Can becoming eco-friendly help you save more money?

With the planet’s temperatures rising and more natural disasters than ever before, it seems that it’s never been more important to take a vested interest in becoming more eco-friendly. 

Being eco-friendly simply means having a lifestyle that is less damaging for our planet. From conserving water to driving less and walking more and consuming less energy, there are many ways in which you can become environmentally-friendlier. 

While you as an individual can’t save the planet from pollution or from having its natural resources wasted, each of us can make a huge difference by changing a few habits to be more friendly with our environment. 

Moreover, the good news is that being eco-friendly isn’t only good for our Mother Earth. It can also be a great step to becoming healthier and spending less on your lifestyle. Hard to believe? Here’s why becoming eco-friendly can help you save more money:  

Saving energy means saving money 

Do you unplug your phone charger, TV or lamp before leaving home? If not, you’d better start doing if you want to save on energy and money at the same time. 

The US Department of Energy explains that every household wastes a lot of money and energy by leaving things plugged in all the time, even when they are not in use. The term used by the US Department of Energy is “energy vampires” for those house appliances that suck electrical power even when you are not using them. And, make no mistake, the electrical power they suck can add up to 10% to your utility bill. 

However, fear not, you won’t have to waste time every day to unplug and plug in appliances. You can simply start using power strips that have on and off buttons. So, saving the planet and saving on your energy bills will be just a button switch away. 

Walking instead of driving will save you gas money 

In today’s busy world, how often do you see people walking? Almost never, right? Today, everybody owns a car that they use to commute and travel. Unfortunately, the urban areas are filled with cars and high traffic which leads to high pollution. 

And, its no point in mentioning the health benefits of walking instead of taking your car wherever you travel. Also, if you commute on a daily basis from your home to the office, bicycling is also a cost-effective and healthy option. 

So, walking or bicycling instead of driving will not only help you reduce urban pollution but it will also help you save money on gas and keep you healthy. 

If you have to travel long distances very often, a good option would be to switch to a hybrid car. It is true that hybrid cars might be a bit pricy investment. However, in the long run, they pay itself off and they are a much better option for protecting the environment. 

The less food you buy, the more money you can save 

One of the biggest global problems that all countries are facing these days is the huge amount of waste generated every year. According to the World Bank, there are 2.01 billion tones of solid waste generated annually every year. Moreover, experts expect for the annual waste generation to reach 3.4 billion tones by 2025. 

Who is there to blame? Everybody! From businesses to each of us who generate household waste without even considering how much it is affecting our environment. But what is the solution? The solution needs to start with each of us by purchasing less or at least only the things that we truly need in order to generate less waste. Many countries around the world, like Australia for example, are working hard to find better waste management solutions. However, it all needs to start with each of us in reducing, reusing, and recycling waste. 

Shopping smart is one of the best ways to reduce your waste. And, obviously, it is also a great solution to spend less and save more. How many times did you go to the supermarket to buy a certain thing but left with a bag filled with many other things you don’t even really need? Most likely, like many of us, this has happened many times. Well, if you want to become an eco-friendly person and save more money, it is time to learn how to do green shopping. 

You can, for example, shop at the farmers market instead of the supermarket. Despite what people think, products from the farmers’ markets are actually at least 10% cheaper than the products you can find in supermarkets. Moreover, you would be contributing to what is called today “fair trading” by helping local farmers earn a profit for their hard work. 

Moreover, you can also bring your own bags to the store to avoid purchasing new ones every time you go shopping. Not only that you have o pay extra money when purchasing new bags, but you are also contributing to pollution because we all know how damaging plastic bags are for our environment.  

DIY projects cost a lot less 

Repairing and reusing household items is another great way to become an eco-friendly person and save more money at the same time. When repurposing items, you simply don’t have to waste money on purchasing new items. 

Luckily, there are a number of DIY projects online which you can use to repurpose household items. For example, you can use pallets for a number of projects, be it building outdoor or interior furniture. Also, if you have to purchase something, at least try to find second-hand items or look for items that contain recycled content. 

Even small household items like glass jars or plastic bags can be reused in a number of ways from storing food to making DIY projects such as creating candles holders. Repurposing old items is a great way to save money and reduce the waste generated by your household. 

Our planet is suffering right now due to trash and pollution that never seem to stop increasing. So, change must come from each of us by changing our lifestyles with more friendly habits for the environment. And, by doing so, we can all reduce our costs and save more money.

Associates Home Loans Shares 5 Tips For Getting a Loan After Bankruptcy While It’s Still on Your Credit Report

If you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, it is still possible to get a home loan or other forms of credit. However, you may have to spend some time putting your financial situation into its proper context. This generally means explaining why the bankruptcy occurred as well as any adjustments that you’ve made to ensure that it won’t happen again. Let’s take a look at some strategies that you can use to get a home loan while bankruptcy is still on your credit report.

Time Heals Credit Report Woes

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. However, you may only have to wait a year or two to get a loan after bankruptcy. As long as you don’t have any more issues over that period, lenders are generally willing to forgive your past and focus more on your ability to manage debt now.

Look for Alternative Funding Sources

You don’t necessarily need to get a traditional mortgage from a bank or credit union to obtain financing to purchase a house. Instead, you can work with companies such as Associates Home Loan to get hard money or other alternative types of funding. Hard money loans tend to have terms that last for several weeks or months, but a hard money loan can be repaid for up to 30 years depending on your needs.

Hard money lenders tend to make loan decisions based on your income and the value of the asset that you’ll purchase with the money. While they may have minimum credit score requirements, your credit score and history won’t play as much of a role as it would working with a traditional bank or credit union.

Find a Cosigner

It is generally easier to get a loan after bankruptcy if someone else is willing to vouch for your ability to repay. There is often no greater way for someone to vouch for you than to cosign the loan with you. A cosigner is responsible for making any payments that you fail to make, and the loan will appear on this person’s credit report as well.

When applying for a mortgage, it may be possible to improve your odds of getting a loan by having another person apply for the loan with you. This may be more appealing to an outside party because he or she will likely be on the deed to the property as well as the loan. Therefore, this person has an ownership stake in the home that he or she may be able to profit from.

Put More Money Down

You can reduce the risk that a lender such as Associates Home Loan takes by asking for less money to finance your home purchase. For instance, you will be asked to put at least 3.5% down to obtain an FHA mortgage. However, those with poor credit may improve their chances of obtaining approval by putting 10 or 20% down. Depending on the type of loan that you are applying for, it may be possible to have someone else gift you the funds for the down payment.

 

For instance, your mother, sister or employer may be able to provide you with $5,000 or $10,000 to cover the down payment and other closing costs. The seller may also be willing to make concessions that can save you money at closing. Local, state and federal government agencies may have programs designed to assist with the costs associated with buying a home.

Make Sure Your Credit Report Is Accurate

It is easy to assume that the presence of a bankruptcy on your credit report is the reason why you haven’t gotten a home loan yet. However, there could be other pieces of information that lenders are using to deny your application that you aren’t aware of. Therefore, it is critical that you review your credit report to make sure that your financial information is being reported accurately.

For instance, after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unsecured credit accounts should all show $0 balances. This is also generally true after a Chapter 13 case has been officially discharged. If you have renegotiated the terms of an auto or another secured loan, make sure that creditors are reporting this to the credit bureaus. If inaccurate information related to bankruptcy is not removed in a timely manner, it may be possible to have the bankruptcy itself removed before seven or 10 years is up.

 

Filing for bankruptcy may make it harder to obtain the credit that you need to live a comfortable lifestyle. However, it doesn’t have to put a stop to your quest of becoming a homeowner. As long as you are willing to be patient and thorough when reviewing your options, it is certainly possible to find a loan with terms that you can afford. 

Online Security: How to Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Chances are, if you haven’t started, you’re busy making a holiday gift list and getting ready to make your online purchases. The spike in holiday shopping this time of year is inevitable, but it can also make you more vulnerable to a myriad of online threats.

In fact, any computer or device visible on the internet becomes a target for hackers, who try to send it connection requests and expose its weaknesses. Fortunately, you can shop safely by implementing some of these proven safety strategies.

Shop from secure sites: Now is not the time to use new sites for your online purchases. Your best bet is to shop from trusted, well-known sites that you’re familiar with. A rule of thumb: check for the ‘https’ in the web address. This usually indicates a “safe” site.

Install updated antivirus software: Installing updated antivirus software is a good start to keeping your devices secure. Oftentimes, companies will send periodic software updates to cover the latest malware attacks, so make sure to install them.

Don’t shop using public wi-fi. Transmitting credit or debit card information over a public Wi-Fi connection leaves you more vulnerable to cyber attacks. It is best to shop online from home using a protected and secure Wi-Fi password. Even better, using a virtual private network (VPN) provides you with greater security online because it encrypts all data traffic.

Use a credit rather than debit card: In the event that your credit card information is stolen, there are laws in place that will limit your amount of liability. You may not have the same protection with a debit card.

Log out of each website: Leaving a website open or neglecting to log out will leave you more vulnerable to an attack, especially if you entered your personal information and a form of payment.

Don’t allow websites to store your financial information: It can be convenient to store your address and payment information so that the next time you visit the website, it’ll already be entered. In reality, it leaves that information vulnerable to hackers.

Remember, with holiday shopping in full force, it is best to remain vigilant in order to prevent your private information from falling into the wrong hands.

How a Misaddressed Email Can Lead to a Security Breach

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated as hackers continue to find loopholes to gather information and use it against their victims. With new digital threats occurring at a rapid pace, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant when connecting to the internet.

Despite the warning, many don’t realize the potential consequences of sending an email to the wrong contact; however, when it comes to data security, a misaddressed email can seriously impact an organization. Businesses, especially those that are highly regulated like in finance and healthcare, need to be ready in the event a misaddressed email ends up in the wrong hands.

For instance, think of a time you accidentally dialed the wrong number. It may have been embarrassing, yet, you probably didn’t overthink the mistake. Sending a misaddressed email that contains private information about a patient, client or a company cannot be brushed over. Further, the misuse of CC and BCC functions could expose your entire database to potential hackers.

If a hospital were to accidentally leak confidential patient information to the wrong person, that health care system could face serious reputational damage if the incident was reported in the media. The same goes for company information such as trade secrets; if it were to fall into the wrong hands, the damage could be irrepressible.

A misaddressed email can be caused by a simple missed character in the address or pressing send too soon. The information that was once confidential is now sitting in the wrong inbox, perhaps an unknown individual or worse, a cyber criminal.

You are probably asking yourself by now, “so what is the solution?” For starters, a strong security strategy will prevent data loss before it occurs. For large corporations, it is important to implement staff training on email security best practices to mitigate against potential data loss. Cyber security solutions that use machine learning to monitor employee behavior and intervene to stop a breach can also be effective.

Further, tools that prompt email users to double check their emails based on a set parameter can also be helpful in preventing a message from being sent out in error. The takeaway here is that organizations need to implement a plan to increase awareness and improve email culture so that data remains safe and secure, the way it was intended.

4 Ways to Afford Expensive Dental Work

In a nation that has focused a great deal of time and energy on finding affordable healthcare for all, oddly, there is quite a way to go before we can say that everyone has access to good dental care. In fact, a whopping 33.6% of Americans do not have any dental insurance at all. And given that dental procedures can be quite costly, this is leaving many people’s dental health totally in the dust. If you are looking for ways to afford costly dental procedures, the following is a list that should serve you well.

Dental Schools

One of the best ways to afford costly dental procedures is by visiting your local dental school. It is a little known fact, but dental schools often provide discounted or even free work to their patients. This is because dental schools are essentially using your mouth to train new dentists. However, do not be alarmed. All procedures are done under the supervision of a qualified dental professional. Therefore, you can get your work done and save a lot of money in the process.

Negotiation

While it may seem like their prices are set in stone, this is rarely the case. In fact, many dental practices will provide discounts to help their patients afford the dental care they need the most. If you need costly dental work and believe you will never be able to afford it, visit a local dentist to see if they are willing to negotiate. On rare occasions, you may even find a practice willing to accept your payment on a sliding scale.

Financing

Another option is financing. Many dental practices work directly with financing companies to offer patients the chance to receive their much-needed dental care. Often times, these companies will provide you with financing with little to no interest for a specified period of time. This is a great option for those who have decent credit and need thousands of dollars of dental work completed.

Smile Makeover Contests

Lastly, you may have already heard of a smile makeover contest in your area. If not, these contests are often used as a way for dental practices to get publicity and give back to the community. In general, a participating practice will choose one recipient each year. The winner gets to receive all their much-needed dental care for free. All the winner typically has to do is enter the contest and agree to allow the practice to use their pictures for promotional purposes. This is a great way to get your dental work completed if you do not have many other options, or even if you do.

Dental work can be highly expensive. However, by trying to suggestions on this list, you are likely to find an affordable way to finally get your teeth fixed for good.

 

Skip the Hotel and Book an Affordable Corporate Apartment

Many companies are now investing in renting out corporate stays. Today, it has very common to travel for work, and people keeping that thing mind are working on providing home-like comfort for those travellers. It is more prevalent that corporate guest is more likely to boost apartment occupancy over the period. As a corporate traveller, they look for comfort and convenience. Today, the corporate housing market is growing at an alarming rate. Even the brand hotels are launching their housing property for accommodating business travellers. Hoteliers are focusing on the market, and companies demand such corporate apartments. These are not only cost-effective but also give you great comfort.

 

If you are looking for such corporate apartments in Houston, without a doubt, you can book from Nova Houston. You will feel a significant difference in staying at their property. They offer you a wide range of room type that you can choose as per your requirement.

 

Efforts increase corporate reservations

Owners make several efforts to provide the best service possible. But how they can ensure that they will stay with them every time they visit your city? Apart from serving the best quality amenities and bagged their apartment will all sort of comfort, owners have to be professional? As a business traveller, people want professionalism in everything. Keeping their expectation in mind, apartment owners can greet them for their enjoyable stay. Owners need to manage things online for frequent and easy bookings. Proving your guest with corporate offers proves to be a smart move.

 

Making friendly relation with guest

If you are going to put effort into creating a close relationship with a single corporate guest, why not upgrade? Why looking for a single employee, why not go for the whole company? If a company has many business commitments to you and are likely to need accommodation for their employees travelling regularly, then it will be an excellent opportunity for your business.

 

Location can be a benefit

Hotels are typically located in areas that are designed for tourists. It is evident and subtle if you are here for vacation, but if you are in town for an extended period of work, you need a practical and convenient place to live. Corporate apartments are located in ordinary neighborhoods where the locals live. That means these apartments are accessible from public transit or near to major highways. You can find corporate housing across the most desirable areas of Houston that may include all necessities around it. On the top, when you live like a local, you will end up knowing something new about them. Of course, this has made our choices clear, where you should book your stay when travelling abroad.

 

Do You Need an MBA to Succeed as an Entrepreneur?

The short answer to that question is ‘no.’ But the longer, in depth answer should add a ‘but . . . ‘ 

You don’t need an MBA to become a successful entrepreneur, but what an MBA can provide you with, the skills and the contacts, can certainly make it easier to succeed with a new idea or startup. Let’s explore this concept a little further:

The discipline of advanced education.

Nowadays it seems common, even cliched, to have a bachelor’s degree in something, whether it be English, Engineering, or Phy Ed. But it’s important to remember that less than fifty years ago most adult Americans did not have a college degree. They entered the workforce with a high school education, if that, and managed, for the most part, to successfully navigate the career whitewaters they encountered. Those who were truly ambitious, or had a rich uncle, got a college degree and then expected to reach the rarified atmosphere of upper management or work in one of the white collar trades like CPA or Pharmacy. 

What college education has always meant to dedicated students is DISCIPLINE. Despite the headlines today, it takes hard work and intelligence to get into a good university, and it takes even more of the same, plus a steely discipline, to go after an MBA. The work done to be awarded an MBA means that the recipient has learned to discipline himself or herself much more than the average college grad. And discipline is one of the keystones of successful entrepreneurship. Hands down. 

A built-in network of resource persons and possible investors.

Ask any successful entrepreneur about the most valuable contacts and supportive investors at the beginning of their careers and chances are good they are going to mention some of their MBA professors and some of their fellow students. A good MBA program has built-in motivators for teachers to become mentors to their students, and for fellow students to become colleagues and, when possible, financial enablers with seed money and allied material support — such as a free or steeply discounted advertising campaign or an introduction to a group of otherwise aloof investors. These are invaluable aids to an entrepreneur who is just starting out with an idea or concept — one that somebody without those MBA-related ties cannot expect to duplicate. 

Self confidence.

Of course there are still diploma mills around that will grant just about anyone a degree, even an MBA, for little or no real coursework and original field work. And sadly, there are still people gullible enough to think that such a scam has any meaning or weight in the real world of business and finance. These kinds of certificates aren’t even worth the gilt-edged paper their printed on.

But when a person puts themselves through a rigorous course of learning in order to obtain an advanced understanding of the business world and high finance, and then is awarded a legitimate sheepskin for their work and thought, it just naturally gives the graduate a sense of accomplishment, and builds their self confidence into something that is hard to knock down and defeat.  An entrepreneur needs all the confidence they can get — and an MBA is one solid way of achieving that. 

 

Improving Credit 101: Some Good Money Management Tips

With your credit score down in the dumps, it may seem like the only way is up from here. But raising through the ratings doesn’t come automatically. It’s the result of hard work and patience.

You’ll have to climb out of bad credit by making deliberate financial choices to impact your history positively.

If your score isn’t where you want it to be, check out the advice below. Here are good money management tips that may impact your history.

Check Your Score

First things first, it’s helpful to know where you stand. Take advantage of your free checks with the government to find out what three-digit number you have.

Checking this file will help you understand the type of information that impacts your score. Once you identify the negative entries you don’t want to repeat, you can figure out your weak spots.

It also gives you a chance to spot any inaccuracies that may be bringing down your score unfairly. Simple errors or instances of identity theft may be the reason why your score is low.

If you see errors, file a dispute right away. The faster you start this process, the sooner you’ll have these mistakes removed.

Pay Your Bills on Time

When a financial institution checks your score, they’re assessing your creditworthiness, as advised by My Wealth Solutions.

In other words, they’re weighing the likelihood you’ll pay back their loan or line of credit.

A record that shows you pay your bills on time, every time, is a good start to impressing your financial institution. This habit will lay down a positive payment history.

Keep a Low Utilization Rate

Another important metric that some financial institutions check is your utilization rate. This number shows how much of your line of credit limit you use from month to month.

A high utilization rate suggests you’re relying on revolving accounts often, and you’re carrying over balances regularly.

Generally, a low utilization rate means you have a good handle on your finances. It indicates you’re balancing your budget, so you don’t have to tap into your line of credit often.

One way to achieve this is by paying off your balance in full on time every month. Another way is by reducing your reliance on these revolving accounts altogether.

Financial Institutions like CreditFresh recommend only using a line of credit for emergencies. They suggest keeping your account in standby for unexpected emergency expenses, so you don’t use up your limit on everyday expenses.

This way, you’ll keep a low utilization rate and have more of your limit available if a financial emergency strikes.

How Long Does it Take to Improve Your History?

How long does it take to complete a 10,000 piece puzzle over the winter holidays? It depends on your patience and commitment to putting every piece together.

The same goes for your score.

It too relies on several puzzle pieces that, once put together, provide a snapshot of your borrowing behavior. You need to spend time with each factor to make sure you have a balanced approach to your finances.

It could take you months, or it could take years. It depends on how low your score is, and how committed you are to making a change.

Are you ready to start the journey towards a better score? Good luck!

 

5 Tips for Preventing Online Identity Theft

The holiday season is upon us. The next two months should be a time of fun and good cheer for everyone, but it’s also a time to be very cautious. The reason? Identity thieves are lurking in the dark recesses of the Internet and they’re more active now than ever.

As a technology professional, I’ve seen my share of problems related to hacking. The good news is that it’s very easy to protect yourself and your devices. Don’t let your personal information be stolen or compromised. Here are five tips for safeguarding your identity.

Stay away from phishing emails and websites

This is a website that looks legitimate but isn’t. Often, they’re linked to rogue email messages that appear official but are anything but. On the surface, it looks just like the real deal, but it isn’t. It was cleverly created to persuade you to enter personal information, which can then be used for nefarious purposes.

How do you know it’s fake? Well. you might not, although there are some telltale signs: a word misspelled, the wrong URL (web address),or an email address that was not sent from the official company domain. If any email message or website asks you for your social security, bank, credit card, or driver’s license number, health insurance information or other personal data, visit the company’s actual web page, call their help line and ask about the request before sharing any information.

Use a unique password

Sure, it’s easy to just enter your address, a phone number or someone’s nickname when prompted for a new password. Unfortunately, these might be the first things hackers try when attempting to access someone’s account. Whether you have five or 25 passwords, it will only help you if you make them all completely different. This can’t be overstated. Consider a different combination of letters (upper and lowercase), numbers and punctuation marks for each password, and create a record of each for easy referral. You can also change your passwords regularly to keep the hackers off guard.

Be discreet about personal information

With Facebook and other social platforms becoming a repository for recording daily activities, people often post way too much information on their personal pages. It’s advisable to think twice before putting personal information on public view. Believe it or not, hackers can create a pretty accurate personal profile of you with information they find on your social media pages, then use it against you. Similarly, be cautious about posting messages like, “Well, I’m off for my morning run.” Hackers and thieves perceive such information as “I’m not home for the next hour.”

Only buy from reputable websites

Ecommerce has taken the place of brick-and-mortar stores in large part, and the convenience online shopping websites provide can’t be argued. But the proliferation of such platforms has also created problems. All reputable online shopping sites have (or should have) security measures built in, meaning that your personal information is encrypted and unavailable to the average hacker. This means that entering your credit card number should be a worry-free experience. On the other hand, there are many sites that aren’t as safe. For you, this means thoroughly investigating an unfamiliar shopping site before you make a transaction. You can do this in several ways. One is to look for online reviews by other shoppers. Another is to look for “https” in the website’s URL. which indicates that it’s a secure, encrypted connection.

Be wary of public wi-fi

While it’s tempting and convenient to make purchases online from the comfort of your coffeehouse table while sipping a latte, it’s not necessarily safe. Public wi-fi, while a convenient benefit offered by many gathering places, is susceptible to unexpected hacks. Just to be safe, wait until you get home to make that purchase.

Remember, always be aware of your surroundings. You never know when a hacker is just around the corner ready to confiscate your personal information for malicious use.

How Sales Recruiters will Bring an Immediate Boost to Your Profit Margin

The bottom line is that sales is all about earnings. You don’t want to spend a dime on anything that’s not going to work towards earning you more money quickly. That said, if you could earn the profits that you’re getting now without having to pay any salaries, then you’d run your company without any employees.

The Necessity of Strong Sales Talent

That fact is that running a sales business without a sales team would be impossible. You’re earning power increases dramatically when you find the sales talent that you need to help close deals and bring in profits. A talented new salesperson is worth every penny that you invest.

The Risk of Mediocre Personnel

If you hire a candidate that can’t find their footing, you can’t afford to waste time paying them while you’re operating at a loss. It’s as simple as that – your business runs on its sales talent and you need a guarantee that you’re going to create a successful team. So why hesitate to invest money in something that has been proven to immediately benefit your company?

 

The Power of Sales Recruiters

 

Sales recruiters partner with companies to be able to bring the best sales talent in the job pool to work where they’ll be put to the best use. These seasoned professionals come from a background in sales and know the industry inside and out.

 

Not only do they use thoroughly researched strategies to find you the best sales people available, they’ll also work hand in hand with your company to discern what you need at any given juncture.

 

Hiring for Executive Positions

 

When the job is more demanding, and implies an enormous increase in responsibility, then the stakes increase dramatically. That doesn’t mean that the situation regarding hiring and earning changes at all – in fact, it only becomes all the more vital that you don’t make any mistakes. If you’re looking for help with executive sales recruitment in Toronto or within the GTA, then you need to get in touch with highly experienced sales recruiters who can bring you guaranteed results.

 

Hiring for Large Campaigns

 

Salespeople with talent can result in a big change to your company’s income. When you multiply your hiring, you also multiply your potential to earn more money. If you’re facing specialized recruitment challenges like the need to hire a group of people all at once, the sales recruiters can guide you through the process or simply find the people you need.

 

When you need sales talent fast, the best option available to you is to hire a sales recruiter to get the job done. There’s no reason to hire people with low talent despite having plenty of experience. A recruiter will help you find highly talented sales people for your company, so that you can increase your earnings fast. Get in touch with an agency to learn more about all of the benefits that sales recruiter can offer.