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Laid Off? 5 Ways to Slash Expenses Till Your Next Employment

Forget the financial perils, the worst part about getting laid off is that it wasn’t even your fault. You were doing your part right and yet, one fine day, you’re unemployed.
First off, know that you’re not the only victim of this impromptu injustice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19.9 million workers were laid off or discharged from duty in 2016. Secondly, if by any chance you’re doubting your own abilities even the slightest bit, don’t. It had nothing to do with your performance and wasn’t personal. End of story.
Believe it or not, in the not-so-distant future, you’ll look back at this adversity as a blessing in disguise. Now you’re aware of the gloomy fact that “job security” is nothing but an illusion. And this is your chance to introspect, learn necessary life skills, and put an end to wastage by adopting a minimalistic lifestyle.
Understandably, you may not want to do any of that and carry on with that comfortable cubicle life. But no one is immune from layoffs, and it is better to go through this “ordeal” sooner rather than later.
Read on to find out how you can flip this supposed setback into a reinvigorating experience that empowers you to become healthier, happier, and wiser. Do these five things to not just save yourself big bucks until you find your next calling, but also to lead a more fulfilled life, from here on out.
1. Cancel that Gym Membership
Apart from negotiating a severance package, one of the first things you must do is cancel unnecessary memberships and subscriptions. For instance, your gym membership.
Of course, this is not to say you compromise on your health and fitness, but do you really need an expensive gym membership to get/stay in shape? Go for a jog outside instead of on a treadmill. Get inexpensive weights and do your lifting at home. And you obviously don’t need the gym to do push-ups, squats, sit-ups, crunches, and what have you.
Let YouTube replace your personal trainer for a while. It is not as difficult or as weird as it sounds. And if you can stick to it, it’ll grow on you and you’ll never need that expensive gym membership again.
2. Cut Back on Fine Dining
By fine dining, we mean everything from snacktime cravings and fast food to actual fine dining in lavish restaurants.
The biggest and perhaps the only benefit of eating out is the time saved. But as you’re out of work, you now have time to cook at home. The benefits? It is considerably less expensive and healthier than eating out. Plus, you get to learn cooking as a skill that’ll save you money even after you return to the workplace.
3. Start Shopping Sensibly, Not Impulsively
We are all guilty of succumbing to impulsive shopping, be it offline in a mall or online on Amazon. What starts as harmless window shopping often turns into an expensive purchase. While it was fine when you had a regular paycheck, now you have to be extra careful you don’t whip out your credit card every time something strike’s your fancy.
The layoff is your opportunity to knock some sense into your shopping habits (or your spouse’s) and appreciate the importance of spending wisely. When it comes to your purchasing habits, try to buy what you need, not what you desire. “Draw a line through every purchase or event that, in hindsight, was associated with being HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired),” writes Ellen R. Siegel, a certified financial planner in Miami.
4. Say ‘Hi’ to DIY
Again, as you have an abundance of time now, you can choose to do many day-to-day tasks yourself instead of paying people to do them for you. In other words, you can mow the lawn, wash the car, fix the door, paint the walls, walk the dog, and so on, yourself. All such little savings when combined make a significant difference in slashing your overall expenses.
Moreover, learning to do all these activities yourself will make you a self-sufficient individual, something we all must strive to become. And you can always start using these services once you get busy with a new gig.
5. Clip the Cable
Finally, now is the perfect time to cut the cord and cancel your cable TV service. If you absolutely need it, consider subscribing to Netflix or Hulu for your TV and entertainment needs, as that would be substantially cheaper. Of course, we won’t advise you to subscribe to such services when you should be looking for work and doing productive activities instead of watching TV. But some leisure can help keep your spirits high, so there’s that. And there’s always YouTube.
Besides, no good happens from watching excessive television. Unless you’re watching something educational, informative, or instructional, you’re literally killing your precious time on earth.
Final Thoughts
These simple yet effective tactics will make the pain of layoff a little less financially and hence, less mentally taxing. Additionally, you should surely consider doing part-time work or freelancing while hunting for a full-time job. Ideally, your part-time work should be related to your field and allow flexibility to actively pursue your job search, but anything that pays the bills may do for now.
Ultimately, you don’t want to settle for a job you’re not interested in just because you ran out of money. So, you must put these tactics into practice as soon as you can.
Have you ever faced a layoff? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below!

Officials: Flight diverted after woman strikes 2 people

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Officials say a Chicago-bound American Airlines flight was diverted to Indianapolis after a woman struck another passenger and a flight attendant.
Airline spokeswoman Laura Masvidal says the flight, which departed from Miami, landed around 5:45 p.m.Read more on NewsOK.com

Is It Hot? These Pictures Will Refresh You

As heat waves hit across the globe, adults, children, even animals enjoy some cool relief. The mercury is high not just in the expected places, like India, the Middle East, or California, but this year places like Germany and the United Kingdom are also getting scorched.
Who can then blame one for taking advantage of every opportunity to soak one’s body in a pool, sea, ocean, or perhaps a water fountain.
June 2015 was the hottest ever for 32 American cities from Alaska to Arizona. The list includes places like Las Vegas, Reno, and Miami. Miami is actually experiencing the hottest year on record, according to Weather.com.
Across the ocean, Madrid hit a record temperature for July with 103.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Berlin broke their record as well with 100.2 F and Frankfurt set a new high at 102.2 F. Germany as a whole hit a new July record when a middle-sized town of Kitzingen in central Germany heated up to 104.5 F.
United Kingdom toppled its July heat record with 98.1 F measured on the London’s Heathrow Airport. Paris, France, came close to its all time high with temperatures of 103.5 F, the second hottest reading since 1873.
Yet if you’re really hard to impress, you may want travel all the way to the south of Spain to the historical city of Córdoba, where July has brought, so far, a scorching high of 113 F.
Now if you’re looking for a slight counterbalance, you’d have to look all the way down to Australia. That’s right. Aussies have winter these days, meaning the temperatures dropped to chilling 41 F over the first July weekend.

Everything Rosé

Cruising down the Hudson River on the sleek Hornblower Infinity Yacht, sipping rosé wine and nibbling on posh creations of upscale chefs—that’s an NYC summer night out in style if you ever saw one.
And that’s what the world’s first festival dedicated to rosé is about. La Nuit En Rosé started last year in New York and immediately celebrated a success with sold-out events and some 2,300 in attendance, as its website states. This year it expanded to Miami and Los Angeles too.
All aboard a yacht, guests were treated to a selection of over 100 rosé wines, including Château d’Esclans and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte for example, while mingling, dancing, enjoying the skyline, and otherwise having a good time.
For a VIP ticket, guests enjoyed a set of delicacies prepared specially to match the wine selection. And speaking about matching, many extended their love of pink wine into a matching outfit, which were complemented by pink hats—conveniently provided on the spot.
Rosé wine, with its wide pallete of pinky hues, is made just like red wine, except the grape skins are removed from the pressed grapes after just one to three days. With red wine, the skins would be left for the entire fermentation process.
Depending on how long the skins are left with the juices, rosé wine can have a slight pinky coloring but also a more rich, almost purplish one. There are also sparkling, Champagne variants, though some of them are produced by adding red wine to a finished white sparkling wine.

Healthbox Launches Accelerator in Miami With 10 Health Startups

Digital health accelerator Healthbox is launching its accelerator in Miami and it has announced 10 health startups that will be joining the eight week program. The Chicago-based accelerator has forged a long-term partnership with Florida Blue and now its holding company, GuideWell, and it will be rotating the program across Florida. Program sponsors include Orlando-based Lake Nona Institute, the Health Foundation of Florida, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Entrepreneurs will benefit from customized, stage-specific guidance and curated access to healthcare and business experts, while meeting our industry partners needs to see innovation at all stages,” said Healthbox Vice President Maria Siambekos.
South Florida’s health companies have been successfully growing in the region’s tech ecosystem. Healthbox’s move to Miami further confirms the vertical’s strength and potential.
Here are the 10 companies in Healthbox’s next class:
Avatar DSS — Avatar DSS offers a service that simulates multiple treatment options for a certain disease and analyzes the results of these simulations to determine what the best approach is for a specific patient.
EHR Works — EHR Works aims to integrate data from multiple sources, including EHRs, wearables, medical devices, and lab tests, so that providers can keep all the data in one place.
HealthCentrix — This startup has developed an app, called Prevvy, that aims to help patients follow their care plan after they have been discharged from the hospital. The offering will send the patient notifications and reminders to keep them on track. It also offers an appointment management system and medication tracking. Users can integrate a variety of wearable devices into the app to track their health and they can communicated with a provider via “televisits”.
Hindsait — This software works as a service tool that uses health data and predictive analytics to help clinicians and managers flag requested patient services that may be unnecessary.
iCare Intelligence — This startup has developed a population health management tool that measures the costs of services on a per patient, per physician, and per physician group basis. It analyzes trends, care gaps, and risk gaps, and then aims to save money and increase quality of care.
Keet —This app helps physical therapy patients complete their physical therapy exercises. The app will provide users with a physical therapy guide that the physical therapist will put together for the patient, which they can do at home.
Tesser Health — Tesser has developed products across a few different areas including a chronic condition management tool, triage tools, as well as a drug benefit plans and drug pricing-focused tool.
Transformair — Transformair has developed an air purifier that helps eliminate triggers for asthma and allergies.
Sensentia — Their app helps members verify their health benefits and check which providers are in network. It also helps payors authorize certain medical procedures and helps providers write their medical notes in a way that would help coders or an automatic coding system make an appropriate claim.
Symptify — Symptify is an online symptom navigator to help patients understand the potential causes of their symptoms.

Image Credit: Flickr/NEC Corp of America

One crew member and two contractors die in engine room fire aboard cruise ship docked at St. Lucia

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A crew member and two contractors died Thursday when a fire broke out aboard a luxury cruise ship docked at the eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia, officials said.

The 656 passengers aboard the Oceania Insignia were evacuated safely and the remainder of the cruise was cancelled, according to Oceania Cruises.

A crew member was in the hospital, said Jason Lasecki, senior director of public relations for Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of Oceania Cruises.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred this morning on Insignia,” said Lasecki, adding that passengers will be fully refunded and charter flights have been arranged to take them to Miami as well as accommodation until they can be flown to their cities of origin. Oceania’s president and other officials are in St. Lucia.

It is unclear what caused the fire, which began in the engine room and was contained. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending officials to help with the investigation, which was being led by the Marshall Islands, where the ship is registered.

St. Lucia police declined to comment, and the island’s fire officials could not be reached for comment.

The Insignia had departed San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday for a 10-day cruise and was scheduled to arrive in Miami on Dec. 17.

The ship was built in 1998 and underwent a multimillion-dollar refurbishing earlier this year. It rejoined the Oceania fleet in May after operating as a charter for two years, according to Oceania. The Insignia has 400 crew members, and its officers and staff are European.