Flex Pt July 2017

You don’t get paid enough to afford all the groceries you’d like. In fact, if it wasn’t for coupons, you wouldn’t be able to get everything you need, right? Coupon clipping is a time-honored way of saving money and a source of pride amongst many of us who need those paychecks to go as far as possible. But there are two ways to look at it: as a way to put food on the table that you otherwise couldn’t afford, or as a way to trick money- conscious consumers into buying stuff they normally wouldn’t. Which takeaway describes your situation? To find out, you have to answer two questions. The first question is, “Do I need — and will I use — everything that I buy with coupons?” Here’s the thing: Coupons are designed to affect you psychologically. It turns out that the same part of your brain that governs basic instincts (like hunger and pleasure) also loves a screaming good deal. It can be hard to resist the allure, and that means you often spend money on things that you normally wouldn’t, because

you have a coupon. It’s tough, but stick to the staples — like rice, beans, oats, and salt — that you’ll use eventually and that won’t go bad. Of course, if you’ve wanted something for a long time and it goes on sale, it makes sense to buy. But don’t let the coupon section dictate your desires! The second question is, “How much is my time worth, and how much of that time do I spend hunting down the best deals and clipping coupons?” We’re not trained to think of our time as valuable when we aren’t working, but time is the one thing you can’t get back. If you’re saving $25 a week on stuff you actually need, but it takes 4 hours a week to get that savings, you’re losing money even if you make minimum wage. That’s time you could be spending with family, picking up a half-shift at work, or finding innovative ways to make money. We won’t deny that there are great deals out there — deals that are now more available than ever thanks to apps like

Groupon. But don’t mistake coupons for anything but what they really are: businesses trying to trick your brain into buying more stuff. Use them wisely, but don’t let them rule you.


When I first came to therapy, I was very nervous and stressed, as I had never experienced so much back pain and immobility ever before. However, frommy first visit, I felt the calmness and positive energy that pulses throughout the facility. I felt verywelcome and sincere concern for my discomfort. The assistants were very helpful and accommodating and always checking that I was doing okay. The therapist never rushed andwas immediately able to identifymy specific trouble spots. Through massage and other techniques, I was greatly improved. My pain went away, and I felt back to normal after only a fewweeks. I was so worried I would never be able to enjoy the holidays, but now theywill be the best ever.

— Elisabeth B.

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