How to Say No More Often: The Cost of Being a “Yes-Man”

How to Say No More Often

I’ve spent most of my life afraid to disappoint people. This has caused me to put myself after everyone and everything else, especially work. Work first, play last, I’d think to myself. I would take on projects or serve on committees even when my schedule was already full. The new crafts I’ve been dying to do would be put off, and that time would be given to something else. I truly always wanted to help people, and I believed I was being helpful by always saying ‘yes.’ What I’ve realized, though, is that no one really wins when you take on too much. So, I’ve learned how to say no more often, and in today’s post, I cover how you can too.

The Cost of Being a “Yes-Man”

It’s important to realize the cost of being a “Yes-(Wo)man.” While you should strive to be selfless, it is also absolutely OK to have selfish moments. When you commit to everyone and every task, you leave little room for rest, both physically and mentally. But, more importantly, you leave little room for yourself. In fact, Psychology Today advises to actually schedule time for solitude, in this 2012 article by Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy. D.

Solitude, she writes, “helps to improve concentration and increase productivity.” The more you are able to concentrate, the more productive you will find yourself to be. Wasted time can be reduced or completely eliminated through this process.

For me personally, I found myself to always be thinking about the next thing I had to do, instead of just dedicating all my attention to the task at hand. It caused feelings of resentment as well. Granted, at this point in my life, I was also working a full-time job, started two side businesses, and was the Marketing Chair of more than one committee plus served as a board member for my local arts council. As you can see, the word “no” was essentially non-existent. But, I dove into all these side projects because I truly believed in them and enjoy being part of a greater cause. So, how do you know what to say no to? How do you do this without offending anyone?

How to Say No More Often

It is definitely possible to still be helpful while also staying true and mindful to yourself. Here are my suggestions:

Prioritize

When choosing what to take off your commitment list, begin by prioritizing. What is causing you more harm than good? Is there anything that you are not fully connected to or feel you are failing to meet expectations due to lack of time (or energy)? What are absolute musts that you cannot get rid of?

Prioritizing is not just job or community-related; it also refers to friends and family. Do you over-extend yourself to certain people who may not return the favor in your own times of need? Learn to let go of those feelings of obligation for people who cause more stress and pain in your life. It may be time to make some cuts for your health.

Ask Who (or What) You’re Serving

If you serve as a volunteer on a committee, do you believe in the cause? Or, is it that you just agreed to sign up because you were asked and did not want to say no? When using your free time to donate to others, consider why you chose to do so. Commitments in your life that just take up free space in your mind without meaning may need to get pushed aside until you have fewer responsibilities.

Actually Saying the Word No

The hardest part is surely actually saying no, but don’t overthink it.  Once you know how to say no, you’ll see more people understand than what you originally thought. If work is the main culprit, you can also let your employer know when you are unable or unrealistically able to take on more work. Be respectful, of course. Approach your boss in a professional way, showing him or her your present workload. Be sure to explain your concerns about productivity and discuss alternative solutions. Together, you may find other efficient ways to complete the work. This recently happened to a friend of mine, and he was able to show his employer that he needed more help in his department in order to continue with business growth.

You might find that as you begin turning down projects and people more, some individuals may be left disappointed. However, their disappointment (if existent) will quickly dissipate and your mental health will improve. Be honest with not only the people involved but also yourself. Let people know how busy you are right now but thank them for thinking of you. Another way to say it would be informing them you, unfortunately, cannot commit and worry you would not be about to put forth 100% energy to their request, even if it is just a party invitation. How much time can you actually give to extracurricular activities?

When you transform from being on board to everything to picking and choosing, you’ll notice the quality of your current commitments will be better than ever. This process of practicing how to say no creates a healthy relationship with being helpful…and yourself.

Are you a “Yes-(Wo)man?” What challenges have you or do you notice in your own life?

Motorcycle Insurance Costs for First-time Bike Riders

insurance costs for first-time riders

Spring means clear roads and sunny days ahead, which motivates us to be outside more. Perhaps one way you plan on enjoying the nicer weather is by feeling the wind in your hair…literally. Motorcycles are perceived as a cheaper (and much more exciting depending on who you ask) alternative to your standard vehicles. However, what newbies don’t put into account is motorcycle insurance costs for first-time bike riders. Is it more expensive? And what all factors are considered for these costs?

Here is what you need to know about insurance costs for first-time bike riders:

What to Expect

Even though it may seem that motorcycles should have cheaper insurance options than regular motor vehicles, this is not always the case. An older car may have lower rates than a brand new street bike, insurance company Trusted Choice explains. They go on to say that rates do depend on where you live, the type of motorcycle, and how often you’ll ride. For example, if you live in New York and will only ride three months out of the year, you will pay less in insurance costs than someone who will ride every season, they say.

But, regardless of where you live, two factors come into play for higher insurance rates: age and experience.

What You Need to Know

Insurance costs for first-time bike riders tend to be higher. In an article by James Hirby on The Law Dictionary, younger and newly-licensed riders should “expect to pay a substantial premium” for a motorcycle policy. The reason for this, he writes, is that national statistics show younger riders are more likely to be involved in serious accidents, unlike older, more experienced drivers.

Along with age and experience, if you also live in an area with higher accident and crime rates, you should expect to pay a higher premium due to increased risk, Trusted Choice adds.

How often you plan to ride also affects your rates. For instance, if your bike will be your main source of transportation, this will lead to paying more on your policy. Conversely, if you plan to only use it leisurely, you will pay less.

What You Can Do

Naturally, one way to see about reducing the amount you’ll pay is to do a price comparison between companies. You should do this prior to even purchasing your bike.

Another way to reduce insurance costs, Hirby and the Law Dictionary staff advise not purchasing collision or comprehensive insurance on the bike. They say that if you bought the bike with your own money, you are not obligated to pay for the cost of repairs in the event of an accident. This alone could save you an extra $100 per month.

Additionally, Trusted Choice notes that bikes with larger engines that are more powerful will also affect your insurance costs. As a first-time rider, spend your first few years on a smaller bike in order to reduce your premium. You can always upgrade later. (And, you’ll be able to afford to do so a little more easily.)

Lastly, you should get your motorcycle license and take a rider training course to reduce your premiums. This will show insurance companies that you took the time to learn how to become a skilled, cautious rider.

The good news is that costs will go down with age (and experience). So, be patient and wise about your decisions, and you’ll be enjoying that open road at lower rates in no time.

Death_to_Stock_Photography_RideorDie_6

Are you or have you been a first-time rider? Do you find these tips useful? Share your own thoughts and tips in the comments below!

Do Food Stamps Roll Over?

DO FOOD STAMPS ROLL OVER

It’s nice to know that in the United States of America, assistance is available if you need it. Whether it is for medical purposes or groceries, the government provides help through their welfare program for those who have a hard time making ends meet, depending on their income of course. Those who utilize food stamps, otherwise known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), receive a certain amount to use each month. But, what happens if you do not use all of your benefits? Do food stamps roll over? And how did food stamps begin?

The History of Food Stamps

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), President John F. Kennedy initiated food stamps pilot programs after years of attempts by others to start a food assistance plan of action, with the first one being used in 1939.

“By 1964, the pilot programs had expanded from eight areas to 43 in 22 states with 380,000 participants,” the organization states in their article, which was last updated November 20, 2014.

Once the program was made permanent in 1964, changes would occur throughout the years, both positive and negative, causing the enacting of cutbacks, recognizing the domestic hunger problem, and so on. But, during 1988-2004, the USDA mentioned that Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) was implemented, which is an electronic system hosting an account with the participant’s name where funds are deposited automatically each month. A debit-type card is provided to the recipient, which helped to reduce fraud as well as costs in printing and distributing paper stamps. We now simply refer to this as an EBT card.

Do Food Stamps Roll Over?

After doing extensive research, finding a straight answer proved to be difficult. However, here is what we found:

Each state has their own application for applying for food stamps, many being similar in following guidelines for maintaining a job (unless medically or mentally unfit to work) or losing all or some benefits should your household income increase. You are also responsible for reporting honestly to the government these changes to your income and proof of employment. Should you fail to do so, you will be subject to be banned from the program, a fine or jail time, particularly if you lie or withhold information multiple times.

Despite what many people may think or deduce, food stamps roll over will be carried over into the next month, AskTheExpert.com, a USDA online service, claims. In fact, FoodStamps.org states that even if you do not need food stamps anymore and do not use your EBT card, your SNAP benefits will remain on that card for up to one year. With no activity for a year, the state will remove the benefits from your card, AskTheExpert.com adds.

When benefits start does vary, though. States will typically go by case number, when you signed up, or the last digit of your social security number as Louisana does. You can review the full list of states on the USDA website here. How much you receive also varies and is dependent on net income of your house and household size.

In addition, FoodStamps.org also notes that in order to qualify your gross monthly household income must not exceed 130% of Federal poverty guidelines and your net monthly household income cannot exceed 100% of Federal poverty guidelines.


Going through tough times can be discouraging and defeating. The good news is that there is always hope. There are ways you can improve your credit and overall net worth. It does take time and dedication, but a supplementary income may help as well.

Have you ever had to use SNAP benefits? Did you ever have any left in a month? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or how you were able to stop using the program.