How much do you think you spend on nonessentials? On average, Americans spend nearly $18,000 a year on nonessentials. If that sounds like a lot of money, it's because it is. Over time seemingly small splurges, like $5 here and $7 there, add up.
The money you impulsively spend could be put to better use. Often, we don't recognize how much we're spending because it's easy to swipe your card and not think about your declining bank account. You may have to put in extra work to cut back, but it's possible when you identify the ways you're overspending.
Coffee gives most adults that boost of energy to help get them through the day. Buying a daily dose of caffeine can easily become a costly habit. The few dollars spent on that delicious latte can really add up without you taking any notice. Spending four dollars a day on coffee can add up to $28 dollars a week and that's $112 per month. By the end of the year, you could save $1,344 by cutting back on your coffee habits. Making your coffee at home in a travel mug is more cost-efficient than spending money at a coffeehouse to get your daily fix.
Takeout is on the rise, especially with the addition of food delivery services. Research showed 47 percent of respondents feel they overspend on takeout and 52 percent are usually hit by guilt after doing so. Everyday there's a new app that will personally deliver your favorite eats to your door, but not without added fees. The convenience of takeout comes at a price. It might be better for your wallet to personally pick up your food to avoid any extra fees and to prepare homemade meals.
Everybody's using ride sharing apps these days because it's so convenient and hassle-free, but frequent use of ride sharing apps can ruin your attempts at saving money. The amount of money you can save on transportation by using public transportation or driving your own car is astronomical.
These days, it's possible to stay in the know about trending shows and movies without even paying for cable. The options to replace your cable bill with a streaming bill continue to grow by the day. Most people don't watch every single channel in their cable package anyways. If you find yourself watching less and less cable, then it may be time to ditch it all together.
In the US, consumers subscribe to three subscription services on average and 34% of respondents plan on subscribing to more services within two years. Subscription services are popping up everywhere and it's tempting to sign-up for every single one that sparks your interest. When you sign-up, the rate seems like a steal because it's just $10 a month, but this adds up throughout the year. Sit down, and add up the annual amount you're paying for subscription services and it may surprise you. Oftentimes, we are subscribed to services we don't even use.
Making your lunch everyday will save you money and probably help you to eat healthier. Let's be honest, eating healthy can be more costly than eating cheap processed food. It's cheaper to make healthy food at home, so you don't have to buy an easily overpriced salad. Spending over $10 a day on lunch for five days of the week is $50 per week. You work hard for your money, there's no point in eating it away.
It seems like there's a gym around every corner with a plethora of amenities and features. A gym membership is a great investment in your health and wellness, but do you need an expensive membership when you only use a few machines? Also, if you signed up for a gym membership during the new year and you haven't used it in months, then it might be time to cut your membership.
Americans spend an average of $209.38 on restaurants per month. Restaurants are the number one luxury Americans choose to splurge on. It's not because the food is simply amazing, it's also the social component. People like to get together Saturday nights with their friends and family and forget about their worries, but this can come at a cost. If you can limit your dining experiences, then you'll be sure to have more money by the end of the month. Think about hosting dinners at your home by cooking or having guests come together to have a potluck.
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Aaliyah Sydonie Williams is a lover of pomegranates, intimate concerts, fluffy socks and all things R&B. She's a founder of a college advice blog, Her Little Corner, where she dishes helpful advice for college students to slay their college experience. When Aaliyah isn't eating at Starbucks, she's studying for her courses in finance, discovering new spots in the city, and brushing up on her photography skills. Keep up with her at Aaliyah Williams (@aaliyahsydonie).
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of mindset it takes to reach icon status like Oprah Winfrey, it’s probably best to start by knowing which one she’s managed to avoid over her long-standing career.
And let’s just say imposter syndrome didn’t make the cut.
While promoting her new book, Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier, with her co-author Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah shared in an interview with People that when it comes to imposter syndrome, it’s one emotion she hasn’t experienced.
"I don't have any of that imposter feelings that so many people have," she says. "I didn't even understand it, I had to look it up."
According to the acclaimed talk-show host and media mogul, she attributes this to her early life experiences, specifically the impact of her father's influence as a child. "I remember as a young girl being a strong orator in the national competition for speaking and winning the local championships, then the state championships. And then placing, I think it was No. 3 or something, in the nationals," Winfrey shares.
"And I remember after every contest, the families whose kids were just in the contest were going to celebrate and their families were all excited. My father's thing was, 'Get your coat.'"
She continues, "I learned, in all these years, every exciting thing that would happen to me it was always, that's good, get your coat. Get your coat. I don't know if that was ingrained in my personality or I just learned that nobody's going to be excited about it, so you might as well just get your coat and go. I don't have high highs and I don't have low lows. Which is a good thing, because no matter what I'm going through, I know I'm going to come out of it and be okay."
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is a psychological perspective of persistent self-doubt and the feeling of being a fraud despite evidence of one's competence, skills, or accomplishments. People experiencing imposter syndrome often believe that their success is due to luck or external factors rather than their own abilities and fear that others will eventually discover that they are not as capable or knowledgeable as they appear to be.
With over 40 years of accolades and history-making impact, it’s clear that Winfrey doesn’t shy away from the fact that her success is due to her hard work and diligence, with everything in her life being that of what she earned — which she finds deep value in: “the ability to live in the space of true appreciation for a life, not just well lived, but well-earned."
From coming from the lineage of an enslaved great-grandfather who earned 80 acres of land in exchange for labor, to becoming the first Black woman billionaire in the world without the foundation of generational wealth, Winfrey beams proudly at her ability to shift her and her family’s legacy for the better.
"I didn't have a grandfather, a great-grandfather who could give me land. But now...I am able to have my own and to know that I work for it. And it wasn't a husband that did it. It wasn't a brother or an uncle, or whatever did it, but I did it," Winfrey says.
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