I Hereby Declare That I Am No Longer Spending Money On Weight Loss Products

I, like many women my age, have a long history with dieting.

I’ll spare you all the boring details, but I’ve essentially been on (or cheating on) one diet or another since I was about 14. Some have worked, some haven’t. But obviously, since I’m still unhappy with my weight, nothing has produced lasting results. Shocking, I know.

As a reasonably intelligent person, I’m not completely clear on why I continue trying diet after diet – after the first couple, shouldn’t I have realized that they’re bogus? On an intellectual level, I suppose I do know that this is true. But I guess I’m vain. Or maybe I’m oppressed by a culture that demands that women be thin in order to be desirable, worthy, and socially accepted. You decide.

Anyway, this year, like so many years before, I resolved that I would lose weight. Since I’ve experimented with nearly every commercial diet out there save for a handful, I decided that I’d try one of the few that I haven’t been on before. I won’t name names, but this diet involves drinking weight-loss shakes in the place of meals.

Today was the first day. The results? I have a horrible, terrible stomachache. Like, I actually considered leaving work early because I was in so much pain. I also have a chemical taste in my mouth that won’t go away, and I feel light-headed and a little dizzy. Sounds great, right?

Believe it or not, I’ve actually felt much, much worse than this on the first day of a diet and have been able to soldier on for weeks. But, for reasons I can’t really explain, today is different. Today, on my way home from school, hunched over from stomach pains and trying to focus on the road, I decided that I have had enough.

I am done with weight loss products, programs, subscriptions, and “information.” I can’t promise I’ll never try to lose weight again, but I am seriously, 100% done with spending money on stuff that’s supposed to make me lose weight. I just can’t anymore with this stuff. I just can’t.

This blog isn’t about emotions so let’s talk about why, financially, I’m so done with diet products: simply put, I’m fucking sick and tired of throwing my money down a rat hole that does nothing but make me miserable. I have no clue how much cash I’ve spent on trying to whittle my waistline over the years, but I’d estimate that it’s in the thousands of dollars.

Do you know how much that pisses me off? Thousands of dollars, you guys. And what did I get for that money? Stomachaches, headaches, boring nights that I didn’t go out with my friends, tears, ridicule, and a hell of a lot of shitty, unsatisfying food. Oh and, lots of wasted stuff. Like right now – what am I going to do with all those shakes I won’t be drinking? Talk about pouring money down the drain – literally!

So that’s it. I hereby declare that I am no longer spending money on anything related to weight loss. My wallet (and my psyche) has undergone years and years of diet-related damage, and there’s no way to get that cash back. But I am damn sure I’m done making the problem worse.

2014

Long time, no blog! I once again let my little corner of the Internet fall by the wayside, but I hope at least a few of you out there are still reading because I promise 2014 will be a better year for me in terms of posting :)

I’ve given my goals for 2014 a lot of thought, especially after the financial and emotional roller coaster that was 2013. With that being said, the five things below are what I want to accomplish in 2014; they are modest, but meaningful to me.

Also, some of my goals may seem vague here, but rest assured they’re not. I just don’t want to be too public about some of what I’m working on – at least not yet.

1. Max out my Roth IRA. BONUS: Move my account to Vanguard.

2. Continue building my freelance career. BONUS: Share more of my freelance work here and on social media, and be more consistent about sharing others’ work, too.

3. Decide what’s next for me career-wise.

4. Read at least 30 books.

5. Avoid using the word “should,” especially when I’m talking about myself.

Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope we all have a happy and healthy 2014!

Getting The Most Out Of Pawnbrokers

The following is a guest post

If you’re a bit stuck for money, then going to a pawnbroker could seem like a quick and easy way to make some cash.  There are lots of them out there on the high street, like H&T Pawnbrokers, but how exactly does it work?

Well, you have two options. You can either sell the things that you take with you to the pawn shop, or instead you can deposit a valuable item that can act as security for a loan you take out with a broker.

If you choose to pawn your items to the pawn broker then make sure that you ask them what the fees and interest rates are so that you know the full amount that you will have to repay. The pawn broker should value your item and give you a ‘pre contract information document’. Then you will be given a document that details how long you have to pay back the money that you borrowed. The repayment period will typically be a time frame of six months, and this is usually always the minimum amount of time you will be given to pay off a loan. You have 14 days to withdraw from the agreement, and you can also may early repayments if you wish.

You will then be given a ticket which proves that you own the items that you are pawning. When you get given a ticket for the item that you are using to secure your loan, it is important that you keep this so that you can get your things back after you have paid back the money.

Be sure to also check if the store operates a lost ticket or receipt fee before you agree, in case you lose this.

If you do not it pay back in time, the broker could then sell the items, after giving you written notice, to make back the cash that they will have lost. If this doesn’t cover the full amount which you owe, you will still have to pay of the remaining money. However, if the money raised is more than what you owe, then the excess will be returned to you, unless the loan was less than £75 over a period of six months.

It is advised that if you do decide to use a pawnshop, that you choose one that is part of the National Pawn Brokers Association, because they have guidelines for all of their members to follow.


Five Things To Consider Before Releasing The Equity In Your Home

The following is a guest post

f you are retired, or close to retiring deciding whether or not you want to release the equity in your home is a big decision that requires a lot of thinking about. There are many things that you should consider before you make a choice. Equity release is a way of making money against the value of your house, but you can still live there, and you do not have to move out. You don’t start paying back the cash until your house is sold or until you go into long term care.

If you’re still having trouble deciding if you think releasing the equity in your home is the best option for you, then here is a short list of things you may want to consider:

What Kind of Policy Do You Want?

There are different types of equity release schemes that are available out there to you. There is a lifetime loan scheme where you still own your home, and receive a lump sum of money, or with some schemes, in smaller amounts as you need it, that acclimates interest. You must pay this back when your home is sold.

There are also home reversion schemes. On these schemes you sell your home, wholly or in part, to a home reversion company who own your home, or you still own a small part of it, who will then give you a contract that says you are allowed to live there rent free (or paying little rent) until you go into long term care or pass away.

What Are My Alternatives?

There are also other things that you could consider instead of releasing equity in your home such as downsizing to a smaller property, looking to see if you are eligible for benefits, or taking out a secured loan. You should probably take some time to ensure that you have considered all your options.

If it is something that you feel you want or need to opt for equity release, you then have the challenge of trying to find right equity release scheme for you. If this is something that you are finding a struggle, then there are lots of companies out there, like Bower Retirement Services, who can offer you advice that might help you to make up your mind.