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Work For Yourself

When it comes to working, it’s a mixed bag. While we all feel compelled to do something meaningful, it can quickly become abstracted by the inner workings of modern capitalism. However, when we do work that fulfills that need to do something meaningful, it benefits us on a spiritual level. This is why so many of us fall in line and want to be rock stars and otherwise pursue fame. We see that person, that creator, and we internalize that as the ideal job as a result. However, this is not necessarily the case, but it serves as a good analogy. We often encourage young people to give up on their dreams for practical reasons, and that’s a shame. My dad, when I was growing up, offered me more of a compromise. Work on what you love, but work for a paycheck. This, and a number of other factors led me down a road of mostly just working for a paycheck and, by my own struggles with mental illness, letting my dreams fall to the wayside.

However, recently, I’ve have a second wind of sorts, and I’m currently drawing more and finally writing a novel. The thing about following your dreams, within the framework of maintaining a living wage, is that it follows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to a tee. You prioritize the more important needs like food (work) and save self actualization (accomplishing your personal goals) for when everything else is taken care of. However, putting your dreams on hold entirely only increases the odds that you’ll be without the skills necessary to jump back in when the time comes, and you may abandon it soon thereafter due to frustration. This is why you should, instead, strive to make more of your leisure time “work” on your hobby of choice so that you can develop that skill without taking away from your ability to provide for yourself.

So, my advice to anyone and everyone is to do just that: work on both making and saving money and developing the skills of your hobby in order to more easily fulfill your dreams once you can afford to invest more time and energy into it. As such, I also recommend taking certain steps that, of course, vary from hobby to hobby, from dream to dream, to ensure some manner of success moving forward. For example, if you want to run a website, grab a domain name from Namecheap sooner, rather than later, and work toward building it gradually. In my case, as an aspiring novelist, my advice to my past self would be simply to write as much as you can without worrying too much about quality. That way, you have that foundation to build off of later and can write your perfect novel gradually while you focus on survival.

Basic Concepts For Reducing Fuel Consumption

Fuel cost can be really high and it is important for us to know how to manage this situation. Although the new boom of shale oil production in the United States have pushed the oil price down, fuel costs can still represent major expenses in our daily lives. There are basic concepts on how to reduce fuel costs, such as limiting the driving duration, finding the most affordable gas and improving the fuel efficiency of our car. By combining these factors, we should be able to significantly reduce the amount of gas that we use. As long as we are able to improve those three factors, our car engine doesn’t car about the type of fuel we use.

We should be aware that higher octane rating doesn’t provide us with higher fuel efficiency. If our car needs to use higher octane rating, the engine will simply run smoothly without knocking or premature detonation inside the cylinders. There are smartphone apps that can help us to find the lowest possible gas price in the area. Using the GPS technology, we should be able to find the location of the gas station. In this case, we should plan ahead about when we should purchase the gas. As an example, when the gas tank is nearly empty, we may not be near the most recommended station.

Another thing that we should do is to drive less than usual. It is an obvious thing to do, but many people may overlook that. It’s clear that we won’t be able to cut out the driving completely, but we should be aware that in some cases we don’t really need to drive. If we plan to do something, it’s a good idea to combine multiple errands into a single trip. For shorter trips, we may use bicycle, public transportation or just walk. It is also a good idea to carpool with neighbours and friends, especially if they go to the same direction with us. It is possible to cut the whole costs of the monthly car trips in half using carpooling.

The next thing to do is to make our cars much more efficient. In some cases, it is quite easy to do. Just check the trunk and find any excess load that can be removed. It is estimated that the efficiency of our car can be reduced by 2 percent if there’s an extra 100 pounds of load inside the car. We should avoid speeding up on the freeway and there’s a sweet spot that provides a good balance between speed and fuel efficiency. In general, fuel efficiency can be reduced if we drive faster than 60 MPH. We should avoid accelerating and stopping the car too fast. Coasting the car is a good way to save fuel, try to let the car to slow down by itself without stepping on the brake too soon. Filter should be replaced regularly, because any blockage in the fuel and air filters will reduce the overall fuel efficiency.

Things We Should Know About Gift Cards

In the United States alone, billions dollars worth of gift cards are distributed each year. It is important to be aware that many of these gift cards remain unredeemed when they expired. Given the existing market size, the total value of these expired gift cards can be quite immense. Many of us have received such card and it is important for us to use any of these cards at the earliest possible opportunity. In fact, retail stores know that not all of these cards are redeemed, so they are confident about releasing more cards to the market. There’s a reason why stores tend to distribute gift cards, that is to increase the overall sales. It is quite unlikely that people will spend to the exact amount of the gift cards. It is possible that they will spend much more. Gift cards also bring people to the merchants and if people like the products offered, they may return in the future. If more and more people come after the distribution of the gift cards, we could say that these cards are really the merchant’s best ally in the marketing sense.

However, it is better for consumers to consider that gift cards are supposed to be their best ally. It means that buyers should know how to use gift cards properly. When using gift cards, we should be aware of our expectations. The rules of using gift cards can depend on the merchants, so we may find that each gift card has a set of rules. So, it is important for us to read the fine prints to make sure that these cards could genuinely provide us with benefits. As an example, gift cards are not really gift cards, if we are required to spend an amount of money, before the cards can be used. In this situation, it should be called discount cards, instead of gift cards. We should make sure that we won’t be greeted rudely by all sorts of unexpected conditions and extra fees. It is important for consumers to know about their rights and what they should do to use their gift cards. In this case, we should do this at the earliest possible time, so we won’t forget that we have the card. We shouldn’t waste our opportunity whenever possible.

Some people are blessed with so much gift cards throughout the year and it is important for them to log any gift card that they have. The logbook should include all the important information about the gift card. All cards should be placed in the safe spot to make sure that no one will obtain the information about the card. This will also make sure that we will not waste the gift card due to expiration and other factors. It is important that we don’t neglect the gift card, because it is the same with wasting money. In fact, the time when we should redeem the credit card can be considered as an appointment.

What To Do When We Lose Our Job?

Economic turmoil can be bad and we need to avoid its severe consequences whenever possible. People who depend entirely on their job are facing the scary prospect of losing their only source of income. As companies are dealing with low sales during financial crisis, they need to reduce costs and in some cases, it is necessary to lay off some employees. Workers are among the first who are facing the dire effect of slower consumer spending. If we do lose our job, it is important for us to find a way to stay afloat. The first thing to do is to make sure that we have an alternative income. A good practice is to ask ourselves what will happen to us when we lose our job since months previously, when the economic situations had started to go awry. Finding an alternative job can be a rather difficult thing to do during a difficult economic situation, especially if no one is hiring and many companies are laying off their employees.

Fortunately, we still retain our experience, knowledge and skills. If possible, we may provide teaching lesson and consulting sessions for others who need our expertise. If we have a hobby, we should know how to profit from it. As an example, if we like to bake, we may consider selling cheap, nutritious and tasty cookies. Female workers who know how to knit can make affordable sweaters and blankets, which are cheaper than those found in shops. If possible, we may also file for unemployment benefit, which is given by specific state. However, we must be deemed eligible based on a number of requirements. If we are qualified, it would be a waste not to get this benefit. The process may take awhile and we should be patient in undergoing all the processes. So, we may still need to pay quite a few bills with our own money, before the first unemployment check arrives. For this reason, we should apply for such benefit as soon as possible.

When we lose our job, it is clearly the time for us to tap into our savings account. It’s a key component if we want to make sure that we are able to stay afloat without the availability of primary source of income. It is commonly recommended that we have at least 6 months worth of extra cash in the savings account. This should give us enough time to look for other jobs or start a small business to sustain our family. If we don’t have cash reserve today, then we should start to cut expenses and save aggressively each month. This small task should be quite handy and bring us a lot of benefit when we lose our job. Our little effort now can be quite handy later, especially when we need a lot of money to cover our expenses. Overall, we need to cut back our spending when the economy starts to slow down and we need to do that more aggressively once we lose our job. It means that out 6-month worth of savings account can extend to 8 months or more.

Proper Money Management During Divorce Process

There’s so much going on when we are dealing with the divorce process, such as distrust, resentment, anger and fear. They can surely wreak havoc in our financial condition, because divorce process is an expensive matter. It is also the time when we make major financial decisions, which can be quite detrimental to our finances. Unfortunately, our choices can be influenced by emotions and it’s not a good thing. We need to make logical analysis, so we will come up with the right kind of method. One of the most important things to do is to choose the right attorney for our situation. If possible, we should end the relationship peacefully without any kind of legal fight. This will be easier for everyone and there will a lot more money to share between the two spouses. Legal battlers can be really costly, both financially and mentally. In this case, we should rely on a good attorney who can prevent us from losing a lot of money.

We should choose ethical attorneys who practice family law. They won’t take advantage of people during their most vulnerable times. The current legal system can be inflexible and may even provoke conflicts between spouses. Attorneys should understand about the common pitfalls in the legal system and advise their clients on how to avoid drawn out and long legal battles between them. These kinds of conflicts would only serve to drain our assets completely and it is something that we want to avoid. It is important avoid anything that rack up fees unnecessarily. They money can be used for bills, education and retirement. We should consult with the attorney to make sure that we find someone who we are comfortable with in helping us out in the legal proceeding. One of the worst things to do is to leave debts in the other spouse’s name. This is will be a spark that triggers huge legal battle and it is something that we need to avoid.

The divorce process should include the creation of a joint debt account. It means that each of the ex-spouse will be charged equally each month to contribute for the debt payment. This arrangement is necessary to prevent any damage to the credit rating, which can make things complicated for both individuals, especially after their divorce. During this difficult time, every point in the credit score is essential to ensure lower interest rate and other privileges. Instead of being trapped in legal fights, it is better if we stay at home. We should go outside  when it is necessary and we need to stop the contact with the spouse, except when we are accompanied by the attorney. In this situation, things can get really ugly, such as when violence occurs between both people. We also need to understand about the tax consequence related to the divorce proceeding and we should make sure that it won’t cause problems in the long run.

Why We Should Be Honest About Our Financial Problems?

People won’t like to talk about their money problem, but this is something that they need to do, if they start to be affected with financial woes. There are some people that we can trust with our financial issues, such as parents, spouse and financial advisor. We need to talk openly with them and even if they can’t help, we often feel better and we will be able to find solutions more easily. Just like all life burdens, we should share our financial issues, but it doesn’t mean that we need to announce that in social media. If it’s our mistake and the situation has affected the loved ones, we should apologize to them and promise them we will get things right. Forgiveness will make things easier for us and people will be able to support us. Another way to be honest about our financial issue is by writing it down. We should write down every single detail related to the financial problem and often, we can have a fresh bird’s eye view over our situation.

Regardless of what we do, when we have money spending problem, we need to have a conscious mental realization. We shouldn’t be gotten caught in the situation, especially if we can actually solve the problem. Peer pressure can be quite significant and it is often the real cause of our huge, unnecessary spending. Bad purchases can be indicated by buyer’s remorse that follows them closely. Our mind should become quickly rationalized and we need to be fully logical about our situation. We need to become fully accountable to ourselves. This is not a simple matter and with that kind of mind medication, something “magical” can happen, that is we will spend much less and we will have some money to spare. Obviously, our problem will not be solved overnight, but we are getting closer of solving it. Again, it is important for us to be honest to ourselves and our loved ones.

It is important to make mental connections with things that we do in the past, so we won’t repeat the same kind of mistake. When the problem is severe enough, people feel guilty when they are buying essential items like bread, eggs and milk. This could happen when they no longer have cash and need to depend on credit cards. The best way of having guilt-free spending is by not spending so much. We need to have a proper budgeting system and this will help us to have proper financial recovery. For married couples, spouses need to talk each day and discuss new things related to financial recovery. Any progress and setback will need to be discussed. Every small expenditure will need to be examined and this is the only way of getting a good idea of our own situation. When emergencies situation is happening, we should have the proper financial backup to deal with the crisis. But when it happens to people that already have financial problems, the mental pressure will be quite immense.

How To Differentiate Between Good And Bad Debts?

Although taking debt is acceptable, it is something that nobody wants to have. An iconic indication of financial well-being is often associated with the ability to live debt-free. Although it can be seen as a cliché, it is something that we want to achieve. In the meantime, we need to be able to manage our debt situation. Many people see debts as bad things, but we shouldn’t avoid them at all cost. Debts can actually be good for a number of reasons and especially if we are able to manage them. Good debts can be used to purchase something that we need today, especially if the item can make us productive. The rule of thumb is that by being productive, we should be able to repay the debt in the reasonable amount of time and once the debt has been repaid completely, we already have a full functioning business that can provide us with steady profit. If we can do this, then we are dealing with good debt.

However, identifying good debts can be rather tricky, especially if we need to consider a number of factors. The overall costs of debts may make a single type of debt not worthwhile. Mortgage is generally a good debt, because it puts a roof on our heads, but we should know about the annual rate and other factors. If we splurge during an eating oyt session with the family using our credit card, we may feel the effect for the rest of the month; which can be seen as a bad debt. If we want to do that, it is better to save some money and pay with cash. If we don’t have enough saving, then it is a good idea not to take this kind of debt. The potential loss of income can be quite immense if we are still struggling to pay off te debt. Good debt can be identified by the large opportunity cost. It means that if we don’t obtain the item we need, then we could potentially lose an opportunity to get specific amount of money.

As an example, we may borrow an amount of money with an interest rate of 4 percent per year. But if we put the same amount of money in an investment platform, we will have an annual gain of 8 percent per year. If we transfer the loan to the investment program, we will get 4 percent earning per year. The same case also applies with a small business. Say, we need $20,000 to open a hamburger stand in a busy area and based on conservative projection, we will be able to double the investment in 3 years. This is equal to 33 percent return for each year. Both are examples of good debts. Student debt can also become good debt, if the formal education that we obtain could help us to get a good job. As an example, after we graduate, the annual repayment of the student loan is $6,000; but the education allows us to get a job with annual salary of $45,000. This is more than enough to offset the student loan, especially for young workers who are not married yet.

How To Properly Adopt Frugal Lifestyle Right Now?

Frugal lifestyle is often associated with deprivation and misery. But that can’t be more wrong. Frugal living is a lifestyle that many people have adopted. There are many valid reasons why we should choose to live frugally and we could really live better for less. There are many ways to start living well by spending less. We need to ignore media images that bombard us each day and we should reconsider about images about what’s normal. There’s a good deal of pressure that people have in the modern life, especially if they are forced to conform to the norm. Things that we borrow will need to be returned along with the interest and sometimes late payment charges. We should decide how we can live more frugally. The need for frugal lifestyle is even higher when we are facing financial crisis. At this time, it will be harder to make ends meet and our income is often reduced suddenly. If we need to save for something special, we often need to be frugal, because it is bad if we need to apply for a loan. People who adopt frugal lifestyle are resistant to media hype that entice them to purchase the latest cars, gadgets and clothes. If we do things wrongly, we will be held accountable for any financial mistake that we make. In fact, by being frugal we will be able to eat healthy foods. We won’t eat out in places that serve high-fat and high cholesterol meals. Fresh produce and fruits in farmer’s market are often affordable.

After adopting frugal living for some time, we will feel better and there’s more money in our pocket. People who are not frugal will spend more and it means that they will need to work more and harder. The best thing to do is to spend enough time with our family. Drastic changes can be intimidating if we want to start a frugal lifestyle. However, we should be able to implement numerous small changes. The frugal Super Highway is something that we can achieve, but we need to work a little closer there. There are many things we can do to save money and after one year, we can be astounded to know what we have saved. We should avoid buying brand name products, because they don’t guarantee higher quality.

Instead of having school meals, we should have packed lunches instead. Healthy lunch boxes are things that we can put together at home. Affordable meals include a piece of fruit, drink of squash and wholemeal bread sandwich. By doing this, we may save more than $50 per month. It is also possible to bring sandwich to work and homemade pasta salad can also be quite tasty. It is important that we cut down on biscuits, crisps and sweets consumptions. This could sound harsh, but we could actually doing our family a favour, because they have healthy meals that can prevent diseases in the long run.

How To Successfully Apply For Mortgage?

Mortgage application process can be quite complicated depending on our situation. We should be aware that each and every lender can be different and they may have different criteria. We need also to consider a number of factors, such as risk assessments and the current market price at specific locations. Due to specific changes in the market, there could also be a change how lenders assess their customers. If we are being organized and prepared, it should be possible for us to achieve simple application process. The whole process can be made really straightforward if lenders are convinced that we are reliable and financially dependable. There are a few factors that can help us to speed up the whole process. As an example, we could make the mortgage application simpler by having proper credit rating or score. This is an indication whether we have the proper credit worthiness to be approved for mortgage. Credit score is determined based on our previous financial performance, such as whether we are able to repay credit card debts and car loans in a proper manner.

It is important to make sure that we can have outstanding credit score. We should obtain credit score from different credit reference agencies, such as Equifax and Experian. Current level of indebtedness is also important. It determines how many financial agreements and loans that we currently have. Mortgage application can be consisted between 15 to 40 pages, depending on the requirements of the lenders. The application process can be quite different, depending on our condition. Due to the fact that there are many applications, lenders could take only a snapshot of our application. Our application could also be declined based on a number of factors and it’s important that we don’t provide misleading or false information. If we obtain the service of a broker, his job is much more than just for submitting our applications. He needs to advise us on how we can have the biggest chance of being approved.

We should make sure that lenders are able to get full information about us. We should provide a proof of everything about our situation. Proofs of identity may include ID card, driver license, passport, firearm license, workplace ID card, credit card, cheque guarantee and benefits statement. Financial documents that we could provide may include latest credit card statements, bank statement, utility bills and others. We should have a proof that we are really staying in our current address. In some cases, we need to bring the original document, instead of only copies. Lenders may want to examine these documents. Our chance of getting approved is higher if we can guarantee that the monthly mortgage payment doesn’t represent a big proportion of our income. Lenders will also see it as favourable if we are next in the line for pay rise. For people who are self employed, they need to provide a proof of their monthly revenue. We can do this by submitting our bank statement, so lenders will be able to examine how much money that we get each month. We should make sure that people see that we truly have favourable financial conditions.

How To Get Dependable Financial Advisor?

Financial advisors can be essential for our money management task. Their goal is to deliver value added services to the potential and existing clientele. By being dependable, financial advisors should be able to obtain additional clients. So, the benefits of having positive relationships go both ways. However, things may not work this smoothly all the time. A good advisor should mention factors that can become the driving force in all of our decisions. He should analyze all of our existing resources and assets to make sure that they can grow in the future. There are many places where we can find financial advisors. We can find them through advertising and various financial seminars. Their services could also be available in various price ranges. The financial advisor needs to ensure the natural progression of our wealth by removing any factor that can be negative to our financial situations. When closing the deal, we should make sure that the advisor is completely trustworthy. We should get financial advice that makes sense, especially related how to grow and protect our financial wealth. Financial advisor should also know how to manage risks related to our financial assets. In fact, financial advisor himself can represent an additional component of risk, especially if we get the wrong kind of advices. The value of financial advisor is not about the nice office and pleasant staff, but his ability to provide proper advice.

In the contract agreement, we may find a number of cost components, such as management fee that can be about 2 percent. A similar fee can also be found in various insurance products and mutual funds. However, the fee can be quite negligible, especially if the advisor can prevent us from going broke. It is important to monitor the financial advisor to make sure that he is doing the right thing with our financial assets. Some advisors may require that the management fee is taken out first before anything else. Other financial advisors may agree to receive management fees and other fees only if we get profit from the investment projects. In this case, the advisor will work hard to provide us with good results or he won’t get any kind of payment for his effort. The advisor should also provide reports and presentation regularly, whether it is monthly or bi-weekly depending on the agreement. The presentation should be easy to understand and can be provided through PowerPoint. A savvy advisor should understand that not all clients have formal financial degree, so he will deliver the presentation in the simplest possible manner, in a form that everyone can understand easily.

An advisor will try to make their clientele to feel happy with their work. He will provide a good deal of transparency in his work and this can be a measure of his competency level. Knowledgeable and experienced advisors should be able to ensure long-term relationships. He can work like a family doctor who provides dependable and reliable guidance to the family. Obviously, honesty and sincerity should become among the traits for our family financial advisor.

Why People Seek Wealth?

There are many motivations that people have when they attempt to gain wealth. Two of the most common are to gain pleasure and avoid discomfort or pain. They want to have the lifestyle that is considered as pleasurable. With wealth, they can also eliminate or at least reduce discomfort. As an example, without enough money people will need to rely on public transportation, which is less convenient than having a nice car to travel to different places with enough flexibility. When trying to gain wealth, people want to achieve their dreams through lucrative businesses and other purposes. Unfortunately, in their effort of gaining pleasure, people often suffer from a degree of discomfort, such as hitting the traffic during commuting or being inflicted by work-related stress. This doesn’t sound great, but many people prefer to trade convenience with having pain temporarily. This should come down to a proper decision making process and we should make sure that we can really gain pleasure with the least pain.

When we spend money, we often want to gain the biggest amount of pleasure from it. The insecurity and pain of renting something could encourage someone to purchase something. By being able to obtain wealth, people are also able to gain pleasure of having pride and great achievement. This is especially true for people who value high lifestyle and great freedom. It is important for them to gain freedom and convenience in a legal way that won’t cause big problem in the long run. In general, it is all about having fun with family members and best friends. Scarcity mentality can be associated with the feeling of insecurity and an overall pain. In this case, we may need to change our belief and mindset. Our earliest money belief often comes from our parents and it is not always a positive thing. It is important that during our formative year we get proper concepts about money. If we realize that we don’t have good concepts during our early years, we should instil proper money beliefs to our young children.

It may be important to look back at our financial history and how we have modelled our core belief on money. There are some works that need to be done if our parents have a scarcity mentality. It means that we need to improve ourselves and get rid ourselves from that scarcity demon. Bad belief can have an effect on our current financial status. Our current life can be an effect of our previous thoughts during our younger times. Although we shouldn’t blame our parents for this condition, it is important for us to improve our condition. We are still accountable of things that we do in our own lives. Awareness is important if we want to make a huge change in our lives. Some bad beliefs that we get from our surrounding can be dispelled with proper introduction of positive thoughts and concepts. We should have a proper belief that we are financially successful and wealthy.

How To Eliminate Lack Triggers?

Lack triggers can prevent us from enhancing our financial pictures. They could really take our focus off any kind prosperity. When we have lack triggers in our lives, it is possible that our focus us taken off from the prosperity factors. We will get small doses of fear each day and this can erode our daily joy. We should not doubt our prosperity, especially if we consider it our birthright. If this happens to us, then it is really true that we are exposed to a kind of lack triggers and this is not a good thing. Lack triggers could cause a dip in our mood and we could start to sense a kind of tension in our body. In this situation, we shouldn’t trust anything that can make us feel sadder every time. As an example, the television could feed us with so much negative news about the latest bad statistics and failing economy. Plummeting stock market, decline in housing market and the increase in unemployment are certainly bad things. We wTon’t feel good if the news reporter tell us to buckle up our wallet, because the gas price has gone up.

We should check our belief system to know that we are doing things properly. If it seems that there’s no effect from what we are doing, then we need to be more persistent and keep on doing it. We should examine how lack triggers could really affect us in our real life. Many people find that by removing lack triggers they are able to get additional opportunities in life. As an example, we will have more flexible time to go to the hair salon, golf course, gym and others. Unfortunately, lack triggers can be found in many places and we should be aware on how to eliminate them. Even so, it doesn’t mean that we need to barricade ourselves without contact with people. It is more important if we are able to deal with the usual lack triggers and deal with them directly. When lack triggers, we could experience the usual physical sensations, such as lump in the throat and pit in the stomach.

It is a big step to finally realize that lack triggers could have direct effect on our ability to achieve financial success. We should congratulate ourselves if we are able to be aware of their presence. If we do that the rest should be quite easy to do. It is important to know what triggers that we can eliminate or minimize completely. If we watch news, we should make sure to choose TV channels that can provide us with ways to discover opportunities during even the most terrible economic situations. Many media want to us to hear sensationalistic facts, which is not a good thing. Instead of complaining about the economy, we should make sure that we can make ourselves completely unaffected with the whole thing. We need to overcome any kind of lack in consciousness, so we will be able to improve ourselves.