Friday, September 22, 2023

Fly On The Wall In The World Of TikTok

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, Karen and I welcome you into our homes for a glimpse at what goes on behind closed doors. Since it's still hotter than Hades here in South Florida, the fly is quite comfortable while we humans swelter in the backyard. We've been trying to avoid him though by ducking into the A/C and binge-watching Suits on Netflix (great series!!)

     In last month's Fly On The Wall post, I talked a lot about my gratitude and joy for life. Now Husby is on board with my positivity--so much so that he thinks we should get matching tattoos that say something like, "Be Grateful."  I was okay with this until he said he wanted our tats to be the image of a bumble bee followed by a single grape and a full stomach...."BEE-GRAPE-FULL." Uhhhh....NO! 

     Other than that totally weird idea, the nosy fly has been privy to some other interesting conversations around here:

"Your mind is a strange place."
"Yeah, I don't even like visiting it."

"Why do I keep getting ADHD medication ads on my TikTok account?"
"Probably because you're scrolling too quickly between clips."

"Man, this pug farts a lot."
"Brewski is 12 years old. What do you expect? You're old and you fart a lot, too."
"Fair enough, but HIS farts are deadly. At least I don't have a lethal rectum."
"That's debatable...."

"You spend a fortune on sunscreen. Why are you so worried about your skin?"
"Unlike you, I don't want to look like a potato that has been left in the back of the crisper drawer for too long."

"My stomach is painfully full. Why do you do that to me?"
"ME?? I didn't force you to chow down like a pregnant woman eating for two."
"Oh, this appetite is for more than two; I'm pregnant with food baby triplets." 

"Did you mess around with the settings on my TikTok account?"
"No, why?"
"Because all I'm seeing on it now are animal videos, not sports or funny clips."
"If you watched even one animal video, TikTok will send you more of what it thinks you like."
"I know damn well I didn't ask for hummingbirds, orb weavers, or spotless giraffes!"

"I read about the RSV vaccine on TikTok and we need to get it as soon as possible since we have a new grandbaby coming in 7 weeks."
"But the shot is brand new, and you can't believe everything you hear on TikTok. I'm worried about side effects."
"What side effects?"
"I don't want to sprout a third limb. I already have enough limbs that cause me aches and pains---I don't need an extra one."

"It's so fun to watch all the squirrels go after the peanuts in our feeder." 
"That's why I call it the 'peter-feeder' because they love nuts."
"That's it---you need to lay off the caffeine."

     I guess it's time to hide the coffee maker from my husband now since his brain is like a runaway train. But that's not going to stop me from loading his TikTok account with clips of albino squirrels searching for nuts.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This month you can find me on ALWAYS PETS talking about outdoor dog breeds (read it HERE) and my latest for Healthgrades on the benefit of certain foods for menopause symptoms HERE.

Now go check out what the nosy fly has been up to on Karen's blog at Baking In A Tornado.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Fall Cleaning: Decluttering Your Finances For A Fresh Start

 Your go-to guide for decluttering your finances this fall


Fall is finally here, and as the leaves start to change, it may be time for a change in your life, too. When we welcome a new season, it’s typical to do some cleaning and decluttering around the house. But, it’s during this time, too, that you should be paying attention to your finances. A bit of cleaning and decluttering will help you tackle fall with confidence in your finances. Let’s take a look at some ways you can clean and declutter your finances to give you a fresh start this season. 

Dust Off Your Budget

If you’re anything like me, your budget may have been a bit neglected during the summer months. Now that things are slowing down (and we prepare for the holidays!), it’s time to revisit your budget, see where you stand, and start adjusting. 

As you take some time to review your budget, here are some of the things you should be doing that will help you make the proper adjustments:

  • Set financial goals for the fall - Whether you’re saving for holiday gifts, an upcoming getaway, or even paying down some of your debt, set some financial goals for yourself to accomplish this fall. These goals will keep you on track and help you make better spending decisions.

  • Review your spending - Look at all of your bank and credit card statements from the past few months. See where you’ve been spending your money. You may realize you’re spending way too much money on certain things. You can better identify those areas when you review your statements

  • Adjust your budget - With your fall financial goals and spending habits in mind, you can adjust your budget categories. Decide if you need to allocate more to certain categories or reduce your spending in others to help you achieve your financial goals. 

Sort Through Financial Clutter

Let’s face it—no one wants clutter. Just as we declutter our homes, we can declutter our financial lives by tossing what we no longer need. Let’s talk about some ways you can declutter your financial life:

  • Shred your paperwork - If you still receive paper bills, go through your paperwork and shred any documents you no longer need. Digitally scan and store any documents you may need in the future. 

  • Organize your digital copies - Just like with your physical documents, your digital paperwork can pile up, too. Delete any old files or emails you no longer need. Organize the files that you need in a safe and secure drive. 

  • Consolidate your accounts - If you have multiple bank accounts you no longer use or need, consider consolidating them to simplify your financial life. Consider the impact on your credit score before closing any credit card accounts. 

  • Cancel your unused memberships - Memberships are extremely easy to subscribe to, and it can be even easier to overlook a subscription you don’t even use anymore. Check your bank statements to see which subscriptions you pay for, and cancel any that typically go unused. 

Organize Your Financial Nest

Just like birds prepare their nests for the winter, we can organize our financial nests to weather any financial storms. Here are a few steps you can take to keep you and your family feeling financially secure no matter what:

  • Build your emergency fund - You should have between 3-6 months' worth of living expenses set aside in case any financial emergency pops up. Ensure your emergency fund is well-padded and prepared for whatever life throws your way. 

  • Find a life insurance policy - The transition from summer to fall slows us down a bit. But, the holiday season comes around and speeds our lives right back up. A life insurance policy is a great addition to your financial nest to help protect your family, but the process of locking in a policy can be extremely time-consuming. Instant life insurance is a type of no-medical-exam insurance that allows you to skip over the traditional medical exam and get approved for a policy almost immediately—all without making the policy completely unaffordable. For those looking to get a life insurance policy quickly that fits into their budget, an instant life insurance policy may be the right option for you. 

  • Review your retirement savings - Take a look over your retirement accounts to see how much progress you have made. Consider increasing your contributions if you’re able. The more you can save now, the cozier your retirement nest egg will be. 

Plant Seeds For The Future

Fall is a season of harvesting. We can plant seeds for our financial future to harvest later down the road. Here are some ways you can invest in your future and your family:

  • Start long-term investments - Investing is a great way to make the most of your money. If you aren’t already investing, consider starting now

  • Focus on your education - Now is the perfect time to cozy up with a book, and you can take this time to start learning more—whether that be sharpening your skills for work or learning more about personal finance. Read books, listen to podcasts, or attend webinars to improve your financial literacy or job skills. 

  • Teach your kids money skills - Fall is a fantastic time to sit down with your kids and start teaching them about money. Involve them in budgeting for the upcoming holidays, teach them smart ways to spend and invest their money, and explain the importance of saving. Make it fun by turning it into a game or a family challenge. 

As we bid farewell to the long days of summer and embrace the vibrancy of fall, let’s also welcome a fresh start for our finances. Just as we declutter our homes to create a welcoming space, we can declutter our financial lives to create peace of mind, too. With a little bit of fall cleaning for your finances, you can set yourself up for a cozy and secure financial future. 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Life Insurance Without A Doctor's Exam? Yes, It's Possible!

Many people postpone getting life insurance because they are uncomfortable going to a doctor's office for a physical. However, it IS possible to get a life insurance plan without having to get a doctor's exam. This is good news for clients who cannot afford an in-person visit. 
Some insurance companies send physicians to your house to do the health exam, which includes blood and urine samples, a stress test, height and weight measurements, and possibly an EKG. However, there are still life insurance plans that can be bought without an exam--- although A patient's age also factors into the cost of the insurance. In most cases, the older you are at the time of buying life insurance, the higher the premium. For this reason, you should consider purchasing a plan while in your 20s and still healthy--or by the time you have people dependent on you, such as a spouse and children.

Why is life insurance so important? It helps your family cover financial burdens after you are gone. These expenses include funeral costs, medical bills, or other outstanding debt such as a mortgage. Essentially, it replaces lost income for the surviving spouse and covers future living expenses. Knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of once you're gone will also give you peace of mind. 


With so many life insurance plans available---even ones that do not require a doctor's exam, it's still important that you do your research before purchasing a plan that is right for you. First, look at your monthly income, expenses, and debts. Calculate what money you have left after monthly bills are paid to see what payment plan works best for your family. Secondly, decide on what type of coverage you need. For example, do you have a mortgage payment, a child's college education to pay, or a personal/business loan debt? Lastly, choose which type of policy will provide exactly what you need. Some of the more popular options are term life (which lasts about 10-30 years) or a whole life policy (permanent). 

Speak to a financial planner to review your situation and find out what policy is most affordable to you. Once you select the right plan that does not require an exam and sign up, you'll have peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of and avoid financial stress in the future. 

***DISCLAIMER: This blog post is in partnership with Responsival.



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