Starting Your Career With an Online Degree in Pharmacy

Completing an online degree in pharmacy could be a start of a successful career for you. You will qualify for several occupations that depend on the level of your training. Employment in this field is considered very respectable and fulfilling. You will enjoy a career working in diverse environment from hospitals to pharmacies.

Levels of Employment In This Field For Online Degree Graduates

Typically, working in this field is divided into three levels. Depending on your training, a career with in online degree in pharmacy will mean that you work as a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, or a pharmacy aid. Each one of these occupations requires different levels of training.

Starting A Career As A Pharmacy Aid

Pharmacy aides perform necessary administrative and clerical functions in a pharmacy. Usually they are responsible for task, which include

Answering phones
Stocking pharmaceuticals
Handling transactions
Doing office paperwork

Many Pharmacy Aides careers can begin with only a high school diploma because training typically take place on the job. A career as a pharmacy aid can begin with no formal training at all. Working at this level is not considered as the type of job someone with an online pharmacy degree will apply for. Due to the low educational qualification standards to hold one of these jobs, the wages are low. Most employers prefer personnel with training that makes them more resourceful. This makes job growth as a pharmacy aid very low.

Starting A Career As A Pharmacy Technicians

Standards of training vary for pharmacy technicians. In some states working as a pharmacy technician requires certification and in others, it only requires formal training. However, the level of training is much higher than the training a pharmacy aid needs to be hired. Pharmacy technicians perform some of the same duties as pharmacy aides, but a pharmacy technicians training includes other functions that a pharmacy aid will not be qualified to perform. Due to this, the wages of a pharmacy technician will be much higher but the compensation still is not consider above average.

Starting A Career As A Pharmacists

Pharmacists have training that qualifies them to perform functions that are substantially more important than the above occupations. They are tasked with:

Filling prescriptions
Dispensing medications
Counseling patients on dosage
Providing feedback to doctors and medical staff

These professional perform at the highest level for this job field and a degree is required from a university to be considered for employment. In every state a pharmacist must be licensed and pass a qualifying exam. The compensation pharmacist receive is above average.

Starting your career with an Online Degree in Pharmacy

Starting your career with an online degree in pharmacy qualifies you to become a pharmacist. You will also enjoy wages that are above the national average. Look for more details on starting a career with an online degree in pharmacy from the college of your choice.

How to Become a Qualified Pharmacy Technician

One of the professions you might want to consider in the health care industry is a pharmacy technician (PT). The career of PT’s these days is booming. Some of the daily duties is to assist in preparing medications and to provide customer service. They also receive pharmaceutical requests. They count the tablets before labeling the medication bottles. They may also perform clerical duties, if they are employed in a place where there are no pharmacy aides available. Basically, they work under the supervision of a pharmacist. Some owners of pharmacies tend to hire pharmacy techs to do both clerical and administrative duties, rather than employing pharmacy aides. This is one of the reasons pharmacy aide opportunities are decreasing.

Starting salary

A pharmacy tech’s duty is to measure, mix, count, label and record the dosage of prescription medications. Those who work in this field can have a starting annual salary rate of more than $19,000 with an hourly rate of over $9. Those pharmacy techs working in a federal executive branch earn the highest salary of more than $39,000 a year with an hourly mean wage of more than $19. The biggest employers for pharmacy technologists are those that belong to the health and personal care stores. In terms of geography, the highest employment level in the PT occupation is in California. The figures mentioned here came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010 report.

Shifts

Pharmacy techs who work during weekends or beyond business hours are paid more through the shift differential’s scheme. Companies may pay them 25 cents or more for working on Saturdays, Sundays or in the evenings.

How to become a pharmacy tech?

If you want to pursue a pharmacy technician career, you must have a high school diploma, as one of its requirements. Most states require their pharmacy technicians to register with the state board of pharmacy before they can work as a pharmacy technician in one of the pharmacy-related companies in the US. Certification for pharmacy technician is not mandatory. However, obtaining a certificate increases your chances of getting hired and earning a higher salary than those who do not have a certificate. The following are two of the private organizations that offer certification examinations for pharmacy techs:

-The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

-The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians

Eligibility requirements for certification examinations will include:

-High school diploma

-No felony convictions

-No pharmacy-related convictions

-The actual cost of the examinations may be reimbursed by the employer.

The job outlook for the pharmacy tech career is positive. The job growth is increasing positively. Therefore, you will expect to find plenty of job opportunities in the near future. As long as you have the right training, proper education, and substantial amount of experience, you can easily win over the competition.

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician Is a Good Step Towards Becoming a Pharmacist

Due to increasing healthcare demands the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing and changing. In the past, it was not necessary for pharmacy technicians to obtain any type of certification. However, because it is becoming significantly more competitive in obtaining industry related jobs, certification has been one way potential pharmacy techs can stand out from the other job applicants. In addition, many certified pharmacy techs are finding that their jobs are excellent stepping-stones towards becoming a pharmacist.

Pharmacy tech education programs usually require an individual to attend six months to two years of educational training. These programs are offered through a variety of organizations, like vocational schools, community colleges, hospitals, and even the military. A good pharmacy tech educational program will have areas of study that include:

– Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology
– Pharmacy Record Keeping
– Pharmaceutical Calculations
– Pharmacy Law and Ethics

Individuals in these programs are also required to obtain knowledge about the uses, names, actions, and doses of the many types of medications they will be working with. Several of these training programs also include internships with pharmacies, in order for the students to obtain hands on experience. Upon finishing these programs, students that show proficiency will either receive a certificate of completion or an Associate Degree. One benefit to the programs that allow students to earn a degree is that very often those degree credits can be transferred to a school offering pharmacy degrees.

Obtaining a pharmacy tech certificate not only allows individuals to stand out when it comes to finding a place of employment, many schools will give preferential treatment to those they feel have already proven that they have a commitment to pharmaceutical work. The schools do this for several reasons:

– Individuals who have taken the time to obtain a certificate show a commitment to furthering their education.
– Certified pharmacy technicians are familiar with what it takes to keep a pharmacy running smoothly.
– Due to the rigors of the certification process, pharmacy technicians possess a basic knowledge of medications, their uses, and proper dosing amounts.

Many pharmacy students who have worked as pharmacy technicians also find that it is easier for them to get prime pharmacy internship slots, since they are already familiar with the inner workings of a pharmacy. The same can be said for recent pharmacy school graduates who previously held a pharmacy technician certificate. Many companies view pharmacists, who also took the time to earn a technician certificate, as someone they have to invest less time and money in for training.

Pharmacy techs who spend time obtaining a certificate from a recognized training program have many benefits that a technician who has only received on-the-job training does not have. The training certificate makes it easier for the new technician to get a job in the pharmaceutical field, and it also helps him or her stand out from the other pharmacy school applicants. Overall, many people find that a career as a pharmacy technician is an excellent stepping-stone to furthering their education and becoming a pharmacist.

A Primer On The History of Worksite Wellness Programs

Just as the history of man can be categorized into phases (commonly referred to as ages), so too can the history of worksite wellness. This article examines four phases in the history of worksite wellness programs.

The history presented here only applies if, like me, you believe that wellness consists of integrated multiple dimensions. If however, you believe that worksite wellness is only about physical health, then you will see the historical timeline presented here as being much shorter.

Phase 1: The Recreation Phase

The earliest reported incidence of wellness being practiced in the workplace dates back to 1897 at the Pullman Company near Chicago, Illinois. In an effort to accommodate their labor needs and the needs of rural individuals coming to the city in search of work, many companies during this period created company towns, or communities/neighborhoods within larger municipalities. As part of their company town, The Pullman Company created an employee athletic association to complement their company provided housing, stores and schools. Other companies at the time, including National Cash Register, Sears, Roebuck & Company, and Hershey Foods also created employee recreational initiatives. This phase culminated with the 1941 creation of the National Employee Services and Recreation Association (NERSA). NERSA spearheaded efforts to create employee recreation programs from that point on. Texas Instruments launched its employee recreation program in 1953.

Phase 2: The Fitness Phase

In the late 1950’s, the focus of the worksite wellness began to shift from recreation to fitness. PepsiCo began their renowned employee fitness program in the late 1950’s. PepsiCo was followed in the 1960’s by Sentry Insurance, Rockwell International, Xerox Corporation, American Can and NASA launching employee fitness programs.

The 1970’s saw a continued emphasis on fitness related programs with the creation of employee fitness programs by Kimberly-Clark and Mesa Petroleum. Also impacting the field was the passage, by Congress, in 1970 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the continued expansion of Employee Assistance Programs beyond its original focus on alcoholism into a more broad brush approach. The term wellness was also introduced into the lexicon and mainstream. Building on the work of Dr. Halbert Dunn in the 1960’s, an informal network of physicians and psychologists in the 1970’s began creating comprehensive, multi-dimensional models of wellness, wellness assessment tools, and actively wrote and spoke about their concept of wellness.

The 1970’s also saw increased attention being paid to cardiovascular health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Increasing attention was also being paid to other chronic diseases and the potential for their prevention. This led to the next phase of worksite wellness evolution.

Phase 3: The Medical Phase

With the emphasis on cardiovascular disease, executive health emerged as a program focus. The combination of increased attention to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, along with escalating employer related healthcare costs resulted in the 1980″s worksite wellness programs becoming more focused on and aligned with the pathogenesis model of medicine. This resulted in increased attention being given to employee health promotion, along with an emphasis on health risk reduction and individual responsibility for health. As a result, health education, health risk assessments, biometric screenings and individual behavior change initiatives became the core programming found within worksite wellness programs. In order to substantiate their impact on employer healthcare costs, ROI (return-on-investment) measurement became the most common way of evaluating worksite wellness program success.

The late 1990’s saw an expanded role for the workplace health clinic at large employers. What has traditionally been an occupational role began to expand into acute care services, pharmacy services, preventive care, chronic disease management, case management, specialty services, as well as wellness. Worksite based health centers are seen as having the ability to both reduce costs and improve the quality of care employees receive, thereby offering value to both the employer and the employees.

Phase 4: The Fusion Phase

As the 21st century loomed on the horizon, population health management entered the workplace and available monies became increasingly tighter. Researchers have also been able to establish that individual health is the result of a combination of determinants and not just individual lifestyle. This has resulted in an increasing recognition that there needs to be better integration across the various silos of employee benefits delivery and with core business strategies and practices as well.

Early in the 21st century, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health launched an initiative integrating employee wellness and safety which is now known as Total Worker Health. Increasing attention is also being paid today to the role an organization’s environment, climate and culture play when it comes to employee health. Organization health is seen as being just as important as individual employee health. Some are beginning to see the future as being a fusion of employee health with organization development.

In today’s healthy organization, workers are seen as being a vital asset for the organization and not just employees doing a job. Healthy organizations create the conditions that allow employees and the organization to thrive.

278 Million Americans Are Totally Unprepared

It is not likely that your grandparents, parents, teachers, spiritual counselors or even your government have taught you how important it is to be prepared for an emergency, disaster or catastrophe. There is more than a 90% chance that my statement is accurate based upon numerous surveys conducted recently to determine how many Americans are prepared for an apocalypse. Was I wrong, or are you by chance part of the 10% that is totally prepared for a catastrophic change in your world as you know it?

If you are not, than let me assure you, based upon the most recent predictions of scientists, meteorologists, seismologists, geologists, volcanologists, physicists, astronomers, geophysicists, oceanographers and epidemiologists, you should be storing up a few extra cans of beans.

Why is it that only the Boy Scouts of America have a motto, “Be Prepared”? They also have an aggressive training program that teaches young boys survival, from the age of six, covering every scenario imaginable from surviving in a wilderness to staying alive at sea. They are taught how to tie dozens of knots, build a shelter, find water and food, and even find their way without the use of a compass. For every skill set they learn, whether it be swimming, mountain climbing, skiing, archery, rifle skills or how to start a fire without matches or a lighter, they receive a “Badge of Merit” to sew on their uniform sleeves or a sash worn around their neck and across their chest.

As they accumulate these merit badges they automatically are advanced to higher levels or ranks. These recognitions start in the Cub Scouts. And no matter what age they join, the Bobcat level is earned first by all Cub Scouts, then Tiger for 7-year olds, next level Wolf at 8 years of age, followed by Bear. Ten year old boys become Webelos, followed by fourth grade Arrows of Light. Next is graduation into Boy Scouts with advancement ranks of achievement being Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-class, First-class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Eagle Scout is the highest rank to be attained in the Boy Scouts. Since the Eagle Scout rank was introduced in 1911, more than two million young men have earned this highest rank. The Eagle Scouts are taught leadership and social skills.

If you ever wondered why most Boy Scouts grow up to become prominent citizens, consider the organization’s framework, part of which is the Boy Scout Oath or Promise: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” So what is this scout law they are sworn to obey? The Scout is to be:

· Trustworthy

· Loyal

· Helpful

· Friendly

· Courteous

· Kind

· Obedient

· Cheerful

· Thrifty

· Brave

· Clean

· Reverent.

Wow, “… to do their duty to GOD and their country… ” The Scout Oath and Promise is about the only place the Godless pagan judges and atheists haven’t removed God entirely.

However, I digress. Why have I bored you with the history of the Boy Scouts? Because the Boy Scouts are one of this nation’s vertebrae that help support its rapidly disintegrating, decaying backbone. Let me help you put all this in perspective. The proverbial feces is about to hit the fan, according to all the experts; and less than ten percent of this God-forsaken country is prepared for what is coming. Sorry, but the light you see at the end of the tunnel that you think is daylight is actually the headlight of an out-of-control locomotive bearing down on you. Americans are totally spoiled, they are not totally prepared. The early pioneers did not have a Costco or Ralphs, clothing or hardware stores, electricity, appliances, cars, roads, pharmacies or hospitals. Did I mention Starbucks? They had no choice but to become one with each other and nature in order to survive. They learned quickly to prepare for natural disasters, droughts, and long freezing winters and always be prepared for that inevitable “coming storm.”

Americans have never been taught how to work together at common tasks or major community projects such as building a church. Trust me and the experts when we say it is not a matter of if a disaster is coming, it is only a matter of when. The storm is coming! When it does you will want to be totally prepared, or at the very least have a Boy Scout nearby to share with you what he knows about survival.

If there is a major earthquake in California, it could trigger other faults such as the Madrid Fault in the Midwest, affecting seven states: southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky, southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana and northwestern Mississippi.

Experts say Mt. Saint Helens is ready to erupt again, along with Mt. Rainier and the Super Volcano, the Caldera in Yellowstone National Park. (Hundreds of tremors this year in a 100-mile diameter of the Caldera. Do your own research and you will learn that any of these pending events along with an attack on our electrical grid from the sun, EMP weapon, or terrorist will plunge our country into darkness and total chaos, with millions perishing. Most of the casualties will simply result from being unprepared, lacking the simplest supplies, adequate water, food, medical supplies, alternate ways to cook, stay warm, etc.

If I have in anyway motivated or persuaded you to do your own research on survival preparedness, please understand, preppers on the internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy pertaining to survival tips. Many have an ulterior motive or agenda, trying to sell you something on their website. I spent hours trying to find an unbiased website regarding the most critical survival supplies or gear to share with you. I found dozens of websites claiming they have the perfect top 10 or top 20 list of the most important things to have in a natural disaster. What a joke! The 10 or 20 items they list are simply what they are hoping to sell you.

What is sad or actually pathetic is, most don’t even have water on their list! Water is the single most important critical component determining life or death. The average healthy person can live 50-80 days without food, (depending on stress level) but will die in 3 to 5 days without water. I personally fast on nothing but distilled water every two years or so for a minimum of 21 days, and every three years for 40 days, water only. I even went on a 60-day fast. Fasting cleans out your body and gives it a chance to rest. Imagine, most of the lists don’t include water or it is at the bottom of their list in a quantity of a few liters.

You should always have three to six months of both food and water on hand. For the sake of argument, let’s say nothing happens in the next ten years. What is the worst case scenario? You have two years’ worth of food to eat over the next two years and you store up two more years of fresh food. Now, what if something does happen? Case closed!

What’s better than simply having stored water, is to have a way to purify water in case you run out or gangs steal your stored water. In emergencies, disasters or catastrophes, the Red Cross, Homeland Security and FEMA all recommend electric or non-electric water distillers, not filters This is because the distillation process kills viruses, cysts, all bacteria, parasites and will remove toxins and most all chemicals. If you lose water pressure, water filters and RO units are worthless; and simply boiling water only kills bacteria. Distillation removes all contaminates. With a non-electric water distiller you can purify water from any polluted water source, river, lake, pond, pool, drainage ditch, even a sewer or the ocean. Since water is the most important survival item, if all you had was a non-electric water distiller you could easily trade water for anything you need! There are several non-electric water distillers on the internet, and there is one that is totally automatic and produces 18 gallons per day using any heat source. I figured that out to be six cups per day for 48 people. Google survival stills and compare.

When it comes to food storage, remember: you’re not thriving, you’re surviving… A great long-lasting survival food is rice and beans. Together they have all the nutrients the body needs — protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. Plus, one cup of rice cooks into three cups, the same with beans. They both store forever in a seven gallon plastic bucket with a water-tight, airtight screw-on Gamma Lid. Two 7 gallon buckets of both rice and beans supply one adult with a year’s supply of nutritious food (about 50 lbs.). Survival websites want you to spend thousands on freeze dried gourmet food in Mylar packages. For $20 at Costco you can buy 50 lbs. of rice and 50 lbs. of beans that will last one adult a year.

You should have warm blankets or sleeping bags in case you’re forced to leave your home and sleep outdoors. A tent would be good and a tarp to pitch it on. You need a first-aid kit, extra batteries, flashlight and/or lantern, fire starting tools, lighter, matches, Ferro rod & striker, a way to cook food, mess kits, solar oven, propane single burner stove with a dozen 1lb tanks (you can cook on campfires when you run out of propane). Have a backpack with items like a knife, can opener, hatchet, rope twine or Para cord, crank radio/light/cell charger. Get a complete list for a Bug Out bag on the internet. Please research getting totally prepared for the next inevitable emergency or disaster. Watch National Geographic’s “After Armageddon” on YouTube and ask yourself, what would you do in that same situation or would you have prevented it?

Interpreting the Times

Jesus said to the crowd, “When evening comes, you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,” and in the morning, “Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

Get Your Back-End Together!

Believe it or not, my title here isn’t a euphemism for getting your rear into gear, though it’s something similar. Once you’ve prepared yourself with a game plan for your business, developed a front-end product, and started running targeted advertisements, you’ll start building a customer list — and those customers will be eager for you to keep building your new relationship with them, and to offer them more products to make their lives better. This is building up your back-end comes in, and it’s where all the real profits are to be made.

This step is crucial to your success. Why? Because first of all, customer acquisition costs so much money that you’ll often do no better than break even on the front end. Many times you’ll lose money, especially if you’re offering something free. There’s no way around that, so the profits have to come on the back-end. This simply involves selling that customer a bigger and better version of what you’ve already sold them, or selling them an extension of what they originally got. The back-end is where you’re able to put together something of value and get paid a good price for it, make a good profit, and yet still give the customer what they need. You want a relationship with that customer that lasts, one where you can go back to them on a regular basis with new materials, new services, new products, and continue to sell them. The profit with any customer comes from repeat buying.

The back-end is critical to financial success in almost business. The last effective entrepreneur who did without it in our business and got away with it was Joe Karbo. He sold so many copies of his book The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches through newspaper and magazine ads that he didn’t even need a back-end. He did eventually develop some back-ends, but they weren’t that great. He didn’t pursue them with the vigor that we do today. He was able to sell millions of dollars worth of his book in the ’70s, but those days are gone.

I’d estimate that 99.99% of us make our money on the back end today. Even in the 1960s and ’70s, only a small percentage of people made front-end profits alone. Today you need an effective back- end system more than ever. Most people have a service or product when we start working with them, and they can’t quite understand why they’re not making money, especially if their item is moving well. The truth is, most people don’t realize that customer acquisition costs so much money. If you’re selling a book for $20, once you go through all the costs to get that $20 order, you’ll often find that you’re spending $19, $20 or more to make each sale, once you count in the costs of mailing and advertising.

You must develop profitable related products for the back-end in order to make any real money. This can transform a company that’s making marginal profits into a million-dollar success. When someone buys something excellent from you for a low price, they’re motivated and excited and think your company is great. That’s the time you want to introduce them to a bigger and better offer on the back-end — one that will enrich their lives tremendously, but also make you a big profit.

So study what caused your customers to initially buy from you; try to get a real feel for what it was that drew them in the first time. Then simply look for or develop products and services that give them more value and enrich their lives even more. Enrich your back-end by bringing new products and services into the system to make your existing customers happy. How can you do that? What works best?

Many new entrepreneurs hear or decide that they should model themselves after existing ads that appear again and again-and that they should duplicate the products sold in those ads, or come out with something very similar within their particular niche. This may seem to make sense, since they wouldn’t keep running those ads if they didn’t work. But the danger is that most of the time — almost all the time, actually — the companies that run those ads are really making their profits on the back-end. So you need to study those companies as their customers first, so you can learn how they’re making their real profits.

You see, those ads are just for attracting new customers — and often they’re operating at a loss. You have to look at the total model, instead of assuming that these companies are successful just because of the front-end ads that they run. I think you’d be amazed at how many companies are breaking even, at best, on the front end. If you were to just model yourself after what they’re doing on the front-end and not develop a good back-end, you’d be making a terrible mistake. And of course, your back-end needs a back-end.

You may see someone selling a book, for example, for $19.95. Let’s say you’ve been seeing their ads for six months or a year, and you say to yourself, “Heck, I think I can write a book like that, or get a ghostwriter to write it. I think the book will cost me $2 to publish and print. I’ll sell it for $19.95. The profits are going to be great!” Well, most of the time you’re mistaken, my friend. The book might only cost $2 or $2.50 to print, and you might be able to ship it for another $2 or so; but the cost of advertising is so high today that if you try to sell a book for $19.95, thinking that your total cost will be $4 or $5 while the rest is pure profit, you’re in for a rude awakening. You’ll be lucky to break even. You might even have to spend $25 for every $19.95 book you sell. The back-end, the big back-end, is where the money is.

Here’s an ideal example, concerning a fellow I know in Illinois. Every month, he puts $20,000 in pure profits into his pocket. He starts by selling a $19.95 book in all the moneymaking magazines. He’s been selling it for years now, using full-page ads. That book gives the readers some good, solid information, and often leads to the sale of a more expensive home-study course. I believe he has two different versions; one sells for under $500, the other for under $700. He usually gets that bigger sale within 10-15 days of the time that his book goes out to the customer. His $19.95 book breaks even on the cost of the ad these days, though at one point he was able to make a profit on the book, because it was so popular.

But with those $500 and $700 sales on the back-end, he’s still making money hand over fist. There are a lot of doctors and lawyers who’d be envious of that kind of income. This gentleman has realized one of the basic realities of making money in our business: he sucks a lot of people into that big funnel with his front-end offer, then the funnel gets smaller; but a certain percentage of the people in the funnel come out the other side making those $500, $600, and $700 purchases. He closes as high as 10% of those sales, which is amazing. And now he’s developing back-ends to his back-end. He’s doing seminars for his customers. He’s developing special services and new products.

What’s more, his business plan is so simple that even a child could understand it. Let me repeat it here for emphasis. He runs a full-page ad in the moneymaking magazines. That ad sells a book. That book, which lays out a specific marketing and money-making formula, sells the bigger package. With a simple three-step system, he’s putting the kind money in his pocket that, usually, only doctors and lawyers make.

Here’s another example: a dentist named Dr. Savaran. He developed something related to his field: a mini ID card, which involves putting a patient’s history on a piece of Mylar and attaching it to a little 2 x 4 inch plastic card. Medical personnel can run it through a microfiche machine, and see what a person is allergic to or what their pre-existing conditions are. He stuck with something related to the medical field, but it created a whole different profession for him. His product was unique and very successful, and he sold it to many pharmacies and drug stores.

Then he came up with another idea. He didn’t want to just carry his little medical IDs around by foot, trying to get people to resell them for him — so he got in the mail order business. He started by selling them directly to the consumer, and then developed a complete dealership where other people did the same. His dealership became his back-end, and a tremendously profitable one at that.

How the New Federal Minimum Wage Will Affect You

The Federal Minimum Wage increased on July 24, 2008 to $6.55. This raised the minimum wage by $.70. Approximately 2 million Americans make minimum wage. This results in approximately an additional $5.60 a day, $28 a week and $112 a month for a 5 day work week. An additional increase will occur next year and raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

Twenty-three states including the District of Columbia have a minimum wage higher than the new federal requirement which affects approximately 60% of American worker and are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

The low-income and middle class are greatly affected by the current recession. The minimum wage increase unfortunately is not enough. Many Americans are struggling just to make end meet and to buy basic necessities and have to use credit cards just to buy food and gas.

The average family is spending approximately $4,655 more on basic necessities such as food, housing and gas. Child care costs have also increased for those with children under age 5 to $1,508 a month and for after-care with older children to $622 a month.

Food prices rose more than 4% from last year. According to Money Magazine the cost of prescriptions drugs has increased, pharmacy co-pay prices have increased 25%, the cost of milk has increased by 14%, the cost of college tuition by 6%, the cost of eggs by 31%, the cost of bread by 14% and the cost of gas by 21% since last year.

Americans will have to find additional ways to reduce expenses and make their dollar stretch further. If you like to eat steak for dinner substitute it for chicken or fish, beans and rice for dinner or breakfast food for dinner. Fix tuna casserole, or other types of casseroles, stews or soups for dinner to save money on food costs. You can also shop at wholesale stores, buy items or sale, use coupons, carpool to work, shop at thrift stores or discounts stores such as Costco, Walmart, Ross, Marshalls or J.C. Penny.

Cut expenses in every area you can. You will have to make sacrifices to make ends meet but it is possible. Think of creative ways to save money by reusing items, holding a yard sale or bartering services with others who have businesses. It will take a lot of hard work and discipline to make it through these tough times but if you make it through you will know that you are a survivor. Good luck to you.

Harrine Freeman is owner of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, a speaker, personal finance expert and the author of, “How to Get Out of Debt: Get an “A” Credit Rating for Free Using the System I’ve Used Successfully with Thousands of Clients.

H.E. Freeman Enterprises is a personal finance services company that helps clients restore their credit and learn how to manage their finances. She is a member of Credit Professionals International, the American Association of Daily Money Managers, SPAWN, Toastmasters, AAUW, National Association of Women Writers, and the Women Network.

More Strategies For Household Savings

We’re all in the same boat nowadays. An ever worsening national economy has seen prices for most everything rise seemingly by the day. It’s not just gas – though the global oil shortage has much to do with associated cost hikes. Even food manufacturers and distributors are suffering through tough times and must raise prices. Fact is, we are experiencing an inflationary period similar to the Carter years, and most American heads of household (weaned through the unprecedented expansions of the 80s and 90s) don’t know how to handle the current financial paradigm. We’ve become so accustomed to consumer debt and carefree purchases that we no longer even understand the notion of spending discipline.

Nevertheless, as unemployment continues to rise and property values continue to fall, most families now recognize that something has to be done to halt the endless reliance upon credit cards. The quickly growing mountain of personal debt amongst our citizenry, after all, has much to do with the problems facing our national economy, and most economists agree that things shall not get better any time soon. It’s time to tighten our belts and face the music.

There’s a number of obvious solutions to household budgeting that shouldn’t need to be explained. Take account of family spending habits and cut back where needed. Clip coupons and shop, whenever possible, at bulk markets that offer bargain pricing – though not before making sure you aren’t buying more than your family can use. Trade down your vehicle for something with better gas mileage. Avoid expensive vacations. Do not presume things will improve.

For this article, we asked a variety of different consumers across the nation for their own saving strategies midst these trying times. Most, once again, were rather obvious (the Sports Utility Vehicle would be a poor idea; purchasing necessary household goods at a fraction of cost from estate sales would be an excellent one) or too personal to the specific consumer (a wood stove for those three weeks of relative frost may make sense for Sacramento but would not well serve our readers up north), but a number of their suggestions were actually quite helpful. In the following piece, we have compiled the most helpful tips so that all may benefit from practical solutions to our spiraling economic crunch.

Insure Savings!

To be sure, especially with so many Americans foregoing necessary check-ups and doctor visits because their employment (and government) do not sponsor preventative treatments, we don’t suggest that anyone avoid paying for health insurance. For many American families, that should – reasonably! – be one of their largest monthly expenses. At the same point, the costs of many other insurance plans may be overly protective or, in many cases, not needed at all. Life insurance for bachelors might have made sense your grandfather’s era, when one needed something to borrow against later in life, but, this age of instant credit availability, there are better investments. Similarly, too many vehicle or home owners are tricked into absurd premiums to off-set negligible deductibles. Think of it this way – how often do you crash your car? Wouldn’t saving a hundred dollars a month within a creditable program clearly make more sense than paying an extra hundred dollars a month just to avoid another thousand dollars should the worst happen?

Phoenix, Arizona’s Mr. Jean Papillcoch told us: “An old buddy sold me on this car insurance package. Seemed great at the time – collision, theft, even took care of me personally if I was in an accident. And, you know, you get used to just paying the bills, but I haven’t driven that car in over a year. Just money down the drain. The wife finally saw the paperwork, showed me what I was actually paying for, and … I don’t even have a boat.”

Drink Responsibly!

The problem with many household budgets is that they do not take into full account what family members actually spend their money on. That daily can of Diet Coke after the gym (more about that later) and morning cup of Machiatto would actually be greater than most families’ electric bills once added up. Alcohol, as well, has it’s own diminishing effects upon personal economy, but most oenophiles insist the distinction between a well researched four dollar bottle of wine and the average supermarket find for twenty dollars would barely be noticed. Simply by carrying thermoses or using the office blend, buying generic sodas from bulk discount stores, and choosing taste over label provenance, consumers can easily save thousands of dollars each year!

Mrs. Lisa Munnepenne of Fairbanks, Alaska reports: “It felt weird, the first time, just walking by the Starbucks on the way to work. I mean, I could feel the people behind the counter staring at me. It wasn’t like they waved or anything, but I did feel like I was snubbing them or something. And, Monday morning, the coffee at work tasted just exactly as bad as I thought it would. But, you know what, by Friday, I couldn’t even tell the difference! I didn’t notice at all. Actually … actually, it was exactly like my first week at work.”

Eat In!

There’s so many excuses. The kids want pizza. We have so few hours alone. I’ll make lunch tomorrow. Much the same as with beverage choices, convenience and brand labels control consumer shopping patterns to a ridiculous and inevitably debt aggravating degree. Office workers and young professionals spend too much of their income upon dining out. They might blame a lack of time or wherewithal, but all it takes is a change of habit. Most people actually find that they enjoy their time in the kitchen, and the eventual meals prepared are not only more healthy but, since they’re precisely to the tastes of the chef, genuinely more rewarding. And, regardless of the protestations of fast foodies, home cooked meals are always more affordable.

Mr. Raj Meekaaf; Kalamazoo, Michigan: “There was this café right next to our building, had the best breakfasts, and, even when times got tight, I wouldn’t give it up. Some mornings, that was the only reason I got out of bed. That’s what I thought, seriously. After the firm went under, I had to start cooking for myself. Turns out – food isn’t nearly as important as you might think.”

Invest In Savings!

This is a tricky aspect to treat in limited space. We, obviously, would not advise against well thought out investment strategies – though most employees of larger firms should take advantage of 401k plans should their company promise to match funds. At the same point, too many consumers gamble their money away with representatives of internet speculators that, in all likelihood, have neither the training nor experience to accurately vouchsafe their client’s funds. Even for those web sites that do maintain an attractive rate of return, most of them simply refer business to one of the larger mutual funds accounts – while collecting an extraordinary percentage for transactions that can literally be done by anyone within twenty seconds. Over the course of a lifetime’s investment, these transaction costs can climb to tens of thousands!

Ms. Jessie Williams; Lake Osakus, Minnesota: “I run a home business, and the business has done pretty well in the last few years. Seemed time that I should start thinking about investments, and – I don’t know anything about that. And, also, I live in a rural area, there was nobody in my town that I could talk with, so I started up with one of the on-line firms you see on the TV commercials. After a few months, I started to get the hang of it, and I thought to myself – ‘why am I paying three percent of every trade just so these jokers can push a few buttons?’ No complaints with the service, they treat you like a princess, but is that me?”

Drugs Are Drugs!

Generic brands have always been a source of comedy – well, for as long as there has been advertising; wasn’t that long ago that every commodity would’ve been considered generic. Still, for folks that watch the commercials, bargain priced staples or supplements of even necessary medications are something for the poor folks. Understandable that a century of advertisement has prized brand loyalty for consumers, but, once something – especially medication – has been approved for sale by the Federal Drug Administration, there is no reason Americans should doubt quality. Many pharmacies and hospitals benefit from the largesse of medical sales reps and have good reason to promote one brand above another despite demonstrably equivalent results and a sharp reduction of price.

Mr. Bryan Shadd; Fargo, North Dakota: “My doctor had recommended this pharmacist. You have to follow your doctor, am I right? Took me two years to finally wise up and listen to my friend about his friend and this cheaper way of going about things. Same drugs. Absolutely the same. Maybe they come from Canada or wherever. Should I care where they come from? Should I care who’s selling? They’re half the price, that’s what matters.”

Give It A Day!

Habitual spendthrifts should not carry around credit cards. Before deciding anything of permanence (romantic issues, perhaps, aside), consumers should always take advantage of the “rain check” option offered by most stores or realtors or dealerships. A waiting period is simply necessary for a concerted effort toward efficient and reasonable household finances. If, after two days, you still want to make the purchase, the truck or television or suit will almost always still be available. Honestly, for families concerned about maintaining a budget, anything over seventy five dollars should enforce a twenty hour minimum for studied consultation. You’ll find that, often as not, the product in question does not really seem that important after all.

Ms. Sally Falk; Chicago, Illinois: “I used to be an impulse shopper. I mean, IM-PULSE! Whatever I saw, I just had to have. Right! Then! And, just waiting out two days, like they said, I found … ehh. I mean, it was like I just totally changed minds.”

Keep On The Grass!

This will be of less service to our more urban readers, but one of the first suggestions from financial analysts in suburban communities is simply for homeowners to mow their own lawn. On average, property-owners spend over five hundred dollars a year just on lawn maintenance! In the nicer residential communities, even though the homeowners themselves may be crippled by financial burdens, topiary costs can reach five figures. In part, this is meant as an object lesson by debt professionals: you reap what you sow and you should bear the brunt of your vanity.

Mr. Jon Hansom; Corvallis Oregon: “We’ve a pretty big spread in the back, and, this fellow comes around, has his own mower, I figure, sure, it’s worth a few bucks to help a guy out and save the sweat off my back. Then, before you know it, I’m paying him to mend the fence, bury the chickens – we have a few chickens – and his girlfriend’s babysitting the kids while we go out to eat. End of the month, turns out we owe them more than we owe the electric company. I’m worried my wife’s gonna think I’ve gone crazy.”

Call It Quits!

Do you even know anyone under forty who maintains a traditional telephone service nowadays? With the sudden ubiquity of cellular service and seeming necessity for digital internet, a generation might not even recognize the entire concept. At the same point, the average monthly stipend for cell phone nears eighty dollars a month – or, to put it more plainly, nearly four percent of the average American’s gross monthly income. They are, to be sure, helpful conveniences and some people (largely, cell-tower repairmen and that Verizon guy) genuinely require them for their work. For most of us, though, the money could be better spent. If the mobile is honestly integral to your work, then there is no reason to maintain long distance service at home.

Tim MacMurray; London, Ontario: “I just realized after a certain point … I mean, if I’m already out, why do I need to talk to someone else? It’s just dumb jokes or ‘hey, call me back’. I can’t talk to anybody when I’m at work. Why do I need a cell phone? What’s wrong with land line?”
Lights Out!

This, perhaps, is the least needed lesson. Most every commercial these days advertises the need of light bulb efficiency, sweaters in place of sweltering winter heating, any small change needed to forestall global warming. Still, a regrettable number of our countrymen refuse to acknowledge both the coming energy crisis and their own culpability – not to mention their own sweeping debt loads. Just making sure that all unnecessary appliances have been turned off and that (though it may take an uncomfortable hour to warm up afterwards) the heat has been turned down those long weekends out of town would save the average American an estimated three thousand dollars a year. And, y’know, help save the planet for their grandchildren.

Mr. Jack Trevors; New York City, New York: “Took a while to sink in. I’m the kinda guy that used to leave the TV blaring, lights on, whatever, when I left the house. Then, bills start running tight, you start thinking about where the money’s going, where your priorities are at, and you end up making a change. That last summer – seemed like we didn’t use electricity almost at all.”
Friends Don’t Let Friends Spend!

One of the more unfortunate consequences of budget maintenance may be (temporarily, we would hope) distancing yourself from acquaintances with either more money or less regard to their emerging debts. Many analysts proficient in personal economics would counsel the newly thrifty to spend their time and money with only those friends engaged in similar cost cutting measures. Seems a bit harsh, we know, but those worthy of lifelong allegiance should understand that you are attempting to plan for a brighter future.

Mrs. Pauline Merriam, Au Claire Wisconsin: “Awful hard time, about two years back, we’d just left California and had to depend on some old friends that were themselves barely scraping by in Chicago. Once we explained that we just didn’t have any money … there were looks, of course … why, the people we were staying with didn’t ask for anything at all whenever the check came around. And we’re friends to this day! Just goes to show.”

Don’t Mail It in!

To be sure, anyone that’s worried about even the annual postage costs for their various debts and utility payments likely has greater issues than we could possibly aid through glancing at this article. However, there are other issues at play advising the advantages of electronic payments well beyond the cost of stamps. For one part, individuals can request a small percentage of their checking balances to automatically be moved to their investment accounts every month – thereby tricking capricious spenders towards helpless savings. For another, the definitive separation between business and checking accounts dramatically aids tax accountants when preparing deductions and defending against potential Internal Revenue Service audits.

Beyond which, most every creditor and utility now actively assists electronic transfers and virtually every utility will literally reward consumers for automatic payments (often, banks will as well) set up through their personal or business accounts. They won’t be large rewards, five dollars a month at most for the gas bill, but that could equal a free month of gas for consumers willing to spend the extra ten minutes setting up such a plan. Beyond even that, automatic payments stop the risk of late fees from forgotten bills or mistakenly posted items. This day and age, there’s really no reason anything besides mash notes and a grandparent’s birthday card need be sent by the US Postal Service.

Mr. Marc Duper; Danbury, Connecticut: “Honestly? I have not mailed a check to anyone in over ten years.”

Find Your Own Fun!

From premium cable services to movies every Friday, Americans somehow believe they are entitled to historically unprecedented entertainment upon whim. This should not be thought of as a utility. Humans need shelter, food, water, (for some cultures) clothing, and little else to survive. Western civilization has taught the importance of education and hard work for satisfied lives. Avoidance of pressures through the exploits of better looking others rarely enables self growth. Even gym memberships, where personal trainers are highly paid to force their clients toward labor, would seem ridiculous to past generations. Leave the HBO and family fun nights aside. Use the library. Start running in the park. Start managing and settling your debts. It will be a long life, and a better one can start right now.

Larry Brattner; Colorado Springs, Colorado: “There was a period, right after college, where I think I went to the theater every night. Didn’t really help anything. Liked some of the movies. Most of them were crap. In no way did it help me save money or pay down any of my debts. Do I miss those days? Not. At. All.”

Is There a Natural Cure For ADHD?

Physicians regularly have parents show up in their office asking, “Is there a natural cure for ADHD?” Between today’s increased use of homeopathic remedies and a growing awareness of the hazards presented by the drugs that parents have depended on for decades, the possibility of a natural cure for ADHD has become an intriguing one.

When it comes to finding a natural cure for ADHD, there is good news and there is bad news. First and foremost, it’s vital that parents and educators understand that there is no such thing as a “cure” for ADHD. It is tempting to hope for a “magic pill” that will completely eradicate the disease, but for the moment that pill doesn’t exist (although researchers are working on it).

ADHD, however, is a chronic condition.

The good news is that when you are talking about a “cure” as it relates to controlling the symptoms of ADHD, the answer is absolutely yes-there is a natural cure for ADHD. There are many, many non-narcotic ways of treating ADHD and helping patients control their symptoms without the many risks presented by Ritalin, Adderall or any of the other drugs currently prescribed on a daily basis. If you’re looking for a natural way to control your child’s ADHD, here are a few tips for you to try:

1) Control Your Child’s Diet

A healthy diet is the best natural cure for ADHD. A study done by researchers showed that children who were treated with regulated dietary supplements were able to control their ADHD as well as, if not better than, children who were given Ritalin. It’s believed that ADHD is closely linked to dietary deficiencies, an inability to properly process glucose and an intolerance to preservatives and artificial colors and flavorings. By eliminating these factors from your child’s diet you can immediately help them control their ADHD.

Coincidentally, studies in the University of Adelaide in Australia showed that children with ADHD regularly given fish oil showed tremendous improvement in their control of their symptoms. Grass fed beef and fresh caught fish are great sources of fish oil, and there are numerous effective over the counter fish oils through pharmacies, Wal-Mart, Costco and other providers.

2) Be Sure They Get Plenty of Exercise

Not only is plenty of exercise a great outlet for the pent up energy that plagues children with ADHD, it improves the circulation of blood to the brain and elevates the body’s levels of serotonin, making it easier for them to control their ADHD. Thirty to forty five minutes a day or more will go a long way toward helping your child stay in control of their actions and reactions.

3) Spend Some Time Outside

Nature is a great natural cure for ADHD. A study done by researchers at the University of Illinois showed that children with ADHD benefitted greatly from spending time getting back to nature, and that those who spent time in outdoor settings with plenty of greenery showed more progress than those who spent that same amount of time in an area without flora.

4) Accept Them as They Are

Physicians rage about the success of behavior therapy as a natural cure for ADHD, but they miss one of the most vital aspects of that therapy-accepting your ADHD child along with, not in spite of, their disorder. Your love and unconditional acceptance will greatly reduce the stress your children are under, and when they’re not stressed out their ability to control their ADHD is much greater.

Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find a natural “cure” for ADHD; however, time, love, attention and the therapies listed above are a great way to start.

What Are Dietary Supplements?

In the United States, according to Wikipedia, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical (excluding tobacco), an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above. It must also conform to the following criteria: it is intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet labeled as a “dietary supplement.” That covers a lot of territory with regards to supplements.

The regulations surrounding dietary supplements regulate them as foods not as drugs. They do not have to prove their safety of effectiveness prior to sales. The FDA can only take action after a dietary supplement has been proven harmful. That means that you won’t find them at the pharmacy at the Watseka Illinois hospital but you will likely find them at every Walgreens in front of the pharmacy. There is a great deal of interest in the need for and the safety of taking supplements.

It is not secret that when growing foods, the soil often gets depleted of minerals if they are never replenished. At one time, everything a human needed for a healthy body was available by eating fresh foods and getting supplements naturally when needed such as through salt. There are people who believe you can still get everything you need from food and that supplements are an unnecessary expense. The latter belief is becoming more and more scarce as more doctors at such facilities like the Southern Will County hospital are recognizing that some people need to supplement their diet because they are not getting the necessary vitamins and minerals in the foods they eat.

This article is not a proponent for or against supplements as that is still controversial at this point. If you can’t figure out if you are in need of supplements you may either see a specialist at a place like the Dwight hospital and get some tests or go see your personal doctor for a consultation. People need different supplements and different amounts of each of those supplements recommended.

So how do you determine what is safe and needed and what isn’t? First, some supplements are recommended by conventional or allopathic doctors, those with a M.D. or D.O. or their allied health professionals and should be considered safe. Those supplements recommended by a naturopathic doctor and other professionals in the complementary and alternative medicine fields are also probably safe as these professionals have been trained extensively. Where it gets tricky is when people try to self diagnose on what they need.