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Fear #1: Establishing a budget would mean facing where you're really at.
Taking an honest look at your finances can be downright scary, which is why it sometimes seems easier-and less painful-to continue spending blindly rather than sit down and evaluate your situation.
Solution: Take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine, and pull out a pen and paper. Congratulations, you're already on your way to creating a budget! Now write down a number and breakdown for each of these three things: your monthly post-tax income, your monthly expenses, and those areas in which you tend to regularly blow through money.
Do you notice any patterns? Do you see areas where you can cut back a bit? The key to financial planning is creating a budget that you can live by-otherwise it'll end up in the shredder. If you know that you like to eat out every so often, look for other placesRead More »from Why 2014’s the Year to Finally Address Your Financial Fears
"I cook up lots of farro this time of year: Not only is it nutritionally awesome, but it's really filling and has a great neutral flavor that's a blank canvas for anything," says Hall. "I like to make a big batch and eat it for days. I think the reason so many people quickly fall off the healthy-eating bandwagon is because they're taking all of the goodies out of their diet. Not with these salads--they're a little sweet, a little salty, cheesy, and so delicious."
Related: 7 Magical Slim-Down Meals
Fennel and orange farro salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 cups farro, rinsed
3¼ tsp salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 small fennel bulbs, cored, thinly sliced, plus 2 Tbsp top fennel fronds
2 cups baby arugula, packed
½ cup crumbled
Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, British ColumbiaNita Lake Lodge, Whistler, British Columbia
Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics and the world's coldest ice bar, this village nestled in the Canadian Coast Mountains is so much more than just a ski town-although the skiing here is legendary. It's also a mountain-biking, shopping, and foodie hotspot, so there are plenty of activities to satisfy everyone. About a two-hour drive from Vancouver, the destination has the feel of an intimate ski town, but with all the amenities of a big city thanks to the more than 100 restaurants, 20-plus spas, and more than 200 retail shops. With its multi-bedroom suites boasting fully-equipped kitchens, cozy-feeling fireplaces, and convenient location just 500 meters from the Whistler Creekside Gondola, Nita
The toughest part is getting to the starting line
"I tell friends, don't worry about making a perfect start, just start somewhere. In my case, I spent four months calling the local gym to inquire about a membership before I finally walked through the door. Every week the manager would phone me to say he hadn't seen me and try to get me to come in. When I finally did, he recognized my voice, gave me a big hug, and said, 'It's time, isn't it?' I've weighed more than 300 pounds at three different times in my life. It got very depressing, and I stopped caring. But after my third child was born, I couldn't carry her up the stairs without getting short of breath, and I was having irregular heart rhythms. I knew if I kept going that way,
Herb and Gruyère omelet
Learn the omelet-making basics with these classic fillings, then experiment with sautéed veggies, different cheeses, and meats. Got some leftovers you don't know what to do with? They'll probably taste delicious in an eggy cocoon.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
2 large eggs
Sea salt and ground black pepper
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp grated Gruyère cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, tarragon, and chives
Related: 7 Magical Slim-Down Meals
1. In a medium bowl, gently beat the eggs, ¼ tsp sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper and set aside. Now, prep the rest of your ingredients: Omelet-making is a quick activity, so get everything chopped, grated, and measured before you begin cooking.
2. Heat a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet over mediumRead More »from Make a Restaurant-Perfect Omelet
You've maxed out the credit cards and you're the only one who sees the bills every month.
"Secretly spending and trying to hide the purchases is a big indicator that there's not a lot of trust in your relationship," says Ian Kerner, a relationship expert and author of Passionista. Try to figure out why you're not disclosing what you buy: Do you feel that your decisions are being ridiculed? Does your husband tend to control the majority of the money or your relationship overall? Or do you have a problem with compulsive spending? Then, come clean. Explain that you know you spent too much, but that there's a reason you didn't share--for example, you haven't felt comfortable expressing your needs in general recently. Use this mistake as an opportunity to get on the same page about not just money, but also about how to effectively communicate and stand by your wants and needs. Kerner then
Credit Card Debt
C'mon, girl! Paying only the minimum. Wanna guess how long it'll take you to hit zero? See the credit card repayment calculator at federalreserve.gov. Ouch!
That's better: Paying twice the minimum every month. It's not as scary as it sounds-on a $1,000 debt, this might take you from $20 to $40. An easy technique: Make that minimum payment with each of your twice- monthly paychecks.
Really good: Snowballing debt: Pay the minimum on all of your cards except the one with the smallest balance. Lob every extra dime at that one till it's gone. Then start on the next, adding what you were paying on card #1. Repeat. Aim to be debt- free in three years or less.
Gold star: Using a zero-percent-interestRead More »from Your Financial Freedom Plan is Here!
1. Make your goals feelings instead of actions, author Danielle LaPorte suggests in The Desire Map. You'll be amazed how different your choices are when instead of vowing to take a trip, you decide to feel adventurous; instead of gunning to buy a house, you seek a place where you can truly feel at home.
2. Look up an '80s-era video, like Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Watch it till the super-serious expressions and cheeseball dance moves make you giggle. (Won't take long.)
3. Pick out one book on your shelves that you've always wanted to read but haven't yet. Then turn to page one-the dishes can wait.
4. Write down what you eat today (yes, that includes "nibbles" and "slivers") and consider it the easiest diet ever. In one study, women who kept food journals consistently lost about six pounds more than those who did not.
5. Toss that ill-fitting bra.Read More »from Smile! 27 Grab-and-Go Happiness Tips
If you're suddenly plagued by tight, ruddy, über-sensitive skin, that's just the season working its magic. "Everyone's face gets drier in the winter, and when skin loses a lot of moisture, it's much more susceptible to inflammation and irritation," says Mona Gohara, M.D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. Plus, a few cold-weather culprits can make redness worse. There's windburn, for starters, which can be soothed with a lotion that contains an anti- inflammatory ingredient like feverfew (found in Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, $17) or licorice root (which is in Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15, $15). To stave it off on bitter-cold days, pat a little Vaseline on your cheeks. Then there's sunburn--yes, even in January. "Snow reflects 80 percentRead More »from Cold-Weather Tricks to Calm Unhappy Skin