Wednesday, June 22, 2016

3 Unintentional Credit Lessons from Our National Government

For better or for worse, governments lead by example. Unless you live in seclusion on a remote desert island, you’ve probably noticed that our government has given us a prime example of how not to handle one’s finances. If you’ve accumulated a bit of credit card debt, you need only look at our nation’s deficit spending, corporate greed, and irresponsible lending practices for shining examples of what you do not want to become.

Think of your wallet as the national government writ small. It’s a microcosm of the global financial market and demands the same consideration — lest your credit score sink like George W’s approval rating. These are the questions you should ask before you charge in with cards ablazin’: “Should I spend this money?” “Is the purchase a need or a want?” “Can I really afford it?” “How will I pay the money back?”

Lesson #1: Credit Cards are NOT Free Money

It’s frightening how quickly we’re indoctrinated into the “charge now, pay later” culture. For example, after watching an ad for some randomly cool item on television, my seven year old daughter rushed over and asked me to buy it. “Sorry,” I said. “We can’t afford it right now.” Her answer? “So put it on your credit card!”

Hmm. Her idea reminded me of a certain man who used borrowed money to pay for a very expensive war. Too many of us take the second grader’s approach to financial management. We see something we want right now, and we don’t want to spend time saving up for it. Since credit cards are little plastic rectangles of instant gratification, we often use them to buy things we can’t really afford. Which brings us to Lesson 2…

Lesson #2: Don’t Live Beyond Your Means

Did I really need to say that out loud? Yeah, probably. I’ve known people with four-bedroom, three-bath McMansions who couldn’t keep their electricity turned on. (Isn’t that what got us into this mortgage mess in the first place?)

The sad truth is that, unless you were born into money (or managed to earn a lot along the way), you can’t have everything. Really; there’s a lot of stuff out there, so it’s important to prioritize. Living within your means is all about balancing your income and your lifestyle. If you want to live larger, you’ll need more money to do so. Real money. Not the plastic stuff.

For a real wake-up call, track your spending for a whole month. Write down everything. No latte shall go unreported, nor shall any vending machine purchase, no matter how desperately needed it was at the time. When you reach the end of this experiment, you’ll be floored by how expensive “cheap” convenience purchases really are.

It’s time to prioritize! Do you really need that gourmet coffee every morning, or would you rather brew your own and save enough money to start a high-yield savings account? It sounds cliché, but that’s only because it’s true: small sacrifices add up to big rewards.

Lesson #3: You Have to Know When to Stop

If you keep borrowing money to pay off your other debt obligations, your financial reputation will be harmed. A study from life: The United States has borrowed so much money that China is worried about our ability to pay it all back. Lenders will wonder the same thing about you if they see that you’ve maxed out your credit cards but still want more.

Instead, be proactive. If you’re having trouble making payments, put a moratorium on all credit card spending until you’ve paid down your balances. The goal is to keep your debt under 25% of your total available credit. Each individual card should have no more than 30% of its credit limit taken up by purchases. It’s best to have lots of available credit, but no debt.

Take your minimum monthly payment, a number that was never intended to help you become debt-free, and pay double every month. Triple if you can. That’s what it will take to get lenders to speak to you again.

Climbing out of the debt hole can be exhausting and make you feel deprived, but remember that it’s a temporary process. How awesome will it be when you don’t have any credit card payments to drain away your income?

It’s sad but true: you are neither the auto industry nor the financial sector. There won’t be a bailout for you unless you decide to bail yourself out. But if you take these lessons to heart, you’ll be out of debt way before our national government. Take that as a sort of consolation prize. Good luck!

Sources:

– Janna Weiss, CreditorWeb.Com

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3 Underrated Classic Rock Albums from the Early 1970s

Deep Purple- Burn (1974)

After the classic lineup of Deep Purple broke up, many fans lost interest. The lead singer who belted hits like Highway Star, Space Truckin, and Strange Kind of Woman had left along with the bassist. The remaining three members of the band had other plans. They replaced Ian Gillan with David Coverdale, Roger Glover with Glenn Hughes, and hammered out an album called Burn. It must have been easy for fans to pass by this album in record stores saying, “Their singer left, they must be over the hill.” However, Coverdale proved to be a strong replacement as a frontman and Hughes was a vocalist as well. The songs on Burn are as strong, if not stronger and more dynamic than previous Deep Purple records. The band sounds like they are having fun while incorporating more funk and blues than records like Machine Head. Underrated and definitely worth checking out!

Harry Nilsson- Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Nilsson is often overlooked in general, but he’s also normally seen as a pop singer rather than a classic rock artist. However, this album could be considered both a classic rock album and a great pop album. You’ve probably heard, “Coconut” in some commercial or heard a silly cover of it (not to say the original isn’t silly), but be honest: you most likely didn’t know who the heck wrote that song. Well, it was Harry Nilsson and it’s on one of his more popular albums, which is still very underrated. Songs like “Down”, “Let The Good Times Roll” and the blazing “Jump Into The Fire” prove Nilsson of classic rocknotoriety. Do yourself a favor and burn a copy of this album for a road trip.

Tommy Bolin- Teaser (1975)

Tommy Bolin is probably best known for his brief work with Deep Purple as Ritchie Blackmore’s replacement, but he put out great records before joining Deep Purple. Private Eyes was more successful than his debut, Teaser, but all that does is make Teaser more underrated and therefore more of a gem for classic rockconnoisseurs. Chunkier riffs are present in songs like “The Grind” and the title track, and there is also softer, larger sounding anthems like “Wild Dogs” and “Dreamer.” The entire album has an incredible energy and very natural production which makes it very easy to ease into and fall in love with. Check it out! You won’t regret giving this album a try!

What are some of your favorite underrated classic rock albums of the early 70s?

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3 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Next to Nothing

Advertising and promoting your business can be difficult for several reasons, one of these could be funds for marketing, advertising and promotion (or lack of those funds)

So here are a few ways you can promote your business and get noticed for virtually nothing. These ideas are not sugar coated, they just get straight to the point about how you can advertise your business on a tight or minuscule budget.

1. Write out and send your own press releases.

This is brilliant for targeting both the local and national media and press. Create a press release to shout about your business, why it is so good, and why people should buy your products or services. In your press release include, who, what when, why and where. Ensure your press release is attention grabbing news, and not sales blurb, or else it will end up in the bin. Get contact details for editors and reporters and away you go. Keep track of all the press release you send out and what results were achieved. Remember to only send out press releases when you have news, or something of interest.

2. Write articles.

Articles are an effective free way of telling people about your business. Write about or around topics that your business covers, become an expert in your field, include your businesses information and contact details at the end of each result you get, and you should see favourable results. Remember don’t just write about nothing, this is not good, its not interesting to read, and it wastes both your time and your potential customers time (who might be totally turned off by your useless and unhelpful articles).

3. Undertake piggy back marketing.

Is there an established business, a company or service that you could join forces with. Remember your business, its products and services should compliment the other business, and they should definitely be in competition. Undertaking piggyback marketing can be very cost and time effective, as you will be researching an established customer base, and you will have a brand and essentially an A* reputation as a platform for your own businesses and products.

Whatever type of piggy back marketing you offer, for example giving away freebies, you will almost certainly benefit. Remember provide, give and supply something that is marketable and desirable and you should not have a problem finding a company or business to piggyback on/join forces with. Remember you will be scratching their back and they will be really helping you out!

These are just 3 ideas/opportunities you can use, put into action or try out to advertise your business.

Remember that advertising, marketing and promoting a business is not a one off event, and it will not make your business an overnight success. You need to keep at it if you want to any sort of measurable, physical or tangible results.

You really have got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Good Luck in everything you do, I hope you have found this article useful.

Tags:3 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Next to Nothing

3 Volunteering Opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the society and the community. According to the article,Why Volunteer published by the University of Missouri, “People and societies co-depend on each other for survival. We can bridge the expanding gap between communities and societies through volunteering.” It’s all about taking the extra -step and making a difference in someone’s life. Wilmington, Delaware offers several volunteering opportunities for interested residents.

Volunteering Opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware: Connecting Generations

Connecting Generations is a non-profit organization that provides free mentoring program supported by the Delaware’s Department of Education. Founded in 1990, the organization’s mission is “to build communities of learning and respect in which young and old alike can develop to their fullest potential.” Among the several programs they host, one of them is the Creative Mentoring, which supports in-school mentoring programs in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties of Delaware. Volunteers spend an hour every week with a student in a school, training and helping them realize their full potential.

Connecting Generations
100 W. 10th St.
Suite 1115
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 656.2122
connecting-generations.org

Volunteering Opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware: Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Children’s Hospital

NemoursAlfred I. duPontis one of the leading pediatric health care providers. Volunteers assist Child Life Specialists in the Activity Center and at nursing units. They can become a part of the Read Aloud Delaware and spend time reading to the children. Along with that, supporting families help with the front desk, emergency and surgical services.

Every year, the hospital runs a Summer High School Volunteer Program. Interested volunteers must be able to spend seven out of nine weeks of the program. They spend half-day in clinical support and the other half in clerical assistance.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Children’s Hospital
1600 Rockland Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 651-4000
nemours.org

Volunteering Opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware: Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition

Founded in 1991, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is one of the many avenues offering volunteering opportunities in Wilmington. Now a non-profit organization, it believes in “serving to raise awareness of breast health issues in Delaware through outreach, education and support to help facilitate early detection and treatment of breast cancer.” They implement several programs to meet the exclusive needs of different women. The organization trains medical professionals on providing care and conducts educational sessions for the public. Volunteers help with health fairs, office mailings, fundraisings and participating in their peer-mentor program.

Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc.
111 W. 11th St.
Suite 3
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 778-1102
debreastcancer.org

For more volunteering opportunities in Wilmington Delaware, visit Volunteer Delaware.

Source(s):
University of Missouri
AI duPont Children’s Hospital
Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc.
Connecting Generations

Tags:3 Volunteering Opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware

3 New Uses for a Vintage Potbelly Stove

Your vintage potbelly stove and vintage wood stoves can be reused in new ways around the house and outside in the yard. Vintage wood stoves and vintage potbelly stoves make great home décor; so don’t pass up that great piece at the local flea market just because of a little rust!

Planter

If your pot belly stove or old wood stove is missing parts, is too rusted out, or simply can no longer be used for its original purple, then try turning it into a planter. This is a fun and whimsical look you can us inside or outside.

In many case pot belly stoves will come part into 2 main pieces, the top half and the bottom half. If you can remove the top, then do that. A terra cotta pot can be placed inside the bottom and a plant added.

If the top has small holes, like burners, then try pulling those add. Small terra cotta pots or plastic pots can be slid into the holes and plants added that way.

Now, if the top is solid and the stove is not coming apart, then use the top as a shelf to rest plants in planters or baskets! Too cute!

Fire Pit

Now, if you can find a pot belly stove that does come apart into a top half and a bottom half, then you are in real luck. So, go ahead and take off the top. You will be left with a cute bottom half that is rounded with legs.

Since the potbelly stove or wood stove is meant for fires all you need to do s add the logs and start the fire! Be sure to place this on a level surface and never on a wood deck!

Fountain

Finally, try buying a fountain kit at your local home improvement store. You can use any rusted out holes in the bottom of the potbelly store to run the piping through to install the kit!

This is one time the rusted holes are an asset instead of a detriment!

Tips for this one include:

Seal the surface of yoru iron pot belly stove. Water and iron will rust! So, apply about 6 coats of a clear oil based polyurethane to the stove. Allow each coat to dry before the next one is applied.

You may also want to start the whole process any sanding off any rust on the stove to begin what. Then paint on a coat of oil based black paint. Now, start adding those coat of clear oil based polyurethane. Your whimsical fountain will last for years!

Tags:3 New Uses for a Vintage Potbelly Stove

3 Uses for Fresh Mint

Mint is a delicious smelling herb that can be dried for later use once you get it home from the shops by tying it in bunches and leaving it in the sun to dry. Alternatively, mint can be used in a variety of recipes while it is still fresh for a fragrant, tasty meal.

Minty Cannelloni

Pasta is a great comfort food and works well all year round as a hearty family meal. Liven up the taste of cannelloni by replacing basil and oregano with fresh mint in your next batch. Add a generous portion of roughly chopped mint to the pan once you have cooked the meat and pasta sauce and before you assemble the cannelloni. Fresh mint also tastes great added to a vegetarian cannelloni. Add according to taste, as mint is very very powering.

Greek Food

Fresh mint is used as a staple herb alongside parsley and coriander in many Greek and Greek-Cypriot inspired dishes such as keftethes (Greek meatballs), and koubebia (stuffed vine leaves). The benefit of adding fresh mint to these dishes is that they usually sit before they are assembled and then cooked, which allows the keftethes and koubebia time to absorb the wonderful fragrance of the fresh mint. Roughly or finely chop the fresh mint according to preference and then fold or stir the mint into the ingredients, so that it is all covered in mint.

Quiche

Eggs can always do with a little “pick me up” when they are cooked to bring out the other ingredients of the dish. One way to do that is to add fresh mint to a quiche. Mint works well with a lot of vegetables, including cauliflower, carrots, and especially peas, so if you are including any of these ingredients in your quiche, fresh mint will instantly complement the vegetables.

Fresh mint has endless uses in the kitchen, but it works very well in pasta dishes such as cannelloni, Greek and Greek-Cypriot dishes and also in egg-based dishes such as quiche. Chop mint finely for a more intensive taste, or roughly chop it, according to preference.

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3 Unusual Dishes for Leftover Turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas means getting together with friends or family. We look at all the food and wonder how to use leftover turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas. We talk, eat and swap stories. When the holiday is over we almost always have leftovers.

Turkey is great but there are only so many sandwiches you can make before you get tired of it. We’ve all heard about using it in casseroles, tetrazzini and other typical dishes. Sometimes we want something a little more unique for our leftover turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

That’s where this list can help. Each of these dishes are a little more unusual than the standard uses for leftovers. Hopefully you’ll find an idea that your family will like.

Idea #1
Barbeque Sandwiches are an unusual dish for the holiday that makes tasty meal. Once you make the barbeque you can use it on sandwiches or as a main dish. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make. Here’s how you can use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas to make barbeque.

Remove the turkey from the bone. Place several pieces of turkey in an appropriate sized bowl. The mixture will cook down so use more than you think you will need. Use two forks and pull the pieces of turkey apart to shred it. Put this into a small pot, add enough water to moisten and turn it on medium heat. Pour in your favorite barbeque sauce and simmer until warm.

Idea #2
Instead of chicken, use leftover from Thanksgiving or Christmas to make a turkey salad mixture. Cut turkey into small chunks. Toss in some sliced celery, pieces of boiled egg and some pickles (optional). Mix with mayonnaise until you are satisfied with the consistency. Serve on a croissant or bread or put a scoop on a bed of lettuce.

Idea #3
Why not try turkey with bacon and cheese for a meal? Take a slice of turkey, add cooked crumbled bacon and top with a slice of swiss cheese. Pop it under the broiler until warm and the cheese begins to melt. Remove and serve immediately. This is good on a sandwich or served on a plate with vegetables.

With these 3 unusual dishes for leftover Turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas your family may want it more often.

Source:
Personal experience

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