Hobbies, Home and Family

How to Buy an Infrared Sauna

Saunas have been around for a while and infrared saunas, in particular, have been rising in popularity. While they are still relatively new when compared to other types of saunas, infrared saunas have been consistently outselling other types due to the advantages that it posseses over other types.

Infrared saunas use infrared light as the heat source instead of steam or heated rocks that can be found on more traditional types of saunas. This results in a lower temperature and it is actually more comfortable than traditional saunas due to the gentle warmth. Humidity is also very low because there is no steam.

There are some things that you need to know before buying one and this guide will help you. If you want to check out infrared sauna reviews instead, head on to choicesaunas.com for the best in each categories.

Types of Heaters

There are two types of heaters that you can choose from when it comes to infrared saunas.

Ceramic Rods. These are cheaper and they can operate at higher temps. While these are effective, it is simply the inferior option because they are quite fragile and they can cause accidental burns if you happen to touch it or a part of your body grazes it. The higher temperature is also not ideal when it comes to infrared saunas because it is less likely to penetrate the body.

Carbon Fiber Heaters. These are the better option and they are slightly more expensive. They produce lower temps as compared to ceramic rods but they are also safer and more efficient. These can produce an evenly distributed heat so that your whole body benefits more and the infrared can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. They are also more durable and less likely to cause burns due to the nature of how they function.

Safety and Build Quality

Certifications are important when it comes to saunas because you will be exposing your body to it and you don’t want it to have a negative effect on your health. Saunas that are certified will be more expensive but they are safer and they are tested to function properly. Those without will be cheaper but if you ask me, I won’t gamble my safety just to save a few bucks.

Wiring is also important because if it is not wired properly, it’s guaranteed to malfunction and you will be stuck with a useless sauna that either needs to be warrantied or repaired out of pocket, both of which are a huge hassle.

The wood used in the sauna kit needs to be treated properly and the correct type should be used. Wood that can bend, bow, splinter or outgas is a no-no when it comes to quality saunas. Some of the woods that you should look for are hemlock, cedar and pine.

How expensive the sauna is will mainly depend on the number of people that can fit in it. Other parts such as the heaters, wood and other extras will also play a part but the size of the sauna is the main factor. A 1-2 person infrared sauna will cost around $700 – $2,000. The more people it can fit, the higher the price will be.

Quality of Life Upgrades

Extra features such as speakers, aromatherapy dispensers, chromatherapy lighting, oxygen ionizers and more are great extras to have but ultimately, if you want a cheaper sauna that is still of quality, you can forgo these extras. However, these are nice extras to have and they can definitely help you relax even more and enjoy your sauna to the fullest.

Budgeting, Hobbies

How Much is Too Much for Your Hobby?

Everyone has hobbies that they enjoy. I, for one, tinkering with stuff and recently, I got into making my own DIY earphones and amps. Nothing special, really, just trying to learn how to make them and hopefully, learn to make them sound good.

I’ve been keeping track of my expenses and I realized that I’ve been spending a small amount of money on the different parts that I need. I began to think about the money that I spent and is it worth it to me? My answer is yes, by the way. Learning about different stuff is always something that I enjoy and I will gladly spend money on it if it brings me satisfaction.

This got me thinking. Some hobbies can be very expensive due to the things that you need to buy in order to get the best experience. This begs the question, are the expenses worth it?

When you start a hobby that requires some spending, it can be hard to decide on which ones to spend your money on. One of the traps that a lot of people fall for is that they have to have the best equipment available. If you are serious about your hobby and you are skilled enough, then yes, by all means, get the best available equipment that you need. However, if you are a beginner or not yet skilled, you shouldn’t focus on the expenses at first, try to learn more about the hobby for now and worry about getting the best gear later on when you know that you will be serious about it.

Here are some tips to help you before spending too much on your hobby.

First off, learn about the particular hobby and know your goals. What is your objective? Do you plan on getting serious about the hobby for the long term? Most importantly, do you have the money to spare without affecting your financial obligations? Think of these first before spending too much on a single hobby.

The best equipment or gear is not a substitute for skill. Getting the best gear or equipment will not instantly make you more skilled in your hobby. In fact, they can be a hindrance in your improvement because you will become reliant on these gears. For example, if you are learning to play guitar, getting the best amplifier and effects can make you sound better. This is because the effects can mask your tone and the amp can color the sound that is coming out. This is not your skill that’s producing great sound, it’s the equipment. Once you’ve learned how to sound good with a budget or entry level equipment, you will know for sure that your skill/proficiency with playing the guitar has increased.

Never take a salesman’s advice when it comes to buying equipment. Yes, they are knowledgeable about the equipment but they also want to get a sale as much as possible and there is a conflict of interest here. You may be talked into buying something that you don’t really need or more expensive than what you need. Instead of salespeople, talk with a friend that knows about your hobby or browse the net for topics concerning your particular hobby.

Consider renting or used equipment. This will be far cheaper than buying a brand new one. There are deals online that you can watch out for. If what you’re after is really expensive and you won’t be using it on a regular basis, it might be better to rent or buy it used.

Some hobbies are money traps. They are disguised as hobbies but they really are just a way for you to spend more money on them. For example, collecting stuff that a lot of people are already collecting. By all means, if you like collecting and you have the money for it, no problem. However, if you just want to collect something for the heck of it, think twice because it can really put a hole in your budget.

Travel

Travel Now or Later?

Traveling is definitely fun. One of the questions that I get asked frequently is this: Do I travel now when I’m still young or should I save it for later?

My advice is this, do it now, while you’re still young. When you travel while you are still young, there are a lot of things that you can do that you just can’t do anymore when you are older. Here are my reasons why I think that you should travel while young.

Traveling is easier if you are single and you don’t have responsibilities yet.

Having kids is a game changer. You won’t be able to do what you want, whenever you want because of your responsibilities. Traveling while you are still single and with no dependents will allow you to enjoy yourself and worry only about yourself.

This is not to say that traveling with kids is impossible. There are a lot of families that do this but if you really want to travel without worry, doing it while you are still young is the best way.

You are more flexible.

When you are young, you will be able to tolerate a lot more things. For example, you may be able to stay in cheap hotels, eat cheaper food, stay within your budget and more. When you are older, these things will be harder to tolerate and this actually sounds like a trip that is not worth going to.

Traveling without financial responsibilities.

When you are well into your 30s, you will have a lot of responsibilities financially. There’s rent or mortgage, car payments, house bills and more, if you are married with kids. When you are young, you don’t have to worry about these as much.

Travel expenses will go up in the future.

As with everything in life, the prices will go up in the future and the same is true for traveling. Travel and lodging expenses will rise and if you are not well off by then, you will really struggle to find the money to travel.

Traveling while young will expose you to a lot of things.

Learning about foreign cultures, sharing experiences with foreign people can lead to life changing experiences that may be helpful to you later on.

Budgeting, Home and Family, Parenting

Teach Your Children About Money

Learning about money is always a good thing. Teaching your kids about money as soon as they can understand the basics will really help them a lot in the future. Yes, they will still make financial mistakes but it will be minimized and they will be better equipped in dealing with these mistakes.

When they reach the age where they can earn money for themselves, these lessons will come in handy and will make them financially responsible.

How and What do you Teach them?

We’ve established that you should teach your children about money, so, what and how do you teach them? Here are some suggestions.

Talking about money is a great first step. Simply talking about money whether it be budgeting, expenses, saving and other things will let them know the importance of each.

Spending and saving is a balancing act. Don’t be afraid to spend money if you think the return is worth it, also, don’t spend money just because you can.

Always have multiple sources of income. While this is already an advanced lesson when it comes to finances, teaching your kids at an early age that multiple income sources is better than one is never a bad thing. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you are setting yourself up for failure and hardship if it fails.

Money will buy most things and it can be a very important source of happiness. Yes, not everything can be bought by money but a lot of the things that will entertain you such as hobbies, your interests will require money. Money is important in this day and age and having enough of it is very important.

Money earned illegally will always come back to haunt you. The money you earned will not do you any good if you can’t spend it.

Saving and spending is the basic gist of money management but learning about investing,

Money is important in relationships. While some relationships can survive without having enough money, those are rare and they won’t have the best experience because even if you love someone as much as you think you do, money will always be an issue in the long run.

Don’t compare yourself to others that have more earning powers than you, unless you use them to inspire yourself. If you’re just going to be envious or you will just be depressed, better learn how to NOT compare salaries or income.

Time is money. Always think big picture. If you have a business, don’t dwell on the tedious stuff, outsource them if you can and focus on the tasks that can make the business grow and eventually earn more.

Money is very important and it is one of the things that can determine if you are happy with your life. Having said that, you shouldn’t make it your only goal in life. There are a lot of things that can make you happy aside from earning more.

Debt, Retirement

Reasons Why You Won’t Retire

More and more people are staying in the workforce despite reaching or getting past the retirement age of 60-65. Why is that? When you were young, it’s almost a certainty that you wanted to retire early, it’s a dream for most. Retiring at 50 or 40, even, was something that a lot of my peers wanted but sadly, it did not materialize. The reasons will vary and if you don’t want to fall into this trap of being a worker without a choice, read up so that you will be prepared and you can plan accordingly.

Debt

Accumulated debt over the years is a killer. You will be forced to work until you die because if you can’t pay, you will lose everything or worse. It can be from smaller forms of debt such as credit cards or larger scopes such as student loans, housing, car payments etc.

Try to pay your debts as soon as you can. Pay them off little by little so that you will not be burdened with paying them off during your later years. Even better, try to stop getting into debt. Yes, this is easier said than done but if you want to be able to retire early and enjoy your later years, you have no choice.

Medical Bills

Some people are burdened with medical bills and there really is nothing they can do about it, especially if they have an illness that requires continuous treatment. The best thing that you can do about this is to live a healthy lifestyle in order to lower the risk of getting sick and incurring high medical expenses.

Insufficient Savings and/or Pension

If you live a lifestyle that requires you to spend too much, you are setting yourself up to be a slave to money until your later years. It doesn’t matter if you earn a high income because you will want to maintain your lifestyle until later and once you are unable to support that lifestyle, it will be very hard to adjust your lifestyle.

Try to live modestly and don’t overspend. While this may seem preachy, it is just a suggestion.

Working until your later years is not entirely a bad thing though. If you enjoy your work and it stimulates the brain, go for it.