Does a Romantic Candle Lit Dinner Help To Drive Better Sex?

Sunset picnics on the beach. Romantic candle lit dinners. Lovers feeding each other chocolate fondue. It seems like there is no shortage of associations between food, romance and sex. But are these familiar scenes just go-to content for lazy rom-com writers and first dates? Or do these meals actually lead to more exciting and enjoyable sex when the lights are turned down low?

In other words, are couples really more likely to have sex after consuming certain foods?

There is some evidence of a surface level connection between food and sex

Specifically, certain foods are more associated with sex than others. And this is largely thought to be the case because the shape of some foods resembles male and female genitalia. Think about the phallic shape of a banana (not to mention the widely used eggplant emoji as sexual innuendo!). And then there are foods that are thought to resemble the shape of a vulva, such as figs and oysters. Because these foods are thought to make us think about our (and/or our partner’s) genitals, it has been suggested that eating them may put sex on our brains and make us more likely to act on those impulses.

There is also some evidence that certain foods can stimulate our bodies in ways that mimic our natural preparation for sex. Blood flow is an essential component of sexual arousal for men and women. The increased blood flow to the genitals produces an erection for men and blood flow to the vagina intensifies sexual sensations for women.

It has been suggested that spicy foods (like ginger, curry, and cinnamon) are found to increase blood flow which has the potential to feel a bit like sexual arousal and could potentially have a positive impact on our sexual enjoyment. Therefore, consuming spicy foods could lead to better sex on account of the increased genital sensations.

However, the association between food and sex is more about the psychological interpretations and meanings we assign to those foods

For starters, we can never discount the power of the placebo effect. That is, if we believe something is going to have a positive impact, chances are it will. So, if you believe that eating chocolate will make you more interested in having sex, there is a higher chance that upon eating a piece of dark chocolate you will think about sex or want to engage in sexual activity. On the other hand, if you think that chocolate just tastes good and has no relationship to your sexual interest or enjoyment, likely you won’t feel any sexual urges post chocolate binge.

Another psychological element at play when associating a particular food with sex is what psychologists have termed classical conditioning. That is, if we repeatedly see chocolate fondue enjoyed during a romantic evening and that is followed by a sexual encounter, we begin to associate chocolate fondue with sex. The more often we see this connection being made in movies, TV shows, and in our real life, the more we are primed to think about sex when we see or eat fondue.

This association can even happen with less expected food items. In my Psychology 101 class our professor shared a story about a woman being turned on by the smell of onion on account of her sexual partner being a frequent eater of french onion dip! So if you want to create a romantic or sexual setting with food, consider picking your staple, pre-romance appetizer. Over time it just may become a cue that this is the night for romance.

What About Alcohol? Is It A Sex-Driver or Killer?

And then there is the spurious variable that often accompanies all of the romantic scenes I described earlier: wine (or some other alcohol variation). In other words, it may be less about the chocolate fondue, oysters, banana or cinnamon, and more about the alcohol that accompanies those meals. That’s because alcohol has been found to positively impact our interest in sex as alcohol make us feel more relaxed and laid back which can reduce our inhibitions and lead to a greater chance for sexual activity.

It’s important to be aware that there is a balancing act when it comes to how much alcohol to consume. Too much alcohol can get in the way of good sex by making us sloppy or tired. However, a glass of wine (even if it’s paired with chips and dip) may put you in the mood for sex.

The Setting Of Your Meal Is More Important Than The Food Choices

Finally there is the contextual setting of a romantic or sensual meal that goes far beyond whatever food is being consumed. Eating oysters with your grandmother at 3pm on a Sunday probably isn’t going to get you all hot and bothered. Whereas eating oysters with our romantic partner, at sunset with a glass of wine and candles just might do the trick.

Research has found that both men and women indicate that romantic settings play an important and positive role in their sexual desire. And that’s because a lot more is happening during a romantic meal than just the food on the table. A candle lit dinner takes time, effort and energy. It requires two people stepping away from their busy lives, making time for one another, and talking (hopefully without their smart phones on the table!). It could also include that glass of wine we discussed earlier. So even though a meal is part of this scenario, it’s really not the star of the show.

Consuming foods as aphrodisiacs definitely won’t hurt your sex life. In fact, depending on how they are used they just may bring some spark and enjoyment to your sexual experiences. And if you and your partner associate foods with positive romantic and sexual scenarios, chances are that eating those foods together will put sex on the brain.

But it’s also important to focus on the context of a romantic date over a shared meal. So don’t minimize the attention needed on the other components. Good conversation, undivided attention, and the effort of cooking a meal together could mean that spaghetti and meat balls or even ramen noodles could be your personal aphrodisiac.

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How to Say No When You Feel You Can Only Say Yes

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no

When you learn the art of saying ‘no’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing) you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, “I finally got to this question: What do I want?”

Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything,” he said.

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How we are pressured to say yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How to say no when you feel that you can only say yes

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest-using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no.

Tip #1: Check in with your obligation meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

Tip #2: Resist the fear of missing out or FOMO

Do you have a fear of missing out or FOMO? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

Tip #3: Check your assumptions about what it means to say ‘no’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In tip #X below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

Tip #4: When the request comes in, sit on it.

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past. Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

Tip #5: Communicate your ‘no’ with transparency and kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time. Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no. A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

Tip #6: Consider how to use a modified ‘no’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you. Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Remember a few key things as you learn the art of no

You will need to get out of your comfort zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

You are the air traffic controller of your time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it. Who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

Saying ‘no’ means saying ‘yes’ to something that matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

Start to say ‘no’ from now on

What do you have to lose? Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes. Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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How to Get Rid of a Sore Throat: 10 Simple and Natural Home Remedies

Nobody likes to be sick, but at times it is unavoidable. Whether a sore throat is caused by allergies or a virus, when you experience that pain, all you want is fast relief.

A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious like strep throat. While some cases will always require a doctor visit, there are home-remedies you may want to consider first. Here are 10 natural solutions on how to get rid of a sore throat fast.

1. Gargle with Saltwater

While it feels a lot like getting a mouthful of ocean, the salt helps to flush out irritants and bacteria.

To try this:

  • Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water (ideally warm).
  • Gargle with this mixture 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Spit the water out when you’re finished gargling.

Tip: If the salty taste is too unpleasant, add a very small amount of honey to help sweeten it.

2. Drink Garlic Tea

Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It contains antioxidants that are thought to strengthen immunity and ward off infection.

To make this tea:

  • Cut some fresh garlic into medium-sized slices and place them in a mug.
  • Fill with boiling water.
  • While the water is still hot, remove the pieces of garlic.
  • Add a bag of your favorite tea to help the taste (and smell).
  • Add some honey or other natural sweetener to aid the taste and make the recipe a bit more drinkable.

Drink this as much and as often as you please.

3. Get a Cinnamon Fix

Cinnamon is another naturally healthy food, as it is high in anti-oxidants. Its sweet aroma also helps to open sinuses. When you have a sore throat, that’s an added bonus as it lessens the production of mucus and drainage and will help you breathe a bit easier.

Like the previous remedy, you want to make this into a tea as well.

  • Grab 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks ,1 to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water and tea of your choice.
  • Once your water begins to boil, add the cinnamon sticks and let boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the sticks and steep your favorite herbal or green tea as recommended by the label.
  • Once it’s cool enough to drink, enjoy.

More great benefits about cinnamon can be found here: Cinnamon Is A Powerful Spice That Offers Amazing Health Benefits

4. Enjoy a Bowl of Chicken Soup

The sodium in the broth may actually have anti-inflammatory properties, and it can feel good going down.

When you don’t feel well, the last thing you want to do is prepare anything difficult, so soup is a go-to anyway. But it also helps ensure you’re getting nutrients which can be challenging when eating hurts.

Vegans and vegetarians, fear not! Any dairy-free soup can be substituted for chicken. A vegetable broth would do the trick too.

5. Drink Ginger Water

Ginger is an expectorant, it helps loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory system. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and fights off bad bacteria. It boosts circulation, increases oxygen flow and flushes out toxins. More benefits about ginger here: 11 Benefits of Ginger That You Didn’t Know About

  • Grab some fresh ginger root (about 2 inches is perfect), some honey, a veggie peeler and cutting board, 3 cups of water and some wax paper.
  • Wash the ginger and peel it.
  • Slice the peeled ginger into small pieces, place on the cutting board and cover with the wax paper.
  • Crush it with a mallet (or any sturdy kitchen utensil-even the flat side of the knife works).
  • Boil the water over medium heat and add the ginger.
  • Let that boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add honey.

I like to add lemon to mine as well, but that’s up to you. If you don’t want any ginger in your sips, you can strain before drinking. Just make sure you drink this while it’s still warm.

6. Invest in a Humidifier

When your throat hurts, the worst thing you can do is breathe in dry air. Humidifiers fill the air with moisture, making it easier to breathe and less painful for your throat.

Humidifiers come in a wide range of sizes, and some offer scents like eucalyptus. Here’s a guide on how to choose a good humidifier.

7. Enjoy Some Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s not the most delicious remedy, but it is a helpful one. It’s rich in acidity, which is effective at killing bacteria. Now add honey and you’re basically coating your throat with relief. Find out more about apple cider vinegar here: 15 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of very warm water. Drink up!

Tip: If the taste is too strong for you, try 2 tablespoons of the vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup warm water and gargle once a day instead.

8. Hold a Warm Compress to Your Throat

When you experience back pain, you often reach for a heating pad. So you should not treat your throat differently.

Try a warm compress such as a small heating pad, a hot water bottle or a warm, damp cloth. Just be careful not to burn yourself.x

9. Try a Spoonful of Honey

Honey’s antimicrobial properties can help you heal faster. If you don’t think you’re ready to drink vinegar just yet, this could be a good place to start instead.

Simply enjoy a spoonful of raw, local honey. It’s as simple as that!

Check out more benefits of honey here: What Happens When You Start Drinking Honey Water Every Day

10. Make Popsicles

Dairy can worsen a sore throat, so don’t reach for ice cream because the idea of something cold sounds soothing. Instead, opt for a popsicle. Licking a cold popsicle can temporarily ease a sore throat by numbing the pain. Rather than indulging in a sugary, syrupy pop, try this recipe:

  • 1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. matcha powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Start with 1/4 cup honey and add more to taste. Pour into pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

The number of pops this recipe yields depends on the size of your popsicle molds. If you have 4-oz molds, you’ll get 4 pops. Smaller molds yield more.

Decide What’s Best for Your Body

While all of the recipes and tips above are worth trying out, you know your body best. Choose what’s best for you from the above natural remedies, but see a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than three days or only seems to get worse.

Your doctor can look at your throat, discuss your symptoms, and perform tests to help you recover more quickly if you should need antibiotics.

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10 Best Acne Treatment You Need To Use Instead of Popping Your Pimples

We’ve all been there. You’re heading to an event, and your skin breaks out. Acne is such an annoyance, and it always seems to crop up at the most inconvenient times.

When you see a pimple rearing its ugly head, it can be tempting to pop it. It’ll get rid of some of the pressure, and maybe the blemish will look a little less obvious for your event. That sense of relief is short-lived. Not only can you cause scars that are difficult to conceal, but popping that zit can also spread bacteria and cause more blemishes.

Then there are the horror stories, such as the woman from Austin, Texas, who popped a pimple and paved the way for a nasty staph infection on her face.[1] Instead of damaging your skin or causing an infection, it’s always better to use an acne treatment. You can painlessly tackle the problem without leaving any marks.

If you’re already looking at your skin and feeling guilty about the acne scars on your face, don’t panic. There are treatments available to minimize and reverse that type of damage as well.

To get rid of your pimples and heal acne scars, try one of these

1. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

If you need something that works quickly and effectively, this spot treatment by Mario Badescu is a great option. The salicylic acid and calamine (the same ingredient used to treat poison ivy) can dry out a pimple overnight. Instead of spreading bacteria on your face, use this drying lotion to shrink whiteheads and heal acne.

This treatment is so simple that you don’t even need to rub it in. Just dab it on, let it dry overnight, and then rinse your face in the morning. A little bit goes a long way.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, 1 fl. oz., $17.00

2. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel – .7 oz.

Those tough acne scars will gradually disappear if you use Mederma Advanced Scar Gel. Use this once daily to reduce or eliminate scars–regardless of how long you’ve had them. This is a great product to have on hand because it works for many different types of scars, not just those caused by acne.

Mederma is recommended by doctors and pharmacists over other brands because it’s proven effective in clinical trials. Adding this product to your medicine cabinet can help you with existing scars, and it’ll ensure that you’re prepared for any scar-inducing situation that could crop up in the future.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel – .7 oz., $14.78

3. Bio-Oil Liquid Purcellin Oil, 4.2 Fl Oz

When you have sensitive skin, applying products can cause more irritation. A scar-remover might not seem worth the extra damage that it could cause. Bio-Oil is hypoallergenic, and its non-greasy formula means that it won’t clog your pores and make matters worse. This product has not only aced clinical trials, but it has also been the top-ranked scar-reducing product in 18 countries.

We usually think of treating acne and scars in teens, but this formula works well on aging skin too. Uneven skin-tone and dry skin are also no match for Bio-Oil.

Bio-Oil Liquid Purcellin Oil, 4.2 Fl oz, $12.32

4. Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers

If you find it truly difficult to resist the urge to pop a zit, these acne absorbing covers by Nexcare may be a good bet for you. Since they cover the blemish, you’ll be less likely to try to squeeze it.

The covers are drug free, and non-drying, which means that they’re great if you’re someone who doesn’t respond well to salycilic acid and drying agents found in many medicated acne treatments. This products works by soaking up the pus, oils, and bacteria in the blemish. The color of the cover changes to let you know that it’s working.

Nexcare Acne Absorbing Cover, Two Sizes, 36 Count, $6.39

5. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing

If you prefer to go the natural route, this bentonite clay skin treatment is a good option. It doesn’t contain any additives, fragrances, or animal products, and it will deep-clean your pores. This clay is sourced from Death Valley, California, where it bakes in the sun for at least six months.

This method of cleansing the skin and healing insect bites and acne has been around for centuries. Although this one is tried and true, it may not be best for those with sensitive skin.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing, 1 Pound, $9.80

6. Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face 20% with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

This is another great all-around product. It’s effective at healing and reducing acne, but it is also works on scars. You can use this if you’re battling outbreaks, and it’s an excellent choice for making aging skin more radiant.

Amara is 100% organic, cruelty free, and fuss-free. You won’t need to worry about walking around with an oily or sticky acne treatment on your face. It absorbs quickly, leaving you with smooth and healthy skin.

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face 20% with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E, 1 fl. oz, $19.95

7. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask

Don’t let the word “mask” in the title fool you. This isn’t one of those masks that you have to peel off your face after a few minutes. This product absorbs into your skin–you don’t have to spend time washing it off. It applies in a thin and even layer so that you can even use it underneath makeup. Let this one work while you’re at work–nobody will be able to tell that you’re treating your skin as you go about your day.

Benzoyl peroxide, the acne-fighting ingredient in the mask, is a gentle and effective way to treat acne daily. This product will decrease the inflammation and size of pimples in as little as four hours, and it prevents future blemishes from popping up.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask, 2 oz. (pack of 3), $20.92

8. Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner

Neutrogena is well-known for their skin-care products, which is why the brand has a second mention on our list. This Rapid Clear Toner not only reduces acne, but it can also minimize old acne scars. A build up of oil and dead skin cells, common causes of pimples, don’t stand a chance against this product.

The salicylic acid and exfoliating ingredients in this toner can reduce acne in as little as 8-hours. If you get pimples on a frequent basis, this is a product that you could use daily to alleviate the issue.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner, 8 fl.oz., $10.69

9. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

InstaNatural harnesses the power of plants to nourish and beautify your skin. This Vitamin C serum helps to remove signs of aging by reducing the negative effects of everything from pollution to UV rays. This is a solid choice for alleviating acne scars.

Regardless of your skin’s sensitivity or moisture level, this product works with your unique body chemistry to make your skin radiant. You can use this as a standalone product, or you can incorporate it into your favorite mask or moisturizer to give it a boost.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E, $17.97

10. Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller

If you have discoloration on your face from acne scars, NeoStrata’s blend can help to remedy it. Your skin constantly sheds cells, but this product causes this to happen at an accelerated rate. This paves the way for more even-toned skin to take its place, and the tyrosinase-inhibiting formula prevents new discoloration from occurring.

The Vitamin E in NeoStrata nourishes and protects your skin, while ingredients such as Retinol have proven anti-aging benefits. Say goodbye to the remnants of all those pimples you popped in your teenage years and hello to clear healthy skin.

Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller 30ml Treatment Beauty Product, $38.18

You don’t have to pop your pimples or live with the scars

With so many products for various skin types, there is no excuse to waste another minute leaning over the bathroom sink trying to bust a zit. The scars and the potential for infection are simply not worth the momentary relief.

Instead of giving into the pimple-popping craze that’s gained so much popularity on the internet, treat your skin with the respect it deserves.

Reference

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How to Make Money Fast: 10 Easy Ways to Make Money in the next Hour

The average savings rate for an American under 35 right now is -1.8 percent. (Yes, negative.)[1] Coupled with declining salaries from large companies[3] and the rise of the “gig economy” (where payments don’t always occur at stable times), there are often situations now where (especially young) people need to know how to make money fast.

Of course, thousands of sites — maybe even millions — claim to offer ways to make money fast, or to teach you some hack about how to make money fast, but the sites are scattered and have varying degrees of validity. Many of us don’t know where to start, or if the site we found is reputable.

Our goal here is to fix that and to show 10 possibilities for how to make money fast.

1. Do One-off Selling on LetGo

LetGo is a great site for one-off selling to people in your neighborhood or general region. Anything with value, from clothes to old books and magazines, is going to be fair game.

You need quality images, some ideas of a valid price point, and the ability to upload. You can also cross-share on Facebook and Instagram to drive more traffic to the sale. People have sold everything from old pens to collections of Blue Apron recipes on LetGo and made money quickly.

2. Sell Overseas for a Better Price

Two good sites for this are Alibaba and Taobao. When you sell items that are local to you but to overseas customers, you can get better deals —  because things are often considered more valuable if they’re rare or imported from elsewhere.

While it is possible to also sell services on sites like these, offering services from the U.S. to China might require consistent use of a private jet, and if that’s your situation, you probably don’t need this article in the first place.

3. Rent out a Room on AirBnB

AirBnB is an excellent way to make some additional cash. Many are now renting out their apartment and, using the funds from that rental, traveling the same weekend.

Most AirBnB hosts are still doing it for side/quick money, although there are six-figure AirBnB earners.[2] In 2016, about 75 people worldwide earned more than $1 million hosting AirBnB,[4] although admittedly earnings for hosts are higher in 15 cities globally.[5] (In general, a “good” AirBnB city can yield a host up to 81% of their rent.)

Signing up for AirBNB is safe and easy, here’re some handy tips to get started.

4. Rent out Parking Space with JustPark

You can rent out driveways, car parks, empty hotel spaces, etc. — and do so within the time windows that work for you with JustPark. There are a few limitations you need to be aware of, such as whether you’re the legal owner of the space (not a deal-breaker!) or whether the space requires FOB access. Check out the detailed requirements on JustPark here.

JustPark is a good revenue-generator for some, although the monthly earnings are likely to be less than AirBnB. One “hack” to know, though: JustPark listings that include Minimum Retail Prices actually — and counterintuitively! — make 4x the revenue of other listings on the service.[6]

5. Writer Reviews as a Product Tester

This is a fairly easy one: visit a website/app, complete a series of tasks, and earn $10 per test on UserTesting. There are some necessary requirements, including:

  • A PC or Mac, an internet connection, and a microphone. You’ll need an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet If you’d like to take Mobile tests.
  • Ability to download testing software.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Ability to speak your thoughts aloud in English.

6. Teach on iTalki

In short, you’ll get paid to help others learn a language. There are a number of benefits, including a flexible schedule and international payments. Close to 20 languages are currently available to teach in, with demand consistently growing.

iTalki takes about 15% of your earnings, and is best thought of as an extra income source — not a primary one. It’s a good example of how to make money fast though you won’t make a huge amount.[7]

Sign up and become a teacher on iTalki.

7. Do Pet Sitting

There’s an extensive database of pet sitting jobs available on PetSitter, which is a huge bonus for pet lovers looking for ideas on how to make money fast.

In addition to pet-sitting, there are a range of other pet-related activities (mostly dog-walking and feeding). The ceiling on pet-sitting earnings from this or other sites (such as Rover) is about $3,000-$4,000 per month, with most users making less than $1,000.[8]

It depends on time available, market you’re operating in, and context. By “context,” one thing to note is that finding people who vacation a lot (empty nesters, retirees, etc.) will increase your recurring income from pet sitting. Once they trust you with their pets, they might hand you the contract for every vacation.

8. Get a Child Care or Home Care Job

You can find typically child care or home care jobs designed to fit your schedule on Care.com. The jobs will vary from babysitting to nanny work to after-school pickup to housekeeping, shopping, errands, and more. They do offer rate calculators for various services, such as babysitting, with larger cities starting around $20/hour relative to experience.

One advantage of making money on Care.com is the volume of jobs available is very high. If you have flexibility to combine different commitments, you can generate $1,500+/month from this site.

9. Become a Uber Driver

There have been lots of discussions about driving for Uber vs. Lyft and which is better for drivers (the argument varies), but Uber’s driver requirements aren’t hard to pass. Check out the requirements to become a Uber driver here.

Ride share driving is easy in terms of GPS navigation helping guide you, and the schedule is flexible. The actual hourly rate varies by city, but it’s usually $20/hour or under.[9]

It’s oftentimes hard for Uber to classify because they don’t designate their drivers as employees. When they advertise $40/hour (as has happened), that’s probably on the very high end.

Now you can even get a guaranteed $275 for your first 40 rides with the invite code here.

10. Sell Your Talent at Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the more popular gig sites, with new projects requested every five seconds and about 25 million projects completed to date. There are about 100 categories to choose from including writing, animation, design, making products go viral, Facebook cover photos, voice-over, etc.

As a seller, you can charge anywhere from $5 to $995 for your package. They also have a “Pro” option now once you either prove expertise in a given area or work with a wide variety of clients.

People do make six figures on Fiverr,[10] although that’s admittedly rare — most people make about $300 to $500/month depending on their level of commitment to the platform.[11]

Start selling your skill at Fiverr.

The Bottom Line

There are many practical ways to make money fast online, typically through the emergence of new platforms. It’s important to remember the trade-off between flexibility and stability.

These approaches of how to make money fast will usually give you some degree of flexibility in when you work and how you earn, but they may not give you stability. If you have certain bills that are due at a given time each month (i.e. rent on the 1st), you will need approaches to how you save or periods of time you ramp up working.

Reference

[1] The Wall Street Journal: Younger Generation Faces a Savings Deficit
[2] Fast Company: Secrets Of Running A Six-Figure Airbnb Business
[3] Wharton: Why It No Longer Pays to Work for a Larger Firm
[4] Forbes: The 75 People Who Make $1M A Year From Airbnb
[5] Smart Asset: Where Do Airbnb Hosts Make the Most Money?
[6] Just Park: 7 Easy Ways To Increase Your JustPark Earnings
[7] glassdoor: iTalki
[8] New York Post: Meet the people making $3,300 a month pet-sitting for strangers
[9] The Washington Post: How much Uber drivers actually make per hour
[10] Forbes: How These 3 People Make 6 Figures A Year On Fiverr
[11] Joseph Feliciano: 22 Days On Fiverr + Income Report

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10 Best Wallets for Men and Women (with RFID-Blocking Technology)

Did you know that technology has advanced so much that a thief can steal your credit card information simply by standing near you? That’s right. If your credit or debit cards have RFID chips embedded in them (which allow you to tap to pay), then tech-savvy thieves can steal your card details just by using portable RFID readers.

To counter this worrying trend, you can now buy wallets that feature RFID-blocking technology that prevents reader device signals from penetrating your wallet – thus, keeping your contents secure.

Lifehack has handpicked the 10 best RFID-blocking wallets, and we’re confident that one (or more) of the wallets will perfectly match your requirements.

1. RFID Blocking Wallet for Men and Women

A classy, minimalist wallet, that will protect your credit cards, smart cards and driver’s licence information. The thin stainless steel metal will also protect the wallet’s contents against water damage – without spoiling your clothes.

RFID Blocking Wallet for Men and Women, $19.97

2. Access Denied Mens RFID Blocking Wallet Leather Bifold 11 Slot Secure Flip ID

This wallet is made with genuine leather, and is both elegant and durable. Its smooth, pebbled texture and embossed prints make for a neat and stylish design – perfect to carry anywhere. There are 11 card slots, including a center flip ID section, that allows quick access to frequently used cards such as photo IDs.

Access Denied Mens RFID Blocking Wallet Leather Bifold 11 Slot Secure Flip ID, $44.95

3. Mens RFID Blocking Wallet – Excellent Travel Billfold – Men’s Security Wallet

Features a unique military-grade shielding technology with proprietary blocking material. The wallet has a simple, clean, traditional billfold design, which includes nine card slots, one bill pocket (with full-size bill section), and ID window. Great value product.

Mens RFID Blocking Wallet – Excellent Travel Billfold – Men’s Security Wallet, $9.99

4. Front Pocket Wallet – RFID Slim Wallet with Money Clip Pocket Zipper 8 Credit Card Case Holders Leather RFID Blocking

A slim wallet that still has space for 15-20 business cards and at least 10 credit/debit cards. Holds cards securely so they don’t fall out of the wallet. Also has a handy zipper pocket for change and bills.

Front Pocket Wallet – RFID Slim Wallet with Money Clip Pocket Zipper 8 Credit Card Case Holders Leather RFID Blocking, $14.99

5. RFID Blocking Trifold Wallet for Men, Mens Security Wallet

Classic trifold wallet designed for men. Features six credit card slots and one side pocket. Despite its cheap price, this slim, pocket wallet could be just what you need.

RFID Blocking Trifold Wallet for Men, Mens Security Wallet, $8.99

6. Latest Stainless Steel RFID Blocking Credit Card Holder for Men & Women

The polished stainless steel cover is fingerprint-free. You can also expect effortless opening and closing using the easy-click button. (This latches securely when not in use.)

Latest Stainless Steel RFID Blocking Credit Card Holder for Men & Women, $11.99

7. Flipside Wallets New RFID Blocking Flipside 4 Wallet

This wallet is designed and manufactured in the USA. It’s constructed from high-strength polycarbonate and aircraft-grade aluminium alloy. Automatically locks itself shut on close, and flips itself open when the button is pushed down. It can hold up to 8 cards and 10 cash bills in its streamlined, easy-to-access slots and compartments.

Flipside Wallets New RFID Blocking Flipside 4 Wallet, $39.95

8. Sharkk® Aluminum Waterproof Wallet RFID Protected Aluma Wallet Rugged Water Resistant Wallet and Card Holder for Men & Women

The unique selling point about this wallet is that it is waterproof. Although not designed for cash, it can fit bills that have been folded several times. If you’re looking for a slim wallet that fits comfortably and easily into your pocket or purse – then this could be the one for you.

Sharkk® Aluminum Waterproof Wallet RFID Protected Aluma Wallet Rugged Water Resistant Wallet and Card Holder for Men & Women, $17.99

9. Woolet: The Slimmest Smart Wallet for the Modern Man

As well as protecting your card from RFID readers, this smart wallet uses miniature sensors to synchronize with your smartphone. This technology means that you get alerts from the wallet if you accidentally leave your phone behind. But it also works the other way too. If you leave your wallet behind, you’ll get alerts on your phone (via the dedicated app). So, it’s 2-in-1 protection, that should give you the ultimate peace of mind.

Woolet: The Slimmest Smart Wallet for the Modern Man, $99

10. Tumi Alpha Double Billfold

Tumi ID Lock™ is a proprietary technology incorporated into the design of this product that protects personal data encoded on most IDs. The wallet is well-built and classy. It also comes with a 2-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Tumi Alpha Double Billfold, $85

Having your credit card details stolen can be distressing – and even traumatic. That’s why it makes senses to protect your cards by using an RFID-blocking wallet.

Stay stylish, stay safe.

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The Jeopardy of Taking Others’ Opinions Seriously

When I was younger, I spent a lot of my life caring what other people thought of me. Honestly, it was just a bunch of stress that I never needed.

It started during my childhood. My parents always had high expectations for me. I always had to be what their idea of a well-behaved girl should be; disciplined and reserved, having perfect grades and daily habits. It was my responsibility to be the perfect role-model for my sister. Everything that she should strive to be.

Even without my parents there, I became very aware of everything I did and said, always careful to do whatever was expected of me. My parent’s strict ethic unconsciously filtered into my everyday life. I started to care greatly about what everyone else thought about me. I was constantly trying to fulfill the image of who everyone else thought I should be, and it started stressing me out.

I didn’t know how to manage to stay true to myself while still making everyone else happy. It wasn’t until I grew older and discovered my true passion that I realized how powerful my own voice could be.

Shut down the Voice of the Peanut Gallery

People give their opinions all of the time. They just can’t help it. We all want to be heard. But unfortunately, some of these opinions might be directed at you.

Whether they are positive or negative, these opinions are based on their own judgments and biases. Because their opinions are biased and reflect their own self interest; what they have to say isn’t always the best thing for you. After all, if you judge a fish on its ability to fly, it will always have a miserable life.

They don’t know your situation and they don’t have to live your life, so it’s nothing to worry about.

Besides, words hold a different meaning to everyone.

Language is nuanced, complex, and not at all universal. Everyone has different values placed on different words. What one person may find offensive, could be a compliment to a completely different person. You will never know what anyone’s true motive is behind what they are saying, so it’s better just not to worry about it.

Trying to fill their expectation isn’t worth it, especially if you’re not sure what they want from you.

When You Silence Your Voice, You Break Your Own Heart

If you present yourself as what you think people will like, you’re becoming a shell of yourself. Those who you are so eager to impress will never know what you are truly like or how you really feel. You’re doomed to always keep up appearances or else you risk revealing yourself as a phony.

Your true needs will never be satisfied and you’ll always feel empty. No one will ever like you for you.

We’re all adults. Everyone is responsible for themselves and their own happiness. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to live with yourself. You’re the only one who experiences your emotions, you’re the only one who faces your battles. Most people are just passing through your life, and they truly have no effect on your well being or future. Stop concerning yourself with pleasing them.

The only person’s expectations that you need to meet are your own. All you need to be happy is to live your life on your own terms. If this makes anyone uncomfortable, they can see themselves out.

Making Your Voice Heard

Don’t let anyone dictate how you think or feel. Be confident in your values and make your voice heard. When you value what other people think of you over your own opinions, you’re giving them the power to dictate your level of self esteem . Build up your own self-esteem by focusing on your strengths and being proud of them. Here’s an article about building leveling up self esteem: How to Build Confidence From Scratch

When you let other’s opinions overpower your own, you are letting them bury your potential. Everyone is born differently and you’re allowed to think differently than others regardless of how much you might respect them. The differences that you possess is what gives you the potential that others don’t have. If you try to ditch your differences to impress others, you’re denying your true self.

Let’s say you’ve just started a new job and you don’t really know anyone. You’ve noticed that all of your coworkers are very into Electric Dance Music, which you can’t actually stand, but you pretend to like it so that you can go out with them. Maybe you made some new friends, but they don’t know you for who you truly are. You’re making yourself miserable by listening to terrible music, and suppressing your true nature.

I made my voice heard by creating a blog to write about my ideas. I try to focus on gathering more perspectives to expand my horizons. I let others’ ideas influence me, but they don’t control my train of thought. My voice is still my own.

Create Growth Opportunities Out of Any Voice

Have a clear understanding of what people think of you and what you think of yourself. Take the time to consider other people’s opinions to see if they hold any water, but don’t weigh them with too much importance.

If those thoughts are possibly beneficial to your growth, they definitely deserve some consideration. Some opinions are given with good intentions to help you grow; but if those opinions are clearly based off of pure emotion and bias, just forget it. You don’t need that kind of unprecedented negativity in your life.

My parents always gave it to me straight. They wanted me to be a good role model for my younger sister and for her to follow all of my “good” behaviors. They always had good intentions and I respect their direction, but in the end I have to live my own life. Instead of doing everything that they expect of me, I choose to embrace what I value to live a happy and fulfilling life.

And that’s good enough for me.

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