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What Simon Biles and Naomi Osaka Can Teach Us About Taking a Sabbatical

What Simon Biles and Naomi Osaka Can Teach Us About Taking a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
When Simone Biles announced this week that she was dropping out of the team's Olympic gymnastic event and then the all-around individual event, I felt inspired. I was glad that she put her mental and physical health first and it made me more inspired and ready to take my own break.  I felt the same way when Osaka declined a press conference for her mental health (and was subsequently booted from the French Open, which was outrageous). If you haven't read her article in Time, it's worth the read.   These women are putting their health and well-being first, and it has been great to see the outpouring of support for them as well as the increased spotlight on mental health. I haven't seen much about the connection between mental health and…
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Should I Take a Sabbatical or Retire Early With FIRE?

Should I Take a Sabbatical or Retire Early With FIRE?

Sabbatical Sundays
Since I had a quiet May writing for Women’s Money, you might be wondering where I’ve been. The truth is that I’ve been doing less writing, more thinking, and more doing. First, the doing. I’ve been spending more time doing the things I want to do on a sabbatical. I’ve been spending more time with my kids, exercising more, cooking more, and working on a side business. Next, the thinking. Sometimes it’s hard to write about something when you begin to question it. (Though, when you are questioning something, this is often the time you should be doing the most writing and journaling about it.) For me, it’s been challenging to write about my sabbatical planning because I’ve been wondering more and more if I want to take a sabbatical.…
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Cost of a Sleep Study Plus 12 Other Must-Knows

Cost of a Sleep Study Plus 12 Other Must-Knows

Health
It’s 5 a.m. when they knock. The door opens, flooding your room with fluorescent light. You can’t really move because you are tangled up in cords, so you just wait for the test administrator to come over and start removing electrodes from you (25 in all) one by one. No, this isn’t the scene from a horror film, but it is the end of a sleep study.  I’ll start from the beginning. Due to a variety of symptoms (you can check out a list of sleep apnea symptoms here), my doctor referred me for a sleep study. I had heard about sleep apnea before. However, I didn’t think much of it until I read the startling statistics about how much it can decrease your life expectancy, cause all sorts of…
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11 Best Free Health and Fitness Apps

11 Best Free Health and Fitness Apps

Health
Getting healthy doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on gyms, Peloton bikes, OrangeTheory memberships, glucose monitors focused on metabolic conditioning, or expensive nutrition programs. Here is a list of free health and fitness apps to improve your well-being. Free Meditation Apps Meditation is a great way to improve your health without working up a sweat. It brings mental clarity and an increased ability to focus.  1. Headspace I have used the Headspace app for nearly two years. The difference between Headspace and some of the other meditation apps I’ve tried is that it has structured programs that vary in length and topic.   I love it for myself but also for the amazing meditations for kids. There is a free 30-day trial, so you can figure out if…
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Continuous Glucose Monitors: Review of January.ai for Non-Diabetics

Continuous Glucose Monitors: Review of January.ai for Non-Diabetics

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Our genes don’t define us, but they can certainly shape us. While some of our genes are phenomenal, others may hold us back, causing us to work harder than not fall into a ditch that our bodies are more coded for. For me, one of those areas in my health is diabetes. Even for the fittest of my family members, my family history related to diabetes is abysmal.  In addition, I am a sugar addict. While I eat relatively healthy otherwise, I absolutely love, crave, and cope using sugar.  Due to my family history, I have been increasingly curious about continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Somehow, I started receiving ads on Facebook related to various continuous glucose monitor programs. Of course, this led me to be even more curious. Recently, I…
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Cheap Peloton Setup: My Personal Peloton Alternative

Cheap Peloton Setup: My Personal Peloton Alternative

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For those who don’t know, I’m a huge Peloton fan. Before I got hooked, I had been to exactly one spin class in my life. It was miserable, and I vowed never to try spinning again.   Everything changed when I stayed at a hotel in New York for a week. It was raining a lot that week, so my ambitious plans for running in Central Park before work got thrown out the window. Fortunately, the hotel had a Peloton bike. I fell in love. When I used the hotel bike, the membership I got lasted about three months. During this time, I used the app for free at home and on spin bikes at my gym. At that point, I had my favorite instructors and signed up for the digital…
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5 Ways Exercise Will Help You Grow Rich

5 Ways Exercise Will Help You Grow Rich

Goals / Taking Action
May is fitness month at Women’s Money. Why? First, because this site is about helping you fund your freedom. If you’re sick, tired all the time, or not healthy, you aren’t going to be able to enjoy the life you worked so hard to earn. More importantly, because I believe that the more fit you are, the richer you will be.  How Exercise Benefits Your Finances Here are five ways exercise will help you grow rich.  1. Studies Prove that Fitness Is Correlated to Higher Earnings A study published in 2012 found that those who exercise regularly earn 9% more on average than those who don’t. Think of what nearly 10% more earnings could do to quicken your pace (no pun intended) towards financial freedom.  2. Exercise Saves Money on Health…
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6 Tips to Avoid Falling Back Into Pre-COVID Habits

6 Tips to Avoid Falling Back Into Pre-COVID Habits

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Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve started doing a few “normal” activities again. I have eaten inside at a restaurant, perused the shelves at the store without worrying about who is within six feet of me, and meandered around a shopping mall. Our offices are still working remotely, but I’ve gone in a few times without fear of contracting COVID.  It has been surprising how “normal” embracing some of these pre-COVID habits has been. I hadn't eaten inside a restaurant for well over a year, and yet it felt like I could have been there last week. It has shown me how easy it will be to fall back into old habits.  Before we rush back into our old habits, it’s worth asking the questions What habits have we fallen into…
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How to Get Health Insurance During a Sabbatical

How to Get Health Insurance During a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
Recently, I had some significant unexpected medical expenses (no need to worry, everything is ok). These expenses caused me to start thinking more about medical costs during my planned sabbatical and how I will cover them.   Right now, my entire family is covered by medical insurance through my employer. While I used to have a vague understanding that the Affordable Car Act would be available to us when I take my sabbatical, the recent health care expenses caused me to look into that more seriously.   Health Insurance Options When Taking a Sabbatical Here are the options available to you for health insurance during a sabbatical: 1. Stay On Your Current Employer’s Plan If you are lucky enough to be able to take a sabbatical where you still keep your job,…
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New FSA Dependent Care Changes for 2021

New FSA Dependent Care Changes for 2021

Kids and Money
At the end of last year, we wrote about COVID’s effect on Dependent Care FSAs and how you could make changes at the end of 2020 to save money. Well, if you didn’t make changes at that time, or even if you were able to make some changes but still had money left over in your FSA, there is still hope.  Congress passed new legislation that allows you to better utilize your FSA this year. Due to COVID-19, Congress has provided a lot more flexibility for your dependent care FSA. It’s the most flexible FSA setup I’ve ever seen. Dependent Care FSA Updates Specifically, here are the top things to know about your FSA for this year: You can use any unspent funds from 2020 in 2021. This means that…
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