How Businesses Are Coping With Mental Health Issues In A Time Of Crisis

Worrying about catching an infectious disease, the coronavirus or otherwise, while taking care of your family and continuing to work, either at home or on site, can be a very stressful time. It can be hard to stay calm when there is fear and unease in the media, stories of self-quarantines, and shortages of sanitizing products. Many people are feeling anxious, even if they rarely experience anxiety.

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45 percent of adults (53% of women and 37% of men) say the pandemic has affected their mental health, and 19 percent say it has had a “major impact.” The rates are slightly higher among women, Hispanic adults and black adults.

With nearly a third of the world’s population on some form of coronavirus lockdown, lengthy periods of isolation and “social distancing” are leading to increased feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. For some people, the anxiety comes from a fear of getting sick or having their loved ones become ill. For others, it’s the economic downturn and fear of unemployment. For many, it’s the uncertainty of how long this unusual, isolated lifestyle will continue.

Anxiety related to the coronavirus is to be expected. For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We don’t know how exactly we’ll be impacted or how bad things might get. And that makes it all too easy to catastrophize and spiral out into overwhelming dread and panic. The poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the key worries related to the coronavirus pandemic were:

  • You or someone in your family will get sick 
  • Your investments, such as retirement or college savings, will be negatively impacted 
  • You will lose income due to a workplace closure or reduced hours 
  • You will not be able to afford testing or treatment if you need it
  • ​You will put yourself at risk of exposure to the virus because you can’t afford to stay home and miss work


Capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce re-sources and information overload could be a recipe for unchecked anxiety.

In addition to anxiety, people can develop obsessions. In a situation like this one, it is easy to become obsessive about disease prevention, especially for those with OCD who already experience contamination obsession which is “unwanted, intrusive worry that one is dirty and in need of washing, cleaning or sterilizing.” Washing until your skin is chapped and peeling, disinfecting household items several times a day, or watching news on COVID-19 all day may be signs that an obsession has formed.

Another serious issue is loneliness. Social distancing is considered critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. However, it can understandably lead to loneliness. Working from home, suspended religious services, separation from family can all contribute to an existential feeling of aloneness. Numerous studies have shown the adverse mental health and physical impacts of loneliness, including the potential to trigger a depressive episode.

And during this time of self-isolation, individuals may also experience traumatic stress. A survey of people subject to quarantine during the SARS outbreak in 2003 found that nearly 29% experienced traumatic stress. Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, an accident, or violent crime among other things. The emotional toll from a traumatic event can cause intense, confusing, and frightening emotions that can last from days to years past the initial event. Traumatic stress can result in feelings of shock and disbelief, fear, sadness, helplessness, guilt, anger, and shame.

This is where business owners and leaders can step in to help employees cope with anxiety, stress, loneliness, and depression. Cheril Clarke, of, has written an entire blog post on how businesses can assist with their employee’s mental health. She says that businesses now have an opportunity to make their employees feel like they matter. Cheril notes that the main message businesses need to convey to their employees is: 

“Things will get better. Even though the economy is now contracting, at some point, it will expand again. In the meantime, we are here for you. Retaining employees and supporting them during this difficult time is our top priority. After all, there is no business without people. COVID-19 may have caught us off guard, but we are dedicating every resource at our disposal to respond to this unexpected challenge.”

Making a person feel like part of a community can help with feelings of loneliness and worry. Sharing accurate information about COVID-19, can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them. Informing employees of mental health resources that may be available to them can provide a sense of relief. Humans like a sense of certainty, so letting employees know exactly where the business stands in terms of benefits, employment, knowledge, and compassion can fill that need of certainty in a very uncertain time.

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Quit Saudi Arabia

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Quit Saudi Arabia

Recent political developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia surrounding the government’s assassination of a dissident journalist have many crowing over excessive Saudi influence in the United States. Nowhere is this influence more perverse than in Silicon Valley, where today’s leading tech companies and startups find themselves awash with Saudi funding. Despite the fact that many activists are trying to drive a wedge between Silicon Valley and Saudi Arabia, I think the couple is unlikely to break up anytime soon.

Here’s why I’m confident that Silicon Valley just can’t quit Saudi Arabia, and what that means for the future of our freedom and technology alike.

It’s all about the money

The hubbub surrounding Saudi Arabia’s deep influence in American politics and technological development was spawned by the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had been a mild thorn in the ruling regime’s side. The Saudis brutally butchered Khashoggi, himself a native of the Kingdom, before embarrassingly botching their cover-story, exposing their crime to the whole world. Don’t expect tech leaders in Silicon Valley to start shunning the rulers who just brutally cracked down on dissidence, however; their pockets are too lined with Saudi cash to really do anything meaningful.

It shames me to say that American companies and political leaders have had a cozy relationship with the Saudis thus far; Saudi Arabia was the first country President Trump visited abroad, for instance, and tech leaders have long been receiving financing from Saudi sources. I never truly understood the reprehensible scope of Saudi influence in the American tech scene until I delved into how thoroughly Saudis were funding American innovation. The results were chilling; investigative reporters have uncovered billions of dollars flowing into Silicon Valley enterprises from Saudi-borne wealth funds.

The Saudis also spend freely when it comes to influencing American politics, sending countless lobbyist to Washington that they may influence the legislative process. Virtually the entirety of the American energy industry, too, is in the hands of Saudi Arabian donors, which means that major American energy proponents can lean heavily on their tech-peers in Silicon Valley which have provided innovation across all sectors including Express MRI which uses highly sophisticated MRI scanning technology. I predominately believe that the Saudis are doing this because they’re far too dependent on their oil-based economy, and want to diversify their national assets by ensnaring giants in Silicon Valley to their cause.

We can’t keep turning a blind eye towards justice

My greatest fear surrounding Saudi influence in Silicon Valley is the fact that we’re essentially turning a blind eye towards justice in exchange for hefty paychecks and funding for title loans. American innovators cannot be compromised by foreign influence, and while partnering with allies abroad can be useful it’s clear to see that Saudi Arabia’s sway in Silicon Valley is far more than that of a mere investor. The country is rapidly trying to leverage the technological prowess of Silicon Valley that it may better suppress its domestic populace and strengthen its economic and political stature in the future.

What’s even worse is the fact that the Saudis are essentially using their economic leverage over titans of American technology and industry to get away with literal murder. The Saudi crown prince recently met with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for instance, who also owns the Washington Post that Khashoggi wrote for before his assassination. By buddying up with virtual villains like Mark Zuckerberg, too, the Saudis are illustrating that they care as much about privacy and human rights as Facebook’s robotic CEO, who routinely stands by and does nothing to stymie harassment or abuse on his platform.

Silicon Valley just can’t quit Saudi Arabia because it’s simply too dependent on Saudi investment. As long as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to invest heavily into Silicon Valley based enterprises, the country will use the sway it derives there to make sure it’s never held accountable for its wrongdoing.

How to Make an International Career as a Taxation Expert

       Although the field of tax accounting is heavily tied with the legislation and economy of the country where you earned your degrees and certification, if you want to advance your career and work at a higher level with more opportunities for travel or cultural exchange, you should consider an international career as a taxation expert.

Get a Job in a Multinational Company

       In a globalized world, business success means expanding outside the borders of the country and taking over major foreign markets. With so many companies and corporations running business all across the world, the need for taxation experts able to juggle with various tax legislation has grown exponentially.

       If you want to use your accounting degree to work in the global economy, you should learn more about this career. Getting certified as an international tax manager is your ticket to finding employment in multinational corporations and businesses. This career track, however, requires you to be highly skilled and have in-depth familiarity with foreign tax policies.

You will ensure that your company respects the tax regulations of the countries where it runs operations but also the international tax policy of both the home and host country. If a company does not conduct activity across borders but has foreign investments, these must also be supervised by an international tax manager. And you can be that person.

Provide Your Expertise to Expats and Digital Nomads

       If you like the idea of a career with a worldwide focus, consider becoming an expatriate tax manager, also known as a global mobility tax manager. Practically, this is a narrow specialization for international tax managers as it revolves around providing expats and, more recently, digital nomads and international freelancers, with tax services.

As an expatriate tax manager, you will make sure that your clients comply with the tax policy of their home country, place of residence, and international tax policies. This job provides many opportunities for career development and depending on your employer, the chance to work abroad can present itself too.

       Naturally, to advance to this role, you will need industry qualifications and solid work experience. Excellent risk management, strong organisation and other transferable skills are a great component of success for expatriate tax managers. Some employees might have a preference for candidates with management experience too.  

Career Tips 

       To move from general tax practice to a global career in international taxation, tax experts must spend significant time developing both career-specific and interpersonal skills and building their credibility. They need to act as reliable advisors for companies and clients to earn the required experience in all facets of taxation.

       Once you follow the right steps, an international career in taxation is more than possible. However, if you haven’t taken courses in international accounting, you might have to enter into a master’s degree program that offers a concentration in international accounting or show equivalent work experience.  

Another way to increase your chances of success is to learn a foreign language. Bilingual candidates with sound expertise in international tax laws and regulations are highly sought-after by multinational companies and businesses that operate abroad. The ability to work in two languages will help you achieve your responsibilities as an international tax expert much more efficiently as there will be no need for intermediaries. Reviews the Top Franchises to Start in 2020

Proven Franchises has established itself as one of the leading franchising opportunities in the world. Right now, franchising has risen in popularity. There are a number of reasons why this has happened. First, taxes have been lowered and a boom has taken off in household wealth across America. This has created new business opportunities for countless people. Second, rising home values and average household income has made starting a business more accessible than ever before. Finally, franchising provides a great opportunity for people to diversify their investments. For those looking for the right franchising opportunities, Proven Franchises has reviewed some of the top franchising opportunities in 2020.

Those looking to join the franchising food industry should look no further than  Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Barbecue is a dietary staple in most parts of the country and it is hard to beat the quality that comes with Dickey’s. This restaurant chain is incredibly passionate about the art that is barbecue. Dickey’s has been in business for close to 80 years and, over the decades, has grown into the largest barbecue restaurant chain in the world. As a result, this chain is always looking to take on new partners to help them spread their love of barbecue. To join this franchising family, $100,000 in liquid cash is required.

It is important to diversify in the world of franchising and one of the unique opportunities is Mattress by Appointment. This franchising opportunity has been ranked as one of the top choices in the coming decade. This is a job that people can work around their other obligations. Becoming a dealer for Mattress by Appointment means that people can create their own work schedule while working independently. This type of flexibility is unparalleled and is one of the many reasons why Mattress by Appointment has become a popular franchising opportunity in the industry. To take advantage of this opportunity, $20,000 in liquid cash is required.

Finally, Puroclean is another popular franchising opportunity. Anyone who wants to become a franchisee yet also provide emergency services to those in need should consider joining the world of Puroclean franchising. This chain helps families and businesses overcome some of the devastating setbacks that can happen due to mold, water, fire, and other catastrophic damages that lead to property loss. Puroclean franchisees are dedicated to helping families and businesses get back on track with some of the leading cleanup operations in the world. $70,000 in liquid cash is needed to join Puroclean.

These are only a few of the many franchising opportunities that are going to lead the way in 2020. Franchising is a great way to diversify investments and gain independence. Proven Franchises helps connect interested investors with some of the top partners in the world.

A Beginner’s Guide To Business Credit Essentials

If you are just starting a new business or want to scale an existing one, chances are high that you will seek credit facilities to help you achieve your goal. Business credit plays such an essential role in the success of most businesses, and there’s no shame in trying to look for ways to access them when in need. But how much do you know about credit to be able to manage it effectively?

Here, we share six most important things you need to know to ensure you’re getting the most out of your business credit.

Credit isn’t cash

One mistake that most business owners make when dealing with credit or credit cards is treating it as ‘free money’ or any other cash coming out of their wallets. It is this kind of approach to credit that sees so many of them get into trouble with borrowed money and loaned supplies. To avoid finding yourself in this pitfall, continually look for ways to educate yourself on the best ways to use credit. offers a great resource on money management, including how to build an excellent business credit profile.

A good credit score is priceless

They say you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Nothing describes this phrase better than a good business credit score. It might not look like anything significant, until that day when you need credit desperately to sort out some bills in your business. Always strive to grow and maintain a good credit history to avoid missing out on credit facilities in times of need.

Multiple factors determine your credit score

While your business credit rating can vary depending on where you’re getting your reports from, all credit bureaus and related services take into consideration several common factors when calculating the score. For starters, they look at your payment history to determine if you pay your bills and loans on time. They also consider the total amount of money other lenders owe you at the time of calculating the score. Others will also consider how long you’ve been using credit as well as how many credit accounts are under your name. Learning to balance all these factors will see you grow your business credit score and ultimately improve your creditworthiness.

Your business credit score is an open book

The one thing you need to know about credit listings is that creditors and lenders report every credit or loans your business applies to credit bureaus. What’s more, bureaus communicate with each other and also make some of this information available to others on demand. Your business credit information is compiled in a credit report, which forms the basis of your credit score calculations.

Under the law, you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau every year. Take advantage of this provision to find out how healthy or unhealthy your score is. At the same time, look for errors or incorrect information that might have been included in your report and dispute them to avoid harming your credit score.

A bad report can cost you more than just credit

If you thought inability to access credit is the only negative thing that a bad business credit causes, then you’re probably in for a rude shock. Bad credit can harm your chances of winning a tender or landing a job for your business. As if that’s not enough, some landlords can reject your request to rent their property for business if they find out about your bad report. Finally and probably the costliest of them all, lenders and other potential financiers may impose higher interest rates on your loans as they consider yours to be a high-risk business.

You can improve your business credit score

If you missed a payment or severed relationships with creditors in the past, you don’t have to worry or beat yourself too much. This is because you can still redeem yourself and the image of your business to lenders. While the process of rebuilding your credit won’t happen overnight, making small but consistent steps in the right direction could see you recover fully.

To begin with, start paying your current bills and loans on or before time. Besides, try to mend your relationships with creditors and encourage them to report good things about you to credit bureaus. You can also apply for new credit cards and make timely payments for every credit you take from them.

How would you rate your current business credit score? Are you proud or unhappy with it, and what measures are you taking to improve it? We’d love to hear your feedback.

The Lifetime Value Of A Good Credit Score

Credit scores play an integral role in our lives and in particular, it has a significant impact on our financial health.

Typically, individuals with a good credit score always have it easy when dealing with financiers, while the opposite is true.

At the very least, an excellent credit score is often associated with lower borrowing costs, while a bad credit score, on the other hand, can condemn you to a life of desperation and might even affect how ready a landlord is to rent you.

Ideally, you should think about your credit score as your financial reputation; how do lenders and other financial institutes perceive you?

It should be a true reflection of your financial behaviors and your personality at large.

Here are some of the ways that a credit score can affect your way of life:


When preparing to purchase a home, we all want to get the best mortgage rates.

Getting the best rates is more than saving a huge down payment, but it also entails having an excellent credit score.

As a potential home buyer, you must understand your credit score will determine how expensive or cheap your mortgage will be.

See, having an excellent credit score translates to lower mortgage APR (cost of borrowing money, which includes interest rates and other charges. A lower interest rate, on the other hand, usually translates to higher APR.

Now, you might think a 1 or 2% doesn’t really make an impact on the overall amount, but in reality, it does.

Consider this; for a 30-year fixed loan, an average credit score of 620-639 is likely to get an APR of 5%. On the other hand, those with the highest credit score of 760-850 are likely to get an APR of 3.4%.

So, assuming you wanted to secure a mortgage of $100,000, individuals with a credit score of 620 will pay total interest of $93,872 in total interest, and those with a score of 760 will pay total interest of $60,433.

Again, if you can’t afford a mortgage and decide to rent, you’ll also ace a stumbling block since a majority of the landlords will often consider your credit score when approving or denying a rental application.

In a report by TransUnion, about 48% of the landlords usually use credit score as one of the yardsticks of determining whether to accept or decline a tenant’s lease application.

Credit Cards

According to Credit Cards, credit cards usually offer more insight on how your borrowing as well as debt management decisions.

Generally, having a credit card is good for your credit score because it shows you’re capable o handling debts.

However, a low credit score usually translates to higher interest rates, and the monthly minimum rates are equally higher compared to those with a good credit score.

Besides the high-interest rates, a good credit score often translates to the favorable repayment schedule, and in most cases, individuals with a high credit score will settle their debts earlier than those with a low credit score.

Besides the monetary rates, those with high credit scores are more likely to access cards with a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers.


Though credit score is not the only factor used in determining your insurance premiums, it plays quite a significant role.

More importantly, it determines the amount of insurance premium that you’re going to pay.

A report by WalletHub, for instance, indicates that individuals with low credit usually pay up to 67% more than individuals with excellent credit. 

Insurance companies usually rely on credit-based insurance score to determine how likely individuals will make insurance claims in the future.  

Still, it plays a crucial role, and above all, it will determine your monthly premiums.


As you can see, credit score has a huge impact on our current and future lives, and you should strive to push your score even higher.

Pine Advisors Shares How to Successfully Manage Your Personal Finances in 2020

The year 2020 is almost upon us. With a new year, comes new beginnings for many. For others, it’s a time to set resolutions for the new year and engage in behaviors that will better themselves each day. While most resolutions often fail within the first week or so, practicing good habits consistently can make keeping a resolution a reality.

One such resolution that every adult should have going into the new year is finding new and effective ways to manage personal finances. Money is what makes the world go around, and in today’s economic climate, managing your finances is more important than ever. Here are some effective ways that you can learn how to manage your finances.


Many people often think that budgeting is a tedious task that can eat up a lot of time with no positive outcome. However, this is not the case. Budgeting provides you with an effective outlook on how much money you are bringing in against how much you are bringing out.

Basically, it is an effective means of informing you if you are bringing in a positive or negative net income. Budgeting will inform you if you have enough money to take care of yourself and utilities. You will also be able to find areas where you may be able to cut back a little bit.

Creating and sticking to a budget will seem tough at first, just like sticking to a resolution for the new year. However, it will pay off in the end. In doing so, you will be able to cultivate more healthy financial habits while making sounder financial decisions.

In order to create an effective budget, you should understand your expenses and understand your income. Then, you will see if you have to generate more income or cut back on your expenses. Being organized financially already puts you in an advantageous position going forward. It will also save you the hassle of how to deal with unexpected expenses when they arise.

Create an Emergency Fund

Emergencies are a few and far between occurrence, but when they happen, it is always good to have a fund stored for such an occasion. Whether it is a natural disaster hitting your house, or if it’s an unexpected debt you have to pay back, you don’t want to be searching vigorously for funds when you may have some already available.

The most important advice you can take when it comes to making an emergency fund is to not touch it at all. In fact, you should let your emergency fund sit and let it garner interest. Only tap into it in extreme situations where you may be let go from your job or something else of the sort comes up.

You will also want to refrain from using credit cards for these emergency purchases because it can put you in a worse position than you were in before. Pine Advisors can assist you with credit card related troubles and other options available at your disposal.

Be Wise With Credit Cards

Credit cards have become such a dangerous convenience in today’s society. On the surface, it’s a card that allows you to make a purchase as long as it’s within the credit limit set by the provider. However, it is not free money and you must spend it wisely.

A wise way to go about using credit cards is to go by a golden rule that many credit card users go by. This being to not spend more than a third of your credit limit. Put simply, if you couldn’t afford to make a purchase on a debit card, you shouldn’t be making it on a credit card. Not only does all that money have to get paid back eventually, but interest will accumulate the more that you spend on it.

If you eventually reach a point where you only find yourself able to make just the minimum payment, interest will continue to increase and you will end up paying more than what you spent on it. Troubles with credit cards come very often, and if you need assistance with how to go about managing it, Pine Advisors is home to many valuable resources that you can use.

Save for Retirement

Yes, retirement always seems decades away and you may be thinking that you don’t have to worry about it right now. However, you also have to think that far down the road and think about how the decisions you make today will affect the condition you will be when that time arrives.

You should start saving around 10 to 15 percent of your income towards retirement so you don’t have to worry about finances when you reach that age. A savings target is one of the first things that should be established. Basically, this will be what tells you how much you should save over time that will allow you to live the retired life that you imagine.

For example, if you are in your mid 20’s and have a job that pays around $40,000 a year, you should save 10% of that income annually. By the time that you retire, you will have 2.5 million dollars waiting for you. You can check out this calculator and run the numbers yourself.

A Business in the Netherlands – Why this Country is could be the Land of Opportunities for Canadians

There is a good chance that you cannot point out the exact location of the Netherlands on the map. Maybe Canadian entrepreneurs first think of the larger countries like the UK or Germany for your overseas European business hub. Although the Netherlands is a small country, and you can drive from one end to another in just two hours, it has one of the best business environments in the world. Wonder why? Feel free to read if you’re interested to find out.


Where is The Netherlands situated?

Geographically, this country is located right between Germany and Belgium, separated from the UK by the North Sea. This serves as an advantage, but we will get to that a bit later. Its location and connections are amazing and that is always a great benefit. If you ever need something from a neighbouring country, such as Germany, you can make a quick visit without even needing to use the plane as transportation of choice.


So, what makes being an entrepreneur so great here?

Now, here comes the interesting part. Nobody really cares how large a country is if it offers a wide variety of world class facilities at close proximity. Well, that’s the case with the Netherlands. Let’s start with the education system.

There are many different, mostly public, schools, and the level between different schools or private and public education plans does not differ much. Institutions are operated on a high level, meaning that you get a well-known and accepted diploma and you can find a job easily in the diverse Dutch business world. Education in English language is also widely available.

Many people from outside of The Netherlands are sending their children there because of the education system. Not only that you know they are going to take great care of educating your kid, but by growing up and studying there they will teach them how to think and work independently and properly and fluidly speak both Dutch and English.

There are multiple studies showing us that Dutch people are speaking the best English out of all non-native countries. The best thing about all? The Dutch education comes with really low tuition fees.


Amazing events

The Dutch culture is very interesting, and in almost every city and village of the Netherlands, it is well kept and preserved with care. There are loads of museums and cultural events spread out across the entire country, so you can learn a lot about the history, architecture, ceremonies and tons of other interesting cultural stuff. If you crave to study the rich Dutch history, it is even better, because you definitely have a lot to learn from this place.


A healthy work-life balance

As each year goes by, we constantly hear complaints about how life did not turn out to be what someone expected it to be. Going to work for most part of your day and then feeling really tired and sleeping for the rest of your time off is definitely not what you want life to bring you. Although that’s the sad truth in many countries, the Netherlands has more to offer to life to employees and entrepreneurs.

If you want to register a business, make sure to use a Dutch company registration agent. It will efficiently help you with every step along the way. You will be able to set up a business, arrange a visa, find a registration address in the Netherlands quickly and find your desired work-life balance. Not to mention that the average income is pretty attractive as well, so you won’t be missing any spending power crucial for a good and balanced lifestyle. We all know how important money for a comfortable. The Netherlands offer many job and business opportunities for any kind of person.


Open-minded and friendly people

The great thing about living in this small nation is that the chances are low that you’ll have any conflicts with others trying to judge your lifestyle or opinions. Even the government here is cooperative and open-minded, so you can live any kind of life that you want without being bothered by anyone. People are open to new comers and they will be more than glad to help you with settling if you’re new and moved over just recently.


Good health-care systems

Unlike in other regions in the world, the healthcare system in the Netherlands is functioning relatively well. The cost of the system is very acceptable and it will not immediately make you go bankrupt if you start experiencing any health issues. A great benefit about it is that each citizen of this country pays a similar price for healthcare, regardless of how healthy they are, and this is pretty fair when it comes to helping those in need of care. If you are in a very hard situation and completely out of money, you do have to worry about your health because your insurance company will pay your medical expenses.

But, there must be something negative?

Yes, an eutopia doesn’t really exist in this globe, so believe it or not, even The Netherlands has its downsides as well. One of them is over-crowded tourist attractions.

Places such as the centre of Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, is constantly being overflowed with tourists, and this is something that makes the locals pretty frustrated sometimes.

Now, before you commence to judge, hear us out. The people who are living in tourist locations are more than willing to welcome newcomers who want to visit their hometown. However, we are talking about massively tourist numbers that now and then jam the traffic and cause noise in the late evening and early morning. For some people, this is not an issue, but others prefer not to live in the city centre, and if you ask us, in the end, this only shows that Amsterdam has a lot to offer, so there must be multiple reasons why so many people wish to give it a visit.

Last but not least, live in the larger cities can be pretty costly if you have a limited spending power, and if you are a tourist and you do not know where to find the bargains, you might end up spending a lot more money than what you had budgeted. Luckily, you can ask the locals for some spending tips and advice and they will be more than happy to help you.

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.

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.