Month : December 2015

Frugality

Making the Most of Spare Change

When you are one step away from being broke, it takes perseverance to keep your emotional spirits high, but also a little more. Once in a while, you need to treat yourself so that you do not get too down about your state of being. It might seem crazy to do so when you are struggling to make ends meet, but your emotional well-being is incredibly important. If you are feeling depressed, your decisions will not be beneficial to your long-term health.

But how can you afford to treat yourself when you are so close to the edge of financial insolvency? You need to find ways to get the same results of a big splurge with very little expense. It is going to take a little finagling, but with a little bit of research and dedication, you can treat yourself regularly while still sticking to your budget.

There are new services coming out all the time that will help you find the best deals on things you love. One such service is Groupon’s new Business Page service. In addition to being able to see a business’ basic information, like operating hours, location, and contact information, you can also preview the full menu. This goes a long way- once you step foot in a place you are less likely to leave and try somewhere else. If you only get to go out once in a great while, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and not feeling forced to eat somewhere just because you have already entered the building. You want to eat there because they offer exactly what you want.

What is more, Groupon’s new Business Page service helps you find the best deal on exactly what you are looking for. You are able to see coupons and discounts right on each business page whenever they are available. These coupons and discounts are updated regularly, so once you have found a place you are interested in, be sure to check back regularly to optimize your savings potential. In addition, you are shown surrounding businesses that might interest you. Those businesses might be food-related, or they could also show you complementary activities in the area. For example, you might decide that with your dinner out you would like to catch a movie, going for broke on this one splurge a month. Well, you don’t have to go broke! Groupon’s Business Pages will show you a nearby theater and all applicable discounts and coupons. If movies are not your thing, you are also shown things like nearby spas, adventure parks, bowling alleys… you get the picture. The best part is it will show you what the average cost is at each surrounding business, so no need to wonder how much a plate there would set you back.

Trying out a new service like this will save you cash in the long run. It is important to maintain your emotional well-being while going through this tough time. Even if it seems imprudent, treat yourself once in a while. You deserve it.

Frugality

Staying Healthy Even When Down

Even if you are low on cash, it is important to give your health top priority. In fact, this is especially the time to prioritize your health. If you decide not to take care of your health, you could end up in a worse state of affairs, not only physically, but financially as well. Consider your health as your most important investment fund. If you decide not to invest in your body, it could bankrupt you.

Many people consider their physical health as secondary to their financial well-being. While money is important, it is only a means to an end. The purpose of money is to support you and your lifestyle. And it will be used as a means to support you, should you slip into ill-health and need to use it.

Being an American, you really cannot afford to let your health slip away. Obesity is a pandemic in America today. It is costing $150 billion dollars a year. The average American pays $1,500 per year toward obesity related health care costs. These costs come in the form of medications, surgeries, hospitalizations, visits to the doctor’s office, and many other timely and painful formats.

When we talk about investing in your own well-being, it is easy to see why it is a good idea. First and foremost, your quality of life improves as you take care of your body. For every dollar you invest in yourself, you will receive dividends in the form of increased capability and a more positive outlook. As your confidence and abilities grow hand in hand, you will find new possibilities opening up to you left and right. Secondly, as you can see from the figure of $1,500, investing in your body is a sound investment plan. You are going to lose out big time if you let your health slip away from you. Health care is incredibly expensive in America.

If you are having trouble losing weight, consider some B12 injections to get your metabolism going again. No need to feel like it is cheating. You will still need to exercise, eat well, and take care of yourself. The idea behind the B12 injections is that some people genetically are predisposed to having their metabolism slow down. Those people can do all the exercises they want, eat healthy, and see no results. Sometimes our metabolism just takes a little jump start to get us going. After you begin the B12 series, you will find your metabolism picking up. Used wisely in conjunction with a more active lifestyle and healthier diet, you will see results quickly. This does not mean all of your weight will drop off immediately, but you will begin to see that progress is easily attainable and your goals are possible. And do not worry about the cost. This is such an easy investment decision! For as little as $50 you can reclaim your health. So much better than paying $1,500 and the price of diminished quality of life that comes with poor health. Take care of yourself- you deserve it.

Business

The Rarest Diamonds In The World

Cullinan Diamond IMG 9105

For over 60 years, De Beers has managed to convince jewellery lovers that diamonds mean love and should be treasured forever. In reality, it is coloured loose diamonds that are truly rare. Experts state that there is probably only one coloured diamond for every 100,000 D flawless stones, and it’s not necessarily flawless.

 diamond-colors

 

 

 

Colour equals price

Coloured diamonds are the most valuable in the world due to their exceptional rarity and beauty. If you’ve decided to invest in the coloured gems, be ready to pay unparalleled prices for red, green and blue diamonds. Purple, pink and violet diamonds are the following in rarity. Orange and olive diamonds belong to the next rarity – and price – level. These gems are followed by yellow, brown, grey, champagne, and black diamonds that are a bit more popular. 

Colour saturation and clarity

When it comes to coloured diamonds, clarity is a secondary factor, while the colour intensity is the dominant one.  Coloured diamonds are graded according to the saturation of colour and the hues presented in them. Depending on the colour saturation, the gems are graded Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid. The dominant colour is listed after the modifying colours.

Pink diamonds

Today, the Argyle mine is the world’s largest producer of unrivalled intense pink diamonds, providing about 95% of the entire pink diamond supply. The rarity of pink diamonds is “defined by Mother Nature” as only 40 carats of pink diamonds out of every 39.2 million carats of mined diamonds are estimated to be worthy of being presented for sale.

Once a year, pink diamonds are sold by special bids in the international VIP Pink Diamond Tender, organised by Argyle Diamonds.

Blue and green diamonds

Only limited quantities of blue and green diamonds are supplied by the Argyle Diamond Mine. Fancy blue diamonds come in a broad range of shades, from light blue to sapphire blue. The Blue Heart, weighing 30.82 carats, is one of the world’s rarest diamonds, deep blue in colour. Fancy green diamonds are usually not very deep in colour which gets even lighter during the fashioning of the gems.

The rarest diamonds in the world

Based on colour, the rarest diamond in the world is known as The Ocean Dream Diamond. It weighs only 5.51 carats but the diamond’s colour is unique – blue-green. The rarest diamond in the world based on size is the 3106.75-carat Cullinan Diamond which was cut in nine large chunks, 96 small ones and 9.5 carats of unpolished pieces and used in various British Crown jewels.

Among the rarest diamonds in the world one can also mention the reddish-brown 248.9-carat Earth Star, the white 559-carat Centenary Diamond, the fancy yellow 124.5-carat Golden Eye Diamond, the fancy deep blue 115-carat Hope Diamond, and others. 

Money Management

Great Money Saving Techniques

The old adage says that rich is the man who always saves. But when the paycheck arrives sometimes it disappears, like a magic. It goes in the house payment, credit cards, clothing for children, repair and maintenance, etc.. So how can we save if we do not even have the money?

The money has to be put first, know where it comes from and where it goes, how it moves and where they usually stay. If you know this too well, then learn to control it.

How to start saving? Right now, have a cup of coffee, look for a notebook, a simple calculator, and a pencil eraser. Start writing at the top of the page with the following headings:

Date, Income, Expense, Explanation

Then comes the more difficult task: writing income and expenses for the last month. Surely we need to find the bank statements and credit cards for this. Let’s start writing income: wages, interest, family support, etc.. And then the expenses, cash advance payments, bills, etc.. If we have forgotten the details, we can at least write down the total amount of cash withdrawn from the bank, but not until next month when we will know exactly where we spend it. Doing the monotonous task may be tedious but it will surely help you know where your money went and how to trim down your expenses next time.

This analysis will conclude when we add all the income and expenses of the month, and define where the money went and where it came. In the end, we will have a sheet that states every cash transaction we made.

To summarize:

–          Do an analysis of income and expenses

–          Prepare a monthly budget

–          Find ways to lower costs and increase revenue

This work may be very difficult but we all need to re-examine our consumption habits and try to live more frugally. Unfortunately, many health professionals are concerned that the health of Americans will begin to deteriorate for more reasons than just the stress of economic problems. As people begin to cut on food costs, many may end up eating what has traditionally been regarded as a good source of cheap calories: junk food, which could result in worsening of the obesity epidemic that afflicts us, just when medical costs are rising alarmingly.

Numerous studies have linked low incomes with less healthy eating habits, but this should not be the case. There are many easy ways to eat healthy and still save money. A simple way to do this is to reduce the amount of animal products in the diet, as they tend to be much more expensive than plant foods. The cheapest kind of meat is ground beef, but it is also the least healthy and secure. The cost of making meals with food animals could easily reach $ 10 per person per day or more.

Eating out is also a very expensive habit, except perhaps for the least healthy of all: fast food. Incredibly, despite the economic crisis we face, McDonald seems resistant to the effects of the recession. Even in New York, gourmet restaurants are beginning to offer burgers on their menu to attract customers who otherwise would opt for the nearest burger joint to feed themselves.

However, if you want to save money without losing your health, try to consume the staples that have been used in difficult times through human history: potatoes, beans, legumes, soups, carrots, rice, etc., what some call “a diet for the new economic depression.” Legumes and grains can be purchased in bulk and stored for long periods of time. What about fruits and vegetables? Try to buy in the greengrocers or outdoor markets, rather than in the supermarkets.

Now why do we emphasize on food  to save money? Because food is a need. Unlike the material things we buy which we can live without, we cannot live without food. We spend a lot of money on food without realizing it, because we do not count how much money we spend on food as it is a necessity. But if you come up with a financial statement that records all your expenses, you will see how much food costs you.

While other great money saving techniques all sound too familiar, choosing what kind of food to eat to save money is one saving technique that has been overlooked. You have nothing to lose choosing the greener and healthier food stuff, only a saving’s gain in your piggy bank.

About the Author:

Mackenzie Salis is a freelance writer, a professional blogger and an enthusiast advocating finance awareness via online exposures for 3 years. She is the author of the site: OnlinePaydayLoansGuide that can provide all valuable information about loans and warn you against fraud online.

Debt Management

Avoiding Interruptions In Your Debt Payoff

Paying off debt requires persistence and dedication. Sometimes in the process of getting the upper hand on what we owe, we can run into situations that threaten to derail our strategy. Some are of our own doing, others are external. Let’s review some of each.

Dealing With Lost-Work Injuries

Let’s face it. No matter what other strategies you have to manage your debt, the only way you can pay it off is to remain gainfully employed. And when you are doing everything right but end up off work because of someone else’s mistake, the damage to your life can extend far beyond a few weeks of missed paychecks. Indeed, everything you’ve been doing to try to improve your financial situation can be undone as quickly as a car can run a stoplight.

How do you respond when this happens to you? You can’t let an injury leave you off work with no money coming in. If you do, a vicious cycle can result in which you hurry back to work before you’re fully recovered. You then re-injure yourself and end up off work again, and so you hurry back to work again, and on and on.

This can’t go on. Mike Pines has represented many injured people who ended up without a paycheck because someone else was reckless. His background in the insurance industry makes him uniquely qualified to confirm the importance of recovering money for lost wages when you’re hurt. If you don’t pursue reparations for the full cost of your injury, your entire financial future is in jeopardy.

Avoiding New Debt

This may seem a little too obvious for someone already struggling to pay off existing obligations. But thanks to the availability of your credit score to would-be lenders, your mailbox may contain daily temptations to consolidate debts by taking out new loans.

You must resist those calls for your attention. Most local banks, employer credit unions, and other local lenders who know you better are a much better option for simplifying a jumble of loans and credit cards. The mail-based offers will feature sky-high interest rates, hidden fees, and interminable payoff calendars. You may think you’re doing better by cutting your payments drastically, but you will be stuck paying on it for much longer. Your total payout will be much more by adding all those extra months.

If you really are struggling to make payments, chances are you’ve checked elsewhere for better options. If you’re only looking at something new because of a flashy piece of mail, do yourself a favor and trash it. Remember, the best debt is the one you never owe.

Bring Home (Extra) Bacon

When you’re just barely making payments, it is much better to expand your income than to try to shrink your payments. For those who are already worked to the max, of course, this isn’t an option. Your health, your family, and your performance at your existing employer(s) demand that you have some amount of down time.

But if you’re just trailing along at 40 or 50 hours of work per week and you’d like to get more aggressive in your payments, investigate some options for other work. Maybe you could perform services through your own business, such as cutting grass. Some people have elderly or ill neighbors who can’t mow their own, and they’ll gladly pay the neighbor to do it for them.

There are also freelance writing jobs, part-time work on night shifts, and there really is legitimate online work. Again, ignore unsolicited offers on email or ads and take the initiative to find reputable employers yourself.

Living in debt is unpleasant. It can dominate your every thought, sapping all the enjoyment from your life. The faster you cut it loose, the faster you can enjoy your friends, family, and work. Do what it takes to speed up your payoff, and get ready to enjoy living again!