Life Balance

Nora and Tim help you find balance when dealing with a stressful debt situation. Learn how to manage stress and enjoy travel without breaking the bank.
  • Life Balance

    Exercising Body and Mind on Your Daily Commute

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    Does this describe you? You have limited time, limited budget, and limited patience for working out -- yet you know you should do more to improve your health. But who has time? Your solution could be to include physical activity in your everyday activities.

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  • Life Balance

    Your Year to Shine

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    Stop smoking. Start exercising. Read more. Complain less. Every year, millions of people resolve to kick their bad habits to the curb. Some succeed, while others are back to their old ways by mid-March. It’s not surprising, though, that some people just aren’t able to do it. Old habits die hard, after all. ...
  • Life Balance

    The Power of Small Change

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    When I was in debt, there were times in which I thought to myself, “I can do this. I really can.” But there were other moments in which panic would take over, and I’d wonder, “How am I ever going to pay off this dollar amount? It’s just TOO BIG.” But after a while, I decided it was time to change my attitude. If I kept thinking of getting out of debt as climbing Mt. Everest, there was no way I’d ever be able to reach my goal…let alone even envision it. So I began a little experiment…...
  • Life Balance

    Putting it in Perspective

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    It took a long time before I stopped being insanely jealous of every single person around me. I used to look at others who seemed to be living such carefree lives: going out to dinner, planning extravagant vacations, renovating their house. And here I was, pretty much living paycheck to paycheck, in hopes of eventually getting myself out of this deep, dark hole. It just didn’t seem fair. ...
  • Life Balance

    What Are You Grateful For?

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    The grass is always greener on the other side, and when I was deep in debt, that’s certainly how it was for me. Everyone around me seemed to have less financial stress, more free time, and a generally worry-free existence. And here my husband and I were trying desperately to balance our hectic life, holding down our jobs while carting our little girl to and from daycare. When was it going to get any easier? When was my life going to start being like everyone else’s?...
  • Life Balance

    Summer is for salads

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    Modern supermarkets carry fresh produce year-round, but the best -- and cheapest -- vegetables are still to be had in the summer.

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  • Life Balance

    Take a Nap

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    Let's be honest:  Do any of us really get enough sleep? From worrying about work and school deadlines to searching for monsters in our kids' closets, we're lucky if can fit in five or six hours of solid slumber.  

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  • Life Balance

    Everybody loves a compliment

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    "Have you been working out?" In the wrong setting, it could be a cheesy pickup line. But when a friend from work, or your neighborhood says it with an impressed smile, it turns into the compliment that will make your day -- or your week. 

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  • Life Balance

    Setting the Priority Principle in Motion

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    In my last post I promoted the virtues of the Priority Principle for organizing your life.

    This time, I want to offer some specific guidance on how to think through and implement the Priority Principle in the face of a hectic work week. 

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  • Life Balance

    Fear Really IS the Mind-Killer

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    In his classic science-fiction novel Dune, Frank Herbert wrote that "Fear is the mind-killer." How right he was! Negative emotions like fear and worry shut down our brains' ability to deal with new situations or to think creatively about old ones. Read on to find out how fear can keep you from surmounting the challenges you face. (But don't worry -- I've got some remedies, too.) 

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  • Life Balance

    Bit by Bit, or Not at All?

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    People often balk at fitness programs and other long-term projects because these tasks seem too daunting, too complicated, too taxing, or just too . . . BIG. We put these projects off until "tomorrow" (which often means "forever") because we can't get our heads around them, or because we know that they'll require a lot of effort before we see the results we want. 

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  • Life Balance

    Cook Healthy Meals at Home

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    One of the most important things to focus on when you're stressed is eating well. Stress makes it more difficult for your body to absorb key vitamins and nutrients. So if you're not paying attention to your nutrition, your health is going to suffer. I learned this the hard way. I was always feeling run down and every time I turned around I had a cold. Eating well wasn't a priority for me when I was working my way out of debt. In my mind, I had bigger things to worry about.

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  • Life Balance

    Awaken Your Chi Without the "Cha-Ching"

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    I hate "things". I've been in people's houses who have hundreds of knick-knacks they'll never use, DVDs they'll never watch, and shoes they'll never wear. Sure, we all have our own special mementos, but as someone who's successfully made it out of debt, I can't help but view these purchases as excessive.

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  • Life Balance

    Lengthen Your Attention Span by Reading Books

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    I us ed to be a REAL book reader. I know this because for many years I've kept a ledger of all the books I read. The log shows that I read 60, 70, even 90 books in some years. But last year? A whopping 11 books. This especially troubles me because books are such a great investment. If you are struggling financially , books - especially books from your local library - can provide hours of entertainment and education for almost no money. What happened? It feels like I read all the time. I have a stack of books on the nightstand like always, plus a bookcase in the living room with dozens more that I'm looking forward to reading . . . someday.What happened is that, like so many of us, I started living and working online , so much so that many weeks...
  • Life Balance

    The Best Vacations Are a Change of Pace

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    When I was a little boy, my workaholic dad learned the important lesson that the best vacations are the ones that differ the most from your normal routine.

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  • Life Balance

    Take Advantage of Online Communities

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    I'm glad we're in an era where a long-lost friend, a job opportunity, a soul mate, or an open ear is just a click or two away.

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  • Life Balance

    Getting Your Beach Body in Gear

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    You might not be ready to join the tanned bodybuilders showing off at Muscle Beach, but there's still plenty you can do -- even in just a couple of months -- to look and feel your best for this year's summer vacation.

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  • Life Balance

    Have a Barbecue

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    Spring has sprung, and its officially time for those outdoor activities we have craved all winter.

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  • Life Balance

    Supersize your Summer

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    Warmer weather offers so many opportunities to take a small thing and turn it into big enjoyment, without breaking the bank.

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  • Life Balance

    Got stress? Work out!

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    You know about the many physical benefits of exercise: healthier heart, fat loss, better sleep, better sex, and so on. But working out our bodies is also one of the best ways of working out the tensions in our minds. Today I'm going to talk about four big benefits of exercise for helping you cope with stress. 

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  • Life Balance

    Drink More Water

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    Like plants, we thrive (but most importantly, survive) on water. When I'm feeling lethargic, I'll drink a tall glass of water-and I literally perk up like a plant. It's really no surprise, though.

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  • Life Balance

    Don't Forget to Daydream

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    Daydreamers get a bad rap. They're often seen as lazy, unfocused, and the ultimate procrastinators. But is this assumption fair? Or even true?

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  • Life Balance

    Clean up the Clutter

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    I don’t have to tell you how being in debt can make you feel like things in your life are out of whack. It’s really scary to not know what each new day will bring—and to feel like you have no control over things. Now, how do you make things even worse? Add a cluttered, messy, disorganized living area. When my husband and I were deep in debt, we obviously had a lot to worry about. In addition to focusing on our jobs (once my husband was back in work), our main priority was our daughter. So with our hectic weekly schedule and caring for Abby, that left little time for anything else, including housework. Before long, papers started to pile up, as did laundry, dishes, and many random pieces of the day. And the more cluttered things became, the more anxious and out of control I felt. ...
  • Life Balance

    Five Ways to Deal With Holiday Stress

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    I remember the first holiday season after my husband and I truly faced the fact that we were deep in debt. Every newspaper I opened, website I went on, or channel I flipped to had another ad for a sweater, game system, or electronic gadget that (according to the ad), my mother, brother, uncle, neighbor, or daughter’s teacher’s 4th cousin just HAD to have. There seemed to be such an urgency in these advertisements, and a little voice kept nagging at me to buy, buy, buy! But I had to face the music and accept that things were going to be different this year. This year, the space under the tree wasn’t going to be overloaded with gifts for friends and family. I was going to have to take a different approach to gifts, offering my time (through babysitting, a home-cooked meal, and more) rather than stacks of gift-wrapped boxes. It was a really stressful period, and I constantly worried about being judged on my actions or even being labeled as cheap. My close friends and family knew about our situation, but I still worried about what they thought. It was extremely hard at first, but as the holiday season progressed, I found some ways to cope with the stress of it all. Here’s what I suggest for you: ...
  • Life Balance

    Wherever There's Debt, There's Stress

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    Being in debt sucks. I know because I was once there. And believe me when I say that debt goes so far beyond an empty wallet: It can affect nearly every aspect of your life, from your relationship with your spouse and your kids…to how you see yourself. There’s just so much stress involved with being in debt that it truly begins to consume you. Over time, though, I began to learn how to deal with these emotions—and that’s when things really started to look up. In this Life Balance blog, I’ll share with you what I did to stay sane when it sometimes felt like I was going to fall apart. My sincere hope is that this blog will help you learn how to deal with these emotions as well, because I firmly believe that a good mental state is one of the single most important tools in becoming debt-free. ...
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In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:

Starting Out

Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.

Settling In

Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.

Balancing It All

Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.

The New Retirement

Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.