4 Common Costs That You Can Actually Avoid Easily

Everyone has their own habits that they don’t want other people to find out, but aside from the weird and disgusting habits, there are also the ones that could make wallets and piggy banks cry. These are the wasteful spending habits that make you wonder where all your money goes when you take a look at your bank account or your wallet.

Be sure to watch out for these small things that are making you spend more money than you should:

Paying for unused subscriptions

Are you still subscribed to that Netflix account you don’t have time to long into? How about that gym membership you never got around to actually using because of your hectic schedule? If your answer to this is yes, you can start saving money right now by cancelling your subscription to these services. It’s still okay to retain some subscriptions, but only if you’re still using them actively.

Recreational shopping

When you’re trying to save as much as you can, one of the worst things you can do for a hobby is shopping. Not only is it expensive, but the feeling of happiness you also get from every haul only lasts for a really short amount of time. In fact, the more you shop recreationally, the more likely you want to spend money to buy more and keep that feeling going, and this can drain your wallet or bank account really quick.

Losing receipts

Do you have a tendency to just throw away your receipts without reading them? If so, make it a habit to always keep them the next time you go out shopping for anything that you want or need as part of your daily expenses. Keeping your receipts and writing them down is a great way to track down your expenses and find out where most of your money goes.

Once you do know where, you can budget around it to better suit your needs. Keeping receipts also let you avail of warranties when dealing with factory defects, allowing you to take back the defective item and replace it with a brand-new unit.

Letting food spoil

Saving money on food might seem simple at first, but it really takes a lot of effort to be able to cook your own dishes that you can bring to work or eat at home. If you’re too tired to do this, you might find yourself wanting to save time ordering take-out instead. While this may be fine once in a while, you’ll notice that this will make you more likely to forget about the groceries or leftovers you have in your fridge, and leaving them to spoil.

How Blue Light from Devices Hurts Your Eyes

While everybody already knows that too much exposure to sunlight and air pollution can affect us and it’s sometimes just better to stay indoors, not many people really understand that the same indoor environment can also be damaging to the skin and eyes.

This is because of blue light, which more studies are showing to be responsible for creating free radicals that can harm both skin and eyes much like ultraviolet light.

And because nearly all of our workdays are spent exposed to signficant amounts of it, the effects can compound and result in significant damage over time. But what exactly is blue light, and how exactly can it damage you?

Photodamage and Blue Light

Blue light is the light on one end of the visible spectrum that has the shortest wavelength, with yellow and red lights on the other end of that spectrum and having the longest wavelengths.

However, blue light has a really high energy, giving it the name “high-energy visible” light. This high-energy light usually comes from sunlight, but it can also come from the screens of different devices, such as computers and smartphones, as well as fluorescent lights commonly used in offices.

Negative Effects of Blue Light

While our eyes are capable of blocking out ultraviolet light, it’s not as good at blocking blue light. This means that it can have some pretty bad effects after exposure to significant amounts over time, such as the following:

  • It increases the risk of eye strain
  • It contributes to macular and retinal degeneration
  • It can cause uneven skin pigmentation

Reducing Blue Light Exposure

Keep in mind that not all blue light is bad, however – more studies are also showing that a certain amount of it is essential for good health. In fact, in the right levels, it can boost alertness as well as help with memory and cognitive functions.

What makes it bad is too much exposure, so the best thing you can do is to limit your exposure when you can in order to reduce the harmful effects that it can have. You can limit your exposure to blue light by using two things:

  • Using blue light filters on your devices – The good news is that there are now more devices that include a feature that filters the blue light emitted from the screen, especially in the case of smartphones and tablets. You can even have physical filters installed for your phones and computers installed for this purpose.
  • Investing in protective eyewear – Special pairs of glasses dedicated for use around computers have yellow lenses in order to decrease the wavelength of blue light, and they are usually available without a specific eyeglass prescription.

How to Clean Your Coffee Maker in Four Simple Steps

Having a coffee maker is a great investment if you love coffee, but it’s easy to ignore the fact that it needs regular cleaning and care until it starts affecting your coffee’s flavor, and it can even worsen your brewer’s drip efficiency. And because coffee grounds have their own natural oils, you can’t just clean them by rinsing with water – you need the right tools and materials to keep having that amazing cup every morning.

What You’ll Need

Be sure to keep these in handy fo when you clean your coffee maker:

  • Soft cloth
  • Sponge brush
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Extra water filter (optional)

Instructions

Now that you have the things you need, here’s how you can clean your coffee maker in five simple steps:

1.  Remove the brew basket and filter

Remove the basket every time after using the coffee maker. Be sure to discard the used grounds, and if you’re using a paper filter, be sure to discard that, too.

2.  Use hot water

The best way to clean a coffee maker is by using hot water to help lift off the accumulated coffee residue from the basket. Hot water also helps you kill any yeast or bacteria growing on the brew basket or on the coffee maker’s drip mechanism. With the hot water ready, scrub it clean with a sponge brush and a dishwashing liquid that’s specifically made to remove oils. Be sure to pay close attention to any tiny nooks or crannies that you might miss.

3.  Clean and rinse

Be sure to discard any remaining coffee grounds and thoroughly rinse the parts of the coffee maker, such as the brew basket, the carafe, and the lid, and make sure to remove every trace of residue. Wipe the parts down with a soft cloth and allow them to dry.  Be sure to dampen a cloth in fresh water to wipe away and remaining soap residue, and once they’re fully dry, put them back together for their next use.

4.  Run a drip cycle

The last step is to fill the water reservoir using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and place a paper filter in the brew basket. Next, allow your coffee maker to run through half a drip cycle and stop midway in order to allow the solution to sit both in the reservoir and pass through the water channel. Wait for about half an hour before finishing the brew cycle.

Once the brew cycle is finished, discard the vinegar and water solution, replace the paper filter, and run the cycle again with plain water. This time, allow the coffee maker to fully cool down.

Is it Actually Possible to Pause Time?

As we envelop ourselves in our never-ending busy days, time seems to fly by fast. There are days when we ask ourselves; how is it almost the new year already when we’ve barely felt the last year pass by? How is 2007 a decade ago, when it feels like 4 years has only passed since then? Instances like this require us to slow down a bit and learn to appreciate the present more.

Of course time is moving at the same constant rate as it did when we were younger — but gone were the days we believed lazy summer days stretched on forever. As we get older, the way we perceive time speeds up as well. Research found out that we possess a certain level of control over how our brain perceives time passing; as it is mainly the reason behind why some days seem longer or shorter than others.

By paying attention and actively noticing the things around us, we can actually “pause” down time in a sense.

• Live in the present
It’s time to live and embrace the here and the now. Dwelling on the past or planning for your distant future is good from time to time, but if we merely focus on these two then we won’t be able to fully appreciate the present that we have. Take time to relish everything that is happening to you at the present moment. Focus on living in the Now.

• Spontaneity
Being spontaneous can be a liberating act, not to mention fun! Spontaneity, every now and then, enables us to disregard all concept of time as it makes full use of the present moment. It allows us to live boldly and take a leap for ourselves, regardless of the circumstances or the pile of work sitting idly on our to-do lists. When life becomes dull and monotonous, why not kick it up a notch to spice things up?

• Capture moments
Moments are fleeting. You never know when is the next time you’d be able to gather around with your friends from high school, or when you’d be able to enjoy the magnificent view of Singapore’s glittering city district while taking a stroll around. Pause time by capturing the memories with photographs.

• Try new and exciting things
As we age, routine takes over our lives. There is a general shortage in new experiences and avenues for trying out new things. No wonder how our days begin to blur together when we’ve been doing the same thing almost every day. Saying “yes” to opportunities which will lead us to new experiences is ideal, no matter how big or small. Planning a day trip outside Singapore? That might just be the adventure of a lifetime. Adding a brand new ingredient to your signature dishes? That sense of something new may just be what you need.

7 Must-Have Items You Need In Your Kitchen  

Smart tools and gadgets have really made their way to our kitchen. And with the tech driven lifestyle we have today, the more it is essential to have the right tools that make food preparation much easier. Here are the eight tools you should have in your kitchen now!

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1. Scale – Don’t cut yourself out from baking or cooking gourmet recipes just because you can’t measure ingredients. Scales don’t have to be expensive; they just have to measure right.

2. Microplane Grater – This classic gadget is a kitchen staple. Savvy cooks always use this for grating any ingredient, from cheese to spices to citrus to chocolates.

3. Food Processor – If your blender, juicer, and other gadgets for slicing, mixing, and pureeing food, are eating up most of your cupboard space, then it’s time to get a food processor. While this can be expensive, it is a great investment as it can do all of the mentioned gadgets’ purposes.

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4. Timer – Cooking, especially baking, in the right amount of time is the best way to ensure delicious and nutritious food—so a timer is a necessity. Once you have popped that cake in the over, do not forget it! Set the timer, bring it anywhere with you, and let that ding remind you of your goodie.

5. Magnetic Knife Holder – This can be a solution when space is a constraint and when you’re too lazy to pick the knife from its shelf. The knife holder can be installed in a safer place that’s away from the traffic and most especially from the children.

6. Vegetable Peeler – Cooking is as easy as pie when you have a peeler that removes vegetable skin in seconds. However, make sure to look for a good quality one so it won’t rust and dull easily. Besides peeling, you can also make cute little vegetable ribbons or crispy potato chips with it.

7. Non-Stick Cookware – If you still use a cookware that you need to scrub and scour after cooking in it, you need to upgrade to a non-stick one—because busy moms just don’t have time for that! This cookware is so very easy to clean and the food rarely burns on them.

These are just a few tools that every home kitchen should have. If you don’t own these tools yet, go run to the nearest shop and secure these tools for your own kitchen.

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Refreshing Drinks for Summer

Summer is just around the corner. What are your plans? If you plan to go out of Singapore and seek for colder places, it is up to you. If you want to enjoy summer economically, you can stay here in Singapore and think of other ideas. You can for instance consider the movie house since it is known for its cold conditions. You can also consider the beach and enjoy the sun and the tan. If in this case you want to stay in the house and enjoy a good drink, there are plenty of concoctions in store for you.

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Your summer will be good if you try different refreshing drinks. The good thing about summer drinks is that you can make it in your kitchen. You do not need to spend so much money or seek it out in the market just to taste it. Your children should enjoy the summer. You can make the following drinks:

  • Lemonades: When you speak of lemonade, it refers to a lemon drink sweetened by sugar. There are different variations of lemonades around the world. There are people who will substitute lemons with limes. It is known as limeade.
  • Juice drinks: Juice drinks refer to liquid that contains vegetables and fruits. It is refreshing and it is healthy. That is like hitting two birds at one stone. Sometimes juice drinks can also be used as a flavouring or ingredient when cooking.
  • Sodas and floats: Soda refers to soft drink. Sodas are refreshing but sometimes we hear other people discouraging us from purchasing it because it contains sodium bicarbonate. Floats are creamy that contains carbonation.

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  • Iced teas: If you are the type that wants the basic, you should consider iced teas. Iced tea is a cold tea that is served with ice. It can be sweetened or not. It will depend on you. Ice tea comes with different flavours like lime, strawberry, peach, cherry, lime and many more.
  • Shakes and smoothies: Fast food outlets offer shakes and smoothies to appease their customers during the hot days. There are people who still consider milkshake. Milkshakes are sweet and cold which is made from iced milk, flavouring, ice cream and milk.

There you go. Summers will never be the same if you try one or all of the refreshing drinks mentioned above. Do not hesitate to try one or more. Enjoy the sip! Yes, summer is hot but you have no choice but to endure it and move along with it.

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What’s Keeping Singaporeans Busy in the Train?

When you ride the train or even the bus, what do you notice? People rarely raise their heads because they are busy doing something else but one thing is common, they hold one thing –  a gadget. There’s the smartphone, tablet and many more. It seems that every Singaporean has one. The young, the old, students and professionals have one or more gadget.

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When you travel, there is nothing to do but hold your gadget. So, what’s keeping Singaporeans busy in the train? Here’s an idea:

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  • Checking messages on WhatsApp: Most commuters check their WhatsApp account when they travel. WhatsApp is a messaging application that is available to iPhone, Android, Windows phone, Blackberry and Nokia.
  • Calling friends or family: Commuters often call home or their loved ones to let them know that they are on their way to their home. Calling is usually done by those who are not fond of texting.
  • Checking social networking: There are commuters that constantly check their social networking sites for updates and notifications. Commuters often check their Facebook accounts and their Twitter or Instagram.
  • Text message reply: There are others who rely on the traditional way of communicating – texting.
  • Chatting: If your tablet or smartphone has internet, what is the best way to utilize it? Chatting of course. Some commuters spend their time chatting when they are in the train.
  • Play: There are others who simply want to enjoy the ride that they only consider playing. People play the famous Candy Crush or Flappy Bird.

Commuters think of ways to pass the time while they are travelling. What they do is not our concern. Whatever that makes them happy, they should pursue it.

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