Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Six Steps To Settling Into A New Life In A New City


Image - Pixabay CC0 License


Whether you’ve recently moved to a new city or you’re planning to in the near future, it is a huge transition in your life. Therefore, finding ways to settle in quickly should be one of the top items on the agenda.


It may seem like a daunting prospect, especially if this is the first time you’ve relocated to a new city. Focus on the six simple steps below, however, and you won’t go far wrong.


#1. Personalize the home setting

It will inevitably take some time for the new city to feel like home. Thankfully, you make huge progress by ensuring that the home surroundings feel homely. After all, you will spend more time here than in any other setting. Even if you are renting, there are ways to personalize the home spaces. Adding family photos and home accessories that are tailored to your tastes will have a big impact. Boosting the home security features should transform your feelings towards the property and the new life. The sooner you make these changes, the better.


#2. Find a dream job

Millions of people relocate each year directly on the back of a new job offer. So, if you fall into this category, you won’t need to worry much. However, if you have moved without a secured job, it’s time to consider ways to find your dream career. Working your way towards the dream job, or at least stepping onto the ladder that gets you there, is vital. It will leave you feeling far happier in your daily life while the financial aspects should not be ignored either.


Image - Pixabay CC0 License


#3. Appreciate local attractions

Learning to appreciate what the new setting has to offer is a key step towards making a smooth transition. Reading local attractions guides will provide inspiration. Meanwhile, a little spontaneous exploration can help. After all, familiarity breeds homely vibes. Some of the attractions may be similar to the things you loved about your home. Others may be completely different and relate to what makes your new location extra special. It is one of the most important steps for building a sense of added excitement and enthusiasm.


#4. Make new connections

Human interaction is the key to our happiness. Technology makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and relatives from the old home. Still, it is crucial that you meet new people too, especially if you have relocated alone. Joining Latino trial chat lines can be a great way to connect with other singles without worries about COVID. Of course, you can always meet in person if things progress nicely. As far as friends are concerned, colleagues are a good starting point. Meanwhile, attending settings where you can meet people with similar interest is ideal.


#5. Find a new hobby

Even when you make all of the above changes, there are moments where you will have time to kill. Finding a new hobby is arguably the most effective way to do this while also building a better relationship with the new city. The new hobby could be related to cooking, performing, artistic endeavors or learning a language. If it keeps your mind occupied and engaged, the new hobby can only have a positive influence. Besides, it may be the key to supporting other goals like meeting new people or even opening the door to new job opportunities. 


#6. Be patient

Finally, you must remember that it will take time. Try not to put pressure on yourself to achieve success in a set amount of time. As long as things are moving in the right direction, the desired results will come.








Thursday, November 25, 2021

6 Crucial Mistakes To Avoid When Trying To Get Out Of Debt


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In managing your finances, you may occasionally have to deal with debt. As you make significant decisions such as buying a new home or car, starting a business, etc., you may acquire debt through loans or other credit options. However, it’s essential to plan towards handling any debt you acquire to avoid any adverse effects in the long run, such as unstable finances, anxiety, etc. Statistics reveal that mortgages and credit cards account for more than 40% of people’s debts in the U.S. If you’re trying to get out of debt, here are some mistakes to avoid. 


  1. Trying to handle it on your own

Although you may want to try and handle all your debts on your own, considering ways to get help can prove beneficial. Trying to deal with everything by yourself could lead to a long time getting out of debt and may also cause you to be hard on yourself. There are many options you can consider to get assistance in dealing with your debts. For instance, you can contact non-profit counseling services to give you personalized advice on managing your credit and finances. Doing this can help you feel less overwhelmed. 


If you’re a business owner and need to liquidate your assets to get some money for debt repayment, you can also consider questions such as ‘how can I sell my business at a competitive price’? This way, you’ll have some practical solutions that can help take you a step closer to getting out of debt without limiting yourself or depending on only your finances. 


  1. Having unrealistic targets

Repaying debt is often a gradual process, and you may not be able to clear everything at once. Bearing this in mind will help you set clear and realistic goals to make your debt repayment more achievable. Dealing with your debt one at a time will be a more practical approach that will make it easier to reduce how much you owe. You can start by paying the debts with the highest interest first and gradually work towards the others. This strategy is known as the debt avalanche approach. Alternatively, you can try the debt snowball strategy, where you start with your smallest debts and work your way up. 


  1. Not changing your spending habits 

It’s prudent to make some changes to your daily spending habits to allow you to repay your debts. Doing this requires sacrifice, discipline, and commitment. It would help if you weighed your needs against your wants to help you know which expenditure to prioritize. Budgeting is a great way to help you do this as it will help you monitor your finances, track your progress, and reduce impulse buying. One essential tip is to spend less than you earn. Doing this will help you avoid future debts and enable you to save more towards your debt repayment. 


  1. Ignoring the value of financial literacy 

In working towards getting out of debt, aside from working on your spending habits, you need to gain practical knowledge of finance. Such knowledge will help you make informed decisions when borrowing and reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Financial literacy will help equip you with the information you need on compound interest, best investment options, borrowing responsibly, saving money, budgeting, etc. Many resources are available to help you become financially literate, including reading personal finance books, listening to podcasts on finances, and taking financial literacy courses. 


  1. Falling for illegitimate schemes to help you get out of debt 

Not being discerning in choosing the best solutions to get you out of debt could worsen any financial issues you may be facing. Although there are various debt relief programs available, it’s best to be diligent, so you don’t end up falling prey to illegitimate schemes that target those in debt. Some ways to identify if someone is scamming you are vague terms and conditions, exorbitant prices, and promises too good to be true. 


  1. Failing to find ways to increase your income 

Debt repayment can become an endless cycle if you don’t support your efforts with extra income. Having a stable source of income will help keep you going while you reduce your debt. According to research, the higher disposable income you have, the more capable you’ll be of clearing your debts. You can consider starting a side hustle to earn more income in addition to your regular job. 


While trying to get out of debt, it’s best to put aside some money towards an emergency fund. This way, you won’t channel all your finances into debt repayment without preparing financially for the future. Avoiding the mistakes listed above will help take you a step closer to getting out of debt. 









Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Stats To Make You Think About Leveraging Mobile Marketing

 ​https://unsplash.com/photos/0aRycsfH57A 


We’re using smartphones more than ever before. With more and more people spending time on their phones and relying on digital counterparts to complete transactions, pay in stores, and turn off bedroom lights, it’s no wonder marketers are itching to find out the new trends they can jump on to amplify their advertising initiatives.


‘Mobile devices account for more than 50% of all internet traffic’

QR codes are a great solution to a manual search. Actions are expected to be instant on mobile, and with more than 50% of all internet traffic coming from the devices in our pockets, it makes sense to meet users where they are and optimize for their natural technology use. 


Directing a consumer to a landing page without the need for typing is a great way to ease the user journey and land them exactly where you want them to be. If you’re launching a new product and want them to watch your launch video, or you want to explain how your medical malpractice attorneys work, save them some search time and give them longer to engage with your media. 


‘Nearly half of users will be put off a website if the content is irrelevant’

When using QR codes in advertising campaigns, marketers need to ensure the messaging is accurate and truthful.


If you’re directing users to an offer but hit them with a sign-up page first, you’re not really being truthful about the required steps. Be upfront about what the user will be expected to do to ensure they don’t drop off before they reach what they were expecting.


‘9 out of 10 customers are lost due to a lower mobile-friendly experience’

This should be a no-brainer: if you’re inviting a user to experience your website on their device via QR code, you need to ensure the site is responsive to mobile. It takes less than a second for a user to form an opinion about your site, so make sure it doesn’t let your brand down.


Check no content is cut off, and your call to action (CTA) isn’t buried underlines of content. If a user has to scroll endlessly to find what they’re supposed to land on, your site isn’t well optimized for mobile. 


‘Brands that improve the accuracy of location information by only 20% see their conversion rate increase by 216%’

Using outdoor marketing to alert consumers to a local shop, cafe, or gym, a QR code can drop a pin on a map and give them directions from where they are, and how they can reach you in the quickest way possible.


Location data accuracy is important for this to work smoothly: you don’t want consumers being directed through fields, across dual carriageways, or on what ‘looks like it could be a path but is just a wall’. This will lead to a bad experience and ultimately prevent them from ever reaching you.


You wouldn’t sell a shirt before you’d made a prototype and tested it out yourself - so make sure you invest in your location data before you try any marketing schemes that rely on its efficacy.


‘55% of social media engagement is on a mobile device’

Amplify social media mobile usage by offering a QR code that unlocks a hidden Instagram story frame the user can share, or a personalized filter they can add to their profile image.


For a greater hit rate, you could offer users a discount code or coupon if they follow your social media account via the QR code. This plays into customer engagement and increases their chances of shopping with you in the future. 








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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

5 Tips for Keeping Your Campsite Clean

  

Image: Uriel Mont/Pexels


Keeping a clean campsite requires a bit of preparation. Super-handy campsite gear and the best nonstick cookware will keep cleaning easy, but there are some clever tricks that can help even the most prepared campers. Read on for our top tips for keeping your campsite clean. 


1. Keep Your Camping Gear Clean

The best way to ensure that you keep your campsite clean is ensuring your gear is clean after every trip.  It’s also recommended to check for any cleaning and maintenance tasks that may need to be done the week prior to your trip. This will give you the opportunity to tackle any repairs that may need to be done and clean out any dust or mold that may have accumulated. 


Clean and check over your tent, sleeping bags, folding chairs, and other gear. Having a set cleaning and maintenance routine before and after each camping trip will help you avoid any nasty surprises – like a torn tent or moldy sleeping bag – when you’re out in the wilderness. 


2. Don’t Forget Your Camp-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

The proper cleaning supplies are essential to maintaining a clean campsite. When packing supplies, remember to include a broom and dustpan as these will make cleaning your tent floor and picnic area a breeze. 


Scouring pads are another essential item and should be used to clean all cooking utensils so as to avoid attracting unwanted critters. Trash bags are an absolute must and should be used to store all waste. Remember to keep your trash bags tightly closed at night!


3. Plan in Advance

Planning your setup will take your campsite’s cleanliness to the next level. We recommend setting up your trash and recycling bags first. You will inevitably have trash to throw away as you are unpacking and preparing your space, so this ensures everything remains tidy from the start. You may even consider investing in pop-up trash cans for your next camping trip. 


Another great tip is to lay a tarp where you’ll be cooking and eating so as to decrease your clean-up time. Last, but not least, strategically place your tent away from water sources in order to keep mud and water out of your sleeping space (this will also help you avoid attracting bears and other wildlife).


4. Everything AND the Kitchen Sink

Maintaining a clean cooking space may seem a bit tricky, which is why we recommend packing the kitchen sink. That’s right, you can purchase a collapsible kitchen sink for your next camping trip in order to make your campsite cooking routine that much easier!


 If a collapsible sink isn’t the investment you’re looking to make, that’s okay. Remember to use biodegradable soap when washing your dishes, and utilize non-stick cookware to make clean-up that much easier. Keep critters at bay by straining food particles via mesh strainers or nylon stockings. 


5. Go Beyond Leave No Trace

Out of respect for other campers and the beautiful environment you get to enjoy, it’s important to leave the campsite better than you found it. Ask members of your campsite to spread out and search for any trash that could have been missed during your clean-up, and pick up anything that may have been left by campers before you. 


If your party moved any natural elements such as rocks or logs, place them back in their original location. If you’ve followed the aforementioned tips, your campsite clean-up should be a breeze. 


Are you already utilizing these tips? If not, which will you be incorporating into your next camping trip?








5 Tips for Rediscovering the Simple Pleasures in Life

 

Photo: MI PHAM/Unsplash

Busy schedules and cluttered lives often leave little time for enjoying the simple things in life. The smell of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning, the sound of rain as it hits the window, the warmth of a fuzzy robe on a cold winter’s night. These are the types of things that elicit fond memories and feelings of satisfaction. Unfortunately, many of us forget to enjoy the little things. 

Because everyone is unique, life’s simple pleasures will be different from person to person. Whatever yours are, it’s important that you take time to enjoy them as they will remind you of how little it really takes to tap into happiness. The tips below will help you get there. 

1. Identify Your Simple Pleasures

Take a moment to think about the simple moments and sensations that bring you joy. Jot them down. Making a list can help you remember to slow down and enjoy these things when they come along. 

It might be a comforting smell, you can recreate with an essential oil diffuser. Maybe it’s a taste or a sensation that brings about happy thoughts. Whatever the case, identify what makes you happy, and make a point of enjoying these small blessings when they occur. 

2. Take a Moment and Be Present

Life is busy. We’re constantly moving from one task to the next with barely a minute for a pause in between. This is why it’s difficult for many of us to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. 

Enjoying the little things isn’t about having time – it’s about paying attention. It’s about taking a moment to pause and be present in the moment. You may not be accustomed to “stopping to smell the roses,” but you should make the effort. The more you do, the easier it will be to press pause whenever you want to enjoy the small pleasures in life. 

3. Pay Attention to Natural Beauty

Nature offers a plethora of beautiful things to enjoy. From pretty wildflowers growing on the side of the road to a rainbow in the sky after a storm, there are a lot of things to appreciate and enjoy in nature. Taking the time to appreciate their beauty is a great way to begin noticing the little things that bring joy in life. 

The next time you’re outside at night, take a moment to look at the stars in all their glory or stop and pick some flowers while walking through the woods. These activities will slow your mind and reduce your stress. 

4. Do Something New

If you find you’re having trouble slowing down to appreciate the things listed above, try doing something new and different from your daily routine. Drive a different route to work or visit a different coffee shop. Doing something unfamiliar requires your full attention, and this leaves little room for worry or strife over your typical daily grind. 

5. Plan the Simple Things

Simple pleasures are all around us – you just have to pay attention to see them. If you’re having a hard time finding them, it’s okay to plan them out. Whether it’s something little like taking a short walk after dinner or something more involved like a day at the beach, make time to enjoy things that bring you happiness. 

Today’s busy lifestyle makes it difficult to slow down to enjoy the little things. By following the suggestions above, you can rediscover life’s simple pleasures. 








Monday, November 15, 2021

Home Decorating Hacks For Small Living Rooms

 


Photo Credit - CC0 License


Having a small living room isn't the end of the world. In fact, it can actually be rather cosy and nice to have a small space to relax and chill in. Granted, there are a few issues that crop up when you're trying to decorate this area of your home. Traditionally, living rooms require a fair bit of furniture to make them feel homely. Obviously, if your living area is quite small, you're going to struggle to decorate it conventionally.


Nevertheless, with these home decorating hacks, you'll be able to make your small living room look fantastic without taking up loads of space. 

A multipurpose coffee table

Adding a coffee table to your living room is borderline essential. It helps bring the place together, gives you a base to add extra touches - like flowers and candles - and allows you to host guests without worrying where they'll place their drinks. 


The trick is to get a coffee table that has multiple purposes. For instance, you can get some that double up as foot stools. In essence, the top is a removable tray - and when it's on the stool you have a little coffee table - when you take it off, you have somewhere to put your feet up without needing two items of furniture!

Nesting tables

Similarly, nesting tables are always such a brilliant idea for small living spaces. Here, you have a set of tables that fit under one another and progressively get smaller in size. When tucked away they only take up the space of one table - which could be used as a coffee table, if you wanted. Then, you also have a couple of smaller tables to use as side tables when necessary. 


It's perfect as you don't need to take all the tables out at once, all the time. You pick and choose when they're needed, meaning your living room isn't overloaded with furniture 24/7. 

Use the walls

Clearly, the biggest worry is finding a sofa to fit your living room. It needs to be big enough for everyone to fit on, but it can't be overly big that it takes up too much space. Here, the best hack is to use the walls in your living room to push the sofa up against. 


Why? Because it leaves as much floor space as possible for other things - like tables or a TV unit, etc. Also, it allows you to possibly get a bigger sofa than you thought. For example, you can get a corner sofa up against your wall, offering ample room for the family without imposing on the main room space. 


There are loads of other home decorating hacks for small living spaces, but these three should get you off to a great start. As you can see, it's fairly easy to come up with inventive ideas that let you decorate your small living room without making it feel overly cramped and cluttered. It's all about making the most out of the space you've got.








Wednesday, November 10, 2021

How To Teach Your Teenager About Budgeting

One of the most crucial money lessons you can teach your children as a parent or guardian is how to budget. If you have teenagers, they may already be earning their own money, so why not teach them responsible money management?

Budgeting will make it easier for your teenager to achieve financial independence, which is the ultimate goal for them and for you. If you're just getting started with essential money discussions with your children, try this budgeting guide to get started.

 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Involve Your Teen in Money Matters

The best strategy to help your teenager with good budgeting is to set a good example and discuss the specifics of your personal budget. Children and teenagers are keen observers, often seeking advice from their parents on a variety of topics, including financial wellness.

You and your teen, for example, could collaborate to compile a list of your household's monthly spending. Your child could then look over these different outgoings and classify the expenditure correctly. This is where they can learn about fixed and variable costs, discretionary spending, and where taxes come into play.

You can also talk about your budgeting strategy and how it compares to other budgeting methods so they can explore other ideas if they prefer to. 

Teach Your Teen About Wants and Needs

Discussing the difference between wants and needs is one of the most crucial stages in teaching your teen about budgeting. Again, make it simple and explain that a need is something you must have to exist, such as rent payments, but a want is something you can go without, such as a Netflix membership.

There are many approaches that can be used to help youngsters understand the differences here. For example, you could begin by classifying each cost in your budget or the budget they created for themselves. 

Ask if this is something they could live without for each cost on your list. This technique might help them to write out their needs and desires. However, you should also use real-life instances or experiences. For example, if you have a restricted budget, back-to-school shopping might be an opportunity to examine what is required and what is not. 

Talk About Savings 

Once you've met the essential expenses, such as how much braces cost, explain that the remainder of their money can be deposited into your teen's savings account. The more they can save by not spending frivolously and truly understanding the difference between want and need, the better – they'll have more savings and be able to buy bigger things such as tickets for a vacation with friends, or even a car; they might even want to start saving for a down payment for a house.  

Make sure they know that their money is limited and that sometimes making trade-offs is necessary. Explain, for example, that purchasing a costly item of clothing now may mean they can't do something that's really important in the future, and they must always be thinking ahead. Having financial goals makes budgeting a lot easier.