Thursday, September 21, 2017

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“Don’t worry; you’ll take it to like a duck to water.” That is what people say to new moms who are worried about making the transition. It’s like being a parent is an innate skill which everyone in the world possesses. Although most people flourish, it isn’t like they don’t need help. The first couple of months are new and scary and evoke a sense of helplessness. But, where can a new parent turn if they need help? It isn’t as if there is a line of people with great advice. Weirdly, the best place to find help is in the world of business. 

Here are four things the corporate world teaches new parents.

Don’t Trust Anyone

When you work in an office, the mood is tense and the smiles are fake. The reason for this is a lack of trust. As soon as you turn your back, a colleague would happily stick a knife in it for their gain. Babies aren’t as malicious, but they are just as untrustworthy as employees with drive trying to climb the ladder. Leave them alone for one second and they will do everything from putting coins in their mouth to playing with the plug sockets. They need watching at all times like a hawk.

Teamwork Is Essential

Moms often get left to handle the bulk of the responsibility. Usually, it’s the dads who get to go back to work and interact with human adults. Still, it's not a good idea to take their contribution lightly. From coming home and playing with the kids to running you a bath, they have a significant role to play. Quite simply, moms and dads are a team that can take the pressure off each others’ shoulders. Just like in the office, teamwork is essential to keep home life running smoothly and productively. 

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Take Financial Opportunities 

Businesses are always looking to make money. Parents might not think this correlates, but that logic is flawed. Apart from attempting to keep them healthy, parents want to set their kids up for life. To do this, they need money as it makes the world go around. A savings account is an excellent start, yet it is only a foundation. To provide them with a superior lifestyle, you need to go further, such as opening up a line of home equity. With homeequitylineof.credit and their resources, it is possible to pick a perfect service. Then, you can use the money to renovate the property, add value, and provide a great place to live for the kids. 

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Management Is Key

Bornadragon.com has talked about coaching kids to success before. Well, forget about coaching because this is life management. In the early years, it will revolve around picking out their clothes and choosing their meals. Then, it will turn into how to convince them to do the right thing. Finally, there is the bargaining stage where you guide them through the pitfalls of their early and late teenage years. A former manager finds this stuff a breeze because the skills are transferable. 

It’s a dark and dingy world, but it has a softer, cuddlier side which parents can exploit. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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It’s obvious that having a baby changes the way you think about the world - nothing can have more impact on you than becoming a parent. From the second you walk out of the hospital doors to go home, the world will seem a little stranger - and more dangerous - than it ever did before. But it doesn’t just stop when you take the baby home for the first time. Those mindset changes will continue long into the future. Here are a few of the surprising things you might experience when you have children. 

Sleep patterns

It will be a while before your little one starts getting up at a regular time, but once they do it is likely, they will be set for many years to come. And that means that your alarm clock will become an irrelevance. Expect your body clock to start getting you up a lot earlier than you used to as a teenager or partygoing 20-something  - and the prospect of an early night becoming incredibly attractive.

Turning into your mom/dad

No matter how rebellious you were as you transformed into an adult, over the years, you will notice you are becoming your mother or father. It starts when you notice yourself using those little phrases they used to use when you were a kid. Then, you will start seeing little behaviors and decisions you make are exactly the same as mom or pop used to do. And, depending on your genetics, you could wake up one morning, look into a mirror, and see your parent looking back at you. 

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Being aware of the inevitable

As pointed out over at wholelifeinsurance.co, when you have a family, you have to consider their future when you’re not around anymore - what will happen if you pass away? As a hell-raising singleton, everyone would be sad to see you go, of course, but once you have kids, your mortality will play on your mind. There are lots of financial implications when you have loved ones that rely on you for income, and it’s vital for you to consider securing everyone’s future. Whether it's getting life insurance, sorting out a will, or setting savings accounts for your kids, it's important to start putting financial plans in place. 

Belonging to a club

Once you have had a baby, you will start sharing glances, smiles, and little nods with other new moms. But, as your kids get older, you will become a more senior member of this massive but unofficial club, offering your advice - but only when it’s needed, of course - and giving help to other parents whose experiences are similar to yours. In fact, barely a day will go by that you don’t see other members of this prestigious club and discuss issues, share stories, and describe shared problems. 

Minor Irritations

According to parents.com, belonging to the ‘club’ does have some downsides, though. When you’re enjoying your first child, everyone and anyone will offer you advice - and you’ll struggle with trying out all the different suggestions. However, over time you will forge your own path as a mother, and even start finding these know-it-all moms a little on the tiresome side!

What mindset changes have you experienced as a mother? Share your expertise in the comments! 

As we get older, we experience a variety of changes. When we’re young, these adjustments are mainly physical. Our bodies change, and sometimes our personalities, too. It’s all part of growing up. But, the changes don’t stop once you reach adulthood. They continue, under the surface, throughout your life. 

For the most part, these changes take place during major moments in our lives. Most notably after reaching adulthood, the majority of us experience becoming parents. Then, we reach the stage where the changes are more of a slowing down than the building pace we’re used to. And, those slower changes are what we’re going to focus on here. 

Getting older isn’t something any of us look forward to, but it is inevitable. Instead of ignoring the issue, focus on preparing and ensuring your lifestyle still suits you. Obviously, there will be physical changes, as outlined on sites like longestlife.com. But, that’s not what we’re going to focus on today. Instead, we’re going to look at the steps you need to take to prepare yourself for those changes.

Should you move house?

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None of us like to think of leaving our homes. They’re our safe places, after all. Often, we spend our lives making them what we want them to be. But, when your kids leave home, you’ll be left with an empty nest which may not even suit you for much longer. For one, you don’t need that amount of space anymore. It’ll feel increasingly empty as your family makes their way. For another, you may not physically be able to clean and care for a house of that size for much longer. It’s worth booking an appointment with an estate agent like kensingtonandco.com, who can at least make you aware of your options. 

Changing your policies

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As your needs change, so too should the policies you pay into. In some instances, you may want to increase the amount you pay into your pension scheme. This last attempt to boost the pot could help you in a major way down the line. And, as your health changes, you may want to adjust things such as your health insurance policy. By heading to sites like healthinsurancequotes.co, you can pick a plan which suits your new needs. The same applies to things like car insurance, life insurance, and much more. 

Adjusting your spending

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As you get older, you may also want to adapt to a smaller budget. This will allow you to save more when it matters. It’ll also give the chance to get an idea of money management before retirement. 

Once you retire, it’s also worth considering how to make your money last better. After all, you’ll be working with a limited budget. If you saved a decent pension pot, you shouldn’t struggle too much here. But, it’s important to accept that you won’t be able to spend the way you once did. Every penny has to be accounted for to ensure you have enough to last you the long haul!

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You learn many things at school, but for some reason, it seems like we are never given practical information regarding how to understand, control and maintain our personal finances. It can feel like you reach adulthood, take on a job, are handed cash and are completely left to your own devices. This is relatively daunting, and an enormous consequence is that many people continue through adulthood and find themselves with mortgages, loans, and credit agreements while still not truly knowing the basics of lending and repayments. It’s not all too surprising that so many people slip into debt and even bankruptcy on such a regular basis. So, let’s take it back to basics. Here are the first steps you should take towards handling your personal finances effectively and problem-free.

Know the Value of Your Income and the Cost of Your Outgoings

As well as being aware of your credit score, you should know exactly how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out. You need to keep the first number larger than the second or your chosen lifestyle will plunge you into the red in no time at all. If you find that your outgoings exceed your income, it’s time to start cutting back on your spending. This can easily be done by setting out a budget which limits social activities and opts for cheaper brands or brandless products than you currently purchase.

Know Your Credit Score

First things first, it is essential that you know your personal credit score. It is essential that you engage with credit to be offered larger loans, such as mortgages or loans for vehicles, in the future. This essentially ensures that lenders know you can be trusted with repayments before handing you a lump sum of cash. Many credit score sites are now free to use, meaning that you can access your records free of charge and gain a thorough understanding of your finances. Most will also have a meter, rating your situation from poor to great. This will then give you an idea of what moves to make when it comes to applying for credit or finance.

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Know Who to Lend From

When building up your credit score, you should take out the best credit card or loan for your needs. You should look for the necessary credit limit as well as low-interest rates and reasonable repayment costs and intervals. Finding this information out is easier than ever. You simply need to check out GoBear credit card comparison, which will filter the best results to suit your credit rating and needs.

Consolidating Debts

If you already have debts, it may be time to consolidate them. This essentially means that you take out one large loan to clear all of your cards and then pay back the one source. This simplifies things, as you will only have one lender to remember, one repayment date a month to bear in mind and perhaps even a lower interest rate than you are currently being offered on your cards. Perfect!

This simple steps will give you a more clear overall view of your finances, allowing you to make more informed decisions and save yourself stress and cash in the long run. So get started today.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Although we’d all like to be happy and healthy for as long as possible, what’s the point if you’re not taking care of your brain? The signs of memory loss and a withering mind in a physically healthy elderly relative can be tough to witness - and it reminds us that the brain is also a muscle that should be exercised and attended to through all stages of life.

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Here is a handful of the best brain-boosting tips for elderly, helping them to stay sharp and focused for as long as possible, and making sure they’re around for longer.

Get moving

Let’s start with the most obvious one first; exercise is vital for both your body and your brain. If you’d like to maintain your grey matter the best you can - or if you’d like to look after your senior loved one, it’s best to get around thirty minutes of exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be intense, and a good walk can help you out on the days you don’t feel like sweating.

Regular exercise prevents memory loss by keeping diabetes, obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol at bay - all the bad guys, in other words.

Did you know that the best exercise to boost your brain power is the humble sport of table tennis? Treat your older relative to one and entertain yourself with a match once in awhile and read more about it at mnn.com; it’s good for both of you.

Healthy fats

You probably know already that a healthy and balanced diet speaks volumes with regards to physical health, but a Mediterranean-like diet can actually prevent memory loss as well. 

Although it’s hard to pinpoint the exact ingredient that contributes to this effect, and it may very well be the combination of all, one study has found that diets rich in vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and fish were 20 % less likely to have memory and cognitive problems.

We’ll eat our olives and mackerel, in other words, and live to tell our great-grandchildren to do the same. 

Remember that if you have any concerns about the physical well-being of your older relative, rather than cognitive ones, it’s a good idea to have a look at medicalert.systems so that you can stress less even if they live by themselves. It will be good on their stress-levels as well, knowing that help is right around the corner. 

Socialize and play games

Enjoying a game of chess with your relatives is good for a lot of reasons. First of all, challenging your brain is alfa omega to keeping it healthy. It’s kind of like thinking you’ll gain muscles by eating the right foods but forgetting to lift weights - it’s just not going to happen. 

Engage in mind games such as chess, table tennis as mentioned above, reading, or a simple game of Sudoku to train your brain, and keep enjoying it for many years to come.

It’s sad to see a loved one affected by memory loss or Alzheimer’s and, although it’s tough to admit, we can’t always do something about it. The sharpest and most active mind may suffer from cognitive problems with age, so the best we can do is to keep interacting and be patient. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Deciding to go debt free can help you to build a better financial future for you and your family. It can be difficult to find the money to pay back what you owe each month, but you can get there if you’re willing to make some changes. The following tips will help you make some easy savings each month that can help you pay back your debts and put you in a stronger financial position. This way, when it comes to buying a car or applying for a mortgage - you’ll be a much more attractive customer to your lender.

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Start dealing in cash

Paying for goods with cash as opposed to a credit or debit card could help you spend less. While paying with a credit card gives you extra security over your goods, when you pay with cash (especially for smaller items), you’ll have a much more realistic idea of what you’re spending. A good tip is to set yourself a budget, withdraw the cash each week and take it from there. You may even find that you spend less than your weekly allowance that you can put towards paying off your debts quicker.

Make a meal plan

Making a meal plan is a good idea for many reasons. It can help save you time in the kitchen by knowing what you’re going to eat each day, but it will also stop you from overspending in the supermarket. Plan out what you’d like to eat each week and make your groceries list based on that. This will stop you from adding unnecessary items to your cart and help you manage food waste too. If you can do your grocery order online, that’s an even better way to avoid the temptation of offers and ad-hoc treats, helping you save money each week. Set yourself a food budget that’s lower than what you’d normally spend and see if you can stick to it.

Slash your utilities

There are a lot of savings to be made by cutting your utilities. Most people never change providers, but with the rise of online comparison tools, you’ve got no excuse not to search for a cheaper deal. See if another provider could offer you a lower rate, and in many cases, your current provider will match it. This will apply to your energy supplier, phone network, and even your cable provider. Any credit accounts which have a high-interest rate could also be brought down so that you pay back more each month without having to up your payments. Finding a credit repair specialist through creditrepair.xyz could help you find a good deal to help you reduce your debts. Remember, if you don’t ask then you don’t get - so it’s always worth trying your luck to haggle for a better deal.

Being in debt can have a negative effect on your future, but by taking action now, you can stop that from happening. Make a plan to get yourself out of debt and find ways to save that little bit extra each month. Smarter spending habits now will benefit you in the future, so give the above a try and see if you have some extra change in your pockets at the end of the month.

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Moving home, believe it or not, is one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life. It’s not too much of a surprise, really, given that it involves moving the entire contents - and maybe a lot more - into another house, possibly hundreds of miles away. If you can get through a home move without having a single argument, disaster, or breakage, you can count yourself lucky - at least two of these things will happen to most people!

However, by understanding the pitfalls, you can plan a route around them. So, today; we’re going to take a look at some of the most common - and worst - home moving mistakes that many people make. Let’s take a look and guide you through the potential disasters that could be waiting if you aren’t careful. 

Last minute packing

Here’s a fair warning: if you leave your packing to the last minute - or even the last week - you deserve no sympathy. Sensible folks start packing as soon as they know their moving date. It just makes the entire process more manageable, less stressful, and will ensure you are ready for the big day. Don’t keep putting it off - as much as you might want to believe in the packing fairy, we're kind of sure it doesn’t exist. 

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Early booking

Also, make sure you are booking your removal company well in advance. If you need to find a residential moving contractor, you can bet dozens of other people are too, and the only way to secure their services is to get them in the diary as soon as possible. Good removal companies are like gold dust and are booked weeks - maybe months - in advance. You don’t want to be left with Dodgy Dave’s Removals being the only company with an open slot.

Failure to declutter

Moving home is the ideal time to declutter your house - and your life. Be as ruthless as possible, or you will live to regret it. Every extra box, item, and bag will need a home on the other side and will take you longer to pack. You’ll be far better off dropping old stuff you don’t use at a local charity store or giving it away to those who need it in your community. Alternatively, you could always have a yard sale, earn yourself some cash, and perhaps put the money towards the cost of your removals.

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Failure to measure

Have you measured all your furniture to ensure it will fit in the new place? If not, https://www.popsugar.com/ suggests you do it - or the following few weeks are going to be a nightmare. It’s a good idea to sketch out a scaled plan for every room and make sure everything is OK.

Be ready for the day

Finally, make sure you are getting up with the cockerels on the day of your move. Honestly, every second counts, and it’s highly likely your removal contractors will arrive at some point during - or maybe even before - you have your breakfast. Why so early? Because they are experienced, and understand exactly how long it’s going to take. The last thing you want is to be unloading the van at the other side in the pitch black of a cold evening, so get up early and be prepared.

Hope this helps - good luck with the move!

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We can’t all have period properties from the Edwardian or Victorian eras. There wouldn’t be enough homes to go around. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t work with what we’ve got and add a bit of character to spice up our living quarters.

Here are some of the reasons your home lacks character and what you can do about it.

You Left The Kitchen Spot Lights In Place

Recessed spot lights built into the ceiling have been a favorite of home designers for the last twenty years or so. But despite their chic appeal and minimalist appearance, they’re draining homes of their character left, right and center.

To really add a bit of character to your home, you have to do it the old fashioned way - with chandeliers. And we’re not just talking about chandeliers in the living room or the entryway. We’re talking about chandeliers everywhere, including the downstairs washroom. Chandeliers have an uncanny ability to lift an entire room and make something that once seemed sparse, open and full of light.

You Bought A New Build And Left Everything Beige

If there’s one thing that home builders know, it’s how to appeal to the widest audience possible. And while their strategy might be effective for shifting homes, owners rarely get what they want. Beige homes are boring homes, and almost by definition, lack the character that people seek.

Hiring a contractor for interior house painting will help get you solve the problem of a lack of character in your home. Many Victorian homes had moody paint jobs, focusing on darker colors like sapphire and crimson. Other period homes have an airy feel, enjoying pinks and light blues. Which you choose is up to you, but whatever you do, make sure you get rid of the beige.

You’ve Got Awkward Spaces In Your Home

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Every home has an awkward space which doesn’t quite seem to have a purpose. Perhaps there’s an area near your back door between the kitchen and the garden which is just empty. Maybe you’ve got a large communal room with a corner that doesn’t have anything in it. Whatever your situation, awkward spaces are an opportunity to generate character and to create something a little out of the ordinary.

The current trend is towards converting these spaces into “nooks” - places for retiring from the main body of the home, having a cup of tea and a good read. But you can make empty corners into anything, even storage areas for your favorite memorabilia.

You Don’t Use Wooden Displays

Pine dressers might be out of fashion, but they were a staple of homes in the past. Wives needed somewhere to store all their crockery and dry foodstuffs, and the pine dresser was the perfect solution. Even today in period homes, many still retain the original pine dresser as a kind of pantry substitute.

Use your pine dresser for storing sugar, tea, biscuits, herbs and spices, grains, nuts, and seeds. Pine dressers’ airy, recessed shelves can also help make rooms seem bigger.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Everyone knows that fashions come and go. One year, goth is in. The next, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with 80s style. For the most part, these stylistic choices have little more to do with the clothes we wear. And, when fashion shops change, so too do our tastes.

Occasionally, though, a fashion comes to mean more than simply clothes. In recent years, we’ve seen the ‘emo’ style sweeping across youngsters. It dictated everything from the way they acted, to the food they ate. More recently, we’ve seen the development of the ‘hipster’ fashion. 

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Anyone who’s anyone will have cottoned on to the fact that this fashion, predominantly in men, has become the latest lifestyle choice. With man buns, tattoos, and beards galore, hipsters are taking over coffee shops across the world. 

If you have a hipster in your midst, you may feel as though they’re another species. The behaviors of this fashion group are so distinct and alien that they can be baffling. While you may not understand the lifestyle choice, such a tailored choice does make hipsters extremely easy to buy for. So, if the person in question has a birthday coming up, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the perfect gift. To give you some idea of what you should look for, consider these items. 

A top-end coffee machine is sure to go down well. Hipster life and coffee shops go hand in hand. So, why not give them their own professional coffee experience, like that provided by Delonghi machines? Bear in mind that you may also want to stock up on some coffee pods, and perhaps even some espresso cups. 

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An electric razor is also worth considering. It may seem like a contradiction, as beards are all the rage. But, hipsters beards aren’t any old facial hair. Instead, they’re manicured and perfectly trimmed. While not any old razor would offer a trimming function, a little research into the best electric shaver on the market is sure to lead to you to one that does. Options with extra clips and so on are your best bet here. 

Beard oil goes hand in hand with shaving, and should be your next port of call. Did you ever wonder why stylish men had such shiny beards? This is the answer. You could accompany your razor gift with a bottle, or buy a gift set with a few different choices. Attempt to pick out scents you know the person in question will love. They will have this right under their nose, after all. 

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A record player would be another welcome gift. Vinyl has been threatening to reappear for years, and hipsters are making it happen. As such, there are a variety of affordable portable options on the market. Accompany this with a record from their favorite artist, and you’ll be onto a winner. Bear in mind that it’s worth doing your research here, too. Buying an option which is too cheap will see it breaking in no time. 

A happy home is important throughout all parts of our lives. The increased time spent at home during your retirement years means that it becomes even more vital during those vital stages. Ultimately, comfort is king.
 
There are many factors to consider as you transform the home into one that will leave you smiling for many years to come. Use this checklist for guidance, and you won’t go far wrong.

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Great Security: First and foremost, you won’t feel comfortable if the home isn’t safe. Being older can make you increasingly vulnerable, especially if your movement isn’t as good as it once was. Investing in the right surveillance facilities is essential for gaining that peace of mind. When combined with secured doors and windows, you won’t go far wrong. A safe home is a happy home. Do not forget it for a second.
 
Garden Beauty: Outdoor spaces become even greater sources of happiness when you have the time to relax in them. Sadly, keeping them in great health can feel a little difficult. Thankfully, incorporating ideas that reduce the need for maintenance will go a long way to overcoming those troubles. This means you’ll be able to enjoy this natural beauty year after year too.
 
Easy Accessibility: Moving around can become a little tougher as the body starts to suffer aches and pains. Unfortunately, this turn seemingly simple activities into very difficult tasks. A stairlift installation and bathroom refit can work wonders as they’ll enable you to maintain independence. Meanwhile, you could look at dropping the height of kitchen counters for easier daily use.

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Accommodating Tech: Technology can be used to improve the home in many ways. Most importantly, it has the ability to assist when your senses deteriorate. Thermostats for seniors can be particularly useful for those with poor sight. Meanwhile, vibrating alarms and sensors can provide alerts when you’re hearing isn’t great. Given that those health issues can be a huge source of inspiration, beating them can make a world of difference.  
 
Comfy Bed: Getting older does mean that the body might need a little more time to recover and recuperate. Therefore, it’s vital that you invest in a great mattress that allows you to do this. A good night’s sleep will leave you with more energy, increased happiness, and fewer aches. If that doesn’t improve your feelings towards your modern home, nothing will.
 
Simple Cleanliness: Keeping the property clean is one of the issues that cause major problems for millions of senior citizens. Opting for a minimalist approach to interior design is key. In addition to making it easier to clean, it removes some of the potential hazards. Special dusters and materials can be bought to further boost the cause. Otherwise, hiring a weekly cleaner should suffice.

Maintaining a happy home can feel tough during those retirement years. Still, it will become a lot easier when you take note of those simple suggestions. Ultimately, that comfortable and happy home life is the least you deserve.

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A lot of people hate being in control of their money. Of course, having money to spend and freedom to choose what you buy is great. But, alongside these benefits, managing your finances also means you have to be very responsible. For some, this work will be too much, and it will be very hard to keep under control. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, as there are loads of ways to put the responsibility into someone else's hands. To help you with this, this post will be going through some of the best ways to achieve this goal, without having to spend a small fortune in the process.

Budgeting

One of the hardest parts of finance is making sure that you don’t spend too much. With shops on every corner and the Internet being filled with temptations, it’s easy to get into the habit of overspending. To avoid this, most people will create a budget, outlining exactly what they have to spend each week or month. From there, you can start to consider the ways you’re going to monitor your money. Using your bank’s mobile app, you should be able to create rules which warn you when your account is getting low. Along with this, you could also consider looking into the idea of a financial advisor. Your bank will usually be able to provide a service like this, but you might have to pay a little bit for the privilege.

Loans And Debt

When people get stuck with debt, it can be very hard to climb out of the hole you find yourself in. New loans have to be taken to cover living costs and the repayments on other loans, and the snowball begins to grow very rapidly. Having multiple loans makes it very hard to pay everything back, though, as you will have to pay more on the money you’ve borrowed. Instead, it’s better to find a company like https://debtconsolidation.loans to help you out with this work. They can help you to find a new loan to cover all of the money you owe, while also coming up with a good payment plan for you. This will usually be much more in line with your current requirements than a mountain of smaller debts.

Saving And Investment

Finally, as the last stage to this endeavour, it’s time to think about the money you’re able to save and invest. This part of finance is very important to those that would like to push the boundaries of their money. Enabling you to earn additional income, investment is a great way to put away your money. But, of course, you should try and have some savings first. There are loads of companies, like www.neamgroup.com, which are dedicated to helping people to invest and save their money. Using a service like this, you only have to pay a small amount of what you make to have everything handled for you. 

Hopefully, this post will help you to start taking the control of your money out of your hands. This sort of approach will usually see a lot more success than trying to manage things yourself, as the people supporting you have a lot more experience than you will with money. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore your own research, as this is important, too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Be Honest: How Fun Is Your Home?

Once upon a time, humans were simple creatures. They needed food; they needed water; they needed shelter. Our homes are a shelter, but like food and water, they’ve become much more than just their original functions. We know longer eat whatever will sustain us: we season our food. And who drinks just water? The home might provide shelter from the elements, but we should strive to them much more than that. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can make your home more fun, making it a property that friends and family want to visit on its own merit. 

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Hosting Friends

Some homes are set up for receiving friends and family, and some aren’t; but all homes can be, with a little bit of effort. For example, how’s your kitchen and eating space looking? Having an open plan kitchen will make it receptive to visitors, a space that is conducive to socialising and having fun. And while we’re talking about guests, you should ensure that your guest rooms are up to modern standards. If your extra bedroom isn’t solely there for your guest’s use, it’ll be falling short. 

And the Livin’ Is Easy 

A home can be fun all the year round, but it’ll really come into its own during the light, sunny summer months. If you build a patio, you won’t have to go searching for good times in your neighborhood; you’ll have everything you need right in your back garden. Add simple additions like a BBQ and a swing set for the children, and you’ll have everything you need to have a summer to remember. When the days are long, and the weather is fine, you’ll get your money’s worth out of your investment in no time at all. 

A Games Room

If you have a spare room, why not look at transforming it into a fun game room, for you, your family, your friends? It’s towards the top of things people want in their home, but it’s oh so simple to install. All you need is a couple of games consoles, an activity of some sort (table tennis, pool), and a few board games. Hey presto, you have a games room! This will become a go-to for those Friday and Saturday evenings when you’re deeply committed to fun, but when the weather outside is looking miserable.

Taking it Further

Of course, these are only a few things you can add to your home to crank the fun levels. Always remember that there are no rules to what you do with your home: it’s your property, do whatever you want to do to make it a more enjoyable place to be. If you want to have a cinema room, then look at getting a few comfortable chairs, a big screen, and a projector. It’s all that simple!

All that anybody needs to have a fun home is a commitment to having fun. If you do, you’ll have the a house that is the envy of the neighbourhood! 

As you get older, you’ll find yourself waking up with a stiff back. Those twinges that you feel throughout the day have become a normal part of aging that we just seem to put up with. The truth is, while you’re going to be more prone to back problems in your later years, they have a cause. Everything that has a cause, has a solution as well. Working out what is causing your back problems is the first step towards getting rid of them and living a more comfortable life. So, if you’re constantly hobbling around with pains in your back, it could be caused by one of these things that are easily fixed. 

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A Bad Mattress

People don’t pay nearly enough attention to the quality of their mattress, but it can cause you serious back pain if it doesn’t give you enough support. Without a decent mattress, your back will not stay straight while you sleep and putting that pressure on it every single night will make it stiff and painful. Sites like mattress.review can help you to find the best quality mattresses out there. It might be tempting to go for a cheaper one, but it won’t do you any good in the long run. A proper mattress is an investment worth making if you want to maintain good back health into your old age. 

Slipped Discs 

One of the most common back injuries that you can get is a slipped disc. This is when the soft tissue between the discs in your back becomes dislodged. It’s usually caused by general wear and tear but overstraining your back can also cause a disc to slip out of place. It’ll be incredibly painful and sustained so if you’re experiencing severe back pains, it’s best to check with a doctor. However, it can also cause you pain in your hip because it presses on certain nerves. A combination of pain in the back and the hip is a sure sign that you’ve got a slipped disc. 

Muscle Spasms

Overworking your back can also cause muscle spasms in the back that can be extremely painful. They happen when the muscles or tendons in your back get torn, usually from lifting heavy weights. If you’re experiencing muscles spasms in your back, you need to get a lot of rest and make sure you aren’t putting any unnecessary strain on your back. 

Slouching 

Bad posture is a hugely common cause of back problems. So many of us spend the day at a desk at work, but only very few of us worry about our posture. Spending all day, every day, slouching at our desks can soon lead to a stiff painful back. The way to get around this is to get a good, supportive desk chair and make sure to take regular breaks to stand up and have a walk around. 

Back pain is seen as an inevitable feature of old age, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Back pain is usually caused by something that we’re doing and can be easily rectified. So, don’t just live with it.  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sitting in your garden with a cup of tea, the day is behind you, and just as the sun is about to set, birds flock back to the trees for an evening chat. It’s the same routine every evening; snacking on berries in couples of two and singing coarsely to each other from across the yard, the wildlife keeps us frozen, hoping we’ll be treated to more of the show by staying as still and quiet as possible.

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As fall approaches and the days get chillier, you can actually line up for many evenings of wildlife entertainment, right here in your own garden. You just need to know how to attract them - and appreciate the sight of a healthy ecosystem in your backyard.

#1 Build a log-pile

Sure, we love the sight of birds, but you can easily accommodate for other types of animals as well. Hedgehogs, for example, are especially fond of log-piles and will even find it to be an ideal habitat if you shape it as a tepee. Besides from the regular hedgehogs, you’ll also be able to attract all sorts of small mammals and amphibians and insects. Visit http://www.discoverwildlife.com for more log-piling advice.


Just by building one attraction, you’ll see your garden occupied with a variety of wildlife in no time. Remember to check that nobody lives in there before you light the bonfire, though.

#2 Don’t tidy up until the end of winter

Garden maintenance is a regular part of preparing your home for winter. Many homeowners do this as soon as the last apple has fallen from the tree, often taking it to the extreme and ruining the chances for any wildlife to find shelter there during winter.

Try to leave the heaviest garden cleanup until the end of winter, and avoid cutting the hedges too so that birds can find shelter there - as well as giving them some extra time to eat up all the berries. Instead of pruning and tidying, go over your garden equipment and make sure everything is up to date for spring; have a look at http://www.chaincutting.com/ for some great reviews on gardening equipment.

It’s also a good idea to have a look at your garden, find the perfect spot for your log-pile, and spot the weaker plants in your beds to swap with some that may attract animals. Spread the fallen leaves you rake up all over these flowerbeds, by the way, to create a foraging habitat for thrushes and blackbirds during the winter.

#3 Clean the feeders

A garden in fall is perfect for wildlife, and you’ll probably notice how the fallen apples, ripe berries, and seeds of plants have kept them returning for more. As the weather gets colder and harsher, on the other hand, birds depend on your garden more than ever to find food and shelter. Clean them now already by soaking them in sterilizing fluid, and keep washing them regularly to make it pleasant for the birds.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pond in your garden, you should clean it between October and January when the wildlife activity is at its lowest. It’s a good idea to put a few clay tiles at the bottom of your pond, by the way, to make it a bit cozier for overwintering frogs. 

They’ll appreciate your warmth this winter - and you can enjoy the sight of a garden full of life, even when everything else is gray and dismal.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I have always considered gift giving as an art, simply because you cannot do it haphazardly. A gift has to be a well thought of token to convey gratitude, birthdays, Christmas, milestone life events, and exemplary work performance.

To ensure that a gift is well appreciated, we must know the recipient very well. What are their interests? What are their needs? Do they have a family? What is their favorite color? What size jeans do they wear? There are so many things to consider! 

Since most of us do not have the luxury of time to shop around for the perfect present, the best gift idea would be a GC Regalo or gift certificate! 

Gift certificates are not a spur of the moment choice for a present, an award, or a bonus. It is actually a way to let someone have the freedom to get something he or she really needs. Honestly, I would be more than happy to receive a gift certificate than the all too common photo frame, bath towels, figurines, stuffed toys or funky scented lotions and shower gels.

There are various gift certificates available for purchase but the best so far, for me, is the Sodexo Premium Pass. Why so? Read on.


I worked in a call center for 10 years before I finally called it quits last year. One company that I used to work for had a fantastic incentive program for Top Performers. Three (3) Top Performers are chosen monthly and each one is given Two Thousand Pesos ( Php 2,000) Sodexo Premium Pass gift certificates . One (1) Quarterly Top Performer is chosen and the incentive accorded are having their name displayed in the Hall of Fame Board in the main lobby, plus a bonus of Five Thousand Pesos (Php 5,000) Sodexo Premium Pass Gift certificates. This motivated me to do my best and hard work did pay off. I got the 3rd Quarter Top Performer of the year award. I bought a new washing machine from SM Appliance Center with the gift certificates I received. Awesome!

Last Christmas, I wanted to give my niece a set of books, a young adult fiction 3-book set series. I knew she loved the books by this particular author. I kept putting off buying those books because I just did not have time to shop yet. That was a blessing in disguise because around two weeks before Christmas, I saw her reading those books I was supposed to get for her! Whew. I was saved from a failed gift giving scenario. What did I get my niece instead? Of course, my go-to choice, Sodexo Premium Pass Gift Certificates. It made me happy that she was able to get other books she liked.

A Sodexo Premium Pass Gift Certificate is my fool proof and hassle free way of gifting. It makes me pleased to know that my family and friends will be able to use it for whatever item they desire not only from SM Malls nationwide but from numerous merchant partners as well! It could even buy them the gift of health. Sodexo Premium Pass Gift Certificate is accepted in selected drugstores, wellness clinics and spas. Now isn't that a fantastic gift idea? I think it is!

This is also the perfect present for those "hard-to-gift" people, like tweens, teens, or those who seem to have it all.  Check out this merchant list below. Totally impressive! 

Gift certificates cannot be packaged or boxed, but you can, just to add to the fun. So to make it more personal, I compose short poems and create special greeting cards for my GC Regalo. Here is a collage of some of the cards I have made so far:


I love making gift cards because it conveys my well wishes which they could read over and over, long after they have used the Sodexo Premium Pass.

I strongly recommend you consider this hassle free gift idea. Be ready to see the smiles, hear the squeals, and receive hugs and kisses as you hand out this gift. There are other GC Regalo Gift Certificates available too, if a Sodexo Premium Pass is not your jam.


I will be celebrating my birthday in two months. I don't give my family a hard time looking for a gift for me. They know what I want. Haha. I want nothing else but some GC Regalo - Sodexo Premium Pass Gift Certificates. I will save them up and then wait for Christmas to come around so I will have more. I have already checked out the item I will get for myself. Hopefully my family will be generous this time so I can get this counter top oven on my birthday and something else for Christmas! 


I hope I have convinced you enough that GC Regalo is the best gift idea for any occasion, whether it be for a birthday, anniversary, baby shower, baptism, or an incentive award for your employee!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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If your sleep isn't what it used to be, there are many ways that you can improve it naturally. The first thing you should do is figure out when your sleep started to go down hill - finding the source will be a big help to figuring out why you aren't sleeping so good anymore.

If you're not too sure though, here are some tips on getting a better night's sleep.

Get a better diet.
Certain foods have the ability to give you a better night's sleep, while others make it even worse. We all know that a glass of warm milk before bed can really get you in the mood for sleeping. Chamomile tea is also very good for this. If you prefer something more to munch on, bananas and oatmeal do the job.

Get more regular with your exercises.
There are so many different benefits to exercising which all help to improve your health - sleep being one of them. Don't fit in a workout before bed though otherwise you'll just wake yourself up. Try getting in a session in the morning or afternoon. This will speed up the time it takes you to not only fall asleep, but to dream too.

Minimize your screen time before bed.
Try and avoid emailing, social media stalking, and tv watching before you go to bed. It has been proven that staring at a bright screen wakes up the brain by stimulating it from the glare of the screen, and you should be doing to exact opposite before you try and sleep. 

Take a caffeine inspired power nap.
If you've got things to do but can barely keep your eyes open, have a quick turbo boost nap to replenish your body and mind. Indulge in a cup of coffee, and then take a quick 15-minute snooze. Although caffeine keeps you up, it won't kick in straight away, meaning you can have a quick sleep to restart the brain, and by the time you wake up, you'll be full of energy.

Get the right mattress.
Not all beds will suit you, even if they have great reviews online, some people prefer a hard mattress, while others only like a soft, fluffy one. So figure out what you need, and then cater it to work with your body. Memory foam mattresses are a great place to start because they work with you by molding out your shape and holding you. You can find more information about them here. Before buying anything, go to a bed store and have a lie down on everything they have to offer - you may just find the one.

Use the power of visualization.
The mind is a very powerful tool - so use it. When you're lying in bed wide awake, and can't seem to fall asleep, try out a meditation technique. Focus on shutting things down one by one in your head, until everything is silent and still. If worries on your mind are keeping you up, think about them, and then mentally delete them. Keep doing this until the only thing left to do is fall away into a deep sleep.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

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A property is the largest investment and purchase that most of us will make during our lifetimes. It makes sense. This is the space where you will spend most of your time and hopefully retire in. If you have children, you will see them grow and thrive in this space. It will be home to your pets, a place for entertaining guests and your nest to hibernate in during the winter months. So you want the best that you can possibly get. Before scouring the property market and applying for a mortgage, however, it’s absolutely essential that you understand your personal financial situation. This will prevent you being denied loans (which will negatively affect your overall credit score) or investing in a property that you will eventually have to forgo, as you are unable to keep up with payments. Here are a few things to contemplate before setting your heart on any property.

Know Your Credit Score

A mortgage is essentially a huge loan that you can use to purchase a property. In a way, you are lending the money, paying it to the property’s owner, then slowly paying back your mortgage provider in smaller installments over time. As with any other form of a loan, your mortgage provider is going to base their decision on whether to hand you the cash by evaluating your previous spending and lending habits. If you have a bad record, they are unlikely to approve you. If you have a good score, you have a better chance. As you are likely asking for a large sum of money, the lender is going to want to be confident that you will stick to your contract and pay them back. So, check your credit score to ensure that you have a good record!

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Overcoming Bad Credit

If you find that you do have bad credit, don’t worry. A mortgage isn’t necessarily entirely out of your reach. You may think that all hope is lost, but with good financial management, you could overcome your current negative rating and start building towards being able to apply for a mortgage with realistic chances of being accepted. For whatever reasons, you have built up a negative reputation amongst lenders in the past. So you need to regain their trust and prove yourself to be reliable. A good way to do this is to take out bad credit personal loans or credit cards. These will often start out with a low credit limit and will have higher interest rates than standard loans, but they give you the opportunity to put your foot back on the credit ladder and improve your score. Once you’ve been approved, ensure that you pay back the money borrowed on time, sticking to all aspects of your repayment contract. Avoid being late or missing payments. As time goes on, your limit will be increased and other lenders may begin to offer you loans or cards too.

Once you are confident that your personal finances are in good and reputable shape, you can start searching for the perfect property to invest in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When you find yourself in the position where you’re wondering how you can afford to pay all of your bills, and still eat is a very scary position to be in. Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t seek help where we should and end up in bigger debt than before. There are simple ways that you can free yourself from the clutches of constant calls and letters asking you for money. In this article, I’m going to share with you some ways that you can get yourself out of debt.

Payday loans
Depending on the severity of your debt, payday loans can be a quick fix to all of your problems. If you know that at the end of the month you will have enough money to get yourself back on track then taking out a quick loan will do the trick. Do be wary of the high interest rate though, and if you do decide to take one out then make sure that you will definitely be able to repay the loan back on the agreed date, otherwise you could land yourself some hefty charges.

Debt relief
If the amount of debt that you’re in is too high to be resolved by using a payday loan, and you’re a homeowner, you should consider homeowner loans for debt consolidation. This will allow you to completely wipe all of your debts at once, meaning any letters and phone calls will stop because you will technically be debt free. All you will have to concentrate on paying now will be the consolidation loan which are normally set up in affordable repayments for you. If your income does decrease however, be wary that you may be unable to lower your repayment charge each month.

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Family
It’s understandable that not everyone has this option, but asking your friends or family for some financial help might be the perfect answer for all of your problems. Even though it can be debilitating, it may be worth borrowing money from family rather than trying to do it alone. Often, family members are more than willing to help especially if it’s not a regular occurrence. Consider asking a trusted family member for a short term loan and maybe some advice on how to better look after your money.

Be prepared
Don’t let yourself get into the situation where you’re stuck for money. Much easier said than done, but there are ways of ensuring you have financial stability. Not allowing yourself to get into any debt will prevent you from ever having to take any of these routes. Or, if you’re currently in debt, use this as a lesson so that in the future you can look forward to financial stability.

Remember, for many solutions to solving your debt like using a payday loan, your credit score will be affected. Consolidation loans boast that this isn’t an issue but some companies won’t be able to give you a good deal if your credit rating is low. Take the steps today to get yourself out of debt. Don’t let debt ruin your financial future.