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Photo by: FreaksAnon

It’s easy to get off track with healthy eating and exercise goals, just like it’s easy to lose sight of personal finance goals. I’ve been feeling stressed out and unfocused lately, and it’s not just because of the looming recession. I haven’t made a healthy diet and regular exercise the priority I’d like it to be.

The result is that I’ve become a less productive employee and a generally less present partner and friend. I believe that everything is related: our relationships to our mental and physical health and money matters. This is especially true when looking at how an unstable economy can have a profound affect on our health.

On Tuesday, Dr. Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art was just on Here and Now discussing the relationship between a recession and mental health. He says the suicide rate is so much related to a recession that its peaks can be seen as a way to foresee a recession.

The Irish Times also asked if ill health in the economy can make us unwell. Its article said:

Several UK studies from the 1970s and 1980s show the unemployed tend to have much poorer health than those in work. The British Regional Heart Study reported high death rates among unemployed men, while the OPCS longitudinal study found especially high levels of lung cancer, suicide, accidents and heart disease among the unemployed.

USA Today columnist Mark Siegel urged readers “don’t let the economy kill you”:

Though stress in society at large is impossible to measure, we’re already seeing anecdotal evidence suggesting that angst is spreading. In New York, calls to the Hopeline network for people with depression or suicidal thoughts increased 75% in the 11 months ending in July. And according to United Health Group, the largest U.S. health insurer, hospital admissions for psychiatric services are up 10% this year over last year. Medical illness is sure to follow.

Harvey Brenner, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, projects that an increase of 1 percentage point in the nation’s unemployment rate could cause as many as 47,000 more deaths —including 1,200 more suicides and 26,000 additional heart attacks —over the ensuing two years.

These articles just confirmed the need to live a healthier life to combat this nasty economic situation. My half an hour walks to and from work have been a good start, but I need more activity to help me with my focus and relaxation. I’m taking Seigel’s advice and start practicing yoga and meditation. In times like these, it’s easy to be bogged down by what we have less of, or don’t have at all. But to combat the stress and improve overall health, it’s best to nurture and appreciate the things we have: health, partners, friends and family.

It’s July 11th! That means it’s Apple iPhone day. At 9 pm EST, you can get an iPhone for the first time in Canada, but do you really care? I love Apple products, but you can count me out. The idea of signing a three-year contract with Rogers gives me shivers, and I’m not the only one. As the only service provider for iPhones in Canada, Rogers has been accused of being corporate jackasses with some of the most expensive service plans in the world. While some Apple freaks will still pay top dollar for usage, many would-be consumers have put their foot down, signed petitions and vowed to boycott the Rogers’ services (and in turn th iPhone) on principle. Why should we have to pay more for inferior service plans?

I find the controversy over the Rogers plans to a be fascinating peak into the world of business, supply+demand, Apple fanatics and the power (or lack of) consumer anger. Here are some my favourite links about the iPhone, Rogers and technolust:

Rogers, Apple iPhone and disgruntled Canadians: Blogger Nancy Zimmerman explains the kerfuffle that is the Canadian iPhone story.

Rally online today: The people behind RuinediPhone.com are organizing an online rally against Rogers’ service plans for 10 am EST today. They’ve got the support of Liberal MP David McGuinty’s

Technolust: Today’s podcast from The Current examines technolust and why Appleholics have to have the newest products.

CBC’s iPhone iNdex: An interactive map that compares iPhone rate plans around the world. Guess what? Rogers’ plan for Canadians is the second most expensive in the world, second only to Vodaphone’s plans in Italy.

Why are Canadian cell phone plans so expensive?: CBC’s science and technology writer, Peter Nowak explains why Rogers’ iPhone rates are so expensive compared to the rest of the world, why there is no unlimited data plans, why Canadian mobile rates are generally more expensive and what the future of Canadian cell phone competition will look like.

How to cope with gadget envy: Still want an iPhone despite Rogers’ ridiculous service plans? Resist and read Get Rich Slowly’s great advice on how to avoid falling into technolust.


Photo By: acnatta

Frugal Dad shares the story of an American family that slashed its weekly spending from $660 to under $110. It’s a pretty impressive cut in expenses. In the video (MSNBC), Ellen Roberts, the mother says the key was just knowing where all her money was going:

“You just spend so much money on frivolous things, it adds up. You don’t understand how it adds up until you really see the numbers.”

It seems pretty simple, but even I’ve been surprised by how much more conscious of my spending I’ve become since recording where my pennies go.

Lesson learned: You can’t know how much money you spent, if you don’t write it down.

I’ve still got about a week of recording before I create a proper budget.Judging by my numbers so far, I’m not sure I could live within the budget of the Roberts’. Although Ellen admits she’s going back to getting professional pedicures,  I’m extremely impressed by their ability to spend under $110 for the entire family. As an individual, do you live happily under $100/week? Could you? Could you cut your spending in half?

Related posts:

  • On Not Budgeting

  • Photo By: Shahram Sharif

    The forecast here in Toronto calls for a rainy weekend. It’s good weather for staying in and reading. Here were some of my favourite reads from the past week:

    How to Live with Just 100 Things: Time Magazine reports on participants of the 100 Things challenge, including Dave Bruno of Guy Named Dave, who are taking the lead on clutter and reducing their pile of stuff to a concise list of 100 things. Could you live with only 100 things? Probably, but the question is would you want to?

    Yeah, You’re Cheap Quiz: It’s its A fun quiz to see whether you’re cheap or frugal, smart or stupid with your cash. Yes, it’s Time Out NY, but it can be applied to any city.

    How To Achieve Any Goal: Leo, writer of Zen Habits has a knack for making it seem so simple. Every challenge has its bigger bumps. Whether we want to be more financially fit or athletically fit, we all need motivation and the reminder that we can do it.

    Advice for Starting A New Business: As a person who dreams she will one day be her own boss, I gravitate towards advice for starting my own business. J.D. of one of my favourite blogs, Get Rich Slowly, asks his knowledgeable readers on what they think a new entrepreneur should know.

    Please share your favourite articles, blog entries and other links with me.