Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Five Ways to Save More Money in 2017



Each January, most of us spend a little time thinking about New Year’s resolutions. According to the experts at Statistic Brain, “make better financial decisions” is the third most popular resolution – right after “lose weight” and other self-improvements (click to read the full list)

Don’t have the time to revamp your entire budget? Here are five low-effort, but high-impact ways to save more money in 2017:

1. Automate, Automate, Automate!
Today, managing your personal finances can be as easy as using a crock-pot – “set it and forget it!” Want to contribute $X to your children’s college funds each month? Set up automatic deposits now and you won’t have to think about it for the rest of the year. Have a credit card? Set up automatic payments so that you are sure to pay it off in full each month. Use automation to your advantage. No willpower required!

2. Pay Yourself First
Lifestyle inflation is when you get a new job with a higher salary, so you buy a bigger house. Then with your higher bonus, you buy a nicer car. Fun? Yes. But unfortunately, you have just used your higher income on two items that require higher monthly payments … so at best, your savings account remains the same, and at worst, you end up saving less each month than before. Instead, use that money to “pay yourself first.” Pay off debts and set up new automatic savings contributions before using what is leftover to make new purchases. By taking that simple step, you will take full advantage of the additional money coming your way.

3. Use a Flexible Spending Account
Many people have the opportunity to set up a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, through their place of employment. FSAs help us to save money on taxes by using pre-tax dollars for medial expenses, but did you know that they can also help to increase the amount of money you take home each year?  Read the full explanation here and then talk to your HR department about how to set up your account.

4. Identify the Best Time to Buy
Planning to make a few big purchases this year? Knowing when to buy can have a significant impact on your wallet. The experts at Lifehacker put together a comprehensive, up-to-date guide on the best times to buy everything this year. For example, September is the best month to book your holiday travel, but you may get a better deal on a new refrigerator in May. Check out their full analysis here and plan your purchases accordingly!

5. Discounts. Discounts, Discounts!
Sign Up for the Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card
Like the four tips already listed, taking this one action can save you money all year long. Go to this page and follow the instructions to get your own FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card. Then show the card every time you fill a prescription. That’s it. Users typically see an average discount of 43% on their prescription drug costs.

With each of these tips, one small change now can have a measurable impact on your savings by the end of the year. How are you planning to save money in 2017?  Share your tips with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FamilyWize/

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About FamilyWize



Many people are unfamiliar with prescription savings cards – or assume that they don’t really work as advertised. We understand the skepticism, so we’re here to answer some of the most common questions we get about FamilyWize and our free prescription savings card and app.  

What is FamilyWize?


FamilyWize Community Service Partnership is dedicated to helping improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
We work with United Way Worldwide, the American Heart Association, the National Council on Aging, and more than 100,000 other community organizations, government agencies, pharmacies, health systems, and businesses to educate people about health and wellness-related topics and to share our free prescription savings card, which helps to make prescription medication more affordable and accessible for all.

What is the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card?


The Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card helps to reduce the cost of prescription medication. The card has unlimited use, so you can apply it to every prescription you fill. Better yet, the card works for both the insured and the uninsured – anyone can use it!

How do I qualify for the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card?


The card has no eligibility requirements. It has no registration, activation, or restrictions due to preexisting conditions. Just print it and show it at your nearest participating pharmacy.

How good are the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card discounts?


By using the FamilyWize card, you can expect to save an average of 43 percent on prescriptions. Since 2005, FamilyWize has helped over 10 million people save more than $1 billion on their prescription medications!

How do I get the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card?


The free card is available here. It can only be used in the United States.

What if I don’t want to carry a physical card in my wallet?


We also have a mobile app! You can download the FamilyWize app to your smartphone from Google Play or the Apple App Store. The app serves as a digital version of the card.

How do I use the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card?


It couldn’t be easier. Just print the card (or use the mobile app on your phone), bring it to your pharmacist, show it, along with your prescription, and then ask your pharmacist for the best price.

Where is the FamilyWize card accepted?


The FamilyWize card is accepted at 60,000+ pharmacies nationwide, including Walgreens, Walmart, Kmart, Target, CVS, and Rite Aid. You can find a list of participating pharmacies here.

How do I know if my pharmacy accepts the FamilyWize card?


To find a participating pharmacy near you, and the price you’ll pay at when you use the FamilyWize card, use our Drug Price Lookup Tool. Just enter the name of your medication and the zip code where you want to shop, and you’ll be able to easily find the pharmacy where you’ll pay the best price.

How does FamilyWize get these discounts?


FamilyWize acts like a big buying group, negotiating with pharmacies to get discounts similar to what they give large groups like insurance companies and employers. What makes us unique is that we pass along 100% of our negotiated savings on to you, the consumer.

What if I still have questions?


You can likely find what you need at our FamilyWize website. If you still have questions, contact us online here, or call us toll-free at 866-810-3784.

That’s it! As you can see, using the card is easy and the discounts you can get with the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card are substantial – and real! Get your card today and start saving!




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

6 Ways to Stay Healthy in Cold Weather



For most of the country, winter temperatures are setting in. When the weather turns cold, your health can be negatively influenced, so it’s important to do everything you can to stay healthy despite the chill. We’re sharing six precautionary steps you can take to avoid sickness or injury this winter.


1. Eat for health

What you eat, or avoid eating, can affect your health – this is true no matter the time of year. But, in the winter we often opt for warm comfort foods that aren’t necessarily full of nutrients. While it’s fine to indulge in moderation, it’s important to seek out healthy choices on a regular basis. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables in abundance in the winter, like pomegranates, kale, grapefruit, potatoes, and winter squash. The more you can make your own meals, the healthier they will be. Take advantage of the cool weather and stay inside and cook meals in large batches – and freeze them to enjoy all season long.  


2. Embrace good hygiene

Data from the Naval Health Research Center showed a 45% decrease in respiratory illness simply by having recruits wash their hands five times a day. In addition to increased handwashing, you might want to consider keeping some hand sanitizer with you. Research from Boston’s Children's Hospital revealed that those who used hand sanitizer regularly saw a 59% reduction in stomach bugs compared to those who didn’t.
Since cold and flu germs pass easily, winter is a good time to avoid touching communal objects when you can – or washing your hands immediately after contact.


3. Get a flu shot

Winter is often peak season for the flu. It’s not too late to get your flu shot, if you haven’t already. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone six months of age or older. Not convinced? Read our five reasons to get a flu shot for more.
If you feel the aches and fatigue of a flu creeping up on you, talk to your doctor about an antiviral medication, such as Relenza or Tamiflu, which can work against the flu if taken within 48 hours of exposure. Of course, don’t forget to save on your prescription by using the Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, available here.


4. Get enough sleep

A study from The University of Chicago showed that participants who slept only four hours a night for one week dropped their bodies’ flu-fighting antibodies by 50% compared with those who slept more than seven hours. Try to aim for at least six hours of sleep a night – and more if you can. A rested body can more effectively fight off disease.


5. Avoid crowds

When the flu is rampant in your community, it’s best to avoid crowds, where handshakes and sneezes can easily affect you. You don’t need to stay home all winter, but be mindful of what is currently “going around” in your community and act accordingly. If you do go out, remember to wash your hands!


6. Stay fit in spite of the cold

Regular exercise equates to staying healthier. While your favorite warm weather activity may not be fun or safe in cold weather, you can still keep fit with cold weather sports, such as sledding or ice skating. Not fond of the cold? Join an indoor team sport or start a membership at the gym, where you can take advantage of their equipment and class offerings. Another option is to try a brisk walk around the mall.
If frigid or inclement weather makes it hard to go anywhere, let your home be your gym. While you can buy more expensive equipment, you can also stick with the basics, like a jump rope or affordable dumbbells and a mat. Workout videos are also a great way to get your sweat on at home!

For many people, cold weather can feel like a burden, especially with the lack of sunlight. Do everything you can to stay healthy by eating right, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, washing your hands, and doing everything you can to avoid places where illness is spreading. In just a few months, the warmer weather will return!