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Health & Fitness


  • How the new healthcare law changes maternity care (23 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    My husband and I got married in December of 2005 and spent the first few years of our marriage enjoying each other without the responsibility of children. Then, after a few years, I found myself longing for a child of our own. Unfortunately, a giant roadblock stood in our way — our health insurance plan did not cover maternity. Those were the days before the new…

  • Cold and flu season: Stock your medicine cabinet for less (23 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Though our family has already had one sneak peek, cold and flu season is about ready to really get started. Because I would like avoid as many sick visits to the doctor as I possibly can, I decided to check out our medicine cabinet and make sure it is ready for this winter — and beyond. What you should include in your medicine cabinet Obviously, what…

  • My experience with alternative healthcare insurance (35 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. A few months ago, I shared about my health insurance alternative. As a recap, I belong to a healthcare sharing ministry (HSM) called Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM), just one of several ministries that are ACA-approved alternatives to health insurance. What we belong to is not health insurance; therefore, we don’t pay a premium (although we pay a “gift” each month or what amounts to a deductible, except it’s…

  • Ask the Readers: Are you reaching your goals? (44 comments)

    This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Remember when 2014 was new? I’d rather not think about it, but more than half the year is behind us already and we’re moving into fall fairly quickly. For me, that’s a good time to start thinking about whether I’m reaching my goals for the year and what I need to do to correct my course. I would like to be in a position to tackle a “single…

  • The high cost of infertility (42 comments)

    When we asked you how to improve Get Rich Slowly, you told us you’d like an article on “The horrible, terrible, no good, very bad reality of paying for fertility treatments.” We can’t fit all of that into one post, but we did ask Joanna Lahey, who gave us a series on health insurance, to give a broad overview of the issue in this guest post. Joanna Lahey is an associate economics professor at the George H….

  • Reader Story: My grandmother’s home remedies (54 comments)

    This reader story come from SB, a regular reader and commenter on GRS. SB writes about personal finance and personal development topics at One Cent at a Time. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. This is my second guest post at this…

  • Saving money with my feet: The joys of a walkable neighborhood (73 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money, where he recently wrote about the regrets of the dying. On Saturday, I bumped into Rhonda at the local natural food market. Rhonda is one of Kris’s co-workers and friends. I haven’t seen her much since the divorce, although we live only a mile-and-a-half apart. For 20 minutes, she and I…

  • One way to survive without health insurance (54 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. When I was considering leaving my full-time job, I had some concerns. My main concern? Health insurance. And it wasn’t just me. Since my husband didn’t have health insurance coverage through his job, he had been covered under my policy for years. Plus, we were going to be adding kids to our family, so we needed to think about them too. First, we took care of my husband’s…

  • Reader Stories: How a healthy lifestyle saved my money and my life (64 comments)

    This Reader Story comes from Gunnar, a filmmaker, a computer geek, a traveler and most recently an entrepreneur, who has launched the blog Wosla to inspire others to get healthy and save money. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. Until recently…

  • Why my garden won’t replace my CSA subscription (36 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sarah Gilbert. I told the checker at the grocery co-op where I shop that I didn’t need a receipt. “I don’t want to keep track of how much I’m spending on my garden,” I told him. My modest cart had carrots and apples and popcorn — staples! — and tomato, lettuce, basil and lavender starts. The reason I don’t want to know: I’m worried it won’t pencil out. If…

  • Reader Stories: The shocking truth about medical bills that can save you thousands (236 comments)

    This reader story is by a longtime GRS reader Sumitha from afineparent.com, a blog founded on the simple belief that “Good Parents Are Made, Not Born.” Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. How much would you think it would cost to…

  • Reader Stories: Bicycle commuting and frugality (53 comments)

    This is a guest post from Catherine. She is 27 and was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minn. where she resides with her cat, Monty. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is trying to figure out her career path. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own…

  • The cost of workaholism (66 comments)

    “What are your resolutions this year?” a girlfriend recently asked me. I thought about the areas of my life I’d like to improve upon and responded, “I’d like to work less. I think I’m a workaholic.” She paused for a bit then hesitantly said, “…that doesn’t sound like a problem…” And indeed, when I’d talked about this with my mom just a week earlier, she said, “That’s a good addiction.” But it’s easy to confuse hard work…

  • Spending in depth: The hair care budget (196 comments)

    When I started this journey on GRS, I included hair care in my category of irregular expenses. At that time, I estimated that I spent about $600 per year on service and $300 per year on product. However, I thought that since the year is over it was time to visit that category in depth and see what I am really spending so I can assess these costs, much like I did with the bagel…

  • Take a deep breath: Letting go of financial stress (31 comments)

    I’ve been reading through some of my old posts and thinking about what I wanted for this, my very-end-of-the-year statement on money. And what I saw was a lot (a lot) of angst and worry and stress. It was appropriate, as I’d spent most of the day in a kind of crazy wound-up worked-up state, getting ready for what should be a lovely, restful retreat with a few friends from my writer’s group. Part of…

  • More fun with life and death (29 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. I’ve always assumed that I’m screwed, longevity-wise. With a father and a grandfather who had heart attacks in their 60s and an uncle who had a stroke in his early 70s, I figured the genetic cards were stacked against me, at least when it comes…

  • Health savings accounts: An overview, plus some pros and cons (102 comments)

    Lately, my dad’s been praising the benefits of having a health savings account. This year, he had the opportunity to get the most of his HSA — bad news for his health, but good news for his wallet (side note: Dad is now doing OK health-wise). At any rate, I’ve spent the week researching, calculating and mulling over whether an HSA is the best option for me. I reviewed a lot of your comments from…

  • Insurance: Choosing the right plan (27 comments)

    This the second of four articles about health insurance by Joanna Lahey, an associate professor of economics at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). You can read the first one here. The subsequent articles will be published on the next two Saturdays. In part two of our exploration of health economics, we will explore the more common structures of…

  • Insurance: Share the risk (84 comments)

    This is a guest post from Joanna Lahey, an associate professor of economics at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Ellen’s note: Joanna has written four articles about health insurance. This is the first, and every Saturday for the next month, we’ll be publishing one. Given the readers’  concern over the cost of health insurance as well as the…

  • Ask the Readers: What is your hobby worth to you? (115 comments)

    This guest post was written by Jenny Saikwa. Our friends’ weeks and weekends are crammed full of various pursuits – soccer, baseball, gardening, scrapbooking, calligraphy, swimming, dressage, sailing … the list goes on and on. And let’s face it: No matter what the hobby is, it’s going to involve the wallet. There is a price of entry for virtually every hobby, beyond which the sky is the limit. And after watching the Olympians compete this…

  • Ask the Readers: What Do You Want to Know About the Economics of Health Care? (240 comments)

    Today’s “ask the readers” is a little different. Instead of giving another GRS reader advice, we’re asking you to give us advice. For years, GRS readers have been asking for more information about health insurance and health care. We spend a lot of our money on health care, and that will only increase as we age. With all of the political wrangling recently over the Affordable Care Act, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s really…

  • Coping with Unplanned Medical Expenses (91 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jason Price from One Money Design. Dave Ramsey is right. He’s always saying that you have to be prepared because of Murphy’s Law. Murphy eventually catches up to all of us. The law says that whatever can go wrong, will eventually go wrong. It applies perfectly to personal finance because we all know that cars need repairs, the AC goes out in the heat of summer, and so on….

  • Letting Things Fester: The Art of Cultivating Misery (132 comments)

    For the next week (or two), we’ll be sharing “audition” pieces from folks interested in being new staff writers at Get Rich Slowly. Your job is to let us know what you think of each of these writers. Pay attention, give feedback, and after a couple of weeks we’ll ask which writers you prefer. This article is from popular GRS commenter, El Nerdo.. Nerdo’s first audition piece was about how to learn to cook. I…

  • Survival Techniques for the Barely Insured (106 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Tim Sullivan. If you’re anything like me, you’re barely insured. I don’t work for a company that offers benefits and so I’ve had to shop for individual insurance. Setting aside what a headache that was, I’ve ended up with catastrophic insurance. This means that if I step off a curb wrong and break every bone in my leg, I won’t be in totally ruined. That said, I don’t get…

  • Hunting for Health Insurance (223 comments)

    I am sick. For the past ten days, I’ve been wrestling with a high fever, a cough, a persistent sore throat, and a general malaise that’s kicking my ass. Basically, I’m the sickest I’ve been in over a decade. (The last time I was this sick? The evening that The Fellowship of the Ring premiered. I went to see it with friends, but don’t remember a thing about that night because I was sick with…

  • 10 Tips to Save Money on Your Prescriptions (155 comments)

    This is a guest post by Carol Parker, content manager at Drugsdb.com. Carol holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy. These days, getting sick can be a costly business, especially for those who can’t afford medical insurance. Not only does a person have to worry about paying the consultation bill from the doctor, but the cost of prescriptions seems to skyrocket each time you need to have them filled. The good…

  • Make the Choice Not to Decay (88 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. It’s that time of year — time to weed out all the stuff in the Brokamp household to get ready for the first yard sale of the season. It’s a great way to…

  • Cheap Ways to Relieve Your Aching Back (88 comments)

    This post is by staff writer April Dykman. How’s your posture right now? Are you slumped over in your chair, craning your neck to see the computer screen? Over time, those habits could cost you both in terms of health and doctor appointment copays. Last month I wrote about my ongoing search for a cure for shoulder and neck pain, and how numerous appointments with doctors and therapists cost thousands of dollars over the years…

  • Prepare to Get Sick (168 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Frugal Cool blog for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. On Valentine’s Day, when other people were exchanging chocolates, flowers and maybe even body fluids, I was undergoing the Attack of the Choleliths. That’s “gallstones,” for those lucky enough never to have had them. “Cholelith” makes a swell Scrabble word in the future but it’s not…

  • The Cost of Being an Overachiever (108 comments)

    This post is by staff writer April Dykman. “What do you do for a living?” That’s one of the first questions we ask each other in our society. The choice of how you earn a living tells others a lot about you, whether those preconceived notions are accurate or not. If you’re at a party and someone says they’re an neurosurgeon, that’s pretty impressive. You know that meant years of study and took a lot…

  • Reader Story: Home Haircuts Can Save Time and Money (133 comments)

    This guest post from Shannon D is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. My wonderful husband likes to keep his hair short and precise. He works outdoors but dislikes hats, so keeping his hair looking proper is…

  • Going to the (Organic) Mattresses (143 comments)

    This post is by staff writer April Dykman. I’ve dropped a rather obscene amount of money on bodywork in the last few years. I’ve had an evolving team of chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. I’ve bought books on physical therapy exercises. Some things have worked, others have not. In the end, the pain always comes back. I have chronic shoulder pain. My arms also frequently go numb in the middle of the night. I don’t…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Do You Spend on Health Insurance? (335 comments)

    Behind the scenes, the GRS elves and I have been working to streamline the process for submitting reader stories, guest posts, and financial questions. As part of this, I’ve been reading through every question submitted over the past year. I’ve noticed some patterns. One topic I’m seeing over and over again is health insurance. We’ve explored health insurance a few times in the past, but we don’t do so often. For one, it’s complicated. For…

  • 5 Free Ways to De-Stress (51 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. I’ve started to notice something about my spending habits, and maybe you can relate. When I’m sad, stressed, or emotional, I often justify expenses by telling myself “I deserve it.” Before I wised up financially, my self-rewards were expensive. Spa services, new clothes, beauty products I didn’t want or need. I’d wander into a store, or maybe online, and buy something to cheer myself up. Although the…

  • Want to Save Money? Slow Down (94 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. About a year ago I sprained my ankle pretty badly. It happened as I ran out of a burning orphanage, carrying half a dozen toddlers. Okay, that’s a lie. But it sure sounds cooler than the truth, which is “I was woolgathering and fell down some…

  • Health is Wealth: The Best Investment I Ever Made (121 comments)

    This is a guest post from Louisa Rogers, a consultant who provides leadership, management, and communication coaching and training to businesses. Previously, Louisa told us what it’s like to have even better than enough, described how she’s getting a fresh start on the path to prosperity, and wrote about living on less in Mexico. As a middle-aged fitness junkie, I’m always interested in what motivates people to get in shape. Typically, folks say they want…

  • Fitness Rewards: Break a Sweat without Breaking the Bank (97 comments)

    Hi guys, April here. J.D. is off the grid and somewhere in South America, so in his absence I’m introducing new staff writer Tim Sullivan. We’ll do a formal introduction for Tim later this week; for now, a mini-bio is at the end of this post. Congratulations! You just ran a whole three miles on the treadmill. Or maybe you just took your first hot yoga class, or took your bike to work instead of…

  • How to Get Cheap Drugs (92 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money. She also writes about frugality, intentional living, and life in general at her own blog, Surviving And Thriving. Six of the highest-selling prescription medications in the United States will be “off-patent” before the end of 2012. The costs associated with those currently pricey meds will drop faster than the Dow on a bad day. This is great…

  • The Financial Cost of Obesity (231 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Weight and finances have been discussed at length on personal finance blogs, but mostly the similarities between money and weight management. There’s been little discussion about the total annual cost of obesity for an individual because most research offers anecdotal evidence of higher costs associated with obesity, but not a dollar amount for a single person. Last fall George Washington University released a report [PDF] that put…

  • More Thoughts on Frugal Beauty (116 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Last week Sierra wrote about how to look good on a budget with some great tips for the frugal and the do-it-yourselfer. It was popular, too — as of Sunday, her article had a whopping 275 comments! It seems most readers fell into one of two camps: the DIYers who enjoy making salt scrubs and don’t mind getting a haircut from a helpful friend, and those who…

  • Frugal Beauty: How to Look Good on a Budget (291 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and raising children at Childwild.com. Pinching pennies doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself pretty. Yes, it’s true that personal-care products and services can take a big bite out of your budget. By the time you’ve paid for your salon visit, your skin cream, your hair product, and your lip balm, you can easily be out $100 or more in any given…

  • Reader Story (and Question): Financial Health vs. Mental Health? (191 comments)

    This guest post from “NotPollyanna” is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. This week’s submission is a reader story and a reader question rolled into one. Hi. My name is Not Pollyanna. (Okay, that’s not…

  • Live to 100 — For Cheap! (34 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, what will you toast to? Health? Long life? Those are common toast themes, but simply clinking glasses and sipping champagne at the beginning of the year isn’t likely to lead to health and longevity. I recently read an article about Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea southwest of Italy, that has one of the highest…

  • Your Health is Your Most Important Asset (81 comments)

    When Kris and I traveled to England and Ireland with her parents in 2007, I came home with a financial epiphany. Actually, the trip highlighted a concept that I’d only vaguely understood before: I was a slave to the tyranny of Stuff. I had accumulated way too many things in my life, and this was causing me a lot of mental and physical stress. In many ways, the things I owned actually owned me. Over…

  • Reader Story: How I Purchased Private Health Insurance (79 comments)

    This guest post from Jaime Tardy is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Jaime writes about her financial journey at Eventual Millionaire. This piece is a follow-up to her first reader story from June, in which…

  • Investing in Your Life Pays Off in the Long Term (23 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. Simple living is great. Avoiding shopping malls in favor of clothing swaps, cooking meals at home with your spouse, holding a music jam with friends instead of shelling out big bucks for a concert — all these activities not only save you money, but they also connect you more deeply with what…

  • Slow and Steady: More Thoughts on Physical and Financial Fitness (73 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. Last week, Robert Brokamp lamented about his not-ready-for-prime-time bikini body, asking GRS readers “whether it might make sense occasionally to engage in some extreme fiscal or physical fitness in order to see bigger results sooner, which could serve as encouragement to keep going.” Brokamp’s post was highly entertaining to be sure, but I immediately fired off an e-mail to J.D. asking if I could answer his…

  • The Battle of the Bulge, and the Battle of the Budget (93 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Summer’s here, so I’ve been working on my bikini body. But I’m not getting very far. I’ve lost about three pounds over the past three weeks. If you saw me, you may not think…

  • Getting Paid to Lose Weight with HealthyWage (47 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Adam Baker. Baker recently posted a transparent personal update entitled “When to Quit Traveling“. Today J.D. is very thankful to have staff writers, because his computers (plural!) are on the fritz, and he has no time to write about money… I struggle with weight. In fact, it’s a far more difficult issue for me than personal finance. Honestly, I’m not completely sure why, but it’s true. There are many…

  • Money, Stress, and Your Health (46 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. A 2009 AP/AOL survey, Debt Stress in the United States, found that American adults are experiencing significantly more debt-related stress than reported four years ago when a similar survey was conducted. The survey also found that those with high stress levels were likely to experience health problems, including headaches, back pain, muscle tension, depression, anxiety, ulcers, and heart problems. It seems that a high level of…

  • Ask the Readers: How to Prioritize Medical Bills? (153 comments)

    Eila dropped a line this week to get advice on how to tackle her debt. She and her husband are trying to turn things around, but they’re overwhelmed by medical bills. They’re hoping GRS readers can offer direction. Eila writes: How do I prioritize my medical bills? I have about $8000 in medical debt that’s broken up into $300 here, $200 there, $1000 over there, etc. The bills are to different medical centers, doctors and hospitals —…

  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Debtor (32 comments)

    This post is about running. Except that it’s not. It’s about mental toughness, the mental toughness necessary to run a marathon — and to pay off debt or to build wealth. I rolled out of bed early yesterday morning, pulled on my shorts, strapped on my heart-rate monitor, and headed out the door. I zipped my Mini to the other side of Portland and there I joined a group of about 100 other hardy souls…

  • The Psychology of Happiness: 13 Steps to a Better Life (104 comments)

    We think we know what will make us happy, but we don’t. Many of us believe that money will make us happy, but it won’t. Except for the very poor, money cannot buy happiness. Instead of dreaming of vast wealth, we should dream of close friends and healthy bodies and meaningful work. The psychology of happiness Several years ago, James Montier, a “global equity strategist”, took a break from investing in order to publish a…

  • Drama in Real Life: Caring for a Parent in Crisis (79 comments)

    My mother is in the hospital. Her health, which had been deteriorating lately, took a turn for the worse over the weekend. On Tuesday, she was admitted to a local hospital, where she’s likely to remain for a week (or more). My brothers and I have been sorting through mom’s financial documents, trying to piece together a complete picture. It’s difficult. If she had used Quicken, the job would be relatively easy, but she’s Old…

  • How to Save Thousands on Your Medical Bills (36 comments)

    Few things can blow a budget like unexpected medical bills. Even those who practice frugality and invest for the future can find their financial plans smashed to pieces by unexpected health problems. And for those who don’t have their financial house in order, a medical crisis can be devastating. Five years ago, I had surgery to replace the ACL on my right knee. Though I am insured through Kris’ job, I found the experience frustrating….

  • Drama in Real Life: Cancer Scare (42 comments)

    My sister-in-law has cancer. Last week, a biopsy revealed that Stephanie has a cancerous lump on her thyroid. She’ll likely have her thyroid removed, meaning she’ll need to take medication for the rest of her life. (She’s 37 years old.) She’ll also probably need a handful of radioactive iodine chemotherapy treatments. Prognosis positive Jeff and Stephanie have both settled down a bit after the initial scare. They’ve heard from many sources, including Steph’s grandmother, that…

  • Learn Bike Maintenance from The Bicycle Tutor (11 comments)

    For the past six months, I’ve been applying Get Rich Slowly principles to physical fitness. By making small changes, I’ve lost seventeen pounds since January 1st. I’ve begun lifting weights regularly for the first time in my life. I’m even preparing for an October marathon! I injured myself at the end of May, however, and spent the past few weeks recuperating. While waiting for my leg to heal, I turned to cycling to maintain my…

  • Finding Affordable Health Insurance When You’re On Your Own (67 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jason Gingerich, a volunteer with the Archimedes Movement to work for a comprehensive solution to America’s health care crisis. He also works for a non-profit organization that offers health insurance, among its other products. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of his employer. In America’s current healthcare system, in most cases, you’re better off with the crowd. Usually, that crowd is your employer or a government pool…

  • Frugality in Practice: Home-Based Physical Fitness (90 comments)

    Lately, I’ve been making rumblings about getting in shape again. I want to get fit slowly. The trick is figuring out how to do it. It took a lot of reading and a lot of trial and error to take control of my finances, but I’ve finally achieved a healthy attitude toward money. Now I hope to do the same with physical fitness. But where to start? One approach would be to just throw money…

  • Ads I Hate: Athletic Clubs (81 comments)

    For the past few months, a gym to which I used to belong has been sending me “special offers” in an attempt to entice me to return. Because I’ve begun focusing on fitness, these almost work. But so far frugality has prevailed. It bugs me, though, that the “limited time offer” isn’t so limited. First it expired at the end of November, then the end of December, then the end of January, and now the…

  • An Expert Tip for Saving on Prescription Drugs (29 comments)

    This is a guest post from Shiva, who wrote to offer some advice on how to shop for prescription medicine: don’t assume that the new new stuff is better! I am a general internist — a physician who provides primary care to adult patients — and am on the faculty of a medical school, where I teach medical students and residents. One of my interests is the excess marketing and use of expensive yet marginally effective prescription drugs. I have…

  • Baby Boom: The Shockwaves of a Lifestyle Change (32 comments)

    This is a guest post from Amanda, a Colorado tech writer and an activist for children with congenital heart disease. I’ve been following Get Rich Slowly and Wise Bread lately, and I find myself fascinated by the reasons people have changed their lifestyles. If karma hadn’t kicked my butt, I wonder if I would have ever moved away from the consumerist culture in which I once reveled.   Once upon a time, my husband and…

  • Ask the Readers: How Do You Manage Health Care Costs When You’re On Your Own? (42 comments)

    Sometimes reader questions force me to learn about aspects of personal finance that are outside my realm of experience. For example, I don’t deal directly with health insurance. We’re covered under my wife’s plan, and I’ve never had to think about it before. But insurance is a pressing issue for many people. New reader Eric writes with his predicament: My wife and I are both self-employed — we value the freedom to continue working for…

  • 16 Ways to Eat Healthy While Keeping it Cheap (193 comments)

    This is a guest post by Mehdi, author of StrongLifts.com. If you enjoy this post, check out his site. Eating healthy is important. . Eating healthy: Lowers disease risks Increases productivity Gives you more energy Makes you stronger You probably think eating healthy is expensive. I’ll be honest — it is. But there are tricks to spare your savings account and keep it low cost. Here are sixteen ways to eat more healthy while keeping…

  • Check for Coupons and Rebates Before Having Your Prescription Filled (15 comments)

    In Monday’s post about shopping around for the best price on generic drugs, Tyler added an excellent tip: I don’t go to the doctor much, but have had some prescriptions filled in the last couple of years. Every time there was at least one prescription with a rebate offer if you went to the official website. I never would have thought of that but I was curious what exactly the expensive ($32 after using insurance)…

  • How a Wellness Coach Whipped Me Into Shape (41 comments)

    Three months ago I wrote about the high cost of being fat. I had spent $4500 over four years because of my weight. The problem wasn’t just costing me money — it had caused sleep apnea, a torn ACL, and mild depression, three conditions which eroded my quality of life. Then a reader issued a challenge. Lauren Muney wrote to provide her services as a wellness coach free for one month: “I’m offering this to…

  • Extra Weight, Higher Costs (11 comments)

    Several weeks ago I wrote about the high cost of being fat. I shared how I’ve spent $4500 over the past four years because I’m overweight. Since that post, I’ve been working with Lauren Muney, a wellness coach (about which more later). This morning, Muney sent me a New York Times article by Damon Darlin which describes how extra weight leads to higher costs. Being fat costs money — tens of thousands of dollars over…

  • The High Cost of Being Fat (53 comments)

    I am fat. I am fat, but I am not obese. I do not pause to catch my breath when climbing stairs. I do not avoid hikes or sports for fear of failure. But — no mistake — I am fat. I am far above my normal weight. I carry 205 pounds on a frame built for someone forty pounds lighter. [PDF: Body mass index and health, from the USDA.] How does this relate to…

  • How I Finally Defeated Dandruff (91 comments)

    Here’s a tip I cannot believe I’m sharing in public. For years I’ve battled dandruff. I mean I’ve had it bad. Recently it’s reached nightmarish proportions — my scalp was like North Dakota in January. I tried all sorts of remedies. I tried Selsun Blue. I tried Head and Shoulders. I tried Denorex. Nothing worked. I even tried not washing my hair at all. That didn’t help the dandruff and just created the added grossness…

  • How to Walk for Fun and Profit (14 comments)

    In the United States, we value our cars. We’ve become a nation of drivers. It rarely occurs to us that walking might be an option, even for short journeys. One-quarter of all automobile trips in the U.S. are less than a mile in length; forty percent are less than two miles (one source of many). Looked at another way: of all trips less than a mile in length, eighty percent are made by car (source)….

  • 26 Cheap Camping Tips (21 comments)

    Backpacking and camping are awesome frugal activities. It costs nothing to take a hike. It costs a bit more to camp overnight, but even that can be done inexpensively. While browsing the web for camping stuff, I stumbled upon a great list of frugal suggestions that were originally posted to the Usenet group rec.scouting on 03 December 1994! According to the original poster: These low-cost equipment/ideas/fixes for Scouting and camping in general [were] originally found…

  • Super-Sizing Your Meal Costs More Than You Think (4 comments)

    A study from the University of Wisconsin has found that super-sizing your meal takes a hidden toll on your pocketbook, and in more ways that you might expect. [Researchers] found that for the initial 67-cent average cost of upsizing a fast-food meal — and the subsequent 36-gram weight gain — the total cost for increased energy needs, gasoline and medical care would be between $4.06 and $7.72 for men and $3.10 and $4.53 for women,…

  • Essential Gear for a Bike Commute (5 comments)

    Many people who live frugal lifestyles swear by alternative transportation. They ride mass transit. They commute by bicycle. They walk. Many don’t even own a car. Summer is approaching. Maybe you have considered biking to work. But what sort of gear do you need? An AskMetafilter user wondered the same thing: What’s the essential gear for bike commuting? I’ll be commuting to work by bike, and I’d like to know what’s considered the essential gear,…

  • A Brief Guide to Better Sleep (7 comments)

    Consumerism Commentary has posted a two-part guide to improved sleep, explaining that good sleep is one of the best free investments you can make in yourself. I spent much of last year on a quest for improved sleep, and eventually found it. Here’s how. In The Owner’s Manual for the Brain, Pierce J. Howard summarizes sleep research with the following lists: To get to sleep more quickly: Consume dairy products (the warmer the better). Avoid…

  • Frugal Fitness Solutions (0 comment)

    Chris Zdeb of The Edmonton Journal has drafted a list of Forty Frugal Fitness Solutions. People don’t think there’s an alternative to having to spend money to get fit “because I don’t think our promotion of what you’re calling ‘frugal fitness’, has been as strong as our promotion of vigorous activity at fitness centers. But that’s partly because the people who are promoting the vigorous activity in fitness centers are the centers,” explains Wendy Rodgers…