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Archive for November, 2010

What Is a Credit Score and Why Is It So Important?

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 19, 2010

Why Should I Care About My Credit Score?

You may not care about it, but lenders and even some employers do. The better your credit score, the lower the interest rates will be on any loans or credit cards you decide to apply for. There are a lot of low-cost services online that enable you to check all three-credit scores at any time. I’d recommend using sites with calculators that show an approximate interest rate for a car or home loan based on your score. That way if you need to develop smart debt you are sure to know you’re getting a good deal.

What Affects My Score?

Are you making payments on time? What is your debt-to-income ratio? In other words, how does your income relate to the amount of unsecured debt you own? The length of credit history can also play a big factor. Keep in mind that five years is still considered short. You’ll need credit history for at least a decade before you’re in the ideal area for lenders. The amount of credit you have is a factor, as is when you took out that credit. If it was recent, it could have a negative effect on the score.
A late payment can hurt your score, but if this happens only on rare occasion, then the impact is minimal. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, and judgments can devastate your score.

How Does Mine Look?

The most widely known type of score is a FICO score. FICO is short for Fair Isaac Corporation and is considered by many to be the most accurate. The three major credit-reporting agencies are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, who also calculate credit scores.

In general this is how lenders tend to view your score:

Excellent credit = 720 and above
Good credit = 660 to 719
Fair credit = 620 to 659
Poor/bad credit = 619 and below

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Enhance Your Immunity Balance for this Autumn

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 12, 2010

According to Ayurveda, a person in good health will not be affected by even the most contagious disease because natural resistance to disease is part of being in good health.

In Ayurveda, immunity is dependant on the digestive fire, our capacity to digest and assimilate nutrients. If your body is healthy the immune function is strong and foreign bodies are destroyed and removed so that it can return towards a state of homeostasis. If your body is not healthy, foreign bodies can survive in that environment. Toxins from undigested food also provide a favourable environment for foreign bodies.

So, how can you improve your eating habits and lifestyle choices to enhance digestion. Here are a few dietary, lifestyle and yoga tips to set you on the right track for enhanced immunity this autumn.

Dietary tips to enhance digestion

Be aware of:

* how you digest (how do you feel after a meal? light, satisfied?)
* the size of your portions and when you have eaten enough
* the foods you eat – do they suit your constitution ?

In Ayurveda, foods such as milk, ghee or clarified butter and honey (in moderation) are also considered important for enhancing immunity.

Other suggestions:

* Include many fresh organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans in your diet. To get the nutrients for an enhanced immune function, make sure that there’s always plenty of fresh organic produce around.
* Sip hot water or ginger tea throughout the day but not during mealtimes to enhance your digestive capacity.
* Reduce your sugar intake and alcohol, both of which affect the activity of white blood cells

Lifestyle tips

There are several lifestyle choices that can tip the scales towards either illness or health. Try the following ideas to help boost a healthy immune system:

* Be regular with your mealtimes so that the body is prepared for periods when it will be nourished.
* Maintain a healthy body weight (ideally BMI between 20 -25) Being underweight or overweight places stress on your organs and body functions, thus adversely affecting the immune function.
* Have a good night’s sleep
* Exercise regularly – 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes is the recommended minimum

Yoga tips

* Savasana, the basic relaxation position, can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce muscular tension, reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and enhance immune response.
* regular meditation e.g. simply sit in a quiet place for a short period each day
* do alternate nostril breathing to balance the mind and body and boost immunity

Many of the practices to support good health and immunity are intertwined. Lowering stress levels can help you to sleep more soundly and choose more nutrious foods. Sleeping more soundly can give you more energy to exercise. Ayurveda’s holistic approach can help you develop a lifestyle that is good for your body and your mind while supporting health and immunity.

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the “Nutri-Jyoti News”, a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course “5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life” on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

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PWG Financial Tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 12, 2010

The calendar page turns to November or maybe even December and we realize how few days remain until Christmas. It’s not too late to plan for a merry holiday season paid for with cash!

This week, start by making a list of all the people whom you’d like to bless with a gift this season. Keep it simple. Start with your immediate family and set a dollar limit for each. The dollar limit for each should be the amount that you are comfortable paying in cash. Commit to keep your spending to that amount or less.

The next thing to plan for is holiday gatherings, both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Determine now the amount you can spend on potlucks or travel.

Once you’ve determined those two amounts, total up them up and divide it by the number of paydays you have between now and Christmas. You may need to make adjustments.

Last, make a list of inexpensive or free gifts you could give. Examples are homemade cookies, fudge, chocolate sauce, soup mixes, certificates for nights of babysitting, free car washes, or for a homemade dinner. Look also for packs of items you could divide into several different gifts. There are a multitude of ideas.

By making a plan and sticking to a preset budget, you can have a merry holiday season with no financial regrets later.

 

By Natalie Ames

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 3, 2010


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems—especially for young children and older adults. There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. However, there are simple ways you can protect your child or yourself from getting sick during RSV season. Some quick facts about respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV:

• It is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages.
• Almost everyone gets RSV by age 2.
• The number of RSV cases typically rise in the fall, peak in the winter, and decline in early spring, but the exact timing of RSV season varies by location.

Symptoms:

RSV symptoms are like those of many other respiratory illnesses. Infants and young children may experience a fever, reduced appetite, runny nose, cough, and wheezing. Older children and adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and a feeling of general sickness. RSV also can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, in both children and adults.

Transmission:

RSV spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, sending respiratory droplets into the air.

Prevention:

• Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing,
• Wash their hands often with soap and water for 15–20 seconds,
• Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others, and Refrain from kissing others.

Care:

If you think that you or your child might have an RSV infection that requires medical care, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. RSV symptoms in most infants, children, and adults clear up on their own in a week or two.

More Information www.cdc.gov

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