When It Pays To Be Financially Savvy

Money is something that affects us all throughout our lives. It can often be difficult making the most of what we have, especially when it feels as though that isn’t much. But no matter what kind of financial situation you might find yourself in, you need to be sure that you can make the most of that situation possible. As it turns out, there are a few certain times in life when it is particularly important to be as financially savvy as possible. In this article, we are going to look at what some of those occasions might be. Knowing this will help you to better prepare when those situations come around in your own life, and that will mean that you are more able to deal with the various financial problems which might arise as a result of those situations. Let’s take a look at when it really pays to be financially savvy.

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Leaving Home

When it comes to the various rites of passage which we all have to go through, this has to be one of the most emotional and, therefore, often the most difficult. On top of everything else that one needs to deal with t this point, there is also the financial element, and that is often extremely hard to get right. It is often when you leave home that you really need to start thinking about your own finances, how you are going to make them better, and what you can do to ensure that you do not need to return home at any point in the near future. It is a good idea to start thinking about some of the good habits that you should try to pick up, as before long they will become very important indeed. Of these, there is much to b learned, and that is mostly what makes this particular rite of passage so important for many young people.

For the first time, you will need to think about things like household bills and how to keep them down, how to learn to shop around for the best deals on everyday items and goods, and other aspects of that nature. These are all things which can take a long time to learn, and it is important not to give yourself a hard time if you have trouble at first. With time, however, you will find that the lessons you need to learn pretty much just appear and as when they are necessary, and having this approach enables you to understand them a lot better. Leaving home can be surprisingly stressful, but it is also one of the most exciting times – for you and your financial understanding of things.

Buying A Home

This might not be happening as you leave home, of course, but when it does happen it proves to be one of the most important occasions for a strong financial resolve. Buying a home is one of the most stressful situations that anyone can go through. Even if you have experience in it, you will find that it is always a little stressful. For most people, a property is the biggest purchase they will ever make, so there is little surprise that it can be something of a headache. If you are in the situation of buying a home, it pays to take your time and get to know the ins and outs of the whole process long before you sign your name anywhere.

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There are many such processes, of course, and you will soon find that it is much more complex than you initially had thought. But as long as you are keen to keep your head above water, you will find that you can, as long as you know where to look in the process. Whether you are looking at a condominium for sale or a grand mansion, you will want to ensure that you have the necessary funds to make it happen. This could mean that you can afford the whole yourself, or that you are in a strong enough position to get a decent mortgage. Either way, you should ensure that you remain financially sensible, as this will help you along the process hugely. If there is any time that it pays to be financially savvy, it is when you are making the biggest purchase of your life.

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Buying A Car

Although it is on a significantly smaller scale than buying a home, going out to purchase a car is still an important rite of passage which requires a steady head and a strong understanding of the finances involved. When you are buying a car, you mostly want to ensure that you are genuinely financially ready for the purchase. The good news about buying a car, of course, is that you have so many options. If you really want to cheap it out, you can buy an old car second-hand. These are significantly cheaper, and can still be as reliable and enjoyable to drive, if not more so. But if you are determined to have a new car, then you still have a number of options – and knowing those options will help you greatly. You might consider getting a vehicle on finance, for example, meaning that you pay it off little by little over a number of years. This can be a sensible way to ensure that you still end up with a car you love, and it can mean that you keep your monthly finances in order as much as possible. For many people, buying a new car outright is impossible, so it is good that such options exist. However you do it, make sure that you bear in mind not just the cost of the vehicle itself, but any and all ongoing costs which you might need to consider. That way, you are unlikely to get caught out by something that you have forgotten to consider.

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Becoming A Student

It is often a very good idea to learn as much as possible, but being in higher education is not always the best thing for your bank account. Fortunately, with a savvy approach to it all you can make much more of the situation than you might think. You could consider taking on part-time work, for example, particularly if you are keen on bringing in as much money as possible while you study. Or you might simply decide that you will make a difference to your finances by living as cheaply as possible, as many students do. It is also worth looking into the various ways that you can save money on your books and other things required for the education itself. Save on the essentials and cut out the rest, and you will be in a strong position as you progress through your education.

Getting A New Job

Whenever you land a new job, or you rise higher in the ranks at your current place of employment, it is usually a good opportunity to look at your finances and see if there is anything that could be improved upon. As a rule, getting a new job is a good time to check that you are paying the right amount of tax, and this is something that alone can make a huge difference to your yearly finances and your monthly paychecks. You should also think about whether the job you have is genuinely enough for the kind of life you want to lead and the sort of outgoings you tend to have. Making your work line up with your lifestyle is tricky, but it is also essential if you want to be as financially secure as possible. It is well worth looking into this and ensuring that you have got it as right as you possibly can. That way, you will feel much more secure in your current job, and that will help things out greatly.

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Shopping

Whether you are shopping for those home essentials or just treating yourself, knowing how to find a bargain and how to spend less in general is always going to be hugely beneficial, so it is a good idea to try your best to learn those very skills as soon as possible. As a rule, you should be sure to always take the time to shop around as much as you can – it is only by shopping around that you will be sure you have found the best prices for everything, and that is the most important part of keeping your finances secure as you shop. But you should also make sure that you are only buying when it is really necessary too – or, in the case of frivolities and treats, that you only shop for those things once in a while. So long as you do that, you should find that your finances are kept relatively intact, and that you can still get all the things that you would like to have in life.

There is no reason that being financially secure means you have to sacrifice your enjoyment of the little things in life.

Mother’s Day coming up!

mothers-dayThere are a number of advertisements on television, print, and even around the city through billboards reminding us that Mother’s Day is coming up. My mom has long been gone from this world but I still think of what I would have given her if she had been still with us now. Probably, floral tops as she’s very fond of those.

So, what are you giving your mother? If you haven’t thought of one yet, click here for a great deal. Well, if she’s into music and all that.

There are so many things that we can give our mothers that I am sure you will find something for her, no matter what her current mood is. There are clothes, accessories, kitchen stuff, baking stuff, gift certificates to spa and salon, and so much more.

Supporting Crisis Through Transformation

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Supporting change – image thanks to bipolarcaregivers.org

Watching a loved one go through a crisis, at any age, is painful and confusing, particularly if it changes the dynamic of your relationship and you are unsure how to cross the divide and help them. For the person experiencing that crisis it is like an earthquake has happened and they are left clutching to any small piece of solid ground they can find as their lives shift and fall apart. It can feel quite scary for those involved as they begin to question their lives and even their own mind. But a crisis doesn’t have to be a negative experience or an end. If given the right room and support you can both come through the process transformed and stronger for facing change together. If you are in crisis or know someone who is, read on for some ideas on how to give change a chance for a more positive outcome.

  • Rebadge it – the word crisis has negative connotations around breaking, falling apart and pain. This often overspills into personal relationships as you both try and cope with the fear and insecurity that change can bring. However a crisis doesn’t have to be about a break if you can see the process as a positive transformation. Transformation is part of life and so a positive step you can take to support a period of crisis is to focus on the positive aspects of change and transformation so that it can bring you closer together.
  • Let go – your instincts might be to hold on tight to the loved one going through this period of change and try and be there for them at all times. Sometimes though this can do more damage than good. This is a time of self-reflection and exploration and this can only be done positively if your loved one is given the space to do it. Try and avoid putting any timescale on it or imposing your boundaries; allow your partner to lead the way and support them by letting go with compassion. You can then be there for when they feel they are ready for your support.
  • Stay healthy – this is important for both of you. It is easy at this time to fall into negative health patterns such as drinking and drugs to try and escape the reality of the situation. This can be very dangerous however as this can lead to feelings of dependency and substance abuse. If you think you or your partner might have dependency issues you should consider drug and alcohol rehab so that you can face this process without any barriers. For strength of body and mind you could take up a relaxing hobby such as yoga, which when practiced together has the added benefit of bringing you closer both body and soul.

Remember this is an important period of your lives together and could be the defining moment of your relationship. Change is inevitable but when approached with an open mind, heart and inquiry it can build strength and resilience that is both joyous and everlasting.

Don’t Worry, Be Appy: Making Money Through Mobile Apps

There’s a misconception that the only people who can launch an app into the mobile app stores and make money are the tech geniuses. This is not correct. Plenty of people without technical expertise have made an app and brought in some extra money! What’s more important that your tech savviness is the quality of your idea and how determined you are to make it a reality! Here are a few considerations to get you going on the way to app success.

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What’s Your Crazy Idea?

First thing’s first: what is your crazy idea? OK, it doesn’t have to be crazy, but it should be original. And if not original, then at least a big improvement on an idea that has come before. If you think of an app that you would love to have but which doesn’t yet exist, you might be onto something good. So get your thinking caps on!

Is There a Market?

Of course, you’re only one person. If you think it’s a good idea then you’re guaranteed to have…at least one download. Do other people think it’s a good idea? Before you put the time into developing an app, conduct thorough market research to determine whether there’s a need or desire for your idea. It’ll save a lot of time and effort if you discover there isn’t before you get to work.

Now Don’t Get Carried Away…

Once we have our light bulb idea, there is sometimes a tendency to get carried away and make our original idea just the starting point for our app. Before we know it, we have an app with feature after feature that has…virtually no use to anyone. Don’t go overboard when it comes to planning what will be included in your app and the design. Think small. People download apps like crazy anyway so you don’t have to oversell it; if it’s a good idea, they will come.

Into Development and Killing the Bugs

If you have technical skills, you may be able to develop the app yourself. If you don’t, you’ll want to get an app development team on board to help turn your ideas into a reality. Once the app has been built, you’ll want to test it thoroughly for bugs and other errors using the tools listed on https://www.qasymphony.com/blog/100-plus-best-software-testing-tools/. Apart from design and features, your app’s reliability will be the biggest factor in determining whether it’s a success.

Ready to Launch

Once you’re ready to launch you’ll need to set up accounts with the stores. Take a look at https://blog.kissmetrics.com/11-mobile-app-pitfalls/ and then launch. Once it’s out there, you won’t be able just to sit back – now’s the time to evaluate how people are interacting with your app and whether you can improve any aspects. You can do this by monitoring analytics and feedback from your users. Then it’ll be over to you to look at rolling out more features to keep interest in your app alive after the initial download. Your app should always be evolving!

Don’t Let These 3 Things Stop You From Following Your Dreams

It’s safe to say that most of us have ambitions in our lives. Even if you don’t recognize them as ambitions, you probably still have daydreams and thoughts about what you want to do with your life and what you hope to achieve. However, for far too many people these ideas remain just that: dreams. There are plenty of reasons why such a great majority of us give up on our ambitions or don’t even pursue them at all in the first place. Read on for a few example of these and what you can do to get over them – so your dreams can become a reality.

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Money

Money is the lifeblood that governs the world and our modern way of living. We owe it a lot for the things it enables us to do – but it can also stand in the way of many opportunities. With money being finite for the vast majority of us, a lot of people live in fear of running out of it. If your dream is to start your own business, for example, you will know that you require a certain amount of money to do that with in the first place. As there is always a risk that your business may not become fruitful, the fear of losing your money may stop you from following through with this plan. No one wants to go from being financially independent to wondering where your next meal will come from, especially if you have a family to provide for. However, financial help can sometimes come from unexpected places. Take a look at the J.G. Wentworth structured settlement review and see if you could access a lump sum of money by selling off your structured settlement. You may also be able to make some certain lifestyle changes that result in you having a lot more cash left over at the end of each month – cash that you can put towards investing in your dream.

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Fear

Humans have competed for centuries, and this natural trait goes right back to when we were primates. However, the apparent difference is that now we are competing for jobs and material success, rather than for food or a mate. The principal remains the same though, and it is commonly accepted that no one wants to fail. Consider, though, how much attention you pay to another person’s supposed ‘failures’? It probably isn’t nearly as much as you pay towards your own. If you are ever worried that other people will judge you on your failures, simply remember that they are probably far too busy thinking about themselves to care! Plus, if you view your failures as learning curves, you will stop fearing them so much, and that’s when you can make real progress.

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Laziness

Despite all the competition we see in society today, many of us have still managed to become inherently lazy. Technology like television and video games have helped to spawn a whole generation of sofa-dwellers, meaning a lot of people are reluctant to get up and make stuff happen. Overcoming your laziness will require a few lifestyle changes, so try and make a point of waking up early and exercising, among other things. You will start the day feeling more energized, and this will help fuel your motivation to get out there and achieve your goals.

How To Put Yourself First

We all have to deal with a lot of pressure in our day to day life, and over time this leads us to prioritize other things ahead of our personal wellbeing. Of course, there are some responsibilities we have to take on; caring for sick relatives, handling a project at work, and honoring any other commitments we have made. But how long can you keep putting everything else first before your health is impacted?

There is a reason why airline safety dictates that you should put your own gas mask on first before assisting others; you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. Here are a few ways you can take a little time for yourself, without dropping the ball on your other commitments.

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Do up to an hour of exercise per day

Your free time can vary per day, so make a plan to do between 15 and 60 minutes of exercise per day. Shut the world out by focusing on yourself, your routine, and your breathing. You can set aside some time first thing in the morning, just before you go to bed, or even in the afternoon before you start dinner. As an added benefit, exercise will give you more energy to cross things off your list. This will be better for your body than increasing your caffeine intake or taking something stronger (if you have any queries about energy and performance enhancements, get your questions answered here).

Delegate

You can’t take on everything at once. You will burn out. When you do, there will be no one who knows how to take over, because you’ve taken on a bulk of the work. The best way to make sure you have more time for yourself is to let someone else take on some of the load. If you’re caring for a sick relative, call in another family member to take shifts, or get some professional help. Form a support network of people who can take care of your children in case of an emergency, such as a spouse, neighbor, or regular babysitter. Ask for help at work if you’re struggling with a project, or turn down an extra assignment if you’re not required to do it.

Rekindle your love for your hobbies

There was a time when you read a new book every week, went shopping every weekend, or took pride in cooking a new dish for your family. Hobbies aren’t just a good way to pass the time; they are a way for us to relax and relieve stress. When was the last time you met a colleague for drinks and didn’t talk about work? When did you last go on a coffee date with your partner? What was the last book you read from cover to cover?

As with your exercise, set out some time each day to rekindle your love for your hobbies, even if you just take a book with you to read on the bus to work.

Finally, remember that you are important.

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Jobs That Can Affect Your Sleep: Adapting to a Difficult Work Schedule

We all know sufficient sleep is important. However, some jobs disrupt normal sleep cycles or make it so workers cannot adopt a regular sleep schedule. Adaption is one’s main tool against inconsistent sleeping patterns. Don’t accept unstable sleep; a number of apps, therapies, and professionals are ready to help those counterbalance the demands of work. Here’s how to make the most of irregular sleep.

Airplane Pilot

Pilots must be alert to operate a large aircraft. Moreover, flights get delayed, there are layovers, and flights pass through multiple time zones. It’s incredibly difficult for the body to grow used to such change. However, pilots can compensate for the irregularity by taking naps whenever they can. Some trust they will feel a lot better after a ‘power nap’ consisting of about one hour.

CEO

Businesses may have normal operating hours but those in charge know that business never sleeps. Chief executive officers often sacrifice winks to put in more effort towards marketing, speaking with clients, forging partnerships, etc. CEOs can become especially manic during periods of great revenue production or losses of investment. Such intensity should be diluted with regular days off and vacation time.

Production

Those involved in varieties of production, whether it be toys, cars, furniture, etc, work long hours and do not enjoy sufficient rest. In many cases, it’s lucrative to work longer hours and shifts that last more than 12 hours. What’s worse, such workers begin to condition their mind to stay active during odd hours. Those who constantly modify working hours can benefit by learning methods of meditation and relaxation. That way, when they do finally get to rest, they can fall asleep.

Police

Police, firemen, 911 dispatchers and other emergency workers often work swing shifts which disrupt regular sleep. Moreover, these jobs involve intensity and in some cases life and death situations, so one could imagine how it may be difficult to just go home and fall asleep. Some seek professional counseling as well as medical solutions to treat symptoms of insomnia.

Doctors and Nurses

Nurses are known to work swing shifts and long periods at a time. Doctors do the same and some are ‘on call’ after they leave the hospital, needing to go back in the event of an emergency. What’s even more alarming is that these are parties responsible for the well-being and safety of others. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that those in healthcare get sufficient rest. Learn more about sleep friendly apps.

Food Prep

Food prep workers can work very odd hours, some starting work in the middle of the night to have food prepped and ready for the early morning hours. Food prep jobs that influence sleep span from food truck delivery people to those such as cafeteria and diner workers. Such jobs can be trying for those who must get up very early yet keep more normalized hours as well to tend to children, spouses, households, etc.

Never Too Old for Fun: The Best Apps for Middle Aged People

With the phrase ‘middle aged’ meaning different things to almost everyone, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact age in which being ‘middle aged’ is supposed to start. With recent studies showing that the majority of us see middle age starting at around 55, this completely contradicts previous research that suggested the start of middle age to be at 36.

But regardless of when you perceive middle age to start, there are certain stereotypes that are generally always associated with this age group. From being health-obsessed to not liking change, the stereotypes of middle-aged people are often more negative than positive. But recently, they’ve been seriously challenged with new research suggesting middle aged people are even more tech-obsessed than the younger generation! So, if you see yourself falling into this ‘tech-obsessed’ middle aged category and want to freshen up your smartphone’s selection of apps, here are some of today’s best options specifically targeted towards people of your age.

Vouchercloud

We all love a discount but, when it comes to restaurant and excursion vouchers, the hassle of printing them can be enough to put people off altogether. But, with Vouchercloud, you’re able to quickly download a huge array of vouchers straight to your smartphone, allowing you to simply show your phone screen with the voucher displayed when it’s time to redeem it.

From restaurants to garden centers to day-trips, Vouchercloud adds new discounts every single day so it’s worthwhile to regularly check. But, before downloading a voucher for a day trip, make sure to check the weather first as no day trip is as fun in the rain! Take a look at this link to discover a weather app that’s both accurate and user-friendly.

WebMD

There’s no denying that, as we get older, we’re more prone to illness. WebMD offers an innovative symptom checker app that enables you to input virtually any symptom you have and learn more about what it could mean.

Also offering detailed first aid information and a list of important medical terms you might need to know in the future, WebMD is certainly worth a download!

Pillboxie

Along with illness often comes medication and our memories may not be quite what they used to be as we increase in years. But luckily Pillboxie does all the remembering for you, ensuring you never miss a pill again!

Simple to use and extremely effective, all you have to do is set it up with your medications and the times at which you should take them and voila! You’ll have created your very own pill-taking alarm system that will remind you every single time a dose is due.

Just because you’re middle aged, it doesn’t mean you can’t be tech-savvy. Simply owning a smartphone is probably enough to impress the younger generation and, with the above apps downloaded and ready to use at the click of a button, you’re sure to put all the unnecessary stereotypes to rest and enjoy having fun!

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