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Life Hacks for 2015

July 7, 2015

bruce leeSometimes it’s the little things in life.  Like taking away the things that bug the hell out of you.  Here are the top things I’ve found in the last year or so:

Sleep:  If you naturally go to sleep easily, screw you.  For those of us who struggle to sleep, I got an adjustable bedframe that puts the body into a zero-gravity position.  Now I fall asleep without meds and the real difference is now I can sleep on my back, and what I found by transitioning from side/stomach sleeping to back was a massive difference in quality of sleep.  This might be the single quality of life difference I’ve discovered in 2015.  I would have paid a small fortune to have learned this a few years ago.  This might not work for everyone – I recommend Sleep Country:100% cash back (not store credit) for 90-days – so you have zero risk- and they price match.

MightyText:  When I walk into the office, my Android phone jumps on the WiFi and instantly I get my texts on my computer.  I literally developed neck/muscle issues from holding my phone so damn much and texting.  This app alone was a compelling reason for me to switch from an iPhone.  If you use Chrome, try the plug-in.  Using the web version, try the “Power View.” (Credit: Craig)

Spare cell battery: Amazing how $40 can solve a reoccurring stress so easily. I recommend this phone case for heavy iPhone users and buying a spare battery/charger for android users.

TypeMail:  This app is literally everything I wanted an e-mail app to be.  Customizable shortcuts, ability to archive and put in folders easily, laid out intelligently — everything the stock email app wasn’t and should have been.

TripAdvisor:  This was my best travel discovery.  I love to travel but want the planning phase of it to be over as quickly as possible (while optimizing for cost/experience awesomeness).  When planning my trip to Argentina, someone recommended I 86 the stack of long-ass-overwhelming-to-read-already-dated-guide books and use TripAdvisor/user reviews.  Pure gold.  So fast, so easy, so painless, and accurate.  Plus, when I was traveling, found the smartphone app super useful for finding the best restaurant, coffee shop, dance club, etc like an experienced local.

DoctorOnDemand:  Holy crap if this wasn’t one of my favorite discoveries from CES 2015.  Want to see a doctor for $40 instead of $125, in minutes instead of an hour or two?  Give this a try.  Game changer for basic doctor visits, simple prescription needs.  They often have coupon codes for free first visits.  Use my code 339elx9q to get your first Video Visit FREE! If you sign up, I get credit too. Download the app or register here:

External monitor/keyboard:  I was spending hundreds of dollars a month combating headaches caused in part from being hunched over my notebook computer.  Spent $200 on an external monitor (and stacked boxes redneck-like until it was head-height) and $80 on a great keyboard – problem solved.  Best money I spent all year and good investment in keeping me from being a hunchback.

Smart watch:  If you are constantly checking/using your phone for business, try a smart watch.  I’ll bet $50 you don’t return it.  Also does step tracking and often for sale used on Craigslist or eBay (where I just bought mine for over half off barely used).  This awesome, free service allows you to see all the email lists you’re subscribed to and have them put into an email each day so you’re getting 1 email instead of 10 each day, and makes it easy to unsubscribe to pesky ones you no longer want.

Facebook Purity (  *Highly recommend*  Allows you to make facebook what you want it to be:  remove keywords (ie, Jenner, politics, jesus, whatever) and disable notifcations, remove ads, and more.  Works for the web (not mobile).

Health Insurance:  Can’t believe I didn’t know this existed years ago.  I went from 5k deductible at $275/month to a $500 deductible at $150/month by switching to Christian Healthcare Ministries.  Unsure about what happens when you actually have to use it?  I can speak from experience, since I had to file a claim recently.  To add to the awesomeness, any discounts you negotiate with the doctor count against the deductible.  Example:  my $2,700 hospital bill was discounted $650, which CHM applied against my $500 deductible.  Total deductible:  $0.  For families, $450 covers everyone, regardless of number of kids.  Do your own math and analysis.  Premium savings alone cover my whole deductible 3 times a year. If you sign up, please reference member #189034, since it’ll save me a month’s worth of insurance.  (Credit: Dustin)

Favorite small bluetooth speaker:  Large sound for size, crazy battery life.  Great for packing with luggage, hot tubbing, etc.

Favorite deodorant:  Much better than the deodorant stick I’ve been using for 8 years.

Favorite Omega-3 oil:  This is the best rated oil for the money and one of the few supplements that I can feel.

Favorite computer glasses:  Discovered at CES, these just make my eyes relax when I’m on my computer.

Favorite white noise maker:  I’ve been using this for 10+ years.  I take it everywhere I travel.

Favorite protein bars:  And best price on the internet.

Favorite Blogs:  Financial and Life.

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