Tips for Personal Finance

Monitoring income and expenses is a tedious process that requires patience and foresight. While it may be dull to balance your checkbook and ensure bills are being paid, the security provided from managing your money is priceless. By employing a few simple techniques you can make the process both easy and enjoyable.

When I first entered college, I found myself having to manage my first income along with a sizeable amount of bills-rent, groceries, cell phone and recreation money. I spent the first semester going out to eat, to the movies and buying unnecessary items. I soon found that I had blown my savings from my summer job. Instead of having a comfortable financial cushion, I was soon living off a meager income from a part-time campus job-lets just say ramen noodles became a fixture of my diet.

Unfortunately, I had not set up a balanced budget to ensure I was paying all my bills, saving money and allotting for "fun" money. I had overlooked one of the crucial steps for managing money: I did not set up a budget to know how much I was making or spending. It is important to sit down with your pay stubs, bills and receipts to determine how much money can be allotted for each item. In fact, this basic step is really half the battle to ensuring a sound money management strategy.

The repercussions of not having a balanced budget can often cause you actually to lose money. For instance, many banks charge overdraft fees when you buy an item and do not have sufficient funds. While in college, I often found myself not only with depleted bank account but also a hefty overdraft fee-usually around $ 35 dollars-after not closely monitoring my spending. It is hard to imagine now, but I was actually paying for my poor money management choices.

So, what are a few simple steps to balancing a budget? The first step you must do is actually total the money you receive monthly. Add the sum of all the income or support you receive-whether it is from a job, rental property or a relative. After figuring out your monthly income, next add up all your monthly bills-rent, mortgage, cell phone, water, gas, electricity etc. Once you have both of these numbers, subtract your total income from your expenses and what remains constitutes your surplus from each paycheck.

Now, many people decide to spend their surplus income on personal hobbies or entertainment. While it is certainly appropriate to spend a portion of your income on these items, it is not wise to spend all your extra money on dining, clothes or other luxury items. Instead, saving a portion or investing your money in a personal project allows you to invest in yourself and help you grow as a person. For example, I spent my summers while in college working for a landscape company, so I could invest in my education and myself. Although I had a lot of surplus money …

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need?

When most people consider their insurance needs, only certain types of coverage typically come to mind. Health insurance and life (or sometimes disability) insurance protect you and your loved ones; car and homeowner's or renter's insurance protect your major tangible assets.

Personal liability insurance, frequently called an "umbrella" policy, seldom makes this list. But when a rainy day – or an expensive lawsuit – turns up, sometimes nothing but an umbrella will do.

As the name suggests, personal liability coverage mainly exists to protect against claims of liability. In most cases, that means finding yourself, and your assets, the target of a civil lawsuit. A personal liability policy may seem like overkill for individuals who already hold three or four insurance policies. It is true that not everyone needs such protection. But an umbrella policy effectively defends your assets and future income against damage claims that can arise from a wide variety of scenarios. Much like flood insurance for beachfront property, liability insurance is a product you hope you never need to use, but one which can create substantial peace of mind in the meantime.

Who Needs Liability Insurance?

Some level of personal liability coverage is built into homeowner's (or renter's) insurance and auto insurance. For many people, this may be sufficient. In part, this is because some types of assets are shielded by state and federal law. For instance, a court cannot force you to use qualified retirement accounts, such as 401 (k) s, to pay a legal judgment, and most states have laws protecting traditional IRAs. Some states protect Roth IRAs and other retirement accounts, too. Many states also protect your primary residence, though the precise rules vary; Florida, for instance, offers very strong protections in this area, while other states may only shield a certain level of home equity.

You can also protect certain assets from lawsuits through estate planning tools, such as properly structured and funded irrevocable trusts. However, be wary of setting up such trusts directly after an incident you fear may trigger a lawsuit. If it looks as if you are simply trying to dodge future creditors, the courts could determine that the asset transfer is fraudulent, rendering these assets available to pay a judgment.

If you don't have many assets outside your retirement savings and your primary residence, then your existing liability coverage may be sufficient. But second homes and nonretirement investment accounts are vulnerable. High income earners, and their spouses, may also want to consider their coverage options, since courts have been known to garnish wages to satisfy judgments.

While the amounts vary by geography and insurance policy, homeowner's insurance usually includes up to $ 300,000 of personal liability coverage. Auto insurance typically covers up to $ 250,000 for each person and $ 500,000 per accident involving bodily harm, and less for incidents that involve property damage only. Yet lawsuits for serious accidents can sometimes result in judgments or settlements for millions of dollars. This is where umbrella policies kick in.

Most …

Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had a number of clients who started stubbornly on the Atkins diet despite my warnings. Immediately I saw almost profound results in their weight loss. I reminded them it was the loss of water weight, and warned of the strain on the kidneys and the high cholesterol risk.

During this time I was mastering my yoga practice as a complete vegan but found that my immune system had been profoundly compromised and I was currently on my third cold for the fall season.

Atkins was in the media again because of new study results indicating lowered cholesterol. I went to the Atkins book yet again with a more open mind, and decided to try the diet. I liked the contrarian view point to the current AMA position of the low fat diet, which seemed to be producing a society of increasing obesity. Atkins view of sugar as the culprit making you fat, not fat, made sense and the extra work from all the protein for the kidneys … it's benign. I wanted to use his diet as a tool to get myself entirely off of any sugar.

I started out on the high protein, low carb aspect of the diet. As I reintroduced the animal proteins into my diet I could feel myself get stronger and the colds, finally stopped. I also saw my muscle bellies start to open and swell again. The cold of winter was not as painful as it had been while on my vegan diet.

I then summoned up the courage to start bringing fats into my diet, including bacon, egg yolks, cream cheese, heavy cream, whipped cream, even bacon rinds. On a daily basis I would marvel at having eaten these "forbidden foods" only to awaken the next day thin, svelte. I couldn't believe this, result! I was loving eating all these foods so familiar yet banished since … childhood

I was in full swing eating the high fat, high protein, low carb diet at the time when the pictures on my website were taken. I felt strong, but I had no energy !!! My walks on the beach were lethargic, I had to force myself to go that extra mile. I was thin but I felt like a beached whale. My love affair with Atkins continued a few more months. I followed his prescriptions religiously.

Eventually I had to add more carbs, I needed more energy. By carbs I mean vegetables, salads and whole grains. At this point I gained back the total of two pounds I had lost on Atkins. Body fat went from 16% to 18%, my energy was better. After 7 months I decided it was time to get the blood checked out and to my horror discovered that my cholesterol which had always been around 150 had rocketed up to 300 !! Luckily my HDL to LDL ratio was still at a healthy level. Thanks to my forcing myself to exercise, I kept my HDLs high.

I …

Fixing Personal Branding Errors

When it comes to personal branding, there really is no right or wrong answer. So much of it is subjective. However, that does not mean that you are incapable of making mistakes or of wishing that you could have done something better / differently. If you had the chance to do it over again, of course, you would probably do those things differently. Well, even if you did make mistakes, all hope is not lost. You can still fix what needs to be fixed and move on from there.

Make fixes in a sensible manner
When it comes to fixing the errors that you made in your personal branding, you will want to approach it sensibly and methodically. There are several aspects of your personal brand that you will want to examine and, hopefully, you will be able to identify whatever needs to be corrected.

  • You want to make sure that your reputation is intact: If you aren't sure what other people are going to find when they search for you (personally), you should search for yourself. The top items on the search engine should be positive about you. Additionally, those items should have value and they should help to enhance your reputation and boost your credibility. If you see that it is not the case, go back to those items and enhance them until they show you in a more positive light.
  • Entertainment versus marketing value: It is very important that you understand the balance between good value and the ability to entertain with your personal brand. You don't want to have more of one than the other. Of course, if you don't have enough on the entertainment side, other people may not remain interested. On the other hand, if you don't have enough on the value / marketing side, from a business perspective, people may be entertained / amused but they may walk away feeling that they don't have much to show for it.
  • Don't go overboard: There is definitely value in revisiting the content that is connected to your personal brand so that it reads better. However, overediting is definitely not a good idea in general. The last thing that you want to do is to edit so much that you lose yourself and what you stand for in the process. It is important to show your vulnerable / human side but, at the same time, to demonstrate how valuable you are professionally and how your expertise can help other people.
  • Marry your personal and professional brands: The truth is that there is a strong connection between your personal and professional brands. They are two parts of you and those parts should have at least a discreet connection for other people to embrace. If you are communicating messages from both brands, they should be synchronized. You really can't separate the two anyway. The best that you can do is to make sure that they exist in harmony.
  • Make sure that your social media profiles are current: The

Getting Instant Personal Loans With Bad Credit To Clear Your Financial Headache

Financial emergencies are rather unforgiving when it comes to the time granted to get them sorted out. Whether it is a final notice on a mortgage payment or an unexpected medical situation, payments are expected as close to immediately as possible. Thankfully, it is possible to secure instant personal loans with bad credit.

Why thankfully? Well, more often than not, it is a poor credit history that holds up the chances of getting vital funds quickly. So, having the opportunity to receive loan approval with no credit checks is welcome. However, there are some compromises that must be made in order to get the green light, and these need to be considered carefully.

The trick to negotiating the difficulties involved and securing the best possible terms is knowing the key factors in the application process. So, the chances of getting the personal loan instantly are greatly improved.

Is Instant Approval Real?

In truth, getting a loan approved instantly is not quite accurate, and a very quickly approved loan is perhaps more like it. What really matters is that even bad credit borrowers can get the thumbs up from a lender within a matter of minutes and have the funds in their own bank account within 4 hours, so getting instant personal loans with bad credit is no marketing ploy.

The reason lenders can offer such a fast decision on an application is down to a special process where they grant approval with no credit check. This basically means that the mistakes and troubles of the past are ignored, thus saving time.

And of course, the instant approval promise is available from online lenders because the online application form is electronically processed in just seconds. Key information like income, employment status and monthly spending are assessed, so the personal loan may be approved very quickly.

Instant Loans Have Limitations

So, what are the compromises that applicants need to accept? Crucially, there is a limit to the size of the loan that can be secured. Getting instant personal loans with bad credit is great, but the lenders face a higher risk of lending to a serial defaulter to make that happen.

In most cases, these loans are limited to around $ 2,000, but in some cases a lender may be willing to grant more. This protects them against major losses. Another move designed to protect themselves is to charge a higher interest rate. Granting approval with no credit check the normal interest bracket structure is ignored too. Instead, all applicants pay the same interest.

For most, that means paying more (perhaps 2% more) than usual, but some very poor credit borrowers will actually be paying less on the personal loan.

What Deal To Expect

It is important to be realistic when applying for any loan, but especially when reviewing the range of terms and conditions lenders set for those applying for an instant personal loan with bad credit. As well as the normal qualifying criteria, there is the need to have a …

RMS Titanic Insurance Claims

It is exactly 100 years since the pride of the White Star Line, the RMS Titanic, hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The centenary has prompted many insurance companies on both sides of the Atlantic to publish documents relating to the greatest maritime loss to date in relative costs, mostly showing their company involvement with claims payouts.

When the Titanic sank on the 15th of April 1912, the Lutine Bell was rung at Lloyd's of London, and a very rapid claims process was begun.

A few months earlier the ships owners, the White Star Line, had instructed insurance brokers Willis Faber and Co. to find cover for the hull, cargo, contents and personal effects of the ship. Willis Faber passed the 'slip' to their Lloyd's mercantile division where it was assessed and subsequently underwritten by multiple syndicates and insurance underwriters acting on behalf of members.

The Titanic's hull was insured for total loss for $ 5 million or just over one million pounds sterling at the exchange rate of the time. The policy also included total loss cover for cargo at $ 600,000 and contents at $ 400,000 a value equivalent to two hundred thousand pounds.

The original broking slip passed around Lloyd's has been lost, but was photographed and can be seen in Wright and Fayles book of 1928 called 'A history of Lloyd's'. It shows that seven large insurance companies took nearly forty percent of the risk between them and the other sixty percent was underwritten by over seventy individuals and Lloyd's 'Names'.

According to documents recently released by Willis the marine insurance policy cost White Star £ 7500 or $ 38,000 to insure the Titanic at a rate of 15 shillings per hundred. Modern day rates for cruise liners are considerably lower.

The Ship was considerably underinsured for a value of only five-eighths of its replacement cost. This was apparently because the owners thought the hull to be unsinkable and were prepared to bear the additional $ 3 million dollars of risk themselves.

Willis state that despite the owners belief in the vessel being unsinkable, they had trouble placing all the hull cover at Lloyd's and some forty thousand pounds was underwritten in Germany. There was also an extremely high excess or deductible of 15% of the insured value.

Four days after the Titanic sank the US senate held a preliminary investigation at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. The surviving officers of the ship presented their evidence to the panel describing the events of the sinking and signed what is called a 'protest' which enable insurance claims to be paid.

Incredibly White Star were reimbursed for the loss of the hull within seven days of the sinking, presumably minus the excess, and fully paid up on cargo and contents losses within thirty days.

They were however grossly underinsured for their liability to others given the value of the people on board. Claims against the company exceeded …

Personal Trainer!

A personal trainer is a person who prescribes exercise and the mode of instructions to do it. Their main aim is to instill motivation in their clients by setting goals for them and providing them with constant and effective feedback. These trainers assess their clients over a daily basis and provide them with ways to better their performance. These personal trainers assist their clients on all the basics of exercise and also provide additional information to them on dieting. Also, guidelines based on proper daily nutrition are also given by them. These trainers are also aware of certain medical conditions. If they suspect any of their clients of having a certain medical condition, they expose them to proper and professional health care for prior clearance.

A lot of people wonder about the exact purpose of a personal trainer. Actually, these trainers look to instill fitness into the general and healthy population. By practicing proper exercise, a person achieves good body composition, good physical performance, better heart condition, and to do so, proper knowledge on exercise is required. A trainer not only provides his clients with that knowledge but also pays close attention to the client's exercise, nutrition plan, workout routine, etc. Studies show that people with personal trainers have higher strength, higher intensity and a lot of positive exertion during exercise. These are the results of having a trainer for yourself.

In order to professionally become a trainer, there is no such qualification required. The field of personal training is usually self-proclaimed, provided you have knowledge in the same. Almost all the personal trainers usually train their clients in fitness facilities, health clubs, or fitness centers located in the hub of towns. Each personal trainer would have had specialized in a certain training type, for example, philosophy of training, performance based, client population, etc. Also, this profession is not restricted by venue. A personal trainer could work in a gym, homes, client's home and even over video. In the USA, there is no jurisdiction over the practicing as a personal trainer except for Washington, where you are required to have proper documents to practice personal training.

Thus, for the general population, it would always be a better option to choose for a trainer as not really everyone is aware of the best methods to stay fit. As for the fitness freaks, personal training could really be a path to put your foot on to earn in a professional or a part time manner.

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Make Money Online Completing Micro Tasks

Freelancing becoming more popular everyday.

The young generating is getting seriously into freelancing, making it their first priority. Everybody wants to become their own boss, to really enjoy the life and live without stress. Thanks to technology and specifically the Internet, freelancing has become way much simpler compared to 10 years ago. It's actually becoming a huge business, where people use their skills to help others at a lower rate.

Short tasks or micro tasks.

Several college students, for example, are working from home. Same for homemakers and stay home mothers. All this is thanks to online platforms that allow anyone to join an accept online jobs from companies. Housewives, for instance, perform micro jobs in their spare time. The good thing is that these jobs require maximum one hour per day to complete. In case you have kids at home, you know how hard it's to get things done, but that doesn't mean you can't work from home. Short tasks or micro tasks are perfect for busy moms. They can earn some good money this way and take care of their kids at the same time. Here is a good list of the tasks you can perform if you're in that group of people:

Take surveys: you can easily make up to $ 100 per month just by taking online surveys. All you need to do is perform a Google search for "paid survey sites." Join several of these sites to increase the income. When you register, use your main email address to receive regular invitations to make new surveys.

  • Most of these surveys pay up to $ 3 and take up to 45 minutes to complete.
  • You get paid in cash, gift cards, free products, or free entries to sweepstakes.
  • You don't need to pay to participate in surveys, so if anyone asks you for money to join a survey site, don't pay them.
  • Check the privacy policy of the website to verify they won't sell your personal information.

Test websites : participate in something called "remote usability testing", this means getting paid to navigate a website and provide feedback. Most of these tests take 15 minutes to do, and you get paid up tp $ 10 per test. One of these tests is about performing a scenario in the client's website and while recording yourself. An example: go through the process of buying a product on a retailer's website. You'll need: a computer, a microphone, fast internet connection.

Tutor students : you can certainly help students by being what is known as online tutors. Nowadays several families really like this option to teach their kids. You can help a kid with his homework or help a college student studying for an exam. It depends on the level of education you have. All you need is your own computer and fast internet. Online companies assign students to you depending on your profile. You get paid from $ 9 to $ 30 per hour, it depends on your educational …

Insurance For Truck Drivers – The Coverage You Need

First, truckers, tractors, and trailers, are insured as commercial equipment and not automatically afforded the coverage extensions of a personal auto policy. Electronics, loading equipment, load securing equipment, rental reimbursement and personal property are insured differently and are not automatically covered.

Commercial Auto Liability is pretty straight forward. If a trucker has ICC Authority, a filing for proof of financial responsibility will be given to the Feds. Filings are what keeps a trucker compliant with federal (ICC) authority requirements. Uninsured / Under Insured Motorist is also helpful for a trucker that has been injured by a vehicle with out insurance. Medical payments are useful when some one is injured in and on your truck.

Cargo insurance covers the truckers' responsibility for others goods he is hauling. There are 3 different forms or policies: Named Perils and Theft which is narrow in coverage, Broad Form which adds certain coverage to the basic form and All Risk coverage which offers coverage for all causes except excluded by language in the policy. Regardless of the form, There are certain coverages a trucker would need. Truckers should buy cargo coverage equal to the highest value of goods they haul. Some policies have a co-insurance clause that can limit coverage limits if you are hauling a higher value load than the limit insured on your policy.

1) A refrigerated carrier would need Reefer Malfunction or Reefer Breakdown coverage to cover the damage from freezing or spoilage incurred if his reefer unit breaks down. Remember to find out if the policy covers a mistake in setting the temperature control device. Most reefer policies only cover in case of a unit breakdown or malfunction.

2) A flat bed carrier should have a wetness coverage or endorsement in the event his load is damaged from rain or snow. Most policies have a tarpaulin endorsement that limits coverage to loads that are properly covered. Sometimes a tarp can be damaged or blow loose due to no fault of the trucker resulting in damage to the load that may not be covered unless wetness coverage is added. Coverage for tarps, chains and binders is also desired to replace stolen or damaged binding equipment that are not other wise covered.

3) A dry van carrier would be advised to make sure that shifting of a load is covered. In this type of operation, larger and longer trailers are used and load securing equipment can fail. These instances are rare but do happen.

Every trucker should have earned freight coverage on his cargo policy. This coverage pays for lost revenue when he is not able to deliver his load due to a covered loss. Disposal and cleanup coverage for a loss should be at least $ 10,000.

Physical Damage coverage is generally to repair the tractor and trailer in case of a covered loss. This coverage is insured on a stated value. The value set for the equipment is the truckers responsibility. The insurance company will pay a loss based on equipment …

How to Approach a Person When Giving Out a Business Card

If you've been networking a lot, you probably understand the importance of business cards and distributing them out. But giving out business cards isn't as simple as just approaching a person, saying hello, and giving them a card. Effective card distribution requires a set of understandings between you and the other person. This article will discuss two of those understandings.

# 1: You Must Learn About The Other Person's Business And Purpose

When approaching someone, you must do more than simply greet the person. You must take some time to engage them in a meaningful conversation about their business. This conversation usually takes longer than a few seconds and is intended to establish an ongoing relationship between you and the other person. Some things you two can talk about are 1) the purpose of your respective businesses, 2) the history, 3) and what you hope to get out of the relationship.

Understand that passing on a business card is more than just a way of promoting your business. It is also a way of establishing a long-term relationship with the people who you pass it on to. And like any long-term relationship, you must take time to sit down and get to know the other person if you are to have success.

# 2: You Must Also Establish A Solid Rapport With The Other Person

There's nothing more important in your networking efforts than establishing a solid relationship with the other person. This is true even when distributing out business cards. Discussion is always key, but even more important is a good rapport between you two. This requires 1) good eye contact, 2) good listening skills, and 3) a strong indication that you show genuine interest in the other person. This is not something that can be accomplished in less than a minute.

Spend some time getting to other person on both a professional and personal level. When you do this, your business card will have more impact because the other person is more likely to hold on to it and maybe spread the word about your business. But your business card distribution efforts will be less effective if you are not establishing a solid rapport because others will be less inclined to keep your card. If they are not keeping your card, your card distributing efforts are useless.

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