Monday, March 29, 2021

4 Options To Consider If You're In Need Of Emergency Cash

 

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash


Whether you have recently lost your job, your home is in need of large repairs, or your car has been written off, one thing is for sure: you need cash and you need it quickly. Sadly, when financial emergencies arise, many of us are unprepared and don’t have a rainy day fund to help. 


If you’re currently in this situation, you’re definitely not alone. Even better, there are options available to help you raise cash quickly. The following four ideas are a great place to start:


1. Borrow A Bit

One of the easiest ways to get a quick cash injection is to borrow a little bit of money. 

The easiest and safest way to do this is through a no interest loan scheme. Alternatively, you could seek a loan from family or friends, but that can be complicated and test relationships. You could also release equity from your property, but that also comes with its own risks. 


In all cases, do not take any loan if you are not sure you can pay it off within a reasonable timeframe. It is also very important to avoid any illegal, high-interest, or otherwise unscrupulous money lending options. There are always better ways to get a cash injection than turning to predatory money-lending that results in more debt, usually very quickly. 


2. Liquidate 

Liquidating what you own doesn’t mean you have to sell huge belongings like your house or your car. For a small to medium cash injection, there is a lot you can sell before it gets to the stage of selling larger assets. Here are some suggestions of things you could sell to get cash quick:


  • Jewelry that has no sentimental attachment or that you don’t wear often

  • High-quality clothing like bridesmaid dresses or vintage pieces you inherited but don’t like

  • Recently purchased phones, TVs, or games consoles you could return for full price

  • Older electronics and gadgets that rarely get used 

  • Equipment like cameras or sewing machines from hobbies that never took off 

  • Toys and clothes your children never use any more

  • Any items you clear out during a decluttering session  


It may feel a little desperate to have to sell items to make money, but if it stops this cash emergency from becoming something bigger, it’s a small price to pay. 


3. Boost What You Earn

Starting a new career isn’t going to get you money quickly. However, signing up for more hours at work could be an easy way to boost your next paycheck. Freelancers may wish to consider invoice financing to even out their income. Taking a second job could also boost your earnings. 


Ideally, the second job leverages your natural talent so it doesn’t feel so grueling. For example, if you’re naturally chatty, maybe a few hours working at a bar in the evening could work well for you. Or if you have expertise in a certain area, like photography, you could write an ebook, or run online workshops for hobby groups. 


4. Make A Sacrifice

According to statistics, Americans spend around $2,000 per year on vacations. If you spend a good chunk of your income on holidays, perhaps you could have a staycation this year for an instant cash injection. Sacrificing large payouts like this may feel disheartening, but as we mentioned above, it is much better for you over the long-term than getting into even deeper financial troubles. 

You Can Get Emergency Cash Quick

It is often easier than we realize to get emergency cash when we need it. With a little ingenuity and creative thinking, you could get back in the black quickly, for a better financial future. 







3 Straightforward Investment Opportunities For Beginners

 

Image: 3844328/Pixabay 


There are many more ways than one to amass a fortune. Pinching your pennies and being stingy with your paychecks aren’t the only methods to build a future. Smart financial investing is one of the best ways to construct a strong financial future for yourself. 


Investments might sound intimidating on the surface, especially if you’re new to the world of finances. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Financial investments are more accessible than ever before, thanks to the rise of the internet. 


You now have countless options available to you, from commercial property investments to digital investment apps and everything in between. Here are just a few of the best opportunities for beginners:


1. Take Advantage of Robo-Advisors

No idea how to start investing? Too nervous to sit down with a live financial advisor and admit your ignorance? Then robo-advising will likely be the ideal option for you. As the name suggests, robo-advising uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to handle all your investing for you. These options are effortless to use. Simply create an investor profile, and the advisor will use your data to automate investments based on the resources and goals you’ve specified. 


Better yet, robo-advising is typically far cheaper than working with a human financial advisor. That’s not to mention that robo-advisors usually require a lower amount of capital to get started, making them highly accessible for people who are hesitant about diving into investing or who don’t have too much money to commit at once. 


Robo-advisors are a great jumping-off point for financing as they can let you get the hang of the practice in a low-risk environment, preparing you to move on to more advanced ventures if you’d prefer. Just be sure to do your research and read the online reviews to ensure you’re signing up with a reputable company that’s making money for its newbie investors.

 

2. Invest in Your Retirement

If your workplace provides a retirement plan or other long-term savings plan, then you’re already on your way to investing. Employer retirement plans like a 401(k) are a great way to stockpile a potentially significant sum for the future. The best part is that employers typically match your contributions up to a specific limit, meaning that it’s not difficult to end up with plenty of funds set aside before long.


Retirement funds are one of the best ways to begin investing because of how easy and accessible they are. After all, your employer might have already set up a 401(k) for you anyway. The best part? Most 401(k) accounts don’t have a minimum contribution, so you can invest as much or as little as you’d like – it’s all up to you.


3. Use Investment Apps

Ready to start investing but turned off by complicated systems of accounts and financial advisors? Thankfully, a few mobile apps make it easier than ever to start investing all on your own. These allow for plenty of flexibility to try your hand at developing your own diverse portfolio of investments while still providing enough guidance for beginners to learn the ropes. 


The caveat is that these apps sometimes charge a bit more than other programs and inherently come with more risk than simply trusting a robo-adviser or your 401(k) manager with your funds. However, they can be exactly what you need to break into the stock market.


The world of investments doesn’t have to be impenetrable. There are endless ways for people from all walks of life to seize a solid financial future for themselves through intelligent investments. Take advantage of the resources described above, and you’ll be enjoying healthy returns before too long.








5 Tips For Soothing A Cranky Baby

Photo:  Laura Garcia/Pexels


Human beings have a primal response to the sound of a crying baby. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to listen to a baby crying on a plane or in a cafĂ©, even if the baby isn’t your own? The sound has been proven to trigger the fight or flight response within the subcortical part of your brain, inspiring an immediate emotional response. This reaction can be felt ten-fold when it is your baby crying. To help you soothe those cranky little cries, we have five tried and true tips from experienced mommas.


Change Their Duds

One of the first checkpoints when your baby is upset is to make sure they have a clean and dry nappy. Having a wet or dirty nappy is not only uncomfortable but can lead to nappy rash if left for an extended period of time. 


If your baby has red and irritated skin under their nappy, you can soothe their discomfort and repair the skin with Sudocrem nappy rash cream. After around three days, the rash should clear up. If it is getting worse, then take them to see a doctor.


Feed Them

A newborn baby’s stomach is as small as a cherry and can only hold a teaspoon of milk at a time, which explains why they need such regular milk top-ups (and the frequency of nappy changes required!). If bubs is fussing and won’t settle, then a feed might be in order. 


Remember, your little one hasn’t read the books and may not be interested in the three-hourly schedule they suggest! If you’re out and about, a nursing sports bra can be a lifesaver, allowing you to be comfortable all day and feed bubs with ease whenever the need arises. 


Burp Them

Tiny air bubbles can find their way into your baby’s digestive system when they are feeding, crying, or babbling away happily. These air bubbles are incredibly uncomfortable and need to be passed out through their mouth or their bottom. Some babies find this easy to do, others not so much. 


If your little one is squirming, crying, and in clear discomfort, they may have some trapped wind. Try supporting their chin with one hand while you pat their back with the other. Cycling their little legs like they are on a bicycle can also be a great help.


Hold Them

Don’t listen to the naysayers who say that you will spoil your baby by holding them too much. Cuddling, rocking, and having skin-to-skin time with your baby all have crucial benefits for their brain development. Not only that, but we are biologically programmed to want to hold, cuddle, and comfort our young. Plus, they are only tiny for a short amount of time, and you will be sure to look back at that stage with a lot of nostalgia. 


Take Them for a Walk

If all else fails, pop your cranky baby into their pram or carrier and take them out for a walk. Sometimes a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery can work wonders for your mood and theirs. Remember, while it is perfectly natural to feel more tightly wound as your baby gets more and more upset, they are also very responsive to your mood. This last tip can help both of you.


While it can sometimes feel like nothing you do works to soothe a cranky baby, you will learn different techniques to help calm your baby over time. A quick note: if you are worried that they are uncomfortable or unwell, don’t hesitate to consult a medical professional. 







5 Easy Ways To Slash Your Expenses Today

 

Photo: Micheile Henderson/Unsplash


There’s never a bad time to save a bit of money, right? The good news is, there are plenty of ways to reduce unnecessary expenditure, giving you more funds to direct towards your goals. To help you get started, check out these five easy ways to slash your expenses today: 


1. Enjoy everything you already have… just cheaper

One of the savviest things you can do to save money is to look for the same services you already use, but for a lower price. Maybe you can compare dental prices locally and switch surgeries, saving money on the family’s dental appointments. How about switching cell phone contracts for a better tariff? 


Don’t be afraid to shop around and switch up the companies you use for the services you need – it’s one of the easiest ways to cut your expenses quickly. 


2. Find the cut

More often than not, when expenses are running high, there is at least one ‘bleed.’ This is an area where money is spilling out of your account and you’ve not noticed. Your job is to find ‘the cut’ (aka, the source of the bleed). 


Good examples of this are things like gym memberships you still have despite not going for months, or insurance policies you pay for but don’t need. Where is the hidden financial wound that is causing you to lose more than you should be losing? Here are some ways to find out:

  • Check all your paper bills

  • Check all your digital bills

  • Check any regular direct debits

  • Look at any money management apps you use 

  • Check joint account histories 

  • Work out how much you pay on monthly expenses to compare against average costs 


By analyzing each and every outgoing that you have, you are likely to find at least one ‘cut’ that needs to be treated.


3. Learn to live a simpler life

Society is hooked on buying stuff that is not only bad for your wallet but bad for the environment. Statistics tell us that if everyone lived like a Western consumer, we’d need five planets to support us. The way we all consume, consume, consume is depleting natural resources and polluting the planet at speed. 


Do you need all those new furnishings? Do you really need that new phone? Learn to live a simpler life for a healthier bank balance and planet. 


4. Do all the free things

Making memories is definitely worth your investment. However, if you have more free fun, you get to bank memories and cut your expenses too. Here are some fantastic free fun ideas:


  • Go hiking – nature is good for you and you can burn 300-650 calories per hour too

  • Visit free museums and art galleries

  • Go tidal pool rummaging 

  • Go surfing or snorkeling 

  • Have a picnic made from food you already have at home

  • Go wild camping (if you have camping gear)

  • Have a movie fest at home with all your favorite films 


Making memories doesn’t have to cost lots of money, especially if you’re creative. 


5.Budget

If you’re a spontaneous spender who grabs those items stacked at the checkout, or who buys a new outfit without thought, you can cut your expenses by budgeting. This is an easy way to look at all your incomings and outgoings and decide how much you want to save. 


The tips above are a great start when it comes to cutting your expenses. If you’re honest with yourself and motivated to make a change, you can spend less and save towards the bigger financial goals that really matter to you. 








Thursday, March 25, 2021

Party Snacks: Best Recipes to Try for Your Next Sleepover

 Who says that only children can have fun at sleepovers? They can be as much fun in your 20’s as they were in your early preteen years. It is important to keep a good bond with your friends, and the best way to do that is to spend time together. It gets quite hard keeping track of friends when everyone has started working. Plan a sleepover with all of your friends, even if it has to be months in advance. If you are worried about the food part of it, leave that to us. We have curated some of the best party sleepover snacks that can help you have a great night with your friends.

Best Teepee Slumber Parties In Sydney | ellaslist

The best chicken loaded nachos

The best snack food is definitely a plate of loaded nachos. Who doesn’t love nachos? This recipe offers you a tremendous amount of ease and convenience since it is baked in the oven. You can go as wild as you would like with the toppings. Think of cheese, seasoned chicken, salsa, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and even sour cream! This will definitely be a popular dish among your friends that gets made in less than 10 minutes and is guaranteed to give you back an empty plate within no time. You can even add some jalapenos to bring some heat into these loaded nachos.

These ‘edible’ fudgy chocolate brownies

Before you make this, it is important to check whether recreational use of cannabis is legal in your state or not. If it is, then you are in for quite a delicious treat. The beauty of edibles is that you do not have to use really good weed in order to get a really good high. You can even use some reggie weed in order to make your cannabutter that goes into your brownies. Remember to decarboxylate the weed before you melt it with the butter. All you need is some cocoa powder, chocolate compound, flour, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Mix the cannabutter into the rest of the ingredients and cook them for 35-40 minutes in order to get that perfect consistency.

The best spinach and artichoke dip

Do not be fooled by the name. This is definitely not as healthy as it sounds and is filled with cheesy goodness. Once you make this, you will never buy spinach and artichoke dip from the store ever again. This is the ultimate party dip and there is almost no one who can resist it. The ingredients that you need are sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, cream cheese, pepper, salt, mozzarella, parmesan, artichokes, and spinach. It is as easy as mixing all of these together and putting it into an oven preheated at 350 degrees for only 20 minutes, or till it is baked through fully, you can serve it with some pita chips or even some crispy lavash if you feel like it.


It is important to stay connected with your friends through the years, and the best way to do it is to have sleepovers from time to time in order to strengthen your bond. Use these recipes as the perfect snacks for your reunion. 







How to Add a Vintage Touch To Your Home Sweet Home?

 “A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy.” - Juan Montoya 

Sophisticated Decor That Rocks | Decoholic

Giving your home a remarkable look and feel is something that everyone expects. However, it may sound like a wonderful dream to visualize all day long but when you wake up to the realities, you realize the total amount of challenges it comes with. But relax, it's not rocket science either. 


Home decor has its kind of charm and excitement. All you need to do is to put your creative mind to the test and get started. Now when it comes to adding a touch of sophistication to your home decor, you need to think differently and add royalty to everything you do. If you are getting confused in this process, here is a string of happening options available to you. 


Idea no. 1 - The crown moldings 

The first thing is to get into the details and work on the moldings. The more detailing you give to the corners of the room, the more you will make your home look royal. Get the crown molding done on the edges and you are sorted. It’s one of the most effortless things you can do to make your home look elegant and exceptional. 


Idea no. 2 - Lights for the true difference 

Your lighting arrangement is enough to make your place look ugly or beautiful. Get subtle lighting fixtures with a standard size chandelier hanging in the middle of the living area and adding a lot to your home interior designing taste. There are countless designs and types of chandeliers and vintage lights available in the market to choose from.


Idea no. 3 - Fireplace 

Have you ever seen Hollywood lavish homes with a fireplace adding a warm and ancient look to the place? Do you wish to have the same look for your home? Well, for that you need a fireplace. Rather than settling for the original ones, prefer to have electric fireplaces. Now, this often makes people know about what is the most realistic electric fireplace? But relax there are several options available to choose from. Just be assured of the quality and size you are purchasing. 


Idea no. 4 - The vintage furniture 

When it comes to furniture for the perfect vintage look, you need to go for teak wood as it enhances the furniture appearance to the best. Go for a retro style with minimal accessories and you are sorted. The whole idea of vintage furniture is all about playing around with the wood polish color and finishing rather than stuffing it with fancy accessories. 


The bottom line is, 

Adding a tinge of creativity and sophistication to your home decor comes with a lot of thinking. You need to stand out unique and make an appealing mark with your ideas. For this, surf through the internet, mug up new interior selections available in the market, read the online guides, and you are done. Above all, make sure to remain engaged with the current trends of the home decor industry. 








Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tips for Settling Your Debts On Time

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Being in debt can put a financial restraint on you and cause you to feel worried all the time. Unfortunately, debt has become one of the major issues households face, as the U.S Household Debt has reached a record high of $14.6 trillion. Fortunately, you can come out of it by taking the necessary steps to pay your arrears on time, as delaying will only compound more interests and increase your payments. Here are some pragmatic ways to help you settle your debts early.

1. Make a debt list

Knowing who and how much you owe is the first step in tackling your debts, and creating a list gives you a clearer picture. This helps you to budget any money that you acquire accordingly. You can start by listing the names of your creditor(s), the amount you owe them, plus their interest rates and the due date of payment. It’ll also help if you constantly update your list, especially after making your payments, as this keeps you up to date with your debt settlement. If you find the process daunting, you can use debt reduction apps for more effective debt management. 

2. Settle the bigger debts first

Large debts attract bigger interest rates, and postponing their payments will accrue more interest, increasing the amount you have to pay. This is why you should tackle them first. However, this doesn’t mean you should forget about the smaller debts. You can make it work by continuing to make your minimum monthly payments on loans and credit cards while diverting extra cash to your bigger loans. In case settling the bigger debts might not work for you, you can use a debt repayment calculator to determine how much is ideal for you to pay every month. 

3. Go above the minimum payment

While sticking to the minimum monthly payment is safe, it does little to accelerate your full debt settlement. Usually, it’s used to pay off the interests instead of your balance, and it keeps you paying for a long time. It’ll be best to deposit more than the required minimum amount to quickly come out of your arrears. For instance, if your minimum payment is $200, you can make it $300 or $400. This way, you’ll be settling your balance and interests simultaneously, thereby accelerating your payments.

4. Avoid additional debts

In settling your arrears, you must try everything possible to avoid incurring additional debt. It’s prudent to plan an effective budget and allocate the money you have to your pressing expenses. It’ll also help if you stop using your credit cards for a while; while they provide a sense of financial security, you’re in reality buying with money you don't have, which is still debt. Additionally, suspend luxury and stick to the essentials. 

Perhaps you’re deep in debt, and don’t know how to navigate through your settlement options. You can enlist the services of seasoned lawyers from firms such as Boulder Legal Group to advise you on the vital steps to take to settle your arrears on time.