5 Ways to Enjoy Your Spring Break

Spring Break is just around the corner, and for some restless college students, it can’t come fast enough.  Having lived through tough exams, late night cramming sessions and last-minute revisions on papers and thesis, students are eager for a break from studying and from the cold of winter.  For many, heading to the tropical climes or straight to the closest beach is all they can think about.  And while they may have fantasies about fruity cocktails with little umbrellas, string bikinis and partying into the wee hours, the reality is that you have to pay to play.   For too many students, this means using their student loans to fund their trips.  As eager as they may be to frolic on the beach, the sobering fact of more student debt should give them pause.  With a little planning, Spring Break can be a time to refresh your mind and relax your body, catch up with friends and visit family.  Here are five ways to make your Spring Break a social and financial success.

  1. Make your travel plans early – You can save a lot of money and headache when you confirm your hotel reservations weeks before leaving. The earlier you book your rooms, the greater your discount is likely to be.

 

  1. Pool your resources -If you know you’re going to travel with friends, don’t forget to allow for extra luggage, sleeping accommodations and the like. Pool your resources and buy bulk shampoo, and other toiletry items you can divvy up among yourselves.

 

  1. Use a Groupon coupon – Rent a car and drive to your destination.  Driving will cost less than flying, and you can share the expenses with friends.  Not only will you have more control over your experiences along the way, but you can often find places where parking is free.  With a dollar car rental coupon you can save as much as $40 off a weekly rental, and even more when you apply a money saving Groupon to your rental fees.

 

  1. Set a spending limit and don’t exceed it. – Spring Break is a time to get away – but not go crazy.  Remember, what goes up must come down.  When you’re talking about your credit card balance, it can take a long time to pay off a few days’ worth of frivolous spending.

 

  1. Bring your student ID – Not only will you need it to verify your identity, you can get local discounts at many places along the way.

3 Tips To Improve Your Money Management Skills

If you’re not adequately handling your finances, you may be stressed out and struggling to keep up with your bills. Although your problem may be due to the fact that you’re not earning as much as you need, some of it may be due to poor personal money management skills.

There are some basic personal finance management techniques that you can quickly learn to begin to feel confident about your ability to manage your finances. Let’s take a look at how to get money for a financial emergency, how to create a budget, and how to build awareness around money.

1. How to get out of a financial emergency.

There’s nothing more distressing than doing your best to make your salary last through the month only to be blindsided by an unexpected high expense.

If, for instance, you notice one morning before you get into your car on your way to work that all four tires of your car need to be changed, then, on average, it could cost you as much as $600 because the cost of tires ranges from $500 to $700. While you might be able to postpone this for a few weeks, the longer you wait, the more you risk having a blowout on the freeway. Since you may only be earning about $300 to $500 a week, with that money going to pay your regular bills, you may be wondering how you’re going to be able to afford to buy new tires.

Fortunately, there are lending companies that will give quick cash loans you can pay back in installments. The approval process is fairly easy and you will receive your money fast. You just need to be employed, have a valid Social Security number, and have an active checking account.

  1. How to create a budget.

In order to create a budget, you need to take the following 7 steps:

  • First, find a system that works well for you. You may want to get a software program that makes it easy to set up your budget. Alternatively, you may prefer complete autonomy in how you organize the budget. In this case, use a spreadsheet. After you’ve opened up a spreadsheet program, put in column headings and then create cells for recording income and expenses and cells for calculating totals.
  • Second, establish what your net income is after taxes. You need to know exactly how much money is coming in every month from all your income sources.
  • Third, make a list of all the ways you spend your money each month.
  • Fourth, create a financial goal to spend less than you earn.
  • Fifth, make a plan to help you reach this goal.
  • Sixth, take a month to track your cash flow.  This first month should be focused on researching your budget numbers.
  • Seventh, keep on improving your budget. Every month, you will get a more realistic idea about your spending habits, and you will get numerous insights on how to manage your money better.
  1. How to raise your money awareness.

In order to improve your habits around money, you need to increase your awareness around money. Specifically, you need to become aware of where your money is going. In order to develop self-awareness, you need to keep track of  the following four things:

  1. How often you sabotage your money plan.
  2. When you confuse your needs with your wants.
  3. The times you succumb to peer pressure, spending money on things that you don’t really want but buy anyway because you are trying to fit in.
  4.  When you abuse your credit card, creating a debt that you won’t be able to pay off during the next billing cycle.

The best way to develop money awareness is to carry a small notebook with you. Simply writing each money mistake you make will build your awareness; and, over time, you will stop making mistakes.

In closing, if you find yourself struggling with money, you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with money management because they were taught how to manage their money despite years of formal education. Fortunately, learning these three basic money management techniques just requires time and patience to master.

Making a Study

If you’ve got a spare room in your house, you’re enjoying a luxury few have! Rather than waste it by simply filling it with dusty boxes you never got around to unpacking, you can clear the room out and make it serve a more productive purpose that will make it an asset to the house.

Today we’re looking at the steps you need to follow create a study you can really work in, whether you run a business from home, or simply want somewhere you can work on your life admin in comfort.

The Blank Canvas

The first thing you need to do is make space. If you can, unpack any of the boxes you have stored there and give the items a home, or arrange to donate or dispose of them. If you’re making a study you need a place you can shut out the world and focus, and a cluttered environment actually creates stress, rather than promoting calm.

If you need to keep some of your clutter, or don’t wish to permanently get rid of furniture you’ve cleared out of your nascent study, you might consider considering local storage facilities. byStored storage in London offer additional services like the free collection and delivery of your stored items that mean you don’t have to worry about actually driving your boxes and furniture to the storage facility can get on with the important business of decorating your new study.

Decoration

If your room is large and well lit, decorating it with pale, restrained colours may make it appear bland. If you’re not trying to make a strong statement with this room, and simply want somewhere you can focus, this may suit your purposes. If you’re trying to stamp a little more personality onto this latest addition to your home, it’s worth picking out one wall (likely the one facing the largest window) to feature a more vibrant colour, or a strongly patterned wallpaper.

In a smaller room, bright colours can be overpowering so it’s worth going for lighter colours to create more of a sense of space, and placing mirrors to reflect light.

Equipment

When the paint has dried, you need to gather the necessary equipment, so you can do all the work you need to. A desk and chair are essentials, and it’s worth taking the time and spending the money to some you can use in comfort for extended periods without causing back or neck pain.

It’s also worth getting a printer so you can print important documents without using offsite facilities, and stocking a stationary cupboard as you would at work. If you need to make an unscheduled trip to buy more printer ink, that’s a chance to get distracted and not do the work you urgently need to in your new study.

How to Score the Best Deals on Gadget Insurance

So you have just splashed out on a brand new iPhone and want to insure it in case something happens, but don’t know where to start looking or what you should even be looking for? We can help. These days, many people look into insurance for their recently bought gadgets, what with ever increasing prices and so on. When spending so much money on a device that is really so delicate and easily breakable or lost, protecting it with insurance is really a no-brainer. We are here to help guide you through insurance plans and help you find the best deal on the market.

Where to find the best deals for your smartphone

iPhone insurance

The iPhone is a phenomenon in the tech world, and insurance for these expensive gadgets is so solicited that there are a number of plans out there made especially for them. One of these insurance deals is with Switched On, who offer deals from £4.50 per month. This is the most basic plan that includes accidental damage, liquid damage and cracked screens, the most common problems these days with smartphones. For theft or loss cover, though, you will have to pay a bit more for the ultimate cover plan, which includes everything you could possibly think of or need for £6.50 a month. This is one of the cheapest plans available, with yearly prices from just £54, and is well worth a look.

Samsung insurance

After the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy smartphones are one of the most popular on the market, and there are tons of deals out there specifically made and tailored for these phones. On websites like Money you can find a top 10 list of insurance plans detailing the prices and what exactly is included in the plan. Prices vary depending to what extent you want to insure the phone and what model you have. Here you can really get a good overview and compare the different deals available, and read the conditions of each individual insurance company.

What to look out for when choosing your insurance plan

Always remember to compare prices and policies before contracting an insurance policy, and read the small print. Many insurance companies have special conditions that may not be very clear initially, and if you skip the small print, you may enter into a contract that does not really suit your needs or cover you when you need it to. Other policies may have hidden fees, making the total price way more expensive than it seems, so be smarter than they are and do your research.

Remember that most insurers offer a few different plans. Love It Cover It even offer couple’s insurance! If you just want to insure your phone against water damage, screen breakages and accidental damage, this company offer incredibly good deals coming in at less than £60 a year for iPhones.

Why HR is Good for Your Business

HR is unfortunately one of the most overlooked and maligned departments in the business world. It’s not hard to see why, when looked at from the top down: the head of HR can never report to a CEO about the revenue they’ve brought into the business this year. They’re focussed on regulations and compliance, so they might find themselves in the position of having tell managers ‘no’ to ambitious plans and instead recommending longer and apparently less efficient courses of action.

Writing them off, however, is a path towards failure and low morale. A business that makes full use of its HR team, and goes to the best HR Executive recruiters for its hires will be at a huge advantage. Let’s look at why.

Employee Development

Run badly, an annual appraisal is simply an awkward conversation that employees have with their managers once a year. Getting it right, however is a vital way to identify problems with your business, find employees who could be tomorrows leaders and retain the talent that makes your business unique.

One of the things that drives employees to leave a business is a feeling of stagnation: if they’re not learning anything, and have nothing to aim for they’re likely to look around for greener pastures where they can develop more skills, more responsibilities and of course a bigger pay cheque.

A well run employee development programme uses regular appraisals to find areas where employees want to grow and allows them to develop those skills in the course of the year so they can achieve those aims. This keeps everyone engaged with your business and prevents attrition from dissatisfied employees.

It can also identify problem managers who may need some development and mentoring themselves. If a whole team is rating themselves poorly, and showing signs of unhappiness, that may in fact be a cue that something is wrong with management rather than the individual employees.

Communication

If you think of your C-Suite Executives as the brain of your business as your brain, and your different teams as limbs, HR is the nervous system that connects them all.

Good communication in your business is what allows everyone to work efficiently towards the same goal. Poor communication means wasted effort and resources, and resentment from employees who feel they aren’t being heard, and for whom the decisions coming down from above are opaque and incomprehensible.

Using your HR team to its full effect means your decisions are communicated clearly and people understood what they are doing and why, so they can work with you happily and productively!

How To Find More Time In The Day As A Business Owner

When you are looking to get a hold of your financial life as a business owner and fics your finances, it starts with find more time throughout the day. That is when you figure out ways to earn extra money, stop money-wasting habits and begin to tend to your financial garden. And it starts with being able to take back time from wasteful activities and give it back to your growing business.

Anyone who runs a business knows how much it can take over your life. So to be a successful business owner and to not burn out, you need to take control of your time. Running a restaurant or a mortgage company requires a lot of time, but it should not be all of your time.

Improve Your Business Tech

Whatever kind of business you operate, you are going to need to accept payments. That is where, if you upgrade to SumUp, you can cut your transaction time down and increase your customer satisfaction. SumUp mobile card readers can process an EMV credit card chip quickly and efficiently, leaving you with more time to provide quality customer service.

Get to Know Your Customers

You need a customer data repository that allows you to gather info about your regular customers and be able to serve them better. Knowing your customers better will allow you to tailor your service more easily and encourage repeat business. Since everything is digital these days, whatever software you choose to gather customer data, make sure it can link up with your credit card payment system, so can improve your transaction time.

Get Off Social Media (Too Much)

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be great tools to stay in touch with family and friends or to keep up on important news, but they can also be enormous time wasters that suck away your productivity. While they can be effective marketing tools for your business, you need to have the right scheduling software and content creation services to make sure that you are using them effectively and efficiently.

Scrolling through Facebook, staring at videos and your friend’s kid can be a time suck and it even can affect your mental health. Studies have shown that hours spent on social media can lead to depression and anxiety in vulnerable people. Suffering from those effects can be even more devastating after all the lost time and productivity.

Limit The Netflix During Leisure Time

Binge watching your favorite shows can be fun, but over enough time, it can really eat into your time with family and your brain function. Your sleeping time is valuable for restoring your body after a hard day of work and as a way to stay healthy. When spending too much time in front of the flat screen takes away time that you could be building skills and hurting your sleep, you know it is not worth it. This will give you more time to devote to your business.

When you are more engaged in your business, your profits will grow and you will find more productive things to do with your leisure time.

How to Confidently Invest in Forex

Forex, short for foreign exchange market, had gained momentum in the past few years. Previously Forex was traded mainly by large companies or those with experience and understanding of the foreign exchange market.

What has stimulated this change? One answer is that average investors now have more information available to them than ever before. In addition, the internet has not only provided a wealth of knowledge but it has also made access nearly instantaneous.

Returns with Forex, although riskier than some other investments, can be high. But of course, not all Forex investors are as successful as others.

This may lead you to wonder, then, how to confidently invest in Forex so you can have success as well.

1. Educate Yourself

Whenever I lack knowledge about anything I usually follow the example of Hermione Granger in the well-known Harry Potter series. Granted, I don’t head to the library of a magical castle. But I do use other available tools to learn more about the subject.

Generally my method of educating myself is to look it up on my computer or smart phone. There’s no risk in learning about Forex, so read all you can.

Something else you must do is to have patience with yourself. You are most likely not going to learn how to trade Forex confidently overnight.

2. Get Help

If educating yourself about Forex doesn’t feel like enough, talk to a friend or somebody else you trust who has attained their investing goals trading Forex.

Another choice would be to hire an investment expert. This person should be educated in the field and usually works with investing daily. They will know all of the fine details of investing and can guide you as you delve into this new area of investing.

Obviously there will probably be a fee for their services. It can be worth it, though, in order to learn what you need to confidently invest in Forex trading.

3. Trade Virtually

A really great way you can gain confidence in Forex trading is to trade virtually first before trading in real-time. Choosing one that utilizes a robo-advisor can help you build your self-assurance and remove the guesswork.

There are some questions you should ask about virtual accounts that can help you. One is how long you can trade on the virtual account. For instance, if you have to start over with a new account every month it is harder to see progress.

Something else you could ask is if you can make the size of the demo account comparable to what you may actually be starting with. If the demo account is $100,000, as an example, but you only have $1,000 of real money to invest it isn’t very comparable.

4. Start Small

You could start with a small amount of money when you begin trading Forex rather than starting out risking thousands. Trading in this way is just one more method to help you confidently invest in Forex.

Furthermore, some people don’t have a lot of money to start out with. If you are one of them you may not want to risk your entire life savings on a high risk, high return investment. Instead, start small.

Despite the risks you can see that it is possible to confidently invest in Forex. Educate yourself, get help if you need it, trade virtually, and start your real account small and you will have a greater chance at building wealth for your future.

Day Trading Basics: Limit Order and Other Terms

Day trading is an excellent way to figure out how to come back from a terrible cublice job and embrace the real work of capitalism. The essence of capitalism is to acquire capital that will do your work for you. The return on capital is greater than the return on labor, so you should choose capital. Day trading, if you learn the proper strategies and techniuqes is a great way to get capital and put it to work for you.

Limit order is a term which day traders must be familair with. It is essentially and order to buy or sell a stock at a specific price. So, if you want to buy a stock, you can set your limit order to a set price and the order will only happen if the stock hits that price in the exchange. For selling, it is much the same thing. You set your price and the sell limit order will only be filled if the stock reaches that price. These do not guarantee execution of a transaction, but they ensure that a trader does not pay more than a pre-set price for a stock.

When you start out as a day trader, you need to understand terms and concepts like limit order if you want to be successful. Many traders out there start out without much experience in the market and they can get overwhelmed by how complex everything is. There is a stat out there that says 90% of traders lose money. That means that only 10% actually turn a profit.

That 10% has one advantage. They put in the time and effort to get good at day trading. They took classes before they risked their money and they learned strategies like looking for gappers in the early morning. Gappers are stocks whose share price is gapping up above its closing price the day before. These can represent a great opportunity for profit.

Also, when you take the time to learn strategies and attend day trading classes online, you can begin paper trading. That is where you trade virtual currency in a simulated market environment. It is a great way to pracitice day trading without risking any real money. Practicing in a paper trading environment can allow you to get a feel for day trading and the intracacies of risk management, without worrying about risking any real hard money. It is like a video game for day trading.

Once you spend time in a paper trading simulator, you need to work your way up to $200 a day in virtual profits. That is how you get to a level that is acceptable as a day job. Two hundres bucks a day is $52,000 per year. If you can do that in the real stock market, you have a solid place to start from.

But the key is screentime. You need to park yourself in front of monitors in order to learn about the trends and advanced charting that day traders need to understand. Once you get all that downloaded into your system, you can become profitable.

Update Your Offices into the 21st Century

It seems that we live in a world of ever-changing technology. It appears new advances are made almost daily in different professions. Twenty years ago would we have guessed that operations could be performed by instruments controlled by computers? Would we have thought that there was a chance at self-driving cars? We have enhanced HD screens that offer 3D and virtual reality. We literally have more technology in our phone than the astronauts did on their first trip to the moon.

Office furniture though, it has been progressing at a much slower pace. With all the advancements in technology, it has taken much longer for the furniture providers to catch up with the technical side. However, there are finally companies out there providing some much needed variances of the standard desk and chair. But not only that, they offer much more than the basics. There is a computer console furniture provider that provides ergonomic and long-lasting solutions to meet your needs.

What They Offer

Personal computers were introduced almost thirty years ago to many businesses and schools. Since then, the big boxy desktop computers have been replaced by mobile laptops and tablets. At each person’s desk up until recently was a chair, a phone, and the actual immobile desk for the person to work at. Also there were phone cords, USB cables, a cord for the mouse, and the cords going to the outlet. It was usually a tangled mess. All that has changed now.

For one thing, quite a few businesses are tossing away their landline phones. With the available apps and programs, there are other ways to converse without having to use an actual landline phone. Email, chat programs, and videoconferencing all have made using an actual landline phone almost obsolete. In fact, most people would rather receive an email on a subject rather than a phone call. All of this can be taken care of through their computer currently. Plus, the laptops and tablets add mobility that was not there previously with the large desktop computers.

The office furniture now is built around technology as well. There are USB ports in the armrests and the tops of the desks. There are outlets built right into the furniture, too, so there is not a need for ten foot power cords any longer.

Getting out of the cubicle is the first step to a happier office. Not only are the chairs ergonomically built with adjustable heights, but the desks are, too. Desks that you can sit at or stand at with a quick adjustment will make everyone happier. Plus, with the obesity rate around forty percent, having people stand at their desks will burn a few extra calories everyday.

More common in today’s offices are quiet spaces for distraction free working and collaborative areas in plug-in conference rooms. Instead of all chairs in the room, there are often couches as well. Plus, with the use of projectors and Smartboards, anyone can display their information for the group to see. No longer are things presented on poster boards where the person has to get in the room an hour early to set everything up ahead of time.

The times are quickly changing. It will be interesting to see how much further the office space changes in the near future. Soon enough, we will have virtual 3D screens like the ones seen in movies. It is up to the office furniture providers to stay one step ahead of the crowd in developing newer innovations before everyone else. Designs that are not only comfortable, but also incorporate the use of technology that future offices will be using.

Where to Buy Properties in Canada

Though Canada has a very similar lifestyle and quality of life as in the United States, the real estate market there is much more stable. The Canadian real estate market didn’t experience the crash that the States experienced, and in the last few years, has gone up in value, making great returns for those who invested. It’s difficult to generalize the entire country’s market, so we have broken it up into cities that might be interesting for potential American investor.

Toronto

No, it’s not the capital of Canada, but it is its biggest city, boasting a population of 2.8 million, and a thriving real estate economy. Prices have grown dramatically in the last few years, making it difficult for many to afford. However, Canada has learned from its southern neighbor and has been careful with financing options, avoiding the “bubble”. Instead, think of this high value market as a “play big, win big” opportunity. With Lester B. Pearson International airport, Toronto is a global city that is well linked with the rest of the world.

Montreal

The closest you are going to get to Europe on the North American continent, this cosmopolitan center is a great place to own a property. There are a range of options, from houses to stacked townhouses. Find condos for sale in Dorval near urban amenities and green spaces, perfect for working individuals as well as families with kids. You could invest in a long-term rental here, as well as other options, as this is a thriving city with plenty of tourists, conferences, etc.

Vancouver

Dramatic landscapes, mild weather, liveable communities all sound like one amazing Canadian city: Vancouver. “Vancity” as it is known, has been an investors’ darling – high, growing prices as this metropolis gains more and more momentum and desirability. Though the point of entry is sky high, we don’t foresee the prices dropping, and besides – who doesn’t want to own property here? Some say it’s as close as you get to utopia in North America.

Windsor

The city bordering with Detroit shares a river but none of its recent problems. Low real estate prices makes this a desirable investment opportunity as it is easy to enter, yet the prices have been on an upward turn. Many like Windsor for its long summer with balmy weather and the opportunity to play in Detroit while live in more family-centered Windsor. Traveling back and forth to the States is very approachable and easy, as there is both a bridge and a tunnel that connects these two cities. Furthermore, there is some beautiful countryside just outside of Windsor, full of wineries, fruit farms, and amazing views of Lake Erie. Truly a retiree’s dream.

Cornwall

If you really don’t have a lot of cash to invest, Cornwall could be just what you are looking. You can find a great deal on spacious homes in this small city, once again close to the US border. It’s a beautiful municipality on the St. Lawrence River and close to the major cities of Ottawa and Montreal. If big cities are overwhelming to you and all you want is a quiet town that still has all the essentials of the city, Cornwall could be the place for you.

There are many different places that you could be interested in buying properties in Canada. Depending on your budget and what your long-term goals are, it might be worth talking to an international property specialist who will have a more focused approach and will able to help you with the paperwork required in an international purchase. Buying abroad might seem complicated and exotic right now, but when it’s Canada, you know that it is a safe bet, perhaps even safer than at home.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...