Tag Archive FITBIT

The Fitbit Comparison: Which Model Is Best for You?


When it comes to fitness trackers, Fitbit is the first company that comes to most people’s minds. Fitbit has built a reputation for inexpensive, feature-packed machines. The corporation has even turned its handwriting to smartwatches, opening Apple a run for their money.

Their range has grown over the years, from only a few manoeuvres to an eclectic assortment for every situation. With so many options out there, we’ve created this Fitbit comparison to help find the claim maneuver for you.

The Best Fitbit Smartwatch: Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

Buy Now On Amazon $199.73

The Fitbit Versa 2, the company’s fourth aim at a smartwatch, is arguably the best Fitbit available today. The watch lopes Fitbit OS, the company’s smartwatch operating system, and combinations all the best features of a fitness tracker with smartwatch convenience.

The Versa 2 has the several sensors found on most of Fitbit’s devices, including an always-on optical heart rate sensor. The battery life is around six eras, with a full cost taking about two hours. Interestingly, the Versa 2 comes with Alexa integration, extremely, saving your digital deputy always within easy reach.

Although the Versa 2 has in-built NFC, it is only used to operate Fitbit Pay, the company’s answer to Google Pay and Apple Pay. However, the service is currently limited to a select number of banks, and, as a result, may not be a useful feature for you.

The watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters and even includes swimming utilization tracking. That’s alongside automated utilization tracking and manual tracking for up to 15 usages. You’ll too be able to rest easy knowing that the Versa 2 can move your sleep too.

If you like the Versa 2′ s wording but aren’t too keen on the rate, the Versa Lite is a more affordable option. The Versa Lite is a somewhat stripped back volume of the watch to return the premium down. So, there’s no onboard music storage, swimming tracking, tracking of storeys clambered, or NFC.

If you’re in the market for a fitness-focused smartwatch, then you may want to check out our Fitbit Versa review. The Versa was the predecessor to the Versa 2, with a similar feature-set but without Alexa integration.

The Best Fitbit Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

Buy Now On Amazon $149.95

Despite the industry’s best efforts , not everyone wants a smartwatch. If you fall into that clique, then the Fitbit Charge 4 may be only the machine for you. The Charge 4 is Fitbit’s most feature-packed fitness tracker, even importing some smartwatch-style notifications.

As with the Versa 2, the Charge 4 is water-resistant up to 50 rhythms. Nonetheless, it is designed to look more like a traditional fitness tracker. The machine ogles is a wristband than a watch. The black and white screen subscribes sound and swipe wars and sits in accordance with the device’s strap.

Fitbit is still best known for its pedometer boast, which is given priority here too. They have taken clues from the Apple Watch, though, with the stair count on the standby screen amended by replacing the a circular gradation objective tracker. That said, your detailed daily act summary is exclusively a swipe away.

The Charge 4 represents the first time Fitbit has embedded a GPS sensor into one of their fitness trackers. This means you can more accurately measure outdoor exercise, and be recorded of the locale of your rolls, bike goes, and other workouts. “Its one” of the tracker’s standout pieces, as you can now leave your phone at home while exercising.

The device also integrates with Spotify, so you can change moves and start music immediately from your wrist. Unlike Fitbit’s other fitness trackers, the Charge 4 subscribes Fitbit Pay thanks to the onboard NFC. The device has been designed to maximize battery life, lasting a week on average between charges.

The Charge 4 is the successor to the well-received Charge 3. If you want to know more about the Charge series before expending, check out our Fitbit Charge 3 evaluation.

The Best Fitbit Smartwatch for Exercise: Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic

Buy Now On Amazon $199.91

You can marks the descents of the Fitbit Ionic back to the company that turned the smartwatch into a mainstream item, Pebble. Fitbit acquired Pebble and then went about exhausting the Ionic, their first smartwatch operating Fitbit OS.

We reviewed the Fitbit Ionic when it was secreted and determined it to be a promising but flawed manoeuvre. It outdid at fitness moving, but the buggy application give it down. However, cumulative informs since then have watched those initial problems ironed out.

The Ionic and Versa both stream the same edition of Fitbit OS, so the overall ordeal are similar between the two devices. Where they differ is in design. The Ionic stands out more. The Versa’s design is like the Apple Watch, but the Ionic is more uniquely distinctive.

One of the reasons for the larger design is the Ionic’s built-in GPS tracker. This means that you can utilize all of Fitbit’s fitness moving features without the be required for a friend smartphone. The Ionic is also water-resistant to 50 meters, stimulating it ideal for outdoor pleasures. The Gorilla Glass 3 screen meaning that the watch is durable too.

The Best Affordable Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Inspire HR

Fitbit Inspire HR

Fitbit Inspire HR

Buy Now On Amazon $99.88

The Fitbit Inspire HR is the latest addition to being able to Fitbit’s fitness tracker scope, superseding the Fitbit Alta 2. The Inspire HR stays with the rounded intend firstly interpreted on the Charge 3, and the similarities don’t end there. The device is water-resistant to 50 rhythms, has automatic exercise recognition, and hourly reminders to move.

At first glance, it can be hard to see what gaps there is are between the Charge 4 and Inspire HR. The Inspire HR is the economical, entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit’s line-up. As a cause, the Inspire HR has fewer aspects. There is no NFC, moving of storeys climbed, or expressed support for on-device rapid replies.

Launched at the same time, the Fitbit Inspire takes things a step further to reduce the cost. Sleep stage analysis, steered breathing hearings, heart rate monitoring, exert tracking, and connected GPS have all been jettisoned to spawn the machine affordable.

While that may sound like a lot of missing aspects, the Inspire and Inspire HR have all the hallmarks of a Fitbit device. The fitness and sleep moving are the same as those found on Fitbit’s premium designs and get access to the app in just the same space too.

Which Fitbit Is the Best for You?

Over the years, Fitbit has added features and incrementally improved their fitness trackers. Their smartwatches have even become firm favorites. The Versa Lite and Inspire HR promise to raise some of those premium peculiarities to machines at an inexpensive expenditure point too.

Which Fitbit is best for you will ultimately depend on what you want to use it for, and which style suits you best. Since Google bought Fitbit, you might want to know how secure your Fitbit data is with Google. And consider pairing your fitness band with one of the best smart magnitudes for better results.

Read the full article: The Fitbit Comparison: Which Model Is Best for You ?

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HRExaminer Radio – Executive Conversations: Episode #356: Henry Albrecht, CEO at Limeade

HRExaminer Radio Executive Conversations Badge Podcast Logo

HRx Radio- Executive Exchanges: On Friday mornings, John Sumser interviews key managers from around the industry. The dialogue covers what attains the executive tick and what procreates their corporation great.

HRx Radio- Ministerial Conferences Guest: Henry Albrecht, CEO at Limeade Episode: 356 Air Date: March 6, 2020

Guest Bio

Henry Albrecht founded Limeade in 2006 and has led the company from an idea in his vault to a high-growth, industry-leading SaaS employee engagement company that responds to some of the smartest companionships in the world.

Before Limeade, Henry dished as VP of Product Management at Bocada, an enterprise software company and a produce, marketing and business leader at Intuit, where he launched a number of successful new business initiatives.

Henry gave his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management with an emphasis in technology and sell and his B.A. in economics and literature from Claremont McKenna College.

Outside of wreak, Henry experiences representing basketball and spending time with his family.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

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Important: Our transcripts at HRExaminer are AI-powered( and reasonably accurate) but there are still instances where the robots get baffled and fix mistakes. Please expect some lapses as you read through the text of this conversation. Thank you for your understanding.

Full Transcript with timecode

John Sumser:[ 00:00: 00] Good morning and therefore welcomed HR Examiner’s Executive Conversations. Today we’re going to be talking with Henry Albrecht, who’s the CEO of Limeade. Henry, take a moment to introduce yourself would you?

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:00: 25] Hey there everyone. My name is Henry Albrecht and I’m the CEO of Limeade. Limeade is an employee experience technology company focused on things like wellbeing and employee engagement and inclusion and great communications with your employees based in Bellevue, Washington.

John Sumser:[ 00:00: 41] So Bellevue, Washington does that mean you used to work for Microsoft?

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:00: 44] Oh, I did not. Although we definitely adoration Microsoft, we’re large-scale fans and we have certainly hired a bazaar quantity of parties from Microsoft, so it’s a great, it’s a great plaza to be a tech company up here in the Northwest, huddled in between Amazon, Microsoft, and about 10 others.

[ 00:01: 02] John Sumser:[ 00:01: 02] What a great thing. So how is it that you’re running an employee experience company that you sprung in a wellness mind? I can’t imagine that in your earliest days, what you thought is that’s what I truly are intended to do. And you’ve been building to this moment ever since. So how’d you get here?

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:01: 20] Yeah, well, I like to think of myself as a bizarre person. [00:01:23] I study basically when I started the company, I smelt something wrong with effort. Although I am a capitalist, I anticipate maybe I’m a little of a jaded financier because in some of my early occupations, I attended maybe some of the less humane elements of doing business. A short story is I was working at a company where I was working very long hours with high levels of stress and maybe a little evaluates disconnect with how the business was being run.

[ 00:01: 49] I was get a rash and debating with my family too much and frankly didn’t recognize the person or persons I investigated in the reflect. And so I quit and said, I wonder if there’s a way to invent something that measures all of the statistically valid predictors of desiring your work and enjoying your life, or I guess you would call that employee engagement and wellbeing.

[ 00:02: 10] It was probably not the smartest impression, certainly not in the start of a slump, to look at these topics like resilience and confidence and mindfulness and rehearsal and stress and depression and, you know, enjoying your job and having intent when people are just trying to cut costs. But, it was really fun, frankly.

[ 00:02: 28] And, it is necessary for a more human approach to work. And although we’ve certainly felt our action through some fulcrums and changes over time to find our commodity grocery fit, I would say we’re still working on the same problem. I symbolize, I guess what I went through is burnout and we have now tools and dashboards to help.

[ 00:02: 46] Big corporations with 100,000 employees foresee burnout on a global scale. So we’re working on the same questions, probably just with a little more sophistication and a little less crazy naivete.

John Sumser:[ 00:02: 59] So as the CEO of a company like this, what do you do every day?

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:03: 03] Oh gosh, I wish I had an interesting life.

I’d probably wake up and have some cereal with berries and talk to my family and read the present working paper and go to work. I generally wake up at 5:30 or 6 and lay in berthed thinking about some sort of work topic. You know, how a feature could be designed to be more social. How, a sales flow can be tightened or something like that.

So I am regrettably one of those people who delivers their work home with them and likes to think about work. But I guess that’s engagement. I still go to all my kid’s sports plays when I’m in township and, and try to be a tolerable genealogy being as well.

John Sumser:[ 00:03: 41] It’s interesting, there’s this kind of archetypical thought out there that work and life are somehow unrelated constituents that have to be poised by separating them in a large way.

And that doesn’t really seem rational or interesting to me. And I imagine that that’s part of what you look at, right? Because, if the guy who’s in charge, who’s running the wellness and suffer companionship is waking up thinking about work, then he must have a different idea about what a good balance is. That claim?

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:04: 13] Yeah. I symbolize, I think you made it on the psyche. I would say I rarely fill people who say, I enjoy my work and I dislike my life, or I enjoy my life, but I waste 50 hours per week on something I precisely can’t stand to do. They don’t go hand in hand very well. What we attained early on in our science study is that.

There’s a concept of having propose in your work and there’s the having symbolize in your life thing. And if you are eligible to have both of those. In other utterances, if you have some sort of overlap between what you really find purposeful and meaningful in your era task that you can bring out to your life or vice versa.

[ 00:04: 51] It’s just a more, I don’t know, the word is synergy. It’s just a better room to live. And I find when I talk to my adolescents about office, I don’t end up talking to them about, Hey, what’s the path to the highest fiscal success? I make perhaps parties of my contemporary grew up with the, you know, the physicians and lawyers and CEOs prepare the most money so that’s a move worth seeking. I try to have speeches more about, you are well aware, what do you love to do? What do you want to explore to learn what you love to do? But between now and age 30 what, what risks do you wanna make so you can find a purpose and you have a job that you love during the day that you, you’re happy to talk about at a cocktail party or at a barbecue with your friends.

[ 00:05: 34] John Sumser: Yeah so Limeade, Limeade from a sort of a positioning perspective, I understood it to be a wellness company and you’ve moved to extend that definition too, to experience. Tell me about the, artery of the rotates to get now.

Henry Albrecht:[ 00:05: 52] Yeah. Well, where reference is firstly started, my co benefactor, Laura Hamill, and I set out to measure anything that was a statistically valid predictor of wellbeing. And this is when, you know, traditional wellness was actually pretty punitive or Pavlovian and would say, Hey, do these four or five things and we’ll liquidate you four or 500 horses. And it never actually improved any kind of habits or ongoing behavior alteration or kind of meaningful action. It just got parties to jump-start through hoops. So in looking at all this stuff, this statistical predictors of wellbeing, what we spotted is that a lot of the same predictors were predictors of hire date. You know, implying intent, stretching, learning, having social meaningful relationships and social connects at work, or a sense of team.

[ 00:06: 43] So when we started with our wellbeing assessment, which was the first of its manner in 2006 and 2007 we had embedded in it a world class employee engagement survey as well. And that’s what Laura Hamill used to do at Microsoft actually. So. I think that DNA has suited us. And then later through our Limeade Institute, we are doing research on other related topics like diversity and inclusion and so, and that helped us kind of computed a module or a mixture related to inclusion and how to communicate with parties even how to recognize beings for a responsibility well done.

[ 00:07: 23] All our discipline based ways to show care. And so instead of thinking of it as, Oh, we only sell to the wellness and benefits silo, that is the anchor and core of our business. Rather we try to take a more science located coming saying, you are well aware, what does help look like and how does it show up to beings and what does it mean to people?

[ 00:07: 44] So we don’t inevitably feel constrained by the silos of how corporate America or the corporate life is set up. Even though sometimes we certainly live in those silos, we don’t want to feel constrained by them. So it’s not really about me. It’s about a bigger concept of maintenance. Do you present care for parties through office?

[ 00:08: 07] John Sumser:[ 00:08: 07] So, I haven’t really thought about this at all, but you’re sort of saying, you’re sharing a couple of things. One thing that you seem to be saying is that wellness is a extremely individual question.

[ 00:08: 21]

[ 00:08: 21] And another thing that you seem to be saying is that a significant element, although we’ll talk a little bit about whether it’s the,

[ 00:08: 31] exclusively element, the employee experience is an expression of caring from the company. And yes, that’s the neighbourhood that you, that you really work in right?,

[ 00:08: 44] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:08: 44] Yeah, I fantasize that’s correct. Go on. I’ll let you finish. Sorry.

[ 00:08: 49] John Sumser:[ 00:08: 49] Yeah. Well, I was just going to launch into one of the top three or four things that the application does, but why don’t we just wander away from the write and watch where this exits?

[ 00:08: 59] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:08: 59] Yeah. I necessitate, I can give some examples, but what you said is so right on. So in the early days, we would think about, basically helping people. Do self help, care for yourself, get a good night’s sleep. You know, “were having” things like sauntering challenges, who can get the most steps and let’s connect it to manoeuvres and let’s make it social and let’s have commentary.

[ 00:09: 21] How do you distress? Let’s have a meditation or a mindfulness or resilience video that instructs people to monitor their breather and their sentiments and mood. So I would call that. Software based tools to help individuals care for themselves. And it is very personal. You know, you might be a smoker who’s overweight with back grief and nature state issues.

[ 00:09: 44] But you’re ready to work on debriefing and then maybe you’ll be ready to work on walking, et cetera. So you never know what someone’s willing to do be willing to do. And it might be nothing cause they have some infancy issues to deal with. So you’re, you’re absolutely right. It’s a hundred percent individual.

[ 00:10: 00] But I reckon the most interesting insight we’ve had in the last decade is that no matter how great and fun and social and even viral your application is, if you treat it as an individual, impersonal thing, only. You’ll always be have suboptimal develops. And we started looking in through the lens that we have of organizational psychology and how immense cultures are built in healthcare.

[ 00:10: 25] They would call it like that, a social determinant of health and maybe an employee engagement. They would call it a great culture. So what we decided, or what we found in our study is that it’s actually even more important. How you build a culture around someone at work than it is, how huge the software tools for individual improvement are.

[ 00:10: 48] And we developed this research around the science of maintenance. We call it organizational support for wellbeing. So it’s only when you mix the company caring for the person that enables the person to care more for themselves, that you get what I would call a holistic coming to improving wellbeing.

[ 00:11: 07] The good story is the same general footprint applies to beings enjoying their jobs. So loving yourself, cherishing your life, loving your jobs. The same footprint of, you are well aware, inviting beings questions, gathering data, attaining targeted recommendations, expending perhaps Netflix style recommendations. Maybe the thing you thought they might want to do is something different and you are eligible to learn from them as well.

[ 00:11: 30] So, I don’t know if that replied to your question, but I suspect specific features that we would deliver that they are able to show the more managerial place of charge. Would be things like a targeted school video for a manager on how to talk to their team about these types of topics or how to enable a commander to show actual human care in a way that’s real.

[ 00:11: 55] That’s not just about earnings per share or perhaps how a social network or an employee resource group. You helps in and kind of nudge them forward in supporting each other. So we’re just trying to use software to show both personal and organizational care.

[ 00:12: 15] John Sumser:[ 00:12: 15] So I belief, correct me where I’m wrong here. I considered that if a wellness is an individual question, it seems like the speech of care from an organization, is also kind of an individual thing. How do you think about the difference in what help implies between organizations?

[ 00:12: 42] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:12: 42] Well, I’m going to both concur and differ. So that’s when we had to cut the best part. So I will agree. There are a lot of universal components. One universal component is exactly how I would call the perception of charge. Like I feel that the other person attends for me., So there are universal elements of it, but it clearly shows up very different in a, you are well aware, a truck make than in a infirmary than in a high tech company, or, you are well aware, a global airline. And so we serve all of those types of fellowships. You know, it merely is going to show up differently. One, you might want to tie your planned more closely into things that are currently have force there. Like in an airline, it might be a safety focus or a customer service focus.

[ 00:13: 25] In a high tech company, it might be a flexibility and innovation focus. Hey, I miss your best idea. So “if youre having” that idea while you’re on a hike or on your bus journey into work, you are well aware, fetching it into work and how can I help you do that? Can I give you greater flexibility? Can I, you are well aware, can I create an environment where you’re willing to plant that seed of invention because there’s trust in the workforce?

[ 00:13: 50] So you’re right that it does vary by workforce, but there are also universal factors to it.

[ 00:13: 57] John Sumser:[ 00:13: 57] So the question is really, how do you tell the difference between what works in one company versus what works in another company? And do you have a framework for thinking about that?

[ 00:14: 09] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:14: 09] Well, one highway, probably the simplest way is to ask, you are well aware, having immediate pulsate examines of things where right now we’re doing our inclusion in our booking surveys.

[ 00:14: 21] You know, expect parties, Hey, do you feel like you can be recognized and knows we your entirety soul at work at this company and why and why not? Or do you really love your job and would you give your additional innovative theme to this company for your paycheck? Or do you not feel that there’s a square deal that would clear you want to do that?

[ 00:14: 42] Do you have wellbeing? Are you sleeping well? Are you so stressed out that you can’t, don’t have even a hour free to innovate? So those are all what I would call wellbeing engagement, inclusion surveys, that if you’ve built enough trust, you’ll get a really high response proportion. And you’ll know and what you’ll catch out if you are well aware, most of our business find out that we perform is that they’ll have green areas and yellow areas and red areas within their company.

[ 00:15: 08] And at least then they can take action, both because we inform the leaders and the managers, but too because these systems should have automated plans of action. If you have a whole department that’s at risk of burnout, there are both things you can do organizationally, like stipulate resources and support to mitigate burnout or maybe additional resources so that it’s better staffed, but there are also things you can do individually to identify it, to recognize it, and maybe to set borderlines around your mental health issues and physical health.

[ 00:15: 44] But it voiced good to me.

[ 00:15: 47] John Sumser:[ 00:15: 47] Oh , no , no. That was great. That was great. We talked a couple of weeks ago about the fact that you’re focused on inclusion, but not diversity. Help me with that., I take it that,, that has something to do with this central theme of help, but why don’t you facilitate me understand that.

[ 00:16: 06] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:16: 06] Yeah, I’m not sure that’s exactly how I would say it. I would say that inclusion is racial. It’s about what activities you’re taking as a culture to help people be their best. Diversity is about, you are well aware, different tones and personalities and backgrounds and ethnicities and other things.

[ 00:16: 27] You know, having a voice that’s learn. To me, it’s not about either or inclusion or diversification. It’s, it’s really that if you endow exclusively in diversity, it’s like investing, you know, in these huge potential. Think of it as like grains of potential huge Redwood oaks but you’re not investing in the grime for them to grow or the water, for them to grow. What happens is, you consume a great deal of time and coin and you create a crappy experience for those people. So to me, if you start with inclusion and what you can do culturally to create a fertile grunge, to allow ideas to be watered and allow people to raise their entire souls to work, then when you lent in diversity and you can do these things, you are well aware, in a series a month, you don’t have to wait years.

[ 00:17: 15] But then the diversity actually, has the right soil to grow in. And to me it’s, it’s about both. It’s, diversification is kind of required but insufficient, without a culture of inclusion. And what we’ve also felt is that companies that are great at wellbeing, it’s easier for them to be great at inclusion or hire booking because they’ve already established the channels of communication, the norms that it’s okay to talk about these issues that some people find, a little too soft for corporate macrocosm.

[ 00:17: 48] there’s a ton of cross pollination across these topics and the science reinforces that very. There’s a ton of correlation between inclusion, commitment, and wellbeing.

[ 00:18: 00] John Sumser:[ 00:18: 00] Oh, talk about that a little bit. How do you value inclusion and how does it correlate with wellness? That’s a very interesting notion.

[ 00:18: 09] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:18: 09] Well, I belief the first thing is you ask parties if you don’t inclusions is very, it’s just like wellbeing. It’s a very subjective thing. On the outside, you could be an Olympic athlete and simply have, 7% organization fat and be able to run, you know, a mile in four minutes and not be well. You could be super stressed out, you could have an eating disorder, there could be all kinds of things wrong with you.

[ 00:18: 35] And inclusion is similar on the surface. You could look like you have a high paying errand and you’re prosper in your vocation, but, maybe there’s a glass ceiling at your workplace, or perhaps you perceive that, the leaders are just pay lip service to this topic. You can really merely get that through qualitative feedback.

[ 00:18: 52] And so obviously having surveys and dashboards that give leaderships and timbers gauges of that are crucial. So to me, you have to ask no, and “youve got to”, you are well aware, you have to have enough trust that you can ask and you think you’ll get the truth, which requires anonymity or privacy commitments as well.

[ 00:19: 12] John Sumser:[ 00:19: 12] All right. That’s interesting. So I’m looking a great deal at morals, particularly in AI and predictive disciplines right now. What are the ethical issues in your work?

[ 00:19: 24] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:19: 24] Yeah, I believed to be hit on one privacy, the use of big data if it goes to a personal level, has big ethical implications that, you are well aware, at Limeade we dedicate not just to the actual privacy for beings, but to the realized privacy as well.

[ 00:19: 41] We don’t let managers, drill down into private individuals and certainly in anything related to health or wellbeing. We follow things like HIPAA and Cobra, GINA and GDPR, EEOC, any acronym you can think of, there is a requirement to, and want to live by. To me it’s about not singling people out.

[ 00:20: 00] You is therefore necessary to take that more administrative belief. I want to know what districts in my firm have the least sense of inclusion or the highest sense of wellbeing. So to me, privacy is absolutely a huge ethical topic. And the second one I would say is, I guess you could call it like, do you want to work with jerks?

[ 00:20: 24] You know Limeade has a no jolts plan. We have a kind of a importance of empathy. And if you demand, I can share why we do that, but if you don’t want, that’s okay extremely.

[ 00:20: 38] John Sumser:[ 00:20: 38] Well, so let’s get to that, but what I want to ask you is, you cause the interesting notion that some parts of the employee experience are private. And I thoughts, that’s probably a surprise . . In fact, this is the first time that I’ve ever heard the notion that some parts of employee experience are private. And so how do you cope that? Because much of what matters in work know-hows is very public.

[ 00:21: 10] Because it’s about me and my work in the company right? And so that, is not a private thing at all. And, more there’s this cavity that you’re accurately linking where, some aspects of what you can measure about me are mine and not yours. And some of my views on how the world operates and how I feel about that are mine to disclose at the time of my opt rather than yours to removed from me in the time of your opt. Right. And so,

[ 00:21: 43] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:21: 43] Yeah, I agree with that.

[ 00:21: 45] John Sumser:[ 00:21: 45] The balance between Internal and external material. How do you figure that out? Because it’s gotta vary by culture.

[ 00:21: 53] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:21: 53] Well,, it varies my culture, yes. And we’re a world-wide business. We have departments in Canada and Germany in the U S and we perform people in a hundred different companies. So. You know, being global isn’t just about data centers and legal conformity, it’s about artistic criteria. And I think there’s a debate going on in the world. It’s being legislated about who does control information, who ascendancies my data.

[ 00:22: 18] And Limeaid has always been a science based company. We is seeking to, refer to the best science-based rehearsals. And frankly, I don’t know if there are as many of, on this topic as there could be. And that’s an area of research for our Limeade Institute is, you know, what are the world-wide perceptions of what can be private and not.

[ 00:22: 38] So we’re aroused to be part of that legislation, that debate, but we are also going to err on the side of trust. You know, solely employees trusting their employers, and trusting their employees. So that wants probably a little bit more privacy. And when you are opting in, let’s say to social commentary in the software application, it’s very obvious and explicit.

[ 00:23: 04] You’re opting in because it’s a social feed and you’ve been alerted that there is certain things you can participate in on. So. I reflect it’s an exciting debate. I would say something like your health aid or how many, how well you’re sleeping according to your Fitbit device. Those are things that you know, you wouldn’t demand your manager to know.

[ 00:23: 25] On the flip side, we want managers to be able to ask boss, hires, how are you? And we want employees to be able to speak clearly and say, you know what? I’m not huge. I could be better. So it is an interesting debate.

[ 00:23: 40] John Sumser:[ 00:23: 40] Yeah, well, and so I’m going to argue with you that there’s a generic standard of any kind, because, you know, as you’ve been talking, I’ve been thinking about cosmonauts and Seal crews and in that work environment personal data about physical wellness can’t yield to be private. It’s highly monitored, it’s most shared, induce whatever it is you require is a team performing at the absolute peak of its optimal physical functionality, right? And that’s a requirement of the job. Right? And I imagine there’s a spectrum from that extreme to it doesn’t matter whether I am completely unwell, because the job happens in the room where that’s an irrelevant.

[ 00:24: 30] And so you’ve got the spectrum and across that spectrum it’s going to be activity and cultural activities specific. What, where the boundary is between personal and public in the data and that would be a fascinating thing to see how you fought with, what do you think?

[ 00:24: 47] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:24: 47] Yeah, I intend, well, first of all, I have a friend who’s a former Navy seal. I don’t think that being a Navy seal is a good proxy for success in the modern business world-wide in most cases. It’s not “the worlds largest”,

[ 00:25: 01] John Sumser:[ 00:25: 01] Yeah, we’re not talking about generic success. We’re talking about the experience of an employee in a company. And so it varies, right? There isn’t a generic copy of only, that’s part of your words is that success is an individual thing, wellness is an individual thing. And so this where’s service standards and am I comfy with the standard question? That’s an interesting one.

[ 00:25: 29] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:25: 29] I find that it’s actually, you can provide through software, a highly individual recommendation, plans of action, a situate of things that someone could do, just like Netflix can provide, a begin of activity movies they think you will like and you are able to like them and you are able to not, but you can do that through software without the employer ever knowing what’s being recommended to John or Henry or Molly or anybody else. So to me, the influence of software is, you can have a mass personalization without ever ratting anybody out for their issues. You know, maybe someone cups too much and they actually want to work on it and they don’t want to get fired for it. And so I believed to be you can do that. That is possible that the modern wellbeing approaches can do that in. So that’s the individual argument. I would say from a more general population wise, there is value in hope versus mistrust. And I think if we go into all of these discussions saying, we can never talk about anything related to stress or wellbeing or, cartel with our administrators at work, with the people we work with. We’re sub-optimizing for ourselves and for our occupation. You know, we’re human beings.

[ 00:26: 48] We need human relationships. We really have to be able to trust our organizations. And I think that’s where companies could use a little work. Honestly, I don’t think contemporary Z and millennial and even the next generations beyond them come through here are, are really going to put up with the same, various kinds of didactic working conditions that maybe I put up with when I was in my twenties.

[ 00:27: 13] John Sumser:[ 00:27: 13] Interesting stuff! We could go around and around about a couple of these things. But we’re at the end of our time together, so thanks for taking the time to do this. You are intended to encapsulate Limeade one more time so people understand the core thing that we’re talking about here. Limeade is a company that, X.

[ 00:27: 33] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:27: 33] That every employee will know, you be concerned about them when you use it. We do employee wellbeing, date, inclusion with enormous communication, and I think it’s important, John, precisely to wrap up with, okay, so this care thing, that’s great, but like I’m a CEO of a big business. I’m paid in respect of earnings per share on market share on growth. What we’ve found though is that when, when hires actually perceive care, they’re nine times more likely to stay at their fellowship for three or more years.

[ 00:28: 03] They’re four times less likely to suffer from stress and burnout. There are hard number ROI associated with something that maybe people my senility and older and grew up thinking were wimpy and soft. Frankly, they’re not. They’re human needs. And I think it’s our job to meet those needs. So I admire you, spending the time with me today. It’s awesome.

[ 00:28: 25] John Sumser:[ 00:28: 25] Thanks. So reintroduce yourself and tell people how to get hold of you.

[ 00:28: 29] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:28: 29] Yeah. Again, I’m Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade. You can reach me at Henry at Limeade dot com. You can check out our website and we have tons of resources and downloadable, science-backed essays about these topics.

[ 00:28: 43] John Sumser:[ 00:28: 43] So, thanks for taking the time to do this Henry.

[ 00:28: 45] It’s been a treat of a conference and there are a lot of Sparky publishes now that we ought to talk about again.

[ 00:28: 51] Henry Albrecht:[ 00:28: 51] All right. I hope to talk to you again too John.

[ 00:28: 53] John Sumser:[ 00:28: 53] Thanks Henry.

[ 00:28: 55] You’ve been listening to HR Examiner’s Executive Conversations and we’ve been be discussed with Henry Albrecht, he is the CEO of Limeade.

[ 00:29: 02] Thanks very much for adjusting in and we’ll see you back here next week.


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Free Workout Programs At Home for the Quarantine

Looking for a way to stay fit during the quarantine? Check out all these free workout programs at home!

Psst! Did you see all the free educational games, apps, and programs for kids being offered during the quarantine?

Free Workout Programs at Home

Free Workout Programs at Home

If you’re looking for a way to stay fit and work out while at home right now, check out this list of free workout programs being offered!

Active by POPSUGAR — Right now, Active by POPSUGAR is offering a free subscription that gives you access to workouts for all levels and fitness preferences — including toning, dance cardio, yoga workouts, and more.

Blogilates — Get free 10- to 20-minute pilates and bootcamp sculpting workouts plus free monthly calendars, including a 14-day quarantine workout plan on the Blogilates website!

Daily Burn — Groupon is offering a free 60-day membership to Daily Burn right now! This website has more than 2,000 workouts including yoga, cardio, strength-training, and more.

FitBit Premium — Fitbit users can get a free 90-day trial to Fitbit Premium if they’ve never tried it before. This trial is typically only 30 days and costs $9.99 monthly, so this is a nice value! Fitbit Premium includes 150+ at-home workouts from fitness brands like barre3, Daily Burn, POPSUGAR, and Yoga Studio by Gaiam.

Fitness Blender — This site offers hundreds of FREE workout videos and programs for all skill levels! Choose from HIIT, cardio, strength training, stretching, and so much more.

Gold’s Amp — Gold’s Gym is offering free access to their premium app through May 31st. Choose from 600+ indoor and outdoor exercises consisting of bodyweight, core, outdoor running, outdoor walking, stretching, meditation, and more.

Nike Training Club (NTC) — Get a free subscription to Nike Training Club right now and get studio-style streaming workouts, training programs (including bodyweight-only exercises, yoga classes and full-equipment workouts for all levels), and expert tips from elite Nike Master Trainers. Typically $14.99/month, this is a high-value freebie!

Peloton App — Get free 90-day access to the Peloton app. This trial is typically only 30 days and this app costs $12.99 monthly, so this is a great value! You’ll have access to the entire library of classes including yoga, strength, cycling, running, and more.

Yoga With Adriene — Like yoga? Choose from a HUGE selection of completely free YouTube videos — including yoga for all types of people. Adriene offers a gentle, unintimidating approach that is perfect for new or experienced yogis.

Zombies, Run! — Make running fun with this free app that is more like an exercise game. Run away from zombies and try to save all of civilization by gathering supplies, rescuing survivors, and defending their home. Something a little different!

Note: For any of these that are free trials where you have to enter payment info, just be sure to cancel the auto-renew before your free trial is up so that you don’t get charged!

Do you know of any free workout programs at home? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Thanks, RetailMeNot!

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Mailbag: Questions About Pensions, Cell Plans, Bulk Nonperishables, Refinancing and More

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question.
1. Retirement savings beyond public pension
2. Best time to file taxes
3. Struggling with cellular monopoly
4. Buying nonperishables for preparation
5. Educational savings with employer reimbursement
6. Are fitness trackers worth it?
7. Renting and quality of landlord
8. Go cheap on electronics?
9. Refinance now?
10. Alternatives to Sirius?
11. Omnifocus worth the money?
12. Board gaming, an expensive hobby

The last several days have featured a burst of glorious early spring weather, making me really want to spend a ton of time outside. Twice during the past week, I walked to a park and worked outside, just to enjoy the weather.

I don’t hate winter. The cold weather doesn’t bother me too much — I just dress warmly. What really gets to me after a while are the short days, since it’s often dark when my day begins and it’s nearly dark by the time my work for the day is done.

Days are getting longer now. The weather is slowly warming up. I can’t wait to be outside as much as possible.

On with this week’s questions.

Q1: Retirement savings beyond public pension

I am 45, my wife is 42. We are finally waking up to the need to save for retirement. Both of us work for the state and have a public employee retirement plan and also have an optional retirement plan. I have about 18 years in the public plan and she has about 16. And we plan to work another 20 years and retire together. We did the math on their calculator and think we could get by on that but we would like to have more. How much should we put into the optional retirement plan and how should we invest it?
– Tom

First of all, I’d assess your current financial state carefully. Are you currently easily able to stay within your means for spending? Do you have any high-interest debts (credit cards or anything like that)?

The thing is, if you start saving some portion of your pay for retirement and that causes you to get deeper into debt or to struggle to keep your head above water, then it’s a losing proposition. Retirement savings is really only effective if it’s paired with spending choices that won’t lead you into accumulating personal debt.

If you do have a lot of credit card debt, rather than saving for retirement right now, I’d focus on getting that paid off quickly. Aim to not add more to the balance of your cards and try to make large payments each month to pay it off. That will require some lifestyle adjustments, but some adjustments are needed anyway. Don’t save for retirement until the debts are paid off, then you can just take what you were putting into getting rid of the high-interest debts and put it into retirement instead.

On the other hand, what if you’re financially stable? In that case, it’s simply true that the more that you save for retirement now, the more you’ll have when you actually retire. I would save as much as you can such that it won’t have a strong negative impact on your life now and won’t risk you sliding into credit card debt or other debt just to enjoy life today, assuming you don’t have other major savings goals.

I don’t know what that number is for you. My suggestion is to go with an aggressive, high percentage to start with and see how it goes. (Choose the “target retirement” option out of the different investment options.) After several months, assess how things are doing. Is the reduced take-home pay having an adverse effect on your life? If it is, tone down the percentage a little. If it isn’t, leave it where it is or even bump it up a little more.

Q2: Best time to file taxes

Is it better to file taxes early or to wait until closer to April 15?
– Andrea

Assuming you have all of your tax documents, it depends entirely on whether you expect to owe money or you expect to get a refund.

If you expect to get a refund, file as early as you can. The earlier you get that refund, the faster you can put it to good use. Getting money to pay off a debt in February versus getting it in May means that you’re saving three months of interest on that debt.

If you expect to have to pay, wait to file and let the money you’ve saved to pay for those taxes accrue a little interest (or give yourself more time to save for it if you don’t have it already).

Aside from that, it really doesn’t matter as long as you can get it done before the filing deadline. In general, I think it’s a bad idea to wait until the last few days, just in case there’s a problem.

Q3: Struggling with cellular monopoly

There is only one cell provider here that has good coverage and they cost an arm and a leg. All of the other cell stores seem cheap but their phones get no signal, sometimes not even in their stores. Cell phones feel like a scam.
– Jenna

Which provider is it that gets good coverage in your area? Figure out which one it is, then shop around online for a pay-as-you-go cellular provider that uses their network.

For example, if the provider with good coverage in your area is Verizon, take a look at Visible as a low-cost alternative. If the provider with good coverage in your area is AT&T, look at Cricket Wireless. If it’s T-Mobile, I’d look at its national pay-as-you-go options. (Sprint is merging with T-Mobile.)

Sometimes, local stores for a good provider in an area where there’s really only one good provider will charge an arm and a leg, so you’ll want to look at other options that use their network, like the options above.

Q4: Buying nonperishables for preparation

I think you’re crazy suggesting that people buy stuff like toilet paper because of coronavirus panic.
– Andrew

My recommendation is clear: it’s not a bad idea to stock up with bulk purchases of nonperishable items you know you’ll use anyway, like toilet paper or dry beans or pasta, things you are certain to use in the next few months. I buy those things in bulk regardless of whether there’s a potential pandemic or not.

Don’t buy stuff you won’t normally use, though. If you would only cook dry rice if there was an absolute emergency, don’t buy a giant bag of it. That’s foolish.

We have probably six weeks of food in our pantry and cupboards, enough to prepare pretty good meals for at least four or five weeks and then some middling ones for a while after that. That’s perhaps a little higher than average, but we buy lots of stuff in bulk to save money and usually have at least enough ingredients on hand for a few weeks of meals at all times.

As for things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, it’s not bad to have them around. You’re going to eventually use them anyway, so having a couple of months’ supply on hand isn’t a big deal. It just means you’re buying them in bulk now and not buying them a month from now, regardless of what might happen.

I think it is a bad idea to buy those kinds of supplies at levels that are difficult to reasonably store or exceed what you might use in a few months.

Q5: Educational savings with employer reimbursement

My employer is paying for my MBA program, but I need to pay out of pocket for each class, and they will reimburse me after I achieve a C or better. Does it make sense for me to set up a 529 account to pay for my classes? Also, I can accelerate my time to graduation by taking an additional course per year (about $2,000). If I choose to do this, does it make sense to set up a 529 in this scenario?
– Ellen

I don’t think putting money in a 529 confers much of an advantage at all if your timeframe is less than a few years.

Over that short of a timeframe, you’re either going to be investing in something really safe, akin to a savings account, or be exposing yourself to a lot of volatility in other investment markets, meaning you run a healthy risk of having less in the account than you put in there.

In your shoes, I would save for educational expenses by simply putting money in an ordinary savings account. That way, your balance will remain stable; you’ll earn a very small return in interest, but you won’t lose anything and there’s no risk of penalty for non-educational use. I would not use a 529 unless my timeframe was more than a few years down the road, and that’s definitely not the case here.

Q6: Are fitness trackers worth it?

What is the point of a Fitbit? Seems to just be a watch that tells you whether you’re walking a lot or not.
– Brian

That’s basically the core idea. It collects data on your walking and other movements so that you can get a sense of how naturally active you are and then nudge yourself to beat it.

For example, you might wear one for a month and realize you average 7,000 steps a day. Then, for the next month, you can aim to get to 7,500 each day as a goal. That’s going to be a net positive for your health, as there’s a bunch of research correlating an increase in steps taken per day with better health outcomes and better mood (up to a certain point depending on the person, but generally well above 10,000 daily steps).

It’s mostly just a reminder and a nudge and a way to turn moving around more into a game.

Of course, it doesn’t really do anything you couldn’t do yourself by, say, mandating a 30-minute or 45-minute daily walk. The big thing it really does for you is it gives you a nudge to walk more, so if you have other life tools for motivating yourself to do that (or you already walk more than 5 to 6 miles a day), then a fitness tracker isn’t going to be a big helper.

Q7: Renting and quality of landlord

I have some advice for your readers. I have been a renter my entire adult life. The single most important thing has been the quality of the landlord. A landlord that takes care of problems and has a good relationship with you makes renting fantastic and a lot less headache than owning your own place and dealing with problems yourself. A bad landlord who ignores you and doesn’t do any maintenance makes renting [a bad situation]. Before you rent, try to find out about the landlord from people who live there. Don’t sign a lease if you hear horror stories no matter how nice the place seems. Speaking from experience here.
– Tessa

This is good advice. I rented three different apartments during my twenties and this lines up pretty well with my own experience.

I had one good landlord that was incredibly proactive if there was an issue (incredibly fast to deal with anything), did some proactive maintenance (with lots of notice), and got to know us pretty well. I had another landlord who basically did nothing at all —  I’m not sure they even came to the property during the two years I lived there and sent a repair company a few days later for the one issue the had. A third landlord was awful — they did nothing at all to fix some very serious issues with the apartment and would go in and “inspect” things at least once a month, usually leaving weird notes about minor things we were apparently supposed to fix ourselves, and on at least a couple of occasions apparently took our possessions out of the apartment.

All three apartments were fairly similar two-bedroom places, yet I have good memories of one, OK memories of another and nightmares about the third. I’m actually surprised no one got hurt or seriously ill in the third place.

Don’t just decide to rent based on the apartment. If you can, check out the landlord first. Avoiding some duplicitous property owner will save you a ton of headaches and heartache.

Q8: Go cheap on electronics?

Is it better to go cheap on cell phones or to spend a lot so that it lasts longer? How about other electronics like headphones?
– Colleen

My philosophy is this: the more frequently you use an item and the more you rely on it, the more you shouldn’t go cheap on it.

If it’s your first item of a particular type — meaning this isn’t something you’ve used before — don’t hesitate to get a lower-end version of that item. You need to establish first what your usage of that item really is.

If you use it on a daily basis, then when it needs to be replaced, get a higher-end and more reliable version of that item. If you use it a little less frequently but rely on it, get a higher-end version really focused on reliability. Consider the features that you really need and value in that item and make sure they’re present.

On the other hand, if you use it fairly infrequently and it’s not that important in terms of your daily life, replace it with something cheap.

I don’t know how you currently use cell phones, so I can’t really answer for you. If you just use it to play games and check social media and send a few texts a day and get a call or two and they’re not really a big deal for you, go cheap. If you absolutely need one for your job or because of a caregiver for someone, get a more reliable one and spend a little more. It really depends on how you use it.

Q9: Refinance now?

We have a 30-year mortgage at 5.75% that we got in 2018. Yesterday I saw an ad for a 15-year refinance for 3% with good credit. That seems unbelievable to me. Back of the envelope math says we basically cut 13 years off of our mortgage and barely change our monthly payment by refinancing. Thoughts?
– Darwin

Rates are really low at the moment after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates last week, but that rate seems really low, like someone at that bank is betting on another rate cut shortly and is trying to get ahead of the curve. I think it’s a really good deal and I’d lock it in, even given the possibility of another rate cut in the near future.

Assuming your mortgage was for, say, $300,000, your mortgage payment is somewhere around $1,750 a month on a 30-year mortgage at 5.75%. You’ve likely paid off about $10,000 of that, so you’d turn that into a $290,000 15 year mortgage at 3%, which gives you a payment of about $2,000 a month.

Basically, your payment will go up, but not by a lot — probably about 15% or so. However, you’ll eliminate the last 13 years of your mortgage with that simple move. I’d do it.

Q10: Alternatives to Sirius?

My wife and I have used Sirius in our cars since 2009. While we both enjoy it, we calculated the money we’ve spent on it and it adds up to about $6,000 including subscription and devices. We’d probably have another $10K in retirement. I tried switching back to normal radio but it is garbage with nonstop ads or the monotone voices on NPR. Other options?
– Andrew

It depends on what you like to listen to. If you’re listening for the music, I’d suggest looking at Spotify, which can basically create a music station on the go tweaked to the kind of music you like. A subscription costs about $100 a year for no ads, and there are some other options if you don’t mind some ads. You would stream it off your phone through your car speakers using Bluetooth, which most newer cars have. My daughter has a Spotify account (a Christmas gift of one year of Spotify without ads) and we sometimes listen in the car.

If you listen to mostly talk stations, I’d suggest looking into podcasts. There are tons and tons of great podcasts out there to listen to for free, on pretty much any topic you can imagine. This is mostly what I listen to in the car, along with audiobooks for long trips. Just download a podcast player on your phone, like Overcast or PocketCasts, and look for some popular podcasts in your area of interest. They’re completely free; most are supported by a brief ad at the start or end of the podcast, usually something tied to the type of podcast, or by some form of crowdfunding.

I very rarely listen to normal radio in the car; if I do, it’s usually NPR (yep, the “monotone voices” that you mention; while some of their programs are definitely monotone, many are not). I agree with you that most normal radio stations are so jammed with ads and with political nonsense that they’re not worth listening to.

Q11: Omnifocus worth the money?

You suggest using Omnifocus as a task manager so I looked into it to use on my phone and tablet. It is quite expensive. Is it really worth it?
– Jerry

Years ago, I went through a bunch of to-do list management tools to try to find one that just did everything I wanted to do. I was really struggling with juggling a lot of things in my life and I realized that my old strategy of just using a notebook wasn’t really working anymore. I tried the trial version of a bunch of different tools and decided that I would commit and pay for whichever one clicked with me, and it was Omnifocus. However, I had a really strong sense of exactly what I wanted a to-do list manager to do for me and Omnifocus checked those boxes.

Now, would I suggest that everyone use Omnifocus if they were looking for a tool to manage their to-dos? Absolutely not. It is basically a giant kitchen sink of features, the equivalent of trying to learn to use Photoshop to do really basic photo editing like cropping. I love it, but I wouldn’t ever tell a friend to buy Photoshop if they want to touch up their selfies or if they know nothing about photo editing.

For someone who’s never used a to-do list tool before, I’d probably suggest trying Todoist. It’s free in the basic version ($3 a month for the premium version with some more features), works on lots of platforms, and is pretty easy to get started with.

What exactly do I get out of Omnifocus that would compel me personally to use it instead of Todoist? The big thing, for me, is custom perspectives. Basically, custom perspectives are a really clever way of viewing particular small slices of to-do lists, and you can save them and use them again and again. I have a bunch of these that I’ve honed over the years that really work well for me in terms of keeping track of things I want to get done and now that I have them, I really wouldn’t want to work without them. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll still use Omnifocus when I stop working because I use it — and those custom perspectives — to manage all of my personal tasks, too, and they make up more of my tasks than professional ones.

The thing is, custom perspectives aren’t particularly useful until you have a system built up with a ton of tasks in it, which is why I wouldn’t push people to Omnifocus unless they’ve got some very specific things they’re looking to do. Todoist is a much easier tool to get started with and does almost everything Omnifocus can do.

Q12: Board gaming, an expensive hobby

I find it strange that you suggest board gaming as a frugal hobby. The boring games that litter the shelves at Goodwill aren’t fun for thinking adults and decent games cost $50 a pop these days.
– Brenda

Let’s break that down a little bit.

You’re correct in stating that a lot of good modern board games — the kind that are really enjoyable for a game night for adults — are fairly expensive. Let’s go with your price of $50 MSRP for one of them.

For starters, if you bargain hunt very much at all, you can easily cut 20% to 30% off of MSRP of pretty much any tabletop game these days. If you wait for sales, you can cut 40% off of MSRP easily. That takes the price down to $30.

Let’s say a game takes an hour and entertains 4 people for that hour. You play it, say, 10 times before it gets old. That’s 40 hours of play for $30, or $0.75 per hour. You’re pretty hard-pressed to find active entertainment (meaning not sitting in front of the television) that’s less than $1 per hour.

OK, but what about after that? You can then sell it off. Most Half Price Books will give you store credit for a used board game that isn’t completely beat up. You can sell used games on many different websites and on eBay. Most cities have board game meetups and groups where you can sell games (and also meet other people who enjoy board games in your area). Let’s say you get $10 out of selling it. That means your total cost was $20, meaning you spent $0.50 per person per hour of entertainment.

You also may be able to just trade it off. Many local gaming groups have regular swap meets and trading days, where you can swap the game for something else you might play. Your copy of Castles of Burgundy, which you played 10 times and are bored with, becomes a copy of Everdell, ready to be played several times, and it costs nothing.

Furthermore, let’s say the other three people you play games with also buy a game once in a while. If you all buy them at the same rate and play them together, then 3/4 of your game time is essentially free — you’re playing their game, after all.

The only time the hobby gets expensive is if you get caught up in the desire to constantly have new games, and that’s true for a lot of hobbies. If you can avoid that, tabletop gaming is a pretty inexpensive hobby.

Got any questions? The best way to ask is to follow me on Facebook and ask questions directly there. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future mailbag (which, by way of full disclosure, may also get re-posted on other websites that pick up my blog). However, I do receive many, many questions per week, so I may not necessarily be able to answer yours.

The post Mailbag: Questions About Pensions, Cell Plans, Bulk Nonperishables, Refinancing and More appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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