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How to Up Your Motivation on Getting in Shape

by Advance Financial | July 6th, 2017

Fitness

Let’s go back to around March or April and think about your fitness goals. Was it something along the lines of “ the ultimate beach body by summer?” If that has yet to be obtained, then there is still time to kick it into high gear at the gym and start eating a healthy diet. If your reading this blog, then chances are the reason you haven’t obtain your fitness goal is due to lack of motivation. I mean let’s face it, working your butt off at the gym and then going home to eat a salad and downing a protein shake isn’t the most exciting routine to start. To help you get in the gym and start eating right, here are some tips to help with motivation.

1. Get some new workout clothes

Ever experience that feeling of no longer dreading the next day of work because you have some new threads to show off to your co-workers? It works the same for when getting new gym clothes. Make going to the gym a fashion show. Purchase some workout clothes you feel confident in and you’ll be itching to go to the gym to show them off.

2. Recruit a fitness buddy

Misery loves company ;). We kid, but having a partner in crime to knock out the weights does make it a lot more enjoyable. Turn working out into your new weekly get together with your closest friends and you’ll start looking forward to hitting the gym.

3. Sign-up for group fitness classes

It’s not all about boring work out routines and the monotonous jog around the track. Sign up for a swim class, a dance class, a spin cycle class, or any other class that gets your blood pumping.

4. Put your money where your motivation is

We have found a way for you to actually get paid for working out, or charged for not working out. The app Pact makes you accountable by tying your bank account in with your workout success. Make a weekly pact to exercise more or eat healthier. Set what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t reach it and if you don’t they get paid. It works the same for you though, so if another member doesn’t meet their goal you get paid.

5. Reward yourself

If you work hard then you deserve a reward. Set goals and if you meet those goals reward yourself. Say you lose 5 pounds in a week’s time; you get a new pair of shoes. Reached a new bench press max? You get a beer (light beer). When your working for small rewards then you’ll have more motivation to make it through the week.

6. Track your success

There is nothing like success to boost your motivation. Make sure and keep track of where you start and the progress you’re making along the way. There are tons of apps and programs, like Weight Watchers, that help you track your progress so you know how far you’ve come in your fitness journey. Take pictures as well so you can visually see your progress.

7. Let the world know of your progress

All your friends are doing it so why not join in? Take what they call “gym selfies” and pictures of the healthy meals you prepare and share on social media. Getting praise for a “progress pic” is a pretty good feeling. It may sound a little vain, but hey, it sure will get you motivated.

8. Create a workout playlist

Does the right music get you in the mood for throwing around weights and sprinting around a track? Make yourself a playlist of music you like that’s also up beat and only allow yourself to listen to it at the gym. Pandora has some great pre-made workout stations that you can also take advantage of.

9. Splurge on a personal trainer twice a month

If a fitness crazed trainer yelling at you won’t get you motivated to push through that workout then nothing will. Make an appointment twice a month to work with a personal trainer as a way to mix things up and ensure you get a seriously good workout. You can even get some friends to join and do a group session.

10. Get creative with your workouts and diet

It’s not just about salads and the treadmill. Make eating healthy enjoyable by trying unique, yet health conscious recipes. Working out doesn’t have to be the same old gym workout you do every time. Take a hike one day or do some indoor rock climbing. Switching things up and making them more exciting will make getting into shape something you enjoy and you’ll be motivated to keep it up.

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How to Trick Yourself into Saving Money

by Advance Financial | June 8th, 2017

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It’s all in your head! Being financially frugal with your money and putting some away to save is all about psychology. You’ve got to mentally commit before you’re ever going to be able to see the numbers increase. Here are some pretty simple ways to trick yourself into building that savings account.

Get More Tax Refund with Payroll Deductions

We know – manually removing money from your checking account and putting it into savings can be painful. Even having money be automatically taken out every month hurts because you still see that money leaving. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the moto you need to focus on and the best way to do this is to claim fewer exemptions on your W-4 so extra cash is withheld from your paycheck. When tax season comes around you will get all that extra money back through a refund. You never had to see the amount actually leave your account the whole year so you won’t even notice it’s not there.

Remove Credit Card Numbers from Online Shopping Sites

One of the best moves from online retailers was adding the feature to save your credit card information for easy checkout. I mean think about it. The extra steps at the end of checking out can actually make you not even want to make a purchase on something you don’t even need. By removing all of your cards from all your favorite stores will force you to take that extra step of checking out when shopping online, which in turn, is deter you away from even making the purchase, hopefully. If you are an online shopping addict, you’ll be shocked at how much you can save by taking away the convenience factor.

Make Yourself Think You’re Broke

When your checking account is overflowing with cash it’s easy to spend money like you’re a celebrity. Easy way to fix this- make it look like you’re broke. Figure out the base amount you’ll need to survive and put the rest in a separate checking account that’s not connected to a card. Just the fact that looking at your main checking account and seeing a low number will be enough to put you on guard to think twice about every purchase. And if it gets to the wire, you can always transfer some back. But make sure it’s just enough to get you through. Once payday comes back around transfer whatever is left in the second checking account into savings.

Transform Your Routine

Change things up and make expensive routine things in your life either be scarcer or completely disappear. Take smoking for instance. Cut back or completely quit. Not only will it be a lot healthier, but you will also save a lot. Do you have a routine of eating out with friends multiple times a week? Try making a new tradition of eating dinner at each others house and everyone brings a dish. This one definitely takes creativity, but if you can find ways to switch out expensive routines for cheaper ones then you will be one your way to saving some green.

 

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How to Dye Easter Eggs Using Ties

by Advance Financial | April 14th, 2017

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Anyone who has ever dyed Easter eggs knows that it can be a messy activity, especially with young children. A new technique that has become the popular trend this year is fabric dyed eggs. This technique is not only super easy and mess free, but it also produces beautiful and unique Easter eggs. Keep scrolling and you will get our step by step guide on how to dye eggs using a men’s tie.

Supplies

Supplies needed to dye the eggs using fabric are an unboiled egg, scissors, an old white t-shirt, paper clip or string, a pot with lid to boil the eggs, a 100% silk tie, and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

Supplies

 

 

Step 1: Cut Up Tie

First thing to do is cut the tie so there is enough fabric  to wrap around the egg. Make sure to  loosen all thread so the fabric spreads out as shown below. It is important that your tie is 100% silk or the dye will not transfer over to the egg. We found our tie at Goodwill for $1.50.

 

laid-out

 

 

 

Step 2: Cut Out Shirt

Next you need to cut out a circle in the white t-shirt. Make sure to cut a circle large enough that you can completely cover the egg. You can actually use any thin fabric for this like an old sheet or pillow case. When choosing a fabric make sure it is completely white.

shirt

 

Step 3: Wrap Eggs in Fabric

Now you need to wrap the tie fabric around the eggs. Make sure the front side of the tie, the side that shows, is on the inside so more ink will bleed onto the egg. Using either a paper clip or string, tie the top so its tight around the egg. Next, take the t-shirt cut out and wrap around the egg the same.

 

Wrap

Step 4: Boil Egg

Place egg in a pot and make sure the water completely covers the egg. Add in 1/4 a cup of white vinegar and let boil for 20 minutes. Make sure to cover the pot when boiling.

Pot

 

Step 5: Let Cool and Unwrap

After 20 minutes of boiling, take out the eggs and let cool on  a towel for 10-15 minutes. Carefully unwrap eggs and see your beautiful creation. And thats it! super easy and fast with hardly any clean up.

 

finished

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49% Off Valvoline Oil Change

by Advance Financial | April 13th, 2017

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DEAL FINDER ALERT!!!! Right now you can get 49% off an oil change from Valvoline. This deal is being offered on Groupon.com and is a limited time offer, so make sure and purchase this coupon quick before it runs out.

Click Here to get this deal.

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Best Mom and Pop Businesses in TN

by Advance Financial | March 30th, 2017

CoverMOMANDPOP

As a family owned and operated company, we at Advance Financial understand the importance of supporting and giving back to communities you live and work in. There are tons of great places to support local businesses here in the state of TN and we have created a list of some of our favorites. Building a strong community starts with supporting local businesses, so get out and buy local.

 

Cootie Browns- Johnson City

Just might be the best sandwich place in JC and the cool and colorful atmosphere of the restaurant is definitely something to experience.

Cootie_Yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Mize Farm and Garden Supply – Johnson City

Family owned and operated, the employees here ensure that your shopping experience will be great with their knowledge of agriculture/gardening.

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Image Credit – DexKnows

 

 

OverMountain Outdoors – Johnson City

This place is owned locally and stocked full of all the necessities for spending time in the great outdoors.

OverMnt

Image Credit –Johsoncitypress

 

 

Bea’s Restaurant – Chattanooga

Great all-you-can-eat style southern restaurant with some of the best fried chicken around.

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Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Moon Pie General Store – Chattanooga

You’ll definitely be able to find just about every flavor of Moon Pies that exists at this place, as well as old timey candy and other great souvenirs.

MoonPie_yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

All Things Groovy – Chattanooga

All Things Groovy is your go to place for anything that’s psychedelic and tie-dye. For some hippy vibes and great local souvenirs make sure and stop by.

groovy-Yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Elliston Place Soda Shop – Nashville

Serving up homespun milkshakes and homemade pies for 75 years, this is the local restaurant you’ve got to try at least once.

Elliston_yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Batch Nashville-Nashville

You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to shop local with Batch. They provide gift boxes with goodies that are all made locally.

Batch_yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Project 615 – Nashville

If you looking for the coolest Nashville t-shirt around, then you need to stop by Project 615. They also carry all sorts of Nashville inspired décor and souvenirs

615yelp

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Mast General Store- Knoxville

Decked out with an old timey vibe, this is the place to get everything from Appalachian toys to glass bottle coke and ice cream.

 mast

 Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

 

Nick & J’s Café – Knoxville

Named after the owner’s children, Nicholas & Jordan, this place has become a staple restaurant for the Nashville area.

NIckandJ

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

Three Rivers Market- Knoxville

This is a great local grocery store that does tons to give back to the community while also supporting local farmers.

3rivers_ylep 

Image Credit – Yelp

 

 

 

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Purchases That Should Be Practical

by Advance Financial | February 22nd, 2017

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Self control. It can be one of the hardest rules to abide by when it comes to your purchasing behavior, but also the key to saving money and being better off financially. At a time when a newer version of a product is introduced on a constant basis, this can definitely be a difficult task to undertake. Marketers are working their magic to make you feel like you need the best of the best and the newest version of everything. But really, you don’t. You don’t have to have the newest version, the best version, or the most enhanced version of anything. Practicality is key, and we have created a list of the top items where the most expensive and best version is not always necessary.

 

  1. Smart Phone

Face it. That thin, electric box we all carry around has become the one item that many of us can’t live without. This of course is going to make it harder to resist a flashy new version of what you already have. In a lot of cases, the new version isn’t really all that new. Take the IPhone 7 for example. The difference from the 6 and 7 really came down to a slightly better camera. Being practical in the case of a smart phone is being happy with what you have and resisting the urge to do an expensive upgrade every time a newer version comes out. If your current phone serves its purpose, then the practical thing to do would not be getting a new one. Stay happy with what you have and try to make it to the 2-year mark before upgrading to a newer version.

 

  1. Vehicle

There is one question that you need to ask yourself when purchasing a vehicle. What is going to be the purpose of this purchase? Do you run a handyman business and need to haul equipment to jobs? Is it to transport your kids to the many practices and school events they are involved in? Looking at a vehicle as a means of transportation is the practical way to buy one. Getting a brand new, expensive truck with all the bells and whistles yet never intending to actually use it to haul anything is probably not spending your money wisely. Of course, everyone has his or her personal preference when it comes to the size of a vehicle, but a vehicle is a major expense that can put you in a mound of debt. No matter which way you breakdown buying a vehicle, it is simply something to transport you from A to B. So save yourself a lot of money, and buy a vehicle, not a prized toy. It’s the practical thing to do.

 

  1. Appliances

Here is a little secret about most appliance brands. The exact same companies that manufacture the expensive brands usually manufacture the “off” brands as well. That means the warranties are usually just as good as well, so there really is nothing to fear with the cheaper options. You may not get the little extra add-ons that come with some of the more expensive fridges, stoves, and dishwashers, but remember the key word for this article – practical. Do you really need a fridge with an LCD screen that shows a slideshow of family pictures? The answer is no.

 

  1. TV Subscriptions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, its pretty oblivious that streaming services like Netflix have been all the rage the last couple of years. So much so that a lot of people are ditching cable because of it. But if you really think about it, most of us don’t even watch the majority of the channels with cable or satellite. Instead of paying 100+ a month, switch over to a streaming service like Sling TV. The basic Sling TV package will allow you to stream roughly 20 channels, including ESPN, TBS and TNT, for a flat $20 a month. What’s even better is you get to choose the channels you want.

 

  1. Groceries

Let us preface this with saying that there are some brands you are going to be completely loyal to and can’t live without- JIF Peanut Butter for example. But for the majority of the groceries you buy, it’s a lot more practical and easier on your wallet to get the off brand products. Brands like Great Value from Wal-Mart, or Kroger Brand usually have all the same options, while tasting almost the same. And just like appliances, a lot of the “off” brands are actually manufactured by the exact same companies, so you’re not compromising on quality.

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Weird and Wacky Items You Need in Your Life

by Advance Financial | February 17th, 2017

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When it comes to online shopping, the sky is the limit for weird and wacky items available to purchase. Do you actually “need” any of these items? Probably not. They all would definitely add a little uniqueness to your life, though. Here is our list of some of the most interesting items available to order online.

 

USB Type Writer

UBS-Typewriter

 

uncommongoods.com


 

 

Monkey Nail Dryer

 

 

monkey

 

infmetry.com


 

Mini Donut Factory

donut

bedbathandbeyond.com


 

Singing Pasta Timer

sining

amazon.com


 

Webbed Swim gloves

Web-Hands

wish.com


 

Scary bottle squeezer

ketchup

 

blacklabproducts.com


 

Food USBs

food-usb

amazon.com


 

Chemist Spice Rack

spicerack

amazon.com


 

Bear Oven Mitts

bearmittens

amazon.com


 

Splash Bowls

Splash-Bowl

amazon.com

 

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Easy Halloween Crafts To Do With The Kids

by Advance Financial | October 26th, 2016

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Halloween is the best time for crafts with the kids. Between carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and making your own spooky decorations, they are bound to have some great childhood memories. To help you make even more memories with the kids this Halloween, we have outlined some super easy and kid friendly crafts to try out.  Enjoy!

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