Decide if You Should Buy Something

Thursday , 12, January 2017 Comments Off on How to Decide if You Should Buy Something

Advertisers definitely have our number, don’t they?  We’re constantly bombarded with ads for everything from A to Z and back again.  When it comes to deciding whether or not we “have to have it,” our willpower and common sense often take a backseat to the hype of the next big thing.  Our need to feel like we’re keeping up with current trends can often lead us to make a purchase today that we’ll regret sooner or later.  Before you decide you have to have the latest “it” item, like a wine refrigerator, take a few minutes to really evaluate your decision before you fork over your hard-earned money.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you can really afford this purchase.  Not whether or not there’s room on your credit card for it.  Not how “affordable” it is if you finance it.  Can you really spend extra money on something that isn’t really essential?  If the answer isn’t a resounding “Yes,” stop right there.  A non-essential purchase that hurts our bottom line is sure to be something we regret.

 

If you decide you can afford it, the next question to ask yourself is “How often am I really going to use it?”  Is it really worth spending a chunk of change on that fancy set of cookware that practically cleans itself and can handle being run over by a car if you don’t actually cook all that often?  Or leave your pots and pans in the driveway?  Is that gorgeous dress coat at your favorite store really worth the money if you know you’ll only wear it once or twice a year?  Unless you have plenty of money to burn, save it for items that you’ll actually use often enough to make them worth the price you pay.

 

Before splurging on the highest-end gadget on the market, you need to ask yourself what, if any, truly viable and less costly alternatives exist.  We’ve all seen those fancy blenders that cost more than some folks make in a week, right?  Guess what?  There are quite a few equally capable blenders that cost upwards of 90% less.  Spending max bucks when you could spend fewer bucks on something equally good just doesn’t make financial sense.  Along that same line, do you really need to spend money on all the bells and whistles, or will all those bells and whistles just be features that you paid for but never use?

Another thing to ask yourself when you think there’s something new that you just can’t live without it this–”How have I been living without it all this time?”  If your honest answer is that you’ve been getting by just fine, chances are that you can keep on living without it.

 

In short, you should buy “it” if you can honestly say that it will truly make your life easier or otherwise better because it meets a need, streamlines a process, or otherwise provides enough benefits to be of real value in your life.  If the only time you think you have to have it is when you see it, then you’re probably better off waiting for the next big thing.

Splurge of the Month: The Wine Refrigerators I’m Thinking of Buying

Sunday , 15, January 2017 Comments Off on Splurge of the Month: The Wine Refrigerators I’m Thinking of Buying

It seems that everyone’s drinking more wine these days.  With some archeological studies indicating that wine’s been around since about 5,000 BC, it’s definitely shown that it’s got some serious staying power.  With more and more quality wines available at “real people” prices and countless online tutorials and wine-tasting clubs and events springing up everywhere, it’s easier than ever to become a wine enthusiast or full-blown aficionado.  Part of being a wine expert, however serious or casual, is understanding that different wines need to be stored and served at different temperatures to be at their best.  Even if your wine-knowledge ambitions don’t extend beyond finding your own personal favorites, storing your bottles properly is the best way to ensure maximum enjoyment.  Finding the right wine fridge to suit your personality and budget is easier if you know a bit more about what to look for before you start shopping.

Depending on which experts you listen to, wine should be stored anywhere from 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with most agreeing that 55 is just about perfect.  This is true for all wines, regardless of color and other factors.  Serving temperature is another story.  Typically, you’ll want to serve heavier reds between 62 and 68, while lighter whites are better off being served between 50 and 55.  Finding a dual-compartment wine refrigerator might not be necessary for proper storage of your reds and whites, but can be helpful for allowing you to bring tonight’s bottle of red up to an ideal temperature before you open it.  Having a second compartment with its own thermostat can also allow you to store other beverages for your or your guests.  This can save space in your regular fridge or just keep beverages handier (or keep guests from having to see the inside of your fridge!).  Visit this page for top selling coolers that are great for keeping your favorite beverages chilled, including wine, beer, and soda.

 

One advantage of having a wine fridge is that they’re typically designed to allow you to store wine bottles on their sides as opposed to upright.  If you don’t generally keep bottles for months at a time, this feature is mostly a space saver.  If you do find yourself needing to store bottles for long periods of time, storing them on their sides can help keep the cork from drying out and becoming a problem when you are ready to open the bottle.

 

Since most wines don’t do well with extreme temperature swings or prolonged exposure to light, having a dedicated wine refrigerator can be a great way to keep the temperature steady and light exposure to a minimum.  Our regular fridges are subject to more temp changes and light exposure by being opened and closed frequently.  LED lighting is a great optional feature in many wine fridges since it provides enough light to read your labels without causing any damage.  Some wine fridges also include a filter to help keep your bottles safe from kitchen odors.  Check out The Cooler List for reviews that include pros and cons of some of the best 6, 12, and 18 bottle wine fridges.  This list includes some dual-compartment and countertop models.

When it comes to the size of your wine fridge, there are models available to fit pretty much any space.  You can find countertop models, “skinny” models, and models that range from dorm-fridge size all the way to regular fridge size.  You can even find models designed to be built into your kitchen.  If you decide you’d like a built-in version, make sure you find one that’s designed for this or at least doesn’t require rear ventilation.

 

If you do lots of entertaining (especially outdoors), camping, or tailgating, you might also want to think about a portable ice maker.  Being able to produce enough ice for your next gathering or outing can make having to remember to buy ice or worrying about not buying enough a thing of the past.  If you’re considering an easily portable or countertop ice maker model, visit portable ice maker reviews online for additional buying info as well as some top picks.

How to Build Up Willpower

Friday , 13, January 2017 Comments Off on How to Build Up Willpower

We all know that willpower is essential to helping us avoid making impulsive decisions and resist temptations.  Most of us also know that our willpower doesn’t always seem to be there when we need it most.  Below, we’ll take a look at some ways to strengthen our resolve (willpower) so that it’s more likely to come through for us when we need it most.

Like our muscles and even our brain, our willpower gets stronger the more often we use it.  You can strengthen your willpower by exercising it.  Try simpler exercises like bypassing that extra scoop of ice cream or second helping of lasagna–especially when you don’t really want them, anyway.  You feel better about resisting temptation and make yourself more likely to resist the next temptation that comes along.  Like muscles, though, overuse isn’t beneficial.  Constantly putting yourself in situations that require willpower actually makes you more likely to crumble.  Our minds simply get tired of resisting.  Next time you’re at your local superstore and spend most of the trip resisting the urge to buy extra snacks, don’t make a side trip through the kitchen section if you know you have a hard time getting through there without picking up a new gadget.  

 

Another way to boost your willpower is by making a conscious effort to focus on something else or, at the very least, convincing yourself that you can wait to do, eat, or buy whatever it is that’s tempting you.  When you hear that bag of cookies calling your name as you settle in to watch your favorite show, don’t focus on saying “No” to the cookies.  Instead, think about the jeans you’re hoping to get back into.  Think about the show you’re watching.  Tell yourself you can wait until after the show’s over to have those cookies.  Studies have shown that any of the above techniques are likely to boost your willpower and make the thought of those cookies a fleeting one.

 

Excess stress is one of willpower’s biggest enemies.  When we’re stressed, our brains are just not as willing to fight.  Stress tires out our brains and our bodies, making us more likely to give in to cravings and other impulses.  Doing all we can to develop healthy habits helps because stressed brains like to go to what’s natural or normal.  Also, if we start making a conscious effort to deal with stress by using relaxation techniques like light exercise, listening to calming music, or meditation, we’ll increase our chances of keeping our stress levels down and temptations at bay.


Since most of us face our greatest willpower challenges in terms of weight loss or healthy living goals, one of our best tools is to keep our goals manageable.  Instead of vowing to avoid all junk food or otherwise unhealthy food choices until we reach our ultimate goal, we’re way better off dividing our journey into smaller stages or giving ourselves the occasional day off.  Giving our willpower a break every now and then helps ensure that it’ll be there when we need it most.

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