Category Archives: Guest Post
We are living in difficult financial times, so one of the most important lessons for your children to learn is how to put money aside for a rainy day or for unexpected situations that may be around the corner. It can be tough to get children motivated by saving money, so we’ve come up with some great ways to get them involved:
1. Start them young
Children live in the moment and find it really hard to hold onto their money once they’ve got it, so start them young! Teach them to drop coins into their piggy bank from when they are a toddler, and help them understand why it’s important to let those coins build up before spending.
2. Open a savings account
Take your child to the bank and open an account in their name – this will help them feel part of the process and understand the importance of saving for the future.
3. Reward their efforts
Let’s face it, saving is pretty boring when you’re 10 years old and would rather rush out and spend, spend, spend! Make sure you praise their efforts to save whenever you can, and encourage them to treat themselves sometimes too.
4. Goals and dreams
As your child gets older, talk to them about their dreams – do they want to travel the world, buy a house or train to be a doctor or a vet? What does that mean for their savings? Help them to see how much they will need to achieve their goals.
5. Talk about money matters
Children need to understand about money and realise that they can’t have everything they want or everything they see on TV. By talking about how much things cost and the true value involved in saving up for something special, you will help your child understand how finances work.
6. Set a good example
Remember that your child will learn by example, so create your own piggy bank and make it clear that you are saving up for a trip out, a new sofa or a better car. This will help show your child that saving is a part of normal daily life.
7. Match their savings
Of course in these tough financial times this won’t always be possible, but if you can, offer to match whatever your child manages to save and help them achieve their goals even faster. Or if you’re not in a position to put in money, why not ask friends and family to let your child do odd jobs to raise more cash?
8. Save as a family
In difficult times, families stick together. Help encourage your child to understand the value of saving money by doing it as a family. Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a trip to the cinema or a new pet, make sure you all talk about how close you are to your goal and celebrate when you get there. Your child will love being part of your world, and it will teach them valuable lessons about the importance of saving and being patient.
Encouraging your child to save money will teach them vital life skills such as patience and determination. Saving money will also increase their confidence and help them to stay focused on their goals. By teaching your child these skills you really will give them a fantastic start in life.
About the Guest Author
This post is written by Ealing Trading, who provide cash loans when you need them most.
It’s remarkable to see that mainstream entrepreneurs have emerged at a time when the economy is going through financial crisis. This proves the notion that there is opportunity in adversity. This post examines how creating your business is one of the main ways of ensuring your financial security.
The buzz of micro-ecosystem
There has been a lot of innovation when it comes to minimizing the size of devices and expanding their capacity. Take smartphones for that matter or nanotechnology which is harboring a lot of potential ranging from healthcare treatments to use in the textile industry. This diversity shows the value created by making the access of technology easier.
You don’t need to come up with big ideas or massive inventions. Now, it’s the era of the micro-innovations or modification of existing technology to make it better. Smartphones or similar technologies have spawned off profit incentives. For example, app development is a massive business. Similarly, healthcare is now being defined by having better and bigger databases for treatment. All these factors indicate that there’s a looming opportunity in the micro-ecosystem.
Self-employment and being frugal-the connection
The philosophy is pretty simple. If you can control your cash, winning in business is a possibility. Since you are frugal, you won’t have the urge to spend unnecessarily. The element of research becomes important here. You have to identify a niche or an area which has not been maximized or used by existing entrepreneurs. This will allow you more room for growth. It was generally thought that entrepreneurs spend big to win big. However, safe play has churned out the best results for many.
Understanding consumer behavior
The advent of social networking as well as free access of data on the internet has allowed entrepreneurs to analyze the target market in a refined manner. These channels have created businesses, for which, the target market is entirely virtual. This means that the opportunity is always there for you to grab. A frugal entrepreneur has a potent mixture of caution and motivation to succeed.
He would opt for term life insurance for ensuring some financial security while he could possibly use his retirement saving to invest in a business. With the consumer behavior is changing over a period of time; it is quite possible to examine it closely. After doing so, prediction can be made as to which side the market would turn.
Previously, such statistics were decided or predicted by a team of analysts trained in consumer psychology, but now, if you engage on social media, you can know the interests of people in your interaction zone, and this is where you can go for the kill. This is how consumer tips for various products/services are made.
The Paradigm Shift
The global economics has shifted from huge corporates to a multitude of profit earning micro set ups. The works in microfinance landed a Noble Prize in economics a few years back. The way down the road is still clear for people who want to do their business.
The competition is there, but the cost of living is also on the rise day by day. The ideal alternate exists in the form of having your own business. The idea is that in order to save money, you need to earn money.
N.B.: The article below is not just helpful for freelance bloggers but to any freelancers who travel a lot. It is written by Rachel Greenberg, a fellow writer from the TheDigest.com.
Whether I’m blogging silly photos of my cat in a bunny costume or offering tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur, the beauty of blogging is that I can write from the comfort of my own home. For all of those at-home bloggers that use a residential VoIP system, they get to experience the best of both worlds: they can work in their PJs, but they also have a fully-featured phone system that gives a highly professional outward appearance.
With VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), customers get a cheap Internet home phone service that is as fully-featured and reliable as any traditional home phone service, but without the high costs associated with traditional providers. In so doing, at-home bloggers can make every penny count without sacrificing quality home phone service.
If I’m blogging just for fun, blogging full-time, or blogging for a little supplemental cash, I’m most likely in the market for a money saving telephone system.
Installing a telephone line in your home office with a traditional phone provider can result in a huge bill. Traditional phone services often charge installation fees and technician fees on top of you regular high monthly phone bill. And if you want to add a second line, that’ll cost you another pricey visit from the technician.
With a residential VoIP provider, however, you receive much cheaper monthly service, while in many cases installation is completely free of charge. VoIP services usually cost $10 to $20 per line, while traditional phone companies are notorious for charging between $20 and $40 per line.
VoIP systems can also offer your at-home business a professional outward appearance to the public. With VoIP companies, you can receive numerous free phone features, such as conference calling, call waiting, and call forwarding, which can make your residential blogging business seem more capable and efficient. Oftentimes, traditional phone companies otherwise charge you for these basic features.
Unlimited Nationwide Calls
Well-respected bloggers need to keep up to date on the latest trends, whether it’s a new technology popular among teens or a promising new anti-aging solution, you need to stay on top of the fads.
In some cases, you’ll want to receive first-hand information, and that more than likely means picking up the phone to call experts, witnesses, and other bloggers. It’s not uncommon, however, that you will need to interview someone who lives on the other side of the country.
The good news is that you don’t have to forgo valuable quotes and opinions from those subjects just because of your fear of long distance calling charges. Countless VoIP providers offer free and unlimited domestic calling on basic residential plans. These basic plans allow you to spend as much time as you want on a nationwide call, jotting down all the juicy details for must-read blog entry.
Low International Calling Rates
Some of the most successful bloggers have worldwide followers. Acquiring a readership that spans the globe means adapting to an international audience. Bloggers need to write about topics that will interest and intrigue international readers, and to do so, bloggers just may have to pick up the phone.
Regardless of whether I’m blogging about current events in China, or announcing a popular hair treatment in the UK, I’ll want to be able to cover every story without worrying about the related phone bills.
Fortunately, various residential VoIP providers offer affordable international calling rates. Many providers charge just pennies per minute for international calling, while others provide unlimited international calling plans. These international calling plans offer unlimited calling to various international destinations for a set fee each month. Residential VoIP provider ITP, for example, features a global calling plan with unlimited calling to 60 countries for a flat rate of $24.99/month.
Perhaps I’m conducting research at the library for my latest blog entry or maybe I’m just hanging out in the coffee shop while I work. With a VoIP provider, I can continue to send and receive VoIP calls even if I’m miles away from my residential landline.
One of the most convenient aspects of VoIP is that with a hosted VoIP system, you can receive your VoIP calls on virtually any mobile device, from PC and laptops to tablets and smartphones.
Simply log into your VoIP account on any of these devices, and a softphone will appear on your screen. A softphone is an on screen dialpad, which allows you to use your device to make a call through your regular landline phone number. You can also receive incoming calls to your home phone number this way.
This is a great feature for bloggers who want the freedom to blog outside of their homes and still remain accessible by their VoIP number. This feature also allows you to take advantage of those unlimited nationwide calls and low calling rates for international calls from any remote location.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
Rachel Greenberg is a tech and telecom writer and editor.
N.B.: This guest post is brought to you by Roy Duffield, a fellow blogger from the UK. Hope you will learn something from his tips. – EOD
As kids we tend to think that life is free, and it’s hard to imagine that we’ll have to get jobs one day. We picture our dream lives, doing what we want, going where we want, when we want. All the while “Grown-ups” are telling us we are wrong, that one day we’ll become grown-ups ourselves, realise our mistake and have to settle down, get a job, get a mortgage, pay the mortgage, etc, etc…
For a while I feared this may be true…and then I discovered travel, and I became a kid at heart again.
The truth is, travel is a lot cheaper than you think, and whether you are tramping or travelling in luxury, there are always ways to save money, which in turn means that dream trip can last as long as possible.
Here are my 5 top tips to travelling cheap:
A major reason why a lot of people don’t travel is the cost. They say they can’t afford hotels. Well, I’m here to prove those people wrong. The cost of anything is relative to the GDP of the country you’re going to. Therefore, what we might class as a fancy hotel, can cost almost nothing in the cheaper countries in the world. Furthermore, when you think about it, you pay rent back home don’t you? Now say your rent is around £300 a month. That’s £10 a night, and trust me, there are a lot of nice places (nicer than a £300/month flat) out there for less than £10 a night…
Go long haul!
…which brings me to my next point. The other reason people often think travel is expensive and thus can’t understand how others do it, is because they’re thinking too short-term. One of the biggest expenses when going on holiday is the flight. Since most people only get a couple of weeks off work at a time, they are used to short holidays of a week or two. Now think about this: if a flight to Florida costs £450 and you go for 2 weeks, that’s £225 a week on the flight. However, if you go away for 3 months, backpacking the States, you’re only looking at around £35 a week. Much more affordable. Go away for a year, and the flight, spread out, barely costs a thing. Some great ways to extend your trip include learning a language as you travel, teaching one, or any other kind of work abroad (see below).
And there ways to cut down the cost of travel even further! Couchsurfing.org is a great example of how, if you are prepared to think outside the box a little, you can travel for practically nothing…and you also get a much richer travel experience, meet more locals, and so on. As long as you’re prepared to give as well as get – so, for example, offering to cook a meal for your hosts, teach them a skill, or about your own culture or traditions – this is the option for you! And don’t forget to ask the people you meet about their own money saving tips! Locals always know the cheapest places to eat, drink and shop.
And while we’re on the subject of travelling for free, hitchhiking is another great way to meet people, get deeper into the culture of the place you’re travelling, and save so cash that would’ve gone on buses, trains or even flights. You’ll also get more freedom than with public transport and you can choose which roads to travel, where you get on and off, etc. Just exercise some caution. There are plenty of great sites with tips for safe hitchhiking.
Work while you travel!
Finally, all of the above focus on how to cut your spending, but what about using travel as a way to make money? Whether you want to WWOOF (work on an organic farm), in a call centre, as an au pair, in a bar, or as an English teacher (TEFL), there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you all over the world, from Sydney to Cusco, Varna to Kamloops. If you’re a keen writer you can even make money from your blog, or also as a freelancer. There are plenty of organisations and websites offering various travel benefits in exchange for online content, whether it be a free room at a hostel, or a more long-term set up.
I hope you found this inspiring. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll all be on the move, livin’ the dream. But until then, happy travels! Don’t forget to let me know what you think or ask any questions in the comments.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
This has been a guest post by Roy Duffield. Why not check out his travel stories and notes from the road.
N.B. This week’s freelancing guest post is brought to you by Erica Moss, a fellow writer who is also a well-seasoned freelancer. You will surely learn a lot of new stuff about Freelancing if you’ll continue reading her article below. – EOD
Being a freelancer is a very rewarding path for creative and self-motivated people. You’re not tied to a mind-numbing commute or the same drab office day in and day out. You work on different and exciting projects, and meet new people all the time. Those who choose the freelance lifestyle are generally pretty happy with their choice, but finding new clients and new projects can sometimes be the most challenging thing they do.
The one thing that a freelancer should always dread is getting into a rut. If things aren’t improving, then sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of why you even became a freelancer in the first place. It can be extremely beneficial to your career and your well-being to break through these plateaus.
One of the biggest advantages of being a freelancer is that you have control over your destiny, but sometimes it can be nice to have some help. To that end, here are five simple tips to help get out of a rut or over a plateau and to generally improve your freelancing career:
Increase Your Rates as You Gain Skill and Experience
While it may have been okay to charge rock-bottom rates when you were trying to break into the field, your compensation rise should reflect your skill and experience. There is a human psychology element to premium pricing: Those who charge more and have the skills to back it up will often land the job over the cheaper but less-experienced person.
Don’t sell yourself short! You are really good at what you do, better than you used to be, and your rates should reflect that. Try not to let longstanding clients bully you or guilt you into keeping your rates low, either. You need to upgrade your tools and skills over the years, and they secretly know that. And on that note …
Upgrade Your Tools and Skills
Whether it’s learning a new version of the software you use or upgrading your hardware, tools or materials to reflect changing trends, it really helps to keep on top of things. Announcing that you now use a new version of a popular software package or have upgraded to a new device that can help you express yourself better can actually bring in new clientele.
Think about people in your field who are stuck in a rut and keep churning out the same thing over and over again — you don’t want to be that guy. Trends change, and you need to change with them to stay relevant.
Invest in an Online Portfolio
There are so many great online portfolio sites out there that no matter what you freelance in, there’s bound to be a perfect site for you. Many of the high-end portfolio sites have free basic services, but to really connect with others and make it worth the time, you should probably invest in the premium paid service.
If you’re an artist or designer, for example, Behance offers a premium service that can put you in front of serious prospective clients. Photographers might want to try selling their work on 500px or Smugmug. No matter what you do, having the right portfolio site might be the difference between a slow month and a busy one — and sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
Take Your Social Media Networking to the Next Level
Whether you love it or hate it, social networking was “the future” of marketing a couple of years ago; now it’s the present. You’ll have a very hard time finding new clients online without the important connections that social media provides. At the bare minimum, having a current and modern website, Facebook profile and Twitter account is required. If you cannot or will not make these profiles and use these services, it might even be worth hiring someone to do it for you.
For every kind of freelancer, there is a valid and important social network. Image-based networks such as Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest can be incredibly beneficial for artists and photographers, while Facebook and Twitter are tremendously important for bloggers and writers — freelance journalists, for example, are expected to have active Twitter accounts at this point. No matter what your discipline or social network of choice, putting effort into your social media outreach will only benefit you.
Find a Mentor
There is nothing like a kick in the pants from someone you respect to get a fire lit under you. Sometimes only that human touch can get us to snap out of a rut. Find someone who is successful in your field or someone you respect and reach out to them. Ask them for advice; be humble; thank them. Remember that some day, someone might ask the same favor of you.
Hopefully these tips will help you stay on track. Remember: You are a freelancer, and the world is your oyster!
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
Erica Moss is the community manager for Georgetown University’s online graduate nursing programs, which partners with Nursing License Map to provide valuable nursing license information. She enjoys blogging, TV, pop culture and tweeting @ericajmoss.
N.B.:(At the moment I’m still publishing guest posts on this site as I’m still very busy with work and settling some personal matters. I’m not sure yet when I can fully blog.)
The essence of frugal living is to live within your means and to make use of the things that are considered useless by many. The core value of frugality doesn’t mainly depict saving money but to create and recreate things so that nothing will be wasted.
On the other hand, this quote by Samuel Pepys is for you. “He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound.” Hope you will learn something from this guest post from my fellow blogger, Laura Brently. - EOD
If you are one of those who are in the business of making beautiful things with your hands, from souvenir gift items to handicrafts, chances are you’re wondering how to cover the cost of packaging considering you already spent a lot on the materials to make the products you are about to sell. No need to fret, because a lot of potential packaging materials are available right in your house and in your favourite school and office supplies store. You’ll be surprised that you already have some of these materials in your house. You’re only limited by your creativity.
1. Paper Lunch Bags - You can buy these cheap by bulk, and the classic brown ones have a very down-home, comfortable look that makes it flexible for designers and artists to come up with various designs. These can be used to package anything from figurines, plush toys, to CDs and paperback books. In this easy-to-follow instruction from DIY craft blogger and musician David Curry, you can learn how to use paper lunch bags as a nice case for your CDs.
2. Paper clips - You can use coloured paper clips to seal bags or wrappers, and you can even bend them into attractive shapes, as demonstrated in this project by designer Jessica Jones. You can even go crazy with the design by using rainbow-colored or striped paper clips!
3. Zip lock bags - These nifty items can be used to store and pack anything from food to spare parts to medicine. Expert handcrafter and stay-at-home mom blogger Deanna provides an awesome-looking step-by-step instruction on how to make a reusable ziplock bag (with a zipper!) that is both beautiful and useful.
4. Duct Tape - These items are probably left around in your garage or tool shed and forgotten, despite the vast potential you can have with them. These left-over duct tape rolls have been used to make everything from bags to flipflops. In this wikiHow tutorial, is a step-by-step guide on how to make a duct tape wallet. You can use this design as an attractive packaging option for small flat items such as laminated cards and specialized photo prints, and even include it as an add-on to make your handcrafted product stand out.
5. Sticker paper - With a basic desktop printer and a lot of sticker paper, you can design your own labels for bottles, containers and boxes. You can even laminate them to prevent smudging by using transparent packing tape, as demonstrated by CrazySexyFrugal blogger Joi in this blog post on DIY labeling for homemade cosmetics.
6. Old newspapers - Instead of sending them out for the garbage truck, why not re-use these and save a lot of trees in the process? In another tutorial, Jessica Jones shows us once more that with a bit of imagination and creativity, even mundane-looking old newspapers, doomed to be thrown out, can be used to make eye-pleasing packaging, in this case, gift bags made from newspapers.
7. Plastic drinking straws – Leftover unused straws from your last house party can be used as bag clips for sealing bags in a colorful and decorative way. This illustrated wikiHow instruction shows how it can be easily done with just a scissor as your tool.
About the Guest Author
Laura Brentley is the marketing manager at Card Printing US, a plastic card and gift card specialist company . She’s also a craft enthusiast whose “go-to” tools are her triangle rule, a french curve and an x-acto knife.
N.B.: As what I have mentioned in the previous freelancing guest post that I published almost a month ago, freelancing is a very challenging field and it is not ideal for anyone. But, if you managed to get your hands on it, it would become a stable source of income with limitless opportunities. Below is a guest post by my fellow freelancer, Marc Lafleur, on how he managed to start a freelancing career. – EOD
Are you dreaming of being your own boss, to start freelancing and take control of your financial life, but don’t know where to start? Have you heard about $5 mini jobs web sites but didn’t give them a try yet?
Let me share with you my story.
It all started in January 2012 when a good friend of mine told me about $5 sites where you can offer mini jobs and also buy mini services. My friend is a funny comedian so he offered was to dance in a spandex suit and do dedicated videos for $5 that people could buy for themselves, their company or their friends. I even bought one from him to wish happy birthday to one of my relative.
I ‘Googled’ it and found sites like www.minijoblist.com, Fiverr, and a few other ones. All have a similar concept and interface and over 15 categories of jobs that you can create: Fun videos, graphic design, tips and advice, video testimonials, social marketing.
One category stood out: Social Marketing. I found tons of people selling Youtube views, Twitter Followers and Facebook Likes. I really had no clue how to do this and had no other skills to sell at the time so came up with an interesting idea: what is I can sell the exact same things that other people sell on the site, and once I get orders I hire someone else from the same site to do it for me?
In example, I noticed that some people were selling 5000 Youtube views for $5. So I decided to 1000 Youtube Views for $5 and every time I would get 5 orders I would pay that other seller $5 to fulfill the job. Soon I was making $50 per day just by forwarding a few emails, which took probably 30 minutes! This little exercise taught me a lot about micro entrepreneurship and 5$ outsourcing. It taught me that you can sell absolutely anything on the internet, even if you don’t have a clue about the industry and even if you don’t have any skills related to the matter. Just sell it, and then find someone to do it for you for cheaper.
Less work, more profits, more time for personal activities that you really want to do. Sweet deal!
So I wanted to take this concept further and promote it on Google (www.buymorefans.co.uk). It was a steep learning curve but I did, and 1 year later I am financially autonomous and starting 3 new online businesses as we speak.
Take control of your life: Sell anything online, then pay someone to do it for you for less. Good luck!
Photo used above is under Creative Commons License. Credit.
N.B.: When I was a student, I scrubbed floors and cleaned office furniture to free my parents from the burden of college tuition. Though I worked as an assistant to our College Guidance Psychometrician, my daily tasks (aside from conducting exams and checking test papers) involve taking on menial jobs and running errands. Looking back, I am quite proud of myself as I managed to graduate from college without debts and even helped my parents to minimize our expenses.
The daily allowance my parents gave me was only Php50 ($1.23). It was quite small for a full-time working student with a big appetite. But, I managed to squeeze it with the help of the little allowance I received as a working scholar. I still can’t forget that I often brought rice from home to school to listen my lunch expenses. And I only eat Chinese Ngohiong with it so that I would only spend around Php10 for my meal.
When I was a student, I can’t remember that I entered and ate in any fast food chains. This is the very reason why I’m quite amazed these days watching students going in and out of fast food restaurants and other expensive diners. Either they are really well off, or they just don’t give a damn about money.
Below is a guest post by my fellow blogger, Linda Forshaw, that teaches students these days on how to minimize their expenses and be more responsible in handling their parents’ money. - EOD
Living a frugal life is not about going without the things that you need; rather it is about living a life that avoids waste, extravagance, and unnecessary expenditure. As a student, money is likely to be tight, so there is never a better case for living a frugal life than while you are at college. Here are some top tips to help you do exactly that.
A budget is always the first place to start
When attempting to live a frugal life as a student (or in any other capacity for that matter), creating a budget should always be the very first thing you do. Include all income (from scholarships, student loans, part time work, and parental contributions) and all anticipated expenditure. Understanding how much you have to “play with,” is paramount to keeping on the financial straight and narrow.
Free is good but affordability is better
It goes without saying that free is always a good option. Whether it’s hooking up to free wifi to avoid data charges or joining your local freecycle group, you never know what you can pick up for free (and would otherwise have paid for). Cheaper (although not quite as attractive as completely free) is a close runner up. Adopting the mantra that every time you need something you will try and find it cheaper is a good plan. A good place to start is making full use of grocery coupons and visiting the store toward closing time to pick up any discounted food stuffs.
Sharing is sensible
There’s a lot of truth in the saying that “two can live as cheaply as one,” so imagine the savings that can be made from teaming up with more than one other person. As a student, most of your peers will be in the same boat financially speaking, so team up to help each other out. This could involve any number of things. You could each buy a textbook from a required reading list, start a supper club (whereby one of you cooks each night), or team up to benefit from bulk buy discounts, The possibilities to make savings are fairly endless.
Alternatives can be attractive
Always be on the lookout for cheaper alternatives. It can be as simple as when you fancy watching a movie, renting a DVD instead of forking out for an extravagant trip to the cinema. It could be that you really need a haircut. Could you wait until next week and bag yourself a cheaper appointment with a trainee hairdresser? This is all about seeking viable alternatives to the things you want or need. If you can’t wait for a better deal, remember to always ask for a student discount. Such discounts might not be widely advertised by a company, but they are often available.
Living frugally as a student doesn’t mean you won’t have any fun. You’ll probably have just as much fun as the other students in your class. The only real difference is that you’ll be getting a better deal.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
Linda Forshaw is a Business Information Systems graduate from Lancaster University in the UK. A contributor to Degree Jungle, she is a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, and entrepreneurship. Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay
N.B.: Have you been thinking how to save electricity and lessen the frequency of buying new bulbs every time they got damaged? Or, perhaps are you planning to cut off on energy cost by buying solar-powered appliances? If you have these thoughts then you may continue reading below. The following guest post is from my fellow writer, Sam Peters. – EOD
Elektrostandard LED light bulb
You may be cutting down on the weekend meals or trying to shop smarter, but you may be unaware of huge savings that can be made through green installations at your home. Apart from the potential savings offered by these installations, they’ll also make your home self-reliant. Here are some of the options you can go for.
1. LED light bulbs
These are low-energy consuming lights that can last for up to 20 years. For brightness, they use 90 percent low watts per hour compared to incandescent lights. They lead to savings in light and bulb purchases as well as in energy. They’re an investment worth looking into, and the cost only averages around $20 per unit. They’re a top choice when it comes to green home installations. Custom LED lightning installations also available to consumers.
2. Energy-saving adapters
Many of you would be fond of using consumer electronics at your home; laptops, smartphones, tablets, video games etc. Did you know they account for a total of 13 percent energy consumed at homes? This was reported by CEA, and the cost of charging and running these devices goes up to $191 per year.
Energy saving adapters (AC/DC) are now being manufactured by companies such as Green Plug. They’re made to give the devices the exact amount of charge they require, and shut themselves down automatically once the required amount of power has been given to the specified device. They’ll lead to money savings if you regularly charge devices and other electronic items.
3. Outdoor Solar motion sensor light
Apart from green installations inside the house, you could save some bucks by tweaking your home from the outside. The outdoor solar motion sensor lights provide you ‘free energy’ to use, They use the sun to charge themselves, and the charge goes on for up to 2 weeks.
They’re also brighter, and stay on during power outages as there’s no electricity involved. Therefore, you save in terms of electricity as well as home security.
4. Programmable thermostats
Thermostats have been around for a while, but advances have been made to make them more energy efficient, leading to savings. The thermostats are now being equipped with advanced sensors and algorithms, and they even allow for cloud computing.
These high tech thermostats can lead to a 30 percent decrease in average annual energy bill. An example of such as thermostat is Nest Learning Thermostat by Nest Labs.
A separate account can be maintained for spending on the listed and other green additions. Researching banks that offers the best interest rate on savings accounts would result in some options.
Apart from savings accounts, there’s also an option to go for current deposit account by comparing cd rates of different banks.
Photo used above is under Creative Commons License. Credit.
N.B.: That is the very question that keeps on popping in my head every time I pass by the area. Are these buildings being built in SRP can withstand major earthquakes like those that happened in Japan? For sure the architects and engineers who were assigned to plan the layout of these buildings took proper care in ensuring that they are constructing properties that can withstand major catastrophes (especially if they are built in an area wherein the foundation is threatened by water).
Still under construction - SM Seaside City Cebu Soon to Open at SRP
But, what are the risks people should know before they buy properties that are situated in reclamation areas? Below is a guest post by my fellow blogger, Todd Mayfield of Fearless Men, that discusses the risks and what people need to know before they buy any types of properties that are located in reclaimed lands. – EOD
The Risks of Buying or Developing Real Estate Properties In Relocation Sites Situated on Reclamation Areas
So you’re finally going to take the plunge and purchase your first home! Congratulations on one of the first major steps that every individual has fantasized about since they were a little kid! This very exciting time should be carefully thought out with precision planning on finances as well as location. After all, this is a very major step and once one has signed on the dotted line, it will take a lot of work to put it back on the market if things should not work out.
Whenever it comes to real estate the key to any successful investment is still location. From breathtaking views to coastal or mountain retreats, these are so serene and one dreams of never leaving this kind of environment. Tired of all the homes you’ve looked at and that for some reason all seem to look the same? Have you ever considered building one’s personal or business property on one’s own land? Many think that it is terribly expensive and out of reach but truthfully if one did their homework and researched land that may be available, one might find the deal of the century!
The risks of real estate development on relocation sites (especially in reclamation areas) are just like any other phases of growth. There are always pro’s and con’s to each real estate development but if one were deeply immersed with their project, and found skilled, resourceful and seasoned developers to assist in their project, one can almost certainly ensure a successful venture. There are tons of real estate firms that specialize in this particular industry. They are very aware of current laws and regulations that must take place before any type of construction can begin. Taking advantage of these very skilled professionals would be a wise investment in time and energy when it comes to a development of this size.
One of the first steps looking into purchasing or developing on relocation sites is the motive behind the initial move. If the property owner were just being relocated to another part of the country or state and did not have ample time to deal with these matters, safety issues are less likely a concern. If however there was a major natural disaster involved, one should look into whether the area is inhabitable or if it is at risk for more probable natural disasters.
According to California’s Association of Bay Area Governments, reclaimed lands are highly susceptible to soil liquefaction during earthquakes. This can increase the amount of damage that happens to buildings and infrastructures. The issue of subsidence is also being considered. This can happen due to soil compaction on filled land.
Looking into a successful relocation requires a steady stream of reliable resources. The first being properly planned and adequately funded projects that have everyday necessities like water, electricity, availability and ease of transportation, available markets, schools and health resources are all within reach. In general a resettlement manager can be the ‘go to’ person for directions and coordination of this multitude of a project. A seasoned task force is generally put together with different skill types and expertise so when the need should arise, there is no lag time for this kind of restructure. Some of these can contain relevant government and administrative lines and should work very closely with the designated task force.
About the Guest Author
Todd Mayfield is the co-founder at Fearless Men’s blog and writes about real estate investment here. He believes that manhood isn’t defined by pink vs. blue, being overtly sexual, how many chicks you get with, or being a total fool in public. He’s certain that manhood is defined by choices. Daily, weekly, yearly, over and over again. The choices to sharpen, refine, and grow. To Todd, manhood is taking responsibility and living with the consequences.
N.B: Here’s another informational guest post submitted by our friends from FoodInsurance.com. – EOD
While food storage is something you know you need, it isn’t always that easy. If you are on a budget, the cost of prepackaged foods can be insanely costly and it might be tough to imagine buying enough for 3 months, let alone a year. The trick is to save money wherever you can.
Internet stores frequently have better deals because they don’t have the overhead costs of a brick and mortar store, so check prices both online and off. Shopping online also eliminates a lot of impulse buys that might occur in a supermarket.
Buy in Bulk
Most times, you can save quite a bit of cash by simply purchasing more of an item. You can frequently get wholesale prices by purchasing a certain amount.
Get Free Shipping
If you are shopping online, you should never pay for shipping, particularly if you are buying in bulk. Don’t meet the minimum purchase limit? Find someone to split the order with you.
This tip is so obvious; it almost doesn’t belong on this list. However, there are some tricks to using coupons that can save you even more, so find out if you can use coupons during sales or stack coupons (use more than one on a single purchase) to get products for free or very low prices.
Buy What You Eat
There’s not much point in purchasing something on sale if you’ll never eat it. Remember that food needs to be rotated out of storage as the expiration date nears, so if you don’t eat it, you’ll end up throwing it away and wasting money.
Get Food That Lasts
Opting for freeze dried food allows for up to 25 years of storage, so you don’t have to rotate it out very often at all. This eliminates the need to purchase food for storage on a regular basis and saves money.
Buy Whole Foods
Processed foods often cost more because of the processing. If you purchase staples like rice, oatmeal and grain, it will not only provide more nutrition, but offers some savings, as well.
Most stores have specific times of year when they offer items for sale. These are usually on rotation, every 3-6 months. Buy a few extras next time products you need are on sale to add to the food storage.
Preserve Your Own Food
If there’s a deal to be had on fresh peaches, that can benefit your food storage, provided you know how to preserve it. Canning, freezing and drying are all methods of adding fresh foods to your storage. In season, you should be able to buy and preserve your own fruits and vegetables for less than the commercially tinned items.
Buy Ingredients, Not Meals
While full meals are handy to have on hand, you can save more if you get the individual ingredients and create your own meals later. You’ll also have more flexibility.
Food storage doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Work slowly and with a plan and you can get everything you need for less.
Photo used above is under Creative Commons License | Credit
N.B.: Man-made disasters/emergencies such as theft, home invasions, and the like should also be part of our emergency preparedness planning. Though there’s no absolute ways to defend ourselves against hostile forces (unless you’re filthy rich and can afford to hire goons or private guards), equipping ourselves with the basic knowledge on how to defend our homes from criminals and other bad elements is a must. Below is a guest post on the basic precautions on how you can defend yourself and your family against intruders. – EOD
Crimes involving intruders can happen anywhere and these don’t even have to occur exclusively in high-crime areas. Keep your home and family safe with the following basic emergency preparedness precautions against intruders.
Choose a Safe Room
A safe room is any room or area in the house where you and your family can escape to in case an intruder enters your home. This room should be secure, accessible, easy to find and have enough space to accommodate members of the family (including pets). Store emergency provisions inside the room, and include foldable mats for sleeping, flashlights, fresh batteries, food heaters or warmers, water and food. Consider long term food storage to keep the stocks edible during an emergency.
You might also want to consider stocking items that can be used as weapons inside the safe room. Sticks, knives, even guns should be available should you need to use them. If not, learn how to improvise. For example, peppers mixed with water can be used as a defensive spray, a frozen water bottle may be hard enough to hit someone with or a bottle of spray perfume/alcohol with a lighter may be used as a flammable spray. Research the uses of common items and how they would react when combined with other items.
Also, keep a phone in this room so you can contact the police. Although your home phone will work for this purpose, it’s best to use a mobile phone in this situation in case the phone line is cut or rendered unusable. Post emergency numbers on the wall of the safe room where they can be seen easily.
Be Ready to Defend Yourself
Although a gun will help you defend yourself, not every member of your family may have access to it. Instead, keep other weapons such as sticks, batons, knives, stun guns, pepper sprays, kubotans, shurikens and the like in areas where you can find them quickly. Make sure that while these weapons are hidden from plain sight that you can find them and grab them when and if you need to. Use camouflage if necessary. Keep in mind that although you can use these weapons to defend yourself, an intruder can also take them and use them against you. As a precaution, you and your family should be the only people who know where these weapons are and how to use them.
Learn how to Use Everyday Weapons
Virtually any item in the house can be used as a weapon but it is only effective if you know how to use them. Things such as a fireplace poker, lamps, books, vases, statues, curtains, flour, salt, pepper, cooking oil, boxes—anything that can be thrown at, hit, beat or used against an intruder to incapacitate him or her. If an intruder catches you by surprise, you know that there are things in your house you can use to defend yourself and protect your family.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License | Credit
N.B: Don’t just throw away your old Ipod cables. You can transform them into unique and very interesting pieces of fashion by following the instructions in the featured guest post below. – EOD
Nothing is more stylish than incorporating everyday items into your wardrobe. Creating your own jewelry pieces from spare or worn-out materials not only makes you stand out from the crowd but emphasizes your original taste. Why spend hundreds of dollars on jewelry when you can make your own earrings without spending a dime? Homemade upcycled iPod cable earrings can be made with nothing more than the unused connections from broken iPod cables, a hook for the earring and a little ingenuity. When you sport these earrings out on the town, you show off your originality, your computer savvy, or your ability to be ahead of any fashion trend.
How can you build your own iPod earrings? Obviously, you need your own pair of iPod cables (unless you want to sport the single earring, in which case you need only the single cable) that are defunct. You can find defunct electronic pieces from friends, from electronic stores, or for cheap in large quantities online. Should you have a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, you could purchase a large number of defunct cables, manufacture the earrings, and sell them for a modest profit. If you would rather have the style all to yourself, however, you need only follow a few directions.
After you have the two iPod cables, use a wire stripper to peel the white rubber cord that protects the wires inside. Once you have peeled through the rubber you should be able to see the green, red, black, and white cables (two of each). Either loop the wires around each other or have them hang separately. Since these wires are flexible but hold their shape, you can twist them into any form that looks best. Model them after other earrings or create intricate whorls and loops that will catch anyone’s eyes. Check out earrings from mcarthurjewelers.com – your jewelry store in St George Utah in order to get ideas about shapes that you can mimic with the iPod wires.
Trim the wires to two or three inches so that the edges do not rub up against your neck. You can easily paint the wires new colors if you would rather have a shade of violet or turquoise than the standard colors of electronic wiring. Attach the hook to the top of the cable charger by either taping it securely down or hot gluing it to the metal and giving it an hour to dry and seal. Once you have the hook held on tight they are ready to be worn wherever — whether you want to show them off at a craft fair, at an electronics expo, or at the most prestigious fashion show that you can display your work at.
All total, the cost of putting together upcycled iPod earrings should only be a few dollars; far cheaper than jewelry made from imitation gems and metal (let alone genuine stones and silver or gold). Show off your ingenuity and your creativity with upcycled iPod earrings while everyone else wishes they had had the same idea.
Photo Credits: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MagicalStyles http://www.bargainswithbrittanie.com/ http://www.amazon.com/ http://www.ebay.com/
N.B: You don’t need to spend thousands of money to look fabulous and in-sync with fashion. Being frugal doesn’t mean you keep on wearing the same boring stuff over and over again. It’s on how you make use of the things around you to avoid spending your hard-earned money over unnecessary jewelries. Looking for creative ways to make cool accessories from used materials is not only good for mother earth, it is also good for your pockets. Below is a guest post on how you can make your very own fashionable beaded necklace from recycled magazines. – EOD
Great beaded jewelry offers a plethora of colors and textures. You can create your own stylish jewelry with magazine pages and a few other household items. Gather a few high quality and glossy magazines and a bottle of Mod Podge or Diamond glue. You will also need a small paintbrush, scissors, elastic jewelry string, a needle, and a thin dowel or wood skewer. Once you collect these items, follow the steps below to create a fun necklace.
1. Pick out a few colorful magazine pages. Try to find pages with color on both sides.
2. Cut thin strips from the page. Cut strips in different widths and shapes. For example, a pointed strip will result in a rounded bead while a straight strip will deliver a cylinder.
3. Start with the wider end of your strip. Use your paintbrush to apply a thin layer of glue to a few inches of the paper, leaving about half an inch on the very edge free.
4. Begin wrapping the paper tightly around the dowel or skewer.
5. Apply glue to the paper as you roll it so that it sticks firmly together.
6. Once you reach the end of the strip, hold the roll tightly for a few seconds to allow glue to set.
7. Remove the bead from the dowel and coat the outside with Mod Podge or Diamond glue. Diamond glue will give the bead a shiny, hard coat.
8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 in order to create additional beads.
9. Allow beads to dry overnight or for at least 8 hours.
10. Cut a length of string long enough for the necklace.
11. Using a needle, string beads onto the strand.
12. Once the string is full of beads, tie a secure knot to close the necklace and you are ready to go!
If you do not have time to create your own colorful accessories, click here to find great deals on necklaces and other jewelry.
Photo Credit: foeshop.co.uk – Used under Creative Common License