Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What To Look For In POS System For Gas Stations

When running a gas station, the POS (or point of sale) system needs to be a bit more advanced than that of a grocery store POS system. So what needs to be considered when searching for one? Read on to find out! 

The first thing that needs to be considered is how well will the system work with the safety mechanisms in place to prevent people from pumping the fuel first and then driving off? In this day and age, almost all fuel pumps are pre-paid only, meaning that if the consumer is going to pay at the pump, they need to "swipe" their card first and then choose what grade of fuel they wish to put in their vehicle. Depending on the type of card used, there may be a hold placed on a larger amount than what is actually pumped. This hold will be released according to the policies of the card's issuing bank. The gas station pos systems texas will need to differentiate between the different grades of gas as well as alternative fuel options such as E85 and diesel. In addition to these recognitions, the software needs to be able to add or deduct any points due to any kind of loyalty program the gas station offers. 

When dealing with gas station purchases, there may be differing taxable amounts from purchases made within the convenience store, which almost all gas station have nowadays. Purchases may include packaged food, cooked food, tobacco, and alcohol. All of these items will have differing purchase and taxing restrictions based on what region the station is located in. These are just a few of the things to think about when looking for an initial pos system to purchase or if an upgrade is needed. Remember to consider all options before committing to a system to avoid any kind of breach of contract issues in the future.

Monday, October 15, 2018

4 Tips for Remodeling Your Bathroom

Are you ready to remodel your bathroom? Before you start stripping the tile, there are a few things that you should know. Here are just four tips for making changes, improving appearances and avoiding common remodeling mistakes. 

1. Don't Touch Your Plumbing 
It can be ridiculously expensive to alter or upgrade your plumbing. Between water lines, gas lines and pipe lines, there's a whole labyrinth in the walls of your home. Making adjustments isn't impossible, but it will eat up a good portion of your budget, so most remodelers decide to simply work around their plumbing. Think long and hard before you decide otherwise. 

2. Consider Different Materials 
You don't have to buy stainless steel fixtures just because stainless steel was already installed in the bathroom when you bought the house. You can shake things up by choosing an entirely new material to work with, and the results can make your bathroom seem completely transformed. If you've always dreamed of brass faucets, now is the time to buy them! 

3. Replace the Big Things First 
You might be tempted to remodel smaller things first since they'll be less of a strain on your pocketbook. In reality, however, you'll just be putting a glossy shine on an old car. It's better to take your money and spend it on something big like floors, lights or total bathroom refinishing Baltimore Maryland. You can always make your minor changes at a later date. 

4. Have a Theme 
Having a theme will give you something to decorate around. Instead of haphazardly throwing rugs and shower curtains into the mix, you can sit down and figure out what bathroom features will accentuate the look that you're trying to create. The end result will be an organized, well-decorated bathroom that follows a consistent decor. These are just a few tips for remodeling your bathroom. It isn't always an easy endeavor, but it's one that can pay off in a big way when you create a space that you love. Use these suggestions to build the bathroom of your dreams!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Understand that there are so many ways to bring in more income. Because of the advancements in technology and the internet, a lot more is accessible now. If you're thinking that you'll always have to trade your hours for dollars to be successful as a fitness trainer, think again and try these three ideas to get started. 

1. Create a fitness product. 
Customize your own fitness product, and sell it to your customers. Take a look at the equipment you use when you're working out your clients. If you use jump ropes, fitness bands, and kettlebells, you can always order your sticker and logos to print on these types of products. You can always profit from customizing a product and selling it to your clients. Make it a product that is essential to the workout so that your customers won't even hesitate to purchase it. 

2. Develop an online course. 
If you'd like to develop an online brand, you can do so with the use of an online. In this course, you can demonstrate different workout routines at various levels. You can have beginner, intermediate and advanced courses. Since it's an online product, you can always use affiliate links to send people to helpful resources. If they purchase those resources, you'll get a commission. You can recommend everything from specific workout geat to prostate health supplements . Just make sure that everything you recommend involves your own clearance and approval. 

3. Produce a fitness app. 
Fitness apps continue to dominate the app stores. Statistics suggest that fitness apps will continue to bring in billions through the year 2020. With the right app design, you'll be able to reach millions of people. If you already know how to build an app, you can take care of the technical components. If you don't know how to build an app, you can always hire a really great app developer to take care of the dirty work for you. Take a look at the fitness apps that are currently in the marketplace. Think about what you can offer in your app to make it stand out in the crowd.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The cost of home renovations can quickly spiral out of control so you should always be looking for ways to save money when you’re doing work on the house. The kitchen is probably one of the more expensive rooms to do because there are a lot of appliances and things that cost quite a bit. If you’re renovating your kitchen, there are plenty of simple ways that you can cut the cost, however, you’ve got to be careful. If you cut corners in the wrong places, you’re going to end up with a poor job and you’ll probably end up having to do it again in a couple of years. If you want to do a great kitchen refurbishment but you don’t want to spend too much money, you need to know where to save and where to spend.

Image From MaxPixel
Save On The Sink 

If you want a big feature like a farmhouse sink, you might have to spend a lot of money on it. But if you aren’t too worried about that, there’s no need to blow a lot of money on the sink. A standard stainless steel one gets the job done and it still looks great. 

Spend On Cabinets 

The kitchen cabinets make up the majority of the kitchen so you don’t really want to cut corners. If you buy low quality ones, they’re not going to last that long. But if you go to a professional company like A+ Construction Pro and get some decent quality ones, they’ll last you a lot longer. It’s also best to spend more on custom cabinets rather than going with off the shelf sizes. If you get custom, you can have the exact design you want without having to make compromises. 

Save On Tiles 

Tiles are an important feature in the kitchen because they’re both functional and cosmetic, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on them. There are a lot of expensive tiles in high end kitchen showrooms but if you look around a bit, you’ll be able to find a very similar style for half the price and they’ll do exactly the same job. 

Spend On Appliances 

The appliances are the most expensive part of the kitchen usually so it makes sense that you want to find the cheapest ones possible. However, you’re not actually going to save yourself money in the long run. If you buy cheap appliances, they’re not going to be as energy efficient. When you’re fitting your kitchen out with the essential appliances, look for the ones with an A+ energy rating and get them, even if they cost more. They’ll save you money on your energy bills in the long run. The other major benefit of spending more money on appliances is that they won’t be as likely to break. It’s going to be a lot cheaper to buy one appliance that lasts you 10 years than it would be to buy 2 cheap ones that last you 5 years. 

Knowing where to spend and where to save during a kitchen renovation is the best way to make sure you do a good quality job without breaking the bank. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Beauty Tricks to Turn Back Time

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Although there is nothing wrong with growing old gracefully, most of us, if we’re honest, are in no rush to start looking older any sooner than we need to be. It has never been easier to maintain a youthful look than it is right now, so why should we not do what we can to turn back time and look our best?

You don’t have to go under the knife to look more youthful either; there are numerous beauty tricks that will help you to turn back time and maintain that youthful glow if you’re so inclined and some of them will actually benefit your health overall too…

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drinking lots of water too, for that matter, is one of the best things you can do for your body as a whole. Not only will it help you to maintain a healthy weight and get all of the vitamins and nutrients you need, but it will also help to keep your skin smooth, plump, clear and glowing with radiance. It’s no hardship to eat well, and it will give you great results, so what are you waiting for?


You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Along with eating well, exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do if you want to turn back or suspend time, in terms of your looks. The more you exercise, the tighter and more toned you will be, which means you’ll avoid middle-aged wobble, jowls and weight gain. Find an activity you love and do it as much as you can, then it won’t feel like a chore.

Wear Sunscreen

You should always wear sunscreen if you want to look as young as possible for as long as possible. The rays of the sun might feel amazing on the skin, but they can ravage it like nothing else, so you need to protect yourself from them. The trick is to wear a SPF30 sunscreen even when the sun isn’t shining - if you’re going outside, cover yourself with sunscreen. Do this and you’ll be less wrinkles and aged than your peers who are free and easy about the sun.

Early to Bed

If you’re a night owl and you still have to get up early each morning, you might want to think about changing that because beauty sleep really is a thing. In order for your body to function well, it needs its rest. If you get at least 8 hours a night, it will be far easier for your body to restore and renew itself. Which means your skin will be fresher and more youthful for longer. There are plenty of tips to help you sleep better if it is something you struggle with. Of course, if the holistic stuff doesn’t help, you may need to see your doctor about medication. Try as much as you can to get that sleep because it will age you if you don’t, but more importantly, it could make you sick! Sleep is so important.

Apply Your Concealer Cleverly

So many of us don’t know how to apply our concealer for the best results, but if you can do this, you will always be able to look more youthful than you actually are, whether you’re already young, or more mature in years.

For example, dabbing a small amount of concealer on the inner corners of the eyes and the nose is a great way to lighten dark spots and brighten up your whole face, and applying a little around the rims of your nostrils will take away and redness for a fresh-faced look that will take the years off.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

As we get older, our teeth naturally become more stained and discolored, even if we have looked after them quite well. So, along with visiting the dentist and hygienist regularly and maintaining a good tooth care regime, it is not a bad idea to start using a gentle tooth whitening toothpaste, which will lift stains and brighten up your smile.

If you want to do something even more effective, you could look into professional dental tooth whitening, but this is more expensive, and must be carried out by a professional. It will get you good results.

Botox and Fillers

If you already have quite a few wrinkles and fine lines, you might want to consider having botox and filler, particularly in the forehead and neck areas. If you look at ‘neck injections: can neck injections reduce wrinkles?’ you will see that such procedures can be quite effective and they are not nearly as invasive as going under the knife.

If this kind of thing isn’t for you, you could also try derma rollers which are less expensive, but can have pretty goods results. They’re great for dealing with scarring too.

Get Regular Facials

If you can afford it, having regular facials, where your face is massaged, and quality products are used, will help to keep your face looking firm, tight and fresh. You can buy facial spa products at the store if cash is tight, but you will need to learn how to massage your face effectively if you want to do it yourself.

Wear Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is ideal for giving your a more youthful appearance, especially if you have been good about taking care of your skin. It does not dry out and dullen the skin like many more heavy-duty moisturizers, and research has shown that it really does make you appear younger. If you only use one beauty product on your face, it should be this one!

Do Yoga

Not only is yoga great at relaxing the mind and body and toning you up, but it could also make you appear younger too. It’ll sort out your posture - and everyone knows a slouched posture can make you appear older - and give you a glow that money can’t buy.

Grow old gracefully, but give yourself a little help along the way and you’ll look and feel confident whether you’re 25 or 75!

Monday, October 8, 2018

It's really easy to get stuck in a rut with your cooking style. If you're used to cooking with lots of lard, butter and oil, you might really enjoy it. However, it's not the healthiest way to cook. In fact, this is a great way to dig an early grave. Instead, consider these three ways to make your cooking healthier. 

1. Stop frying your foods. Even though there's nothing like the taste of fried chicken, you can cook chicken in other ways. You can bake it. You can throw it into a slow cooker. However, it's best to focus on trying a healthier option instead of frying. If you prepare certain foods in a certain way and bake them, you can still get the crispiness you'd achieve with a frying pan. Plus, you'd get all the flavor minus the fat. 

2. Use more seasonings. In order to make sure your foods don't taste bland, make sure that you utilize great seasonings. Whether it's chicken seasoning for your chicken pot pie or cumin for your guacamole, find out which seasonings work well with the different dishes you plan on making. Do a little bit of research to learn more about which foods and spices work well together. With Indian cuisine, you'll want to purchase seasonings like cumin, curry and saffron. If you're preparing Italian dishes, become more heavy-handed with seasonings like parsley, garlic and chives. As you master the art of using the right seasoning blends, you won't need as much salt. Too often, people rely on salt to flavor the foods in ways that are detrimental to the body. Seasonings offer delightful flavors and are good for you. 

3. Add more fresh ingredients. It's a great idea to use more fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables. You'll always want to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals because they are packed with healthy nutrients. Other fresh ingredients include fresh herbs and spices. You can easily pick up some fresh cilantro or parsley in the produce aisle of the supermarket. You can also decide to grow your own herbs and spices. If you grow a small mint plant in your garden, it'll be easy to pick and use in different meals.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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Sure, it may only be September, so many of us would argue that it’s way too early to start thinking about the festive period. But anyone with a host of people to buy for will be familiar with the stress and cost of buying gifts for Christmas throughout December. Seeing as the majority of people leave buying presents until the last minute, you can find yourself forking out more to get what you want for the big day. But not to worry. There are a few different ways to save money and minimise the costs of what can be a relatively expensive period. Here are just a few steps to achieve this!

Coming Up With Ideas

First, create a list of all of the items that you want to buy for your loved ones. This means that you know exactly what you need to pick up, and can prevent you from purchasing unnecessary bits and bobs. So many people waste huge sums of money getting little items that they really don’t need to. Whether you intend to buy a toiletry bag, an e-reader, perfume, or luxury skincare products, note them down. Creating a list minimizes unnecessary spending and also means that you can keep an eye out for good offers on individual items.

Start Shopping Early

High demand items tend to completely sell out over the festive period. This means that you have to resort to purchasing goods from third party resellers with significantly higher costs. If you start shopping early, you can bag items for their original price, saving yourself stress and extra cash down the line. As well as saving cash, starting early also frees up your time, giving you more time to enjoy the festive period yourself rather than rushing around shops.

Make the Most of Black Friday

Black Friday falls on the 23rd November every year. It started as a trend in the United States, as it falls on the day after Thanksgiving celebrations, but now it is engaged with around the world. Essentially, it is a day when retailers host huge sales, cutting the prices of their stock in order to draw as many customers in as possible during a period when there is generally a slump in sales. Make the most of this day when it comes to buying gifts. You may have to store them away for around a month before you can hand them to their recipients, but you might as well grab them while they have a low costs, rather than waiting a couple more weeks and paying double the price or even more.

These are just a few ideas that can help you to minimize spending over the upcoming season. Sure, some people would argue that starting plans this early is over the top. However, just think of all of the money that you could save! This could be used for extra treats to make the holiday season particularly memorable, such as meals out, ice skating, attending Christmas markets, and much more. Alternatively, you could save your extra cash for the January sale season.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

When we think a little extra spending money would be necessary, the next important step is to start conceiving ideas that potentially yield this ability in the future. Bringing a little extra income into your household may not be a complete walk in the park, but with a little extra time and effort, you might find it’s perfectly possible. To begin with, you will need to decide what kind of assets you have on hand. Are you skilled in a certain discipline? Do you have money saved you may wish to potentially grow? Are you in possession of coveted items? If so, you might consider the following options in order to build more of an established income stream, to raise your quality of life and help you indulge just a little bit more:


Learning how to invest can be a great method of slowly building up your profitable portfolio as the months pass on. This can seem very overwhelming for people who have yet to experience their first steps in this field, but there’s really nothing to be afraid of. There are multiple very worthwhile investing apps you can download on the Play and App stores, and many of these will offer you fall currency to help you practice your skills of forecasting and prediction. There are many resources online to help you understand basic trading concepts, such as this resource to aid in understanding CFDs. Investing is a fun hobby, and a potentially profitable pursuit, you just need the confidence to start.


It could be that renting out an asset you have could be worthwhile. You may have a spare bedroom, a full furnished and featured outhouse going unused, or a vacation home you may wish to make money on throughout the year. You may also be able to offer certain equipment if you have it, such as lending large speakers to students for house parties provided they’re willing to pay a large deposit and sign your terms that have been ratified with a legal business council. Renting your assets and valuable items may help you make long term income on something that may be going unused, helping you develop more appropriately.


It might be that freelancing is the best way to both practice a hidden talent and help make use of your free time. Many often think this space is limited to artistic or writing talents, but you can freelance anything. You might offer your business experience as a consultancy online, or perhaps reupholster furniture. You may verify the legitimacy of certain antiques, or perhaps become an expert in a field you’ve worked in your whole life, providing knowledge and direction to those who may need it. With the internet, almost every skill is easy to market and earn from, provided you exercise a little patience and market to the right communities.

With these simple tips, bringing a little extra income into your household is sure to be easier than expected.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Children can be expensive, and there is no hiding away from that fact. But we all know that children need things on a day to day basis. They are always growing, their interests are changing, and their needs really need to be met. But with an eye on the costs how do you ensure that those children don’t break you financially? I wanted to share with you some of the ways that you can start to keep the costs down when it comes to your kids. 

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Make invested choices with things like toys

Toys are one of those things you can think you have enough of, but as interests change from time to time, you may find that you are inundated with more things on a monthly basis. Not to mention the birthdays and Christmas additions to add to the mix. Sometimes the best advice is to make more invested choices with your purchases, looking into a more interesting toy that will stand the test of time, rather than something plastic that they may lose interest in after a few weeks. 

Keep things for future siblings to enjoy in the future

You may not want to hoard things, but often keeping certain things for future younger siblings is a great way to send less in the future. Tyds, clothes they have outgrown, it can all come in handy for when and if you have more children in the future. Once you are doine, you could then utilise platforms like eBay to sell any unwanted things and give your bank balance a healthy boost. 

Seekout bargains online and use codes and discounts

It is always a good idea to do plenty of research ahead of making any purchases, especially online. There are always discount codes and vouchers you could use, as well as people sharing knowledge on some of the best places to make certain purchases. The name of the game is to have more money in your back pocket, and so utilizing these tools could considerably reduce your overall spend. 

Buy in bulk

The next thing you may want to think about is how buying in bulk could save you on bigger costs. For example, when you favourite childrens clothing shop has a sale, you could buy the next size up at a discounted price. Helping you to feel organised in the future. Buying in bulk works for other things such as school uniforms or even drinks and snacks in your home. 

Encourage eating as a family to help with the food bill

Finally, children can be picky, especially at meal times. If you let them, they will have you making different meals for everyone, and in the long run this ends up costing you. Make a new rule that you will make one thing for the family to enjoy, it keeps the cost down and allows you to lead by example when it comes to eating to help avoid the fussy eating stage getting any worse. 

I hope that these tips help you to keep the costs down when it comes to your kids. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How To Find Hidden Water Waste in Your Home

Water waste is often the cause of a change in the water bill, and you may not realize the problem until you find yourself faced with charges that are much higher than what you normally pay. While meter error is sometimes to blame, hidden water waste, such as leaks and poor drainage, may also be an issue. Targeting this problem does not have to be difficult, and there are several strategies you can use to find and resolve it.

Perform a Dye Test on Your Toilet

A toilet with a faulty flapper may be a hidden leak that is raising your water bill. However, there is a simple test you can perform to gauge whether your toilet is malfunctioning. To begin, add a teaspoon of blue or green food dye to the water in your toilet tank. Replace the lid, then wait about 20 minutes. Once the time is up, check the bowl water for any signs of the dye. If the water there has any color to it, this means you have a tank water leak.

This type of leak can usually be fixed by replacing your toilet’s flapper. Fortunately, it is a simple repair that you may be able to perform on your own. Ask your local plumbing supply or hardware store about the tools and parts you will need. 

Inspect Outdoor Water Lines

Outdoor irrigation or sprinkler systems can malfunction and cause leaks that you may not detect right away. This can be especially troublesome if the lines are not visible or have been installed underground. Leaks can be caused by aging lines, freezing temperatures, or backyard pests interfering with the system.

If you suspect an outdoor water leak, walk your yard carefully and look for damp spots or grass that seems to be growing faster than the rest of your lawn. While this can lead you to the source of the leak, you may need to call in a professional plumbing contractor to have the lines exposed and repaired.

Check Under Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Not all leaks are fast or instantly noticeable. In fact, some can occur so slowly that you might never become aware of them until they get large enough to cause a change in your water bill. Leaks that are hidden by cabinetry fall into this category, especially when the cabinets were installed specifically to hide the plumbing and are not used for storage.

The presence of mold can clue you in to a slow water leak because many types of fungi do not require sunlight in order to grow and spread. Many species can be found in dark, damp environments and may produce a musty odor once patches start to thrive. This odor may guide you to leaks under your kitchen or bathroom sink, although it is wise to have mold removal specialists come in to remove any fungi before you call a plumber.

Change Your Laundering Habits

Not all water waste is caused by leaks. You and your family could be wasting a great deal of water without realizing it, especially when it comes to doing your laundry. Top-load washers tend to waste more water than front-load models, and washing small or incomplete loads can also contribute to water waste. If you live in California and want to learn about how to conserve water, the Cadiz Water Project twitter page can be an informative and educational resource for you and your family.

Water waste can lead to skyrocketing water bills and costly home repair bills. Knowing where to look for hidden leaks in your home can help you control what you spend on water services and prevent the needless waste of this precious resource. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

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There are those chilling moments in life where you can tell that everything is just going wrong. Sometimes it happens out of the blue, and you’re assailed by multiple crises one after the other, and sometimes it builds up. You have a bad run in the office, and then an unexpected bill hits you, next thing you know you’re sick, and your car has broken down on a rainy day.

Things can quickly mount, and issues can build up, to the point where what was once a fairly manageable issue threatens to become a major life crisis that you will have real difficulty salvaging.

The key, when this unfortunate kind of situation arises, is to catch things as early as possible, and take the right kind of steps to begin correcting course as soon as you notice what’s going on.

But what are the right steps to take? In this article, we’ll take a look at a few things you can do in order to seize back control of your life when you can feel things sliding off the rails.

Research practical solutions before taking rash action

When you first notice that things are not as they should be, you may well be inclined to resort to rash actions in order to attempt to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

If you’re in a bad financial situation, for example, you may find yourself itching to sign up to the first unscrupulous payday loan provider you can find, without undertaking the process of learning what you should know about the various options available to you before committing to any single one of them.

It is simply in your best interest to pause, take a deep breath, and do your research before committing to any course of action which could have long-term or significant consequences for you.

The internet is a great resource for finding out about different strategies that people might use when in a tough situation, and various kinds of support groups, programs, and services are available which can help you to identify the best course of action before diving in headfirst.

Assume an attitude of extreme personal accountability

When something goes wrong in your life, it generally a good idea not to beat yourself up too much. It’s likely that you may only be partially, if at all, responsible for the way that things have gone. This doesn’t, however, mean that you’re free to sit back, cry, point the finger at others and try to externalise your issues.

The hard reality is that you need to adopt an attitude of extreme personal accountability in order to make the right kind of productive changes in your life going forward.

While you shouldn’t beat yourself up about how much of a failure you are, you should act as if you are 100% responsible for the way that things develop going forward, even if, on paper, you’re not.

Why should you do this? Simple. When you adopt an attitude of extreme personal accountability and take the default position that the outcome is in your hands and your hands alone, you empower yourself, psychologically, to take as much action as you can to set things right, while remaining driven and motivate to do so.

The opposite stance — one that says you’re a helpless victim who’s been hard done by — does not empower you at all. It robs you of your power and increases the likelihood that you’ll only sit in the corner feeling bitter, sad, and resentful.

Focus small, very small, and work on making things incrementally better day by day

When things go wrong in your life, you will often want to take the biggest possible corrective actions you can think of, as soon as possible. Sometimes this may be viable. In many instances, however, being overly frantic and ambitious in your attempted solutions will only set you up for failure and disheartenment.

Instead of shooting for the star, consider starting small — very small — so small that it’d be nearly impossible for you to fail — and do whatever you realistically can in the moment to make things even just a fraction better.

Keep doing that on a daily basis, and before too long, you’ll be in a much better position than you were to start with, and will be well on the way to getting things back on the right track.

These small actions could be having a difficult conversation with a loved one, or opening a new bank account, or even just vacuuming your home. Whatever makes things a bit better than they were before.

Try to restructure your habits and systems in line with what will be most beneficial for you

Humans are, to a large degree, creatures of habit. It’s not so much that we make conscious decisions about everything we do in our lives, it’s more like we run on autopilot for a significant chunk of the time, and look up occasionally to see what’s going on around us.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comics, notes that it’s the systems we have in our lives — those routines that we play out each day for their own sake, without really giving much thought to a distinct goal — that define our destiny to a very large degree.

Charles Duhigg, author of the book “The Power of the Habit” frames things similarly, when he talks about “keystone habits” that radically affect the way we live our lives.

To get your life back on track as soon as possible, one of the most meaningful things you can do is to identify the kinds of habits and routines that would be the most beneficial for you, and then to take steps to implement them, bit by bit.

Focus on one or two at a time, and keep the rest written down somewhere you can refer to them often. The more of these habits and systems you manage to successfully adopt in your life, the more you can expect to benefit in the near future.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Everybody knows that saving money is important, but people often put it off when they’re younger because they think that the main reason for saving is to prepare yourself for retirement. That is important, but you also need a good savings account to use as an emergency fund. Life is always unpredictable and from time to time, you’re going to be hit with unexpected bills. They might come from serious issues with the home or a broken down car. Whatever it is, if you have to pay out a load of money and you don’t have an emergency fund there to cover the cost, you’ll end up having to borrow money. That’s going to make it harder to save money and lead to financial problems in the future. You can stop all of that from happening and alleviate all of your money worries by building a good emergency fund. Here’s how you can get started today. 

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Find The Right Savings Account 

The first step in any savings plan is finding a good savings account. There are a lot to choose from so it can be difficult to decide which is best. Most people focus on the interest rate which is important, but it’s not the only thing. As well as finding an account with a high interest rate, you also need to think about the fees. High fees are going to eat into your savings more than you realize. Luckily, there are plenty of accounts that don’t have high fees. Most of the top online savings accounts have low fees and decent interest rates so they’re probably your best option. You should also think about how easily you can access the money. If you’ve got a savings account that you can easily dip into, you’re more likely to struggle with your saving. 

Set A Savings Goal

Now that you’ve found the perfect savings account, you need to start filling it up. If you don’t have a solid savings plan, you’re not going to get that far. Set yourself a savings goal, about half a years worth of expenses is a good number to aim for. Then you can start looking over your finances and work out how much you can afford to put aside. As soon as you get paid, put the money in your savings and forget about it. 

Save Change 

Saving up change doesn’t sound like the most effective way of building up a good emergency fund but you’d be surprised. Putting all of your extra change into a jar is a start, but what you should really be doing is cutting out the small purchases that you make throughout the day and putting the money in a change jar instead. Things like coffee or sandwiches that you waste money on every single day quickly add up over the weeks and months. Even if you saved $1 a day, that’s $365 in your emergency fund every year. 

If you don’t build an emergency fund right away, you could easily land yourself in financial trouble when disaster strikes. 

If you’ve spent years in the rat race, working a job you hate to survive, you know the incremental frustration that builds up week upon week, month upon month and year upon year. You know how spirit crushing it can be to slave away in a boring, repetitive and meaningless job while the skills you spent your formative years developing go to waste. This isn’t the adulthood you were sold. You were told that all of your hard work, study and endeavor would pay off. Yet here you are, years later, spending 8-12 hours a day in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting wondering if anyone even knows you’re there.

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Yet all this living death is almost worth it when you’re able to shake of the shackles of corporate wage suppression and the anaesthesia of the 9 to 5 (or increasingly, 8 to 6) and go into business for yourself. If you’ve recently begun freelancing it can be extremely intoxicating being able to make a living doing something you love and working on your own terms. Just make sure that, in lieu of a payroll department, you’re honoring your tax commitments. Running afoul of the IRS could not only be damaging to your reputation, it could see you stuck with a hefty fine that could seriously cripple your operation. 

Here are some things you need to know about tax and your freelance business...

Even if you only freelance as a side hustle, it’s still taxable income

Many freelancers begin their career as a side hustle in their free time so that they can build their experience and establish a healthy client base while still enjoying the steady income from your day job. Just keep in mind that even if you’re side hustling the income from your business is still taxable and must be declared. Even a small amount needs to be declared to the IRS. The rule of thumb is, if in doubt, always declare. The IRS is far more lenient with those who are open and honest with them. 

Invest in an accountant

Even if you have a good working understanding of how to fill out your tax returns, it’s still advisable to invest in an accountant. Sure, they may represent a significant overhead, but they provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing your accounts are in safe hands. A good accountant will also generally save you more than they cost.

Accounting for your earnings

Needless to say, if the IRS is to accurately gauge your income, it’s your responsibility to keep an accurate record of your earnings and that means keeping an up to date account of your invoices. If any labor you undertake is of a casual nature and your client is unable to validate your invoice, use this paystub generator. An accurate and up to date account of your earnings is essential to keep the IRS on side. 

Keep track of your expenses

Finally, it’s important to remember that you are taxed not on your earnings but on your profits. Thus, it’s essential that you keep an up to date record of all expenses incurred throughout the running of your business. An accountant is especially useful here as they may be able to help you get a clear picture of what can and can’t be claimed for business purposes. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The summer is over and the kids are back to school. Vacations and road trips won't happen until weather warms up again. Ten months to plan the next grand family vacation is more than enough time to do research and save for it.

A vacation overseas may seem costly, however, with careful planning, a dream becomes a reality. Why not visit Asia? The Philippines has the some of the best beaches in this part of the world! Imagine all those 7,107 islands boasting of luxury resorts, pristine lakes and virgin beaches. Think paradise! 

Recently, a unique resort has been established in Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines. For a bit of information, Subic Bay used to be the site of the United States Naval Base. It is situated in the main island of Luzon, approximately 159.5 kilometers (99 miles) from the capital of Manila. 

Inflatable Island goes by the tagline "Beach Play Reimagined," and it truly lives up to that. It is the biggest floating island in Asia, measuring  4,100 square meters (4,908 square yards) or just about the size of 8 full size basketball courts put together side by side. It contains inflatables slides, towers, bridges, human launchers, swings and so much more! Challenge friends to a race or just compete against yourself. A good, total body workout doesn't get better than this!

The newest addition to this floating playground is the "Unicorn Island" for the kids and kids at heart. Start with the rainbow walk and enjoy climbing the sea unicorn and sliding down the back of a giant magical horse named "Baba." 

The Inflatable Zoo is giant animal shaped floaties near the beach. If you want some relax time or get that perfect tan, these floaties are ideal for that. 

When the day winds down, families may find a nice spot on the Pink Bali Lounge and watch a movie on the giant floating cinema! Amazing!

This awesome beach playground's rates will not burn a hole in your budget. Considering the current exchange rate of  $1.00 = PhP53.50, a whole day pass will only cost less than $16.00 per person or $79.64 for a family of 5!!

Make the Philippines your next vacation destination in Asia. There are many luxury hotels around the area so finding the accommodation that would suit your needs will not be a challenge. While in Subic, you may also check out other cool places like the Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure. Remember to ask your travel agent about these too.

Unsure about the perfect time to book a stay? Here's a tip - the best months to visit the Philippines is between March to May. It is during this time that the weather is warm and rainfall is minimal. 

If you need more information about Inflatable Island, check out their website and Facebook page

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. 

Sometimes, when people get bored with their home, they just up and move. But this is not always going to be necessary. There are ways that you can redo your home so that it feels new when you’ve actually been living there for years. From simple changes to more drastic changes, you can make your home feel brand new. Moving should only be considered as a last resort if the only reason you want to move is that you’re bored with how your home looks. We’ve come up with some things that you can do to make your home feel new.

Redo Your Bedroom

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One of the first rooms in your house that you should change up is your bedroom. You will probably spend quite a lot of time in there as this is where you get dressed, sleep and many people will spend some down time in their bedroom. If you want it to feel new, you should consider completely changing the style of your room so that it looks nothing like before. Change the paint or the wallpaper, get a new bed, buy a new dresser, there are so many options for you to choose from. Even something as simple as buying a new rug can change the design of a room. 

Add A Pool

This one is for those of you who have a little extra cash laying around. You can think about putting a pool in your garden. When you invest in a pool though, you are also going to have to invest in a heater. A site like Best 4 Your Home will provide you with reviews to help you find the best pool heater for your pool.

Another thing you need to think about with a pool is how big do you want it to be? Measure your garden and figure out what size pool will fit best and then start looking into how much this is going to cost. You might find that it is not as expensive as you previously thought and it will make a wonderful addition to your home. This may make your home feel new as it is something that you have not previously had and will be something to look forward to using.

Give Your Kitchen A Makeover

Your kitchen is likely to be the place that you make and eat all of your meals. As such, you will spend a good portion of your day in this room, and you need to make it feel brand new. You can invest in a new oven or a new hob. Induction hobs will save you money on your electric bill as they only heat up the part of the hob that the pan is on. A new oven will make your kitchen look nice and sparkly when it is installed.

You should consider painting your kitchen. You might find yourself bored with whatever color you currently have. Changing it rather drastically to something completely different is going to be fun and also make the room feel fresh. Even if you just do this, something as simple as a coat of paint can make a whole room feel brand new.

New Furniture

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As the saying goes, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Throw away all that old furniture and replace it with something that you love. You can do this with every room in the house, or you can just choose one. The living room would be a good place to start this little experiment as this is likely to be where most of your furniture is. Sofas, chairs and coffee tables can all be replaced and give your room a completely new look. If you want to go further with this, you can always hang some new wallpaper. This is a more simple change from replacing all of your furniture, but if you combine the two, you might find that it is like looking at a new room.

Or, you can change your furniture around. You don’t need to buy new furniture every time you want to change up your room. 

Invest In Tech

Tech is becoming more and more common in households across the world. From games consoles to smart fridges, tech is certainly becoming more dominant on the market. Buying new tech is definitely going to make you feel like you’re in a new home because it will be something that you have never had in any of the other places you have previously lived. You can get an Amazon Alexa that can control your lights and if you ask it questions, will scour the web and answer them for you.

We hope that these ideas will be beneficial to you and you will consider redoing your house instead of selling it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

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As a consumer, it should be fair to assume that you’re always safe when you’re spending your money with a company you recognize. There are strict laws in place across the world which make it hard for businesses to take advantage of their customers, and most simply wouldn’t want to damage their reputation by upsetting the people spending money with them. Of course, though, it doesn’t always work out this way, and a lot of people find themselves in bad positions when they trust the wrong company just a little too much.

Where Do You Stand?

When you think a business has done something bad to you, the very first thing to do will be figuring out where you stand. The law won’t always be behind you when you’re starting a fight like this. In other cases, though, you might have a very good leg to stand on, and it will be worth figuring this out as early on as possible. A quick Google search or two should be able to reveal other users who have had similar problems, giving you access to people who can serve as evidence of your potential success.

Researching The Issue

The research doesn’t stop here, though. Instead, when you’re doing work like this, you’re going to need to put a lot of time into research, as this will help you to understand the problem you’re having in greater detail. In some cases, you may find that the potential return from a consumer fight is far too small to make it worth doing anything. This won’t always be the case, though, and your web-based research could show you the true extent of the company’s mistakes.

Finding Solutions

One of the hardest parts of this sort of process is finding the solution you’re going to use. Whether you’ve fallen in a store and they’re refusing to help you, or you bought a product a product and it simply didn’t arrive, know which direction to go in can be impossible. With the help of a highly experienced and respected law firm behind you, this part of the job should get a lot easier, especially for those with no experience with legal issues. The solution you choose could take awhile to work out, but will be worth it in the end.

Spotting Signs Of Trickery

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about how trickery might be spotted going into the future. It can be hard to rely on trust when you’re buying products from a big business. You assume that you can expect to get what they tell you they will provide, but they won’t always pull through. One of the easiest ways to solve this issue is through reviews, as most companies which are willing to trick their customers will have done it before.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into fighting your corner when you come up against a big business. This sort of process can quickly become a big challenge, especially when you’re dealing with a very large corporation, and you will have to use everything you can to make a difference.

The 4 Way Test

It suddenly came upon me the other day... I have not been seeing these signs that used to be all over the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila. Have they been taken down? If so, then why?

I loved those signs, they were little reminders of our calling to serve. I am not a member of the Rotary Club, but I just find this particular campaign of theirs really appealing.

When my eldest child was in Nursery school, she participated in a special activity sponsored by the Rotary Club. All the little kids in her school were given t-shirts with the print "I am a Rota-kid." The activity for that day was to interact through play and little performances with children their age who were students at the public elementary school nearby. I found the activity very good, because it bridged the gap between children from private schools and those in the public education system. There were no inhibitions, there was no racism. The children had a good time and the activity ended with the private school kids giving a little "loot bag" to their new found friends. The whole day was filled with smiles and laughter. Years from that heart-warming activity, I wonder where those kids are now. Do they remember? 

The 4-way Test tugs at our conscience. These 4 simple questions can be used to improve our daily relations with the people we love, the people we work with, and the people we meet on the street. By keeping these little reminders in our minds and hearts, we can strengthen our morals and ethics. 

In our every day battle of survival in the modern world, we must never forget about how we interact with other people. Were we kind? Did we do something to make someone else's life a little better? Did we share a smile today? We must always work towards going the "right way" and this may be accomplished by having a "yes" response to all the 4 questions. Our actions are dictated by our thoughts. If we keep positive thoughts, then our actions will provide positive results. A concrete example would be the practice of "paying it forward." Did we serve others without expecting something in return? Did we put service above self?

Our children deserve all the good things we enjoyed when we were their age. Let us set an example to them and rid the world of divisiveness. They will inherit this earth in due time. Give them a peaceful world. PLEASE.

It has been almost 5 years ago since I wrote this post. Sadly, nothing has changed. I live in a country riddled with corruption, distrust in the government and poverty all around. It saddens me to think about of the kind of world will my children and grandchildren have to live in. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

How efficient your home is is one of those things we all think about from time to time. It is useful to pay attention to for a number of reasons, some of them personal and some a little wider than that. Clearly, the more energy efficient your home is, the less money you are having to spend on your maintenance and energy bills, and sometimes that means that spending a little upfront can be worthwhile. Similarly, if you home is more energy efficient then you are not making such a great impact on the environment, which is definitely something to be proud of as well. In this post,m we are going to look at some of the really simple and yet highly effective ways in which you can ensure that your home's energy efficiency is going to be increased and improved in no time. All of these simple acts are likely to make a considerable difference.

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Replace The Windows

If your windows are even ten years old, you will find that they are just not holding in heat as well as you would hope. It is always worth having them checked out, and if they are less than perfect, you might want to call out a paint and glass window replacement service to re-fix them for you. You will find that this immediately makes the home warmer, and that you are therefore spending much less on energy bills straight away. You will also be able to essentially feel safer in the home, which is a bonus that everyone can appreciate, as your windows are one of the major safety concerns in any home. Replace The windows and you will generally improve your home in a number of ways, so it is definitely worth your while.

Reduce Water Consumption

If you really care about utilising the energy in your home, you will want to pay attention even to the amount of water you are using. People often think of this merely as an issue of the waste of water itself, but actually it is more than that. When you use water, you are effectively using the energy of the suppliers who bring it into the pipes into your home. Likewise, if you use heated water, that will be using energy in your own home as well, which is going to work against what you are trying to do here. You can easily use less water by being constantly and consistently aware of your usage and cutting down where appropriate. Just make sure that you do so and don’t let it falter, and you will find that you can really make a huge difference here.

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If your home is not already well insulated, you will want to think about doing so in order to make sure that you are only using the energy necessary to keep the home warm. It’s very simple - the better the insulation, the less energy you have to use. With that in mind, it’s worth ensuring that you have the best insulation you can afford throughout your home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Nasty Scams You Want To Watch Out For

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As much as we wish life was flying unicorns, cakes for breakfast, sleeping in cloud-like beds and never shedding a tear, it’s not. There are little niggles, hiccups, bumps and lumps that we need to do battle with more and more, and a prime example of this are scams. It’s something we all have to be wary of and dodge on a day to day basis nowadays, and it totally sucks. But playing ignorant is not going to save you, which is why we want to do a little post on the topic and focus on the kind of consumer scams that we are all susceptible to.

The reason for this is simple: just this morning, we received an email receipt from Uber for a fare that apparently cost is $329.42. That sort of thing has become commonplace, but it still makes us wonder what the angle is, whether our card was used or whether this is the scam itself. It’s frustrating and frightening. 

So, without further ado, here is a list of the most prolific scams out there right now. If knowledge is power, hopefully, your journey through laugh will see these nasty people wasting their time with you and everyone else, as you stand your ground.

1. Jackpotting
Believe it or not,  hackers have found a way to hijack ATMs so that they then spew out cash, and they do it with bad actors disguised as repairmen who then install some sort of malicious software that causes the machine to cough up all its cash. So, if you see a machine that’s clearly haywiring, you can guarantee it’s been hacked. 

2. Secretary of State
Another scam that has been doing the rounds is regarding an email from Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State, emailing people with regards to an $1.85 million payment that you are owed after being falsely investigated by both the FBI and the CIA. The hope is you’ll believe these fakes are official government officials and hand over your details so that you can claim your compensation. Don’t do it. 

3. Disability Insurance Fraud
We received information from LongTermDisabilityLawyer.com about more and more people receiving long-term disability benefits even though they are unusually healthy. And it’s a worry. These people are claiming they can’t work their desk job, but there are photos of them all over Instagram of them at Disney World last week. Trust us: disability fraud is a very severe and illegal move to make. 

4. Shimmer Scam
Another one that is reportedly on the rise involves thieves "skimming" your ATM card and stealing your details from the magnetic strip (yes, that strip does something). This is where fraudsters use devices called "shimmers", popping them in the card slots at ATMs and then take your card data from the chip, which can then be used to create a clone of your card and rack up charges. It’s dreadful but very real. 

5. Phishing
Email phishing is still a big scam and one that is getting more sophisticated by the minute. Like we aid, we received one from “Uber”, while fraudsters have been pretending to be Apple and Amazon over the years too. The problem is, they look so real these emails. Thankfully, clicking on their email address will display one that’s far from legit. That’s how to test.