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The 7 Germiest Public Places

It is possible for a person to touch about 30 things in one minute from daily and normal activities.

This heightens the chance of contracting and spreading germs to and from all these objects if in a public setting. But there are ways to avoid being infected by knowing the more obscure places germs hide other than door knobs, light switches, and bathroom surfaces. Here are 3 out of 7 listed by ABC News:

Restaurant menus…..
Studies from the Journal of Medical Virology reports germs like the cold and flu viruses can survive for up to 18 hours on a hard surface. When dining in a public place, be conscious to not let the menu touch your flatware and wash your hands after you return it.

Lemon wedges
The Journal of Environmental Health discovered 70 percent of restaurants had contaminated bar fruit with microorganisms like E. coli, fecal bacteria, and other disease causing microbes. By opting out of the garnish for your beverage is a good way to prevent ingestion.

Condiment dispenser
Many people do not wash their hands before eating and they can spread their germs to bottles at the condiment stand. When grabbing for the ketchup, a paper napkin is not sufficient due to the abilities for microorganisms being able to pass through.

Restroom door handles
Don’t think you can escape the restroom without touching the door handle? Palm a spare paper towel after you wash up and use it to grasp the handle. Yes, other patrons may think you’re a germ-phobe–but you’ll never see them again, and you’re the one who won’t get sick.

Soap dispensers
About 25% of public restroom dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria. Soap that harbors bacteria may seem ironic, but that’s exactly what a recent study found. “Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grow as the soap scum builds up,” says Charles Gerba, PhD. “And the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there’s a continuous culture feeding millions of bacteria.” Be sure to scrub hands thoroughly with plenty of hot water for 15 to 20 seconds–and if you happen to have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, use that, too.

Grocery carts
The handles of almost two-thirds of the shopping carts tested in a 2007 study at the University of Arizona were contaminated with fecal bacteria. In fact, the bacterial counts of the carts exceeded those of the average public restroom. Swab the handle with a disinfectant wipe before grabbing hold (stores are starting to provide them, so look around for a dispenser). And while you’re wheeling around the supermarket, skip the free food samples, which are nothing more than communal hand-to-germ-to-mouth zones.

Airplane bathrooms
When Gerba tested for microbes in the bathrooms of commercial jets, he found surfaces from faucets to doorknobs to be contaminated with E. coli. It’s not surprising, then, that you’re 100 times more likely to catch a cold when you’re airborne, according to a recent study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research. To protect yourself, try taking green tea supplements. In a 2007 study from the University of Florida, people who took a 450-milligram green tea supplement twice a day for 3 months had one-third fewer days of cold symptoms. The supplement brand used in the study was Immune Guard ($30 for 60 pills; immune-guard.us).

Doctor’s office
A doctor’s office is not the place to be if you’re trying to avoid germs. These tips can help limit your exposure.
1. Take your own books and magazines (and kid’s toys, if you have your children or grandchildren with you).

2. Also pack your own tissues and hand sanitizers, which should be at least 60% alcohol content.

3. In the waiting room, leave at least two chairs between you and the other patients to reduce your chances of picking up their bugs. Germ droplets from coughing and sneezing can travel about 3 feet before falling to the floor.

Source: ABCNews February 20, 2011

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Break Your Spending Habit

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Battling a spending habit? Here are ten ways to put that bad habit to rest:
………………………………….………….
1. Go Cash-Only
Credit cards make it easy to overspend, but you can’t use them if you don’t have them with you. Leave your credit cards at home, and stick to cash or debit for all of your purchases.

2. Set Long-term Goals
Find yourself blowing big bucks on small purchases like coffee and vending machine snacks? Here’s a simple way to crush the habit: Pick something that you really want – a vacation, a fat emergency fund, to get out of debt – and remind yourself of this goal each time you feel tempted to blow money on a non-essential. Then, take the money you would have blown, and put it towards your goal. Before long you’ll be sunning yourself on a tropical shore or sitting on top of a mound of money. Who knew breaking bad habits could be so rewarding?

You may click to see:-

Navigating the Hazards of Impulse Purchasin

>How to Set Financial Goals

3. Distinguish Between Needs and Wants
Do you need those new shoes or do you just want them? Ask yourself this question each time you find yourself contemplating a purchase. If it’s a need (and it fits within your budget), go ahead and buy them. If it’s a want, spend some time weighing the impact of your purchase. What will these shoes do for you? Will they make you happy? Fill a hole in your wardrobe? Can you afford to buy them? Is there something else that you want more? Be honest about how your purchase will impact your life, and then decide if that “want” is really worth the asking price.

4. Shop with a List
Ever gone into a store for a few items, and emerged with bags and bags of stuff? Yeah, we all have. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this common spending trap: shop with a list. Jot down everything that you need from the store, then only shop for the items that are on your list. Tempted by something extra? Then, make a note to add it to your next shopping list.

5. Give Yourself an Allowance.
Look over your budget, and decide how much money you can afford to blow each week. Then, withdraw this amount from your checking account at the beginning of the week, and spend guilt-free. Just remember: When the money’s gone, the spending stops – no exceptions.

You may click to see:->Build-a-Budget Worksheet

6. Institute a Cooling Off Period
Coveting the latest bobble or gadget? Time to head for the nearest exit! Institute a 24-hour cooling off period before buying any big-ticket item. This will give you time to decide whether you really need and can afford the object of your affection. Still smitten after 24-hours? Then, go back to the store and buy it.

7. Find a Shopping Buddy
Do you have a hard time saying no to your shopping impulses? Then, find someone who can talk you down. Designate a friend or family member your “Voice of Reason”; and only shop when they can go with you. Have a cell phone? Then, go ahead and shop alone, but call your friend whenever you find yourself worked into a shopping frenzy.

8. Shop without a Cart
Have you noticed how big shopping carts are getting? Those babies are designed to keep you shopping! Avoid this clever spending trap by only taking a cart when you have a lot to buy. Otherwise, grab a shopping basket or carry your items. You’ll be less tempted to shop when you don’t have anywhere to put your selections.

9. Let Someone Else Shop for You

Looking for an easy way to break your spending habit? Here’s one: let someone else shop for you. Make out your shopping list, and then hand it off to someone you trust. You won’t be able to add impulse items if you’re sitting at home.

10. Survey Your Selections
Before you head to the check out line, take a minute to look over your selections. Do you need everything that you’re about to buy? Are there items that you should put back or think about for next time? Keep editing your selections until you feel good about them. Then, check out with a clear conscience.

sources:http://frugalliving.about.com/od/frugalliving101/tp/Break-the-Spending-Habit.htm

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