How Often Do You Shop Online?

In the 1990s when the Internet was just getting started, online shopping seemed like a real novelty. The selection was very limited; if you wanted to order books, there was Amazon and a few other places. There were also a few more fringe items available that might be difficult to find in stores. And that seemed like the main purpose for Internet shopping: getting things that were not within easy reach.

However, people were intrigued by Internet shopping, and it started to catch on. The number of sites, and the sort of things that they offered, began to grow tremendously. Within a few years, Amazon became a major retailing force and one of the most powerful companies in the world. That sort of growth is something no one could have foreseen back in the 1990s, but Internet shopping is a fact of life for the vast majority of the population now.

That major shift in people’s buying habits has had a major effect on the retail industry. Brick-and-mortar stores, the mainstay of the industry, have been in serious decline. Major chains like Sears and Toys “R” Us have recently filed for bankruptcy protection, something that was unthinkable as little as a decade ago.

Do you buy most of your goods online now? There is no arguing the convenience: just look something up, click your mouse a few times, and it arrives a few days later. Since they do not have a physical presence, online retailers can also offer things at a lower price, further increasing the temptation for most people.

Online shopping also provides an easy way to find the best value. Furthermore, some people only go into retail outlets to try things out. Once they have decided they want the product in question, they then order it online. Another reason that brick and mortar retail sales have dipped.

Are You Having Trouble With Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal part of life, but we will bet that you never found someone who says they like feeling anxious. Anxiety in moderation can be a good thing, but those who experience anxiety on a regular basis know that it can greatly degrade their quality of life and even become a full blown mental health issue.

Do you suffer from anxiety on a regular basis? If anxiety is seriously affecting your quality of life, first and foremost we recommend that you see a therapist. They have the professional training to analyze you and your situation, and will come up with some ideas that can help you to feel better.

In the interim, you can try some of our suggestions:

Exercise

Endorphins are the “feel-good” chemicals produced by your brain when you engage in physical activity. This is why you can experience a natural high after a good workout. The endorphins can also improve your mood at the same time.

Practice anxiety and avoidance

Are there certain situations or people that can cause your anxiety to spike? If so, do your best to avoid them. This can potentially lead to some awkward moments, but sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to make sure that the problem never occurs in the first place.

Cut down on the caffeine intake

For many of us, a steaming cup of coffee is a very common part of our day (or several of them). We use it to get going in the morning and keep us going during the day. Unfortunately, the properties that give your brain that added boost can also heighten your anxiety. Depending on the level of anxiety that you are experiencing, you may find it necessary to cut back on your caffeine intake or even eliminate it from your diet altogether.

Electric Bill Too High? Here are Some Tips That Can Help!

If you are Canadian and keep up with the news, you have probably that many of us are tired of paying Hydro rates that are much higher than our counterparts in the United States. This is particularly true in Ontario, to the point where the provincial government has taken steps to lower everyone’s bill each month.

That will help people somewhat, but you can take further steps on your own to increase the savings. Here are a few tips on how you can lower your Hydro bill with just a few small changes:

Turn down that air conditioner

Even with today’s more efficient air conditioners, you can really run up your Hydro bill if you leave them on for too long. Try closing the curtains to prevent the sun from coming in and heating up rooms. Also, set the air conditioner to a lower temperature so that it does not run as long.

Try to do things in the evening

Most power companies have a tiered fee system. That means that it can cost more to do certain things at one time in the day than at another. Typically, while the times may vary from area to area, it is cheaper to use electrical power after 7 PM and before 7AM. Try to schedule activities like laundry and running the dishwasher later in the day as it will cost you less.

Unplug things

You may think that just because you are not using something, it is not using power. However, that is not true for all electrical appliances. Things like modern televisions and computers use power even when they are not turned on. Try plugging such things into a power bar that has an on-off switch; switch them off when they are not in use or during periods where you will be away for some time.

Will Legalized Pot Wipe Out the Black Market in Canada?

Barring anything unforeseen, Canada will be rolling out legalized marijuana on July 1st, 2018, though less than one year before then, the politicians and provinces are still scrambling to decide on the particulars.

Among the most prominent questions:

  • Where can you buy it?
  • Where can you smoke it?
  • How old must you be?

Another question is price: what is a fair price to charge that is not so much that people will again turn to illegal sources for their pot? In addition to reflecting a more liberal view of cannabis, one of the main ideas behind legalization was to use it as a way to stamp out this black market. Here (in theory) would be a way for people to buy pot with consistent THC levels, in a safe environment, with the money going to the government, instead of some criminal gang.

However, things look to be off to a rocky start, if Ontario’s recent legal parameters are any indication. The number of locations announced in the province seems foolishly low considering the potential sales base (especially during the early months). And the refusal to allow sales anywhere but in government run stores, a la the LCBO, also makes it difficult to for some to obtain their marijuana, outside of ordering it online.

While few are asking that all restrictions be removed, some areas that remain criminalized (such as the limit on how high personal marijuana plants can grow) seem very foolish and will almost certainly have the opposite of the desired effect.

While this was always going to be a big change in the social fabric of Canada, it seems like the government will be playing catch-up for some time to come. Expect many complaints during the early days of legalization and the government to backtrack on and change some aspects of their rules.