If you’re the owner of a business, there’s probably nothing that drives you quite as crazy as not getting your money’s worth out of your customers. Undercharging customers for goods or services can reduce your profit margins dangerously low in ways that sales volume might not be able to counteract, and this could place the health of your business in jeopardy.
However, there are some times when you should actually consider giving away your products for free. Providing promotional giveaways to your customers – products chosen specifically and purchased with funds earmarked for your advertising budget – has so many benefits that you’d be surprised.
You’re going to stand out in the crowd in a fantastic way if you give away the right items for free. For example, if you’re a winery or liquor store that offers wine tastings for a nominal fee, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to build brand recognition by leaving your customers with more than just fond memories. Instead, consider providing free wine glasses emblazoned with your company’s logo as part of the wine tasting experience. It will serve as a conversation point to that customer’s friends and family, building goodwill in the community and almost guaranteeing that you’ll get increased sales and exposure as a result.
It’s Cost Effective
One of the biggest advantages of custom giveaways is that doing so won’t even eat into your overhead that much. You can easily order custom printed stemware in bulk from companies that specialize in providing promotional items for any number of different businesses; the more you order, the lower the price per unit goes down. This makes it a very affordable way to market your business – much less expensive than taking out radio or print ads, or even paying for website traffic or promoting your posts on social networking sites.
It Makes You Look Successful
What could be the best reason to give away things for free to you customers is to create an aura of success around you and your company. A profitable company will have business practices that are confident and self-assured, and giving away promotional items sends that message in a major way. A business that is perceived as successful attracts more customers, as no one wants to shop at a place that looks and acts like it’s going out of business. No one has to know that you squeaked along by the skin of your teeth last month, now do they?Read More
There’s truly no end in sight when it comes to the things you can accomplish right in the comfort of your own home thanks to the wonders of the internet. First there were online auctions for used vehicles, car insurance comparison sites and car hire companies, but now the internet has developed to the point where you can actually purchase and finance vehicles right from your office chair. The future is now, and vehicle finance websites can get you in a brand new car in no time flat.
No More Used Cars
When you were young and just starting out, there was nothing wrong with buying a car secondhand from a friend or a relative. Most of us don’t have the financial wherewithal to afford a brand-new car right out of high school or university but still needed the independence and freedom that vehicle could bring, so the experience that most people had with their first car was that of a used one.
However, now that you’re older and wiser – and hopefully a bit more financially solvent – it’s time to upgrade to a new car. However, even the most affluent of us would be hard-pressed to buy a new car outright, which is why leasing vehicles is such a popular option – and why using online vehicle finance companies like Mylbrook Vehicle Finance has grown so prevalent.
The Wonders of Modern Technology
When it comes to communications technology, things have changed quite a bit as well. Back when the sight of someone with a mobile phone was a bit noteworthy, it made sense to have to go to your local bank or down to your car dealership to secure funding to finance your new car purchase, but in this day and age of smartphones it seems quaint and almost backwards to subject yourself to the bank or finance office waiting room.
Just as how you can now get insurance quotes for your car online now, it’s just as easy to get quotes for a leased vehicle as well. In fact, most vehicle finance sites work much the same way a car insurance comparison site does: you fill in some personal details, choose the make and model vehicle you’re interested in leasing, and then you submit your request. In moments you’ll be presented with the terms of a proposed lease agreement, all without ever leaving your home! Isn’t technology wonderful?Read More
If you’re the kind of person that loves the open road and spending days or even weeks just exploring those highways and byways, you’ve probably considered buying a campervan one day. Maybe you already own one and you spend plenty of lazy weekends or summer holidays getting back to nature. While you may enjoy the idea of getting away from it all, you need to keep one mundane thing in mind: if you don’t have the right kind of campervan insurance even the dream-come-true experience of a campervan excursion can turn into a nightmare in the blink of an eye.
You Need to Protect More than Your Wheels
It’s true that a campervan is a vehicle – and that you need at least third party cover to keep it on the road legally, even if you spend most of the time with it parked in the middle of a forest or a meadow – but you can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s also your home away from home while you’re using it. Just as you wouldn’t think of not having home insurance, you need to think again if you don’t make sure you have at least fire and theft cover added to your insurance policy. It may not be pleasant to think about, but criminals often target campervans because the owners often leave their valuables inside. Making sure you’re protected against anyone breaking in to your campervan and absconding with your personal property – or making off with your vehicle itself – is an important part of owning a campervan. It’s also why you should make sure you have a high-quality alarm and some very sturdy locks to keep out trespassers.
If you’re serious about roughing it in your campervan, you should consider the benefits of going whole hog and taking out comprehensive cover on your vehicle. Many comprehensive policies include some very important additional levels of cover, not the least important being breakdown cover. If you’re off on a trip to the hinterlands and your campervan breaks down halfway there, the last thing you want to be is stranded or have to pay out of pocket to get your vehicle towed back to town, as nothing throws a wet blanket over what would have otherwise been a fun excursion as a mechanical failure that you have to pay to get repaired out of your own wallet!Read More
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a fantastic tool for discharging out-of-control unsecured consumer debt, but there’s a price: it’s not a “one size fits all” legal procedure in any sense. There are a number of things that Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot help you with, so if you think you’re going to run into any of these problems you may need to seek other options instead.
Say Goodbye to Your Home
If you’re facing a mortgage foreclosure, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding will not put a halt to the process. In fact, only a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has the power to stop a bank dead in its tracks, but most debtors may not be able to satisfy the requirements of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy because it requires enough income to repay some of your debt yourself. This leaves little in the way of recourse for people that are facing the loss of their home if they can only qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Kiss Goodbye to that Family Heirloom, Too
When you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a good deal of your property is exempt from sale in order to satisfy your creditors. Your car – as long as you own it outright or aren’t in default on your car loan – is one of those exempt pieces of property, and so is your home if you’re not behind on mortgage payments. Most household appliances are exempt as well; the idea is that creditors can’t leave you in such a state that you can’t rebuild your life afterwards. Unfortunately if you have non-exempt property – like a second car or a vacation home up in the mountains or by the seashore – you’re most likely going to have to say goodbye to it. Valuable family heirlooms like jewelry are also up for grabs in situations like this as well.
Don’t Worry, You’ll Still Have Your Student Loan Debt
One of the most disappointing things about what Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t do is discharge student loan debt. Or at least it won’t unless you can prove that being held responsible for that debt is going to cause you undue hardship, but good luck convincing any court of that – the standards are so high that very few people can satisfy them unless they are truly destitute. On top of that, anyone looking to get their student loans discharged also have to prove that not only are they completely incapable of repaying them right now but will continue to be unable to repay them at any time in the foreseeable future.Read More
Small business owners have it hard in the current economy. While the financial conditions of years past have finally begun to stabilize to a good degree, there’s still much that needs to be done before the global economy returns to its pre-banking crisis levels, and in such a bleak economic landscape it’s an uphill battle for any small business owner to keep their company afloat, let alone grow their business.
It used to be that hiring on an accountant was a serious milestone for the economic growth of your small business, as you could say that you’ve finally reached a point where not only are you earning enough money to support the additional expense but also that the financial details of your company have grown past your own abilities. Nowadays it’s not the same thanks to the state of the global economy, but there are still some ways to know when it’s time to switch to using a dedicated accountant.
Things Have Grown Too Time-Consuming
Even if you haven’t grown your business to the point where you’re turning a profit healthy enough to bring in outside help, you may need to take a step back and hand over the reins if taking care of the taxes for your business have become too time-consuming. If you’re spending countless hours poring over your books in a dim, slightly panicked stupor as you try to reconcile your incomes and outgoings, you’re not spending the time you need to actually grow your business. Taking on an accountant or using an outside accountancy firm to take over this burden for you instead will provide you the time and renewed energy to invest back into your business, and could easily pave the way for that growth that you’ve been chasing for so long.
You’re Out of Your Depth
Some people just don’t have a good head for financial math. It’s not anything to be ashamed of – everyone has different strengths and weaknesses – but soldiering on against the tide when you’re really out of your depth can be downright dangerous, especially if you make what turns out to be a costly mistake on your taxes. It’s the worst kind of false economy to try to do your taxes yourself in an effort to save money on paying an accountant if you end up incurring a penalty because your taxes were done wrong. You need to rely on the expert education and experience of an accountant in order to prevent such horrors from befalling you or your company, and whether it’s a new full-time employee or a team of accountants from a firm like www.threesquare.ie/ you’re going to need the support.Read More
If you’re on the fence about switching from your traditional cigarettes to e-cigs, you’re not the only one. However, there are some very good reasons to finally make a move on this hotly-debated issue; here are four reasons why switching to an electronic cigarette might be the best thing for you.
Cheaper in the Long Run
Electronic cigarettes offer a significant savings over traditional cigarettes. While it’s true that your first e-cig purchase will be a good three or four times the price of your favorite pack of smokes, they will last much longer – and when you run out, you won’t be spending nearly as much on replacement electronic cigarette cartridges as you will on a pack or carton of the same number of cigarettes.
Clean as a Whistle
Using an e-cig is incredibly clean in comparison to a traditional cigarette. There’s no smoke for anyone to complain about, as the only thing you exhale from an electronic cigarette is completely harmless water vapor. That unpleasant cigarette smell that gets into your hair, your clothes, and everything else a smoker owns is a thing of the past as well, and that means that you can pull out your e-cig and “light up” in a crowded movie theater without getting thrown out by an angry mob of theatergoers.
Safe to Use Anywhere
E-cigs are incredibly safe to use when you compare them to traditional cigarettes. Unlike a normal smoke, you’ll never have to be worried about burning yourself or someone else, as the lack of any exposed flame or burning hot ash means no unsightly burn holes in your clothes or furniture. No danger of starting a fire, either – if you’ve always wanted the decadent experience of smoking in bed, you can do so without the possibility of falling asleep with a lit cigarette and burning your house down around you.
Easy to Get, No Matter Where You Live
If you’re disappointed that there are no retailers near you that are carrying e-cigs, don’t worry: thanks to the wonder of the internet, you’re just a few clicks away from having some shipped right to your house. It doesn’t matter where you live; no matter how far off the beaten path you may be, you can find an online retailer or distributor that can help you. For instance, if you’re looking for a Canadian supplier of electronic cigarettes you can easily find one by using the internet. In fact there are comparison sites specifically set up for the Canadian market so you can buy locally and not have to deal with international shipping problems – a major plus in anyone’s book!Read More
So you’ve been in an accident, you’ve taken the responsible party to court, and you’ve been offered a handsome compensation payment, but you’re not sure if you should accept the compensation as a structured or lump sum settlement. It’s not an easy decision to make, but it’s an incredibly important one: do you take the money and run or let it be doled out in equal payments over several years? Here are some differences between the two methods to help you make your decision.
The Lump Sum
It would be absolutely vindicating to receive a giant lump sum payment as soon as your accident claim is closed. The short term benefits are attractive, as you’ve got immediate access to that money for anything you like, whether it be important improvements to your home to help you cope with a disability or paying off debt that’s been spiraling out of control. You’ve got less to worry about with inflation as well, as many structured settlements don’t take the rising cost of living into account as well as they should, and that essentially erodes the value of your entire settlement slowly but surely over the course of the payment.
It’s not all roses with a lump sum, though. Much in the same way that lottery winners often mismanage their sudden winnings, lump sum payments have a tendency to vanish nearly overnight if you’re too profligate in your spending habits. If you can control your temptation and invest wisely with a portion of your lump sum you’ll likely be in better shape, but if not you could end up in a worse economic predicament than you were beforehand – especially if you use that money to live beyond your means.
The Structured Settlement
On the other hand, a structured settlement takes the temptation out of the equation, as you’ll only get a set amount with every scheduled payment. If you can play your cards right, you can have your settlement linked to the inflation rate – or at least have them structured so that the payments increase in time by a set amount – in order to eliminate the downfalls that can plague structured settlements.
Structured settlements aren’t perfect, though; if you run into a sudden financial emergency you’re your next monthly payment won’t cover, you could be in for a rather stressful time. In situations like this, you may be able to sell off a portion of your settlement at a discount in order to gain a lump sum in return, but you’re never going to get as much as you would have if you simply stuck with a lump sum in the first place. It’s better than being stuck high and dry with the need for a new car or replacement water heater and being unable to afford these necessities, though.Read More
With the economy in a mess and credit scores crumbling, more and more people are relying on short term loans to help them get through the month.
If you are thinking about applying for a short term loan in the near future, then you might be wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of loan? Well, wonder no more, as we have compiled all of the information you need to know below…
No credit check
You will be pleased to hear that the majority of short term loan lenders do not run a credit check against your name. This means that if you have bad credit or have even filed for bankruptcy in the past, then you should have no problems being accepted for the cash you need.
Many lenders online
There are now thousands of lenders online offering short term loans. This means you really are spoiled for choice, and will find it easy to find a company willing to loan you the money.
Short term loans are typically only for a small amount of cash, which means the lenders don’t require your entire life history in order to make a decision. If you are over 18, have a job, and are the owner of a bank account, then you are a prime candidate for a short term loan, and the application form should only take around 10 minutes to complete.
Affect your credit score
While lenders don’t care about your current credit score, if you miss a payment then they will be quick to record it on your credit file. At the end of the day, many people have destroyed their credit from taking out short term loans and then struggling with the repayments.
Access to your bank account
By agreeing to the terms and conditions of a short term loan, you give the lender permission to access your bank account on the payment deadline. While this normally goes down without a hitch, there have been occasions where lenders have taken too much, and even taken money they were not entitled to. This is definitely something you should watch out for.
High interest rates and fees
Even though you might only be borrowing a small amount of cash, that doesn’t mean you won’t be charged high interest rates. Not only that, but if you miss a payment, then expect to be hit with excessive fees, which can end up sinking you like the Titanic and leaving you with a mountain of debt.Read More
You’re the kind of person that doesn’t just take things lying down; that’s exactly why you went a head and jailbroke your iPhone. Sure, Apple makes great products, but you’re the one that has to use it every day and you should be able to do whatever you like with your own property – and that includes jailbreaking your iOS device if you want to!
Once you’ve gotten your iPhone free of the shackles of the App Store, the whole world is your oyster. Just to make sure you don’t miss anything, here are some great ways to get the most out of your Jailbroken iPhone.
Install any App You’d Like
The best and biggest way to get the most out of your newly jailbroken iPhone is to begin looking into alternatives to the App Store for programs. The biggest (and arguably the best) alternative to the App Store, and something that’s open exclusively to jailbroken iOS devices, is a marketplace called Cydia.
Cydia works just like the App Store – you can search, browse, download the best free Cydia apps, and even purchase apps with your PayPal or Amazon Marketplace account. There are all sorts of apps for whatever goal you may have, whether it be advanced programming or just to spruce up and customize your iOS experience. It’s a great resource and one of the absolute best reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.
A Mobile Hotspot At Your Command
One of the most fun and interesting abilities you can unlock with a jailbroken iPhone is to turn it into a mobile hotspot. That’s right – with the download of a simple app you can transform your iPhone to provide a WiFi signal for any other device, including that iPad or tablet that doesn’t have built-in 3G. If you’re always on the go with work and you don’t want to have to shell out the extra cash for a mobile hotspot for your laptop for instance, you can also use your jailbroken iPhone to get your computer connected through its cellular connection. You’re just piggybacking over your iPhone’s data plan, no muss and certainly no fuss!
Embrace Your Originality
Jailbreaking your iPhone means you can do more than just download apps that you can’t get at the regular App Store. You can also change everything about your iPhone – including its cosmetic appearance. Tired of the old home screen or lock screen? Customize away to your heart’s desire. If you don’t like it, feel free to change it as much as you like! It’s your phone – who’s going to tell you that you can’t?Read More
So you’re receiving a structured settlement as the result of a lawsuit. This can be an excellent route to financial security and prosperity, as lump sum payments are often gone before you know it; a structured settlement doles out the cash over a longer period of time, making it easier to hold on to. However, there are some times when a structured settlement can be a disadvantage to the point where you may need to consider trading in your settlement for a lump sum payment instead; here are three reasons why you may want to consider such a step.
It’s Usually a Good Deal
The mechanics for trading in your structured settlement for a lump sum in cash is simple; you trade the rights for your settlement in to a company that is willing to pay you the majority of the value of the settlement and walk away with a large cash payment in return. You won’t ever get the full value of your settlement this way – otherwise there’s no reason for the company to buy it off you, as they can’t turn a profit off the endeavor – but the amount of money you lose by trading your settlement in is usually so small that it’s a good deal; it’s a small enough sacrifice to make if it means you get all that money up front here and now instead of having it spread across years or even decades.
It Makes Good Financial Sense
If you’re currently struggling to pay off large amounts of consumer debt, you might be able to manage with the help of your structured settlement, but it probably doesn’t leave you much after your bills are paid. You go through this dance month after month, year after year, squeaking by on your debt repayments, and meanwhile your creditors are growing fat off the interest you’re paying them. Meanwhile, if you had a lump sum instead of a structured settlement you could pay off your debts all at once, leading to less of our money being spent on interest – and that means more money overall staying right in your pocket where it belongs. It just makes better financial sense to pay off all your debt at once, and you can’t do that with a structured settlement.
It’s Your Money, You Decide What to Do with It
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to chafe under oppressive rules and regulations, especially when you’re entitled to something like a structured settlement. You’ve earned that money – it’s yours, no one else’s – and if you want to use it to put a new addition on your house or finally buy a car that isn’t held together by duct tape and good intentions, you should be able to do so. Taking a lump sum in cash for structured settlement will allow you the freedom to do however you wish with your own money, allowing you to do whatever you need to do without having to wait.Read More
If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in NYC but you’re a bit short of cash? Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to visit the Big Apple without having to take out a second mortgage on your home.
Luxury Without the Expense
It’s a common misconception that you won’t be able to enjoy a luxurious hotel experience in New York City without paying through the nose. The source of this is obvious: everything’s more expensive in Manhattan, and since luxury hotel stays are already thought of to be on the expensive side already it’s simply logical to assume that a luxury hotel in the city is going to be even more expensive than somewhere else.
For the most part this is true, but this doesn’t take into account that there are several ways to get a great deal on a hotel room in NYC. Normally the least expensive hotel rooms can be found nearby local airports, but with both LaGuardia and JFK Airport far from the action of Manhattan you’re not going to be able to rely on such a strategy. However, there’s still a great way to get a discount price. Using the internet can get you a room at a fraction of the going rate – a $400-a-night room at a prestigious can be yours for sometimes as little as $150 if you use websites such as Hotwire or Priceline.
How Does it Work?
The biggest problem that hotels have is that if their occupancy drops down below a certain level, they’re not operating profitably. This means that even if just a handful of rooms are left vacant every week, the combined drop in revenue can add up to serious financial losses.
In order to combat this, hotels of all shapes and sizes will offer their rooms at cut-rate prices to attract enough business to keep them in the black. These rates aren’t advertised on a hotel’s website or available if you call them up for a reservation; instead the hotel will partner with a third-party website and market these deals through them. Oftentimes the need for secrecy is so important that you might not even know what hotel is offering their rooms for bargain prices. Instead, your only clue is that you’ll be guaranteed a room in a four-star hotel in a particular neighborhood. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it can pay off in a major way if you’re willing to take the risk.Read More
A good lawyer is hard to find nowadays, and it can be an uphill battle to sift through the innumerable law firms out there in order to find one that’s best for you. The personal injury legal sector is especially problematic considering the sheer volume of solicitor firms out there, but you can easily use the internet to find your best match; here are three reasons why you should do so.
It Saves You Time
Normally, if you were interested in taking legal advice you would have to meet with representatives from several injury firms until you found the right one for you. This can be an exhausting and time-consuming process, and if you’re already suffering from an injury that has left you with reduced mobility or endurance, it can be a true hardship to get out of the house and go down to the closest law offices. However, using the internet takes much of the legwork out of the process, as you can look up the details of several law firms and cross those off your list that you know won’t be a good fit for you well before you have to drag yourself down to their offices for a fruitless meeting.
It Saves You Money
Bringing a claim can be an expensive proposition. In the realm of personal injury law, this is deceptive since most lawyers operate on a no win, no fee basis, but if you do prevail on your claim those fees that you didn’t have to pay up front get taken out of your compensation award. This means that you need to make sure you go with a legal firm that isn’t going to bleed you dry. Pre-selecting lawyers on the basis of their average legal fees by finding out about them on the internet is another great way to winnow the field of candidates as well as minimizing the amount of money you’ll end up paying them in the event of a successful claim.
It Puts You in Contact with Who You Need
Arguably the best point when it comes to using the internet to find a good lawyer is that not only will it save you time and money but it will ensure that you’re not barking up the wrong tree. There are many injury solicitor comparison websites out there that are specialized to a particular field of personal injury law, and this is a huge advantage to an injured person who needs a lawyer with specific skills. For example, if you’ve been injured as a result of the clinical negligence of a member of hospital staff, going to http://www.personalinjurysolicitorsdublin.info/medical-negligence-solicitors/ will put you in touch with lawyers that have the experience and knowledge you need to help you win your medical negligence claim.Read More
Whether you’re a large corporation, a non-profit group, or simply a book group that meets two or three times a month, sometimes it’s nice to have some uniformity amongst your members. You won’t really feel like a bowling team unless you’ve all got matching shirts after all, and if you’re looking to have your amateur ghost-hunting service taken seriously it helps if you’re not using mismatched tools, so here’s some tips on how to outfit your organization no matter what it is that you do.
Uniforms are Underrated
There’s a reason that Wal-Mart employees all wear blue shirts with khaki pants – it’s instantly recognizable. A uniform for your organization makes you stand out from the crowd in a major way, and it helps to unite your members and – provided the uniform doesn’t look garish or strange – can help to present your organization in a professional and serious-minded manner.
Big or Small, It’s Out There
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to give a fleet of commercial vans custom paint jobs or you’re just in the market for a set of stemware etched with your wine tasting group’s logo – there’s a company out there that can help you. Custom outfitters are happy to take your money for an order of hundreds of widgets or just a dozen or less, so don’t be afraid of not being able to find a specialist who can help you get exactly it is that you want.
Buy In Bulk to Keep Costs Down
Whatever it is you’re thinking of investing in when it comes to your organization – no matter if it’s matching shirts or monogrammed belt-buckles – you’re going to get a better price if you buy in bulk. This is especially important if you’re getting customized pieces, as the extra cost of having names or custom logos applied to clothing or items can be spread across a larger order much more easily. In fact, most companies that specialize in custom work will offer discounts for bulk orders, so you can save money while developing a distinct style for your group.
Don’t Get Hung Up on Brand Names
Unless you’re looking for a highly specific set of features, for the most part it doesn’t matter what brand you decide to go with for your supplies. In fact, it’s almost exclusively a cosmetic decision when it comes to utilitarian equipment like water bottles. Contigo bottles, for example, come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and even colors, but you can rest assured that most modern water bottle manufacturers offer nearly all of the same different options as their competitors. This means that no matter who you ultimately choose you’ll be able to pick and choose the combination of features that you want for your organization.Read More
It’s always a wonderful event when you’ve finally reached a point in your life that you can afford to buy your own home. It’s not just something that’s unique to Canadians – all across the world, home ownership is a badge of honor and a real indication that you’ve “made it” as an adult, but if you’ve never gone through the process you’re going to need some insider information. Lucky for you, here are several tips for going through the home purchase process successfully and without losing your mind you’re your shirt!
Get Your Ducks in a Row
You might think that your first step to buying your own home is to find a house for sale, but you’d be wrong – before you ever even set foot in a house that’s on the market you need to make sure your financial health is in good shape first. Buying a home costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that means you’re going to need to approach a bank in order to get a mortgage.
Mortgage rates in Canada differ wildly depending on your personal circumstances. Banks don’t like lending that much money to people who won’t be able to repay them easily, so make sure you’re a good investment to them. If you want the best mortgage rate, don’t go to your bank without a nice hefty chunk of money saved up to act as your down payment – the larger the deposit, the more confident banks will be with you – and this is the surest way to earn the trust of a lender. Just don’t over-extend yourself by borrowing too much or you might not be able to afford the mortgage repayments!
The House Hunt
Once you’ve gotten pre-approved for a bank loan, then and only then should you begin your house search. You should have a good idea of the kinds of things that you must have in your new home for it to be ideal, but it goes farther than just how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are. You have to take into account any number of things, like the neighborhood you want to live in and how close it is to your place of work or where your children will be going to school, the amount of taxes you’ll be spending on the property every year, and whether you really want to commit to taking care of that swimming pool in the back yard year after year.
It goes much more than skin-deep though, as if you decide to put an offer down on a house and it’s accepted, you now have to make sure your possible new home will be up to snuff. Even though you may balk at the expense, always get a home inspection done to ensure you’re not going to end up with a big, expensive white elephant that’s going to just siphon money away from your bank account. A good home inspector can save you hundreds of thousands, so the few hundred dollars you may need to spend on him or her is always a winning investment.Read More
Nobody liked coming home from school with a massive pile of homework to do, but that was then and this is now. When you’ve got homework to do as an adult, it’s not because you need good grades on your chemistry exam – it’s because you’re making the kinds of decisions that can have serious effects on your life. One of the most important decisions you can make is to properly research anything you’re putting into your body, whether it be food or a nutritional supplement.
There Will Be a Test On This Later
Not every nutritional supplement is created equal. Manufacturers will often list a fruit or plant extract as the main ingredient – like garcninia cambogia extract, but there’s very little regulation or standardization in the industry, and there are some companies that are marketing products that will have a completely different concentration than another; meanwhile since there are no standard production or filtration methods adopted by the entire nutritional supplement marketplace, two manufacturers can offer the same supplement but with wildly different quality control standards.
When the Cat’s Away the Mice Will Play
Say what you want about over-regulation, but there are many industries that need to be watched quite closely. The ones with the most oversight are the food and drug industries, as it’s incredibly important that a product that’s being offered for sale for people to eat or swallow isn’t going to have dangerous or harmful side effects. With nutritional supplement companies not nearly regulated as closely as a pharmaceutical company, there are few barriers to a fly-by-night supplement manufacturer cashing in on the newest health craze by slapping together a product that may have the same key ingredients as others but has all number of strange and perhaps even unhealthy fillers and additives. For example, while you don’t have to worry about garcinia cambogia side effects since it’s been shown to be generally without any harmful effects, but if you’re taking an extract with heaven knows what added to it, it might not be the garcinina cambogia you need to worry about!
What’s In a Name?
You also need to make sure that you don’t take labels at face value. If something is advertised as “all natural,” for instance, oftentimes this doesn’t mean anything at all and is just a bit of marketing puffery. An orange that’s been grown in a greenhouse under sun lamps and that had been regularly doused with chemicals and pesticides might not be as organically grown as one that was grown the old-fashioned way in a grove out in the sunlight, but they’re both technically “natural,” aren’t they?Read More
If you’re fed up with the way your current bank keeps jerking your chain with poor customer service and even worse fees and penalties, it may be time to look into alternative banking options. However, instead of just switching from one bank that doesn’t care about you to another one just like it, you may want to consider switching to a credit union instead.
What Are They?
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial service providers that act much in the same way banks do. They offer savings and checking accounts, provide mortgages and car loans, and issue credit cards to those who qualify, but there’s one very important difference: credit unions aren’t owned by some amorphous group of shareholders but are instead owned by their members – and if you have an account with a credit union, you’re a member.
Why Are They Better?
Since credit unions are both not-for-profit and member-owned, the entire focus for the financial institution is to provide the best level of service and products to its membership. This differs from a traditional bank, where the executives are more concerned with pleasing shareholders and turning a profit than working in the best interests of their customers, and the proof that credit unions are better lies in pure numbers: the interest rates credit unions offer on savings and lending products are often better than banks run for a profit. In fact, some of the best personal loans you can find come from credit unions, and not only that but eligibility requirements for a credit union loan are much less restrictive than those for a traditional bank.
Just a Few Things You Should Know
As great as credit unions are, they may not be the best choice for you due to some limitations inherent in their design. Credit unions are mostly local institutions that only extend membership to those who live within a certain geographical area or have something else in common such as being in a particular line of work. In addition, since credit unions are smaller in scope than the mega-corporations that run our nation’s banks and don’t offer the most cutting-edge technological shortcuts such as online banking or remote check deposits. Despite this, many credit union members have little trouble accessing their cash from any number of ATMs, and not necessarily credit union cash machines – quite a few credit unions do not charge fees to their members to use out-of-network ATMs.Read More
The investment markets can be incredibly volatile and even dangerous places. It doesn’t take a worldwide economic downturn to prove that point, either – it’s all too easy to lose your shirt in a bad, risky investment, but there are plenty of investment opportunities out there that are considered to have an excellent value and that are low in risk. One of the best markets to invest in would be precious metals such as gold; here are four reasons to consider it.
Long Term Safety
Gold is one of those rare commodities that holds its own very well against the ravages of inflation. The value of gold has traditionally been an excellent way to hedge against the rising cost of living, and in fact many investors are using gold as a basis for Individual Retirement Accounts because of its stability. There are a number of Gold IRA reviews that can help an investor find the best gold-based IRA for their needs, but it’s almost always a safe bet.
High Return Opportunity
Thanks to its stability, gold also offers high return opportunities for investors. Gold and other precious metals routinely outperform other commodities and even many stocks and indices – two excellent examples of gold’s ability to persevere over time include how both the S&P 500 and the real estate market have both been outperformed by gold over the past twenty years or so.
High Levels of Demand
There’s a reason why gold has been so popular throughout the ages; people just love it. From ancient civilizations to the 21st century, gold has a place not just in jewelry and coins but also in industry and manufacturing. Electronics manufacturers use gold in many components thanks to its metallurgical properties, and as the needs of technological advances continues to grow, so will the demand for gold – and simple economics dictates that as demand increases, prices go up. This makes gold an excellent investment opportunity.
High Levels of Scarcity
Even more telling than the high demand that gold has almost always been in is the fact that gold is a scarce, precious commodity. There’s only so much gold out there to be found, which means that investing in gold is almost guaranteed to see your investment grow in value as the supply of the rare metal changes. The more time marches on, the less gold there is in circulation – and the more your investment increases in value as a result.Read More
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight, if not because it will provide for a better quality of life through a reduction in the chance you’ll develop weight-related health problems but because it can also help you feel better about yourself and your appearance. Women can often find it difficult to lose weight, especially with the huge amount of societal pressure placed on women to be thin, but there are ways to make it easier to achieve your goal to fit into that smaller dress size. Here are a few good tips for women looking to lose weight.
Find Yourself a Partner
Trying to lose weight on your own can be a disheartening and isolating experience. Humans are social animals, and being able to work together with someone else – or a group of people – towards a common goal provides a support group that can sometimes spell the difference between failure and success.
In your search for a partner or a group of people to act as your support group, you need to choose wisely. It’s less important to find women that you have plenty in common with than it is to find some that share your dedication to weight loss and your determination to succeed; stay away from negativity in any and all forms, as this makes it that much harder to keep yourself motivated towards your goals.
Embrace the Internet
There are websites out there that are dedicated to the proposition of providing answers and support to women who want to feel better about themselves. The best of these offer all-around tips and tricks for exercising well, losing weight, and even health and skin care secrets to help make you feel good inside and out, but for every one generalist website out there a dozen or more specialized ones exist as well.
Specialized websites often focus on one or two specific topics, like exercise or diet plans, while others have the kind of information that can help support your goals by providing better access. For example, if you’re interested in joining Weight Watchers but feel that the price of membership is causing you to shy away, there are sites out there that offer online coupons that can slash your membership fees by a significant amount. An excellent source for Weight Watchers coupons can be found at http://www.beauty-diet.com/weight-watchers-coupons/, but a quick web search can turn up dozens of sites that offer discount codes for Weight Watchers or other similar weight loss support programs.Read More
Thanks to the high accessibility and simplicity of the binary options market, it’s become a highly popular choice for many investors. With any number of assets available for binary option trades – indices, Forex transactions, stocks, and commodities to name a few – an investor can always find something willing to invest in no matter the time of day or day of the week, but there’s a specific knowledge base you’re going to need if you want to be a successful binary options investor. In fact, here are several important things to keep in mind while you’re working towards success in the binary options market.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small
It doesn’t matter how big and successful someone might be as a binary options trader – they started out at the bottom, right where you are now. Nobody is born knowing everything about the market; you’re going to have to gain experience as you go. Sure, binary trading is easy at first, but that simplicity is deceptive – it’s going to take more than a bit of brainpower to master the process, and if you’re the kind of person that jumps in with both feet before looking you’re going to end up having a rough time making back your initial investment capital. Don’t be fooled by the low-risk nature of binary options!
You’ve simply got to start small in the beginning. Feel out the market cautiously, make several small investments in order to develop an instinctual understanding of the market. This can be facilitated by your choice of broker, as many will allow you to place very low minimum investments. Keep to around 2% to 3% of your initial investment capital with each transactions will force you to work slowly, amassing experience as you go and ensuring you’re building a strong foundation for the future.
Don’t Forget to Do Your Homework
Yes, it’s very easy to grasp the general principle behind binary options trading, but if you think you just need to flip a coin and decide if you’re going to gamble on whether your chosen asset will go up or go down in value isn’t going to work. Instead, take the time to learn how binary options work. Learn the mechanics and research strategies that have worked for others before formulating your own.
Luckily the number of free resources for nascent investors is quite high. The internet is a perfect place to find information and education, providing you a quality education that you otherwise would have had to find out on your own; doing your homework now, before you get started, will make your profits that much higher once you begin trading in earnest.Read More
The holiday shopping season is approaching fast. In years past, people shopping for Christmas gifts for friends and family would gear up in anticipation of Black Friday, but things are different now – instead of preparing to stay up late for a grueling midnight shopping marathon, instead the preparations involve making sure a shopper is prepared for Cyber Monday.
The Paradigm Shift
Shoppers have grown tired of the cattle call that characterizes Black Friday nowadays. You leave your family after your Thanksgiving meal, get bundled up to fend off the cold and damp, and then stand on a long line as it queues up from the door of your local shopping mall or big box store. After hours of waiting on line the doors are thrown wide at midnight, and the stampede into the store begins: shoppers scour the aisles for good deals, jostling each other as they do so, and then rush to the checkout counter, where they stand in line even longer. It’s a carnival of the grotesque, and people are tired of it.
With Cyber Monday, there’s nothing like that experience as it all takes place over the internet. Shoppers can enjoy the comfort of their own homes as they jump onto their computers, or even take some time during their lunch hour at work to peruse their smartphones or laptops and do some shopping that way. There’s no crowds, no fighting, no waiting, and the deals are just as good as on Black Friday.
The Armchair Preparation
You may not need to fill a vacuum flask with coffee and bundle up against the cold to get through Cyber Monday, but there are some preparations you need to make in order to find the best deals. Luckily they’re very easy and take up little actual time and effort, and you’ll most likely be able to arm yourself for Cyber Monday without ever leaving your armchair.
Preparation for Cyber Monday is all about making sure you know which websites to go to that day in order to get the best deals. Some sites may be offering extra discounts with a coupon code or only between certain hours, so finding out a few days beforehand will prevent you from scrambling around on the day of the sale. Websites such as Cyber Monday2013 have been preparing for weeks ahead of time to make sure all the information you need is conveniently in one place, so you don’t even need to go hunting the information down on your own, either.Read More
The foreign exchange market – commonly known as Forex – has been highly popular with investors for decades, particularly because Forex operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Concerned specifically with the exchange rates between foreign currencies, Forex trading volumes are massive, resulting in transactions worth trillions of dollars changing hands every day.
The process for earning money playing the Forex market may seem daunting, but there are many ways to profit from foreign currency exchange, and some of them don’t even involve trading assets directly. Here are a few of the most effective methods for making money by investing in Forex.
Short Term Investments
There are several ways to invest in Forex in the short-term, which brings the benefits of not having your investment capital tied up in lengthy contract terms. The downside of short term trading options is that they are typically less financially rewarding, but the risk to investors is particularly low.
Spot transactions are some of the most common short term Forex transaction. Consisting of two-day delivery transactions between one foreign currency and another, spot transactions are not bound by contract terms but also do not include interest because of their short term. Another highly popular and ultra-short term transaction is the binary option, a derivative instrument that has investors predicting the rise or fall of a particular asset over the very short term. Several trade binary options can be placed in the course of a single hour, but yields are typically low.
Longer Term Investments
For investors in search of longer-term opportunities, Forex traders can engage in forward contracts and currency futures. The most common form of a forward contract is the forward exchange swap, a contract is struck between two parties to exchange currencies on a specific date in the future, which can be anywhere from a few days or weeks to as long as months or even years. There are two components to a swap: the original transfer from one party to another, and then the return transfer (the “swap”), and often require a deposit to sustain the agreement between the two transactions.
Unlike foreign exchange swaps which tend to be highly specialized, the other long-term investment Forex opportunity, the futures contract, is standardized. The typical futures contract has an investment time frame of three months. Futures contracts are highly popular as a tool for investors to hedge their investments against risk in the foreign exchange markets which reduces risk of loss, but future contracts are also subject to high levels of high-risk speculation as well.Read More