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Health & Fitness


  • Open Enrollment 2016 dates and how to shop for health insurance (16 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

    Have you started shopping yet? No, I’m not talking about shopping for the holidays; I’m talking about something more important – your health insurance. It’s that time of year when many employers have their open-enrollment period and the federal and state health insurance marketplaces are open for business. Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to review and make changes to your health insurance plan so you…

  • So easy, it’s barely cooking: Healthy, simple recipes (10 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    Recently, I wrote about meal planning and delivery services. Most of the meal delivery services that I found were priced similarly per meal to most of the fast-casual restaurants in my area. To me, at least, that’s rarely worth it, especially when you consider that with, many such services, you still have to do the cooking yourself. One reason a service like that might be worth…

  • The identity theft no one is talking about (2 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Jacqueline Leppla.

    It’s bad enough when some scammer gets your credit card, but what happens when they steal your access to health care? Even worse, what if that person is a member of your family or a member of the health care field we are supposed to trust? It’s not an isolated concern. Medical identity theft represented 42.5 percent of the breaches identified in 2014 according to the…

  • What sparked my investigation into medical identity theft (4 comments)

    When the oral surgeon recommended that our daughter have her wisdom teeth removed, we thought we knew what to expect both medically and financially. Morgan’s two sisters underwent this procedure in the past, and we adopted a brave “Let’s get this over with!” attitude as we scheduled her operation. We expected the least painful part of the procedure to be the surgery bill because the girls are covered under both their parent’s dental insurance. It…

  • How do you establish the value proposition for personal growth? (12 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Ryan Takach.

    I spend a lot of time working toward my financial goals, but lately I’ve been thinking about personal growth. I’m at an inflection point in my financial plan. I don’t run any debt balances. I feel I’m saving enough and making smart investments. I believe I can afford to shift some focus to other interests. I started reading more by checking books out from the library….

  • When to use intermittent FMLA (10 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    Disclosure: I am not an attorney or HR specialist. This is just my experience with, and understanding of, FMLA. According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL) website, “The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to…

  • How to save money on dental bills (32 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, around 108 million Americans go without dental insurance during any given year. And since paying the full weight of dental care is often out of the question for those living on low incomes, many people simply choose to go without or get by with as few cleanings and check-ups as they possibly can. However, if you do…

  • How can retirement affect your health? (27 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    My neighbors shake their heads and think I am certifiably crazy, but I have noticed that they are careful how they say it. You see, when we get snow, I am always out there shoveling the sidewalks for three or four houses each way down the street from ours. “Why risk offending the Energizer Bunny with the shovel?” I hear them thinking. “He might stop, and…

  • Get a good workout without a gym membership (57 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    Recently, my sister and I were discussing our love/hate relationships with exercise when she told me something that struck me as funny. Apparently, she has trouble convincing herself to jog as long as she should, so she devised a plan. “When I know I’m not very motivated, I’ll have my husband get in the car and drop me off a few miles from home,” she said…

  • What does it cost to commute? (47 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    In recent posts exploring job searches and the cost of jobs in general, the subject of commute came up in a number of the comments. Readers pointed out that a commute makes a huge difference in whether a job is desirable or not because it has a significant impact on quality of life. I couldn’t agree more. When Jake and I were looking to buy a…

  • How the new healthcare law changes maternity care (27 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…

  • 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….

  • Ask the Readers: How much are you willing to spend to save a sick pet? (115 comments)

    This article is by managing editor Ellen Cannon. Four years ago, my beloved kitty Zito developed kidney problems. She was only five years old, and her littermate, Mikey, was fine and healthy. But Zito had stopped eating and wasn’t drinking much water. I took her to the vet. An x-ray by the veterinarian showed that one of her kidneys was tiny and the other was not the normal size it should have been. The vet…

  • 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…

  • One way to survive without health insurance (55 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…

  • Reader Stories: The shocking truth about medical bills that can save you thousands (241 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 (54 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 is a guest post from GRS contributor Donna Freedman.

    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 much fun in the moment. It really did feel like an attack — a series of body blows…

  • 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? (337 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…

  • 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…

  • The financial cost of obesity (233 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…

  • Frugal Beauty: How to Look Good on a Budget (292 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Earn Quick Cash by Participating in Medical Research and Marketing Studies (54 comments)

    I made $120 for one hour of work last week. On Tuesday, I participated in a neuroeconomics study at a nearby university. For sixty minutes, I lay inside an MRI scanner while answering questions about money. When I had finished, the researchers paid me $120. In cash. I admit that with the four hour round-trip and the half hour of wait time, my hourly rate drops to something nearer $20, but that’s still not bad….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 26 cheap camping tips (24 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…

  • 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…