Month : December 2013

Money Management

5 Suggestions for Saving Money on Utility Bills

5 Suggestions for Saving Money on Utility Bills

The ever changing economy and job market forces individuals to adopt a frugal outlook on daily life. Should you buy a burger from Five Guys or pack a PB & J sandwich for lunch? Does taking the bus, train, or car to work save the most money? 

You’re confronted with countless questions relating to daily, monthly, and yearly spending. With high rent costs, food prices higher than you’d prefer, and the overall cost of living, it’s difficult finding financial breathing room. 

No matter how smart or successful any individual becomes, there lack of spending awareness could cause harm to their bank accounts which in turn affects credit scores and even personal relationships. What spouse prefers to stand by another person who mismanages income and spending with a sense of negligence unparalleled? 

A large part of monthly costs are linked to utility bills. Rent and mortgage payments aren’t subject to constant changes. What you can control or at least reduce, is the amount of money spent on utilities. 

If you find difficulty trying to cover costs due to financial emergencies linked to unexpected medical care, unemployment, or other crises, there are short term lending options available. Knowing viable borrowing options such as credit cards, car title loans such as ones at TitleBucks.com, and personal loans assist with affording living expenses.

When looking to save a little cash to better manage finances, follow these few tips to cut the costs down of utility bills.

1.      Conserve Water with House Rules 

Whether you live alone, with children, or roommates, create a set of house rules detailing water usage. Have a 5-10 minute shower time limit. Some people can’t help themselves by taking 30 minute showers. What can they possibly do in the shower for that long? 

When washing dishes, use running water when it’s absolutely necessary to rinse away soap and dirt. Limit the number of times a person does laundry to once a week or every two weeks. Never do a wash unless the machine is full.

 2.      Unplug Devices 

Simply because your laptop isn’t plugged into the power adapter, doesn’t mean that adapter isn’t pulling electricity from the wall socket. If possible, unplug any power adapters, phone chargers, and electrical devices when not in use. This drives up the electricity bill without you realizing it.

 3.      Don’t Change the Thermostat 

Most drivers understand that maintaining a consistent speed or using cruise control saves gas and money while driving. The same principle applies to a home thermostat. Keeping a consistent and reasonable temperature in your home saves money on gas, electricity or oil. Don’t give in to impulse during the summer and winter months by adjust the thermostat frequently. Wear a sweater or shorts around the house.

 4.      Seek Alternative Energy Solutions 

If you’re really committed to saving money on utility bills, then look more into ways to convert the house into an energy efficient home. Solar panel, energy friendly dishwashers or laundry machines, and other appliances offer the opportunity to start.

 5.      Rent Empty Rooms 

This last suggestion may not directly lower utility bills, but it helps subtract costs from mortgage or rent payments. The addition of one or more tenants saves substantial cash on living expenses. This move may increase utility bills, but the additional money indirectly cuts living costs. 

A new tenant could spice up your life, become great new friends, and they’ll make living expenses more bearable. Don’t leave rooms in your home empty. 

Image Source – thriftyfun.com

Financial Freedom

Are You Settling With Your Job?


I used to work at a job I hated. I hated going in every day and being told “You just don’t get it”, What does that even mean?

I finally had enough and looked for another job on CareerBuilder.com, but not just any job. I wanted a job that I could use to leap into a future I wanted. My only requirement was that it had something to do with what I wanted to do in life, which is help people with their finances. I ended up finding a job as a bankruptcy counselor where I currently work with personal-finance and help people turn their life around. This was amazing! Everything that I wanted to do in my future was with this job.

I’ve been working there for a while now and I want to take it to the next step by working for myself, so that I can help people even more.

The point of me telling you that story is so that you understand that if you settle for the job you currently have and not enjoying, you are not living up to your full potential. I could even stay at the job I’m enjoying now and be well off but I would be doing myself a disservice and letting down my passion.

If you look around, everyone is giving up. Don’t be that person. Strive for more in your life and don’t make excuses for going after the job you want.

Maybe the job that could lead you to your dreams isn’t as wanted by other people as you think.

Settling shouldn’t be your goal in life. It should be to use your skills to their max potential and then learning how to expand them even further.

It’s impossible to do that working for “The Man”. He wants you to settle because then he doesn’t have to pay you any more and he can always hire someone else to do what you can’t yet. Once his bottom line starts hurting you are going to be the first to go, then what? Then you’re going to start working for yourself?

Why don’t you just start leveraging your skills now, so that can branch out on your own if that happens, or if you decide you don’t want to settle anymore.

You are settling because you don’t want to dream, start going after your dreams and make money for yourself, not for your boss. Your boss isn’t going to feed your family, you are. Your boss isn’t going to make your dreams come true, you are.

So the lesson today is start dreaming and start doing. If your job isn’t taking you where you want to be in life, then find a job that can start you on that track and expand from there. Don’t go through life wishing you followed your dreams, just start following them. That’s what life is all about.

Get others to stop settling by tweeting and Facebook sharing this post.

Is your job leading you you to your dream?

 

Debt Management

Seven Emergency Situations Where Borrowing Money is Acceptable

Face it. From time to time, we all come up against situations that call for some extra money, money that we don’t currently have available and ready for unexpected emergencies that simply must be handled now. In times like these, it’s nothing less than a godsend to be able to borrow a little money from a reliable and honest source, such as a personal lender, to cover the costs and bring the situation to a close. 

When can a personal lender help you to get through an emergency and on with your life? Here are Seven Emergency Situations where Borrowing Money is Always Acceptable. 

Medical Emergencies 

Medical emergencies are a fact of life. Perhaps your son has broken his leg at the playground, or your father has suffered a heart attack. Medical insurance is a godsend, but it doesn’t always cover all the expenses incurred in a truly unanticipated medical emergency. When medical emergencies occur, having access to quick funds to help cover fees and other expenses is always a blessing. 

Funeral Expenses 

Funeral expenses are a fact of life, and though we might plan for the passing of loved ones, a death in the family is often unanticipated and untimely. Many people find themselves financially stressed upon the passing of a father or wife, and often, due to the untimely nature of the event, they lack sufficient funds to pay for the many expenses involved in laying a loved one to rest. Borrowing money from a personal lender can certainly help to ease the burden and assist you in this difficult, emotional time. 

Weather-Related Emergencies 

emergency-situations

Global climate change appears to be an incontestable fact. Each year, it seems, people all over the world are faced with more violent and powerful storms that bring massive destruction in their wake. Whether typhoons or blizzards, massive storms can have an enormous impact on your life, and often are unexpected and unplanned for. You simply don’t live your life expecting to have your home damaged in a massive storm, so you may find yourself saddled with enormous expenses rebuilding your life in the wake of a typhoon or hurricane. When such a thing happens, borrowing to help cover the expense of rebuilding is truly a blessing for you. 

Emergency Automobile Maintenance 

Car troubles are a fact of life. Just when you least expect it, something always goes wrong. A flat tire, worn-out brakes, a busted transmission: any of these things can ruin your day and potentially ruin your bank account as well. When emergency auto maintenance is an unavoidable necessity, a personal loan can be a lifesaver. 

Unexpected Educational Expenses 

Education is the ticket to a good career and a good life. We all want the very best for our children, and providing them with a solid education is perhaps the single most important thing we can do for them, as parents. Sometimes, educational expenses arise that we haven’t foreseen. An unexpected trip, books, or increased tuition are all things that can come up unexpectedly, often requiring a fast response. A personal loan can be just the thing for keeping your child’s education on track when unexpected educational expenses come up. 

Family Emergencies 

Sometimes, things happen with our families that we simply don’t expect. Bad things, such as illnesses, or even good things, like weddings and other happy occasions, can certainly arrive in our lives with little or no warning. When they do, borrowing funds to help you to help, or to celebrate, is often a great way to stay in touch and do your part. 

Emergency Pet Care 

We all love our pets. But, just as with people, accidents can befall them when we least expect it. Bad pet food can threaten a pet’s life, as can a roadside accident or long-term illness. Few people think about emergencies when adopting a pet, but emergencies do occur, and often we’re unprepared when they come our way. In times like these, a personal loan is a great bridge from bad times to good. 

Borrowing money can be a great way for you to get through situations that you’ve simply not anticipated. Be it an illness or an automotive disaster, emergencies do occur. Sometimes we all need a little help getting through situations we’re not prepared to handle. In times like these, borrowing can be a great tool to help us get through the rain and onwards to a bright, sunny tomorrow. 

This post is from our friends at  http://personalloan-singapore.sg/  If you ever find yourself in a bind in Singapore they can help.

Financial Freedom

How To Make Your Dreams Come True When Paying Down Debt

Dreams come true

So you are on the way to paying down your debt and you’re feeling good because you’re making progress toward your financial freedom. But what else are you doing during this time?

It can get boring just paying off debt each paycheck. So what do you do to make this time more exciting?

Well, you’re really focused on paying down the debt…so that’s good. What you need to do is adjust the focus so you also see the horizon. What are you going to do once you pay down the debt?

It’s going to be even more boring if you get to a destination and you have nothing to do.

Brain Fart

Write down everything that you want to do when your debt gets paid off. I mean everything, no matter the cost. Imagine there are no limits….because there won’t be.

After you have your dreams written down, prioritize them from what you want to do the most to the least. After the first 10 it probably doesn’t matter the order, so don’t waste your time on it until you get the first 10 actually completed.

Now, here’s what’s going to take up your in-between time and get you even more excited about getting out of debt.

Step-up

Start with number 1 and write out all of the steps it would take for you complete it.

Now get back to reality and see if it’s possible with out going backwards into debt. If all of the steps are physically possible (as in, don’t let your mind tell you it’s not) then move on to #2 on the list.

Google it

If there are steps that aren’t’ possible in reality then go to the best source for information….GOOGLE. That’s your number 1 resource.

Search for solutions to what’s making that step not possible. If it’s Money, then search for cheap/free alternatives to that step. If it’s fear, then search for people/blogs that have done that step and find out how they got over their fear….because everyone has fear.

If for some reason Google fails you then hit up Twitter and ask….people will help. If anything just ask me @FinanciallyPoor

The point is to find out that your dreams can come true and the only person stopping you….is you.

Once you have those top 10 figured out, Do Them. There should be a couple you can do before you even pay off your debt….Do them.

That will help you get through your waiting time and make your dreams come true.

Help other people make their dreams come true by Tweeting and Facebook sharing this post

Are your dreams possible? What steps are stopping you?

 

Business

Intellectual Property Basics to Keep in Mind

Dealing with intellectual property in the digital age, you need to make sure that you and your business are fully protected. Admittedly the laws have yet to catch up to the times but until they do, it’s good to work within the current framework and be mindful of other external variables.

Types of Intellectual Property

Legally speaking, there are four types:

  • Patents are inventions you register with the government. With this type of property, you get the right to exclude anyone else from marketing it or manufacturing it.
  • Trademarks are names, phrases, sounds, or symbols that are connected with your brand. Trademarks don’t have to be registered; companies wanting to stake their claim can affix the TM symbol to mark their territory.
  • Copyright are written or artistic expressions such as novels, poems, songs, and movies. The owner of the copyrighted work can reproduce it, make derivatives of the works, sell, perform or display it to the public. The work doesn’t need to be registered unless you’re going to sue for copyright infringement,
  • Trade secrets are formulas, patterns, devices, data compilations, anything that gives your company a competitive advantage. The trade secret is covered by state law and it must be shown that it adds value to the company, is a secret and is well safeguarded. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Coca Cola are examples of this.

Protecting your intellectual property whether you choose to form an LLC or just register DBA status means you have the taken the necessary steps to keep your intellectual capital safe. You just need to make sure that you have the necessary funds to do it as it can cost you tens of thousands in legal fees and may take years to fully materialize. If you’re adamant that this is the legal route to go then start the process early and make sure you have the right experts working for you.

Offshoring Risks

Just because your intellectual property is protected in one country, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe in others. In some countries forming an LLC with the belief that you are protected, you may be in for a shock. Countries like China that signed the TRIPS, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, agreement that asks countries protect the intellectual property of others, tends to regard foreign intellectual property as communal. It and India are two countries that are perceived as very corrupt, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Before introducing your intellectual property to a global audience, you need to take the necessary precautions which include protecting your important information, such as source code with strong access codes. Make sure you understand the legal system and culture of the countries. This will help you to negotiate contracts that favor your company best. Make sure that you maintain the originals of all of your documents, that way you have a sterile trail to follow if something goes wrong.

Minding Your DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was created back in 1998 before YouTube and the concept of content aggregation was commonplace. It protected sites where were encouraged to upload their creative material and provide content. The user who uploads the content must make it clear that they own the uploaded material or have permission from the copyright owner to share the content. If that’s not the case, the owner of the video would notify the site of the infringement and they would take down the material. There are specific steps that need to be taken but if your business is going to be running contests, then you need to make sure that you are away of DMCA and protect your business accordingly.

Intellectual property law can become a minefield no matter if you are the creator or the user. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business or you could be facing an expensive lesson one day.